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

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Steelhead starts moving into rivers, tributaries

CENTRAL REGION

Kiser Lake (Champaign County) – This 394-acre lake in Champaign
County is perfect for a quiet day on the water since no motors are
allowed. The lake has a good population of largemouth bass; try
plastics, light colored spinner baits and crankbaits along the lily
pads or cover on the north side of the lake. Crappies are becoming
more active as the water cools this fall. Fishing with minnows in
the old creek channel or around woody cover is best. Bluegills are
also being taken around aquatic vegetation and cover using wax
worms and redworms.

O’Shaughnessy Reservoir (Delaware County) – This 912-acre reservoir
north of Columbus is a good place to catch largemouth bass and
channel catfish. For largemouth bass, try tubes and creature baits
around shoreline cover targeting drop-offs and points. Channel
catfish can be caught on cut baits, night crawlers, and shrimp
fished on the bottom. Crappies are also being caught around woody
cover using minnows and jigs.

Northwest Region

Sandusky River (Seneca County) – Smallmouth bass are being taken in
good numbers between Tiffin and Old Fort. Fishing minnows under a
bobber or casting crankbaits during the daylight hours is producing
some very nice catches. Find the deeper pools near riffles.

Beaver Creek Reservoir (Seneca County) – Crappies are being taken
early and late in the day. Drifting crappie rigs on the bottom with
minnows is working well. West side is best.

Delta Reservoir (Fulton County) – Bluegills are being taken in the
mornings and evenings by fishing wax worms or night crawlers under
a bobber.

Norwalk Reservoir #2 (Huron County) – Bluegills are being taken
during the daytime. Still-fishing worms is the best method. Fish
the south east corner for the best results.

Van Wert Reservoir #2 (Van Wert County) – Nice catches of bluegills
are being reported. Fish wax worms under a bobber in the evening.
The west bank is best.

Northeast Region

Lake levels were dropped at several areas of Portage Lakes State
Park beginning Oct. 18 to allow for dock repairs, according to the
DNR. The water will remain lowered until November 15.

Lakes in the Portage Lakes chain that will be affected by the
annual drawdown include East Reservoir, West Reservoir, North
Reservoir, Turkeyfoot Lake, Mud Lake and Rex Lake. The levels of
Summit Lake, Nesmith Lake, Long Lake, Nimisila Reservoir, Comet
Lake and Camp Y-Noah will not be affected.

While the lakes are lowered, area residents will have the
opportunity to make needed repairs to docks and seawalls. The lake
levels will be lowered by 15 inches during the month-long period,
then refilled to their normal levels. The refill process will take
approximately seven days, depending on weather conditions.

Cuyahoga River (Summit County) – Anglers should focus on the
Cascade Valley Park section (within the Chuckery Area) and
downstream for 6- to 15-inch smallies. Flies tipped with maggots
are producing good results in addition to crayfish pattern
crankbaits and crayfish plastics. Recent rains obviously make river
fishing challenging to impossible, so anglers should always be
aware of river conditions before venturing out.

West Reservoir, Portage Lakes (Summit County) – Autumn crappie
anglers are seeing the bite heat up for these delicious
“papermouths.” Fishing deeper water over eight feet with minnows
under bobbers produce best results. Public shoreline fishing is not
very available so those with watercraft will have better success.
There is shoreline access off of Turkeyfoot Drive, however, which
is about halfway between SR 619 and the Portage Lakes clock tower.
View a lake map at www.wildohio.com for details on directions, boat
ramps, bait shops, and more.

Southwest Region

Buck Creek State Park (Clark County) – Channel catfish are being
caught by anglers using chicken livers, cut bait, or earthworms.
Fish the bait slowly along the bottom and into deep pools. Fishing
is good near the mouth of Buck Creek. Keep the bait greater than 10
feet deep.

Cowan Lake (Clinton County) – Channel catfish are being caught by
anglers using chicken livers, cut bait, shrimp or earthworms. Cast
from the pier area. Keep the bait off of the bottom and about three
to six feet deep.

Caesar Creek Lake (Warren County) – Muskie anglers continue to be
successful. Anglers report catching muskie 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 crappies by fishing
minnows under a bobber and casting jigs. Bluegills are being caught
by anglers fishing wax worms and redworms around fallen or standing
timber in two to five feet of water. Saugeye anglers are starting
to catch a few fish from six 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.

Acton Lake (Preble County) – A few saugeyes are being caught by
anglers. Troll medium or deep diving crankbaits, cast or drift with
live night crawlers on a bottom bouncing harness rig or use jigs
tipped with a piece of worm or a minnow. Fish in the early morning
or early evening hours along the sandy bottom areas near the dam
and cabins. Bluegills are being caught by anglers fishing along the
boat docks and along the east shore between the lodge and the dam.
Fish redworms or wax worms under a slip bobber between three to
four feet deep.

Paint Creek (Highland County) – Crappies are being caught by
anglers using minnows or jigs as bait. Fish the bait in two to six
feet of water around any type of woody structure such as downed
trees and overhanging brush and near the campgrounds. Bluegills are
being caught by anglers using wax worms under a bobber as bait
fished at two to four feet deep. Good fishing spots are back in the
coves, near stumps, and around fallen timber. 

Southeast Region

Flagdale, St. Joseph’s and Twin Churches (Perry County) – Although
these Rush Creek Conservancy District lakes can be difficult to
access during low water levels, anglers using canoes usually have
excellent success fishing for bluegills while using worms fished
under a bobber. Anglers fishing from shore should be prepared for
an abundance of aquatic vegetation at these lakes. However, the
lake opens up toward the center and is somewhat easier to access by
boat.

New Lexington Reservoir A and B (Perry County) – Night fishing for
largemouth bass has been historically productive for anglers using
top-water poppers, frogs, buzz baits and jitterbugs. Boat launch
can be difficult during 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 spinner baits. The upper end of this reservoir
has silted in and is very shallow. Caution should be used when
traveling from the launch ramp to the main lake basin.

Lake Erie Region

Western Basin

Walleye: There has been very little walleye fishing effort in the
western basin recently. Expect fishing to improve around Kelleys
Island and the Bass Islands as temperatures drop and fish start
returning to the area.

Yellow perch: Perch fishing has been good in the western basin. The
best reports have come from the gravel pit west of West Sister
Island, north of West Sister Island, the Toledo water intake,
northwest of North Bass Island, Ballast Island, and off of the
Marblehead lighthouse. Most fish have been in the 7-to 10-inch
range. Perch spreaders or crappie rigs with shiners fished near the
bottom produce the most fish.

Central Basin

Walleye fishing is improving in the west end of the central basin.
Fish have been caught from Vermilion to Cranberry Creek. The best
area has been from the 30 to 34 north lines and from the 24 to 30
west lines (GPS coordinates, minutes). Fish have been caught on
various trolling techniques including spoons off of Dipsy Divers or
Jet Divers, harnesses off of divers or in-line weights, and
crankbaits. Most fish have been 2 to 6 pounds with a few over 10
pounds.

Yellow perch fishing has been very good in 46-55 feet of water
north-northeast of Edgewater State Park, 46-55 feet north-northeast
of Gordon Park (East 72nd Street), 42-52 feet northwest of Fairport
Harbor (the hump) and 47-58 feet northeast and northwest of
Ashtabula. Perch spreaders with shiners fished near the bottom
produce the most fish.

Steelhead fishing from shore is picking up as fish begin to move up
into the rivers. Anglers are catching fish at the mouth of the
Rocky River, Chagrin River, Grand River, Geneva State Park, Euclid
Creek (Wildwood State Park), Conneaut Creek, and along the Conneaut
west break wall. Boat anglers are trolling crankbaits and spoons.
On the Grand River, a few fish have been caught upriver at
Recreation Park in Painesville. Shore anglers are using jigs and
maggots rigged with a split shot under a light bobber, and small
spoons.

Ohio River Region

Monroe County – Flathead catfish have been hitting cut baits,
chicken liver, and night crawlers fished on the bottom. For
smallmouth bass, try tube baits or crankbaits. Hybrid striped bass
have been caught using a jig and Twister tipped with a
minnow.

Adams, Brown and Clermont counties – Catfish success is best
through the night and in the early morning hours before daybreak.
Bass fishing continues to be challenging. However, a few
largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass are being caught. Stay
along the shoreline, along old concrete lock walls, concrete
blocked banks, and various pier structures. Top rated bass lures
included plastic worms/tubes that are black, pumpkinseed, and
watermelon colored, white and chartreuse spinner baits that are
1⁄8- to 1⁄4-ounce. Flathead and channel catfish have been reported
at a good catch rate. Anglers are catching channel catfish on cut
bait and night crawlers fished tight-line on the bottom. Flathead
catfish are being caught on live shad, large suckers, and
goldfish.

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