Sunday, January 29th, 2023
Sunday, January 29th, 2023

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Bluegills, crappies turning on as temperatures drop


Indian Lake (Logan County) – Largemouth bass fishing has been
heating up. Good locations include shoreline riprap areas on the
main lake and in canals, and along pad and weed edges. Bass are
feeding heavily this time of year on two to four-inch gizzard shad,
and successful anglers are focusing efforts on areas that contain a
lot of these shad. Try chartreuse and white spinnerbaits, small
shad or chartreuse-hued crankbaits, and dark colored plastic worms
and tube baits. Many bass are in the 12- to 18-inch range. Reduced
temperatures earlier this week are anticipated to cause the saugeye
fishing to really pick up. Troll shallow minnow crankbaits along
the breaklines and riprap on the breakwalls and dams. Casting
rattle traps and vibrating blade baits in chartreuse or fluorescent
orange hues in these same areas is also productive. Since 2000, the
Division of Wildlife has stocked over seven million saugeye in
Indian Lake. Crappie fishing should improve with the lower water
temperatures as well. Focus on areas with a lot of cover, including
brush and docks, using small minnows or jigs.

Olentangy River (Delaware and Franklin counties) – White bass
are being caught below the dam at Delaware Lake. Saugeye can also
be taken in this area. Smallmouth fishing is very good in any
portion of this stream, especially north of the Highbanks
Metropark. In-line spinners, small twister tails and small jerk
baits are all good bets to catch these species.

Griggs Reservoir (Franklin County) – Bluegills can be caught
throughout the reservoir on worms fished under a bobber. Both below
the dam and above the dam to O’Shaughnessy, anglers are catching
some rock bass and smallmouth bass. Try using spinnerbaits and
shallow running crankbaits. As the water gets cooler, the fishing
will pick up. Most bass will measure between 12 and 16 inches. Try
the east shoreline when seeking channel catfish. Use nightcrawlers
or chicken livers fished on the bottom.


Pleasant Hill Reservoir (Richland County) – Crappie and catfish
fishing has been very good. Anglers are using minnows fished under
slip bobbers in eight to 12 feet of water near downed trees.
Channel catfish up to 20 pounds are being caught on shad or shrimp,
and drifting in a boat across flats.

Charles Mill Reservoir (Richland County) – Fishing for channel
catfish has been very good on shore and by boat. Nightcrawlers or
cut baits have worked the best. The best area has been Mud Lake
area, around the marina.

Sandusky River (Seneca and Wyandot Counties) – Smallmouth bass
fishing has been excellent in the Sandusky River during morning and
evenings. Any of the deep pools or overhanging bank will probably
be holding smallmouth. Anglers are using floating crawdad spinner
baits or jigs with twister tails.


Ladue Reservoir (Geauga County) – While fishing for most species
has been slow in this 1,475-acre lake located one mile east of
Auburn Corners on U.S. Route 422, channel catfish are keeping
anglers spirits up. Good numbers of catfish are being caught on a
wide variety of baits such as shrimp, chicken or beef liver, worms,
and cut bait for bottom fishing, or throw in some ‘stink bait’ for
the cats to bite, whether homemade (form a mixture of cheese,
decayed meat or minnows, animal blood, oats, flour, and anise into
small balls) or commercially prepared. Remember, catfish are
opportunistic feeders so you can try nightcrawlers, animal
entrails, frogs, grasshoppers, clams, crayfish, and also artificial
baits such as plugs, spoons, jigs, spinners and plastic worms. A
total of 5,770 channel catfish averaging nine inches were stocked
in 2004.


Rush Creek Lake (Fairfield and Perry counties) – Plenty of carp
are available; look for weed beds to hold the most fish. Largemouth
bass are becoming more active now and will continue to do so as the
water cools. They can be caught on spinnerbaits and jerk baits
fished near shoreline wood and weeds. Crappie can be caught around
heavy wood cover using minnows under slip-bobbers. Channel catfish
can be taken using nightcrawlers and cut baits fished near the lake
bottom. There is a 10-horsepower limit at this lake.

Ross Lake (Ross County) – Anglers have had success fishing for
largemouth bass. Fish in the 10- to 15-inch range have been reeled
in on rubber worms and topwater lures. Fishing has been most
successful in the more shallow parts of the lake. Electric motors
only at this 143-acre lake.

Tycoon Lake (Gallia County) – As temperatures begin to cool off,
crappie are starting to bite at Tycoon Lake. Fish for crappie using
minnows or two- to three-inch long grub tails that are chartreuse,
pearl, grey or speckled grey in color. Suspend bait under a bobber
in about six to eight feet of water. Sunfish fishing is starting to
pick-up with some bluegills in the six- to seven-inch range being
caught on wax worms or meal worms fished under a bobber. Catfishing
with cut baits, shrimp or chicken livers has been excellent towards
the breaks of deep waters where the waters start to shallow.


Acton Lake (Preble County) – Channel catfish are biting on creek
chubs or nightcrawlers fished along the bottom or between six to 10
feet deep. Fishing for channel catfish is productive anywhere on
the lake. Bluegills are being caught by anglers using wax worms or
nightcrawlers. Bluegill fishing is bountiful along the banks.
Crappies just starting to bite on minnows fished about eight to 10
feet deep.

Grand Lake St. Marys (Auglaize and Mercer counties) – Channel
catfish are being caught by anglers using nightcrawlers, cut shad,
or chicken liver as bait. Fish the bait along the bottom of the
lake. Anglers are having great success with No. 2/0 and No. 4/0
sized circle hooks. Keep the bait along the sides of underwater
structure such as stumps. Bluegills are being a caught by anglers
using wax worms as bait. Keep the bait under a bobber and near the
bottom. Fish the bait along the shore, near any type of structure,
including the rocky areas and seawalls, and into the channels.
Crappies are being caught in the shallow channels by anglers using
wax worm or minnow jigs as bait. Yellow perch are being caught with
a minnow on a hook. Fish the bait six-inches off of the bottom.
Largemouth bass are being caught by anglers using worms, spinner
baits and crankbaits in the back of the bays. Shad colored
variations, chartreuse, glitter green, or pumpkinseed colored lures
are working well.


Western Basin: Fishing effort directed toward walleye has
greatly decreased as western basin anglers are switching to perch
fishing. Some success has been reported on Kelleys and Gull Island
shoals, in Ohio waters near Middle Island, and to a lesser extent
around Rattlesnake Island and ‘F’ can on the Canadian border.
Drifters are using mayfly rigs or weight forward spinners, while
most trollers are using worm harnesses or spoons with jet or dipsy

Yellow perch fishing is improving in the Western Basin. Over the
past week, the Toledo water intake, C and D cans of the Camp Perry
range, Niagara Reef, Rattlesnake Island, Lakeside, Cedar Point, and
Kelleys Island have all produced some limit catches. Perch
spreaders with shiners fished near the bottom produce the most
fish. Yellow perch are averaging 8 inches long.

Smallmouth bass should start moving shallower as water
temperatures drop heading into fall. Fish rocky drop-offs and reefs
around the Bass islands and Kelleys Island along with near-shore
areas from Catawba Island to Sandusky Bay to find active fish. Tube
jigs and drop shot rigs with goby imitations are the most popular
set-ups for smallmouth.

Central Basin: Walleye fishing in the central basin has also
slowed down with anglers switching over to perch. A few walleyes
have been taken at the north end of the sand bar between Vermilion
and Lorain, seven to nine miles northeast of Geneva in 60 to 70
feet of water and seven to nine miles northwest of Ashtabula in 60
to 70 feet of water. Fish have been caught on worm harnesses
trolled with dipsy divers. Fish are suspended and anglers are
fishing down 35 to 50 feet. Yellow perch fishing is excellent in
the central basin from one to three miles north of Huron to Lorain,
four miles north of Euclid in 49 feet of water, two miles northeast
of Rocky River in 38 feet of water, two to three miles north to
northwest of Fairport in 51 feet of water, and two miles north of
Ashtabula 45 feet of water. Fish have ranged from seven to 11
inches. Perch rigs with shiners fished near the bottom have
produced the most fish.

Smallmouth bass fishing has been excellent along the shoreline
from Fairport Harbor to Conneaut in 15 to 25 feet of water. Fish
have been caught on goby color tube jigs, goby color drop-shot
rigs, jigs tipped with minnows or leeches, or by trolling

The best white bass fishing has been one-half mile north of
Eastlake CEI power plant. Anglers are using agitators with white,
yellow, and green twister tails. Shore anglers are catching white
bass at the Eastlake CEI, Mentor Headlands lighthouse, Wildwood
State Park, Rocky River, Avon Lake, and Lorain piers using
agitators with white, yellow, and green twister tails or small

Steelhead are beginning to move up into the rivers and creeks
and anglers are catching fish in the Rocky River, Chagrin River,
Grand River, Geneva State Park, Conneaut Creek, and along the
Conneaut west breakwall. Shore anglers are using small spinners and
spoons, and jigs rigged with a split shot under a light bobber.


Columbiana and Jefferson counties – Flathead catfishing is on
rise in the Ohio River so anglers are encouraged to go after these
‘shovelheads’ in deep pools with slow current and nearby cover,
such as submerged logs and drift piles. Unlike channel catfish,
flathead catfish rarely feed upon dead or decaying matter. Primary
food items include live fish like creek chubs or crayfish. Most
flatheads in Ohio are 15 to 30 inches in length and weigh anywhere
from five to 40 pounds, but some have been known to reach five feet
in length and weight over 80 pounds. Anglers do need to use heavy
tackle when fishing for flathead catfish and again, live bait is
best. Flatheads are also often caught on trotlines. Access in
Columbiana County is best at the East Liverpool boat ramp or in
Jefferson County, one mile south of the Columbiana County line;
access is located at the New Cumberland Lock and Dam.

Monroe County – Flathead catfish have been hitting cut baits,
chicken liver, and nightcrawlers fished on the bottom. For
smallmouth bass, try tube baits or crankbaits. Hybrid striped bass
have been caught using a jig and twister tipped with a minnow.

Belmont County – Late afternoon and into the evening are the
best times to fish the Pike Island Dam area. Fishing is good for
flathead catfish, channel catfish, and striped bass when using
chicken liver fished on the bottom. Striped bass are also hitting
crankbaits or heavy spoons.

Gallia County – Both flathead and channel catfish will be
hitting on chicken liver, worms, or cut baits fished on the bottom.
Fish for hybrid stripers using cut bait fished on the bottom at and
below K.H. Butler.

Lawrence and Washington counties – Flathead and channel catfish
have been reported at a good catch rate. Anglers are catching
channel catfish on cut bait and nightcrawlers fished tight-line on
the bottom. Flathead catfish are being caught on live shad, large
suckers, and goldfish. Catfish success is best through the night
and in the early morning hours before daybreak. Bass fishing has
been challenging, due to the large amounts of forage fish
available. A few largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass are being
caught; reported bass catches ranged from four to 15 inches. Stay
along the shoreline, along old concrete lock walls, concrete
blocked banks, and various pier structures. Top rated bass lures
included plastic worms/tubes that are black, pumpkinseed, and
watermelon colored, white and chartreuse spinner baits that are 1/8
to 1/4 ounce, Deep Baby Ms and Deep Tiny Ms.

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