Ohio Outdoor News Fishing Report – June 8, 2018
Buckeye Lake (Fairfield, Licking, Perry counties) – Anglers are catching a mess of channel catfish and hybrid striped bass on this Central Ohio waterway. The popular method has been a simple nightcrawler fished below a float. The catfish ranged up to 25 inches, while the wipers measured out at a decent 14-19 inches.
Alum Creek Lake (Delaware County) – Anglers are fishing the lake’s coves for crappies and being surprised by hookups with muskies. Some of the muskies being reported caught in the shallows are large, up to 48 inches. Crappies, too, are biting for trolling anglers using swimbaits or small crankbaits. The good bite is coming in anywhere from five to 15 feet of water.
Delaware Lake (Delaware County) – Crappies are biting at this reservoir just north of the city of Delaware at Delaware State Park. Remember there is a 9-inch minimum keeper requirement here for crappies and a 30-fish daily bag limit. Anglers are simply using jig and minnow combos in the coves and bays, anywhere you can find a stick-up in the water.
Hoover Reservoir (Delaware, Franklin counties) – Fishermen are doing OK right now using chatter baits for largemouth bass. The bass should be spawning now or sometime soon. Anglers are also catching decent numbers of crappies and white bass on minnows or waxworms fished under a float.
Indian Lake (Logan County) – Fishermen are catching a mixed bag of fish at Indian right now. Saugeyes, crappies, channel catfish, and bass have all been in the mix. The channels being reported were up to 4 pounds. The saugeyes are running right around 15 inches, and are being caught on smaller crankbaits in a variety of patterns. Some crappies and yellow perch are also being caught.
Sandusky River (Sandusky County) – White bass continue to be the most popular quarry being chased on the Sandusky River near Fremont. Anglers are reporting catching good numbers of these feisty fighters. The popular setup has been a jig with a white or chartreuse trailer with or without a minnow.
Maumee River (Lucas County) – White bass and a few stray walleyes continue to be caught in the Maumee River, according to Maumee Bait and Tackle. The popular spots, particularly for white bass, have been Bluegrass Island, Buttonwood, and Jerome Road. A straight minnow or a floating jig and minnow combination will catch both species.
Maumee Bait and Tackle, www.maumeetackle.net
Upper Sandusky Reservoir No. 2 (Wyandot County) – Anglers are doing fairly well on crappies at this reservoir just outside of the town of Upper Sandusky. Fish swimbaits or jigs and waxworms for the best bite. Fish have ranged up to 10 to 12 inches.
Berlin Lake (Portage, Mahoning, Stark counties) – The jig bite for walleyes hasn’t been great just yet, but a few fish are being caught. More anglers who are fishing for walleyes are catching crappies instead. The best bite on the crappies is coming in the lake tributaries, according to angler reports.
Lake Milton (Mahoning County) – Anglers are trolling Hot ‘n’ Tots and Flicker Shads for walleyes with some success. Fish have ranged from a small 9 inches up to 17 inches. Some channel catfish are also being caught by trolling these same baits. A few white bass have also been in the mix. The better bite is coming during the early morning hours.
Pymatuning Reservoir (Ashtabula County) – Anglers are successfully using worm harnesses to catch walleyes with some regularity. Others are using jig and minnow combos with some success. Ohio fisheries biologists in northeast Ohio expect a banner year of fishing on Pymatuning this year. For a full report on this lake that spans the border between Ohio and Pennsylvania, see the back page of this issue of Ohio Outdoor News.
Mosquito Creek Lake (Trumbull County) – Anglers here have shifted their focus in recent weeks to crappies. Lots of small fish are being caught, but a few specimens are running up to 12 inches. Most of the catch, though, is in the 6- to 8-inch range. Minnows, nightcrawlers, and waxworms will all take their fair share of crappies.
Rocky Fork Lake (Highland County) – Anglers are catching some largemouth bass at Rocky Fork right now. Fishermen are using spinnerbaits and buzzbaits in the shallows to get the bass to bite. Some of the bass being reported are up to 16 inches. Fish your choice of bait in and around any type of cover you can find. Many bass are on the spawning beds right now.
Paint Creek Lake (Highland County) – Crappies are holding tight to cover, but they are being caught by Paint Creek anglers. Fish the bait in five to 10 feet of water around any type of cover for the best bite. You can’t beat a lively minnow for bait. Crappies are ranging up to a respectable 12 inches, according to angler reports.
Caesar Creek Lake (Warren, Clinton, Greene counties) – Caesar Creek anglers over the past few weeks have been slaying the crappies. Keep the setup simple: Use a jig tipped with a minnow or straight minnow under a float. Some of the keeper crappies are being reported up to 12 inches.
Little Miami River (various counties) – Anglers fishing the river are doing well catching smallmouth bass, but the sizes being reported are on the small end of the tape. Fishermen are using a variety of plastics to entice the bite. Bass should be spawning right now, so a buzzbait thrown somewhere in the vicinity of cover should produce a bite or two.
Tappan Lake (Harrison County) – Anglers are catching largemouth bass on this Harrison County lake. Successful anglers are fishing the rocks with small crankbaits in a variety of patterns.
Salt Fork Lake (Guernsey County) – Crappies are being caught by anglers using minnows and slip bobbers. Size on the crappies is from the 6- to 11-inch range. Successful anglers are fishing the stick-ups with the minnows in fairly shallow water. Dip the bait anywhere around wood and it should trigger a strike.
Clendening Lake (Harrison County) – Anglers are doing well on crappies here, most in the 9- to 11-inch range. Most fish are being caught in 10 to 12 feet of water outside of the trees. The best bite is coming on a jig tipped with a minnow.
Lake Snowden (Vinton, Athens counties) – The largemouth bass bite has been decent, and a few yellow perch are also being caught, according to angler reports. The better bite is coming for anglers using live minnows or minnow-imitating swimbaits.
Lake Erie Region
• The daily 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.
• Black bass (largemouth and smallmouth bass): May 1 through June 29 is closed to possession (catch-and-release is legal).
Where: Anglers trolling crankbaits and spoons in the Western Basin have been doing well running baits 12 to 18 feet down in 18 to 30 feet of water at speeds of 1.5 to 2.2 mph. Anglers drifting have been picking up fish on harnesses with varying success.
Largemouth and smallmouth bass
Where: Anglers targeting largemouth bass have been doing well in the mouth of the Portage River, East and West harbors, and Sandusky Bay, as well as picking up the occasional fish around Catawba Island. Anglers targeting smallmouth bass have been targeting deeper marinas around Kelleys and the Bass islands, as well as the rock reefs adjacent to the islands. Reports of incidental catches have been reported near the mid-lake reef complex and Vermilion.
How: Texas-rigged soft plastics and wacky worms usually produce well for largemouth bass. For anglers targeting smallmouths, tubes often work well, though plenty of fish are being taken on hair jigs and blade baits, as well as trolling crankbaits.
Where: Anglers have posted intermittent success in East and West harbors, the Portage River mouth, and Sandusky Bay.
How: A 1/16- or 1/32-ounce jig and minnow fished under a slip bobber is the most common technique this time of year. Casting small crankbaits or jigs and plastics also work well.
Where: Anglers targeting catfish are doing extremely well in Sandusky and Maumee bays. Shoreline fishing opportunities are available from Shoreline Park, Battery Park, or Meigs Street Pier in Sandusky, and the Sandusky Bay Bridge access.
How: Shrimp is a popular bait in Sandusky Bay, although fish are also taken on shiners, nightcrawlers, and stink bait. Most anglers fish a Carolina rig, but fish can also be caught below a bobber.
Where: Near Vermilion, Lorain, and Avon, anglers have been finding the best marks suspended in 30 to 45 feet of water. Good fishing has been reported in 15 to 25 feet of water off Edgewater and Gordon parks in Cleveland. Anglers are also catching fish in 15 to 35 feet of water off Fairport Harbor and in 40 to 50 feet of water northwest and east of Geneva.
How: Anglers out of Vermilion, Lorain, and Avon are trolling spoons and deep diving crankbaits 80 to 120 feet back unassisted, or 30 to 70 feet behind divers. Farther east, walleyes have been caught by trolling with crankbaits or worm harnesses, and by casting weight-forward spinners. Anglers fishing from shore have been catching fish using spinners and stick baits.
Where: Fishing has been excellent in 10 to 25 feet of water around harbor areas in Cleveland, Fairport Harbor, Ashtabula, and Conneaut.
How: Anglers are trolling crankbaits, tube jigs, small spoons, and using nightcrawlers.
In Cleveland Metroparks, Wallace Lake and Ohio & Erie Canal were both stocked with rainbow trout and farm raised channel catfish last week. The Lake Erie marina and harbor areas also offer walleyes, northern pike, panfish, and largemouth and smallmouth bass in spring.
Area streams are elevated and muddy at the moment. When the rivers clear, lake-run smallmouth bass will be available for anglers in deeper, rocky holes. A 3-inch brown or olive tube jig, wooly bugger fly, live shiner, or other lures/flies that mimic a baitfish are good bets. Note: smallmouth/largemouth bass may not be kept in Lake Erie or the Rocky River north of the Detroit Road bridge, Chagrin River north of the State Route 283 bridge, or Cuyahoga River north of the Harvard Avenue bridge between May 1 and June 29.
Lake-run channel catfish and common carp are also showing up in the streams. Other than the oddball stray, late fish, the steelhead are gone from the streams until fall.
Cleveland shoreline breakwalls are offering a hot post-spawn night bite for walleyes right now. Perfect 10s, Husky Jerks, and glow swimbaits are a few of the offerings that produce. Additionally, marinas and harbors on Lake Erie in spring also offer anglers a shot at catching smallmouth/largemouth bass, northern pike, freshwater drum (sheepshead), rock bass, and other panfish. Productive spots include Edgewater, Wildwood, and the East 72nd/Gordon Park boat ramp areas. For almost any of these species, a medium size silvery spoon or spinner is a good all-around choice. Note to boaters: the launch ramp docks are in at all Cleveland Metroparks locations at this time.
Over the course of this spring Cleveland Metroparks stocked 3,000 pounds of rainbow trout in the East Branch Rocky River between Route 82 (Royalton Road) and the river crossing ford about a mile south of Wallace Lake. Of the six spots Metroparks routinely stocks, Bonnie Park (on both the upstream and downstream side of the dam) receives the lion’s share of these fish. Spring river stocking has concluded as of this time.
Metropark inland lakes are offering very good fishing opportunities. Recently, Wallace Lake was stocked with 800 pounds of rainbow trout and 700 pounds of catfish, and the Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area was stocked with 500 pounds of larger trout, 700 pounds of catfish, and 3,000 pan-sized rainbow trout (the latter by Ohio Division of Wildlife). Wallace Lake is also producing largemouth bass, panfish, and a few remaining coho salmon on live bait and smaller lures. On March 29, the Ohio Division of Wildlife stocked 816 rainbow trout at Shadow Lake and 2,759 rainbow trout at Hinckley Lake (these fish average about 3 to 4 pounds each). 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/salmon regulations: Lake Erie and all streams five/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. Note: Ledge Lake is posted as catch and release fishing only until further notice.
Cleveland Metroparks, www.clevelandmetroparks.com
OHIO RIVER REGION
Racine Pool – Anglers are in search of walleyes and saugers at the Racine pool. Fish a Vib-E or any type of crankbait for the best bite.
Greenup Dam – Anglers are fishing for saugers and hybrid stripers here with some success. Fish cut bait for the stripers and cast crankbaits to the saugers.
Pike Island – Anglers are doing quite well on white bass at Pike Island. The successful setup has been a straight creek shiner under a float.
New Cumberland Lock and Dam – Anglers are using live and cut bluegills and goldfish in search of channel and flathead catfish in this pool. Catfish bite has been slow, but some bonus walleyes are being caught on the same baits.