OH: Anglers catching saugeyes and steelhead Issue: 25
Deer Creek Lake (Madison, Fayette, and Pickaway counties) – Some
saugeyes are being caught at the spillway, though the bite is
reported on one day and off the next. Try 1⁄8- to 1⁄4-ounce jigs
dressed with a pink or yellow tail. Saugeyes have ranged from 9 to
Mary’s Bait Shop, 740-869-3597
Buckeye Lake (Fairfield, Licking and Perry counties) – As water
temperatures cool, hybrid striped bass will again feed more
actively. Try chicken livers fished on the bottom or troll spinners
along the north shore from Seller’s point to the north boat ramp at
St. Rt. 79. Channel catfish are being taken right now using cut
bait on the bottom. Crappies from 10 to 13 inches are active; use
minnows and jigs around points especially in the east half of the
lake. Try light jigs in 1⁄32- to 1⁄16- ounce.
Bob’s Outdoor Supply, 740-349-0992
Clearfork Reservoir (Richland County) – Very nice catches of
crappie has been reported at Clearfork. Fishing minnows under a
bobber or casting tube jigs are working great. The best spot seems
to be under Orewiler Bridge.
Charles Mill Lake (Richland County) – Hybrid striped bass are being
caught in good numbers. Chicken livers suspended under a bobber are
working great. The Old Bell Lake area south of the Marina is the
Bellevue Reservoir No. 5 (Huron County) – Yellow perch are being
caught in good numbers here. Evenings are best. Fishing minnows
under a slip bobber is producing the nicest catches; try the
northeast side of the reservoir.
Leesville Reservoir (Carroll County) – Anglers looking for some
premier fishing as well as impressive autumn scenery should visit
this 1,045-acre lake located in southern Carroll County. In 2008, a
total of 332 muskellunge were reported through the Ohio Huskie
Muskie Club. A total of 34 fish measuring 42-inches or greater were
also reported. Trolling or casting muskie-sized lures into weedbeds
proves successful results this time of year. Other lakes in
northeast Ohio providing good muskie fishing include Berlin
(boasting natural reproduction!), Lake Milton, Pymatuning, and West
Branch. Visit www.wildohio.com for more information and to view
maps of these lakes.
Pitstop/Star Fire Express, 740-633-3170
Little Beaver Creek (Columbiana County) – River fishing for
smallmouth bass is usually good this time of year for anglers
fishing a few miles upstream from the Ohio River, near Grimms
Bridge in the state forest. Anglers should also try fishing near
Beaver Creek State Park (Echo Dell Rd. bridge and near Gretchen’s
Lock) where there is significant fishing pressure but often good
results. A variety of other fish including carp, channel catfish,
sauger, and white bass may be caught as well. Shore fishing after a
short hike is available, but floating a canoe while casting is a
good option too. Go to www.ohiodnr.com for more information about
Beaver Creek State Park.
Nimisila Reservoir (Summit County) – Anglers have had fair success
catching yellow perch from 7 to 11 inches from shore. Try Christman
Road access points on the northeast portion of the lake. Use a
crappie rig or a jig tipped with a minnow.
Portage Lakes State Park,
Great Miami River (Hamilton, Butler, Warren, Montgomery, Miami
& Shelby counties) – Anglers are reporting nice catches of
smallmouth bass in the 13-17-inch range. Use dark colored twisters,
Texas rigged, also Hot-n-Tots and X-Raps. Cast into bank and bounce
back along areas with sunken trees and rocky slopes.
Acton Lake (Preble County) – Good crappie action is being reported.
Size range from 14-16 inches and minnows are the bait of choice.
Try about 15 feet deep and slow retrieve from bottom.
Mad River (Clark, Montgomery Counties) – Trout are being taken on
spinners and Rooster Tails. Wading the river and fishing from a
kayak are both popular with anglers.
Lake Isabella (Hamilton County) – Privately owned by Hamilton
County Parks, this lake is giving anglers great opportunities on
stocked perch currently. Try minnows off the bottom and redworms in
about 16 – 18 feet of water at the south end of the lake. For more
information on Fishing at Lake Isabella and prices you can go to
www.hamiltoncountyparks.org. The park offers great family fishing
opportunities with plenty of room to fish from the bank.
AEP ReCreation Land (Morgan, Muskingum and Noble counties) – Cooler
temperatures have spurred bass and bluegill activity in these
smaller ponds. Use worms or wax worms suspended under a bobber for
the best bluegill results. For largemouth bass, fish close to shore
using crankbait in the late evening. Nice catches of largemouth
bass were reported over the weekend, with some bass weighing in
over five pounds.
Muskingum River (Washington County) – Fishing for saugeye, white
bass and hybrid stripers is improving below the Devola dam. Try
casting jigs or crankbaits into the current and floating them
Salt Fork Lake (Guernsey County) – The saugeye bite is starting to
pick up with anglers catching fish in the 3- to 5-pound range,
according to reports from Salt Fork Outdoors. Crappies are also
being caught in 14 to 20 feet of water by anglers employing jig and
minnow or jig and tail combos.
Salt Fork Outdoors, www.saltforkoutdoors.com
Lake Erie Region
• The daily bag limit for Lake Erie walleye is six fish. The
minimum size limit 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 is two fish per angler with a
minimum size limit of 12 inches.
• The Lake Erie black bass (largemouth and smallmouth) daily bag
limit is 5 fish and a minimum size limit of 14 inches.
Walleye: Windy weather and reduced water clarity has slowed Lake
Erie walleye fishing. Some fish have been caught at night around
Cleveland harbor and near shore from Huron to Vermilion. Water
temperatures are still in the mid to upper 40s and fishing should
improve if conditions allow.
Following a brief window of fishable conditions over the weekend,
the Rocky River is currently elevated and muddy due to recent rain.
With quite a bit more rain in the forecast in the coming days, this
will likely continue to be the case for the better part of the
coming week. It will take several days of relatively dry weather
before the river is fishable, which best case scenario could be mid
to late weekend. Wise anglers will follow the weather forecast and
trend in river flow to determine when the Rock is dropping into
fishable shape again. Before this latest rise in water, there was a
good run of fresh steelhead in the Rocky River available to
anglers, as well as the Chagrin River in our North and South
Chagrin Reservations. Over the past week anglers, overall, observed
less and smaller (many “skipper”) steelhead near the marina and
more fish having migrated upstream. Good pods of fish were reported
from only a half mile upstream of the marina all the way into both
branches of the river, as well as in deeper areas in between. Among
the weekly catch were a healthy percentage of quality size
Although steelhead fishing reports from this past week were highly
variable, especially on the busy weekend days, there were a few
common denominators among those who experienced the best fishing.
Those folks did not stay planted in one place if they were not
catching fish, they moved around quite a bit and covered some
water. They also did not procrastinate getting out early, since the
first angler to drift a hole on a given day typically has the best
chances of success. A good angler might hook five or more fish out
of a hole a first light, while the next 10 people who fish it may
only hook a few, if any, combined. The most successful anglers also
stayed versatile in their offerings and tactics, especially in
clearing water, always being willing to change-up the color or type
of offering, and their presentation (ie: speed, angle of drift,
amount of weight, depth setting of float/indicator, etc). In
challenging clear water conditions, using finesse techniques with
smaller offerings, lighter fluorocarbon leaders (down to 4 pound),
and smaller floats/strike indicators can also be little things that
have a big overall impact on success rate. As the river level drops
and clears, but still has a muddy stain, begin prospecting for
steelhead with bigger, bright/dark/contrasting color offerings like
a nickel size trout or salmon egg sac (hot pink and chartreuse are
always good in dirty water) or a big black and fluorescent orange
or dark purple and hot pink egg sucking leech fly. This could be as
early as mid- to late weekend if the weather remains relatively
dry. As a final tip, if you are not catching fish or occasionally
getting snagged, don’t be afraid to add more weight. Anglers at the
Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area still have some trout available.
Trout usually bite well on dime-sized balls of PowerBait in
brighter colors, small jigs tipped with maggots or wax worms under
a small bobber, and small spinners.
Inland lakes and ponds of Cleveland Metroparks are still producing
some sunfish, crappie, and largemouth bass as the fish put on
weight before winter. The Wallace Lake water level is back to
normal following our annual fall drawdown period.
Cleveland Metroparks, www.clemetparks.com
Division of Wildlife, www.wildohio.com
Ohio River Region
Western Ohio River: Anglers are still taking channel catfish. They
are being caught on chicken livers and cut bait around warmwater
discharges. Carp are biting on dough balls and corn. Hybrids are
hitting Rapalas and Rat-L-Traps.
Tom Sikora, of Pitstop/Star Fire Express in Martins Ferry, said
anglers are catching walleyes, sauger and striped bass at the Pike
Island dam. The popular bait is a jigging spoon fished on the south
side of the dam. You might also try jig and minnow combinations or
jig and twister tail.
Afield (Cincinnati), 513-353-3536
Tackle Box (Ironton), 740-533-1187
Hornbecks Bait & Tackle (Belpre), 740-423-1949
Pitstop/Star Fire Express (Martins Ferry), 740-633-3170