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Ohio Outdoor News Fishing Report – July 15th

Central Region

Delaware Lake (963 acres; Delaware County) – For crappies, use jigs and minnows around woody cover and target water depths of eight to 15 feet. Crappie must be nine inches or longer to keep. Channel catfish are plentiful in this lake. Try using cut bait and shrimp fished on the bottom at night for the best success. Largemouth bass are being caught around cover and on lake points. Use spinner baits and plastics for the best results. Most fish are around 12 inches in length.

Hoover Reservoir (2,818 acres; Delaware and Franklin counties) – The best places to find largemouth bass are around shoreline cover and secondary lake points. Bass are being caught on crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and plastics. Channel catfish can be caught using shrimp and cut bait. Target the flats in the north basin at night for the best results. Saugeyes are being caught on the breaks of points in  six to 15 feet of water mostly at dawn and dusk. Trolling crankbaits or worm harnesses very close to the bottom are also producing results. There is a 10-horsepower limit at this lake.

Buckeye Lake (Fairfield, Licking, and Perry counties) – Anglers are trolling Flicker Shads and stickbaits on the north end of the lake and picking up some saugeyes. Fish have been in anywhere from five to 10 feet of water. Some catfish are also in the mix. Fishermen are also concentrating efforts at Seller’s Point and Lieb’s Island and picking up some saugeyes, crappies, and bluegills.

Bob’s Outdoor Supply, (740) 349-0992

Indian Lake (Logan County) – Saugeye anglers are finding fish near Chippewa by trolling Flicker Shad in a variety of patterns. Most of the saugeyes have been between 15 and 20 inches. Concentrate efforts in shallower water, between five and 10 feet deep, anglers report.

Kiser Lake (394 acres; Champaign County) – This lake in Champaign County is perfect for a quiet day on the water since no motors are allowed. There is a good population of largemouth bass; try plastics, topwater baits, and crankbaits along the lily pads or cover on the north side of the lake. Crappies become more active as the water cools; try using minnows in the old creek channel or around woody cover. For bluegills, fish aquatic vegetation and cover using waxworms for good results. Fly-fishing for bluegills is a good way to learn this fishing technique.

Alum Creek Lake (3,192 acres; Delaware County) – As water temperatures have increased, fish have moved to deeper water. Largemouth bass are being caught off main and secondary points with crankbaits and spinnerbaits. For saugeyes, trolling worm harnesses or crankbaits close to the bottom in 12 to 14 feet of water along points can produce saugeye, especially at dawn and dusk. Muskellunge can provide good action this time of year. Try trolling crankbaits across points and along riprapped shorelines.

Northwest Region

Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area Reservoir (241acres; Wyandot County) – Crappies have been biting on minnows. The best location has been south of the boat ramp, and the best time to fish has been midday. Channel catfish should be biting this month. Try fishing along the south and east shores using nightcrawlers or cut baits fished tight-lined on the bottom, or just off bottom using slip bobbers for the best results. There is a 10-horsepower limit on the reservoir.

Van Wert Reservoirs #1and #2 (61 and 100 acres; Van Wert County) – Bluegills should be biting at the Van Wert reservoirs this time of year. Anglers should try fishing five to seven feet deep using waxworms under a bobber. The mornings and evenings are usually the best times to fish. At Van Wert #1, try fishing the southeast bank and at Van Wert #2 try along the east bank. Boats are permitted on the reservoirs; however, boaters must obtain a permit from the city of Van Wert.

Lake LeComte, Fostoria Reservoir #5 (137 acres; Hancock County) – Bluegills have been biting on red worms. The best locations have been in the northeast corner and the best time of day has been in the morning. For saugeyes, during summer, try drifting or trolling the shoreline at night with crankbaits or worm harnesses. Boats are allowed on the reservoir, with a 9.9-horsepower motor restriction.

Lake La Su An (82 acres; Williams County) – Bluegills are being caught in nine to 13 feet of water. Anglers are having the best success using jigs tipped with waxworms, red worms, or Gulp minnows fished seven to nine feet under a slip bobber. Good numbers of Fish Ohio bluegills are being caught with some more than 10 inches. This fishery is intensively managed to maintain the harvest of large bluegills. For additional rules and information, visit wildohio.com.

Northeast  Region

Clendening Lake (1,702 acres; Harrison County) – Boats with motors of 10 horsepower or less are permitted on the lake. Largemouth bass have been active and anglers are doing well on buzzbaits and spinnerbaits. Try working around weedbeds and fallen trees. When the bite slows, try finessing soft plastics. White bass have been actively schooling and can be found by looking for surface activity or circling gulls. Try small spinners or white grubs for fast action.

LaDue Reservoir (1,475 acres; Geauga County) – Largemouth bass have been biting both shallow and deep. Topwater frogs and buzz baits have been effective around shallow weed beds, and crankbaits and rattle baits have been producing offshore. Catfish continue to bite nightcrawlers. For crappies, try minnows or chartreuse jigs fished near the bottom around the route 44 and 422 bridges.

Mosquito Creek Lake (7,241 acres; Trumbull County) – For walleyes and crappies, troll small crankbaits and worm harnesses in 11 to 18 feet of water. Spinner baits, plastic worms, crankbaits, and rubber frogs have been the lures of choice for largemouth bass. Focus on shallow structure and riprap areas. Shore and boat anglers have been doing well for yellow perch and sunfish using small live-bait offerings. Both channel and flathead catfish have been biting larger live baits off the bottom.

Berlin Lake (3,321 acres; Stark, Portage, Mahoning counties) – Berlin Lake lies in the northeastern part of Ohio. There are no horsepower restrictions for boats at Berlin Lake during the day, but there is a 10 mph speed limit on the lake at night. Walleyes have been biting well near the deep structure north of U.S. Route 224. Jig and leech combinations, crawler harnesses, and shad-style crankbaits fished in at least 15 feet of water have all been productive. For catfish, crawler harnesses are producing lots of bonus catfish.

Pymatuning Lake (16,349 acres; Ashtabula County) – The Ohio portion of Pymatuning Lake is in southeastern Ashtabula County and is approximately 1 mile east of Andover, Ohio, and 1 mile north of Jamestown, Pennsylvania. A 20-horsepower motor limit is in effect. For catfish, try using nightcrawlers and chicken livers fished near the bottom. Crappies are hitting in 10 to 12 feet of water on minnows fished near the bottom under a bobber. Bluegills are being caught six to eight feet deep on worms. Largemouth bass are hitting buzzbaits near the shore.

Portage Lakes (1,190 acres; Summit County) – Portage Lakes are located a few miles south of the city of Akron. All lakes have a 400-horsepower limit. All areas are “no wake” except for portions of Turkeyfoot Lake and East Reservoir. Largemouth bass have been hitting topwater baits, especially in the low light. Various soft plastics fished around weedbeds have been productive during the day.

Southwest Region

Acton Lake (590 acres; Preble County) – Channel catfish are biting on chicken livers fished along the bottom. Fishing for channel catfish is productive anywhere in the lake. Saugeyes on the Butler County side of the lake are being caught by anglers using minnows or artificial bait. Keep the bait 10 to 12 feet deep for the best results. Bluegills are hitting on waxworms and nightcrawlers fished six to eight feet under a bobber. Keep the bait near downed trees and brush.

Paint Creek Lake (Highland, Ross counties) – Crappies are hitting along banks and around downed trees. Anglers should fish with minnows or pumpkinseed jigs. For largemouth bass, jig in about four to 10 feet of water. Bluegills are hitting waxworms in the coves around wood. Channel and shovelhead catfish are being caught in the spillway on nightcrawlers and cut shad.

Grand Lake St. Marys (12,680 acres; Mercer County) – Nighttime is the best opportunity to catch channel catfish. Try using nightcrawlers, cut bait, and/or chicken livers fished on the bottom. For largemouth bass, late night and early morning hours are best. Try spinnerbaits fished in coves and along docks.

Acton Lake (Preble County) – Channel catfish are biting on chicken livers fished along the bottom. Fishing for channel catfish is productive anywhere in the lake. Saugeyes are being caught by anglers using minnows or artificial bait on the Butler County side of lake. Keep the bait between 10 to 12 feet deep for the best results. Crappies are hitting on minnows fished six to eight feet under a bobber. Keep the bait near downed trees and brush.

Whitewater River and Lake (Hamilton County) – For bass try jigging, crankbaits, or soft plastics. For bluegills, try waxworms and a bobber or smaller inline spinner baits. For catfish, use goldfish, shiners, or suckers. These can be purchased at the marina. Try the pool where the river meets U.S. Route 50. Sauger, white bass, channel catfish, smallmouth and largemouth bass: Try a jighead with a plain white grub. Spoons and rattle traps are also recommended.

Southeast Region

Salt Fork Lake (Guernsey County) – Anglers are catching saugeyes and crappies, primarily in the morning hours, on jig and minnow combinations or nightcrawlers. Fish early mornings or evenings to stay out of the heat.

Piedmont Lake (Belmont County) – Search out weed edges for the best smallmouth and largemouth bite here, anglers recommend. Anglers are using small crankbaits and topwater baits to entice the bass bite.

Rush Creek Lake (Fairfield, Perry counties) – Anglers are catching a variety of bluegills and crappies on nightcrawlers and minnows. Fish are running small, but there is enough action to keep you busy for an afternoon.

Lake Vesuvius (Lawrence County) – Anglers should have success catching good numbers of catfish throughout the lake fishing with cut baits or livers fished off the bottom. If fishing from shore, try a tight-line using chicken livers or nightcrawlers. You should still be able to catch trout using power baits fished off the boardwalk pier. Largemouth bass may still be caught in good numbers using a variety of artificial lures.

Lake Hope (Vinton County) – Anglers are fishing for largemouth bass on this lake near McArthur in Vinton County. Try topwater baits for the best bite. Look for areas with lily pads and the bass should be there.

Lake Alma (60 acres; Vinton County) – For bluegills, try using live bait, including waxworms and nightcrawlers. Panfish are popular with anglers throughout the summer. For largemouth bass, try using artificial baits, including jigs with twister tails, and rattletraps. Try fishing the back side of the lake and under the bridge. Electric motors only.

Monroe Lake (39 acres; Monroe County) – Bluegills are a great fish to catch throughout the summer and into the fall. Try using a waxworm or red worm fished below a bobber. Look for spawning beds in shallow water throughout the summer; many bluegill concentrate in these areas. For largemouth bass, try plastic baits, including salamanders, rubber worms, and topwater baits. Early morning and evening hours are generally the best in the summer. Early July is a great time to start looking for catfish. Nightcrawlers, chicken livers, or prepared catfish baits usually work well when fished on the bottom. Try fishing after a decent rainfall event. Night fishing is also popular for catfish.

Dillon Lake (1,376 acres; Muskingum County) – For largemouth bass, try fishing twister tail jigs tipped with a minnow or nightcrawler along the west shoreline near the dam. Fish submerged trees and stumps in three to six feet of water along this shoreline. Spinnerbaits fished in open water adjacent to cover may also be productive. Crappies can also be caught throughout the year. Use live bait along the brush-lined shore where the water is less swift. For shovelhead and channel catfish, try suckers, small bluegills, and worms. The best fishing for both species is usually when the river is on the rise.

Hocking River (Athens, Hocking counties) – For smallmouth bass, try the area of the river from Enterprise to Nelsonville, or at White’s Mill in Athens. The best smallmouth fishing tends to be in the pools and near submerged cover, rocks, or root systems. Successful baits include minnows, Rooster tails, soft craws, and twisters. Any of these can be effective when fished from canoes or the shoreline. For channel catfish, try using cut bait, bluegill, and minnows. Target the rocky shorelines or woody debris in slack water. The eddy below White’s Mill in Athens is very popular, and shovelhead catfish can be caught there, as well.

Seneca Lake (3,584 acres; Guernsey, Noble counties) – For saugeyes, drift jigs tipped with a twister tail and a minnow, or try twister jigs tipped with a nightcrawler and fished by slowly retrieving it along the bottom. Trolling worm harnesses can also be effective. Focus efforts around the upper islands, the island close to the dam, and Cadillac Bay. For channel catfish, try fishing off the banks of the lake near Briar Hill Road past the last island in the upper section of the lake. Chicken livers and nightcrawlers are always popular bait.

Lake Erie Region

• The daily bag limit for walleye in Ohio waters of Lake Erie is six fish per angler. The minimum size limit for walleye is 15 inches.

• The daily bag limit for yellow perch is 30 fish per angler in all Ohio waters of Lake Erie.

• The trout and salmon daily bag limit is five fish per angler, until Aug. 31. The minimum size limit is 12 inches.

• The black bass (largemouth and smallmouth bass) daily bag limit is five fish per angler with a 14-inch minimum size limit.

Western Basin

Walleye 

Where: Walleye fishing has been hit or miss lately. The best locations have been southeast of the Toledo water intake, off Magee Marsh, north of West Sister Island, south of B can of the Camp Perry firing range, between Niagara Reef and C can, Gull Island Shoal, Kelleys Island Shoal, and east of Kelleys Island.

How: Most fish have been caught by trolling with spoons or worm harnesses, and by casting with weight forward spinners or mayfly rigs.

Yellow Perch

Where: Yellow perch have been caught near the Toledo harbor light, between Rattlesnake Island and South Bass Island, between South Bass Island and Kelleys Island, near Ballast Island, and off the Marblehead Lighthouse.

How: Perch spreaders with shiners fished near the bottom produce the most fish.

Smallmouth Bass

Where: Smallmouth bass have been caught around North Bass Island.

How: Anglers are using drop-shot rigs, tube jigs, and crankbaits.

Central Basin

Walleye

Where: Some walleye have been caught one to two miles off Sawmill Creek, around the Huron dumping ground, and at the weather buoy north of Vermilion near the Canadian border. Good fishing was reported in 48 to 50 feet of water northwest of Cleveland, in 52 to 62 feet of water northwest of Wildwood Park, in 30 to 45 feet of water northwest of Fairport Harbor, and in 40 to 50 feet of water northwest of Geneva.

How: Anglers are trolling with divers or weights ahead of stickbaits or purple and pink worm harnesses.

Yellow Perch

Where: Yellow perch fishing has been slow recently. The best areas have been Ruggles Reef, just off the Vermilion River, in 40 feet of water northeast of Gordon Park, in 20 feet of water north of Fairport Harbor, and in 46 feet of water north-northwest of Lakeshore Park in Ashtabula. Fishing from shore has been spotty off the E. 55th Street and E. 72nd Street piers in Cleveland.

How: Perch spreaders with shiners fished near the bottom produce the most fish.

Smallmouth Bass

Where: Fishing has been excellent in 10 to 30 feet of water around the harbor areas in Cleveland, Fairport Harbor, Geneva, Ashtabula, and Conneaut.

How: Anglers are using drop-shot rigs, tube jigs, crankbaits, leeches, and crayfish.

As we move into early summer, highlight species targeted around Cleveland Metroparks include smallmouth bass, walleye, yellow perch, largemouth bass, panfish, channel catfish, and common carp. Smallmouth bass are typically found in the deeper, rocky pools of the Rocky River during the day in early summer, and often move to the heads of such pools in the early morning and evening hours to feed actively. A dark olive or brown tube jig of about four inches length is one of the best producers of bass in the river. “Smallies” also bite well on live bait (i.e.: minnows, crayfish, and leeches), lures (i.e.: spinners and minnow plugs), and flies (i.e.: crayfish patterns, Clouser minnows, dark brown or olive sculpin, or muddler minnow patterns). Bass of all sizes are abundant in the river, with a healthy number of trophy fish up to (and over) 20 inches in length available. It has been very encouraging to see most anglers releasing the larger bass recently so that these fine gamefish can be caught again, said Mike Durkalec, the metroparks’ fisheries biologist. Also, note that all smallmouth bass must be released immediately if caught downstream of the Detroit Road bridge through June 24. Rock bass are also present in the same river areas as smallmouth, and can be caught using the same offerings listed above.

Channel catfish and large carp are also present in some of these same areas in the river, and fishing for them can be a laid back and relaxing way to enjoy some time on the water. Good numbers of channel catfish stocked in May also remain to be caught at Wallace Lake and the Ohio and Erie Canal fishing area, as well as several smaller metroparks waters. More catfish were to be stocked at various locations in June. Catfishing is usually best during lower light conditions using baits such as nightcrawlers, minnows, chicken liver, and processed dough baits. A good number of larger catfish are moving into the river from Lake Erie on their spawning run. Resident channel catfish are available in the river all summer.

Some large carp (some exceeding 15 pounds) will be found in the northern river reaches throughout the month, as well. Carp can often be caught throughout the day on such bait as canned corn, carp dough baits, worms, or crayfish tails. A growing contingent of fly anglers looking for a challenge are targeting carp with nymphs and crayfish imitations, as well. The key to fishing for either carp or catfish is fishing on (or very near) the river/lake bottom. In addition, freshwater drum (sheepshead), white perch, and bullhead catfish are also abundant in the northern river reaches (north of Morley Ford) in early summer. For the angling generalist, any of the species thus far can be effectively targeted by fishing a nightcrawler worm right on the river bottom with a sinker.

Summer means family fishing time for many folks, and panfish fit the bill perfectly for a leisurely picnic and fishing outing. Anglers seeking panfish have experienced decent fishing at most of the ponds and lakes in the park district in the past week. Crappie, bluegill, and other sunfish species can be taken with a number of offerings, but a waxworm or red worm on a small hook (or tiny jig) suspended under a stick float and fished around a weedbed or shoreline brush is always a good choice. Wallace Lake, Shadow Lake, and Lakefront Reservation are just a few of many places in the park to wet a line for various panfish species. Largemouth bass fishing is often best in Wallace and Hinckley lakes, although bass can be found in most park waters.

Rock bass, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, freshwater drum, and sunfish species are biting along the Cleveland shoreline of Lake Erie on offerings such as tube jigs and live minnows. Yellow perch and walleye are biting off of Cleveland, as well.

Cleveland Metroparks

OHIO RIVER REGION

Pike Island Lock and Dam (Belmont County) – For sauger, try fishing 1⁄8- to 3⁄8-ounce jigs and minnows fished plain or jigs and twister tails with white, chartreuse, or pearl patterns. Early mornings may be the best time to get out and take advantage of the cooler temperatures. In the past, anglers have had success by wading off the gravel bar below the fishing pier and using live baits. You may find smallmouth bass or white bass out here, as well. Channel and flathead catfish fishing always picks up around mid-June. Try cut skipjack or mooneyes.

Meldahl Dam (Clermont County) – For gar, catfish, and white bass, try fishing up near the dam. Daylight hours until dusk have been producing good numbers, but early evening until dawn have been good for catfish. Try chicken liver or cut shad.

Willow Island Pool (Monroe County) – For flathead catfish, try fishing cut bait, minnows, and chicken livers after dark.

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