OH: Catfish biting throughout Ohio during dog days of summer Issue: 17
Delaware Lake (Delaware County) – Anglers can catch crappies and
channel catfish at this 1,017-acre lake north of Columbus. For
crappies, use jigs and minnows around woody cover and target water
depths of eight to 15 feet. Crappies must be nine inches or longer
to keep. Channel catfish are plentiful in this lake. Try using cut
bait and shrimp fished on the bottom at night for the best success.
Largemouth bass can be caught around cover and lake points; use
spinnerbaits and plastics.
Hoover Reservoir (Delaware and Franklin counties) – The best
places to find largemouth bass are around shoreline cover and
secondary lake points. Bass are being caught on crankbaits,
spinnerbaits, and plastics. Channel catfish can be caught using
shrimp, and cut bait. Target the flats in the north basin at night
for the best results. Saugeyes are being caught on the breaks of
points in six to 15 feet of water mostly at dawn and dusk. Trolling
crankbaits or worm harnesses are getting results. There is a
10-horsepower limit at this lake.
Big Darby Creek (Franklin, Madison, and Pickaway counties) –
Smallmouth bass and rock bass are popular sport fish in this stream
west of Columbus. Casting small crankbaits or plastics resembling
crayfish or shiners can be rewarding. Target boulders, shoreline
cover, where pools meet riffles, and current eddies. Other game
fish present are bluegills, carp, crappies, channel and flathead
catfish, saugeyes and saugers.
Bressler Reservoir (Allen County) – Channel catfish are being
taken at anytime of the day or night. Using night crawlers or
shrimp as bait, anglers are having success by still fishing, slip
bobbers, or balloon fishing. Anywhere on the reservoir is producing
good catches. Walleyes are being taken in good numbers, as well as
yellow perch. Walleyes are biting from dusk ‘til dawn. Fishing
leeches or night crawlers under a bobber is working good as well as
worm harnesses. Casting crankbaits is working well, too. For perch,
anglers are having success with minnows. Try the east and south
Yellow Creek Reservoir (Putnam County) – Bluegills are being
taken in the evening by fishing wax worms, or night crawlers with a
slip bobber. The best location is along the north bank.
Willard Reservoir (Huron County) – Anglers are catching channel
catfish along the north shoreline during the afternoon and evening
while fishing off the bottom. They are using night crawlers,
leeches, and raw shrimp set under a bobber at 18 to 20 feet.
Sandusky Bay (Ottawa County) – Anglers are catching channel
catfish during the night while still fishing on the bottom using
night crawlers, and raw shrimp. Best location is the Old Bay
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, spinnerbaits, 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
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 midsummer 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) – The
Tuscarawas River offers a diversity of fish to pursue including
largemouth and smallmouth bass, northern pike, catfish, and
saugeyes when wet wading. There are also locations you can rent
canoes and float your way into some fishing fun.
Ladue Reservoir (Geauga County) – The cooler temperatures
forecasted should help ramp up the fish bite. This should help
bring some of the bass back in a little shallower. Ladue Reservoir,
an electric motor only lake, is well known for producing big bass
and reports of the bite heating up again are starting to resurface.
The popular pattern has been spinnerbaits and buzz baits worked
over heavily vegetated areas at an edge of a drop-off.
C. J. Brown Reservoir (Clark County) – A few walleyes are being
caught by anglers using crankbaits, jigs with plastic bodies or
curly tails, small spinners, or live minnows, leeches, or night
crawlers. Good curly tail color choices are white, orange, pink or
chartreuse. Fish by slowly jigging, trolling or drifting baits in
10- to 15-foot depths. Anglers report that the most successful bait
has been silver or gold blade baits. Anglers report walleyes are
being caught in the main lake river channel, around structure, and
over the humps. The best fishing is in the very early morning
hours. Most walleyes are undersized fish but some legal fish are
being caught. Channel catfish are being caught by anglers using
shad, shrimp, night crawlers, and chicken livers in the upper end
of the lake. Fish the bait tight line or slowly drift the bait
along the bottom in three- to six-foot depths.
Caesar Creek (Clinton, Greene, and Warren counties) – Anglers
casting in-line spinners and crankbaits are starting to catch a few
muskies and, also, having fish follow their baits. Saugeye anglers
are catching a few 15- to 18-inch fish from six to 15 feet depths,
but most fish are small. Troll medium or deep diving crankbaits
along submerged points or underwater humps. 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. If you catch a muskie, please report your
catch to the Division of Wildlife’s Muskie Angler Log. The Muskie
Angler Log was developed in partnership with the Ohio Muskie Club
as a resource for Ohio muskie anglers and to support muskie
management efforts in Ohio by providing valuable muskie catch data
to the Ohio Division of Wildlife. Channel catfish are being caught
by shore anglers using night crawlers, shrimp, and chicken livers.
Fish the bait tight line along the bottom in five- to eight-foot
Acton Lake (Preble County) – Good numbers of one- to three-pound
channel catfish are being caught at this lake in Hueston Woods
State Park. Try fishing on the bottom using chicken livers or
shrimp. The shoreline area between the swimming beach and Sugar
Camp area has been best.
Great Miami River (Miami, Montgomery, and Warren counties) –
Remember to ask permission before entering private property. The
water levels are down, which is providing great opportunities to
wade the rivers and find holes that you can come back to later when
the river is up. Catfish are the best bet this time of year. Miami
County – Fair numbers of smallmouth bass and rock bass are being
caught in the early morning and late evening hours, in transition
areas where deep and shallow water areas connect. Popular baits are
soft crayfish and salted tube jigs. The fishing is slower on the
Montgomery County portion of the Great Miami River, but the catfish
are always consistently hitting in many of the deep holes
throughout the river. The popular spots on the river are the deeper
water areas below the low head dams. Anglers can find the fish
lying in these deeper holes. Good baits for catfish are chicken
livers, shrimp, and worms, as well as shad and goldfish for the
larger flatheads. Access to the Great Miami River in Warren County
can be gained along State Route 73 between Franklin and Middletown.
Anglers are catching channel and flathead catfish by using chicken
livers, cut bait, earthworms, night crawlers, or live goldfish or
bluegills for flatheads.
Wills Creek Reservoir (Coshocton County) – Catfishing has been
good at this 421-acre impoundment – fish cut baits, chicken livers
or night crawlers tight-line off the bottom. Hot spots have
included the spillway area below the dam or the fishing pier.
Clouse Lake (Perry County) – Late night fishing for largemouth
bass has been the most effective technique at this lake. Try using
top-water baits such as weedless frog imitations and un-weighted
rubber worms skipped across floating mats of vegetation. Bluegills
and other sunfish can be taken along the dam using small worms
fished below a bobber.
Monroe Lake (Monroe County) – Live bait, such a minnows,
redworms, wax worms, and mealworms continue to produce nice catches
of bluegills and crappies. Anglers have been catching small bass on
red worms. Channel catfish are being caught on night crawlers
fished tight-line on the bottom.
Hocking River (Athens County) – Fishing for channel catfish has
been successful near Hockingport using cut baits and chicken
livers. The river at Whites Mill has been a recent hot spot –
parking for fishing access is on West Union Street. Fishing below
the island on the west bank has been excellent. Try live baits
fished under a bobber. Smallmouth bass, crappies, white bass, and
bluegills have also been caught in the area.
Scioto River (Ross and Pike counties) – Channel catfish have
been hitting cut bait, live creek chubs, and chicken livers fished
from shore along the bottom. Try casting into rapid drop-off points
and near riprap or rocky structure. Don’t forget that turtle season
is well under way. Snapping and softshell turtles can be caught on
bank lines baited with a variety of items, including minnows,
frogs, and old meat from your freezer. All lines must be marked
with the name and address of the user. Turtles must have a
straight-line carapace length of 13 inches or greater to keep.
Little Muskingum River (Monroe County) -The Little Muskingum
River is one of very few small streams in southeastern Ohio that
support muskellunge. Muskellunge in large lakes can reach lengths
of up to 50 inches, however stream muskellunge are often smaller in
size. Try using crankbaits and various top-water lures in the
deeper pools of this river for these prized game fish.
Lake Erie Region
Walleye fishing has been good recently. Most reports came from
the reef complex and from the turnaround buoy of the Toledo
shipping channel to West Sister 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.
Yellow perch fishing continues to be good in the western basin.
The best areas have been the turnaround buoy of the Toledo shipping
channel, southeast of Kelley’s Island, south of Green Island, and
north of Ballast Island. Anglers are using spreaders with shiners
fished near the bottom.
Bass: Bass fishermen continue to have good catches of largemouth
bass around the harbors and nearshore areas from Catawba to
Marblehead. Smallmouth bass have been caught around South Bass
Island and Middle Bass Island.
Walleye: Very good fishing has been reported in 70-74 feet of
water northeast of Geneva and in 70-74 feet north-northwest of
Ashtabula. Anglers are using Jet Divers and Dipsy Divers with
purple, blue, pink, silver, and black spoons. Anglers are also
using wireline with stick baits.
Yellow perch fishing has been fair off of the Huron River mouth,
in 26 to 30 feet of water off of Cranberry Creek, and off of the
condos between Vermilion and Beaver Creek. Very good fishing has
been reported in 42-46 feet of water north-northeast of Edgewater
Park, in 40-48 feet northwest of Wildwood Park, 42-47 feet
north-northwest of Fairport and in 48 feet northeast of Conneaut.
Perch spreaders with shiners fished near the bottom produces the
most fish. Fish the bottom and keep the bait moving. Mornings and
evenings have been best.
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 crayfish and
leeches, dark green and red tube jigs, blade baits, and
Steelhead trout fishing has been fair while trolling for
walleyes at the same locations listed above for walleye off Geneva
White Bass Anglers are catching white bass off the Eastlake CEI
breakwall and Mentor Headlands breakwall. Anglers are using
agitators with white jigs and Twister Tails. Mornings and evenings
are the best times. For boat anglers, look for gulls feeding on
schools of shiners at the surface. The white bass will be below the
The water temperature is 77 degrees off of Toledo and 77 degrees
off of Cleveland, according to the nearshore marine forecast.
OHIO RIVER REGION
Lawrence County – Channel catfish are being caught using night
crawlers, shad, and minnows. Freshwater drum have also been
hitting. Night angling has been the most popular time period for
catfish anglers due to the high daytime temperatures.
Gallia County – Fish for catfish in deep, slow pools using cut
bait or chicken livers. Hybrid striped bass have been caught at the
K.H. Butler ramp in the early mornings using any minnow-type diving
lures or live baits fished along the bottom.
Clermont County – Anglers are catching channel catfish on cut
baits and chicken livers and also on night crawlers fished on the
bottom. Night fishing seems to be most successful at the