Griggs Reservoir (387 acres; Franklin County) – This 361-acre lake in Columbus offers shorefishing access on the east side of the lake. Largemouth bass are hitting right now; try plastic tubes and creature baits fished along riprap and cover for the best results. Crappies are still being found in shallow water around woody cover. Use minnows or jigs suspended by a bobber fished right in the cover. Carp are large and plentiful in this lake. Use prepared baits and dough balls.
Rush Creek Lake (289 acres; Fairfield, Perry counties) – Use plastic worms, spinnerbaits, and crankbaits around shoreline cover and standing trees for largemouth bass. Crappies are beginning to move to deeper woody cover in four to 10 feet of water. Minnows and a slip bobber work best. This lake has a good channel catfish population; fish with cut bait or chicken liver. There is a 10-horsepower limit at Rush Creek Lake.
Buckeye Lake (2,847 acres; Fairfield, Licking, Perry counties) – For largemouth bass, use crankbaits, tubes, and creature baits around Clouse Cove and Cranberry Marsh; also fish any riprap or woody cover. For hybrid striped bass, try using chicken livers on the north shore from Seller’s Point to the north boat ramp. For bluegill, fish the eastern side of the lake using small worms and larval baits beneath a bobber; the bite is picking up. Crappies measuring seven to 12 inches can be taken using minnows suspended by a bobber from shoreline areas that have submerged cover. This is one of the region’s top lakes for carp; try prepared baits and dough balls fished on the bottom.
Kokosing River (Knox County) – Ohio’s first water trail, this scenic river in Knox County offers paddlers and anglers access to 28 miles of river fishing. Smallmouth bass and rock bass can be caught on small crankbaits, tubes, and jigs. Sunfish, crappies, and catfish are present and offer good fishing. Maps and information are available from the Ohio DNR at www.ohiodnr.com.
Van Wert Reservoir #2 (65 acres; Van Wert County) – Crappies are being caught by anglers using minnows fished under a slip bobber. The fish have been in the eight- to 10-inch range. Boats are permitted on the reservoir; however, no boat ramp is available. Boats must obtain a permit from the city of Van Wert.
Delta Reservoirs #1 and #2 (39 and 50 acres; Fulton County) – Bluegills have been moving into the shallows to spawn. Try using waxworms or a fly rod with wet flies. Boats are limited to electric motors.
Scioto River (Hardin County) – Channel catfish have been biting on nightcrawlers. Access the river at the bridge at County Road 245.
Upper Sandusky Reservoir #2 (118 acres; Wyandot County) – Nice catches of largemouth bass are being taken using tube jigs fished through weed beds. The best colors have been motor oil and crawfish. Most fish are in the 15- to 20-inch range. The best fishing has been in the shallow areas on the south and east sides of the reservoir. Boats are allowed on the reservoir with electric motors only.
Bresler Reservoir (582 acres; Allen County) – Crappies are being caught in the southwest corner of the reservoir by the pump house. Jigs or minnows fished under a slip bobber have been working great. A few anglers reported catching fish between 9 and 10 a.m. Boats are allowed on the reservoir with electric motors only.
Berlin Lake (3,321 acres; Stark, Portage, Mahoning counties) – Berlin Lake lies in the northeastern part of Ohio at the junction of Stark, Portage, and Mahoning counties. The lake is on, and is accessible from, U.S. Route 224 and State Routes 14 and 225. 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. For walleyes, focus on shallow areas near willows using small crawler harnesses and jig-and-crawler combinations. Walleye anglers are catching bonus catfish as well.
Portage Lakes (1,190 acres; Summit County) – The Portage Lakes area is a few miles south of the City of Akron. They are bordered by State Route 224 on the north, County Road 50 on the east, State Route 93 on the west, and County Road 224 on the south. All lakes have a 400-horsepower limit. All areas are “no wake” except for portions of Turkeyfoot Lake and East Reservoir. Sunfish are shallow for the spawn, and fishing is hot. Try waxworms fished shallow below bobbers. Largemouth bass are recovering from the spawn and are beginning to bite well again. Fish soft plastics near boat docks or spinnerbaits near weedbeds.
Pymatuning Lake (16,349 acres; Ashtabula County) – Pymatuning Lake is approximately one mile east of Andover, Ohio, and one mile north of Jamestown, Pennsylvania. State Route 85 (Ohio) bisects Pymatuning Lake’s northern and southern sections and becomes State Route 285 at the Pennsylvania border (which is approximately one mile east of Pymatuning Lake Road), which is near the middle of the two-mile bridge overlooking the lake. Five boat-launch ramps are available. A 20-horsepower motor limit is in effect. For white bass, focus efforts near the Route 85/285 causeway using inline spinners and jig and curly-tail combos. Bluegills are biting well at the upper end of the reservoir; use waxworms, maggots, or small worms on small hooks (#10 or smaller) or pin-mins under bobbers. Carp are also biting well at the upper end of the reservoir; fish nightcrawlers on the bottom.
Mosquito Lake (7,241 acres; Trumbull County) – Mosquito Creek Lake is approximately one mile west of State Route 5 in Cortland. Five maintained boat-launch ramps are available. Unlimited horsepower boating is permitted on the lake. For walleyes, troll crawler harnesses in 15 to 20 feet. For crappies, focus efforts north of Route 88 about five to 10 feet deep; use jigs tipped with minnows several feet below bobbers. For largemouth bass, use spinnerbaits in weedbeds.
Great Miami River (Montgomery County) – The river has been producing some great catches from Dayton to Franklin. Anglers are using chicken livers and nightcrawlers fished on the bottom. Carp have been caught using various doughball baits. Best catches of carp and channel catfish have been below the low head dams at Monument Avenue, Tay’s Station, West Carrollton, and Miamisburg.
Caesar Creek Lake (Warren County) – For muskies, try casting large bucktail spinners, jerk baits, or crankbaits around standing or fallen timber in coves or along main lake shorelines. If you catch a Muskie, report it to the Ohio Huskie Muskie Club Muskie Angler Log at wildohio.com. Crappies are still being caught by anglers fishing deep water with minnows under a bobber and small hair or tube jigs in white or chartreuse. Bluegills are spawning in the coves. Try using waxworms or red worms fished under a bobber. Use spinnerbaits and crankbaits around shoreline cover for bass early in the morning. A few saugeyes are still being caught using jigs tipped with minnow or nightcrawlers fished over deep water structure and drop-offs.
Grand Lake St. Marys (Mercer County) – For largemouth bass, try using medium or deep-diving lures, or artificial or live nightcrawlers around structure. Anglers are also having success on spinner baits or tube baits. Crappies are being taken in deeper water. Minnows and a bobber work best. Also try tube jigs.
Adams Lake (Adams County) – Bluegills and crappies can be caught on nightcrawlers and waxworms. Anglers should have good success fishing from the shoreline. This is a great place for fishing with youth. Pay careful attention to the trees and weeds along the bank. Fish are hitting around 18 inches deep.
Cowan Lake (Clinton County) – Saugeye action is heating up, with anglers taking better numbers of 13- to 20-inch fish. Try casting a jig tipped with a piece of nightcrawler, and hop it along the bottom in five to 12 feet of water near the beach. If you prefer trolling, saugeyes can be taken on shad patterned medium or deep diving crankbaits. A lot of seven- to eight-inch crappies are being caught on small tube jigs or minnows fished near submerged trees six to 15 feet deep. Bluegills can be caught on red worms or waxworms near boat docks or the edges of lily pads.
Lake Loramie (Shelby County) – Channel catfish are biting on chicken livers, shrimp, and stink baits fished on the bottom. Bluegills have been caught recently around boat docks, riprap shorelines, and along the edges of lily pads. Try using small jigs tipped with waxworms fished just one to two feet under a small bobber.
Piedmont Lake (2,273 acres; Belmont County) – Largemouth and smallmouth bass will continue to bite throughout the summer. Try using deep-diving lures, large-bladed spinnerbaits, or working artificial or live nightcrawlers around long sloping points or large rocks. Anglers in the past have also found success using worm tubes and lizards from motor oil to chartreuse in color. Nice-sized crappies can be caught on jigs in six to 10 feet of water. Try fishing around downed trees. For saugeyes, try bouncing white twister tails off the bottom near Reynolds Road and in front of the dam, or try using green twister tails tipped with a nightcrawler or minnow fished around rocky or sandy points. Muskies can usually be caught throughout the lake on large plugs. Try trolling the dam area and around Essex Bay, especially during early morning and evening.
Muskingum River (Muskingum, Morgan, Washington counties) – Late spring and early summer can be great times to fish for crappies in a stream. Don’t let the current deter you – just learn how to use it to your advantage for a successful trip. Crappies will find shelter from the faster water while keeping a position where they can easily feed. Look for any current breaks in the water that allow a calm eddy pocket to form, such as points, riffles, rock piles, trees, brush, stumps, or docks. Crappies will face into the current, so cast upstream and let your bait drift by giving them the best chance to see it and strike. Try fishing small jigs tipped with minnows. Spotted bass fishing is also popular this time of year. Try fishing small spinnerbaits, tube baits, and crayfish imitation baits. Spotted bass are the predominant black bass in this river, but smallmouth and largemouth bass can be caught, as well.
AEP ReCreation Land (Morgan, Muskingum, Noble counties) – Bluegills are found in nearly every impoundment at the ReCreation Land. Targeting them with live bait is a great choice; try small red worms, waxworms, or crickets fished under a small bobber. If you prefer artificial baits, a small jig or fly under a float works well, just make sure your bait is small enough that the bluegill can easily fit it in their mouths. A 20-fish daily limit is in effect for all species (singly or in combination) of sunfish at this area. A free permit is required to fish the AEP ReCreation Land.
Veto Lake (160 acres; Washington County) – For crappies, try fishing a minnow under a bobber at two feet off the bottom. Target areas along woody vegetation. A variety of sunfish, including bluegill, should all be biting this time of year. Try small worms, waxworms, or minnows fished under a bobber. The best locations are generally near the picnic shelter and the boat ramp. For largemouth bass, try using green-colored crankbaits cast out along banks, quick drop-offs, and vegetated areas, and reel in slowly.
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. The minimum size limit is 12 inches.
• Possession of black bass (largemouth and smallmouth bass) is prohibited through June 24. Beginning June 25, the daily bag limit is five fish per angler with a 14-inch minimum size limit.
Where: Walleye fishing has been slow, but is improving as the weather gets better. The best catches have come from north of the Toledo Lighthouse, the Gravel Pit, “A” and “L” cans of the Camp Perry firing range, Green Island, Rattlesnake Island, and north of Kelleys Island.
How: Most fish have been caught by trolling with crankbaits or worm harnesses, or by casting with weight forward spinners or mayfly rigs.
Where: Some walleyes have been caught within one to five miles of the Huron and Vermilion rivers. Good fishing can be had in 28 to 32 feet of water northeast of Cleveland, in 25 feet of water northwest of Chagrin River, in 30 to 60 feet of water north of Geneva, and in 40 to 60 feet of water northeast of Ashtabula.
How: Anglers are trolling planer boards and divers with stick baits and red and green worm harnesses.
Where: Fishing has been fair near the Black and Vermilion rivers, in 28 to 32 feet of water north-northeast of Gordon Park, in 25 feet of water northeast of Wildwood Park, in 22 to 35 feet of water northeast of Fairport, in 30 to 60 feet of water north of Geneva, and in 40 to 60 feet of water northeast of 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.
Where: Beginning June 25, try fishing in 10 to 25 feet of water around the harbor areas in Cleveland, Fairport Harbor, Geneva, Ashtabula and Conneaut.
How: Use 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 is one of the best producers of bass in the river. “Smallies” also bite well on live bait (i.e., minnow, 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 will 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 mentioned can be effectively targeted by fishing a nightcrawler 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.
OHIO RIVER REGION
Brown and Clermont Counties – Fishing activity has been picking up. Sauger, white bass, and hybrid striped bass are all being caught. Spinners and jigs have both been successful. White, pearl, chartreuse, orange, and yellow twister tails are a great choice right now.
Racine Dam Area (Meigs County) – White and hybrid striped bass: Spinners and jigs can both be successful this time of year. White, pearl, chartreuse, orange, and yellow twister tails have all been popular with anglers. Sauger: With the spawn over, fish will spread out in the river. However, some can still be caught in the tailwaters using jigs tipped with plastic grubs or minnows.
Bellville Dam Tailwater Area (Washington County) – Hybrid striped bass: Try minnows, crankbaits, or twister tails. Catfish will start biting soon on a variety of baits, including nightcrawlers and cut bait such as shad and skipjack. Try the area near the dam and along the walkway.
Bellville Pool Area (Washington County) – Channel catfish can be caught from shore using nightcrawlers and chicken livers off the bottom. Black bass have been caught in the spring in previous years by both shore and boat anglers. Focus your effort in the many tributaries and embayments using crankbaits and spinners.
Riverbend to downtown area (Hamilton County) – Channel catfish: Water levels have been slightly high but anglers report success off gravel humps in about 20 feet of water near channel drop-offs. Fish depths from 15 to 30 feet and try cut skipjack and shad.
Meldahl Dam (Clermont County) – Channel catfish are being taken in good numbers all along the river. Try chicken livers, shrimp, or nightcrawlers fished on the bottom.