Tuesday, January 31st, 2023
Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Warm temperatures slows fishing at most Ohio impounds

Central Region

Knox Lake (Knox County) – Largemouth bass are the most popular game
fish in this lake. Fishing with tubes, crankbaits and spinner baits
around shoreline cover can be very productive this time of year.
Largemouth bass must be 18 inches or longer to keep. Crappies are
still being caught in 9-10 feet of water in the old creek channel
and next to deep wood. Channel catfish are being caught using cut
shad and shrimp.

Buckeye Lake (Fairfield, Licking and Perry Counties) – Channel
catfish are being caught around limbe Island and Fairfield Beach
areas. Fishing with cut shad and shrimp on the bottom is catching
the most fish. Largemouth bass are being caught along cover. Target
vegetation, points and riprap using spinner baits, crankbaits and
plastics. Hybrid striped bass can be caught using spinners or
drifting chicken livers between Seller’s point and the north
ramp.

Kokosing River (Knox County) – Ohio’s first water trail, this
scenic river in Knox County offers paddlers and anglers access to
28 miles of river fishing. Smallmouth bass and rock bass can be
caught on small crankbaits, tubes and jigs. Sunfish, crappies, and
catfish are present and offer good fishing. Maps and information
are available by visiting www.ohiodnr.com.

Hargus Creek Lake (Pickaway County) – A dense population of
largemouth bass measuring 8-12 inches, with some larger, can be
found at this lake of 146 acres near Circleville. Fish main lake
points, secondary points with riprap, and drop-offs using
crankbaits, spinner baits and tubes for consistent catches. A fair
population of 6-7-inch bluegills and redear sunfish can be caught
using night crawlers suspended by a bobber. For a change, try
fishing crickets or use a fly rod and present floating spiders or
poppers for bluegills. Largemouth bass must be 15 inches or longer
to keep. Electric motors only.

Oakthorpe Lake (Fairfield County) – This 41-acre lake in Fairfield
County provides good largemouth bass fishing. Try plastics and
spinner baits around shoreline cover and the lily pads on the north
side of this overlooked lake. Crappies can be taken from the deep
water on the west bank with a minnow suspended by a bobber; look
for submerged timber. Carp can also give anglers a fight here; try
doughballs and night crawlers. Bluegills can be caught around lily
pads. Use small worm, crickets, or insect larvae to catch these
fish. Electric motors only.

Northwest Region

Maumee River (Henry, Wood, Lucas counties) – Anglers are catching
excellent numbers of channel catfish, with the occasional flathead
mixed in, on the Maumee River while still fishing early mornings
and nights. Catfish are being caught using night crawlers below
bobbers. The best areas for channel catfish are deeper holes below
Mary Jane Thurston and Providence dams. Anglers are also catching
crappies using minnows while still fishing in the old marina
district and the old sport arena area.

Upper Sandusky Reservoir #2 (Wyandot County) – The water
temperature is 61 degrees and the water is clear. Large mouth bass
are being taken along the shallows and shoreline during the
evenings. Casting a jig and pig or fishing fathead minnows under a
slip bobber is working the best. The south shore is producing the
best results. Crappie are also being taken here. Fishing minnows
under a slip bobber or casting twister tail jigs is the best bet.
Fish the standing timber and brush.

Blanchard River (Hancock County) – Smallmouth bass fishing has been
excellent in the Blanchard River. Any of the deep pools will
probably be holding smallmouth. Anglers are using worms, minnows,
and flies while casting. Best locations are the waterfalls and by
Riverbend Park at the Route 568 bridge.

Northeast Region

Leesville Lake (Carroll County) – This 1,045-acre impoundment is
the premier muskie fishery in northeast Ohio. During July, muskies
spend most of their time near the thermocline. The most popular
tactic for enticing summer time muskies is trolling crankbaits near
the thermocline depths. Another effective strategy includes using a
fish finder to locate schools of gizzard shad and thoroughly
trolling crankbaits around the shad.

Nimisila Reservoir (Summit County) – The summer heat has slowed
bass fishing somewhat, but anglers are still catching fair numbers
early and late in the day. Shallow shoreline areas are consistently
producing keeper-sized bass on soft plastics, while deeper main
lake structure is periodically producing larger fish. Walleye have
been active near the dam and can be taken on trolled worm
harnesses, and bluegill are also biting well near shore on
maggots.

West Branch Reservoir (Portage County) – Muskie fishing has been
hot at this busy reservoir. Anglers are catching good numbers of
these exciting fish on crankbaits trolled in 15 feet or more of
water. Regular long line trolling is popular, but anglers also do
well here trolling baits in their prop wash, as little as 8 feet
behind the boat. Anglers trolling with short lines for muskie
should be sure to loosen their drag somewhat relative to long line
trolling to prevent break-offs.

Tappan Lake (Harrison County) – Saugeyes are periodically being
taken off riprap areas. Light jig and crawler combinations and
crawler harnesses are both proving effective, with most fish being
caught less than 12 feet deep. Keeping baits very close to the
bottom is usually key, regardless of depth. Good catches of bass
are also being periodically reported on soft plastics from
shoreline rocks and timber, and by anglers working main lake
structure.

Turkeyfoot Lake, Portage Lakes (Summit County) – During evening
hours, both bullhead and channel catfish are biting frequently on
this 483-acre lake. Anglers are having excellent success with
chicken livers fished on the bottom near the outside edge of the
weedline. After dark, anglers have reported good catfish action in
the five-foot range. This lake also has an excellent sunfish
population, which can provide fast action and a tasty meal.

Southwest Region

Indian Lake – The best fishing action has been early in the morning
and in the evening. For saugeyes, try trolling with a Rat-L-Trap or
Shad-Rap. Anglers are reporting slow fishing from the shore.
Bluegills have moved off of the banks and are hitting around rocks
and docks. Catfish are biting on chicken liver, shrimp, cut shad
and night crawlers

Paint Creek Lake – Crappies are hitting along banks around downed
trees. Anglers should fish in four to 11 feet of water with minnows
or pumpkinseed jigs. Jig for largemouth bass in about four to 10
feet of water. Bluegills are hitting wax worms in the coves around
wood. Plenty of channel cats and shovelheads are being caught in
the spillway on night crawlers and cut shad.

Rocky Fork Lake (Highland County) – This 1,950-acre lake near
Hillsboro is a catfish angler paradise. Channel catfish up to 15
pounds and flathead catfish up to 45 pounds are caught each year.
Popular spots include the area near the campground swimming beach,
Fisherman’s Wharf boat ramp area, and the east end of the lake. Try
fishing after dark using chicken livers, cut bait, and live chubs
or sunfish for bait. Fish the bait tight line along the bottom in
five to 10 foot depths. Bluegills are being taken at four to eight
feet using redworms and wax worms. Look for shoreline areas with
woody debris or submerged trees and brush to be most productive.
Fish the bait using a slip bobber. Carp can give the angler a
fight; try the upper end of the lake with dough balls on the
bottom.

C. J. Brown Reservoir (Clark County) – At this time of year,
fishing success can be limited by higher water temperatures and
abundance of food (i.e., this year’s gizzard shad hatch). However,
watch for schools of small shad jumping at the surface – white bass
or walleye may be feeding below the schools. A few walleyes are
being caught by anglers using crankbaits or night crawler
harnesses. Fish by slowly trolling or drifting baits in 10- to
15-foot depths. Walleyes are being caught in the main lake river
channel and humps. Fishing is best in the early morning and early
evening hours. All walleyes less than 15 inches long must be
immediately released. Try bottom fishing from shore using chicken
livers, cut bait, or prepackaged stink baits for channel catfish.
Popular shoreline spots include the creek channel in the north end,
the marina break walls, near the main boat ramp, and at the Corps
of Engineers visitor’s center. Fair numbers of bluegills provide
additional fishing opportunities. Use red worms, wax worms, and
larval baits beneath a bobber. Fishermen can obtain lake maps at
the park office, the marina, or the Division of Wildlife District 5
office.

Lake Loramie – The best crappie fishing has been by boaters,
working around structure at 6-7 feet deep. Minnows have been the
top bait. For bluegills, anglers should fish from the banks early
and late. During the day, work the deep brush piles. Catfish are
hitting all over the lake on night crawlers, cut shad, chicken
liver and prepared baits. For bass, fish off the banks in seven to
nine feet of water with spinners and crankbaits.

Southeast Region

Lake Rupert (Vinton County) – Anglers are having good success
fishing for channel catfish using chicken livers fished tight line
off the bottom of this 325-acre lake. In addition to catfish,
saugeyes are also stocked in this lake. For saugeyes, try fishing
white or chartreuse Twister Tails tipped with a minnow. Some
smaller bluegill were reeled in while fishing wax worms or night
crawlers under a bobber.

Lake Logan (Hocking County) – Anglers have had some success fishing
for bluegills from the shore near submerged structure and near the
boat ramp area. Typical presentations include worms fished under a
bobber. Evening catfishing pressure has started to increase as
temperatures rise. Anglers are casting cutbaits and chicken livers
fished on the bottom.

Lake Snowden (Athens County) – Anglers are still having limited
success fishing for largemouth bass in the early morning and late
evening hours. Catfishing success has been low so far this season.
Look for angler success while fishing for saugeyes after
temperatures begin to cool.

Wills Creek Reservoir (Coshocton County) – Anglers report good
success fishing for channel catfish using night crawlers, chicken
livers and cut baits. Fishing for bluegill using worms fished under
a bobber has also been successful. Boat anglers should note the
10-horsepower motor limit and note that the upper end of this
reservoir has silted in and is shallow. Caution should be used when
traveling from the launch ramp to the main lake basin.

Lake Erie Region

Western Basin

Walleye: The best fishing in the western basin continues to be
northwest of West Sister Island, off of Crane Creek, west of the
Bass Islands up to the international border including northwest
reef, and 5 miles east of Gull Island shoal along the international
border. Casters are using mayfly rigs or drifting bottom bouncers
with worm harnesses. Trollers are catching fish on spoons with
Dipsys or Jet Divers, or on worm harnesses with in-line
weights.

Yellow perch: The best perch reports have come from between
Marblehead and Kelleys Island, in Kelleys Island’s north bay, and
off of Ballast Island. Perch spreaders or crappie rigs with shiners
fished near the bottom produce the most fish.

Central Basin

Walleye fishing has been good west of the sandbar (north of
Vermilion), in 70-79 feet of water north of Edgewater State Park,
70-75 feet north of the Chagrin River, 68 to 73 feet northeast of
Geneva, and in 65 to 76 feet northeast of Conneaut. Anglers are
fishing down 50 to 64 feet. Trollers are using pink, red, yellow,
black, purple, orange and green spoons and worm harnesses off dipsy
divers, planer boards and jet divers.

Yellow perch fishing has been good to excellent in 35-40 feet
northwest of Edgewater State Park, 35-40 feet northwest of Wildwood
State Park, 33-50 feet northwest of Fairport Harbor ( the hump) and
45 to 52 feet of water northwest of Ashtabula. Perch spreaders with
shiners fished near the bottom produce the most fish.

As we move into midsummer, highlight species targeted by anglers
along the Rocky River watershed are sunfish, smallmouth bass, carp
and channel catfish. Bluegills and other sunfish species can be
taken with a number of offerings, but a wax worm or redworm on a
small hook (or tiny jig) suspended under a stick float and fished
around a weedbed or shoreline brush is always a good choice.
Wallace Lake, Shadow Lake, deeper holes in the Rocky River, and
Beyers Pond are just a few of many places in the park to wet a line
for various panfish species.

Smallmouth bass are typically found in the deeper, rocky pools of
the river during the day in summer, and often move to the heads of
such pools in the early morning and evening hours to feed actively.
Hot and sunny midday periods typically offer the slowest fishing. A
dark olive or brown tube jig of about 4 inches is one of the best
producers of bass in the river. “Smallies” also bite well on live
bait (ie: minnow, crayfish, and leeches), lures (ie: spinners and
minnow plugs), and flies (ie: crayfish patterns, Clouser minnows,
dark brown or olive sculpin or muddler minnow patterns). There are
abundant small to medium sized bass in the river along with a few
resident trophy fish up to (and over) 20 inches in length. Anglers
are always encouraged to release the larger bass so that these fine
game fish can be caught again.

Channel catfish and large carp are found throughout the river in
summer, and fishing for them can be a laid back and relaxing
proposition. Channel catfish can also be found in Wallace and
Hinckley lakes and the Ohio and Erie Canal fishing area. Catfishing
is usually best during lower light conditions using baits such as
night crawlers, minnows, chicken liver and processed dough baits
fished right on the bottom with a medium size hook and sinker with
just about any type of tackle.

Carp are among the largest fish available to anglers during the
summer month, and can often be caught throughout the day on such
bait as canned corn, carp dough baits, worms or crayfish tails. A
growing rank of fly anglers looking for a challenge are targeting
carp with nymphs and crayfish imitations, as well. The key to
fishing for either carp, like with catfish, is fishing on (or very
near) the river/lake bottom.

Lake Erie boaters out of the Emerald Necklace marina have been
making good catches of yellow perch, in terms of numbers and sizes,
fishing perch speaders and live or salted emerald shiners in 40
feet of water off the Cleveland shoreline. Anglers working the
riprap along the city shoreline have been making good catches of
rock bass and various other intermixed species. Walleye trolling
has been good in around 60 feet of water north of the city.

Ohio River Region

Western River counties (Hamilton, Clermont, Brown and Adams) –
Anglers are finding the river fishing slow at the moment. They are
reporting flatheads in the 20- to 26-inch range. Try chicken liver,
fished with no weight at drop offs of about 15 to 20 feet.

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