Ohio Outdoor News Fishing Report – Aug. 4, 2017

Central Region

Indian Lake (Logan County) – The saugeye bite is picking up again at Indian Lake if you can stand fishing in a crowd. Flicker Shads and other crankbaits seem to be the hot ticket right now for the successful saugeye bite. Troll the baits at a slow speed. Fish are ranging from 16 to 20 inches. Some crappies and channel catfish are also being caught on the same baits.

Alum Creek Lake (Delaware County) – Anglers typically fish this big central Ohio reservoir for saugeyes or muskies, but don’t overlook the lake’s population of largemouth and smallmouth bass. For best results, cast in a crankbait or spinnerbait and fish it fairly deep. Fish the bait anywhere from 10 to 15 feet deep. Search out the lake’s weed beds and try an ambush bait for largemouth and smallmouths.

Hoover Reservoir (Franklin County) – Crappies are on the angler’s menu at this time of year on Hoover. Anglers fishing the reservoir report success fishing for slabs by trolling crankbaits slowly. Many fishermen are catching good numbers of fish. Crappies are biting in anywhere from 10 to 15 feet of water, anglers report.

Buckeye Lake (Fairfield, Licking, and Perry counties) – Water clarity is reportedly an issue  at many locations on the lake, but catfish and crappies can still be caught. Fish minnows under a bobber for the crappie bite and nightcrawlers on the bottom for the catfish.

Northwest Region

Findlay Reservoirs (Hancock County) – Crappies and yellow perch can be caught in Findlay on jig and minnow combinations or simply a minnow fished under a bobber. Some channel cats, too, are showing up in angler creels. Fish the typical catfish baits on or near the bottom.

 Sandusky Bay (Sandusky County) – Weekend anglers recently found a hot bite on channel catfish on Sandusky Bay. The popular set up to catch these fish was either nightcrawlers or shrimp fished deep, between 12 and 15 feet. Some sheepshead will also end up on line’s end at times.

Maumee River (Lucas County) – When river conditions allow, anglers are fishing for a few stray walleyes left in the river. The popular set up has been a lead head jig with a curly tail in a variety of patterns. Anglers might also have some luck with the river’s smallmouths or channel catfish using this same presentation.

Northeast  Region 

 West Branch Reservoir (Portage County) – Anglers can catch a mix of fish at this 2,650-acre lake in Portage County. For ’eyes and crappies, try a crankbait using a slow retrieve. Crappies, bass, and bluegills will hit this same presentation. For the best bluegill bite, though, you can’t beat a wax worm fished under a float.

Punderson Lake (Geauga County) – Panfish and catfish are the hot topic on Punderson right now. For catfish, fish shrimp on or near the bottom in 5 to 10-foot depths. For panfish – crappies and bluegills – try a live bait presentation of either nightcrawlers under a bobber or wax worms.

Nimisila Reservoir (Summit County) – Successful fishermen are catching crappies with some regularity here. Fish jig and minnow combos in 5 to 15 feet of water for the best results. A lot of bluegills are also being caught using this same presentation.

Mosquito Creek Lake (Trumbull County) – The walleye bite has slowed somewhat here, but some fish are still being caught. Anglers are trolling crankbaits near weed beds to catch the walleyes. Crappies and yellow perch might be a better bet right now. Try a jig and skirt combo or jig and live bait combo for best results.

Lake Milton (Mahoning County) – Walleyes are biting at Milton for anglers fishing crankbaits in 10 to 15 feet of water. Others are fishing deep with nightcrawlers and picking up a few fish.

Southwest Region

Cowan Lake (Clinton County) – Anglers are fishing for bass here with some success. Largemouths have ranged from 16 to 20 inches, according to angler reports. Plastics will take their share of bass as will dropshot rigs with nightcrawlers.

Grand Lake St. Marys (Mercer County) – The crappie bite is turning on once again at this large inland lake. Anglers are employing a bunch of different tactics to take slabs up to 12 inches. Small inline spinnerbaits will take their fair share of fish. So will small crankbaits. For live bait, tie on a hook and wax worm to keep it simple. Jig and minnow combinations also work well and a bonus yellow perch may also be caught.

C.J. Brown Reservoir (Clark County) – A few walleyes are reportedly being caught in this southwest Ohio location. For best results, try and jig and nightcrawler combination. Fish light jigs, 1⁄8 to 1⁄16 ounce, and be ready for a light bite. Some crappies too can be caught by anglers using this method and set up.

Caesar Creek Lake (Warren, Clinton, and Greene counties) – Fishermen are using a jig and minnow set up to catch panfish here. The fishing is reportedly slow but a few species are being caught such as crappies, bluegills, and bass. A few channel catfish are also being caught by anglers using cut bait fished on the bottom.

Southeast Region

Salt Fork Lake (Guernsey County) – Bass anglers have reported some success here in recent days. Find any sort of shoreline cover and hit it with spinnerbaits or crankbaits for the best bass bite. Also, drop shot rigs with a nightcrawler will also take its share of fish. Plastics are another option for bass. Best colors have been purple and pink.

Clendening Lake (Harrison County) – If you are patient, an angler could catch some largemouth and smallmouth bass here, although the bite is reportedly a tough one. Pig and jig combos fished near any rock structure should take a fair share of the lake’s bass.

Tappan Lake (Harrison County) – Anglers are successfully catching a mixed bag of fish on this Harrison County lake. Saugeyes, crappies, and bass are all in the mix. Use live bait such as nightcrawlers or wax worms for the best bite. Look for shallow water areas in the evenings and cast buzzbaits or poppers to catch bass. For saugeyes, try trolling small crankbaits.

Lake Erie Region

• The daily bag limit for walleye in Ohio waters of Lake Erie is 6 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 5 fish per angler. The minimum size limit is 12 inches.

• Black bass (largemouth and smallmouth bass): The daily bag limit is 5 fish per angler with a 14 inch minimum size limit.

Western Basin

Walleye 

Where: The best walleye fishing has been near the Toledo water intake, northwest of West Sister Island, near Gull Island Shoal, and near Kelleys Island Shoal. 

How: Walleyes have been caught by casting mayfly rigs tipped with worms, or by trolling with worm harnesses or divers and spoons.

Yellow Perch  

Where: Yellow perch fishing has been good near the Toledo water intake, 1 to 2 miles off Ward’s Canal, near “B”, “H” and “G” buoys of the Camp Perry firing range, near Rattlesnake Island, west of Catawba Island, near Starve Island, and south of Kelleys Island. 

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

Smallmouth Bass  

Where:  Fishing has been good nearshore around the Bass Islands. 

How: Anglers are casting tube jigs or using drop shot rigs.

Central Basin

Walleye 

Where: Fishing has been good around the Huron dumping grounds and at the weather buoy. Excellent fishing was reported in 30 to 40 feet of water north-northwest of Cleveland Edgewater Park (Gold Coast), in 40 to 55 feet of water north-northeast of Chagrin River, in 60 to 70 feet of water north-northwest of Fairport Harbor, and in 65 to 70 feet of water northwest of Ashtabula. 

How: Walleyes have been caught by trolling crankbaits, spoons and worm harnesses with planer boards or divers. Some anglers are drifting with jigs and spinners. The best colors have been red, orange, pink, purple, and copper.

Yellow Perch  

Where: Yellow perch fishing has been slow recently. 

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

Smallmouth Bass  

Where: Fishing has been excellent in 10 to 30 feet of water around the harbor areas in Cleveland off Gordon Park, Fairport Harbor, and Ashtabula.

How: Anglers are using drop shot rigs, tube jigs, leeches, and crankbaits.

As we move into mid-summer, highlight species targeted around Cleveland Metroparks include walleye, yellow perch, largemouth/smallmouth bass, panfish, channel catfish, and common carp. The river water levels were low much of the month of June and remain that way into early July.

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 4 inches in length is one of the best producers of bass in the river. “Smallies” also bite well on live bait (ie: minnow, crayfish, and leeches), lures (ie: spinners and minnow plugs), and flies (ie: crayfish patterns, Clouser minnows, dark brown or olive sculpin or muddler minnow patterns).  Bass of all sizes are available in the river.  Rock bass are also present in the same river areas as smallmouth, and can be caught using the same offerings listed above.

Channel catfish and large carp are also present in some of these same areas in the river, and fishing for them can be a laid back and relaxing way to enjoy some time on the water. In mid-late June farm raised catfish were stocked at Shadow (740 pounds), Ledge (3,000 pounds), Ranger (250 pounds), and Judge’s (150 pounds) lakes, as well as Oxbow Lagoon (150 pounds). Good numbers of channel catfish stocked in May also remain to be caught at Wallace Lake and the Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area. Plenty of catfish are available in the northern Rocky River, as well.  Catfishing is usually best during lower light conditions using baits such as nightcrawlers, minnows, chicken liver, and processed dough baits.

Large carp will be found throughout the Rocky, Cuyahoga, and Chagrin rivers in summer, as well. Carp can often be caught throughout the day on such bait as canned corn, carp dough baits, worms, or crayfish tails. A growing group 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 available in the northern river reaches (north of Morley Ford) in early summer. For the angling generalist, any of the species thus far can be effectively targeted by fishing a nightcrawler right on the river bottom with a sinker.

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. Crappie, bluegill, and other sunfish species can be taken with a number of offerings, but a wax worm or red worm 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.

Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, rock bass, crappie, freshwater drum, catfish, and sunfish species are biting along the Cleveland shoreline of Lake Erie on offerings such as tube jigs and live minnows. Walleyes are biting off of Cleveland, as well, with a surprising number of smaller 15-20-inch walleyes remaining in nearshore areas into summer, too.  Yellow perch fishing has been picking up off Cleveland.  

Cleveland Metroparks, www.clevelandmetroparks.com

OHIO RIVER REGION

Cincinnati area (Hamilton County) – Anglers are catching a variety of catfish on the river by using shrimp fished on the bottom. Fish the Ohio or Kentucky side to catch these catfish in the Cincinnati area. 

Pike Island lock and dam (Belmont County) – Anglers fishing for largemouth bass have been picking up some walleyes in this Ohio River pool.  The successful set up has been a mixed bag of baits from jerkbaits to crankbaits in a variety of patterns.   

Meldahl Dam (Clermont County) – Channel catfish and some flathead catfish are being caught on this section of the Ohio. Try chicken livers, shrimp, or nightcrawlers fished on the bottom.

BEYOND OHIO

Lake Erie­ (Pennsylvania) — Walleyes, including numbers of small ones, were reported in 50 to 80 feet from Walnut Creek to the lighthouse. Crawler harnesses, flat lining, and dipsy divers were working. Lake Erie’s water temperature was 73 degrees. Some yellow perch were reported in about 50 feet.

Union City Reservoir (Erie County, Pa.) — Panfish were hitting crawlers and minnows.

Lake Pleasant (Erie County, Pa.) — Panfish were hitting crawlers and minnows through early July on this 25-acre natural lake. Trout also were reported from canoes and other boats in the middle of the lake.

Fairview Gravel Pits (Erie County, Pa.) — Anglers were catching crappies and trout through early July in this western Erie County impoundment.

Conneaut Lake (Crawford County, Pa.) — Largemouth bass were hitting throughout the lake, although recreational boat traffic is typically heavy on this large natural lake in summer.

Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County, Pa.) — Largemouth bass were biting in early July.

Allegheny River (Clarion, Venango counties, Pa.) — Anglers were catching smallmouth bass from Emlenton to East Brady and walleyes in the Foxburg pool and at the mouth of the Clarion River. Channel catfish were hitting at night in the East Brady pool.

Kahle Lake (Clarion County, Pa.) — Anglers were catching nice numbers of largemouth bass, bluegills, and yellow perch in this drawn-down lake.

Piney Dam (Clarion County, Pa.) — Largemouth bass, yellow perch, and a few walleyes were reported through early July. Channel catfish were hitting from shore at night.

Upper Clarion River (Clarion County, Pa.) — Anglers were catching nice numbers of smallmouth bass in this part of the river from Cooksburg to Mill Creek. Trout also were hitting near the mouths of Blyson Run, Cather’s Run and Toms Run.

Redbank Creek (Clarion County, Pa.) — Smallmouth bass and trout were reported from Mayport to the dam in New Bethlehem, and walleyes were hitting from the dam in New Bethlehem to the confluence with the Allegheny River.

Beaver Creek Ponds Project (Clarion County, Pa.) — Anglers were catching largemouths, bluegills and yellow perch through early July.

Lake Arthur (Butler County, Pa.) —The hybrid striped bass bite in the shallows began to slow in early July, as fish moved to deeper water. Nice catch rates were still reported. Yellow perch were schooling over weedbeds near rocky points and hitting minnows under bobbers. Largemouth and smallmouth bass were reported in deeper water.

Irish Hills Area (Michigan)

Fishing has been pretty good in Jackson County. Bluegills and crappies have moved of the beds and into deeper water. Crickets fished in 15 to 18 feet of water have produced a good bite on Wamplers, Devil’s and Sand lakes.

Luna Pier Area (Mich.)

Walleye and perch fishing have been good in the Western Basin of Lake Erie. Perch fishing has been good in the Michigan waters, but anglers are having to sort. Walleyes have been hitting in 12 to 16 feet of water near the dumping grounds in Michigan water.

SOUTHWESTERN LP

Allegan Area (Mich.)

The Kalamazoo River has been giving up some skamania steelhead at the Allegan Dam. Bluegills are hitting on Big Bear Lake. The fish are suspended over deeper water. Swan Lake is giving up a lot of keeper crappies. A few walleyes have been caught in the Kalamazoo River at Saugatuck on crankbaits. Brown trout fishing has been very good on Swan Creek. Perch fishing has heated up on Lake Michigan in front of Deer Lick Creek in 28 feet of water. Salmon and trout fishing remains very good on Lake Michigan.

Grand Rapids Area (Mich.)

Skamania steelhead have been caught in the Grand River at the Sixth  Street Dam. Walleye anglers were taking a fair number of fish, too, and a good number of large flathead and channel cats have been caught on suckers.

CENTRAL LP

Saginaw Bay Area (Mich.)

Limit catches of walleyes have been reported by anglers all over Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay. A good bite was reported off Linwood, off the Bay City State Park, at the Dumping Grounds, three miles northeast of the Red Spark Plug (Buoys 11 & 12), and on the Callahan Reef. Try a nightcrawler harness or a gold and black crankbait.

Grand Haven Area (Mich.)

Salmon and trout fishing has been fair on Lake Michigan. A lot of 2-year-old fish have been caught. Bluegills are hitting on most inland lakes in the area including Sterns Bayou and Spring Lake. Most of the ‘gills have moved into 5 to 7 feet of water along the grass lines. Walleye fishing has been very good on the lower half of the Grand River. The best bites have come to those drifting nightcrawler harnesses between the gravel pits and the willows.

THE THUMB

Caseville Area (Mich.)

Fishing has been very good on Lake Huron. Walleyes are hitting between Big Charity Island and Port Hope. Lots of limits have been caught. Some smaller walleyes have been caught at the Slot along with a few catfish and sheepshead. Bass fishing has been decent off the breakwall in Caseville.

Port Huron (Mich.)

Walleye fishing remains good at the south end of Lake Huron and in the St. Clair River. Those pulling crawler harnesses in the shipping channel in 30 feet of water report good action during daylight hours. At night, those whipping pencil plugs are catching ‘eyes in the river. Bass fishing has been real good on most of the local ponds.

Outdoor News Store

ohio_sub
26 Issues For
$22
Subscribe Today!

Shop our online store for products and gear: Print of the Year, Outdoor News History Book, Outdoor News Clothing and more!

Newsletter Signup

What outdoor activities interest you?

Outdoor News Blogging Team