Buckeye Lake (Fairfield, Licking, Perry counties) – Anglers are catching open water saugeyes at the North Bank ramp. Successful fishermen are using jig and minnow combinations, Swedish Pimples, or blade baits. At Thornport, anglers are catching small crappies and yellow perch. Fish are shallow, with successful anglers fishing just about six inches deep.
Alum Creek Reservoir (Delaware County) – Fish minnow-imitating crankbaits along the dam and causeways at dawn and dusk for saugeyes. Fishing the points with jigs tipped with a minnow can also be productive. After a water release, fish the spillway with jigs. For crappies, try jigging off deep points that have old stumps and in the northern basin of the lake around fallen trees in the creek channel. Crappies are staging in deep water close to spawning sites. Crappies must be nine inches or longer to harvest.
Delaware Lake (Delaware County) – For crappies, fish the old river channel and deep water with woody cover using a jig tipped with a minnow. Use slip bobbers to place the bait over the fish. As water warms this spring, crappies will move to shallower water to spawn. Nine-inch minimum length limit on crappies. For channel catfish, target the north end of the lake using cut bait or chicken livers. In late April to mid-May, white bass will being moving up streams to spawn; use spinners and jigs.
Indian Lake (Logan County) – Saugeyes and crappies are the two most active fish right now in this lake northwest of Columbus. Saugeyes are being caught with tubes and jigs tipped with a minnow. Fish the Old Indian Lake area, south of Dream Bridge, and Moundwood area. The riprap along Southbank is also worth a try. Crappies are being caught using jigs or jigs and minnows around woody structure and boat docks. Crappies are also being caught where lily pads will grow this spring. As water warms, crappie will move to shallower areas to spawn.
Grand Lake St. Marys (Mercer, Auglaize counties) – Anglers are hitting the area of Coldwater Creek fairly heavily, according to angler reports. Crappies are biting on waxworms and minnows or Swedish Pimples. Fish the bit shallow, in five to 10 feet of water, for the best bite.
Upper Sandusky Reservoir #2 (Wyandot County) – As water temperatures increase, try fishing for crappies around standing timber and brush. Live minnows fished under a bobber usually produce the best; however, some anglers cast 1⁄8-ounce jigs with a twister tail tipped with a waxworm. Boat ramp and dock available, but boats are restricted to electric motors only. Reservoir closes at 10 p.m.
Atwood Lake (Tuscarawas, Carroll counties) – About the only fishing going on at this northeast Ohio lake is below the spillway. Try jigging Rapalas and Smithwick Rogues for saugeyes and crappies below the dam. Also for panfish, don’t neglect using waxworms for bait.
Charles Mill Lake (Richland, Ashland counties) – Anglers fishing in 10 to 15 feet of water on this lake have been picking up the occasional saugeye. According to angler reports, the ’eyes are suspended about halfway up the water column. Try jigging blade baits for the best bite. Crappies too are being caught on small minnows and waxworms fished in the wood.
Nimisila Lake (Summit County) – Crappies are making up the majority of the catch on this Portage Lake. Anglers are using straight minnows or waxworms under an ice bobber to entice the bite. Fish anywhere on this body of water. The bite hasn’t been consistently good in any one spot, according to angler reports. Fish anywhere from 10 to 15 feet of water for crappies, yellow perch, and bluegills, anglers report.
West Branch Reservoir (Portage County) – This lake is just east of Ravenna and offers more than 40 miles of shoreline fishing, as well as two boat ramps, which are both accessible from Cable Line Road. For crappies fish west of Rock Springs Road for nine- to 12-inch fish. Use jig heads with grub tails tipped with minnows in 13 to 20 feet of water about six to 10 feet down. For walleyes, use No. 10 Husky Jerks when the sun is shining with little or no wind.
Aquilla Lake (Geauga County) – Aquilla Lake is within the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s Aquilla Lake Wildlife Area, approximately one mile north of U.S. 322 and 0.5 mile east of Aquilla Road (County Highway 58) in Aquilla. Shore and boat fishing are allowed. Boats are allowed with electric motors only. A boat ramp is on the east side of the lake. For crappies, use minnows on a No. 6 or smaller hook or small jigs with or without minnows. For largemouth bass, use spinnerbaits, surface lures, and plastic worms. For sunfish, employ waxworms, maggots, or small worms, on a small hook (No. 10 or smaller).
Great Miami River (Miami, Montgomery, Warren counties) – Smallmouth bass fishing can be excellent as the water cools and river conditions remain clear and stable. Look for areas with water deeper than four feet around bridge pilings, submerged logs, and undercut banks. Try drifting a live nightcrawler or minnow fished under a bobber. Plastic crayfish or crankbaits in crawdad patterns are also effective.
Rocky Fork Lake (Highland County) – Saugeyes are being taken in eight- to 15-foot depths near the islands and along main lake points. Try trolling silver-colored crankbaits so that the lure occasionally bumps bottom. Largemouth bass can be found along rocky shorelines and near fallen trees. Cast jigs, rubber worms, and crankbaits for bass.
Kiser Lake (Champaign County) – Anglers are catching bluegills up to 10 inches in length on this southern Ohio reservoir. Yellow perch and crappies are also in the mix with the slabs running up to 12-13 inches. Try waxworms or nightcrawlers under a bobber for bait.
C.J. Brown Reservoir (Clark County) – Try early morning boat fishing for walleyes using jigs tipped with a nightcrawler over the mid-lake humps and in the north end of the lake. Remember there is a 15-inch minimum size limit and daily bag of six on walleye. Bluegills can be caught around the rocky shorelines of the dam and the marina. Also, try fishing the wooden piling structures near the boat ramp and campground. Use waxworms or redworms fished under a bobber for bluegill.
Paint Creek Lake (Highland, Ross counties) – Saugeye anglers are reporting success below the spillway. Try fishing jigs with minnows or nightcrawlers.
Dillon Lake (Muskingum County) – Fluctuating water levels below the spillway are making this Muskingum County reservoir tough to fish. When the water cooperates, anglers are picking up a few saugeyes, crappies, and bluegills on minnows and waxworms.
Muskingum River (Morgan, Muskingum, Washington counties) – Both the pools and tailwaters offer good early crappie fishing. Try fishing heavy cover with small jigs or minnows. As temperatures increase, try casting rubber worms, crankbaits, and spinners over submerged structure, docks, weed beds, and deep holes for spotted bass. Anglers have reported limited success in the past. Flathead catfish prefer live bait such as gizzard shad. Try using shad eight inches or larger. Success for these fish will continue to increase as temperatures warm throughout the spring and summer.
Lake Hope (Vinton County) – Try using a variety of artificial baits, including shallow running crankbaits for largemouth bass. For crappies and bluegills, fish live bait, including waxworms and nightcrawlers, under a bobber. A decent rainfall event will create some great conditions for channel cats. Try fishing the bottom using cut bait in the evenings or early mornings, especially as temperatures begin to climb.
Wills Creek Lake (Muskingum, Coshocton counties) – Fishing pressure and success have been low here. Some crappies and saugeyes are being caught, but nothing much in the way of size to report. Area anglers fishing strip pits are doing well on largemouth bass, however. One angler caught an 8-pound largemouth recently out of one of the area pits and another hooked one that would have tipped the scales at 6-7 pounds. This is a good time of year to fish inline spinnerbaits right along the water’s edge to pick up largemouths.
Wolf Run Lake (Noble County) – For rainbow trout, try a variety of baits, such as corn, cheese, small spinners, or prepared baits, all of which can produce a successful experience for anglers. Daily limit of five fish. For largemouth bass, fish near shallow structures such as tree stumps, fallen trees, or weed bed edges. Spinnerbaits, rubber worms, crankbaits, and jig-n-pig combinations all work well. Three fish split daily limit with two fish less than 15 inches and one fish greater than or equal to 20 inches. 10-horsepower limit.
Tycoon Lake (Gallia County) – For crappies, fish minnows or white or chartreuse twister tails in two- to eight-foot depths near brush piles, stickups, or old submerged fencerows. For largemouth bass, use jig-n-pig combos, which have been typical early spring success baits while fished along the old fencerows or among the many subsurface stumps. Three fish split daily limit with two fish less than 15 inches and one fish greater than or equal to 20 inches. Electric motors only.
Lake Erie Region
• The daily bag limit for walleye in Ohio waters of Lake Erie is four fish per angler from March 1 through April 30. 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 two fish per angler. The minimum size limit is 12 inches.
• Black bass (largemouth and smallmouth bass): the daily bag limit is five fish per angler with a 14-inch minimum size limit.
Where: Over the past week walleyes have been caught from Catawba to the Camp Perry firing range, and between South Bass Island and Kelleys Island.