Ohio Outdoor News Fishing Report – March 30, 2018
Alum Creek Lake (Delaware County) – Anglers targeting the deep creek channels at this large central Ohio lake have been catching largemouth and smallmouth bass. Try using a spinnerbait to entice the bass bite. Also, anglers are fishing for saugeyes, but without much luck. Try a nightcrawler or a Vib-E to catch saugeyes. A bunch of anglers are still trying for the spillway bite. Some have been rewarded with good size crappies and the occasional muskie.
Indian Lake (Logan County) – Fishermen are catching a few saugeyes here on jig and minnow combinations. The popular colors have been orange, chartreuse, and pink on the jigs. Also, a few white bass are showing up in angler creels. The catches, however, have reportedly been few and far between, particularly on the saugeyes. Those fish should bite better when the water warms a bit later into the spring.
Buckeye Lake (Fairfield, Licking, Perry counties) – Anglers are catching crappies in good numbers in the bays, but most fish are running small in the six- to eight-inch range. The popular bait has been simply a lively minnow under a bobber. Not much mention of saugeyes being caught. Channel catfish are typically the first early spring biters here. Focus efforts on the marsh area to catch fish in the 12- to 16-inch range.
Sandusky River (Sandusky County) – Anglers are reporting that the walleye bite is on in the Sandusky at Fremont, and that mostly male jacks are being caught. Primary colors being used are yellow, orange, white, pink, and chartreuse.
Maumee River (Lucas County) – According to reports from Maumee Bait and Tackle as of March 20 the water temperature on the Maumee was right around 40. Some limits of walleyes are being caught, though the run isn’t in full effect just yet. Fort Meigs and Bluegrass Island have been the popular spots. According to the bait shop, popular colors being employed are pink jig heads and white tails, orange head and green sparkle tail, and black head with a shimmer shad tail. Utilize heavier weights on the jigs to get the bait down toward the bottom in the wind.
Bresler Reservoir (Allen County) – Fishermen are trying for the reservoir’s walleyes and crappies. Try a Vib-E or similar type bait for either species. For a full report on Bresler Reservoir, see the back page of this issue of Ohio Outdoor News.
Pymatuning Reservoir (Ashtabula County) – Anglers are catching bluegills and crappies in the shallow bays on the north end of the lake. Fishing a jig and minnow combination seems to be the best bet. Fish the bait shallow, in as little as five feet of water. The walleye bite should turn on again as water temperatures warm into the 40s.
Berlin Lake (Portage, Mahoning, Stark counties) – Walleyes are staging in spawning areas and can be caught by persistent anglers. Look for deep drop-offs and cast a crankbait or jerkbait at them. Not many anglers are reporting success just yet, but that could change overnight. The extended forecast for cold weather, however, will mean that anglers will have to brave the temperatures for a while yet to get on the walleyes.
Mosquito Creek Lake (Trumbull County) – Anglers who have braved the cold and snow of northeast Ohio have been rewarded with a few walleyes. Successful fishermen are casting big crankbaits and stickbaits to catch the fish. According to angler reports, the spawn was not on of yet as of mid-March. A week or two will be needed with warmer weather to trigger the spawn.
Acton Lake (Preble, Butler counties) – Anglers are reporting that water clarity isn’t great, but the crappie bite has been decent. Successful fishermen are fishing minnows in 10 to 15 feet of water to pick up a few crappies, some of which have ranged up to 10 inches or better. Shore fishermen are also doing well on crappies, using the same bait offerings in rather shallow water.
Paint Creek Lake (Highland County) – Fishermen are hitting the spillway for crappies and saugeyes. Water clarity is reportedly decent. Jig and minnow combos at the spillway are hard to beat baits at this time of year. Also, some decent bass are being caught on Texas-rigged plastics. Black and orange/chartreuse have been the popular color combinations.
Rocky Fork Lake (Highland County) – Anglers are catching crappies and channel catfish here when water clarity allows. Simply tie on a hook and minnow, or use a jig and minnow combo to entice the bite. Popular colors have been hot pink and chartreuse. The brighter color the better in stained water. Fish for the catfish on the bottom with chicken liver.
Salt Fork Lake (Guernsey County) – Though the water is still muddy, some boating anglers are catching decent numbers of crappies. Anglers are using jig and minnow combinations or Vib-Es and catching fish. Popular colors have been green and orange.
Seneca Lake (Noble, Guernsey counties) – Despite muddy water conditions, anglers are catching good numbers of saugeyes, according to reports. Fish are being caught in 12 to 18 feet of water by anglers casting Vib-Es in black and white. Some of the saugeyes have been good size, too, up to 20 inches. The saugeye bite should do nothing but improve through early spring as water temperatures warm.
Piedmont Lake (Belmont County) – Anglers are catching saugeyes with some regularity by either trolling or casting. Anglers fishing deeper pockets of water, 20 to 25 feet, seem to be doing better than those fishing shallow. Fishermen are trolling crankbaits in a variety of patterns to pick up fish.
Lake Erie Region
• The bag limit for walleyes in Ohio waters of Lake Erie is four fish per angler through April 30. 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.
Where: Fishing effort remains low on Lake Erie as water temperatures remain in the high 30s. Walleyes are being caught in low numbers in the Sandusky and Maumee rivers. Water levels are low, and water temperatures are hovering around 40 degrees. Warmer weather and rain will bring fish into both rivers in the coming weeks. Anglers are reminded to remain cautious with low water temperatures.
How: Anglers targeting walleyes on the lake are using presentations similar to those used ice fishing, vertically jigging spoons and jigging Rapalas.
In early spring, highlight species targeted by anglers in Cleveland Metroparks include stocked trout, steelhead trout, largemouth bass, and panfish. The Rocky River and other area streams have offered the best steelhead fishing of the year, by far, over the past week. But the streams are beginning to get clear so being versatile in your approach is a good plan.
Also, plenty of trout remain at Wallace, Shadow, Ledge, Judge’s, and Ranger lakes. The Lake Erie marina and harbor areas are also offering steelhead trout, northern pike, largemouth bass, and panfish.
Area streams have offered the best steelhead fishing of the year this week, with a mix of fresh pre-spawn, post-spawn, and skipper steelhead of all sizes. Fish are very well distributed all throughout the Rocky, Chagrin, Cuyahoga, and several smaller river/stream systems at this time following a few weeks of high flows. There has been substantial fishing pressure and water is getting clear on most streams, so versatility will be a key to success this weekend. Anglers have caught steelhead on just about every type of gear and bait/lure/fly, although finesse offerings will be top producers in the clearing flows. Anglers can expect some great steelheading opportunities for the remainder of the spring season. The annual white sucker run is also underway in local streams.
Although Lake Erie has been muddy overall this past week, the protected Cleveland shoreline marinas and harbors on Lake Erie are currently offering anglers a shot at catching steelhead, along with northern pike, largemouth bass, and panfish. Productive spots include Edgewater, Wildwood, and East 72nd/Gordon Park boat ramp areas. For steelhead, a medium-sized Little Cleo spoon (or similar) or jig tipped with minnow or maggots suspended under a float are top producers. For northern pike and largemouth bass, a white and silver spinnerbait is often a producer.
Cleveland Metroparks’ inland lakes are offering very good trout fishing opportunities at this time. Metroparks stocked 6,000 pounds of trout this past winter, as follows: Jan. 22: Shadow (1,500 pounds), Ledge (1,200 pounds), and Judge’s (300 pounds) lakes; and on Jan. 24 Wallace (2,800 pounds) and Ranger (200 pounds) lakes. The average rainbow trout was between 1 and 2 pounds, but there were many trophy fish in the 5-10-pound range stocked in Wallace Lake, too, along with quite a few bonus brook, brown, and golden rainbow trout in the mix. Some trout also remain from an October stocking at Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area down the hill from CanalWay Visitor Center off E. 49th Street.
Trout typically bite well on PowerBait, jigs tipped with a few maggots/waxworms, and smaller spinners (such as Rooster Tail). Note the current seasonal trout regulations: Lake Erie and all streams, two/day, minimum size 12 inches (this includes steelhead); three/day, no size limit at Wallace, Judge’s, and Ranger lakes; and five/day, no size limit at Shadow Lake and Ohio & Erie Canal. Ledge Lake is posted as catch and release fishing only until further notice. Metroparks tentatively planned to begin spring stocking of rainbow trout in the East Branch Rocky River at Millstream Run Reservation on March 16. The Ohio Division of Wildlife planned to stock pan-sized rainbow trout at Hinckley and Shadow lakes on March 29.
Cleveland Metroparks, www.clevelandmetroparks.com