Saturday, January 28th, 2023
Saturday, January 28th, 2023

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Sportsmen Since 1967

OH: Catfish turning on in river systems, perch fishing good on Erie Issue: 16

Central Region

Buckeye Lake (Fairfield, Licking and Perry counties) – Channel
catfish are being caught around Lieb’s 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 spinnerbaits, crankbaits and
plastics. Hybrid striped bass can be caught using spinners or
drifting chicken livers between Seller’s Point and the north
ramp.

Licking River (Licking County) – This river east of Columbus
provides fishing opportunities for flathead catfish, channel
catfish, carp and smallmouth bass. Use live bait for flathead
catfish in pools around woody cover. Cut bait and night crawlers
fished on the bottom can be effective for catching channel catfish.
Carp can be caught throughout the river using prepared baits. For
smallmouth bass use jigs, baits that imitate crawfish, or tube
baits, fish areas with moving water around rocks and other
cover.

Hargus Creek Lake (Pickaway County) – A dense population of
largemouth bass measuring eight to 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 six- to seven-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.

Knox Lake (Knox County) – Largemouth bass are the most popular game
fish in this lake. Fishing with tubes, crankbaits, and spinnerbaits
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 mostly at
night using cut shad and shrimp.

Northwest Region

Blanchard River (Hancock County) – The water temperature is 80
degrees and the water is muddy. Smallmouth bass are being caught
during the daytime by fishing night crawlers under a bobber. The
access at County Road 139 has been a productive spot.

Scioto River (Hardin County) – The water temperature is 80 degrees
and the water is muddy. Channel catfish have been caught in good
numbers during the evening by fishing night crawlers on the bottom.
They have been biting recently at the access at County Road
150.

Ottawa Reservoir (Putnam County) – The water is clear and the water
level is normal. Bluegills are being taken in the mornings by
casting wax worms or a white Twister Tail grub. The southern dike
is the best spot.

Leipsic Reservoir (Putnam County) – The water is clear and the
water level is normal. Yellow perch are being taken in the evenings
by fishing worms or minnows under a slip bobber. The north dike is
producing the best catches. Saugeyes are also being caught in the
evenings by fishing worms or minnows under a slip bobber. Again,
the north dike seems to be the hot spot.

Auglaize River (Putnam County) – The water is muddy and the water
levels are normal. Channel catfish have been taken during the
evenings by still fishing shrimp. The best spot seems to be around
the Fort Jennings Park area.

McComb Reservoir #2 (Hancock County) – Yellow perch and bluegills
have been taken off the bottom by fishing red worms under a slip
bobber. The best catches have come by way of boating anglers.

Harrison Lake (Fulton County) – Crappies have been taken in good
numbers recently by fishing minnows under a slip bobber or by
casting jigs and Twisters. The best time seems to be the
mornings.

Wauseon Reservoir (Fulton County) – Catfish are being caught during
the daylight hours by still fishing night crawlers or livers on the
bottom.

Paulding Reservoir (Paulding County) – The water temperature is 85
degrees and the water is clear and at normal levels. Bluegills are
being caught in the mornings and evenings by fishing wax worms
under a slip bobber. They are being caught anywhere along the
shoreline. Channel catfish are also being taken in the mornings and
evenings by still fishing night crawlers. They are being caught
reservoir wide.

Maumee River (Paulding County) – Flathead catfish are being caught
at night by still-fishing live shiners and bluegills. Try fishing
holes below a riffle for the best results.

Northeast Region

Mosquito Lake (Trumbull County) – The summer heat hasn’t put a
crimp in the fishing at this large northeast Ohio reservoir.
Largemouth bass remain in the shallow weedbeds, where they can be
caught on soft plastics, spinner baits, and buzzbaits. Anglers
working the weed edges with crankbaits continue to pick up
walleyes, while crappie are being caught offshore. Try
jig-and-minnow combinations fished around 14-18 feet deep for these
tasty eaters.

Portage Lakes (Summit County) – The only thing hotter than the
temperature right now is the catfish bite on the Portage Lakes.
With almost 1,200 acres of fishable water, the Portage Lakes are
always a good mid-summer fishing destination. Along with nice
catfish, the bass tend to run big here and there are ample
opportunities to catch a mess of sunfish. Beat the heat and focus
your fishing efforts in the late evening and into the night for
catfish. The most effective baits tend to be chicken liver, cut
bait, dough bait, and night crawlers all fished on the
bottom.

Tappan Lake (Harrison County) – The summer heat has slowed fishing
down a little bit at most places, but Tappan Lake is continuing to
produce. Nice catches of saugeyes are being caught trolling worm
harnesses and casting jigs tipped with a piece of night crawler or
minnow. The area to be right now seems to be between Route 250 and
the island.

Tuscarawas River (Summit, Stark, and Tuscarawas counties) – Fun
ways to get some fishing in and beat the heat are wet wading and
float trips on streams and rivers. The Tuscarawas River offers a
diversity of fish to pursue including largemouth and smallmouth
bass, northern pike, catfish and saugeye when wet wading. There are
also locations you can rent canoes and float your way into some
fishing fun.

Southwest Region

Indian Lake (Logan County) – 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 (Highland and Ross Counties) – 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.

Lake Loramie (Auglaize and Shelby counties) – 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 livers and prepared baits. For bass,
fish off the banks in seven to nine feet of water with spinners and
crankbaits.

East Fork (Clermont County) – Largemouth bass are being caught by
anglers using plastic worms, banded crankbaits, or top-water baits
such as buzzbaits. Best times are early in the morning and late in
the evening. Cast along the points, buck brush, banks and in the
areas with submerged trees or brush. Jig the worm on the bottom.
Keep the shiners or minnows moving in the top two to three feet of
water. Channel catfish are being caught by anglers using minnows or
chicken livers. Larger channel catfish are being caught on night
crawlers, or chicken livers. Keep the bait along the bottom and
near any rock wall and at least 18 feet deep. Bluegills are hitting
on mealworms, wax worms, or redworms. Keep the bait under a bobber
and about two to five feet deep. Cast anywhere around the docks,
standing wood, or downed trees. Hybrid striped bass are being
caught by anglers trolling near the main beach, campground beach,
and the flat near the Army Corp ramp. Top-water plugs, chicken
livers, or trolling large deep driving crankbaits that resemble
shad are proving successful for catching good sized hybrid striped
bass.

Southeast Region

Muskingum River (Washington, Morgan, and Coshocton counties) – The
water is starting to clear up as levels go back down. Smallmouth
bass have been hitting on crankbaits; try targeting areas near tail
waters and along the rocky shores. Spotted bass are actually the
dominant bass species and can be found throughout the river.
Crankbaits, jigs and white or yellow spinnerbaits can all be
successful. Target areas with cover and around woody debris.
Channel catfish are more active after a rainfall event, and can be
caught on a variety of lures, including night crawlers, chicken
livers and cut bait. Productive sites tend to be at any of the
low-head dams and at the mouth of larger tributary streams.

Piedmont Lake (Belmont County) – Muskie fishing continues to be
successful in the area around Six Mile Bay. Orange tiger-striped
plugs are the current favorite among anglers fishing the area near
the lily pads. Some large flathead catfish have been taken close to
the marina using bluegills as bait. Channel catfish have been
caught throughout the lake on live bait and worms. Largemouth bass
are still being caught in the very early morning and late at night
when the weather is a bit cooler. Anglers are having a lot of
success running a “wacky style” worm.

Burr Oak (Morgan County) – Largemouth bass can be caught on black
plastic worms. Productive areas for largemouth include the Twin
Bays area and along submerged weedbeds or woody cover in six to 12
feet of water. Submerged structure maps of this lake can be
obtained by contacting the District Four, Division of Wildlife
office in Athens at (740) 589-9930. Channel catfish are being
caught on night crawlers fished along the rocky shoreline to the
left of Dock Four.

Salt Fork Lake (Guernsey County) – Large crappies are being caught
on drop-offs in deep water using Twisters and minnows. Anglers have
also been catching largemouth bass in good numbers throughout the
lake. Channel catfish and flatheads are being caught from the shore
using chicken livers and night crawlers.

Lake Erie Region

Western Basin

The best walleye reports came from northeast of West Sister Island,
“D” can and Niagara Reef of the Camp Perry firing range, and
Northwest Reef (northwest of North Bass Island). Fish have been
caught by trolling with divers and spoons, and also on in-line
weights with worm harnesses. Fish can also be caught by casting
mayfly rigs or drifting with bottom bouncers and worm
harnesses.

The best areas for yellow perch have been around the Toledo water
intake, Lakeside and the southeast corner of Kelleys Island.
Anglers are using spreaders with shiners fished near the
bottom.

Bass: There have been good catches of largemouth bass reported from
the harbors and nearshore areas from Catawba to Marblehead.
Smallmouth bass have been caught around South Bass Island and
Middle Bass Island.

Central Basin

Walleye fishing has been good near the weather buoy at the north
end of the Sandbar and in 8 to 18 feet of water off of Cranberry
Creek. Fishing has been excellent in 70-74 feet northeast of Geneva
and 70-74 feet north-northwest of Ashtabula. Anglers are using Jet
Divers and Dipsy Divers with purple, blue and silver spoons.
Anglers are also using wireline with stick baits.

Yellow perch fishing has been fair off of the Huron River mouth,
off of the condos between Vermilion and Beaver Creek, in 30-50 feet
of water northwest of Edgewater, in 30-50 feet northeast of Gordon
Park, in 47 feet of water northwest of Fairport and in 44-49 feet
northeast of Conneaut. Perch spreaders with shiners fished off the
bottom suspended produces 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 soft-craws,
leeches, dark green and red tube jigs, blade baits, and crank
baits.

Steelhead trout fishing has been good while trolling for walleyes
at the same locations listed above for walleyes off Geneva and
Ashtabula.

White bass: Anglers are catching white bass off the Eastlake CEI
breakwall. Look for gulls feeding on schools of shiners at the
surface. The white bass will be below the shiners.

OHIO RIVER REGION

Scioto County – Anglers have had fair success fishing the Ohio
River at the confluence of the Scioto River. Channel catfish in the
12- to 20-inch range have been caught using chicken livers or night
crawlers fished tight-line off the bottom. Some hybrid striped bass
have been reeled in using white jigs with Twisters tipped with a
minnow. The river is at near normal levels and flow.

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

Monroe County – The river is low and clear in the Hannibal and
Willow Island pools. Good numbers of channel catfish and flatheads
are being caught using shrimp, night crawlers, and chicken
livers.

Gallia County – Catfish are being caught at the R.C. Byrd Tailwater
Abutment access using creek chubs fished on the bottom. Hybrid
striped bass are in the tailwater in the early mornings or late
evenings and are being caught using cut bait, night crawlers and
chicken livers.

 

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