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Northeast Ohio Fishing Report – September 14th, 2012

West Branch Reservoir (Portage County)

Persistence is the name of the game for pursuing one of Ohio's largest sport fish – the muskie. One photo of a landed muskie can take your status among your fishing buddies from a worm-drowner to a fishing legend. West Branch Reservoir offers an excellent opportunity to land one of these status changers, but it will require putting a decent amount of time in. According to last year’s creel survey results, anglers pursuing muskies had a catch rate of one muskie for every 20 hours of fishing. The action has picked up recently with quite a few landed muskies. This time of the year, spend more time trolling open water with crankbaits just above the thermocline level. Be sure to use line counter reels for accurate trolling depths and talk to local muskie fishermen and fish biologists for information on how deep to fish. Muskies can still be caught casting off the ends of deep bars, humps, and standing timber with lures that will retrieve in the six to 10 feet deep range.

Portage Lakes (Summit County)

Go back to the basics and head out for some panfish at the Portage Lakes. Grab the ultra-light, a small container filled with pin-mins, split-shots, and a couple of bobbers, and throw it all into a bucket. A quick stop at the local bait shop for some wax worms and you are ready to go. Nice catches of bluegills, red ears, and pumpkinseeds have all been reported recently from the Portage Lakes. There are several areas where there is shoreline access. Focus on fishing either woody snags or the edges of weedlines.

Atwood Lake (Carroll and Tuscarawas counties)

This 1,551-acre lake located on State Route 212, two miles south of New Cumberland, offers great fishing. Species often caught by anglers include saugeyes, largemouth bass, crappies, white bass and especially channel catfish. One of the best ways to catch saugeyes is to use a small jig (1⁄32 or 1⁄8) and tip it with a piece of nightcrawler. Simply cast, let the bait sink, and slowly retrieve. The strike will be gentle so watch for a twitch in the line. 

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