Ohio Outdoor News Fishing Report — June 9, 2017
Hargus Creek Lake (Pickaway County) – Crappies are active in coves and around woody cover. Use minnows or small jigs under a float. A good number of bluegills and redear sunfish, up to eight inches, can be caught on waxworms in shallow areas this time of year. A large population of 12- to 15-inch bass inhabit this lake with fish more than 20 inches present. Largemouth bass can be caught on crankbaits, plastic tubes, and creature baits. Electric motors only.
Indian Lake (Logan County) – Saugeyes are being caught in good numbers. Try casting or trolling small crankbaits just above the bottom, or jigging suspending baits. Try fishing near the bridge and other openings especially if wind is pushing water through the opening. Many bass are in the 12- to 18-inch range and are in shallow water. Fish the canals and lily pads for the best results. Crappies are spawning now. Try minnows and jigs fished in the lily pads. Channel catfish catches should increase as the water warms.
Kokosing River (Knox County) – Ohio’s first water trail, this scenic river in Knox County offers paddlers and anglers access to 28 miles of river fishing. Smallmouth bass and rock bass can be caught on small crankbaits, tubes, and jigs. Sunfish, crappies, and catfish are present and offer good fishing.
Hoover Reservoir (Delaware and Franklin counties) – Crappie fishing is slowing down as fish move to deeper water. Saugeyes are becoming more active as the summer pattern starts to set up. Trolling worm harnesses and crankbaits along the middle and lower basins’ east shore can be productive. Bluegills are active now in shallower areas, flats, and the back of coves. Try waxworms or nightcrawlers suspended by a bobber. Channel catfish are becoming active again. Fish the north basin and cove openings using shrimp, nightcrawlers, or chicken livers. There is a 10-horsepower limit at this reservoir.
Beaver Creek Reservoir (Seneca County) – Catfish have been biting. Try using shrimp for bait. For large catfish, try drift fishing or balloon fishing. Boats are allowed on the reservoir with electric motors only.
Sandusky River (Sandusky County) – White bass are biting in the Sandusky River near Fremont. Water is muddy, high, and swift so try using tightlines similar to fishing for catfish, but with a shiner for bait tied above the sinker.
Scioto River (Hardin County) – Channel catfish have been biting on nightcrawlers. Access the river at the bridge at County Road 245.
Nettle Lake (Williams County) – Anglers are taking good numbers of 9-13-inch crappies from the north bay of the lake. Anglers are fishing with minnows under a bobber on the outside edge of the expansive lily pad fields. Twister tail jigs have also been productive. There is a boat ramp at the southwest corner of the lake. Nettle Lake has no horsepower restrictions; however, there is a no-wake rule (power boaters must operate at idle speed) between the hours of 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. From 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., there are no speed restrictions for power boaters.
Resthaven Wildlife Area (Erie County) – Resthaven Wildlife Area is just outside Castalia on State Route 269. The area has 444 acres of water contained in 10 different ponds. Bluegill fishing is usually very good this time of year. Try casting waxworms, small jigs, and spinnerbaits throughout the pond edges. Ponds 7 and 8 should be doing the best right now. Pond 8 has a boat ramp and handicapped accessible fishing pier. Boats may be used on the other ponds but no ramps are available. Gasoline motors up to 9.9 horsepower may be used on all ponds.
Killdeer Plains Reservoir (Wyandot County) – Killdeer Reservoir features a newer floating boat ramp and 241 acres of fishable water. Smallmouth bass should be biting this month. Try fishing the rocks along the island and the south shore. Cast the shoreline using crayfish or leeches under a slip bobber, set just off the bottom. Also, try casting dark colored tube jigs or crankbaits along the shore. Crappies should also be biting right now. Try fishing the south shoreline using live minnows fished under a slip bobber, or 1⁄8-ounce jigs with a twister tail tipped with a minnow. There is a 10-horsepower limit on the reservoir.
Barton Lake (Williams County) – Barton Lake is on the St. Joseph River Wildlife Area, along County Road J, west of County Road 10, southwest of Montpelier. It is 19 acres in size and now is an excellent time to pursue crappies in the lake. Try fishing the inlet near the fishing access off of County Road J. Minnows fished under a slip bobber usually produce the best results. A ramp for small boats is available.
Lost Creek Reservoir (Allen County) – This reservoir is on the east side of Lima, at the intersection of Reservoir Road and Roush Road. Anglers have been catching a mixed bag of saugeyes, crappies, rock bass, white bass, smallmouth and largemouth bass, and catfish. Try drifting or trolling worm harnesses and crankbaits. Anglers can also cast crankbaits from the shoreline. Anglers can use boats with electric motors; however, there is no boat ramp, so boats must be carried over the dike on the west side.
Muddy Creek (Sandusky County) – Catfish should be biting the next couple of months. Anglers can access the water at the State Route 53 bridge. The best successes have come from fishing chicken livers or cut bait tight lined on the bottom.
Mogadore Reservoir (Portage County) – Owned and operated by the city of Akron, this reservoir is in the southwestern portion of the county, three miles east of Akron and six miles south of Kent on State Route 43, one mile south of U.S. Route 224. April, May, and June are the best months for catching largemouth bass: cast surface lures, crankbaits, or spinners toward shore and retrieve at moderate speed. For crappies, use live minnows and jigs, particularly in stumpy areas. Fishing from shore is somewhat limited, but the entire reservoir is available for boat fishing. Outboard motors are limited to electric only.
Silver Creek Lake (Summit County) – Owned and operated by Summit County Metro Parks, this reservoir is about two miles south of the city of Norton, approximately 1 mile north of State Route 585 off Medina Line Road. Silver Creek Lake is contained within Silver Creek Metro Park. Largemouth bass and bluegills can be captured close to shore, especially during the spring and again in the fall. For largemouth bass, use spinner baits, surface lures, and plastic worms. For bluegills and other sunfish, use waxworms, maggots or small worms.
Mosquito Creek Lake (Trumbull County) – Mosquito Creek Lake is within Mosquito Lake State Park in Trumbull County approximately one mile west of State Route 5 in Cortland. Five maintained boat launch ramps in addition to 250 docks (available for seasonal rental) are situated around this lake, providing convenient access. Unlimited horsepower boating is permitted. Walleyes seem to be the hot bite at Mosquito Lake. Small jigs tipped with a minnow at the right spot will be sure to keep your rod busy. Focus your time on woody snags or other structure in bays where the water tends to warm up quicker or in deeper water (8-12 feet) on the edge of weed beds.
Wingfoot Lake (Portage County) – Wingfoot Lake lies within Wingfoot Lake State Park, which is in southwestern Portage County, three miles east of Akron and eight miles south of Kent, west of State Route 43, one-half mile south of U.S. Route 224. Boats are allowed on Wingfoot Lake, but they must be propelled by outboard motors of 10 horsepower or less. For crappies, live minnows and jigs fished in six to eight feet of water are producing some nice slabs. Anglers are reporting that most of the fish are being caught toward the bottom. Real nice bonus perch are being caught by anglers while crappie fishing. Stick with the same bait, setup, and locations as crappie for a chance to pull in some nice perch.
Pymatuning Lake (Ashtabula County) – Anglers are catching a good number of yellow perch and crappies on this lake that spans the eastern border between Ohio and Pennsylvania. Crappies are coming in anywhere from 15 to 25 feet of water by anglers using minnows under a bobber or waxworms. Crappies have been large, some running up to 15 inches, according to angler reports. The crappie bite started out slow this spring, but is turning on as the temperatures warm, anglers report.
Dale Walborn Reservoir (Portage County) – Crappies continue to bite well, with some larger sized fish being taken. Minnows and worms under a bobber continue to produce these tasty panfish. In addition, anglers fishing live bait have been taking good numbers of channel catfish, typically ranging from 15 to 20 inches. Bobber rigs, as well as slip sinker rigs with nightcrawlers, have been particularly effective. The shoreline bite has been hot for sunfish, although these fish have run small. Try waxworms one to two feet below a bobber for fast action. A few bass have also been taken, and the sizes are good. Try using crankbaits, soft plastics, or topwater lures.
Berlin Lake (Stark, Portage, Mahoning counties) – Berlin Lake lies in the northeastern part of Ohio at the junction of Stark, Portage, and Mahoning counties. The lake is on, and is accessible from, U.S. Route 224 and state routes 14 and 225. There are no horsepower restrictions for boats at Berlin Lake during the day, but there is a 10 mph speed limit on the lake at night. Walleyes have moved into the willows. Try using crawler harnesses and jigs. Bass can be caught near shore on soft plastics. See the back page of this issue of Ohio Outdoor News for a full profile of Berlin Lake.
Springfield Lake (Summit County) – Springfield Lake is in southeastern Summit County and is immediately south of U.S. Route 224, one mile east of State Route 241, and a 1⁄4-mile west of State Route 91. Boats with motors up to 250 horsepower are allowed on the lake from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m., and 10-horsepower motors allowed at all other times. Crappies have been biting well around the lily pads. Try jigs tipped with curly tails or minnows. Sunfish have been biting near shore on worms fished a couple of feet below a bobber. Catfish are being caught on worms and shrimp fished on the bottom.
Tappan Lake (Harrison County) – The white bass bite is firing up. Anglers are catching exceptional quality fish around the dam. Live gizzard shad have been a hot bait, while crankbaits are also delivering consistent action. Crappies continue to be taken on minnows and jigs near shore, and waxworms under a bobber are producing sunfish. The bass bite has picked up somewhat, with soft plastics producing some good fish along the shoreline.
Deer Creek Reservoir (Stark County) – Crappies have moved up along the shoreline of this quiet, electric-only lake. Anglers are taking numbers of fish on minnows fished about three feet below a bobber. Similar setups tipped with waxworms are producing nice sunfish. Daytime catfishing has also been good. Fish nightcrawlers off the bottom for these tasty eaters.
LaDue Reservoir (Geauga County) – The catfish bite has slowed a bit, but some large fish were reported being caught last week. Tactics that have been working here are similar to other lakes. Walleyes continue to be caught on crankbaits and trolled minnow baits. Sunfish have been on the beds where they can be caught on waxworms fished two to three feet below a bobber.
As the spring days grow warmer, more and more Ohioans will be venturing out to go fishing. Ohio offers many fantastic opportunities for the public to fish, including 124,000 acres of inland water, 7,000 miles of streams, 2.25 million acres of Lake Erie water, and 481 miles of the Ohio River, according to the Ohio DNR. Here are a few areas in northeast Ohio anglers may want to check out.
Portage Lakes (Summit County) – The Portage Lakes are known as being the place to be for black bass, specifically largemouth bass. Each of the main lakes (Turkeyfoot, East, West, Long, North) offers its own unique experience based on the fishery. There is an overabundance of docks available, so this is the obvious place to try first. Pitching a spinnerbait, swimbait, or jig would work best early on, but as the season progresses you will need to move off-shore toward the drop-offs. The Portage Lakes still have some characteristics of the natural pothole lakes, so there are drop-offs that may extend down to 50 or 60 feet deep (Turkeyfoot Lake).
The upper lakes (Turkeyfoot, West, East) have two main launches, and North and Long each have a main launch. Each lake has its own regulations and horsepower restrictions, so be aware of what lake you are on and what is allowed. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, the Portage Lakes can have an overabundance of non-angler traffic. Be courteous to other boaters, be aware of your surroundings, and maybe you will land one of the trophy bass that swim in the lakes.
Atwood Lake (Carroll, Tuscarawas counties) – Over the past five years, this lake has been rated within the top 10 lakes in the state for numbers and size (nine-inch and longer) of crappies.
Locate areas where there are downed trees, beaver lodges, or brush, especially in proximity to deeper water. Try using light-weight (1⁄32- or 1⁄64-ounce) jigs either with a curly tail or tipped with a minnow.
There are three boat ramps at this lake. There is some shore fishing, but this is definitely a boat-fishing lake. There is a 25-horsepower restriction on outboard motors.
Pymatuning Lake (Ashtabula County) – Despite being Ohio’s largest inland lake, Pymatuning Lake offers good sunfish and perch fishing each year. Shoreline access can be limiting, but wading in the shallows or using a small boat can lead to success on this lake. Bluegill, pumpkinseed, rock bass, and yellow perch populations are good, with numerous Fish Ohio’s caught regularly. This lake can be intimidating, but much of its area is shallow. Fishing around any of the boat launches can produce fish, but the causeway that separates the north and south sides is large, provides great access, and offers anglers a chance to catch a slab.
There are over a dozen boat launches, three marinas that rent boats, and facilities on both sides of the lake that anglers will enjoy. A lower horsepower limit (20 horsepower) restricts larger boats.
Keep in mind the reciprocal license agreement between the DNR Division of Wildlife and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. Although you can fish from a boat on either side of the lake, you must have the appropriate state’s license to fish from their shore. Consult your fishing regulations to ensure compliance.
Springfield Lake (Summit County) – Springfield Lake, near Akron, is stocked every other year with channel catfish and provides anglers with an opportunity to land a true trophy. There is shoreline access scattered across many different areas of the lake. Traditional baits such as shrimp, cut bait, and nightcrawlers work well. Anglers will find boat launches on the north and south sides of the lake.
Mosquito Creek Lake (Trumbull County) – Mosquito Creek Lake has the best numbers of walleyes across all of Ohio’s inland lakes over the past five years. Each year, the DNR Division of Wildlife collects broodstock walleyes from Mosquito Lake for hatchery production. It is known for producing great catch rates of walleyes from 14 to18 inches, but anglers who are familiar with the lake’s fishery regularly catch walleyes up to 28 inches. Mid-lake areas from the causeway to the “cemetery” produce the best catches. Drifting, trolling, or casting from the six- to 15-foot depth range work best, but make sure to align bait choices with whatever season it is. Anglers who wade generally find success near the state park access on the south end.
Three public boat launches and two private launches span the lake, with two boat rental facilities available. There is unlimited horsepower access, but a large area north of the causeway is considered to be a slow/no wake zone. The extreme north end of the lake above the buoy line is no access due to the wildlife refuge. Mosquito Creek Lake can produce trophy catches year round. Whether it is ice fishing, early season wading, mid-summer trolling, or casting in the fall, Mosquito Lake is the choice for many walleye anglers across Ohio.
West Branch Lake (Portage County) – The DNR Division of Wildlife’s Muskie Angler Log indicates that West Branch Lake produced the most fish last year for muskie anglers. This lake is known for producing fish, but the number of large fish reported has been high, making West Branch Lake a true trophy fishery for anglers. This lake offers great fishing for trollers and casters. Long points, sunken islands, and weed lines are ideal areas to start. A good lake map is needed to ensure that you are hitting the right areas.
Three improved launches and two unimproved launches are available. Boats with unlimited horsepower are allowed, but the area west of Rock Springs Road is a no-wake area.
West Branch Lake has historically had numerous predators stocked over the years. Muskellunge, walleyes, saugeyes, and even striped bass have been stocked over the years, so don’t be surprised with what you catch at West Branch, according to the Division of Wildlife.
East Fork Lake (Clermont County) – For crappies, try using minnows and jigs with tubes. Chartreuse and white color patterns are working the best currently. Fish are generally being taken in 18 to 24 inches of water. Try fishing around structure, fallen trees, and in the coves.
Rocky Fork Lake (Highland County) – For saugeyes, anglers are reporting decent fishing. Try crankbaits or trolling with a Shad Rap. Crappies have been hitting between three and four feet. Try using black or chartreuse jigs and minnows. Largemouth bass are being taken with crankbaits in water two to six feet deep.
Cowan Lake (Clinton County) – The lake is slightly muddy at the moment but many are reporting decent fishing. For crappies, try minnows in four to six feet of water.
Adams Lake (Adams County) – Anglers should have good success fishing from the shoreline. Bluegills and crappies can be caught on nightcrawlers and waxworms. This is a great place for fishing with youth. Pay careful attention to the trees and weeds along the bank. Fish are hitting around 18 inches deep.
Lake Loramie (Shelby County) – Channel catfish are biting on chicken livers, shrimp, and stink baits fished on the bottom. Bluegills have been caught recently around boat docks, riprap shorelines, and along the edges of lily pads. Try using small jigs tipped with waxworms fished just one to two feet under a small bobber.
Ohio Brush Creek (Adams County) – White crappies are being caught on live minnows around stumps and laydowns. Crappies up to 14 inches are being caught. Creek level is good and so is the water quality, according to angler reports.
Lake Logan (Hocking County) – Saugeyes can be caught on bottom bouncing jigs tipped with nightcrawlers or minnows fished in six to 10 feet of water. Also try trolling crankbaits in the same depth. For crappies, start looking for white crappies to move into shallower water around shoreline structure to spawn. Focus your effort around wood structure. Try using small jigs tipped with plastic tubes, plastic grubs, or live minnows fished below bobbers in depths less than six feet. Sunfish should be biting well along the shore. Fish a simple waxworm under a bobber.
Monroe Lake (Monroe County) – Productive spots for largemouth bass include the areas along submerged weed beds or woody cover in six feet of water. Try fishing shallow running crankbaits. Bluegill fishing should be good as temperatures continue to warm. Seek out shallow areas in the upper end of the lake or on the north side of the lake in hopes of catching some of the bluegill on spawning beds.
Wills Creek Reservoir (Coshocton County) – Saugeyes will concentrate below the dam during high volume water releases. Shallow flats, points, as well as areas with riprap will also attract saugeyes. Jig-and-twisters, vibrating blade baits, and stickbaits are popular in addition to live bait such as minnows. Flathead catfish can be reeled in below the dam and in the tailwaters in the late afternoon and evening hours. Try using nightcrawlers and chicken livers.
Tycoon Lake (Gallia County) – Largemouth bass attract many early anglers at this popular destination. Use rubber worms or spinner baits along the old fencerows or over other submerged structure such as tree stumps, standing timber, or weed bed edges. Early spring is a great time to fish for crappies. Try using jigs and minnows in two- to eight-foot depths.
Lake Vesuvius (Lawrence County) – Successful catches of bass, bluegill, catfish, and trout are always reported this time of year. From the boardwalk, try fishing worms under bobbers for bluegills. Trout can be caught on flavored baits fished off the bottom near the boat dock. Fish for catfish all along the lake shoreline on the bottom using cut bait or nightcrawlers. Largemouth bass in the 17- to 18-inch range can be reeled in on a variety of artificial baits in the coves of the northwest bank, between the dock and the beach. Largemouth bass and an occasional spotted bass can also be caught on a variety of artificial baits fished near the headwaters.
Veto Lake (Washington County) – Crappies, sunfish, catfish, and largemouth bass should all be biting at this 160-acre lake. For crappies, fish a minnow under a bobber two feet off the bottom along woody vegetation. For sunfish, try small worms, waxworms, or minnows fished under a bobber. The best locations are generally near the picnic shelter and the boat ramp. Try fishing for largemouth bass with green-colored crankbaits. Cast out along banks, quick drop-offs, and vegetated areas and reel in slowly. Channel catfish can be fished at night using cut baits, chicken livers, and nightcrawlers.
Lake Erie Region
Where: Fishing has been good near “H” can and “D” can of the Camp Perry firing range, off Niagara Reef, just west of Catawba Island, north of North Bass Island, and around Kelleys Island Shoal.
How: Walleyes have been caught by casting mayfly rigs tipped with worms, or by trolling with crankbaits, worm harnesses, or divers and spoons.
Where: Fishing has occasionally been good near shore from Huron to Lorain. Anglers are also catching fish off Cleveland, Wildwood Park, and Fairport Harbor in 16 to 35 feet of water, and northwest of Ashtabula in 25 to 29 feet and 41 to 48 feet of water.
How: Walleyes have been caught by trolling with crankbaits or worm harnesses. The best fishing has been in the evenings.
Where: A few fish have been caught off the Cleveland 72nd Street lighthouse in 32 to 35 feet of water and Wildwood Park in 32 feet of water.
How: Perch spreaders with shiners fished near the bottom produce the most fish.
Where: Fishing has been good in eight to 25 feet of water around harbor areas in Cleveland, Fairport Harbor, Ashtabula, and Conneaut.