Saugeye, crappie bite picks up as temperatures fall

Central Region

Delaware Lake (Delaware County) – Crappies are active again in
this lake north of Columbus.  Minnows fished under a bobber around
woody cover can put these active fish in the boat.  Crappie must be
nine inches or longer to keep.  Largemouth bass are also around
woody cover.  Use creature baits and plastic worms to catch these
fish.  A large population channel catfish can be caught on shrimp,
prepared baits, and chicken livers. 

Madison Lake (Madison County) – Crappies are the target fish in
this 104-acre lake west of Columbus.  Use minnows and a bobber
around woody cover especially in the northern half of the lake to
catch fish over nine inches and up to 13 inches long.  Fish
sampling by the Division of Wildlife’s fisheries biologists
indicates this should be another good year to catch a large number
of crappies. 

Big Darby Creek (Franklin and Madison counties) – As water
temperatures cool, creeks and rivers can provide good fishing
action.  Smallmouth bass and rock bass are the popular sport fish
in this stream west of Columbus.  Casting small crankbaits or
plastics resembling crawfish or shiners can be rewarding.  Target
boulders, shoreline cover where pools meet riffles, and
eddies. 

Deer Creek Lake (Fayette, Madison, and Pickaway counties) –
Cooling water temperatures will get fish more active.  For
crappies, target woody cover in the creek channel and move to
shallower water as water temperatures cool; try minnows or jigs
suspended under a bobber.  Largemouth bass can be caught on buzz
baits, crankbaits, and plastics, and fish shoreline cover. 
Bluegills can be caught on wax worms and night crawlers.  White
bass are active around Tick Ridge; look for fish breaking the water
surface as they chase gizzard shad. Use spinners and jigs.

Northwest Region

Maumee River (Wood County) – White bass are being caught in the
Maumee River below the Grand Rapids dam.  Fishing shiners under a
bobber is working well.  Smallmouth bass are being caught from the
Grand Rapids dam to Orleans Park.  Crankbaits and Twister Tails are
working the best.

Pleasant Hill Lake (Richland County) – Saugeye are being caught
in good numbers at Pleasant Hill.  Fishing with jigs just off of
the beach has been working well.

Bressler, Lost Creek and Metzger Reservoirs (Allen County) –
More than 7,000 yearling catfish were released last week in these
Allen County reservoirs.  They are currently about 10 inches in
length and will be 15 inches by next summer.

Clear Fork River (Richland County) – Ten thousand brown trout
were recently released into the Clear Fork River.  These fish are
approximately eight inches long and will gain another two inches by
next summer.

Willard Reservoir (Huron County) – Channel catfish are being
taken by fishing chicken livers on the bottom.  Late afternoon
through the evening is the best time. 

Sandusky Bay (Erie and Ottawa Counties) – Catfish have been
caught from the Bay Bridge.  Fishing shrimp off of the bottom has
been very successful.

Van Wert Reservoir (Van Wert County) – Crappies are being taken
in good numbers by fishing minnows seven or eight feet under a slip
bobber.  Evenings just before sunset have been producing the best
results.  The north side is the best place to fish for these
crappies.

Northeast Region

Tappan Lake (Harrison County) – While fishing for saugeyes last
weekend, anglers caught bluegills, bass, crappie, catfish, white
bass perch, as well as saugeyes. Fishing is hot at this 2,350-acre
lake located on U.S. 250. Most fish were caught on chartreuse worm
harnesses fished between U.S. 250 and the island by the park ramp.
Late morning hours provided best results. The saugeyes were the
most impressive, measuring 12-21 inches in length.

Nimisila Reservoir (Summit County) – Walleyes are being caught
by anglers who are actually casting for crappies along the
shoreline. These fish are swimming into the shallows to feed on
smaller baitfish during the night and can be caught on crankbaits
as well as weight-forward spinners tipped with night crawlers. A
total of 85,572 walleye fingerlings (averaging 1 to 2 inches) were
stocked in 2006. Sample results indicated fish range between 15 and
28 inches in this lake. This 727-acre lake is located two miles
south of State Route 619 on South Main Street. Electric motors
only.

Punderson Lake (Geauga County) – This 82-acre lake located in
Punderson State Park on State Route 87 is providing excellent
bluegill and channel cat fishing. Catfish stocked in 2001 are
providing good opportunities to catch 16- to 18-inch fish while
over 2,000 yearling catfish, stocked in 2005, are also providing
good fishing.  Surplus broodstock rainbow and golden-strain rainbow
trout (averaging 16 to 24 inches) are generally stocked on the
Tuesday (afternoon) before Thanksgiving.  The bag limit for trout
is five fish per person daily. Electric motors only.

SouthEAST Region

Clouse Lake (Perry County) – Bluegill fishing has been good
below the dam and off the shoreline near the boat ramp using wax
worms or night crawlers fished under a bobber.

Flagdale, St. Joseph’s and Twin Churches (Perry County Water
Conservation District Lakes) – Although these lakes are currently
difficult to access due to low water levels, anglers using canoes
have had excellent success fishing for bluegills using worms fished
under a bobber. 

New Lexington Reservoir A and B (Perry County) – Night fishing
for largemouth bass has been productive using top-water poppers,
frogs, buzzbaits, and jitterbugs.  Boat launch has been difficult
due to low water levels.

Wills Creek (Coshocton County) – Anglers are having good success
fishing for largemouth bass using chartreuse colored spinner baits
cast over fallen trees and woody debris and other submerged
structure.  Nice catches – in size and number – of crappies have
also been caught on spinnerbaits.

AEP ReCreation Land (Morgan, Muskingum and Noble counties) –
Cooler temperatures have spurred bass and bluegill activity in
these smaller ponds.  Use worms or wax worms suspended under a
bobber for the best bluegill results.  For largemouth bass, fish
close to shore using crankbaits in the late evening.  Nice catches
of largemouth bass were reported over the weekend, with some bass
weighing in over 5 pounds. 

Muskingum River (Washington County) – Fishing for saugeyes,
white bass, and hybrid stripers is improving below the Devola dam. 
Try casting jigs or crankbaits into the current and floating them
back. 

SouthWEst Region

Caesar Creek Lake (Warren County) – Muskie anglers continue to
be successful.  Anglers report catching 30- to 40-inch muskies with
numerous follows.  Try casting large bucktail spinners, jerk baits,
or crankbaits around standing or fallen timber in coves or along
main lake shorelines.  Anglers are beginning to catch crappie
fishing minnows under a bobber and casting jigs.  Remember, all
crappies less than nine inches must be immediately released back
into the lake.  Bluegills are being caught by anglers fishing wax
worms and redworms around fallen or standing timber in 2 to 5 feet
of water.  Saugeye anglers are starting to catch a few fish from 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 lead head jig tipped with a piece of
worm.  Fish in the early morning and early evening hours.  Schools
of shad working and jumping on the surface have given anglers
opportunities to catch a few white bass. Cast jigs into the schools
of shad. Due to the lack of rain, the lake is currently down about
two feet. 

East Fork Lake (Clermont County) – Due to lack of rain, the lake
is currently down 8 feet.  Therefore, East Fork State Park has
closed the North Shore boat ramp. The other four boat ramps remain
open.  Fishermen should use this opportunity to survey and note the
location of exposed fish habitat to enhance future fishing
opportunities when the water level is at normal pool.

Paint Creek (Highland County) – Note that only the U.S. 50 boat
ramp is in use since the lake is currently down 6 feet. Crappies
are being caught by anglers using minnows or jigs. Fish the bait in
2 to 6 feet of water. Fish the bait around any type of woody
structure such as downed trees and overhanging brush and around the
campgrounds. A few saugeyes are being caught by casting jigs or
trolling small crankbaits between the beach and the island and
along the hazard area. Bluegills are being caught by anglers using
wax worms under a bobber as bait. Fish the bait two to four feet
deep. Good fishing spots are back in the coves, near stumps, and
around fallen timber. 

Rocky Fork Lake (Highland County) – Crappies are being caught in
10- to 12-foot depths around brushy shorelines or fallen trees. Use
minnows under a slip bobber for crappies. Bass fishing continues to
be good. Try using spinner baits, jigs, or plastic worms around
weedbeds, fallen trees, or rocky shorelines in 4- to 6-foot
depths. Anglers are beginning to catch saugeyes. Anglers should see
good numbers of 13- to 18-inch fish.  Try casting or trolling
crankbaits along drop-offs adjacent to flats near the island and
south beach.  Also, try drifting with jigs tipped with minnows or
bottom-bouncing night crawler rigs.   

Lake Erie Region

The DNR Division of Wildlife will be setting experimental gill
nets to assess the fish population in Ohio waters of Lake Erie
extending into the first week of November.  During October, the
nets will primarily be located between Huron and Cleveland in water
ranging between 10 and 60 feet deep.  These nets will be clearly
marked with gill net staffs (black flags) at both ends of the net
and individual orange or white buoys spaced approximately 100 feet
apart.  When approaching a net, boaters are encouraged to navigate
to the outside of the staffs to ensure that their vessels do not
become tangled in the gill nets. For further information please
contact the DNR at 419-625-8062.

Western Basin

Fishing had been good in the western basin until winds the week
of Oct. 8 slowed fishing. Expect walleye and perch fishing to
improve as conditions stabilize.

Before the winds, walleye fishing had been best off of Crane
Creek in 18 to 20 feet of water and also from Green Island to
Niagara Reef and Northwest Reef. 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 before the winds had been around
the northern cans (A, B, and C) of the Camp Perry range, north of
the Toledo water intake, at the Toledo Harbor Light, near the
turnaround buoy of the Toledo shipping channel, off of Kelleys
Island shoal, and north of the Marblehead lighthouse.  Perch
spreaders with shiners fished near the bottom produce the most fish
that have averaged around 8 inches with several catches averaging
in the 9- to 10-inch range.

Central Basin

Walleye fishing has been spotty on the sandbar between Vermilion
and Lorain, north of Edgewater State Park (Cleveland) in 69 to 72
feet, and northeast of Ashtabula in 68 feet.  Anglers are trolling
Dipsy Divers with spoons and worm harnesses ranging in copper,
black/purple, tangerine, watermelon, wonderbread, antifreeze, and
gold/orange.

Steelhead fishing has been good off the Fairport, Ashtabula, and
Conneaut break walls in 10 to 25 feet and also in the Ashtabula and
Grand Rivers.  Anglers are catching steelhead by trolling
green/white, red/white, black/purple, chartreuse, and silver/blue
spoons.

Yellow perch fishing has been good off of the Vermilion break
wall in 36 feet of water, off of the Lorain lighthouse, north of
Gordon State Park (Cleveland) in 42 to 50 feet, north of Edgewater
State Park (Cleveland) 40 to 51 feet, north-northwest of Fairport
Harbor in 30 to 58 feet, and north of Ashtabula and Conneaut in 55
to 60 feet.  Perch spreaders with shiners or crappie rigs fished
near the bottom produce the most fish.  Shore fisherman are
catching yellow perch at the Lorain ore dock pier using perch
spreaders with shiners or crappie rigs.

Smallmouth bass fishing has been good in harbor areas, and in 15
to 25 feet along the shoreline in Conneaut, Ashtabula, Geneva, and
Fairport Harbor.  Fish are being caught on goby-colored tube jigs,
crankbaits, and jigs tipped with minnows, night crawlers, or
leeches.

White bass are being caught by anglers trolling for walleye,
also inshore near the mouth of the Chagrin River and adjacent to
the Eastlake Power Plant. 

Steelhead fishing has been good as fish begin to move up into
the rivers and creeks and anglers are catching fish in the Lorain
ore dock, Chagrin River, Grand River, Geneva State Park, Euclid
Creek (Wildwood State Park), Arcola Creek, Conneaut Creek and along
the Conneaut west break wall. Shore anglers are using small
spinners and spoons, and jigs and maggots rigged with a split shot
under a light bobber.

The Lake Erie surface temperature was 58 degrees off Toledo and
64 degrees off Cleveland as of Oct. 17.

Ohio River Region

Monroe County – Anglers fishing near the railroad bridge in
Clarington have reported the sauger bite starting to pick up. Try
casting and jigging twister tails tipped with minnows or wax worms.
  

Lawrence and Scioto counties – At Greenup dam, sauger have been
caught on jigs and white grubs or by dropping minnows straight down
off the fishing access walls.  Hybrid striped bass have been
hitting on minnows, shad, and cut baits.Channel catfish are being
caught in good numbers near the Portsmouth boat ramp using cut bait
and live shad. Crappie ranging from 8 to 10 inches can be caught in
the embayment near the Shawnee state marina. Use minnows and fish
around brush piles and docks in 4 to 6 feet of water. Largemouth
and spotted bass were caught in good numbers using black/silver and
blue/silver crankbaits. 

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