Ohio Outdoor News Fishing Report – August 26th, 2016

Central Region

Alum Creek Lake (Delaware County) – Smallmouth bass can be caught in this lake north of Columbus. Using crankbaits and spinnerbaits, target the main and secondary lake points where rip rap or hard bottom is present. White bass are being caught on in-line spinners and blade baits; look for dense areas of gizzard shad on the surface. Crappies are being found around wood in 10-15 feet of water using jigs or minnows. Crappies will move into shallower water as temperatures decrease this fall. Muskie can provide good action this time of year – troll crankbaits along the points and dam.

Rush Creek Lake (Fairfield County) – Channel catfish can be caught in this lake east of Lancaster. Use cut shad, shrimp, or nightcrawlers fished in the east or south ends for best results. Bluegills are providing some action around cover in the east end of the lake; use waxworms or red worms fished under a bobber. Largemouth bass are also being caught on spinnerbaits and must be 15 inches or longer to keep. There is a 10-horsepower limit on lake.

Kokosing River (Knox County) – Part of Ohio’s first water trail, this stream provides a good day on the water catching smallmouth bass and rock bass. For smallmouth bass, use small tubes or crankbaits in crayfish or shiner patterns around woody cover, boulders, and eddies. Rock bass can be caught in the same areas with the same baits as smallmouth bass. Channel catfish can be caught in deep pools using shrimp, nightcrawlers, and prepared baits.

Kiser Lake (Champaign County) – This 394-acre lake in Champaign County is perfect for a quiet day on the water since no motors are allowed. The lake has a good population of largemouth bass. Try plastics, topwater baits, and crankbaits along the lily pads or cover on the north side of the lake. Crappies will become more active as the water cools this fall. Fish with minnows in the old creek channel, around woody cover, or dip baits in the lily pads. Bluegills are also being taken around aquatic vegetation and cover using waxworms.

Northwest Region

Pleasant Hill Reservoir (Richland-Ashland county line) – With 781 acres of water and 13 miles of shoreline, Pleasant Hill Reservoir has plenty to offer. The reservoir is next to Mohican State Forest, two miles southwest of Perrysville. The boat ramp and marina are on Covert Road, right off State Route 95. Water levels are at normal levels right now. Good numbers of crappies from 9-10 inches can be found. Try fishing with minnows under a slip bobber in 8-12 feet of water near submerged trees. The lake also has excellent populations of largemouth bass, saugeyes, and yellow perch. For saugeyes, try trolling in 10-15 feet of water in front of the beach. For largemouths, try fishing around the stumps at the lower end of the reservoir.

Lake McKarns (Williams County) – Lake McKarns is on the St. Joseph Wildlife Area, south of Montpelier on County Road J and west of County Road 10. The lake is 70 acres in size and is a good place to try for some largemouth bass this time of year. Try focusing on the structure in the southwest area of the lake. Anglers should try using topwater lures fished along the structure edges. For largemouth bass, two fish may be kept less than 14 inches and one fish 20 inches or greater may be kept for a total limit of three fish. The lake features a boat ramp and boats are limited to 10-horsepower engines.

Barton Lake (Williams County) – Largemouth bass anglers have been having success fishing for largemouth bass in the mornings. Try using topwater lures in the mornings at the southwest side of the lake. A ramp for small boats is available. There is a limit of 10 sunfish area wide, and a three bass split limit (anglers may keep only two bass less than 14 inches and one bass 20 inches or larger).

Upper Sandusky Reservoir #2 (Wyandot County) – Channel catfish have been biting on nightcrawlers. The best time and place has been in the morning east of the boat ramp. Bluegill have also been biting recently; try using shrimp or bits of nightcrawlers.

Fremont Reservoir (Sandusky County) – Crappie anglers are catching eight- to nine-inch crappies during the evening at Fremont Reservoir. Try using minnows and light-colored jigs near the boat launch area.

Wayne Carr Lake (Paulding County) – This 15-acre lake on County Road 11, just ½ mile south of County Road 424, should be producing nice bluegills and largemouth bass right now. The best fishing for bluegills is usually along the shoreline, using nightcrawlers fished under a slip bobber. For largemouth bass, try casting nightcrawlers, minnows, or plastic worms. There is a public use boat ramp available, but boats are restricted to 10-horsepower motors. In addition, there is a 10-fish daily limit on bluegills and an 18-inch minimum size limit for bass on the lake.

Killdeer Plains Pond #30 (Wyandot County) – This pond is southeast of Harpster, off Township Highway 125. Just south of the railroad tracks, turn west and follow the gravel lane back to the pond. Largemouth bass should be biting now. Try fishing the west bank in the mornings or evenings with weedless soft topwater baits over the weed beds. A jig and pig fished along the weed line and in open water pockets is another effective technique. No ramp is available; however, small boats may be used. There is a 10-horsepower limit. Wading is also popular along the east and south shores.

Northeast Region 

Mogadore Reservoir (Portage County) – Anglers have really enjoyed the catfish action this summer at Mogadore Reservoir. It has continued to produce nice catches of channels. Anglers are doing well using shad caught by cast nets. Most fish are being caught after the sun goes down in the shallow flat areas.

Tuscarawas River (Tuscarawas County) – The Tuscarawas River is a great location to catch a large diversity of fish. Smallmouth bass, saugeyes, channel catfish, and flathead catfish are all being caught by anglers with a variety of baits. For eight- to 14-inch smallmouth, anglers should target rocky structure just out of the main current with jigs or crayfish fished on the bottom. Saugeyes are also hitting on jigs and curly tails fished in the deeper pools of water near structure, such as woody debris. Anglers should try tipping jigs with minnows or earthworms. A fair number of saugeyes averaging between 10 and 17 inches are being caught. Channel catfish and flathead catfish are ranging between 10 and 16 inches and 12 to 25 inches, respectively, and are being caught in better than average numbers. It is suggested that anglers should fish tight-line on the bottom with cut bait, stink bait, chicken liver, earthworms, or live minnows in the three- to five-inch size. Fishing these baits near undercut banks or wooden debris piles has enticed both catfish species. The best access is the Dover Dam off of State Route 800 to points south (public access). Note: Most of the land along the river is in private ownership and access from shore is limited. A public boat ramp has been constructed east of Tuscarawas, Ohio, on Tuscarawas Road. Anglers should get permission from the landowner to access private shorelines. Canoe and boat anglers are experiencing excellent catches of fish.

Portage Lakes (Summit County) – Located a few miles south of Akron, these lakes are bordered by State Route 224 on the north, County Road 50 on the east, State Route 93 on the west, and County Road 224 on the south. Eight lakes encompass 2,034 acres. All lakes have a 400-horsepower limit, except for Nimisila Reservoir, which allows only electric motors. Eight boat launch ramps provide access to the lakes. All areas are “no wake” except for portions of Turkeyfoot Lake and East Reservoir. Anglers are catching bass adjacent to weed beds on bass jigs. The bite has been solid with nice size fish being landed. Crappie are being targeted in eight to 10 feet of water on offshore structures such as weed beds, habitat structures, and natural contour breaks. Anglers are using small jigs with minnows.

Shreve Lake (Wayne County) – Approximately 1.2 miles west of Shreve, north of State Route 226. County Road 149 is on the western boundary, Clinton Township Road 138 is on the eastern boundary, and Clinton Township Road 316 runs east and west through the area. A boat launching ramp is accessible from Township Road 316 on the southeast corner of the lake. Boats are restricted to electric motors only. A fishing pier designed for people with disabilities is near the boat launching ramp. Channel catfish are being caught on the north end of the lake by the stump field. Anglers are using chicken liver and cut bait on bottom. Sunfish are biting well from shore; try using red worms or waxworms on small hooks under a float.

Atwood Lake (Carroll, Tuscarawas counties) – White bass are active this time of year and are easy to catch. Watching for surface disturbances or circling birds can reveal the location of feeding schools of these fish, which may then be caught on a variety of small, minnow-imitating baits such as silver shad raps or spoons. Division of Wildlife sampling in the past few years found excellent numbers of white bass from 10 to 14 inches. Numerous channel catfish are also present in Atwood Lake, with most fish more than 16 inches in length, and many exceeding two feet long. Catfish are also biting well, and can be caught off the bottom near structure such as points, humps, and creek channels on a variety of natural baits. Nightcrawlers, cut fish, chicken liver, and shrimp can all prove effective.

West Branch Reservoir (Portage County) – West Branch Reservoir offers a variety of quality angling opportunities. Muskellunge have been biting periodically. These large fish are suspended over deep water, and may be caught trolling large (six- to 10-inch) medium running crankbaits in baitfish patterns. Walleyes have been biting in deeper water as well. Jigging with curly tailed grubs or trolling worm harnesses in orange or chartreuse near structure in the 15- to 20-foot depth range has been productive. Numbers of walleyes are fair, but most walleyes caught will be more than 15 inches, with a good proportion more than 20 inches. Largemouth bass are being caught in weedbeds from five to 10 feet deep. Texas rigged six- to eight-inch plastic worms in dark colors and white or green pumpkin colored soft plastic jerkbaits have begun to produce fish.

Southwest Region

Acton Lake (Preble County) – Good numbers of 1- to 3-pound channel catfish are being caught at this lake in Hueston Woods State Park. Try fishing on the bottom using chicken livers or shrimp. The shoreline area between the swimming beach and Sugar Camp area has been best.

Grand Lake St. Marys (Auglaize, Mercer counties) – Channel catfish are popular at Ohio’s largest inland lake. Try fishing on the bottom with nightcrawlers, chicken livers, shrimp, or cut baits. Prime areas include the Windy Point fishing pier, and the stone piers along the east bank. Increase your chances of catching a large flathead catfish by using large chub minnows or live sunfish.

Paint Creek Lake (Highland County) – Channel catfish are being caught below the dam in the tailwaters. Successful anglers are using nightcrawlers, chicken livers, and cut baits fished on the bottom. For saugeyes in the lake, try casting or trolling silver-colored crankbaits on flats near the beach and Plum Run islands area.

Cowan Lake (Clinton County) – Bluegills are being caught by anglers using nightcrawlers or waxworms. There are good fishing opportunities along woody debris shorelines and pier areas. Channel catfish anglers are having success using chicken livers, cut bait, shrimp, and nightcrawlers. Cast from the pier area. Keep the bait off the bottom and about three to six feet deep. Anglers should keep in mind that there is plenty of forage for fish this time of the year, which can result in lower success while angling. Be patient.

Rocky Fork Lake (Highland County) – Bluegills are being taken at four to eight feet using red worms and waxworms. Look for shoreline areas with woody debris or submerged trees and brush to be most productive. A variety of catfish are being caught by anglers using nightcrawlers, shrimp, stink bait, cut bait, and chicken livers. Fish the bait tight-line along the bottom in five- to 10-foot depths. Saugeye: As water temperatures cool down, try trolling crankbaits, casting jigs, or drifting with a nightcrawler harness.

Southeast Region

Dillon Reservoir (Muskingum County) – Take advantage of the cooler temperatures and start looking for bass in this 1,376-acre lake. Try using topwater baits near weedlines or using plastic worms in dark colors, including purple, motor oil, and black. Generally this time of year the most successful times will be late evening and early morning, but if you’re feeling adventurous fish may be caught throughout the night. Some bluegills and other sunfish may be caught as well using nightcrawlers fished below a bobber. Try targeting the marina area.

Lake Logan (Hocking County) – Nice catches of largemouth bass have been found in this 333-acre lake in the past. Most anglers prefer fishing the shorelines from a boat. Try using spinnerbaits to target the fish. This lake is also popular with catfish anglers. Nightcrawlers, chicken livers, or prepared catfish baits work well when fished on the bottom in addition to cut bait such as shad or suckers.

Ross Lake (Ross County) – Channel catfish fishing pressure is generally low at this lake, so despite the heat, you can still reel in fish. Try fishing tight-line from shore using nightcrawlers or chicken livers. Largemouth bass: Picture an imaginary line at the midpoint of the lake between the fishing pier on the east side of the lake and the northern most pier on the west side of the lake and you can locate an old submerged road bed. Try fishing rubber worms slowly along the road bed at eight- to-12-foot depths. Fish are more likely to be moving in early morning and late evening hours when the weather is cooler.

Burr Oak Lake (Athens, Morgan counties) – Sunfish can generally be found this time of year in most places using nightcrawlers and waxworms fished under a bobber. In past years, good catches of largemouth bass have been reported by anglers fishing in the early morning hours near woody structure and also by the dam. Try using topwater lures and crankbaits.

Lake Logan (Hocking County) – Nice catches of largemouth bass have been found in this 333-acre lake in the past. Most anglers prefer fishing the shorelines from a boat. Try using spinnerbaits to target the fish. This lake is also popular with catfish anglers. Nightcrawlers, chicken livers, or prepared catfish baits work well when fished on the bottom in addition to cut bait such as shad or suckers.

Lake Erie Region

• The daily bag limit for walleyes in Ohio waters of Lake Erie is six fish per angler. The minimum size limit for walleyes is 15 inches.

• The daily bag limit for yellow perch is 30 fish per angler in all Ohio waters of Lake Erie.

• The trout and salmon daily bag limit is five fish per angler through Aug. 31. On Sept. 1, the limit reverts to two fish per angler. The minimum size limit is 12 inches.

• The black bass (largemouth and smallmouth bass) daily bag limit is five fish per angler with a 14-inch minimum size limit.

Western Basin


Where: Many of the fish being caught have been below the 15-inch legal size limit, primarily from the 2014 year class. There have been very few recent walleye reports. The best areas have been around the “G” buoy of the Camp Perry firing range and Kelleys Island Shoal.

How: Most fish have been caught by trolling with spoons or worm harnesses, and by casting with weight forward spinners or mayfly rigs. 

Yellow Perch 

Where: Yellow perch fishing in the western basin has been improving with the best spots being around the “A,” “B,” and “G” buoys of the Camp Perry firing range, and between Lakeside and Kelleys Island.

How: Perch spreaders with shiners fished near the bottom produce the most fish.

Largemouth bass 

Where: Largemouth bass have been caught in harbors and along the main lake shoreline around Catawba and Marblehead.

How: Anglers are using drop-shot rigs, tube jigs, and crankbaits.

Central Basin


Where: Walleyes are being caught off Cranberry Creek, and from Lorain to Avon Point in 30 to 40 feet of water. Good fishing was reported in 32 to 40 feet of water north-northwest of Edgewater Park, in 42 to 60 feet of water north of Wildwood Park, in 50 to 60 feet of water north-northeast of Ashtabula and in 50 to 70 feet of water north-northeast of Conneaut.

How: Anglers are trolling with dipsey divers or planer boards with weights or jet divers, ahead of stick baits or worm harnesses. The best colors have been purple, blue, and pink.

Yellow perch

Where: Yellow perch fishing has been slow recently. The best areas have been in 35 to 40 feet of water from Vermilion to Lorain. Good fishing was reported in 46 to 50 feet of water north of Edgewater Park and in 46 feet of water north-northeast of Gordon Park. Farther east, the best spots have been in 50 feet of water north-northeast of Ashtabula and in 48 feet of water north of Conneaut.

How: Perch spreaders with shiners fished near the bottom produce the most fish.

Smallmouth bass 

Where: Fishing has been excellent in 10 to 30 feet of water around the harbor areas in Cleveland, Fairport Harbor, Geneva, Ashtabula, and Conneaut.

How: Anglers are using drop-shot rigs, tube jigs, spinners, crankbaits, leeches, and crayfish.


Where: Fish are being picked up by anglers trolling for walleyes.

How: See section on Central Basin walleyes.

Cleveland Metroparks

As we move into late summer, highlight species targeted around Cleveland Metroparks include walleye, yellow perch, largemouth/smallmouth bass, panfish, channel catfish, and common carp. The river water levels have been low all summer up to this point, although the Rocky River received a nice slug of water in early August.

Smallmouth bass are typically found in the deeper, rocky pools of the river during the day in summer, and often move to the heads of such pools in the early morning and evening hours to feed actively. A dark olive or brown tube jig of about four inches length is one of the best producers of bass in the river. “Smallies” also bite well on live bait (i.e., minnow, crayfish, and leeches), lures (i.e., spinners and minnow plugs), and flies (i.e., crayfish patterns, Clouser minnows, dark brown or olive sculpin or muddler minnow patterns). Rock bass are also present in the same river areas as smallmouth, and can be caught using the same offerings listed above. Also, the very first few steelhead of the year tend to show up around mid to late August in the Rocky and Chagrin rivers.

Channel catfish and large carp are also present in some of these same areas in the river, and fishing for them can be a laid back and relaxing way to enjoy some time on the water. Earlier this summer farm raised catfish were stocked at Shadow (700 pounds), Ledge (450 pounds), Ranger (300 pounds), and Judge’s (150 pounds) lakes. Good numbers of channel catfish are also available at Wallace Lake and the Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area. Lots of catfish are available in the northern Rocky River, as well. Catfishing is usually best during lower light conditions using baits such as nightcrawlers, minnows, chicken liver, and processed dough baits.

Large carp will be found throughout the Rocky, Cuyahoga, and Chagrin rivers in summer, as well. Carp can often be caught throughout the day on such bait as canned corn, carp dough baits, worms, or crayfish tails. A growing group of fly anglers looking for a challenge are targeting carp with nymphs and crayfish imitations, as well. The key to fishing for either carp or catfish is fishing on (or very near) the river/lake bottom. In addition, freshwater drum (sheepshead), white perch, and bullhead catfish are also abundant in the northern river reaches (north of Morley Ford) in early summer. For the angling generalist, any of the species thus far can be effectively targeted by fishing a nightcrawler worm right on the river bottom with a sinker.

Summer means family fishing time for many folks, and panfish fit the bill perfectly for a leisurely picnic and fishing outing. Anglers seeking panfish have experienced decent fishing at most of the ponds and lakes in the Park District in the past week. Crappie, bluegill, and other sunfish species can be taken with a number of offerings, but a waxworm or red worm on a small hook (or tiny jig) suspended under a stick float and fished around a weedbed or shoreline brush is always a good choice. Wallace Lake, Shadow Lake, and Lakefront Reservation are just a few of many places in the Park to wet a line for various panfish species. Largemouth bass fishing is often best in Wallace and Hinckley lakes, although bass can be found in most park waters. The fishing in the north end of Wallace Lake has been very good recently.

Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, rock bass, crappie, freshwater drum, catfish, and sunfish species are biting along the Cleveland shoreline of Lake Erie on offerings such as tube jigs and live minnows. Walleye are biting off of Cleveland, as well, with an impressive number of just sub-legal 14-inch walleye around boding well for fishing in the years to come. Yellow perch fishing has been slow all summer, but reports are picking up in 34-42 feet of water off Euclid and E. 72nd.

Cleveland Metroparks, www.clevelandmetroparks.com


Hannibal Lock and Dam Tailwater – Hybrid striped bass in the five- to seven-pound range have been caught in good numbers in the past. The majority of the fish are caught on skipjack or shad. Try casting out into the tailwater section and let your bait drift, or place under an agitator and retrieve in short jerks. Fishing off one of the platforms or along the walkway near the dam are your best bets. Catfish can still be caught with cut bait and skipjack. Although night fishing yields the best results, the recent cooler temperatures may work to your advantage.

New Richmond to Meldahl Dam (Clermont County) – Catfishing is still heating up along the Ohio River. Water levels are still slightly low in some areas but anglers are reporting good catches on raw or seasoned chicken breast. Stripers are being caught along the mouths of creeks flowing into the river. Watch for skipjack action in these areas – stripers will be foraging for them.

Western Ohio River (Cincinnati to Adams County) – Fishing has been slow with most action around Meldahl Dam or the tributaries running into the Ohio. Try chicken livers or cut bait for catfish. Blue cats are being taken in the downtown Cincinnati area on skipjack.

Hannibal Lock and Dam Tailwater (Willow Island Pool) (Monroe County) – Hybrid striped bass up to 5 pounds can be caught in the hydro plant discharge at the Hannibal Dam. “Hybrids” can be caught at the surface and on the bottom of the river. Anglers should look for jumping schools of bait fish as signs of “hybrids” feeding on the surface. Use surface baits or near surface baits if fish are feeding near the surface. Soft-bodied swim baits and shallow running or surface stick baits work well.

Greenup Dam (Scioto County) – Hybrid striped bass: Try fishing cut baits and live baits off the bottom. White bass: Try using topwater lures as well as skipjack, chubs, shiners, and cut bait. Early morning will probably produce the most catches. Channel catfish: Most fish will probably be found on the bottom using tight-lining techniques with cut bait, nightcrawlers, and chicken livers. Fishing throughout the night and in the early morning hours before daybreak may be the most successful. Flathead catfish: Goldfish are popular bait.

Meldahl Dam (Clermont County) – Channel catfish are being taken in good numbers all along the river. Try chicken livers, shrimp, or nightcrawlers fished on the bottom. Hybrid striped bass: Try fishing cut baits and live baits on the bottom. White bass: Try using skipjack or cut bait.

Belleville Dam Tailwater (Meigs County) – Summer is a great time to catch channel catfish on the river. Minnows, nightcrawlers, chicken livers, and cut bait fished on the bottom have been the most popular with anglers. Fish in the 10- to 15-pound range have been caught in previous years in this area. Places along the shoreline and walkways generally yield fish, especially near the dam. Hybrid striped bass: Fishing should be excellent right now. Try spoons, topwater, or ¼-ounce jigs in the tailwater section during the early morning or evening hours.

Belleville Pool Area (Washington County) – Flathead catfish: Fishing should be good right now for sizeable catches throughout the pool. Use live baitfish; goldfish have been a popular choice in the past. Channel catfish: Try cut bait, stink bait, and chicken livers, as well as nightcrawlers fished tight-line on the bottom. Best results are primarily at dusk, through the night, and in the early morning hours before daybreak. Black bass: Some fish may still be picked up on deep diving crankbaits and jig-and-pig combos. Smallmouth bass: Some fish may be caught on Carolina-rigged do-nothing worms. 

Serpentine Wall, Downtown Cincinnati (Hamilton County) – Blue catfish: Anglers are having success in the morning hours, try using chicken breast.

Categories: Ohio Fishing Reports

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *