Sunday, February 5th, 2023
Sunday, February 5th, 2023

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Sportsmen Since 1967

Anglers catching smallmouth, catfish in the heat

Central Region

Griggs Reservoir (Franklin County) – This reservoir in Columbus
provides good fishing for smallmouth and largemouth bass, bluegill,
crappie, and carp.  Target smallmouth bass downstream of the dam in
the Scioto River.  Use small crankbaits and spinners around rocks
and other cover. Carp are also abundant in this area. Crappie can
be caught in the reservoir using minnows or jigs fished around
woody cover.  For bluegills and other sunfish, try using night

Alum Creek Lake (Delaware County) – Smallmouth bass are being
caught. Using crankbaits and jigs, target the points were the
bottom goes from flats to deeper water.  Saugeye can be caught in
the same areas. Also try trolling in front of the beach at dawn and
dusk.  Crappies are being found around wood in 10 to 15 feet of
water using jigs or minnows.  Muskellunge can provide good action
this time of year when trolling crankbaits along the points and

Hargus Creek Lake (Pickaway County) – Channel catfish provide
good summer action in this 140-acre lake east of Circleville.  Use
prepared baits, cut bait, shrimp or night crawlers to catch these
fish, which are stocked regularly. A strong population of
largemouth bass provides good fishing action for anglers of all
ages and experience.  Bluegill and redear sunfish round out the
best fishing in the lake; try redworms, wax worms or
crickets. Largemouth bass must be 15 inches or longer to keep,
electric motors only. 

Licking River (Licking County) – This river east of Columbus
provides angling opportunities for flathead catfish, channel
catfish, smallmouth bass, and sunfish.  Use live baitfish for
flathead catfish in pools around woody cover.  Cut bait and night
crawlers can be effective for channel catfish.  Also try night
crawlers for sunfish.  For smallmouth bass, fish areas with moving
water around rocks and other cover.  

Northwest Region

Maumee River (Defiance County) – Anglers are catching large
channel catfish and flathead catfish in and around the City of
Defiance.  One of the best areas is the Independence Dam.  Channel
catfish are being caught throughout the day using night crawlers
fished under a slip bobber.  Flathead fishing is most productive
late at night.  They are being caught on the bottom using bluegills
for bait.  Remember, bluegill must be caught legally to be used as

Metzger Reservoir (Allen County) – Anglers are catching yellow
perch.  Try fishing the drop-off on the south bank at a depth of
around 10 feet under slip bobbers. Twister Tails tipped with spikes
has been the best bait.

Blanchard River (Hardin County) – Smallmouth bass fishing has
been excellent during the midday.  Any of the deep pools will
probably be holding smallmouth.  Anglers are using small jigs and
spinners, and casting.  Best location is the Township Road 183

Wauseon Reservoirs No. 1 and No. 2 (Fulton County) – These two
reservoirs are side by side, south of the City of Wauseon off State
Route 108.  Anglers are catching channel catfish on the bottom
using raw shrimp while still-fishing.

Van Wert Reservoir No. 1 (Van Wert County) – Crappie and saugeye
are being caught in the northern most reservoir. Crappie anglers
are using 2-inch Twister Tails and jigs.  For saugeye, use either a
night crawler harness or a jig tipped with a night crawler. 
Anglers are most successful while casting into 5 to 6 feet of water
during the morning hours.

Oxbow Lake (Defiance County) – Anglers are catching bluegill
throughout the day, using night crawlers fished under a slip

Northeast Region

Tappan Lake (Harrison County) – This 2,350-acre lake located on
U.S. 250 between Cadiz and Uhrichsville offers fishing for many
different species. Anglers have the opportunities to catch crappie,
largemouth bass, bluegill, channel catfish, white bass, and
saugeye, all of which have gained the status of excellent fishing
according to Division of Wildlife fish management surveys. Tappan
Lake offers two public launch ramps, one near the roadside rest
area on U.S. 250, and the other across from Tappan Marina. Please
observe the 120 horsepower limit. Wheelchair accessible shoreline
fishing facilities are available.

Long Lake (Summit County) – Largemouth bass fishing in this
231-acre lake located east of State Route 93 and south of the Ohio
Canal in Akron has proven to be excellent. Largemouths (base size
of 8 inches) were sampled during the spring 2006 night
electrofishing surveys. At least 66 percent of fish sampled were 12
inches or longer. Over 30 percent of these fish measured 15 inches
or more. About 5 percent of fish sampled measured at least 20
inches. With shad densities high in the summer, largemouths focus
on these prevalent prey items. Anglers should try to imitate a
dying shad in distress. Look for largemouth bass feeding on the
surface and throw an unweighted, soft, jerkbait where the bass are
feeding. The best times are dusk and dawn when bass typically feed.
Channel catfishing is excellent, too. A total of 5,016 yearling
catfish, which averaged 9 inches or more, were released in

Little Beaver Creek (Columbiana County) – A recent
electrofishing demonstration in Beaver Creek State Park yielded a
large number of smallmouth bass from 9 to 15 inches. Once water
levels return to normal, anglers should focus on deeper pools and
runs where smallies typically hang out. Traditional baits include
soft craws, poppers, and crankbaits, but anglers can also try using
shad-type baits since there is an abnormally high number of gizzard
shad in the creek this year. There are multiple access points
throughout the state park. Go to and click on State
Parks to find a map.

Lake Milton (Mahoning County) – Anglers have excellent
opportunities to catch largemouth bass, white bass, and channel
catfish at this 1,685-acre lake located on State Route 534 at
County Road 18, 15 miles west of Youngstown. Smallmouth bass,
bluegill, and walleye fishing are known to be good as well. For
anglers who are prepared to catch muskellunge, fishing for these
members of the pike family can be great in Lake Milton. Boats can
be rented at the state park. There is no horsepower restriction.
Wheelchair accessible shoreline fishing facilities are

Southwest Region

Cowan Lake (Clinton County) – Bluegills are being caught by
anglers using night crawlers or wax worms.  Good fishing
opportunities can be had along woody debris shorelines and pier
areas.  Channel catfish are being caught by anglers using chicken
livers, cut bait, shrimp, and night crawlers.  Cast from the pier
area.  Keep the bait off of the bottom and about 3 to 6 feet

Acton Lake (Preble County) – Channel catfish are being caught by
anglers using shrimp, cut bait, and chicken livers fished on the
bottom under a bobber or by tight-lining baits on the bottom.
Successful catfish areas include the shallow waters near the boat
ramp, along the dam, or off the fishing pier.  Night fishing
produces the best results.  Bluegill are being taken on redworms or
wax worms fished around woody cover in 6- to 15-foot depths. 
Anglers are beginning to catch a few crappies fishing minnows under
a slip bobber or vertically jigging.  Try fishing deeper,
structured areas between the dam and the lodge.      

Caesar Creek Lake (Clinton, Greene, and Warren counties) –
Anglers are beginning to catch crappies fishing minnows under a
bobber and casting jigs.  Remember, all crappies less than nine
inches long must be immediately released back into the lake. 
Saugeye anglers are starting to catch a few fish in 6 to 15 feet of
water, but most fish are small.  Troll medium or deep diving
crankbaits along submerged points or underwater humps in the north
pool.  Cast or drift with live night crawlers on a bottom bouncing
harness rig, or use a leadhead jig tipped with a piece of worm. 
Fish in the early morning and early evening hours.  Channel catfish
are being caught by shore anglers using night crawlers, shrimp, and
chicken livers.  Fish the bait tight-line along the bottom in 5- to
8-foot depths.  Night fishing produces the best results.  Bluegills
and other sunfish are being caught by anglers using redworms or wax
worms.  Cast into areas with wood debris and submerged trees or

Rocky Fork Lake (Highland County) – Bluegills are being taken at
4 to 8 feet using redworms and wax worms. Look for shoreline areas
with woody debris or submerged trees and brush to be most
productive.  A variety of catfish are being caught by anglers using
night crawlers, shrimp, stink bait, cut bait, and chicken livers. 
Fish the bait tight-line along the bottom in 5- to 10-foot depths. 
As water temperatures cool down, try fishing for saugeye by
trolling crankbaits, casting jigs, or drifting with a night crawler

Southeast Region

Monroe Lake (Monroe County) – Fishing pressure has been light at
this lake with the recent hot weather. Most anglers are seeking
channel catfish at night using night crawlers. Some largemouth bass
are being taken from the limited fishing effort observed. The
preferred methods would include using night crawlers and plastic
worms rigged Texas-style. Though night fishing is popular with
catfish anglers, night angling for bass may be a good tactic during
the hot summer season; try using surface lures for some top-water

Clouse Lake (Perry County) – Late night fishing for largemouth
bass has been the most effective technique at this lake. Anglers
are using top-water baits such as weedless frog imitations and
unweighted rubber worms skipped across floating mats of

Hanging Rock Ponds (Lawrence County) – Bluegills in the 9-inch
range have been caught using redworms and wax worms fished near
underwater structure at an 8-foot depth.  Nice catches of
largemouth bass have been reeled in on red shad, plastic worms, and
buzzbaits fished in the early morning and late evening.  For
catfish, use cut bait or chicken livers fished tight line.

Monroe Lake (Monroe County) – Anglers have been successful
catching bluegills over structure in 4 feet of water.  Some anglers
prefer to fish a worm under a bobber, others prefer using ultra
lights with jigs.  Decent catches of largemouth bass have also been
caught using top water baits and a variety of artificals in the
early morning and late evening hours. 

Piedmont Lake (Belmont County) – Saugeye will become more active
after cool fronts move through the area. Successful saugeye anglers
have been throwing crankbaits and spinner baits along the outside
weed-beds in 8 feet of water. Catches of channel catfish have also
been favorable. Tight-line fishing using night crawlers, cut bait,
and chicken livers has been most productive.

Lake Erie Region

Western Basin

The best walleye fishing has been from North Bass Island to ‘G’
can on the Canadian border, and around Gull Island Shoal.  Fish
have been caught by casting worm harnesses or weight forward
spinners, and trollers have had success with spoons on jet divers
or Dipsys.

The best yellow perch fishing has been around Niagara Reef,
Green Island, off of the airport reef on the east side of Kelleys
Island, and southeast of Kelleys Island.  Perch spreaders with
shiners fished near the bottom produce the most fish that have
averaged around 8 inches with a few up to 10 and 11 inches. 

Central Basin

Walleye fishing has been good on the south end of the sandbar
between Vermilion and Lorain, northeast of Ashtabula in 65 to 72
feet, and north-northwest of Conneaut in 63 to 72 feet.  Anglers
are trolling Dipsy Divers and downriggers with spoons and stick
baits ranging in black/purple, gold, silver/silver, superman,
wonder bread, antifreeze and chartreuse.  Trolling worm harnesses
(same colors) has also been successful. 

Steelhead are being caught from Geneva to Conneaut in 65 to 72
feet.  Anglers are catching steelhead on color combinations of
red/white, black/purple, chartreuse, and silver/blue spoons while
trolling for walleye.

Yellow perch fishing has been good 3 miles north of Edgewater
State Park in 43 to 51 feet, 3 miles north of Eastlake in 47 feet,
3-5 miles northwest of Fairport Harbor in 48 to 55 feet, and 5-6
miles north-northeast of Conneaut in 48 to 65 feet.  Perch
spreaders with shiners or worm harnesses fished near the bottom
produce the most fish.

Smallmouth bass fishing is excellent in harbors and in 20-25
feet along the shoreline in Conneaut, Ashtabula, Geneva, and
Fairport Harbor. Fish were caught on goby colored tube jigs,
crankbaits, and jigs tipped with minnows, night crawlers or

White bass are being caught by anglers trolling for walleye. 
Shore anglers are catching white bass at the Lorain Ore Dock,
Eastlake CEI pier, Fairport Harbor pier, and Conneaut break wall.
Early mornings and evenings have been the best.  Anglers are using
agitators and small yellow or white jigs or small spinners.    

Ohio River Region

Belmont, Lawrence, and Monroe counties – Catfish anglers are
catching channel catfish and some flathead catfish on cut bait,
stink baits, as well as chicken liver and night crawlers fished
tight-line on the bottom. Night fishing has been the best time for
channel catfish and flathead catfish. Some of the larger fish
reported are channel catfs up to 11 pounds and flatheads up to 31
pounds.  Anglers have also been catching an occasional freshwater
drum. Bass fishing has been somewhat slow. Largemouth bass are
being caught early morning to late evening on spinner baits,
surface baits, and plastic worms.

Greenup Dam (Scioto County) – Success for hybrid striped bass as
well as white bass has been fair; most anglers have been fishing
the concrete walkway on the Ohio side of the dam.  For hybrid
stripers, try skipjack, both live and cut, as well as white
31/2-inch Twister Tails on a jig.  Anglers are having success
fishing on the bottom at night for catfish using cut baits and
chicken livers.

Gallia County – Fish for catfish in deep, slow pools using cut
bait or chicken livers.  Hybrid striped bass have been caught at
the K.H. Butler Ramp in the early mornings using any minnow type
diving lures or live baits fished along the bottom.

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