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North West Ohio Fishing Reports

Northwest Ohio Fishing Report - October 9th, 2015

Lake McKarns (70 acres; Williams County) - Largemouth bass activity is beginning to pick up. Try fishing along the edges, particularly in the southwest area of the lake. Anglers should try using topwater lures fished along the structure edges. The lake features a boat ramp and boats are limited to 10-horsepower engines.

Lake LeComteFostoria Reservoir #5 (137 acres; Hancock County) - As the water temperatures begin to drop, saugeyes should start to feed more heavily. Try drifting or trolling the shoreline at night with crankbaits or worm harnesses. Boats are allowed on the reservoir, with a 9.9-horsepower motor restriction.

Findlay Reservoir #2 (Hancock County) - Findlay Reservoir #2 is located southwest of Findlay on Township Road 207. There is a full boat ramp at the southern shore of the reservoir. Yellow perch are starting to bite. Look for bottom structure where yellow perch will concentrate. The best baits include minnows and red worms fished near the bottom with spreaders or crappie rigs. Fall is also great time to hook into some walleyes. Anglers should try fishing along the shoreline during the morning and evening hours. There is a 9.9-horsepower limit on the reservoir.

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North East Ohio Fishing Reports

Northeast Ohio Fishing Report - October 9th, 2015

Northeast Ohio reservoirs - Largemouth bass are biting well across the region if your timing is right. Target areas with visible baitfish activity, looking for actively feeding bass. Experiment with aggressive reaction baits like crankbaits and rattle baits, or slower presentations like unweighted finesse worms or topwater baits, to determine the mood of the fish. When the action slows, target deeper water structure or dense cover with soft plastics or jigs. Contact the Wildlife District Three Headquarters at (330) 644-2293 for more information regarding access points. 

Northeast Ohio rivers - For smallmouth bass, use soft plastics such as tubes, grubs, and paddle tails. Two of the hotter rivers right now are the Chagrin River (Lake, Geauga, and Cuyahoga counties) and the Tuscarawas River (Stark, Summit, and Tuscarawas counties). Other rivers to consider smallmouth fishing are the Cuyahoga River, Little Beaver Creek, and Rocky River. Contact the Wildlife District Three Headquarters at (330) 644-2293 for more information regarding access points.

Leesville Lake (Carroll County) - Catfish are biting on chicken livers and shad. Most anglers are doing well fishing the few flats that can be found on Leesville Lake when the catfish come into the shallows to feed. Peak fishing times are from dusk to midnight.

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Central Ohio Fishing Reports

Central Ohio Fishing Report - October 9th, 2015

Delaware Lake (963 acres; Delaware County) - Crappies are active again in this lake north of Columbus. Minnows fished under a bobber around woody cover can put these active fish in the boat. Crappies must be nine inches or longer to keep. Largemouth bass are feeding for winter; follow the bait fish and target backs of coves. Use creature baits and spinnerbaits to catch these fish. Channel catfish can be caught on shrimp, prepared baits, and chicken livers. Fish the far north end of the lake. 

Kokosing Lake (154 acres; Knox County) - Largemouth bass are being caught around shoreline cover, along the dam, and where the bait fish are located using spinnerbaits and tubes. For bluegills, fish in shallow areas; try waxworms or nightcrawlers under a bobber. As water temperatures decrease, crappie will move to shallower water. Use minnows or crappie jigs fished under a slip bobber around cover or the old creek channel for best results. Channel catfish can be caught on chicken livers, shrimp, or nightcrawlers fished on the bottom.

Hoover Reservoir (2,818 acres; Delaware and Franklin counties) - Channel catfish are still being caught in the north end. Try using shrimp, nightcrawlers, or prepared baits for the best catches. Saugeyes are starting to get active. Troll spinners and worm harnesses along points and across flats leading to deeper water. Keep the baits very close to the bottom. Early morning and evening bites can be good. For largemouth bass, target the backs of coves and where bait fish are concentrated using crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and creature baits.

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South East Ohio Fishing Reports

Southeast Ohio Fishing Report - October 9th, 2015

Seneca Lake (3,584 acres; Guernsey and Noble counties) - As the water temperatures start to decrease, fishing for saugeyes will start to pick up. Try trolling shad-colored crankbaits or worm harnesses along the face of the dam, around the islands, and in Cadillac Bay. For largemouth bass, try fishing buzzbaits and spinnerbaits, and the occasional white or smallmouth bass may be caught, as well. Shore anglers should stick to the area around the dam. For crappies, use a 1⁄16-ounce lead-head jig dressed with a small twister fished eight to 12 feet deep around structure. Maps and locations of submerged structure in the lake can be obtained by calling the District 4 office at (740) 589-9930. 

Jackson Lake (251 acres; Jackson County) - For channel catfish, check out the old boathouse parking area, as well as the upper shelter house fishing area. Try using chicken livers and nightcrawlers fished from shore. For bluegills, a simple waxworm or red worm fished below a bobber usually works well.

Muskingum River (Muskingum, Morgan, and Washington counties) - For channel catfish, try using cut bait, bluegill, chicken livers, or nightcrawlers fished on the bottom in the current. Look for deep holes and sand or gravel bars. Most anglers prefer using live baits, such as chubs and sunfish for flathead catfish. When fishing in the tailwaters, try fishing deep holes just below fast to moderate current. Carp are generally active in the fall. Try casting dough balls or corn. For saugeyes, use a variety of jigs and concentrate efforts below any of the 10 lock and dams between Dresden and Marietta.

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South West Ohio Fishing Reports

Southwest Ohio Fishing Report - October 9th, 2015

Acton Lake (Preble County) - Channel catfish are biting on creek chubs or nightcrawlers fished along the bottom or between eight to 19 feet deep during the late evening or early morning hours. Bluegills are being caught by anglers using waxworms or nightcrawlers. Bluegill fishing is bountiful along the banks. Saugeyes are active in this lake and are currently 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.

Buck Creek State Park (Clark County) - Channel catfish are being caught by anglers using chicken livers, cut bait, or earth worms. Fish the bait slowly along the bottom and into deep pools. Fishing is good near the mouth of Buck Creek. Keep the bait greater than 10 feet deep.

East Fork (Clermont County) - Crappies are being caught by anglers using waxworms, tube jigs, or medium- to large-sized minnows tipped on chartreuse jigs. Channel catfish are being caught by anglers fishing tightline at night using nightcrawlers, large minnows, or chicken liver. Fishing is best in water between eight and 20 feet deep. Bluegills are hitting on waxworms or red worms. Keep the bait under a bobber and about two to three feet deep. Cast anywhere around the docks, standing wood, or downed trees. Largemouth bass are being caught by anglers using six-inch plastic worms, spinnerbaits, or deep diving (six to 10 feet) shad-colored crankbaits.

Adams Lake (Adams County) - Bluegills have been biting recently around the 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.

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South West Ohio Fishing Reports

Lake Erie Region Fishing Report - October 9th, 2015

Lake Erie Region

• 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 bass), 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 anglers fishing for walleye 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 the Toledo lighthouse, northeast of the Toledo water intake, north of the war buoy (east of West Sister Island), on the northwest reef (about three miles northwest of North Bass Island), southeast of Kelleys Island, east of Kelleys Island, and just off the Lakeside-Marblehead shoreline.

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 14 miles northeast of Geneva in 71 feet of water and 10 miles north of Ashtabula in 72 feet of water.

How: Anglers are trolling divers or planer boards with all colors of worm harnesses and spoons.

Yellow perch

Where: Fish have been caught 1.5 miles north of Vermilion, northeast of Gordon Park in 42 to 55 feet of water, and north-northeast of Chagrin River in 54 to 62 feet of water. Excellent fishing was reported north-northeast of Ashtabula in 50 to 57 feet of water. Fishing from shore has been picking up from the piers in Cleveland and 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 mentioned 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 following a challenging summer, but is still on the slow side. 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. 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 walleye 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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T3’s top techniques for fall walleyes

When the nights and mornings are cool and the days get shorter, try these presentations for catching the feedbag-wearing walleyes of autumn.

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The turnover is a big change that especially affects deeper lakes, but remember that fish still need to eat!

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Rigging for weed walleyes demands nuance and the right tackle, but properly prepared anglers can expect dynamite action the entire open water season.

Fishing for fall bass? Don’t forget the docks

Docks draw baitfish on sunny days; baitfish draw bass

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