Crappie, saugeye bite slow in cold weather

A reminder for those anglers fishing Lake Erie is that the
season on black bass (largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted) is
closed from May 1 through June 29. Any fish caught must be released
immediately.

Also on Lake Erie, the walleye bag went from 4 fish per day to 6
on May 1 and will remain at that number until Feb. 29, 2008. There
is a 15-inch minimum length limit for the entire season.

Here’s a look at Ohio fishing destinations, region by
region:

Central Region

Alum Creek Lake (Delaware County) – Fish for crappie with jigs
and minnows in the flooded timber areas of the recessed embayments
and around woody cover in the upper end of the lake. Crappie
fishing is very popular near submerged trees above State Route 36
and in Big Run Cove. There is a 9-inch minimum length for keeper
crappie. Use minnows, jigs, and small spinners in the upper end of
the lake north of Howard Road when seeking white bass. The area
above Howard Road has good numbers of channel catfish and large
carp.

Deer Creek Lake (Fayette, Madison, and Pickaway counties) – In
the creek above the lake just north of Cooks – Yankeetown Road, use
small jigs and twisters, or small rooster tails when seeking white
bass. Most of these fish will measure eight to 12 inches. This is
their spawning period, which causes them to be active and offers
good fishing. Crappies can be caught around submerged woody cover
using minnows suspended under a bobber. Crappies must be 9 inches
or longer to keep. Channel catfish can be taken on chicken livers,
shrimp, night crawlers, and cut shad.

Knox Lake (Knox County) – Areas of woody shoreline cover are
good locations to fish for largemouth bass at this time of year.
Try dark-colored creature baits and jig-and-pigs or white and
chartreuse spinner baits fished shallow for the best results. Most
of these fish measure 12 to 18 inches. There is an 18-inch minimum
for keeper largemouth at this lake. Use jigs and minnows in brushy
areas to take crappie. Crappie will be moving shallow as the
temperatures warm. Use shrimp or night crawlers fished along the
bottom to take channel catfish. Some channel catfish weigh up to 10
pounds. There is a 10- horsepower limit at this lake.

Northwest Region

Lima Lake (Allen County) – Crappie and perch have been taken in
good numbers on minnows and wax worms. Twister tails and hair jigs
have been working good as well. Fishing from the dock or the
shoreline is working well.

Bucyrus Reservoir No. 2 (Crawford County) – Some good catches of
channel catfish have been taken here by chicken liver off of the
bottom; night crawlers have been working as well. Early afternoon
until dusk have been the best times to fish.

Maumee River (Lucas and Wood Counties) – The water temperature
is 56 degrees and the flow is very high and muddy. Fishing effort
is light. The high water is making fishing very difficult. After
the water recedes, the outlook should improve.

Maumee Bait and Tackle, www.maumeetackle.net

Northeast Region

Nimisila Lake (Summit County) – Anglers are catching
largemouth bass on crankbaits in this 727-acre lake located two
miles south of State Route 619. Both shoreline and boat fishing is
provides successful results. Fifty-two percent of fish sampled
(base size of 8-inches) were at least 12-inches. Twenty-eight
percent of the fish sampled also measured at least 15-inches. The
best access is Christman Road or South Main Street. Electric motors
only.

Mahoning River (Stark County) – White bass are in the
Mahoning River and while anglers are not catching large numbers,
Twister Tails and minnows on floating jigs are doing the trick to
catch a few here and there. Fishing slowed over the weekend of
April 26 but most anglers were catching a dozen or so. The best
access is just north of Alliance, off State Route 225 and back
toward the water department. Crappie are also being caught with
minnows on jigs suspended under bobbers. Anglers should focus on
the areas of Stroup Road, Reeder Avenue, or Price
Street.

Wellington Upground and South reservoirs (Lorain County)
– Anglers are catching decent numbers of both channel and bullhead
catfish in the upground and south reservoirs. Channel catfish have
been stocked in every odd-numbered year from 1993-2005. A total of
531 yearling catfish were stocked in 2005. The hot spot of a recent
tournament was just west of the boat ramp at the upground
reservoir, fishing from the shoreline. Fishing on the bottom using
cut shad was used to bring in the majority of the larger fish.
Shrimp also brought anglers success.

West Branch Reservoir (Portage County) – Crappies are
being caught in good numbers off of Cable Line Road. Anglers seeing
the best results are using simple jig and minnow setups fished near
the bottom of this 2,616-acre lake. Wheelchair accessible shoreline
fishing facilities are available. Unlimited
horsepower.

Spencer Lake (Medina County) – Anglers are catching
decent numbers of crappie in this small, 50-acre lake located in
western Medina County. Wax worms suspended under a bobber works
best. Largemouth bass and channel cat fishing is also known to be
excellent at this lake. Wheelchair accessible shoreline fishing
facilities are available. Electric motors only.

Southwest Region

Caesar Creek Lake (Warren County) – Largemouth bass are being
caught around shoreline cover and riprap shorelines using
crankbaits, jigs, and soft plastic lures. Saugeyes are starting to
bite in six to 12 feet of water. Try using jigs with Twister Tails,
or a plain jig tipped with a minnow. Some white bass are being
caught in the extreme upper end of the lake where the two creeks
pass under State Route 380 and Roxanna-New Burlington Road.

Paint Creek Lake (Highland County) – Crappie fishing has really
turned on. Anglers are taking good numbers of crappies from two to
five feet deep around standing timber, fallen trees, and riprap.
The most popular techniques include still fishing with a small
minnow fished under a bobber, or casting lightweight jigs with
plastic twister tails or tube bodies. Bass anglers are having
success using jigs and plastic baits around fallen trees.

East Fork Lake (Clermont County) – Water temperatures are
finally on the rise as a result of the warm weather. Anglers have
started catching 8- to 10- inch crappie by fishing live minnows
under a slip bobber or jigheads with small tubes or curly tails.
Crappies have begun their move to shallow water and are providing
lots of action. If the upper end of the lake is still muddy from
recent rains, try the numerous wooded coves in the lower end of the
lake. Hybrid striped bass should be moving up the creeks if the
weather continues to warm. They can be caught on jigs, live shad,
minnows, or rooster tails.

C. J. Brown Reservoir (Clark County) – Crappies are being caught
by anglers fishing the marina area and telephone piling structures.
Try fishing live minnows under a slip bobber or jigheads with small
tubes or curly tails. White bass should be moving up the creek and
along the riprap shorelines.

Southeast Region

Lake Logan (Hocking County) – Saugeye angling success continues
to be good with catches running in the 15- to 19-inch range.
Saugeye can be caught on bottom bouncing jigs tipped with night
crawlers fished in 6 to 10 feet depths. Saugeye anglers have also
been successful trolling crankbaits in 6 to 10 feet of water.
Results from netting surveys conducted in 2006 indicate good
numbers of 15-inch and larger saugeye with some fish up to 28
inches. Crappie anglers should begin to look for white crappies
moving into shallower water around shoreline structure to spawn.
Crappie can be caught using small plastic bodied jigs or live
minnows fished below bobbers in depths less than 6 feet.

Monroe Lake (Monroe County) – Water temperature was around 56
degrees with clear conditions and normal water elevation. Good
numbers of largemouth bass are being caught on shallow running
crankbaits fished at a depth of 6 feet. Productive areas for
largemouth include the areas along submerged weed beds or woody
cover in 6 feet of water. The majority of the largemouth bass being
caught are in the eight- to 12-inch size range. A 15-inch size
limit for largemouth bass is currently in effect at this lake.
Bluegill angling should be good at this lake in 2007. Over 30
percent of the bluegill sampled in the 2006 electroshocking survey
measured over 6 inches. As temperatures continue to warm this week,
bluegill anglers should seek out shallow areas in the upper end of
the lake in hopes of catching some of these bluegills on spawning
beds. Submerged structure maps of this lake can be obtained by
contacting the District Four, Division of Wildlife office in Athens
at (740) 589-9930.

Hammertown Lake (Jackson County) – Waters have been clear in
this 190-acre lake. Anglers have been successful reeling in
largemouth bass in the 13- to 14-inch range using shallow running
crankbaits or black and purple 6-inch worms that are Texas-rigged,
picking up fish on the drop near shallow water. The bluegill bite
has been slow, although some have been caught fishing the shoreline
using wax worms or night crawlers under a bobber.

Lake Erie Region

Walleye fishing continues to be excellent on Lake Erie. The best
areas for quick limits have been the Toledo Harbor Light outside of
Maumee Bay, nearshore from Turtle Creek to Wild Wings, and on the
Camp Perry reefs. Hair jigs are still producing fish, but crawler
harnesses drifted on bottom bouncers are starting to catch fish.
Trollers are catching large post-spawn females around the Bass
islands, along the Canadian border east of North Bass Island, and
north of Kelleys Island. The best trolling lures have been deep
diving crankbaits and worm harnesses. Surface temperatures range
from 54 degrees off of Toledo to 45 degrees off of Cleveland.

Ohio River Region

Monroe County – The Ohio River water temperature at the Hannibal
tailwater is 54 degrees. The Willow Island pool is two feet above
normal pool level and slowly falling. Walleye in the 12- to16-inch
range are being caught on 2- to 3-inch yellow and orange Twister
Tail jigs. Channel catfish success continues to improve in the
Willow Island pool and Hannibal tailwater as water temperatures
approach 60 degrees. Most channel catfish can be caught on the
bottom using tight-lining techniques with cut bait, night crawlers,
and chicken livers.

Meigs County – River levels remain high and somewhat muddy with
a swift current. Anglers have had limited success fishing for
hybrid striped bass in the tailwaters of Racine and Bellville dams
using jigs tipped with minnows. Bank fishing for catfish has been
successful using cut baits, including shad and shiners.

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