Northeast Ohio Fishing Report – October 23rd, 2015
Tappan Lake (Harrison County) – This 2,131-acre lake is known for its excellent fishery. A wide variety of fish species can be caught, including crappies, largemouth bass, bluegills, channel catfish, white bass, and saugeyes. Fall fishing in this lake should not be ignored. The scenery is beautiful as the leaves morph into rich autumn colors.
Atwood Lake (Carroll and Tuscarawas counties) – This 1,551-acre lake 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. Saugeyes, a hybrid cross between a female walleye and a male sauger, have provided anglers with fishing opportunities for many years now. The Division of Wildlife originally stocked saugeyes in 1985 and, with the exception of one year, continued an aggressive stocking program. 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.
West Branch Reservoir (Portage County) – West Branch Reservoir’s muskie fishing has remained hot. Muskies are still being caught in decent numbers across the lake. To specifically target muskies, try trolling cranks, possibly downsizing to match young shad, and running the bait in the prop wash. Anglers are also catching fish by casting large inline spinners.
Leesville Lake (Carroll County) – Boats are allowed with a maximum of 10 horsepower. Muskies are being caught nearshore in one to five feet of water in the evening or early morning. Concentrate off the ends of main lake points instead of in coves. Fish that are in the shallows are vulnerable to casting presentations. Try covering water with medium-sized crankbaits (yellow is reported as a popular color), jerkbaits, or buck tails to locate active muskies. On average, anglers catch muskies measuring 53 inches, according to fish surveys conducted by the ODNR Division of Wildlife.
Cuyahoga River (Cuyahoga, Geauga, Portage, and Summit counties) – For northern pike, target access areas like Fuller Park in Kent, the State Route 303 bridge area near Shalersville, and in/around the Village of Mantua. Remember to obtain written permission to wade-fish on private property. As fall gets into full swing and water temperatures begin to drop, pike begin their fall feeding frenzy, putting away energy reserves for both winter survival and their early spring spawn. Try fishing with large baits and lures that mimic prey fish such as shad, suckers, and chubs. Examples include larger crankbaits, jerkbaits, swimbaits, lipless crankbaits, and large spinners. The use of a small leader will minimize the chances of a pike biting off your line.