OH: Panfishing rounding into shape; steelhead bite on Issue: 26

Central Region

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
15 inches. You might also try spinnerbaits to pick up a few wary

Mary’s Bait Shop, 740-869-3597

Knox Lake (Knox County) – Anglers fishing from the shore are
catching good numbers of crappies in the 6- to 12-inch range on jig
and minnow combos fished under a bobber. Other anglers are having
success using night crawler under a bobber. Some largemouth bass
and catfish have also been in the mixed catch.

Division of Wildlife, www.wildohio.com

Buckeye Lake (Fairfield, Licking and Perry counties) – The crappie
bite has been on and off again, but some anglers are catching them
on jig and minnow combos, reports Bob Mathie at Bob’s Outdoor
Supply in Newark. The lake is down to winter pool levels. Try the
Fairfield Beach area for saugeyes on jerkbaits. For channel
catfish, use floating jigs and minnows to catch fish from 1½ to 4
pounds. Fish the docks at Heron Bay for bluegills and crappies,
recommends Mathie.

Bob’s Outdoor Supply, 740-349-0992

Alum Creek Lake (Delaware County) – Anglers are catching crappies
and white bass in the deeper parts of the lake south of the
Cheshire Road bridge. Try fishing a jig and minnow combination in
about 20 feet of water. Jigs in the 1⁄8- to 1⁄4-ounce size is
working best.

Division of Wildlife, www.wildohio.com

Northwest Region

Clearfork Reservoir (Richland County) – Very nice catches of
crappie has been reported at Clearfork. Fishing minnows under a
bobber or casting tube jigs is 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
best bet.

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.

Northeast Region

Beach City Reservoir (Tuscarawas County) – A few anglers are
catching saugeyes in the 12- to 14-inch range as well as some
crappies below the spillway. Try jig and minnow combinations in
1⁄8- to 1⁄4-ounce.

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, 330-644-2220

Pleasant Hill Reservoir (Richland and Ashland counties) – Anglers
are catching fistfuls of slab crappies, bluegills and yellow perch
at this northeast Ohio reservoir. Crappies are ranging from 8 to 12
inches and being caught in 10 to 20 feet of water on jig and minnow
combinations. Anglers report that the fish are holding tight to
structure, so concentrate your efforts accordingly.

Division of Wildlife, www.wildohio.com

Southwest Region

Xenia, Ohio – Approximately 500 additional ring-necked pheasants
will be released on six southwest Ohio public hunting areas,
according to the DNR Division of Wildlife.

The pheasants were released on the evening of Dec. 14 (after
shooting hours) and will be available to hunt starting Thursday,
Dec. 15. According to wildlife management supervisor David Kohler,
“Birds will be released on Indian Creek, Fallsville, Caesar Creek,
Rush Run, Spring Valley, and Darke Wildlife Areas, with each area
receiving 90-100 birds. Darke will receive about 50 birds.”

Pheasant hunting season opened Friday, Nov. 4 and remains open
through Jan. 8, 2012, with a daily bag limit of two rooster (male)
birds. Statewide hunting hours are sunrise to sunset.

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.

Southeast Region

Dillon Lake (Muskingum County) – Anglers are fishing for saugeyes
and crappies below the spillway with some success. Hybrid stripers
can be caught on the main lake, but the bite has been spotty. Try
for crappies and bluegills at the main marina or anywhere you can
find isolated wood, recommends Bob Mathie at Bob’s Outdoor

Bob’s Outdoor Supply, 740-349-0992

Seneca Lake (Noble and Guernsey counties) – Anglers are catching
both saugeyes and crappies on blade baits such as Crazy Blades and

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.

Walleyes have been caught occasionally from Vermilion to Cedar
Point. Most fish have been caught in 30 to 45 feet of water with
crankbaits trolled from 5 to 15 feet down. Fish have also been
caught at night from Huron to Vermilion and around Cleveland
harbor. Open water temperatures are around 40 degrees, but harbors
and rivers are beginning to freeze up. Use extreme caution when
fishing in cold water.

Steelhead Trout: For the steelhead fishing report see the
ohiodnr.com web site: Go to – Wildlife – Fishing – Lake Erie –
Steelhead trout fishing

The water temperature as of Dec. 14 was 38 degrees off of Toledo
and 43 degrees off of Cleveland, according to the nearshore marine

River conditions on the Rocky River are currently excellent with
good flow, a green stain, and virtually no ice. The Rocky River is
dropping in level rapidly. Hopefully, we will have a repeat of the
fantastic steelhead fishing offered under similar conditions
recently. Wise anglers will follow the weather forecast and trend
in river flow when the Rock is dropping into fishable shape

Recently, anglers saw some of the best steelhead fishing of the
year. Michael Durkalec with Cleveland Metroparks witnessed many
fish caught. Most of the fish were very fresh and of quality size,
with a good number of 28-31-inch fish in the mix. Durkalec did best
on dime- to nickel-sized spawn sacs in pink, chartreuse and white.
Durkalec said he heard of other anglers doing well with spawn sacs
as large as quarters, since the water still had a decent stain.
Fish were well distributed throughout the entire watershed.

As the river level drops and clears over the next day, 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.

As a reminder, all fishing guides operating on Cleveland Metroparks
property will require a permit starting Jan. 1. See
www.clemetparks.com for more information.

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. Cleveland
Metroparks first winter trout stocking of lakes and ponds is
scheduled for the middle of next week.

Cleveland Metroparks, www.clemetparks.com

Division of Wildlife, www.wildohio.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.

Tackle Box (Ironton), 740-533-1187

Hornbecks Bait & Tackle (Belpre), 740-423-1949

Pitstop/Star Fire Express (Martins Ferry), 740-633-3170

Categories: Archive, Ohio Fishing Reports

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