OH: Ice fishing on inland lakes reported strong all over Issue: 1

Columbus – Ohioans are reminded to use extreme caution during
winter while venturing onto frozen waterways and to be prepared to
handle an emergency should someone fall through the ice, according
to the DNR.

As some of the lowest temperatures of the season arrive, some
people may be tempted to venture out onto the ice and should be
aware of basic safety tips, including being prepared for an
emergency. The DNR offers these ice safety tips; additional tips
can be found online at www.ohiodnr.com and through various other
Internet web resources.

Ice Safety Tips

• Always remember that ice-covered water is never completely

• Anyone new to ice fishing, or interested in learning how to
safely ice fish, should seek out a licensed ice fishing guide. A
list of certified guides is available at www.wildohio.com or by
calling the DNR Division of Wildlife, Sandusky office at (419)
625-8062. Ask at local bait shops about known areas of thin or
dangerous ice.

• Always go out with friends, letting others know when you will be
on the ice and when you will return. Whenever possible, wrap a
mobile phone in a plastic bag and take it with you.

• Wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket or float coat. Life vests
provide excellent flotation and protection from hypothermia.

• Use safe alternatives to local streams or lakes for skating or
sledding. Check with your local, state or metro park district to
see where conditions are suitable for skating. Some state parks,
including Delaware State Park in Delaware County and Dillon State
Park in Muskingum County, offer free access to designated
ice-skating areas.

• Understand wind chill factors are relative temperature guides.
Although a thermometer may read 40 degrees, a wind speed of 20
miles per hour can cause a body to lose heat as if the temperature
was actually 18 degrees.

• Carry two ice picks, screwdrivers or large nails to create
leverage for pulling yourself out of the water. They are much more
effective than bare hands. Also, carry a whistle or other
noisemaker to alert people that you are in distress.

• Dress in layers and add extra clothing for the head, neck, sides
and groin, which are the primary heat-loss areas. Wool and modern
synthetics are good fabric choices for clothing; cotton is slow to
dry when wet.

• Keep an extra set of clothes in your car in case you need dry

• Avoid alcoholic beverages. In addition to reducing reaction
times, alcohol lowers your internal temperature and increases your
chance of suffering hypothermia.

• Never drive a vehicle, snowmobile or all-terrain vehicle onto
ice. Leave this to professional guides. This is extremely dangerous
and most insurance policies will not cover the vehicles of ice
fishermen that have dropped through the ice.

Central Region

Deer Creek Lake (Madison, Fayette, and Pickaway counties) – Fishing
pressure has been unusually light at the Deer Creek spillway with
no reports of anglers catching anything. A weekend warm up for New
 Year’s should put anglers back on the spillway for a short time at
least. Try jig and minnow combinations for saugeyes and

Mary’s Bait Shop, 740-869-3597

Buckeye Lake (Fairfield, Licking and Perry counties) – Ice is about
5-6 inches thick on this central Ohio lake, reports Bob Mathie at
Bob’s Outdoor Supply in Newark. Anglers fishing through the ice are
catching both saugeyes and crappies at Fairfield Beach. Pressure is
reported as heavy. Anglers should use caution around areas where
dock aerators keep the water open. Some anglers are fishing those
areas with some success for saugeyes, Mathie reports. The catches
are coming on Rattling Rogues and Husky Jerks. The fishing has been
just average, Mathie reports. “Stuff hasn’t really gone nuts, but
they’re catching enough to make people happy,” he said.

Bob’s Outdoor Supply, 740-349-0992

Indian Lake (Logan County) – Ice anglers have been hitting the Long
Island and Dunn’s Pond area quite regularly. Ice is reported to be
5-6 inches thick. Many bluegills being pulled along with some
crappies and white bass. Use jig and minnow combinations for the
best bite. Bluegills have been reported up to 9 inches while
crappies have ranged up to 13 inches. No one doing so well on
saugeyes; one 19-incher was reported from Dunn’s over the Christmas
weekend. Most of the saugeye action is being reported at the mouth
of Blackhawk. Some limits have been reported with fish up to three
pounds, though most have been smaller.

Division of Wildlife, www.wildohio.com

Northwest Region

Fostoria Reservoirs (Hancock County) – Anglers are catching good
numbers of crappies through the ice on No. 6. Try jig and minnow
combinations or waxworms under an ice bobber. Anglers are also
catching some trout through the ice on No. 3, according to

Findlay Reservoirs (Hancock County) – Anglers are fishing through
the ice at this pair of Hancock County reservoirs, but the bite is
reported slow. Best times to catch fish here is at sun up or
sundown, anglers report. Most of the action on No. 2 occurs near
the launch ramp. Use minnows or wax worms for the best bite on
perch and crappies.

Division of Wildlife, www.wildohio.com

Northeast Region

Highlandtown Lake (Columbiana County) – The Division of Wildlife
highly discourages anglers from ice fishing at Highlandtown Lake
during the winter of 2010 through the end of ice fishing season in
2011. The lake is being lowered five feet to allow for repair work
on the dam. “Since the water is now being lowered, the ice that has
formed on the lake will likely be quite thin and not sufficient to
support the weight of most anglers,” explained Phil Hillman, fish
management supervisor in northeast Ohio. “Even if the ice were
thick enough, there would still potentially be a large open space
between the ice and the water, which would never be safe for foot
traffic.” Anglers who wish to pursue ice fishing should go to
www.wildohio.com for information on other area lakes that might be
suitable. Anglers may also call the Wildlife District Office in
Akron at (330) 644-2293.

Pymatuning Lake (Ashtabula County) – A few anglers had been ice
fishing the north end of the reservoir on the Pennsylvania side of
the lake, reports Phil Vichosky, park manager for the Ohio portion
of the lake. Anglers were catching a few white bass on Vib-Es,
according to reports. A weekend warm up expected for New Year’s
weekend, however, will make ice fishing a non-starter, Vichosky
reports. Before the warm up, fishing pressure had been light though
the lake was frozen over. Fishing for walleyes was good this fall,
Vichosky reports. He urged anglers to exercise extreme caution for
the forseeable future, though, as the ice might not be as

Division of Wildlife, www.wildohio.com

Mosquito Creek Lake (Trumbull County) – Ice anglers have been
hitting Mosquito Creek in full force with some impressive numbers
and sizes of crappies to report. Ice is reported about six inches
thick in most places. Crappies have been reported up to 13 inches,
coming on larger spoons and jig and minnow combinations.

Mogadore Reservoir (Portage County) – Ice anglers on this Portage
reservoir report ice thickness of 5-6 inches and a spotty bite for
bluegills and crappies. Crappies have ranged up to 12 inches. Most
of the fishing is occurring in the Congress Lake Road area.

Southwest Region

Kiser Lake (Champaign County) – A few hardy ice anglers are fishing
here through anywhere from 4 to 6 inches of ice. Reports indicate
that anglers are catching small bluegills and a few bass through
the ice. Try spikes as bait for the best panfish bite. Also, a few
crappies are being taken up to 13 inches in length.

Division of Wildlife, www.wildohio.com

Acton Lake (Preble and Butler counties) – Ice thickness was
reported at 4 inches on this lake at Hueston Woods State Park.
A few anglers reported catching crappies and bass through the ice.
The best bait has been a jigging Rapala, according to

Paint Creek Lake (Highland, Ross counties) – Southern zone duck and
goose hunters have been doing fairly well on Paint Creek, reports
Leon Cole at Cole’s Bait and Tackle. Limits of geese are being
reported as well as a few ducks. At the spillway, anglers are
catching some saugeyes and crappies on clear and smoke colored jig
and minnow combos. If the water turns muddy, Cole suggests
switching to chartreuse and pink patterns.

Cole’s Bait and Tackle, 937-365-1436

Rocky Fork Lake (Highland County) – Anglers are drilling some holes
down by the marina to catch some crappies and perch, reports Leon
Cole at Cole’s Bait and Tackle in Bainbridge.

Cole’s Bait and Tackle, 937-365-1436

Southeast Region

Dillon Lake (Muskingum County) – Anglers fishing below the spillway
are experiencing an average bite for saugeyes and crappies, reports
Bob Mathie at Bob’s Outdoor Supply. The bite is reported on one day
and off the next without any real clear patterns, Mathie said. Try
jig and minnow combinations for the best results. Popular colors
include chartreuse, pink and white.

Bob’s Outdoor Supply, 740-349-0992

Lake Snowden (Vinton and Athens counties) – Ice is reported very
thin at Lake Snowden (less than 3 inches in spots) but a few
anglers have tried their luck. Reports include largemouth bass up
to 12 inches being caught through the ice. Jig and minnow or
waxworm combinations are the baits of choice.

Division of Wildlife, www.wildohio.com

Lake Erie Region

Walleye fishing was excellent in early December from Ruggles Reef
to Cedar Point. Most anglers were trolling crankbaits in the top 15
feet of the water column. The size of fish has been excellent with
most fish weighing from 4 to 9 pounds with some as large as 12
pounds. Recent winds and low temperatures have ended most
open-water fishing. Protected harbors are beginning to ice over,
making launches treacherous. Reports from the shoreline piers have
been inconsistent.

To view the most recent steelhead fishing report on the Division of
Wildlife website visit:

The Rocky River is currently exhibiting abundant shelf ice,
although slush in the open areas has not been much of an issue.
Quite a bit of open water can still be found below most of the dams
and fords, as well as in the central channel of the river. The flow
gage data appears to be getting erratic, which is an indicator that
ice forming on the probes is becoming an issue (which is typical
during extended winter conditions). A fair number of hardy anglers
are still out trying to entice a steelhead to bite in the river’s
numbingly cold flows. Although the fishing is understandably slow
and challenging given the conditions, there are several reports of
fish being hooked this week (although that is more the exception
that the norm right now). Anglers slowly bouncing large spawn bags,
live minnows, or jigs tipped with maggots or waxworms along the
river bottom, or working a wobbling plug along an ice shelf,
typically have the best chance of getting lucky given the current
conditions. Unfortunately, the slow, deep holes that steelhead
typically favor in winter are the first places to ice over in most
river reaches. Anglers are just beginning to venture out on smaller
Cleveland Metroparks lakes to chase the trout stocked recently. A
total of 1,800 pounds of trout were distributed as follows: Wallace
(800 pounds), Shadow (550), Ledge (250), Judge (100), and Ranger
(100). The rainbow trout stocked are very diverse in size, from
about ¾-pound all the way up to a few trophy fish in the 3-pound
class. A handful (about a dozen) of trophy brown trout were also
released. A few trout are still available at the Ohio and Erie
Canal fishing area left over from stocking activities back in
October, as well. Stocked trout typically bite well on PowerBait
fished near the bottom, small jigs tipped with maggots or waxworms
suspended below a float or actively jigged, jigging spoons, canned
corn and live minnows. At Wallace Lake, trout have been biting
particularly well on chartreuse PowerBait and small gold or silver
Forage Minnow and Swedish Pimple jigging spoons worked near the

SAFETY NOTE: Most fish and wildlife agencies recommend a minimum of
4 inches of solid ice for foot travel. Since it is your personal
safety at stake, and since ice conditions can be variable around a
lake and change quickly, it is the angler’s responsibility to
determine that ice thickness is safe. The recommended way to do
this is to start on solid ground and make a hole, measure
thickness, and if it exceeds 4 inches of solid ice, then proceed
cautiously on the ice, checking thickness at regular intervals as
you do so. Anglers can also pursue these trout through the ice from
the safety of solid ground from areas such as docks and fishing

A second round of winter trout stocking is scheduled for late
January or early February, dependant upon weather.

Cleveland Metroparks, www.clemetparks.com

Ohio River Region

Greenup dam: Anglers are catching some saugers here although the
water is at a high level. The popular set up has been a jig with a
chartreuse colored tail. Size of fish has ranged anywhere from 12
to 18 inches, according to reports. Others are catching channel
catfish in the 2- to 3-pound range on shiners.

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