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

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Crappie, saugeye bite slow in cold weather

CENTRAL REGION

Delaware Lake (Delaware County) – Cold temperatures have slowed
the movement and activity of crappie but warmer weather should get
them going again in this lake, one of central Ohio’s best crappie
fisheries. Fish the primary points of the old creek channel using
jigs and minnows around woody cover. White bass should migrate up
the Whetstone Creek and Olentangy River arms of reservoir in the
next week or two if the temperatures continue to warm. Try fishing
for them with small Twister tails, rooster tails and jigs for best
results.

Buckeye Lake (Fairfield, Licking & Perry counties) – Use a
jig and minnow combination in the area near the dam and around
Cranberry Bog for saugeye. These are the deepest areas where the
fish will move to in colder weather. Fingerlings saugeye are
stocked annually at this lake. Fish along the lake bottom on the
windward side of the lake with cut baits and prepared baits to take
channel catfish. Crappies and hybrid striped bass traditionally
provide good spring fishing action here. Again, the fish will have
moved to the deeper parts of the lake but they will still be
active. Try small minnows under a slip bobber for some crappie
action.

Bob’s Outdoor Supply, 740-349-0992

Hoover Reservoir (Delaware and Franklin counties) – Lake water
temperatures last week were in the mid-40s. As temperatures climb,
crappies should move into shallower water. Target creek channels
with woody shoreline cover using jigs and minnows. Crappie will
also move into the creeks to feed due to rains. Look for areas
around submerged timber. Saugeye in the 5- to 7-pound range are
located by the dam in good numbers right now. Try using
minnow-imitating lures. White bass should be moving up the creeks
in one to two weeks if the weather continues to warm. They can be
caught on small jigs or rooster tails. Remember the 10-horsepower
limit.

NORTHWEST REGION

Maumee River (Wood and Lucas counties) – The water temperature
is around 43 degrees and the water level is slightly high but at a
good fishing level. The water is turbid but clearing. Fishing
effort is low. The walleye catches are starting to improve and
should continue to improve this week with warmer temperatures. The
best bait is a floating jig tipped with a bright colored twister
tail. The best area to fish is downstream from Maumee/ Perrysburg
Bridge near Orleans Park. The DNR Division of Wildlife reports that
it is still seeing good numbers of walleye in the river during
electrofishing surveys. The outlook should improve with warmer
temperatures.

Fostoria Reservoir No. 5 (Seneca County) – The water temperature
is around 50 degrees, cloudy and at normal levels. Small crappie in
the 6 to 7 inch range are being taken on minnows. Perch in the 10
to 12 inch range are also being taken on minnows.

Sandusky River (Sandusky County) – The water temperature is
around 45 degrees and is at a normal level but muddy. Fishing
effort is very low. Fishing success has been poor. However, during
a recent electrofishing survey, Division of Wildlife biologists
found good numbers of walleye still in the river. The best area to
fish is around Roger Young Park. Anglers are using jigs with bright
colored tails. The walleye run probably will not last long in the
Sandusky River. The white bass should start coming up the river to
spawn soon as water temperatures increase.

NORTHEAST REGION

Atwood Lake (Carroll County) – Cold temperatures and windy
conditions have only a few anglers venturing out on the lake. The
crappie bite is slow but nice catches are being reported. The fish
(mostly white crappies but black crappies are also present) are in
the 6- to 10-inch range. Fishing live minnows with slip bobbers or
small tubes/curl tails (no color preference) on light-weight jig
heads in the 1/32 to 1/8 weight range brings good results. Anglers
should fish near woody structure that is near deeper water (about 6
to 15 feet) or near steep drop off channels.

Rocky River (Cuyahoga County) – Anglers should focus efforts
toward steelhead trout around barriers to fish migration (such as
fords, dams, and falls) with larger, brighter offerings to get the
fishes’ attention under the limited visibility water conditions,
according to the report from Cleveland Metroparks.   The section of
the East Branch of the river stocked with trout is less stained.
Prior to rains the week of April 9, anglers were catching steelhead
and white suckers. The cold snap caused many trout to relocate from
shallower spawning areas to deeper holes. Steelhead anglers are
having success with smaller salmon or trout egg sacs and live
minnows as well as small jigs tipped with maggots.   Suckers bite
well on worms and maggots, as well as flies such as nymphs. Both
steelhead and lake-run suckers are typically in area streams until
the end of April, after which point their numbers decline sharply,
according to the report.

Cleveland Metroparks, www.clemetparks.com.

Beach City Reservoir (Tuscarawas County) – The tailwater area
below the dam is producing small numbers of saugeyes approximately
12 to 16 inches in size. Anglers should fish Twister-type jigs in
any color tipped with a small piece of worm, night crawler, or with
a minnow (lighter line produces best results). Use a jighead size
and weight that will keep it on the on bottom then cast and reel in
slowly.

Killbuck Creek (Wayne County) – Anglers are catching northern
pike up to 36 inches in the feeder streams and log jams. While pike
are hitting in the creek throughout the wildlife area, the whole
course of the stream provides successful results. The best baits
are large, live minnows or chubs and there is no bag limit on these
long, slender fish. Anglers are encouraged to determine if a stream
bank is on public land or private before fishing outside the
wildlife area. If private, obtain written permission before
fishing.

Walborn Reservoir (Stark County) – Crappies are being caught off
of Reeder Avenue at this reservoir located on Stark County Park
District’s property. Anglers casting jigs and retrieving very
slowly are doing well. Fishing from the causeway is permitted 24
hours a day but parking lots close from dusk to dawn. Boats must be
off of the water at dusk. The horsepower limit is 10.

SOUTHWEST OHIO

Rocky Fork Lake (Highland County) – The cold and windy weather
conditions have only a few die-hard fishermen venturing out on the
lake. However, those anglers have started catching a few 8- to
10-inch crappies by fishing live minnows under slip bobbers or
jigheads with small tubes or curly tails. Try fishing near woody
structure in 8 to 10 feet in North Beach or Kelly’s coves.

Paint Creek Lake (Highland and Ross counties) – Anglers are
having success catching crappie, channel catfish, and saugeye in
the tailwaters below the dam. Crappies in the 8- to 11- inch range
are being caught on live minnows or jigs with Twister tails.
Catfish are being caught using cutbait. Saugeye are being caught on
1/16-ounce jigs with chartreuse Twister tails.

Grand Lake St. Marys (Mercer and Auglaize counties) – Due to the
rain and higher water conditions, anglers are catching walleye
below the dam in the spillway. Walleye have ranged in size from
18.5 to 26 inches. The spillway is located at the west side of the
lake. Try using small jigs tipped with twister tails or minnows
fished along the bottom. In the lake, anglers are beginning to
catch crappie near boat docks and brushy structure in the channels.
Crappies are being caught on live minnows, tube jigs, or jigs with
twister tails.

SOUTHEAST OHIO

Salt Fork Lake (Guernsey County) – Water temperatures have been
in the low 50s at this 2,815-acre lake. Now is the perfect time of
year to fish for crappie around submerged brush piles and structure
using pink and chartreuse Twister tails tipped with minnows. Most
crappie are in the 9- to 10-inch range with some fish up to 13
inches being taken. Anglers reported good catches of crappie along
with some walleye and saugeye when fishing from the Morning Glory
Ramp toward the dam and at the covered bridge. A few channel
catfish up to 20 inches are also being taken on minnows and night
crawlers fished near shore.

Wolf Run Lake (Noble County) – The crappie bite is starting to
pick up at this 220-acre lake near Caldwell. Try small spinners in
6 to 8 feet of water around submerged structure. Structure location
is marked with orange paint or tags along the shore. Successful
anglers reported catching crappie in the 7- to 9- inch range. Wolf
Run Lake has a 10-horsepower limit.

Dillon Reservoir (Muskingum County) – Both white and black
crappie are in this 1,043-acre lake. Try fishing a minnow under a
bobber in shallow water over submerged structure. Saugeye fishing
in Dillon has been excellent due to annual stockings since 1989.
Successful saugeye anglers fish yellow, white, green or chartreuse
jigheads with Twister tails in the tailwater area below the
dam.

Dow Lake (Athens County) – Those fishing for rainbow trout have
been successful using a variety of bait, including kernel corn,
small worms, and Powerbaits. There is a protected slot on
largemouth bass from 12 to 15 inches.

Lake Vesuvius (Lawrence County) – Water temperatures in this
143-acre lake are in the low 50s. Rainbow trout were stocked in
Vesuvius on April 19 during the National Wild Turkey Federation’s
Wheelin’ Sportsmen fishing event. This lake is also known for its
largemouth bass, which should begin to bite when the weather warms
a bit.

LAKE ERIE REGION

The yellow perch daily bag limit on Lake Erie was reduced to 30
fish per day as of April 9. The change in yellow perch bag limit
occurred after the printing of fishing regulations brochure. The
2007-2008 fishing regulations brochure incorrectly lists the Lake
Erie yellow perch bag limit as 40 fish per day.

The walleye daily bag limit is four fish from March 1 through
April 30. The minimum size limit for keeper walleye is 15
inches.

The daily bag limit for black bass (largemouth, smallmouth,
spotted) on Lake Erie is five. The minimum size limit for black
bass is 14 inches.

Cold temperatures and strong wind continued to limit main lake
access during the week of April 9. When conditions allowed, walleye
were caught on hair jigs tipped with minnows near shore from Turtle
Creek to Wild Wings marina in less than 15 feet of water and also
on many of the Camp Perry reefs. As the water warms, expect jig
fishing to heat up on most of the Camp Perry reefs and in near
shore areas all the way from Maumee Bay to Cedar Point. Trollers
have had success with minnow imitating stick baits and deep diving
crankbaits along the eastern and northern cans of the Camp Perry
firing range and also around the Bass Islands.

Surface temperatures are currently around 39 degrees
Fahrenheit.

OHIO RIVER REGION

Lawrence and Scioto counties – Water levels on the river are
high with increased current. Water will likely remain high and
murky for the remainder of the month.

Greenup Pool (Gallia, Lawrence and Scioto counties) – Waters on
most of this stretch of the Ohio River remain high and muddy. Some
anglers fishing shad and chubs in the upper Greenup tailwaters,
stream confluences and other warm-water discharge areas along the
river report success fishing for hybrid striped bass.

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