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North West Ohio Fishing Reports

Northwest Ohio Fishing Report - September 25th, 2015

Sandusky Bay (Erie County) - Some very large catfish have been taken in Sandusky Bay. Try using shrimp or worms fished on the bottom. Night fishing has been more productive than day fishing. Willow Point, Bay Bridge Access, and Bay View Fishing Access are all good places try for catfish.

Nettle Lake (115 acres; Williams County) - Largemouth bass anglers have been catching bass near the surface using surface baits and plastic worms. Evenings in the northwestern bay area have been the most productive. Bluegills have been biting in the mornings. Try fishing with red worms six to eight feet below a bobber. Most fish have been caught in the area around the boat ramp at the southwest corner of the lake. Nettle Lake has no horsepower restrictions; however, there is a no-wake rule (power boaters must operate at idle speed) between the hours of 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., there are no speed restrictions for power boaters.

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North East Ohio Fishing Reports

Northeast Ohio Fishing Report - September 25th, 2015

Pymatuning Lake (16,349 acres; Ashtabula County) - Pymatuning Lake is in southeastern Ashtabula County and 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 S.R. 285 at the Pennsylvania border (which is approximately one mile east of Pymatuning Lake Road), near the middle of the two-mile bridge overlooking the lake. It lies within Pymatuning State Park. Motors are limited to 20 horsepower. Largemouth bass are biting well near shallow submerged wood and aquatic vegetation. Try soft plastics or bass jigs. Walleyes are being caught at the south end of the lake trolling hot-n-tots in 18 to 20 feet of water. Ten to 12 feet seems to be the magic depth for crappies and yellow perch. Both can be caught on small minnows or soft plastics. Target offshore structure such as humps and bars.

Nimisila Lake (742 acres; Summit County) - Nimisila Reservoir is in southeastern Summit County and is approximately two miles south of S.R. 619, two miles east of S.R. 93, and 2.5 miles west of S.R. 241. The lake is surrounded by county roads. Motors are limited to electric only. Some bass are moving into extremely shallow water where they can be targeted with soft plastics, jigs, and frogs. Look for areas with heavy cover. Offshore weedbeds continue to hold some fish, with finesse worms and soft jerkbaits being top producers. Slip bobber rigs with small minnows fished near deep structure or steep riprap areas have been productive for crappies. For yellow perch, fish for weed beds in 12 feet of water with minnows for these tasty panfish. For sunfish, try waxworms under a bobber near the islands.

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Central Ohio Fishing Reports

Central Ohio Fishing Report - September 25th, 2015

Indian Lake (5,040 acres; Logan County) - Saugeyes are being caught along south bank and around the Moundwood and Dream bridge areas. Try crankbaits and worm harnesses trolled near the bottom. Largemouth bass anglers are catching fish in the canals around cover; try spinnerbaits, tubes, and crankbaits. Bluegills are still being caught in the channels using waxworms, nightcrawlers, or crickets.

Madison Lake (98 acres; Madison County) - For crappies, use minnows and a bobber around woody cover, especially in the northern half of the lake. Largemouth bass are being caught around shoreline cover and in concentrations of shad. Channel catfish can be caught using shrimp and chicken livers fished on the bottom. Lake is restricted to use of electric motors only.

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South East Ohio Fishing Reports

Southeast Ohio Fishing Report - September 25th, 2015

Salt Fork Lake (3,060 acres; Guernsey County) - Crappies will take a variety of baits, including worms, grubs, crickets, small spinners, and popping bugs. Look for crappies to be suspended or near wood in deeper water this time of year. Fishing from a boat has been very productive in the past year. A variety of rental boats are available from the lake’s marina. For channel catfish, try nightcrawlers or chicken livers fished on the bottom. Nighttime fishing offers some great opportunities. For largemouth bass, topwater action will start to pick up with cooler temperatures. Use the “twitch and wait” method – cast the plug, let it lie on top of the water, and occasionally twitch the bait.

Scioto River (Scioto County) - For catfish, give the Scioto River a try at the Ohio River confluence. The shore fish access adjacent to Alexandria Point Park in Portsmouth is a popular and productive fishing location. Flathead, channel, and blue catfish can be caught at this location this time of year by fishing cut shad and skipjack. They can also be caught on nightcrawlers and chicken livers. Hybrid striped bass can also be caught this time of year using shad imitation swimbaits. Hybrids are also known to occasionally take chicken livers fished off the bottom.

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South West Ohio Fishing Reports

Southwest Ohio Fishing Report - September 25th, 2015

Grand Lake St. Marys (12,680 acres; Auglaize and Mercer counties) - Crappie fishing is heating up. Anglers report success in brushy structure just off the bottom. Popular bait at the moment is a triple-tip grub, motor oil color, tipped with a waxworm.

Acton Lake (590 acres; Butler and Preble counties) - Channel catfish are biting on creek chubs or nightcrawlers fished along the bottom or between eight and 19 feet deep during the late evening or early morning hours. Fishing for channel catfish is productive anywhere in the lake. Bluegills are being caught by anglers using waxworms or nightcrawlers. Bluegill fishing is bountiful along the banks. Saugeyes are active in this lake. Currently, saugeyes are being caught by anglers using nightcrawlers, bass minnows, or jigs. Fish the bait by trolling it through water that is eight to 10 feet deep.

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South West Ohio Fishing Reports

Lake Erie Region Fishing Report - September 25th, 2015

• The 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.

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

Western Basin 


Where: There have been very few reports of walleye fishing in the western basin and most anglers are targeting yellow perch. 

How: Most walleyes have been caught by trolling with crankbaits or worm harnesses. 

Yellow Perch

Where: Perch fishing has been good near Turtle Island, east of West Sister Island near the war buoy, near “B” can of the Camp Perry firing range, off Rattlesnake Island, near Lucy’s Point of Middle Bass Island, southwest of Kelleys Island, on the dumping grounds east of Marblehead, and one mile off Cedar Point.

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

Smallmouth and largemouth bass

Where: Smallmouth bass have been caught along the shorelines of the Bass Islands and on some of the reefs of the Camp Perry firing range. Largemouth bass have been caught along the main lake shoreline around Catawba and Marblehead, and in harbors in the same area.

How: Bass have been caught on tube jigs, crankbaits, and drop-shot rigs.

Central Basin 


Where: A few good walleye reports have come from just south of the sandbar between Vermilion and Lorain. Farther east, good fishing was reported 15 miles north of Ashtabula in 75 feet of water and also seven to nine miles northeast and west of Ashtabula in 65 to 72 feet of water.

How: Anglers are trolling divers or planer boards with all colors of crankbaits and stick baits.

Yellow Perch

Where: Fish are being caught north of Edgewater Park at the crib in 50 to 53 feet of water and north-northeast of Wildwood Park in 50 to 52 feet of water. Good fishing was reported north of Fairport in 58 to 66 feet of water. Excellent fishing was reported northeast of Ashtabula Lakeshore Park in 55 to 60 feet of water and northwest of Conneaut in 60 to 62 feet of water. Fishing from shore is picking up from the piers in Cleveland. Good fishing was also reported over the weekend at the long pier in Fairport Harbor (west side of the Grand River).

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

Smallmouth bass

Where: Fishing has been very good in 15 to 18 feet of water around harbor areas in Fairport Harbor, Cleveland, Ashtabula, and Conneaut.

How: Anglers are using crayfish and drop-shot rigs.

As we begin our approach to fall, highlight species targeted by anglers along the Rocky River and other area streams include smallmouth bass, carp, panfish, and channel catfish – with a watchful eye looking for the first returning steelhead trout, according to biologist Mike Durkalec at Cleveland Metroparks.

Anglers are also pursuing a mix of warm-water species in the streams of northern Ohio. Smallmouth bass are typically found in the deeper, rocky pools of the river during the day in 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).

Channel catfish, carp, sheepshead, and several sucker species are also present in some of these same areas in the river, especially around the marina on the Rocky, and fishing for them can be a laid back and relaxing way to enjoy some time on the water. Catfishing is usually best during lower light conditions using baits such as nightcrawlers, minnows, chicken liver, and processed dough baits. Catfish often bite best following a rain when the water is a bit murky. Good catfish catches have also been reported at Cleveland Metropark’s inland lakes and ponds. Carp can often be caught throughout the day on such bait as canned corn, carp dough baits, worms, or crayfish tails. 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.

The yellow perch bite around Cleveland has been slowly improving recently following a challenging summer, but is still on the slow side overall. Anglers are using perch spreaders and live or salted shiners, although local bait shops have had golden shiners and fathead minnows in place of hard-to-find emerald shiners lately. Boating anglers have found perch off Cleveland and Euclid in 50-53 feet of water. Rock bass, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, freshwater drum, and sunfish species are also found along the Cleveland shoreline in summer and can be caught on offerings such as tube jigs, drop-shot rigs, and live bait. Walleye schools are primarily still in deep water offshore, although a few locals have reported walleyes caught at E. 72nd Street after dark the past few weeks. A highlight has been an abundance of juvenile walleyes this year, which promises a continuation of our great Lake Erie walleye fishing into the foreseeable future. White bass fishing, which is typically good in late summer, has been slow lately. 

Cleveland Metroparks, www.clevelandmetroparks.com 


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