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Saturday, January 28th, 2023

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Ohio Outdoor News Fishing Report – July 7, 2017

Central Region

Indian Lake (Logan County) – Saugeyes are being caught by anglers employing Husky Jerks and other similar baits. Look for rocky areas for the best saugeye bite, anglers report. Anglers are catching limits of fish, some up to 25 inches. Some channel catfish and crappies are also getting into the mix. Fish deep for the catfish using nightcrawlers on the bottom. For crappies, you can’t beat live minnows for bait.

Alum Creek Lake (Delaware County) – Anglers are successfully trolling for saugeyes with worm harnesses and bottom bouncers. Keep the bait in about eight to 15 feet of water for the best bite. Some incidental catches of bass and crappies are also being reported on the harnesses. The largest fish being reported is right around the 20-inch mark, and several are reporting catching limits of fish.

Hoover Reservoir (Franklin, Delaware counties) – Crappies are the main target for anglers at this reservoir near Columbus’ northern suburbs. Anglers are catching them on minnows fished on the bottom. Some are even trolling minnows to catch crappies. Fish anywhere from 10 to 15 feet of water for the best bite. Largemouth bass is also a popular quarry at this lake. Fish for them among the rocky areas along the shoreline. Nightcrawlers, either live or plastics, will produce fish. Anglers are also catching channel catfish on prepared baits or small crankbaits.

Buckeye Lake (Fairfield, Licking, Perry counties) – Saugeyes can be caught by anglers trolling or casting crankbaits. If that doesn’t work, you can always give the lake’s channel catfish a try. These good eaters bite readily on nightcrawlers fished under a bobber. Fish the bait shallow for catfish.

Below are the best lakes, by species, in Central Ohio, according to the DNR Division of Wildlife.

Black Bass

Rush Creek Lake (Fairfield, Perry counties) – This reservoir is one of the best in central Ohio when it comes to numbers and sizes of largemouth bass. Recent surveys by fisheries biologists have shown the numbers of bass over 15 inches on the rise. This is also one of the only lakes in the area to produce bass over 7 pounds. Steeper shorelines along the south shoreline and near the dam are great places to catch bass year-round. Rush Creek has one recently upgraded boat ramp and parking lot (10 horsepower limit lake). There are extensive areas of submerged trees that can be hazardous to boaters, so be sure to proceed cautiously if it’s your first time there.

Crappie

Delaware Lake (Delaware County) – According to Division of Wildlife surveys, Delaware Lake ranks in the top 5 statewide for numbers of crappie over 10 inches. Delaware has numerous large coves with fallen trees and other cover that will hold large numbers of black and white crappies during the spring and summer months. In later summer and fall, crappies will move to deeper habitats often associated with the original creek channel. This reservoir is surrounded by a wildlife area on the east and state park area on the west, allowing for extensive access to the shoreline. There are three boat ramps, including the state park marina on the west shore in the middle of the lake. Delaware Lake is an unlimited horsepower lake that can experience substantial water level fluctuations after rain events. Be sure to check the Army Corps of Engineers website for current lake levels before your fishing trip.

Channel Catfish

Hoover Reservoir (Franklin, Delaware counties) – This City of Columbus water supply reservoir has emerged as one of the best catfish fisheries in the state. Not only does it rank as one of the best lakes to fish for the more common channel catfish, but it also produces good numbers and sizes of the much larger flathead catfish. In 2011, Hoover became one of the first inland reservoirs in the state to be stocked with blue catfish. Recent surveys and fishing reports from Hoover have already produced blue cats over 20 pounds. Drifting cut shad in the northern basin of the lake is one of the best overall techniques to catch both large blue and channel catfish. Live bait, such as chubs, sucker, and bluegill, is often more effective for catching flathead catfish, which tend to associate more with cover like rocks or submerged wood. Sunbury Road runs along the west side of the lake and has numerous pull offs and parking areas for anglers to access, while the town of Galena on the north end has more access areas including a large boardwalk. Hoover is a 10-horsepower limit lake and has five boat ramps, including Big Walnut in the lower basin, Red Bank in the middle basin, and Oxbow in the northern basin.

Saugeye

Indian Lake (Logan County) – Indian Lake is consistently ranked as the top lake in the state for both numbers and sizes of saugeye. From fall through spring, shore fishing from the south bank and the Moundwood channel can produce good numbers of fish. During the summer, trolling crankbaits throughout the large western basin of the lake is a popular technique with anglers. Channels, bridges, and pinch points between islands can be good as well, especially if there is wind blowing through these areas. At just over 5,000 acres, Indian Lake is one of the largest reservoirs in the state and has a large amount of public access with several boat ramps, the most popular of which are the Moundwood, Lakeview, and Blackhawk ramps. Indian Lake is an unlimited horsepower lake and has many private residences along the shoreline, which can result in days with large numbers of recreational boaters.

Muskellunge

Alum Creek Lake (Delaware County) – One of nine program lakes that gets stocked by the Division of Wildlife with muskies, Alum Creek provides a great opportunity to catch a trophy-sized fish. From late March through May, and again in the fall, top spots will be coves with steep shorelines and fallen trees that extend into deep water. As summer approaches, muskies will move out to the main lake and can be caught trolling large crankbaits along the many underwater points and drop-offs that can be found in the lower basin south of Cheshire Road. Throughout the year, trolling or casting any of the riprap areas, including the dam and causeways, can also be effective. State park land surrounds the lake, offering excellent access for shore anglers. The lake is an unlimited horsepower lake with the Howard Road ramp offering boat access to the northern basin, Cheshire ramp in the middle basin, and New Galena and the State Park Marina in the southern basin.

Northwest Region

Maumee River (Lucas County) – Weekend rain and cooler temperatures brought some good fishing action, reports Maumee Bait and Tackle. Angler reports indicate catches of catfish, white bass, and smallmouth bass in several locations throughout the river. Some walleyes were also being caught. The cooler water temperatures should drive fish into deeper water and into cover. A tip from Maumee Bait and Tackle recommends using smaller baits to catch these fish. Plastics, stickbaits, and creature baits should all work well.

Maumee Bait and Tackle, www.maumeetackle.net

Findlay Reservoirs (Hancock County) – White bass are about the only species biting right now and they can be taken on jig and minnow combinations or waxworms under a bobber. Fish the bait shallow. Yellow perch fishing should pick up sometime in the near future.

Sandusky River (Sandusky County) – Channel catfish are being caught by anglers using just about any and all offerings. Also, carp have been in the mix for fishermen using doughballs.

Northeast Region 

Berlin Lake (Stark, Portage, Mahoning counties) – Berlin Lake fishermen are catching walleyes while slow trolling crankbaits, primarily in the evening hours. Fish have been caught anywhere from five to 15 feet deep. Don’t be surprised if you pick up a few crappies on the end of your line as well.

Mosquito Creek Lake (Trumbull County) – This lake in northeast Ohio is known for its population of walleyes, but anglers right now are faring well on crappies. Successful anglers are catching these fish in anywhere from five to 15 feet of water. The popular bait presentation has been a minnow under a float.

Pymatuning Lake (Ashtabula County) – Anglers are catching a few walleyes on this large lake that spans the border between Ohio and Pennsylvania. Target weed edges and any other type of cover with small crankbaits or spinnerbaits to pick up the walleye bite. Fish are reportedly shallow, ranging anywhere from six to 10 feet deep. This lake also offers the chance to catch yellow perch, catfish, crappies, and bluegills with some regularity.

Southwest Region

Caesar Creek Lake (Warren County) – A few saugeyes are being caught, primarily in the early morning or evening hours when the temperatures are not so hot. Successful fishermen are slow trolling crankbaits in eight to 15 feet of water to pick up a few fish. Muskies can also be caught here. Find any woody cover and cast large spinnerbaits to the wood. Crappies and bluegill can also be caught by anglers using minnows or nightcrawlers. For largemouth bass, cast spinnerbaits to any spot that contains cover. Channel catfish are also an option here, and some specimens grow to fairly large sizes. Use cut bait or prepared baits for the best catfish bite.

Grand Lake St. Marys (Mercer County) – This lake, Ohio’s largest inland reservoir, will fill an angler’s creel with crappies. Successful fishermen employ the tried and true method of fishing minnows under a float. Jig and minnow combinations will also work for catching crappies. Right now, crappies are moving to deeper water after the spawn. Fish for them in 10- to 15-foot depths. Many crappies run fairly large here, and some specimens will reach up to 12 inches. Some bluegills will also be caught by anglers fishing for crappies.

Cowan Lake (Clinton County) – Anglers fishing this lake in Clinton County near Wilmington are catching saugeyes and crappies with some regularity. Successful saugeye anglers are trolling small crankbaits in 10 to 15 feet of water. For crappies, try a jig and minnow combination or straight nightcrawler on a hook.

Southeast Region

Salt Fork Lake (Guernsey County) – Channel catfish anglers are reporting success using cut bait in nearshore areas. Fish the bait on the bottom for best results. For crappies, try fishing a minnow or a jig and minnow combination. Some crappies are fairly large here, up to 12 inches.

Seneca Lake (Noble, Guernsey counties) – Saugeyes are being caught right now by anglers jigging baits in 10 to 15 feet of water. Look for drop-offs or rocky points to ambush this hybrid between a walleye and sauger. The best tip is to jig the lure slowly through the strike zone as saugeyes are a bit sluggish due to the heat of the summer. Crappies are also being caught here by anglers using the same setups. Crappies can range up to 10 inches.

Tappan Lake (Harrison County) – For largemouth bass, cast crankbaits in nearshore areas. Also, white bass are biting on waxworms or nightcrawlers fished under a bobber. Fish the bait shallow for white bass, anywhere from five to eight feet of water. Crappies and bluegills will bite on these same offerings. A mess of these panfish make for a fine summertime meal.

Lake Erie Region

• The daily bag limit is six walleyes 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 two fish per angler. The minimum size limit is 12 inches.

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

Western Basin

Walleye 

Where: Fishing has been good near the turnaround buoy of the Toledo shipping channel, north and northwest of West Sister Island, near “G” can of the Camp Perry firing range, between Kelleys Island and South Bass Island, and north of Kelleys Island.

How: Walleyes have been caught by casting mayfly rigs tipped with worms, or by trolling with crankbaits, worm harnesses, or divers and spoons.

Yellow Perch

Where: Yellow perch fishing has been good within a mile of shore near Metzger Marsh, west of Metzger Marsh, and near Green Island.

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

Smallmouth Bass

Where: Fishing has been good nearshore around the Bass Islands.

How: Anglers are casting tube jigs or using drop shot rigs.

Central Basin

Walleye 

Where: Fishing has been good nearshore from Vermilion to Lorain, and near the weather buoy north of Vermilion. Excellent fishing was reported in 44 to 48 feet of water northwest of Cleveland Edgewater Park (Gold Coast), in 42 to 50 feet of water north-northeast of Gordon Park, in 35 to 50 feet of water north-northwest of Fairport Harbor, and in 35 to 50 feet of water northwest of Conneaut.

How: Walleyes have been caught by trolling planer boards or divers with crankbaits, spoons, and worm harnesses. The best colors have been copper, purple, yellow, blue and silver, pink and green, and blue.

Yellow Perch

Where: Yellow perch fishing has been slow recently. The best areas have been in 38 feet of water northeast of Gordon Park and in 35 to 45 feet of water north-northeast of Fairport.

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 off Gordon Park, Fairport Harbor, and Ashtabula.

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

Cleveland Metroparks, www.clevelandmetroparks.com

OHIO RIVER REGION

Cincinnati Area (Hamilton County) – Fishing activity has been picking up, particularly for catfish anglers. The successful bait has been raw shrimp or nightcrawlers fished with weight to keep it on the bottom. Both channels and flatheads have reportedly been caught.

Willow Island pool (Monroe County) – Low-light periods of the day are best for catching flathead catfish on this southeastern Ohio pool of the river. Try skipjack, cut baits, or nightcrawlers fished on the bottom for best results.

Pike Island Lock and Dam (Belmont County) – For saugers, try small jigs and twister tail combinations. Low-light periods seem to be the best time to try for these fish, due to the cooler temperatures of the day. Anglers are also fishing for flathead catfish using shrimp, skipjack, or cut bait fished on the bottom.

Meldahl Dam (Clermont County) – Channel catfish and some flathead catfish are being caught on this popular section of the Ohio. Try chicken livers, shrimp, or nightcrawlers fished on the bottom.

BEYOND OHIO

Lake St. Clair (Michigan)

The walleye bite has been good on Lake St. Clair and some limit catches were taken in front of the Metropark. Everything from trolling a crawler harness to jigging crawlers has worked. Those trolling from Selfridge to the main shipping channel were finding walleyes, too. The white bass action was hot near the Clinton River, Metro Beach, and in front of the mile roads. Fish were showing up in large schools near the breakwall in front of Harley Ensign Boat Launch. Smallmouth bass fishing was slower than average but fish were being caught.

Irish Hills Area (Mich.)

Fishing has slowed on Wamplers Lake but bass were caught along the flats on the northwest end when casting spinners and crankbaits. Panfish are transitioning from deeper water to their beds. Panfish were caught along the drop-offs and sandy areas where beds were located in five to 10 feet. Sand Lake was producing largemouth bass along the drop-offs in 10 to 15 feet. Panfish are on their way to the beds in six to 10 feet and were caught on worms and wax worms.

Luna Pier Area (Mich.)

Walleye fishing has been good in Lake Erie. Anglers at Bolles Harbor did best near the E-Buoy when trolling nightcrawlers near the bottom at a low speed. Some limit catches were reported. At Sterling State Park, anglers did best in 18 to 23 feet but no limit catches were reported. Many small fish are still being caught. White bass numbers have declined. Most anglers are using crawlers.

SOUTHWESTERN LP

Union Area (Mich.)

Panfish have moved into the shallows on lakes in Cass County. Bluegills and sunfish are hitting leaf worms, waxworms, and rubber spiders. Bass are holding in the shallows too and the bite has been good when tossing soft plastics, shallow-running crankbaits, and nightcrawlers.

Kalamazoo Area (Mich.)

Bluegills have moved into the shallows on many lakes in the area including Gull, Barton, and Portage. Torpedo bobbers with flies were most productive for bluegills. Bass are very active too, and the rock bass action has been nonstop. Good catches of crappies have been reported on Cedar and Pine lakes. Live minnows seem to be the bait of choice. Anglers on Lake Michigan are reporting the best fishing in three years. All species are being caught and many big kings have been reported.

Grand Rapids Area (Mich.)

The Grand River near Grand Rapids had good fishing for smallmouth bass, catfish, walleyes, and pike. Most anglers were using nightcrawlers or minnows. This is a good section of the river for pike fishing, too. Try a spinnerbait fished along the emerging weeds.

PENNSYLVANIA

Lake Erie (Pennsylvania) – Walleyes were hitting along the shore off Elk Creek and Trout Run when conditions allowed boaters to get on the water in late May. Trolling along the shoreline in 15 to 18 feet between Walnut Creek and the Condos was productive for some anglers. Walleyes were hitting in 20 to 40 feet. Shore anglers also were catching walleyes on stickbaits in the late evening hours near the mouth of Elk and other creeks. Perch fishing was generally slow, with the best bite reported in 50 to 60 feet off Walnut Creek. Smallmouth bass were hitting in 10 to 20 feet on both the east and west sides. The tributaries were still yielding a few bass in late May.

Presque Isle Bay (Erie County, Pa.) – An excellent smallmouth bass bite was reported in late May, with some anglers making nice releases on jerkbaits, drop-shot baits, and blade baits in eight to 10 feet. Fish weighed up to 4-plus pounds.

Union City Reservoir (Erie County, Pa.) – Crappies and bluegills were biting in recent weeks.

French Creek (Erie, Venango, Crawford, Mercer counties, Pa.) – A few days of cool weather in late May spurred the walleye bite.

Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County, Pa.) – As of late May, reports on crappies and walleyes were mixed, with some anglers reporting a decent crappie bite on small minnows in 10 to 12 feet on drop-offs, and walleyes hitting on jigs and crawlers in four to six feet or trolling in 19 to 22 feet. One walleye was a 9-pound, 28 incher. Numbers were scarce in a recent tournament, with only 14 teams out of 96 catching walleyes. Perch and catfish were reported. During a bass tournament, the winning team weighed a limit of eight bass totaling 23.3 pounds, including the lunker, a 5.39-pound largemouth.

Woodcock Creek Lake (Crawford County, Pa.) – The lake and spillway were yielding walleyes in nice numbers on a variety of baits and lures, especially leeches. One angler recently caught a nice-size muskie.

Lake Canadohta (Crawford County, Pa.) – Northern pike were hitting in the lagoon area in late May. Catfish also were hitting.

Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County, Pa.) – The crappie and bluegill bites were picking up in late May, with the water between Interstate 79 and Launch No. 3 productive. The lower lake also was productive. Crappies were averaging nine to 11 inches. A few anglers were starting to catch walleyes by trolling between the causeway and Launch No. 2.

Shenango Reservoir (Mercer County, Pa.) – Bass, including hybrid stripers, walleyes, and crappies were reported in late May. Stripers were hitting on the main lake points in the early morning and late evening hours. Crappies were numerous, but sizes tended to be small. The winning weight in a recent tournament was 20 crappies totaling 9 pounds. Bluegills also were reported.

Neshannock Creek (Mercer County, Pa.) – Trout and smallmouth bass were reported by an angler fishing from a kayak.

Sugar Creek (Venango County, Pa.) – Numbers of brown and rainbow trout up to 18-plus inches and 2¼ pounds were reported on Joe Fly lures tipped with crawlers. Crawlers, waxworms, and fathead minnows also were productive.

East Sandy Creek (Venango County, Pa.) – Nice-size brook and brown trout were reported on salmon eggs and salted minnows in recent weeks.

Allegheny River (Venango County, Pa.) – As of early June, smallmouth bass were in some stage of spawn and anglers were releasing bass 14 to 20 inches on flukes, tubes, and mushroom-head jigs, jerkbaits, and river darter patterns. Walleyes 17 to 22 inches were reported on Bomber Suspending Long As.

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