Tuesday, January 31st, 2023
Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

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Saugeye fishing heats up as weather cools down

CENTRAL REGION

Deer Creek Lake (Fayette, Madison, and Pickaway counties) – This
is the season for tailwater fishing for saugeye at Deer Creek Lake.
Most saugeye here measure between 10 and 28 inches and can be
caught on small jigs tipped with twister tails or minnows. Continue
fishing the tail water for saugeye until spring. Conditions remain
good for anglers to take channel catfish in the upper half of the
lake. Use nightcrawlers, chicken livers, and cut baits along the
lake bottom for best results. The rocky shorelines and extended
points are good places to fish for largemouth bass. Most largemouth
bass will measure 10 to 16 inches. Anglers might still pick up some
white bass in the vicinity of Tick Ridge.

Delaware Lake (Delaware County) – Areas with deep drop-offs that
contain submerged stumps and other cover are good places to fish
for crappies when using minnows and jigs. Crappie fishing can be
good as the weather cools and this is one of central Ohio’s best
crappie lakes. These same areas also are good bass fishing spots,
but use spinner baits or tubes. For channel catfish try fishing on
the bottom with cut baits or soft craws in the upper part of the
lake. These fish generally measure 12 to16 inches.

NORTHWEST REGION

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 the stumps in the shallower bays. Bluegills are
being a caught by anglers using wax worms or redworms. Fish them
two to three feet deep and under a bobber. Fish the bait along the
shore, near any type of structure, including the rocky areas and
seawalls, and into the channels. Yellow perch are being caught by
tipping a jig with nightcrawlers, minnows, redworms, tiger worms,
or wax worms. Cast anywhere along the state beaches and fishing
piers. Successful anglers are fishing the shorelines where the wind
is blowing into them. Anglers are having success on Auglaize side
due the wind patterns. Fish the bait in three to five feet of water
and about six inches off of the bottom. Largemouth bass are being
caught by anglers using slow baits such as jig, jig and pig,
Carolina Rigs, rubber worms, in the back of the bays. Shad color
variations, pink, purple with green head, or a black or white head
colored lures are working well. Fish the main lake points.

Findlay Reservoir No. 1 and No. 2 (Hancock County) – Smallmouth
bass fishing is good in No. 2. Anglers are using soft crawlers and
crankbaits along the shoreline. Catfish fishing has been very good
in No. 2 either by drifting or trolling shrimp along the bottom
anytime of the day. Anglers looking for perch have been successful
in No. 1 in the morning or evening. Try shiners or worms on
spreaders or crappie rigs in the northeast corner or along the
south dike. Best times are in the morning or evening.

NORTHEAST REGION

Tappan Lake (Harrison County)- The saugeye is a fish that can be
caught all year round at this 2,132-acre lake. Saugeye stocked in
1999 are expected to average about 21 inches this year. Some fish
from earlier stockings may be as large as 30 inches or more.
Casting Rat-L-Trap style lures or using crankbaits and jigs with
minnows into shallow waters at sunrise and sunset should do the
trick. Vertical jigging with Sonars, Cicada’s, and other jigging
type lures around the bridges located on U.S. 250 from mid-October
through mid-November can be very effective. Saugeye are attracted
to current and with the water level being drawn down at this time,
the saugeye congregate at these constriction points, where water
current is most noticeable. Anglers are reminded that there is a
nine-inch minimum length limit for crappie in this lake to improve
fish quality. Wheelchair accessible shoreline facilities available;
299 horsepower limit.

Berlin Reservoir (Portage, Mahoning, and Stark counties)-
Although the water is 10 feet below summer pool at this 3,321-acre
lake, nine- to 17-inch walleye are hitting on artificial baits.
Anglers are reminded that there is a 15-inch minimum length limit
on walleye. Crappies also are biting near the U.S. 224 bridge and
around downed trees/ underwater structure. White crappies are
larger (nine to 11 inches) but fewer while black crappies are
numerous (averaging 8.5-inches).

SOUTHWEST REGION

East Fork (Clermont County) – Crappies are being caught by
anglers using wax worms, tube, jigs, or medium to large sized
minnows tipped on white or chartreuse jigs. Fish the bait three to
six feet deep, 10 to 14, or 18 to 22 feet deep. Also look for good
crappie fishing on the points and back into the cove areas as well
as up and into Poplar and Clover creeks. Bluegills are hitting on
wax worms or redworms on a No. 8 sized hook. Keep the bait under a
bobber and about two to three feet deep. Cast anywhere around the
docks, standing wood, or downed trees. Channel catfish are being
caught by anglers using nightcrawlers fished along the bottom in
the mouths of the creeks.

Paint Creek (Highland County) – Crappies are being caught by
anglers using crappie minnows or black or chartreuse jigs as bait.
Keep the bait in 10 to 14 feet of water. Fish the bait around any
type of woody structure such as downed trees and overhanging brush
and around the campgrounds. Channel catfish are being caught along
the sandbars and the flats near the creek arms especially near
Paint Creek. Fish nightcrawlers and cut bait where the water is
about five to seven feet deep. Largemouth bass are being caught by
anglers using crankbaits (shad colored Shad Raps) fished along the
main lake points. Bluegills are being caught by anglers using wax
worms under a bobber as bait. Fish the bait two to four feet
deep.

SOUTHEAST REGION

Piedmont Lake (Belmont County) – Saugeye are starting to move
into the shallow areas of the lake as the temperatures start to
cool. Anglers have had good catches of saugeye all along the south
side of the lake, especially at the County Road 100 bridge and the
dam area near the old roadbed. Successful anglers have been using a
vertical jigging technique with a jig and minnow set up, or fishing
with twister tails, Rapala minnows, or small crankbaits that
resemble shad. Water conditions are normal to low with a
temperature in the low 60’s.

LAKE ERIE REGION

Western Basin: With dropping temperatures walleyes should be
found in historical fall areas. Kelleys Island Shoal and the east
side of Kelleys Island have been productive when conditions have
allowed. Trolling dipsys or jets with spoons or trolling minnow
imitating crankbaits with planer boards have produced the most
fish. Night pier fishing has been sporadic with a few fish being
caught.

Yellow perch fishing in the western basin has been limited by
windy weather and muddy water. The southeast corner of Kelleys
Island has produced the best average-sized perch, while the
turnaround buoy of the Toledo shipping channel has produced numbers
of smaller fish. Use perch spreaders with shiners fished near the
bottom for the best results.

Central Basin: Walleye fishing was good before the gale wind on
Oct. 28. Walleye were caught from Cedar Point to Huron south of the
30 north latitude line. Fish have been caught on spoons trolled
with dipsy divers or jet divers and also on deep diving
crankbaits.

Yellow perch fishing had been excellent in the central basin and
should improve when conditions allow. The best areas had been off
the condos east of the Vermilion River, 3 miles north of Lakewood
(Gold Coast) in 42 feet of water, 4 miles northeast of the
Cleveland water intake crib in 48 feet of water, 3-4 miles north of
Fairport in 55 feet of water, and 3-4 miles north of Ashtabula in
50 to 55 feet of water. Fish have ranged from 7 to 12 inches. Perch
rigs with shiners fished near the bottom have produced the most
fish.

Steelhead fishing has been fair to good in the Vermilion River,
Rocky River, Chagrin River, Grand River, Arcola Creek, Cowles
Creek, Geneva State Park, Conneaut Creek, and along the Conneaut
west breakwall. Shore anglers are using small spinners and spoons,
and jigs and maggots rigged with a split shot under a light bobber.
For recent updates on the steelhead fishery visit the Division of
Wildlife steelhead web page at:
http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/wildlife/fishing/fairport/steelhead.htm

Lake Erie surface temperatures range from 46 to 55 degrees.

OHIO RIVER REGION

Belmont and Monroe counties – Walleye and saugeye fishing has
picked up along the river, particularly when they begin feeding –
about an hour before sunset and then throughout the night. Check
out the pier at the Pike Island dam, where anglers have had
excellent success vertical jigging with twister tails or jig-heads
tipped with a minnow. Good catches of smallmouth bass and smaller
white bass have been reported in the Pike Island area as well. Try
casting crankbaits resembling minnows or shad. Hybrid striped bass
have been caught on big creek chubs or any deep-diving bait that
resemble minnows.

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