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Ohio Outdoor News Fishing Report – Nov. 24, 2017

Central Region

Alum Creek Lake (Delaware County) – Anglers fishing for smallmouth and largemouth bass here are finding some success. The popular setup has been either a jerkbait or a swimbait retrieved slowly. Others are casting for saugeyes with some success. Fish have ranged up to 19 inches. The fall months are also a good time to hook up with Alum’s muskies. Try large spinnerbaits for the best bite, fished among the wood.

Hoover Reservoir (Franklin, Delaware counties) – Anglers fishing topwater baits are catching some largemouth bass, according to reports. Some lucky fishermen have had success fishing topwater frogs and other baits. For saugeyes, anglers are trolling Flicker Shads in a variety of colors to pull in fish up to 20 inches.

Indian Lake (Logan County) – Channel catfish are reportedly being caught in good numbers. Try any type of live bait – nightcrawler, chicken liver, etc. – fished on the bottom. Anglers will also pick up some saugeyes on the live bait rigs.

Buckeye Lake (Fairfield, Licking, Perry counties) – Saugeyes are hit and miss right now as the bite turns on one place and off in another. Successful anglers have been using swimbaits. The largest saugeye being reported is a 21-incher. Channel catfish, too, can be caught in the later fall months. Try a piece of nightcrawler fished on the bottom.

Northwest Region

Findlay Reservoir No. 2 (Hancock County) – Anglers are fishing for yellow perch with some success here. If you can find emerald shiners, that’s the best bait to go with on a spreader rig. Otherwise, golden shiners will have to do the trick. Perch have ranged up to 10 inches. Also, jig and minnow combos or Vib-Es have taken some walleyes.

Maumee River (Lucas County) – Some anglers are fishing the Maumee at this time of year for white bass and smallmouth bass. Try a crankbait in a shad pattern for best results. Also, tie on a wax worm or minnow to catch some panfish.

Lima Lake (Allen County) – Anglers here are fishing for crappies and bluegills. Try a jig and minnow or wax worm for best results. Fish the bait about midway up the water column and be patient: These panfish react a little more slowly in the cold water temperatures.

Northeast Region

Berlin Lake (Portage, Mahoning, Stark counties) – Anglers fishing this lake have had some success jigging for walleyes. The fall jig bite appears to be on. The successful set up has been a blue or chrome Vib-E. If you can stay out of the wind for the most part, the bite has been decent.

Mosquito Creek Lake (Trumbull County) – Anglers are fishing for walleyes here, but success has been limited. It’s that time of year where you might try jigging a Vib-E around structure to pick up a walleye or two. Otherwise, fish a jig-and minnow combination to pick up a host of different species, from crappies to channel catfish.

Pymatuning Reservoir (Ashtabula County) – Anglers are catching some walleyes by trolling crankbaits and stickbaits. Successful fishermen are trolling in 14-20 feet of water. Crappies and yellow perch are also being caught in 9-10 feet of water by anglers employing jig and minnow combinations or waxworms under a bobber.

West Branch Reservoir (Portage County) – Anglers are catching some crappies here, but the bite has reportedly been a tough one. More fishermen are trolling for muskies than fishing for crappies with about the same results – not much. For crappies, the morning hour bite has seemed to be the best.

Southwest Region

Grand Lake St. Marys (Mercer, Auglaize counties) – Anglers are fishing jigs and minnows for crappies and yellow perch. Try a variety of jig colors until you find one that works. Also, be sure to locate fish at the proper depth, and then adjust the setup.

Acton Lake (Preble, Butler counties) – Crappie fishermen are doing fairly well here, picking up fish up to 10 inches. The popular setup has been a minnow under a bobber. Also, try jigging a jig and trailer to pick up saugeyes or bass.

Caesar Creek Lake (Warren, Clinton, Greene counties) – Anglers are fishing for crappies here with some success. The best bite is coming on a jig and skirt setup of either white or chartreuse. Fish the bait in 5-10 feet of water. Don’t be surprised if you pick up a bunch of white bass  as well using these tactics.

Cowan Lake (Clinton County) – Anglers are catching a few crappies here on this lake near Wilmington. The popular setup has been either minnows or waxworms fished under a bobber.

Southeast Region

Salt Fork Lake (Guernsey County) – When the water has not been turbid, anglers are catching largemouth bass, saugeyes, and channel catfish. Also, some crappies are being caught, some up to 14-inch slab sizes. Use a jig and minnow combination or simply a minnow or waxworm under a bobber.

Piedmont Lake (Belmont County) – Anglers are doing fairly well on saugeyes here, with some fish measuring 21 inches, according to reports. Successful saugeye anglers are trolling crankbaits for the best bite. Don’t be surprised if you pick up a muskie or two while trolling as well.

Leesville Lake (Carroll County) – Saugeye fishing is going fairly well on this Carroll County lake. Fish up to 26 inches have been reported by anglers jigging Vib-Es. Practice a slow retrieve in these colder than normal waters.

Tappan Lake (Harrison County) – Anglers have had some success fishing for saugeyes here recently. The fall bite appears to be on, according to angler reports. Fish a crankbait or a stickbait in a variety of colors. Channel catfish, too, are being caught by fishermen fishing chicken livers on the bottom.

Lake Erie Region

• The bag limit for walleye in Ohio waters of Lake Erie is six fish per angler. The minimum size limit for walleye 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.

Western Basin


Where: The best reports have come from north of Kelleys Island and a few miles east of Kelleys Island.

How: Walleyes have been caught primarily by trolling with crankbaits, or divers and spoons.

Yellow Perch

Where: Fishing has been good one to two miles north of Metzger Marsh Wildlife Area, near “G” and “H” buoys of the Camp Perry firing range, around Crib Reef, near Rattlesnake Island, and off Ballast Island.

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

Smallmouth Bass

Where: Fishing has been good nearshore around Kelleys Island and South Bass Island, and on the reefs of the Camp Perry firing range.

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

Central Basin


Where: Excellent fishing was reported from Cedar Point to Lorain in 28 to 42 feet of water. Good fishing was reported in 49 to 51 feet of water and 60 to 65 feet of water north-northwest of Gordon Park, in 59 feet of water north of the Chagrin River, in 54 to 65 feet of water north-northwest of Geneva, and in 50 to 65 feet of water north-northwest of Ashtabula.

How: Walleye have been caught by trolling crankbaits, spoons, and worm harnesses with planer boards or dipsy divers. The best colors have been purple, copper, white, and pink.

Yellow Perch

Where: Fish are being caught north of the condominiums that are east of Vermilion, in 40 to 47 feet of water north-northeast of Edgewater Park, in 38 to 42 feet of water northeast of Wildwood Park, in 51 to 52 feet of water north of Lakeshore Park in Ashtabula, and in 48 feet of water northeast of Conneaut.

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

Smallmouth Bass

Where: Fish have been caught in 10 to 30 feet of water around the harbor areas in Cleveland, Fairport Harbor, Ashtabula, and Conneaut.

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

Steelhead Trout

Where: Excellent fishing was reported around the breakwalls at Fairport Harbor and Conneaut. Anglers are also catching fish while trolling for walleyes from Fairport to Conneaut.

How: Anglers are trolling crankbaits and small spoons.

The Rocky River and other area streams are in good shape after being elevated and muddy. But the fish took note and a run of fresh steelhead are available for anglers throughout the entire main branch of the Rocky River and the Chagrin River up to North Chagrin Reservation. As is typical, the greatest concentration of fish, and therefore also anglers, is in the northernmost river stretches. If the area receives minimal additional rain, prospects into the weekend will remain promising. Wise anglers will stay tuned to the flow and turbidity (water stain) data to determine the trend in river conditions. The big trout, averaging 5-7 pounds as of late, have been biting on brightly colored dime to nickel size spawn sacs when the water is stained and beads that mimic salmon eggs, small marabou jigs tipped with a few maggots or a waxworm drifted under a float, flies (egg patterns and baitfish streamers), and lures such as Little Cleo spoons and Vibrax spinners as the water clears further. The fall run is just gaining momentum with the increase in flows and more steelhead will continue to migrate up area streams into the fall season.

The steelhead bite has remained very good along the Cleveland lakefront as lake wave conditions allow – especially at Edgewater Park and E. 55th east facing breakwall. Steelhead are also being hooked off the breakwall at E. 72nd, the pier at Wendy Park at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River, off the breakwall at Wildwood Park, and off the jetties at Huntington Beach. Casting a spoon (i.e., Little Cleo or KO Wobbler) or spinner (i.e., Vibrax or RoosterTail) at these locations are as good a bet as any for connecting with a lakefront steelhead trout, as is suspending a small jig tipped with a minnow or maggots under a bobber. Make sure to bring a long-handled landing net when fishing the lakefront for steelhead.

In addition to steelhead, great catches of walleyes have been found along nearshore Lake Erie and the bite is only getting better. Shore-based walleye anglers are doing best casting stickbaits (i.e., Husky Jerks and Perfect 10s) and glow-in-the-dark spoons at dusk and after dark. White bass and yellow perch fishing has been slow lately.

The Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area off E. 49th Street (down the walking trail from Canalway Center) was stocked with 1,000 pounds of rainbow trout and 600 pounds of farm-raised channel catfish on Oct. 13. The daily limit here is five trout per angler. Trout bite well on PowerBait, small jigs tipped with maggots, and small spinners. Catfish bite great on chicken liver. Trout and catfish can both be targeted effectively by fishing a half nightcrawler worm or chunk of cocktail shrimp right on the canal bottom.

Anglers at Metroparks inland lakes and ponds are catching catfish, largemouth bass, and panfish. Wallace Lake, Ledge Lake, Shadow Lake, and Beyer’s Pond are a few spots worth poking around in fall. Wallace Lake was stocked with the majority of 449 largemouth bass and bluegill over the past few weeks from a private golf course lake that is being drained, and additionally received 300 catchable size coho salmon and a few rainbow trout back in October.

Cleveland Metroparks,

Ohio River Region

Scioto County – Anglers in the past have had success fishing the Ohio River at the confluence of the Scioto River. Channel catfish are always a popular species to catch this time of year. Try using chicken livers or nightcrawlers fished tight-line off the bottom. Target flathead catfish by using live skipjacks or shad. Some hybrid striped bass may also be caught. Try using white jigs with twisters tipped with a minnow.

Pike Island pool – Anglers focusing their efforts on gravel bars are catching walleyes and smallmouth bass. A variety of baits are being offered from swimbaits to crankbaits to tubes. Walleyes in particular have ranged up to 17 inches.

Downtown Cincinnati (Hamilton County) – Anglers are having success catching blue cats in the morning hours. Try using chicken breast.

Greenup Dam – Hybrid striped bass and white bass should be moving this time of year. For hybrid striped bass, try fishing cut baits and live baits off the bottom. For white bass, try using topwater lures as well as skipjack, chubs, shiners, and cut bait. Early mornings will probably produce the most catches.

Meldahl Dam (Clermont County) – Channel catfish and flathead catfish are being caught below the dam tailwaters using shad and skipjack fished tight on the bottom. The best time to fish for channel catfish and flathead catfish is during the nighttime.

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