Thursday, February 2nd, 2023
Thursday, February 2nd, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Anglers having success catching catfish, panfish all over

Central Region

Alum Creek Lake (Delaware County) – This 3,192-acre lake north
of Columbus can provide fishing action all summer long. As water
temperatures increase, fish move to deeper water. Largemouth bass
are being caught off of main and secondary points with crankbaits
and spinner baits. Trolling worm harnesses or crankbaits close to
the bottom along points can produce saugeyes, especially at dawn
and dusk. Muskie can provide good action this time of year; troll
crankbaits along the points and dam.

Deer Creek Lake (Fayette and Pickaway counties) – This
1,287-acre lake southwest of Columbus provides good largemouth bass
and crappie fishing. Fish shoreline cover and riprap for largemouth
bass; throwing creature baits, tubes and crankbaits is popular.
When crappie fishing, use a minnow suspended under a bobber for
best results. Crappies must be nine inches or longer to keep. When
fishing for catfish, using cut shad, shrimp or catfish baits can be
productive.

O’Shaughnessy Reservoir (Delaware County) – Saugeyes are being
caught trolling worm harnesses and small crankbaits in the south
end of the reservoir. Bluegills are being caught in the north end
and on shallow flats of the lake using wax worms and night
crawlers. Largemouth bass are being found lakewide around shoreline
cover. Also fish secondary points and riprap areas. Try crankbaits,
spinner baits, and tube baits in morning and evening for best
results.

Kiser Lake (Champaign County) – Largemouth bass, hybrid striped
bass, and sunfish are all active now in this western Champaign
County lake. Largemouth bass up to 5 pounds can be caught around
aquatic vegetation and wood using plastics and crankbaits. Hybrid
striped bass are still present; use chicken liver fished on the
bottom. Sunfish are found throughout the lake but can be
concentrated on the north shore. Try night crawlers, wax worms, or
crickets under a bobber for relaxing summer fishing. No motors
allowed.

Northwest Region

Defiance Reservoir (Defiance County) – The water temperature is
83 degrees, the water is clear and is at normal levels. Yellow
perch are being taken during the daytime by fishing redworms or
minnows 15-20 feet under a slip bobber. They are being caught
anywhere in the reservoir.

Schoonover Lake (Allen County) – Bluegills are being caught
during the daytime by fishing worms and wax worms under a bobber.
Anywhere is good.

Beaver Creek Reservoir (Seneca County) – Crappies are being
caught in the mornings and evenings by casting minnows or white
jigs. The south shore is good as well as the southwest corner of
the reservoir. Additionally, catfish are being taken during the
daytime as well as at night by fishing worms on the bottom.

Maumee River (Defiance County) – The water temperature is 85
degrees, water is muddy and the water level is high. Flathead
catfish are being taken at anytime of the day or night by still
fishing chubs or bluegills. Independence State park seems to be the
hot spot. Be careful of high water levels.

Oxbow Lake (Defiance County) – The water temperature is 85
degrees, the water is clear and at normal levels. This lake at
Oxbow Wildlife area is reporting some nice catches of bluegills and
yellow perch. Daytime seems to be the best. Fishing redworms 8-10
feet under a slip bobber is working great. The hot spot seems to be
from the middle of the lake out from the boat ramp.

Northeast Region

Berlin Lake (Mahoning, Portage, and Stark Counties) – Anglers
fishing night crawlers in coves have been catching good numbers of
bluegills and channel catfish. Anglers targeting bluegills should
use smaller pieces of worm under a bobber, while those focusing on
catfish will want to try larger offerings fished on the bottom.
Crappies have been biting well off the Route 224 causeway as well,
taking minnows rigged under a bobber.

Lake Milton (Mahoning County) – The fishing slowed in most areas
at Lake Milton, and picked up in two others. North of the I-76
corridor, anglers are catching nice sized catfish, many in the low
20-inch mark, using worms and also with limited success with bait
such as liver, etc. A few panfish such as crappies and bluegills
are being caught using worms and bobbers as well. For activity
below the dam, see Mahoning River.

Mahoning River (Mahoning County) – The fishing below the Dam at
Lake Milton, and near Lowellville, has really picked up. Most of
the fish are being caught with just worms and live minnows,
although deeper bodied crankbaits serve anglers well, too. The
majority of the walleyes are eight to 21 or more inches and catfish
range seven to 31 inches. Early afternoon, evening, and nighttime
hours are the best for successful fishing.

Springfield Lake (Summit County) – Anglers are seeing good
catches of channel catfish along the northern shore near the
Springfield township administrative offices. Baits include chicken
liver, shrimp and commercial dough balls. Fish range from 14 to 22
inches.

Leesville Lake (Carroll County) – With summer heating up,
largemouth bass continue to bite well. Soft plastics fished around
shoreline cover such as weeds and timber have been effective.
Offshore structure should become increasing productive as the
season progresses. Warm temperatures have made the muskie bite
sporadic, but some anglers continue to report impressive catches.
Trolling has become the go-to presentation. The horsepower limit
here is 10.

Nimisila Lake (Summit County) – The shallow bite has been good,
with largemouth bass moving into areas of wood or weed cover near
the shoreline. Anglers are catching good numbers of bass on
Texas-rigged soft plastic baits fished around and through this
habitat. Bluegills are also active along the shoreline, with worms
or maggots fished under a bobber producing well.

Southwest Region

C. J. Brown Reservoir (Clark County) – Walleye fishing continues
to improve. Early morning boat anglers fishing jigs tipped with a
night crawler over the midlake humps and in the north end of the
lake are beginning to catch some nice walleyes. Recent reports
indicate that anglers trolling deep diving crankbaits are beginning
to catch some larger fish. Remember, there is a 15-inch minimum
size limit and daily bag limit of six on walleye. Bluegills are
being caught around the rocky shorelines of the dam and the marina.
Also, try fishing the wooden piling structures near the boat ramp
and campground. Use wax worms or redworms fished under a bobber. A
few crappies are still being caught on minnows and wax worms around
the marina.

East Fork Lake (Clermont County) – Located east off of 275 to 32
east to Half Acre Road exit. Largemouth bass are being caught by
anglers using night crawlers and plastic worms fished via Texas
rig. Fish undercut banks on the shady side of the lake during early
morning or late evening. Hybrid striped bass are being caught by
anglers trolling or jigging shad colored crankbaits or spoons in
five- to seven-foot depths. Also, try slowly trolling with live
gizzard shad. Channel catfish are being caught by anglers using
crayfish, live minnows or earthworms as bait. Cast into the areas
under undercut banks or near submerged trees and brush. Keep the
bait off of the bottom and about five to eight feet deep.

Great Miami River and Twin Creek (Montgomery and Warren
counties) – Rock bass and smallmouth bass are being caught by
anglers using small crawfish colored crankbaits or watermelon or
pumpkinseed colored tubes or Twister Tails. Cast into the areas
below the riffles allowing the bait to drift with the current.
Flathead catfish are being caught in the Great Miami River near the
Miamisburg and West Carrollton areas. Use large chubs, suckers or
goldfish as bait, and fish the bait across shallow gravel or sand
flat areas. Fishing has been productive a little before dark and up
to a few hours after. Fishing has been good near the old spillway
in West Carrollton. Saugeyes are being caught by anglers using
three to five feet deep jerk baits. The best time to fish is right
after dark. Channel catfish are being caught by anglers using night
crawlers and chubs. Fish the bait on the bottom in the deeper pools
or with live baits let the bait drift into the riffles and then
into the deeper holes where the water is about three to five feet
deep.

Whitewater River and Lake (Hamilton County) – Anglers are
catching bass and bluegills. For bass, try jigging crankbaits and
soft plastics. The bluegills are easy to catch, provided you rent a
boat. Fish along the woods with wax worms, and a bobber. You can
also try smaller in-line spinner baits. Catfish in the 10-pound
range are also being reported. Use goldfish, shiners and suckers.
These can be purchased at the marina. In spring and early summer,
try the pool where the river meets U.S. 50. Anglers have caught
saugers, white bass, channel catfish, smallmouth and largemouth
bass. They report good success when the water is a little higher
than the normal and clear. Summer fishing is also good here if you
fish early in the morning or at dusk. Try a jighead with a plain
white grub. Spoons and Rat-L-Traps are also recommended.

Stillwater River (Miami County) – Access from Frederick Garland
Road, SR 571, Calumet Road, SR 55, Fenner Road, Sugar Grove Road,
or SR 36. Remember to ask permission before entering private
property. Smallmouth bass and channel catfish are being caught by
anglers using dark colored jigs or crankbaits, night crawlers, or
crayfish. Fish shallow areas in the early morning and early evening
hours. Fish deep pools during midday. In Montgomery County, access
the area from the bridges along Old Springfield and Martaindale
roads. Look for deep water holes above and below these access
points. Anglers are catching smallmouth bass.

Southeast Region

Muskingum River (Morgan and Washington counties) – Although the
river is still muddy, the level has dropped to almost normal pool.
Fishing for catfish is excellent below the dams at McConnelsville,
Stockport, and Devola. Channel catfish 12 to 16 inches in length
are hitting on night crawlers. Shovelhead catfish activity is
excellent with anglers using whole goldfish or cut bluegills.

Hocking River (Athens and Hocking counties) – Anglers fishing
from canoes or shoreline and casting minnows or artificial baits,
including spinner baits or jigs, have had some success catching
smallmouth bass. Cast into current or areas with submerged
structure. There is a 15-inch size limit and daily bag limit of one
for smallmouth bass on the Hocking River from State Route 93 to
State Route 278. Channel catfish have also been biting at White’s
Mill on cut baits, bluegills, and minnows.

Piedmont Lake (Belmont County) – Nice catches of bluegills are
still being taken by anglers fishing along the shore in four to
five feet of water in the upper reaches of coves. Larval baits such
as wax worms, mealworms, and redworms are preferred. Channel
catfish anglers should try fishing night crawlers using tight-line
techniques in the shallow coves of the lake. Channel catfish are
being caught using night crawlers and chicken livers.

Seneca Lake (Guernsey and Noble counties) – Most saugeyes are
being caught on Twister jigs tipped with a night crawler and fished
on a slow retrieve along the bottom around the upper island and in
Cadillac Bay. Channel catfish anglers are having good success
fishing from the shore at access points along State Route 313. Most
catfish anglers are using night crawlers and chicken livers.

Jackson Lake (Jackson County) – Bluegills have been hitting on
wax worms and night crawlers with wax worms being the preferred
bait. Bass can be caught on an assortment of lures and tube baits,
while catfish prefer chicken liver and night crawlers. Fishing is
good throughout the lake by boat or from the shoreline with early
morning and late evenings being the most productive times.

Lake Erie Region

Western Basin

Walleye: The best fishing in the western basin has been
northwest of West Sister Island, east of Middle Sister along the
Canadian border, and east of Kelleys Island. Fish were also caught
at Crane Creek and B-can of the Camp Perry firing range. Casters
are using mayfly rigs or drifting bottom bouncers with worm
harnesses. Trollers are catching fish on spoons and Dipsys or Jet
Divers, worm harnesses with in-line weights, or with
crankbaits.

Yellow perch: The best perch reports have come from between
Marblehead and Kelleys Island. Perch spreaders or crappie rigs with
shiners fished near the bottom produce the most fish.

Central Basin

Walleye fishing has been very good 4 to 6 miles offshore between
Vermilion and Lorain, in 30 feet to 35 feet of water from Huron to
Cranberry Creek, 70-75 feet northwest off Wildwood State Park,
40-44 feet northeast off Chagrin River, 38 to 42 feet northwest off
Fairport, 70 to 75 feet northeast off Ashtabula and 65 to 72 feet
north off Lakeshore Park. Anglers are fishing down 30 to 40 feet.
Trollers are using pink, red, yellow, black, purple, orange and
green spoons and worm harnesses off planer boards and Jet
Divers.

Yellow perch fishing has been good to excellent in 38 to 45 feet
northwest off Edgewater Park, 38 to 45 feet north off Wildwood
State Park, 59 to 65 feet northwest off Ashtabula and 47 to 74 feet
north off Conneaut. Perch spreaders with shiners fished near the
bottom produce the most fish.

Smallmouth bass fishing has been very good in 10 to 20 feet
around harbor areas in Fairport Harbor, Geneva, Ashtabula, and
Conneaut. Fish are being caught on jigs tipped with minnows,
leeches, green, smoke and brown tube jigs, and by trolling
crankbaits.

Ohio River Region

Hybrid striped bass fishing has been slow. Some fish are being
caught at the dam and along the walkway, but most are under 5
pounds. Live bait or plastics with an agitator or crankbaits fished
into the tailwaters or slack waters at the dam seem to be yielding
the best results when fish are in the area. Catfish, mostly 4-6
pounds with some over 10 pounds, are also being caught with both
live bait or cut bait fished under a bobber and off the bottom.

Meldahl Dam (Clermont County) – Channel catfish are being taken
in good numbers all along the river. Try chicken livers, shrimp or
night crawlers fished on the bottom.

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