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North West Ohio Fishing Reports

Northwest Ohio Fishing Report - August 28th, 2015

Pleasant Hill Reservoir (Richland-Ashland County line) - With 781 acres of water and 13 miles of shoreline, Pleasant Hill Reservoir has plenty to offer. The reservoir is located next to Mohican State Forest, two miles southwest of Perrysville. The boat ramp and marina are located on Covert Road, right off State Route 95. Water levels are at normal levels right now. Good numbers of crappies from nine to 10 inches can be found. Try fishing with minnows under a slip bobber in eight to 12 feet of water near submerged trees. The lake also has excellent populations of largemouth bass, saugeyes, and yellow perch. For saugeyes, try trolling in 10-15 feet of water in front of the beach. For largemouths, try fishing around the stumps at the lower end of the reservoir.

Lake McKarns (Williams County) - Lake McKarns is on the St. Joseph Wildlife Area, south of Montpelier on County Road J and west of County Road 10. The lake is 70 acres in size and is a good place to try for some largemouth bass this time of year. Try focusing on the structure in the southwest area of the lake. Anglers should try using topwater lures fished along the structure edges. For largemouth bass, two fish may be kept less than 14 inches and one fish 20 inches or greater may be kept for a total limit of three fish. The lake features a boat ramp and boats are limited to 10-horsepower engines.

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North East Ohio Fishing Reports

Northeast Ohio Fishing Report - August 28th, 2015

Mogadore Reservoir (Portage County) - Anglers have really enjoyed the catfish action this summer at Mogadore Reservoir. It has continued to produce nice catches of channels. Anglers are doing well using shad caught by cast nets. Most fish are being caught after the sun goes down in the shallow flat areas.

Tuscarawas River (Tuscarawas County) - The Tuscarawas River is a great location to catch a large diversity of fish. Smallmouth bass, saugeyes, channel catfish, and flathead catfish are all being caught by anglers with a variety of baits. For eight- to 14-inch smallmouth, anglers should target rocky structure just out of the main current with jigs or crayfish fished on the bottom. Saugeyes are also hitting on jigs and curly tails fished in the deeper pools of water near structure, such as woody debris. Anglers should try tipping jigs with minnows or earth worms. A fair number of saugeyes averaging between 10 and 17 inches are being caught. Channel catfish and flathead catfish are ranging from 10 and 16 inches and 12 to 25 inches, respectively, and are being caught in better than average numbers. It is suggested that anglers should fish tight-line on the bottom with cut bait, stink bait, chicken liver, earth worms, or live minnows in the three- to five-inch size. Fishing these baits near undercut banks or wooden debris piles has enticed both catfish species. The best access is the Dover Dam off of State Route 800 to points south (public access). Note: Most of the land along the river is in private ownership and access from shore is limited. A public boat ramp has been built east of Tuscarawas, Ohio, on Tuscarawas Road. Anglers should get permission from the landowner to access private shorelines. Canoe and boat anglers are experiencing excellent catches of fish.

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Central Ohio Fishing Reports

Central Ohio Fishing Report - August 28th, 2015

Alum Creek Lake (Delaware County) - Smallmouth bass can be caught in this lake north of Columbus. Using crankbaits and spinnerbaits, target the main and secondary lake points where riprap or hard bottom is present. White bass are being caught on in-line spinners and blade baits; look for dense areas of gizzard shad on the surface. Crappies are being found around wood in 10-15 feet of water using jigs or minnows. Crappies will move into shallower water as temperatures decrease this fall. Muskie can provide good action this time of year – troll crankbaits along the points and dam.

Rush Creek Lake (Fairfield County) - Channel catfish can be caught in this lake east of Lancaster. Use cut shad, shrimp, or nightcrawlers fished in the east or south ends for best results. Bluegills are providing some action around cover in the east end of the lake; use waxworms or red worms fished under a bobber. Largemouth bass are also being caught on spinnerbaits and must be 15 inches or longer to keep. Ten horsepower limit on lake.

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South East Ohio Fishing Reports

Southeast Ohio Fishing Report - August 28th, 2015

Dillon Reservoir (Muskingum County) - Take advantage of the cooler temperatures and start looking for bass in this 1,376-acre lake. Try using topwater baits near weedlines or using plastic worms in dark colors, which include purple, motor oil, and black. Generally this time of year the most successful times will be late evening and early morning, but if you’re feeling adventurous fish may be caught throughout the night. Some bluegills and other sunfish may be caught as well using nightcrawlers fished below a bobber. Try targeting the marina area.

Lake Logan (Hocking County) - Nice catches of largemouth bass have been found in this 333-acre lake in the past. Most anglers prefer fishing the shorelines from a boat. Try using spinnerbaits to target the fish. This lake is also popular with catfish anglers. Nightcrawlers, chicken livers, or prepared catfish baits work well when fished on the bottom in addition to cut bait such as shad or suckers.

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South West Ohio Fishing Reports

Southwest Ohio Fishing Report - August 28th, 2015

Acton Lake (Preble County) - Good numbers of 1-3-pound channel catfish are being caught at this lake in Hueston Woods State Park. Try fishing on the bottom using chicken livers or shrimp. The shoreline area between the swimming beach and Sugar Camp area has been best.

Grand Lake St. Marys (Auglaize and Mercer counties)  - Channel catfish are popular at Ohio’s largest inland lake. Try fishing on the bottom with nightcrawlers, chicken livers, shrimp, or cut baits. Prime areas include the Windy Point fishing pier, and the stone piers along the east bank. Increase your chances of catching a large flathead catfish by using large chub minnows or live sunfish.

Paint Creek Lake (Highland County) - Channel catfish are being caught below the dam in the tailwaters. Successful anglers are using nightcrawlers, chicken livers, and cut baits fished on the bottom. For saugeyes in the lake, try casting or trolling silver-colored crankbaits on flats near the beach and Plum Run islands area.

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South West Ohio Fishing Reports

Lake Erie Region Fishing Report - August 28th, 2015

Lake Erie Region

• The bag limit for walleyes in Ohio waters of Lake Erie is six fish per angler. The minimum size limit for walleyes 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 bass), the daily bag limit is five fish per angler with a 14-inch minimum size limit.

Western Basin


Where: Walleyes have been caught in 20 feet of water off Magee Marsh Wildlife Area and off Lakeside. 

How: Anglers trolling have caught fish on spoons behind divers and on worm harnesses with inline weights or bottom bouncers. Anglers casting are using weight forward spinners or mayfly rigs. 

Yellow Perch 

Where: Yellow perch have been caught near the Toledo harbor light, north of “A” can and “B” can of the Camp Perry firing range, south of Middle Island, near Starve Island, southwest of Kelleys Island, and off Lakeside. 

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

Smallmouth bass 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 on 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: Walleyes have been caught on the south end of the sandbar, near Cranberry Creek, and at the weather buoy at the north end of the sandbar. Good fishing was reported eight miles northeast of Conneaut in 70 feet of water.

How: Anglers are trolling divers or planer boards with divers, with purple, chrome, or gold spoons and stick baits.

Yellow Perch

Where: Anglers are catching fish north of Edgewater Park in 38 to 44 feet of water, north of Ashtabula Lakeshore Park in 60 feet of water, and northeast of Conneaut in 59 to 70 feet of water. Shore fishing has been slow off the piers in Cleveland and Fairport harbors.

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

Smallmouth bass 

Where: Fishing has been good in 15 to 17 feet of water around harbor areas in Fairport Harbor, Cleveland, Ashtabula, and Conneaut.

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

As we move into late summer, highlight species targeted around Cleveland Metroparks include largemouth bass, walleye, yellow perch, smallmouth bass, panfish, channel catfish, and common carp. After an early summer of high water, the rivers have finally receded to levels amenable to fishing. Lake Erie perch fishing was also starting to heat up at the end of July. Keep in mind that as the weather gets hot, it can be a big advantage to fish early or late in the day, or even after dark.

Channel catfish and large carp are available throughout area rivers and fishing for them can be a laid-back way to enjoy some time on the water.  Earlier this summer, a total of 1,500 pounds of farm raised channel catfish were stocked among Shadow, Ledge, Ranger, and Judge’s lakes, Beyer’s Pond, and Oxbow Lagoon. Additionally, plenty of catfish stocked in late spring remain to be caught at Wallace Lake and the Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area. Hinckley Lake has fewer catfish, but contains some of the largest around.  Catfishing is usually best during lower light conditions using baits such as nightcrawlers, shrimp, minnows, chicken liver, and processed dough baits.

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 visibly feeding carp in the rivers 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, white bass, and bullhead catfish are also abundant in the northern river reaches (north of Morley Ford on the Rocky) in 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.

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 length 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).

The summer resident bass may not average as large as the lake-run bass around from April-June, but they are big enough to give great sport on lighter tackle.

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Archive »Fishing Tips

Fishing tips: How to prepare for a new-to-you lake

Research lake and river maps, review your GPS, prepare your tackle, and explore the DNR and other pertinent websites, so you can hit the water ready to fish.

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Largemouth and smallmouth bass won’t fall into a strict pattern in September, so have these five techniques in your angling arsenal.

Be the lure: Fishing plastics for bluegills and other panfish

Plastics have revolutionized modern fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass, walleyes, and even pike and muskies. Don’t forget to use the new wave of angling plastics for panfish this summer.

Summer slabs: Top tips for warm-weather crappies

Post-spawn, “suspended” crappies intimidate too many freshwater anglers when simple approaches to targeting these panfish can produce thick, edible fillets.

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