Southeast Ohio Fishing Report – January 1st, 2016
Dillon Lake (Muskingum County) – Cold weather can mean some great opportunities to catch largemouth bass in this 1,376-acre lake. Try using spinner baits, jigs, or crankbaits that imitate gizzard shad or crayfish. Drift fishing with minnows is recommended to locate schools of crappies. Shovelhead and channel catfish can still be caught on suckers, small bluegills, and worms. Don’t overlook the Dillon tailwaters this time of year as saugeye and hybrid striped bass fishing can be very good.
Hammertown Lake (Jackson City Reservoir) (Jackson County) – Fishing should be picking up in this 157-acre lake and will continue to improve, especially in the bay area and in the evening hours. To capitalize largemouth bass, try using lures that imitate forage fish and crayfish. Spinnerbaits or any topwater lures like buzzbaits or floating Rapalas are good choices this time of year. Remember that there is a five-fish limit for largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass at this lake. For channel catfish, use chicken livers or nightcrawlers fished on the bottom.
Wolf Run Lake (Noble County) – The crappie bite should be starting to pick up at this 220-acre lake near Caldwell. Try small spinners in six to eight feet of water around submerged structure. Structure location is marked with orange paint along the shore.
Salt Fork Lake (Guernsey County) – Fish for crappies around submerged brush piles and structure using pink and chartreuse twister tails tipped with a minnow. Most crappies are in the nine- to 10-inch range but fish up to 14 inches can be found. The Morning Glory Ramp toward the dam and at the covered bridge are usually successful for anglers. Fishing for saugeyes is best near the beach or shallow flats using twisters, stick baits, or blade baits.
Burr Oak Lake (Athens and Morgan counties) – For crappies, try fishing over structure locations using minnows or twisters tipped with a minnow with very light tackle. Fishing the shoreline, where fallen trees have been secured, should produce results. Largemouth bass: try throwing jig-n-pig combos, spinner baits, or crankbaits. Fish management staff has regularly placed structure throughout the lake; contact the District Four office to obtain a structure map.
Lake Hope (Vinton County) – For largemouth bass, try a variety of artificial baits, including shallow running crankbaits. For bluegills, fish live bait including waxworms and nightcrawlers fished under a bobber. When fishing for channel catfish, a decent rainfall event can create some great conditions. Try fishing the bottom using cut bait in the evening or early mornings.