OH: Walleyes, crappies, bass biting in shallow Ohio waters Issue: 11
Hoover Reservoir (Delaware and Franklin counties) – White bass
are the hot fish at Hoover Reservoir right now. Try using small
spinners and jigs in Big Walnut Creek north of the reservoir.
Crappies are also active right now. They can be caught in two to
four feet of water on jigs tipped with minnows or Twister Tails.
Most fish range from seven to 10 inches. Hoover is also an
excellent lake to catch nice largemouth bass due to lower fishing
pressure than other large lakes. May is the time to fish shoreline
cover with lures like tube baits, jig-and-pig, and jerkbaits. Look
for spawning bluegill on beds in the backs of coves. There is a
10-horsepower motor limit at this reservoir.
Indian Lake (Logan County) – Saugeyes, crappies, largemouth bass
and channel catfish are all available at this 5,040-acre lake in
Logan County. Try casting or trolling small Rat-L-Traps and jigging
suspending baits on points for saugeyes. Largemouth bass fishing is
popular along the many stone riprap areas, docks and islands. Many
bass are in the 12- to18-inch size range and are in shallow water.
Crappie and white bass fishing can both be good during May. Minnows
are the most popular choice for live bait. Channel catfish fishing
should be picking up as the water warms.
O’Shaughnessy Reservoir (Delaware County) – Crappies will become
active as water temperatures rise in the north end of the lake;
target submerged cover using minnows suspended under a bobber. Fish
shoreline cover throughout the lake with small worms and larval
baits suspended beneath a bobber when seeking bluegills. Areas
along the west shoreline that have fallen trees and brush piles are
good places to fish for largemouth bass. Try a variety of creature
baits, lizards and tubes for best results. Channel catfish can be
taken in the upper section of the reservoir. Use cut baits, shrimp,
or night crawlers fished on the bottom.
Upper Sandusky Reservoir No. 2 (Wyandot County) – The water
temperature is 53 degrees, the water is cloudy, and at normal
levels. Largemouth bass have been caught in the evenings by fishing
flathead minnows under a slip bobber or by casting Twister Tail
jigs. The shallow shoreline area along the south shore is the best
spot. Yellow perch are also being taken in the early afternoon by
fishing minnows or worms under a slip bobber. The best spot is the
deep water west of the brush line.
Killdeer Reservoir (Wyandot County) – The water temperature is
52 degrees, the water is cloudy, and at low levels. Smallmouth bass
are being caught in the evenings by trolling or casting softcraws,
leeches and Twister Tailed jigs. The island area is the best spot.
Walleyes are being taken in the evenings by still fishing minnows.
The south shore is best for walleye fishing.
Findlay Reservoir No. 1 (Hancock County) – The water temperature
is 55 degrees. Walleyes and yellow perch are biting on night
crawlers fished in about 10 feet of water. The best time seems to
be in the morning from the dock.
Maumee River (Lucas and Wood counties) – The water temperature
is 62 degrees. Anglers are catching good numbers of white bass with
the occasional male walleye. White bass anglers are using
spinnerbaits, minnows, or brightly colored Twister Tails. White
bass are being caught in all areas. Reminders: black bass season is
closed to possession from May 1 through the last Friday in June
(June 24); any caught must be released immediately unharmed. Black
bass are protected by a 14-inch minimum length limit at all times.
Walleye have a 15-inch minimum size limit the entire season.
Chagrin River and Grand River (Lake County) – Tick tock goes the
steelhead clock. It’s late into the river steelhead season. With
the rivers finally subsiding, the upcoming weeks may be the last
opportunities to land one of Ohio’s most sought after fish. Most of
the steelhead are making their run to Lake Erie. Try fishing
stretches between Route 2 and Lake Erie for both rivers. Steelhead
can be caught using spawn bags, jig and maggot combinations, and
Districtwide – This week has largemouth bass spawn written all
over it. Pick a lake, find the shallows, work those baits, and set
those hooks. The action looks promising all over the district. Some
of the top locations reporting good numbers of bass being caught
are Wingfoot Lake, Portage Lakes, and Mosquito Lake. Largemouth
bass are being caught on jerkbaits, spinnerbaits, jigs,
rattlebaits, and soft plastics.
Mogadore Reservoir (Portage County) – Boat rentals at Mogadore
Reservoir, on State Route 43, open the door to some great fishing
opportunities. Recent surveys resulted in a nice size structure of
largemouth bass and sunfish populations. Largemouth bass are in the
shallows and on beds right now. Concentrate on these areas, working
soft plastics and stick baits. Sunfish can be caught using very
small jigs with Twister Tails. A pinmin or plain hook under a
bobber baited with a wax worm, maggot, redworm or pieces of night
crawler is often the best choice for catching sunfish.
Grand Lake St. Marys (Auglaize and Mercer County) – Bass are
being caught in good numbers. They are being caught along the
shoreline in less than three feet of water using soft plastics,
(pumpkinseed, watermelon) and white spinnerbaits. The bass are
starting to spawn so concentrate your efforts in the back of
channels and bays where there is brush and rock. For panfish, good
numbers are being caught with cork and live bait. Fish about one to
two feet deep along any rocky or brushy channel. Catfish: good
numbers are being taken on the main lake using cut bait, raw
shrimp, and night crawlers. Fishing tight-line is best.
East Fork Lake (Clermont County) – Anglers are reporting success
on crappies using minnows and jigs with tubes. Try chartreuse and
white color patterns. They are generally being taken in 18 to 24
inches of water. Fish around structure, fallen trees, and in the
Cowan Lake (Clinton County) – Crappies, between 9 and 14 inches,
are being caught around brush piles with slip bobber and minnows 12
to 18-inches deep, within 20 feet of the bank.
Rocky Fork Lake (Highland County) – Anglers are reporting decent
saugeye fishing. Try crankbaits or troll with a Shad-Rap. Crappies
are hitting between 3-4 feet; use black or chartreuse jigs and
minnows. Bass are being taken with crankbaits in water 2-6 feet in
Tycoon Lake (Gallia County) – Largemouth bass fishing on this
204-acre lake attracts many early anglers. Use rubber worms or
spinnerbaits along the old fencerows or over other submerged
structure. An 18-inch minimum length limit is in effect on this
lake, and helps to produce top quality largemouth bass angling.
Crappie fishing has been good for anglers using jigs and minnows in
2- to 8-foot depths. For dusk to dawn fishing opportunities, fish
for channel cats using chicken livers, night crawlers or other cut
bait in shallow areas.
Ross Lake (Ross County) – Several areas of submerged structure
have enhanced this 143-acre lake. Try casting wax worms or night
crawlers over some of this submerged structure for good catches of
bluegills. Fishing for largemouth bass has picked-up; try casting
plastic worms and crankbaits.
Dillon Reservoir (Muskingum County) – Anglers are catching
largemouth bass on spinnerbaits and chartreuse crankbaits in this
1,403-acre lake. Try fishing in six to eight feet of water near
submerged structure or around the shore close to the dam. Crappies
have been hitting on jigs tipped with minnows fished over
Burr Oak Lake (Athens and Morgan counties) – White crappies are
hitting on jigs tipped with a minnow fished over structure
throughout the lake. Bluegills are being caught by fishing a worm
four feet below a bobber cast out over structure; heavy structure
by the dam wall is producing great results. Target the shallower,
upper end of the reservoir for channel catfish, especially where
feeder creeks come into the main lake. Night crawlers and cut bait
have been successful.
Lake Erie Region
• The daily bag limit for Lake Erie walleye is 6 fish. The
minimum size limit for walleye is 15 inches.
• The daily bag limit for yellow perch is 30 fish per angler on
all Ohio waters of Lake Erie.
• The steelhead daily bag limit May 16 through Aug. 31 is 5. The
minimum size limit for steelhead is 12 inches.
• The Lake Erie black bass (largemouth and smallmouth) daily bag
limit is closed to possession May 1 through June 24.
Walleye fishing in the western basin picked up last week
following several days of good weather. A few walleyes continue to
be caught on the reefs although success has been minimal. Anglers
caught fish in clean water throughout the western basin (outside of
the Camp Perry firing range, around the Bass Islands, and north of
Kelleys Island) trolling Reef Runner crankbaits 140-160′ feet
behind planer boards. Some walleyes were caught on crawler
harnesses, but crankbaits were still dominant. Yellow perch fishing
is starting to pick up in traditional early spring spots in water
depths ranging from 25-35 feet using minnows on perch spreaders
fished near the bottom.
Central Basin: Walleyes have been caught in the evenings in 15
feet of water around the Cleveland breakwalls. Anglers are using
stick baits such as rapalas, husky jerks, and bombers.
Yellow perch fishing has been good in 25-38 feet of water
northwest of Gordon Park in Cleveland, 38-40 feet northwest of
Wildwood State Park, 35-56 feet northwest of Fairport Harbor and in
42 feet north of Geneva. Perch spreaders with shiners fished near
the bottom produce the most fish.
Smallmouth bass fishing has been very good in 15 to 25 feet of
water around harbor areas in Cleveland, Fairport Harbor, Geneva,
Ashtabula and Conneaut. Fish are being caught on softcraws,
leeches, tube jigs, blade baits, and crankbaits.
Cleveland Metroparks, www.clemetparks.com
Ohio River Region
Racine Dam Area – As water levels slowly return to normal,
fishing activity has been picking up. Sauger, white bass, and
hybrid striped bass are all being caught. Spinners and jigs have
both been successful. White, pearl, chartreuse, orange, and yellow
Twister Tails all seem to be popular.
Western and Cincinnati area – Current river conditions are high
and muddy. Water levels should steadily drop. Anglers are
encouraged to check water levels before deciding to fish.