Southeast Ohio Fishing Report – December 4th, 2015
Dow Lake (Athens County) – Cooler temperatures cause largemouth bass to actively search for food. Try fishing around structure such as weed beds and fallen trees in two to eight feet of water using spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Boat access is available from County Road 20 (Stroud’s Run Road).
Seneca Lake (Guernsey and Noble counties) – For crappies, cooler temperatures can work in favor of anglers. Fish minnows under a slip bobber or with jigs over submerged structure throughout the lake. Contact the District 4 office in Athens at (740) 589-9930 for a structure map. Bluegills can be taken over the entire lake by live bait anglers using worms. They are also popular among fly fish anglers using small poppers and rubber spiders.
Jackson Lake (Jackson County) – Check out the old boathouse parking area, as well as the upper shelter house fishing area for great catfishing opportunities. Catfish can normally be caught on chicken livers and nightcrawlers while fishing from shore. The cooler temperatures will start moving the largemouth bass back into shallower water, and fishing success should start to pick up as bass prepare for winter. Spinner baits, rubber worms, crankbaits, and jig-and-pig combinations can all work well.
Slope Creek Reservoir (Belmont County) – Also known as Barnesville Reservoir #3, this lake is five miles south of Barnesville off McGinnis Road and is home to many popular sportfish. The cooler temperatures of fall will start moving largemouth bass back into shallower water. Try using spinner baits, rubber worms, crankbaits, and jig-n-pig combinations fished near structure such as fallen trees or weed bed edges. A slot length limit is imposed on this lake, so only bass smaller than 12 inches and larger than 15 inches may be kept. Although not as abundant, bluegill can be found throughout the lake. Electric motors only.
Muskingum River (Morgan County) – Carp and catfish are most active right now. For carp, try casting doughballs or corn. Catfish prefer night crawlers, chicken liver, or cut bait fished on the bottom in the current. Use a heavy sinker to hold the bait on bottom. Saugeye fishing should be picking up. Use a variety of jigs and concentrate effort below any of the 10 locks and dams located between Dresden and Marietta.
Hocking River (Athens and Hocking counties) – The stretch of river by White’s Mill in the Athens area is always a popular and usually successful spot for local anglers. Try casting Rebel craws or other artificial soft craws in the deeper pools of the river for smallmouth bass. The old train station in Nelsonville, Falls Mill, and Kachelmacher Park in Logan are all popular spots for smallie anglers. Concentrate your fishing in high velocity current, where woody structure is present in more than 20 inches of water. Float shallow diving minnow imitation lures, or use white and chartreuse twister tails on 1⁄8- to 1⁄4-ounce jigs.
Piedmont Lake (Belmont County) – Saugeyes are starting to move into the shallow areas of the lake as the temperatures start to cool in this 2,273-acre lake. Fish the shoreline and road bed in the lower basin of the lake near the dam. Use jerkbaits or crankbaits imitating minnows or shad while doing a steady cast-and-retrieve. In the main lake, cast crankbaits around the shoreline or vertical jig with a minnow and chartreuse twister tail.