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North West Ohio Fishing Reports

Northwest Ohio Fishing Report - July 31st, 2015

Oxbow Lake (Defiance County) – Oxbow Lake is in Oxbow Wildlife Area, seven miles northwest of the city of Defiance on Trinity Road. Largemouth bass fishing has been very good. People are taking a number of the smaller fish out of the lake, which should help the age structure in the future. Just about anything has been effective at catching the smaller sized bass. Boats are allowed on the lake and there is a boat ramp available; however, boats are restricted to electric motors only.

Upper Sandusky Reservoir #2 (Wyandot County) – Located on the southeast edge of Upper Sandusky on County Road 60, channel catfish have been biting at this 118-acre reservoir. The shoreline consists of rocks, a wetland shelf, and sand beach area. Try fishing at the beach area and along the east shoreline. Shrimp fished on the bottom or just off the bottom using slip bobbers usually work best. There is a boat ramp and dock, but boats are restricted to electric motors only. The reservoir closes at 10 p.m.

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North East Ohio Fishing Reports

Northeast Ohio Fishing Report - July 31st, 2015

Clendening Lake (Harrison County) – Channel catfish have been biting on chicken livers. Shoreline anglers have been doing well fishing for them using slip-sinker rigs around riprap, wood, and weed edges. For larger flathead catfish, try large shad or other baitfish fished around wood cover. Excellent numbers of largemouth bass are also available at Clendening. Target them with Texas-rigged soft plastics around wood, deep weedlines, and thick weed mats, or fishing topwaters at low light.

Lake Milton (Mahoning County) – Anglers have been periodically picking up walleyes while trolling. Worm harnesses and shad-style crankbaits have been top producers. Bonus channel catfish are common. Try minnows vertically jigged or deep under a bobber (around 10 feet) for crappies. Good catches of smallmouth bass have also been reported. Focus on hard-bottom main-lake areas with soft plastics, crankbaits, or topwaters to target these scrappy fighters.

Tuscarawas River (Summit and Stark counties) – Fishing has been excellent in the Tuscarawas recently, especially from Clinton to Massillon. Common carp, channel catfish, bowfin, and bullheads have all been biting. Hot baits have included cut bait, nightcrawlers, and corn. Target deeper holes and areas downstream of inlets.

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Central Ohio Fishing Reports

Central Ohio Fishing Report - July 31st, 2015

Big Darby Creek (Franklin, Madison, and Pickaway counties) – In hot summer weather, creeks and rivers can provide fishing action. Smallmouth bass and rock bass are popular sportfish in this stream west of Columbus. Casting small crankbaits or plastics resembling crayfish or shiners can be rewarding. Target boulders, shoreline cover, where pools meet riffles, and current eddies. Other fish present are bluegills, carp, crappies, channel and flathead catfish, saugeye, and sauger.

Indian Lake (Logan County) – Saugeyes are being caught along the south bank and around the Moundwood and Dream Bridge areas; try crankbaits and worm harnesses. Fish shoreline cover, lily pads, and any riprap on the shore for largemouth bass; try spinnerbaits, and crankbaits. Bluegills are still being caught around lily pads and in the channels; use waxworms, nightcrawlers, or crickets.

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South East Ohio Fishing Reports

Southeast Ohio Fishing Report - July 31st, 2015

Muskingum River (Coshocton, Morgan, and Washington counties) – Catfish anglers should continue to be successful with some quality catches of fish. For flathead catfish, try using live suckers, goldfish, and sunfish. But for channel catfish, stick to the tried-and-true nightcrawlers, chicken livers, and cut bait. Current eddies at any of the low-head dams and at the mouth of larger tributary streams have typically been the most productive sites. Try looking for flathead catfish below the McConnelsville Lock and Dam #7 using live bait such as gizzard shad or skipjacks.

Lake Hope (Vinton County) – Fishing should continue to be productive. Bluegills and crappies can be caught this time of year on minnows and worms fished under a bobber. If you’re looking for bass, try using artificial topwater lures. Channel catfish can also be found in this lake, typically up to 3 pounds. Try fishing nightcrawlers, chicken livers, or cut bait on the bottom.

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South West Ohio Fishing Reports

Southwest Ohio Fishing Report - July 31st, 2015

Acton Lake (Preble County) – 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 the best.

Great Miami River (Miami, Montgomery, and Warren counties) – Remember to ask permission before entering private property. Since the water levels are down, now is a great time to wade rivers and find holes to come back to later when the rivers are up. All fish like deep holes this time of year because the water is cooler, there are concentrations of bait, and oxygen levels are better. Catfish are the best bet this time of year. In Miami County, fair numbers of smallmouth bass and rock bass are being caught in the early morning and late evening hours in transition areas where deep and shallow water meet. Popular baits are soft crayfish and salted tube jigs. The fishing is slower on the Montgomery County portion of the Great Miami River, but catfish are always hitting in many of the deep holes throughout the river. Popular spots on the river are the deeper water areas below the low-head dams. Anglers can find fish lying in these deeper holes. Anglers are catching channel and flathead catfish using chicken livers, cut bait, earthworms, nightcrawlers, or live goldfish or bluegill for flatheads.

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South West Ohio Fishing Reports

Lake Erie Region Fishing Report - July 31st, 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.

• The daily bag limit for black bass (largemouth and smallmouth bass) in Ohio waters of Lake Erie is five fish per angler with a 14-inch minimum size limit.

Western Basin 


Where: Walleyes have been caught south of the Gravel Pit, west of West Sister Island (within two miles), around Gull Island Shoal, and around Kelleys Island Shoal.

How: Anglers trolling have caught fish on spoons behind divers and on worm harnesses with in-line 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, south of the Gravel Pit, west of West Sister Island, near the turnaround buoy of the Toledo shipping channel, between Rattlesnake Island and Middle Bass Island, north of North Bass Island, and off the Marblehead Lighthouse.

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. 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 at the weather buoy near the Canadian border, east of the sandbar, north of Gordon Park at 45 to 60 feet and north-northeast of Wildwood between 40 to 50 feet. Good fishing was reported north-northwest of Conneaut in 45 to 60 feet of water and northeast of Fairport in 71 feet of water.

How: Anglers are trolling divers, planer boards with divers, and spoons or blue, purple, gold, pink, and red worm harnesses. 

Yellow Perch

Where: Anglers are catching fish one mile northeast of Vermilion, north of Gordon Park in 40 to 50 feet, and north-northeast of Wildwood Park in 31 to 50 feet of water. Good fishing was reported six to seven miles north of Conneaut in 62 to 65 feet of water and northeast of Ashtabula in 61 feet of water. Fishing from shore has been slow off Cleveland at Edgewater and Rocky River.

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

Smallmouth bass

Where: Fishing has been very good in 10 to 25 feet of water around harbor areas in Ashtabula.

How: Anglers are using twister tails, tube jigs, crankbaits, and spinners.

As we move into mid-summer, highlight species targeted around Cleveland Metroparks include largemouth bass, walleye, yellow perch, smallmouth bass, panfish, channel catfish, and common carp.

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. 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, lots of catfish stocked in May remain to be caught at Wallace Lake and the Ohio and Erie Canal fishing area. 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 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 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). Bass of all sizes are abundant in the river, with some 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. Rock bass are also present in the same river areas as smallmouth, and can be caught using the same offerings listed above.

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. Crappies, bluegills, and other sunfish species can be taken with a number of offerings, but a waxworm or redworm 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. Lots of bass and panfish have been stocked around the park in spring and summer this year.

Rock bass, largemouth bass, white bass, smallmouth bass, crappies, freshwater drum, and sunfish species are biting along the Cleveland shoreline of Lake Erie on offerings such as tube jigs and live minnows.

Cleveland Metroparks, www.clevelandmetroparks.com

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