Ohio Outdoor News Fishing Report – June 22, 2018

Central Region

Buckeye Lake (Fairfield, Licking, Perry counties) – Anglers are fishing for saugeyes and catfish here, but warm water temperatures have slowed the bite a bit, according to reports. Fishermen are trolling Flicker Shads in a variety of patterns for the saugeyes, which are ranging from 15 to 19 inches. Channel catfish can be found in the deeper sections of the lake and can be caught on chicken livers.

Alum Creek Lake (Delaware County) – Anglers are fishing for smallmouth bass here on points and drop-offs with some success. Largemouth bass and crappies, too, have been in the mix, as well as saugeyes. The popular setup has been a Ned rig, according to angler reports. A lot of short saugeyes are being reported, with few keepers in the bunch. Bass have ranged from 14 to 20 inches.

O’Shaughnessy Reservoir (Franklin County) – Anglers are casting swimbaits and jigs tipped with nightcrawlers for saugeyes, or using blade baits such as Vib-Es. For crappies, fishermen are targeting deep structure with jigs or crappie rigs tipped with a minnow. Catfish are also being caught by anglers fishing cut bait on or near the bottom.

Hoover Reservoir (Delaware, Franklin counties) – Anglers fishing for largemouth bass and crappies have done OK in recent days. Fish plastics in and among any type of cover for the largemouth bass and crappies both. Also, a jig and a lively minnow fished in deep structure will take their fair share of crappies.

Indian Lake (Logan County) – Anglers are trolling Shad Raps in a variety of patterns to catch saugeyes right now. Fishermen are reporting catching good numbers of fish with a few keepers each time out. Saugeyes are ranging from 15 to 22 inches. Some catfish, crappies, and white bass have also been in the mix of fish caught. Others are trolling Flicker Shads, again in a variety of colors, to pick up the bite.

Northwest Region

Sandusky Bay – If you want to catch a mess of channel catfish, head for Sandusky Bay right now. These catfish aren’t picky and will hit any number of offerings from chicken livers to nightcrawlers. Some of these channels grow large in the bay, too.

Willard Reservoir (Huron County) – The channel catfish bite is the best thing going on this small Huron County impoundment. The successful anglers are fishing chicken livers on the bottom. Catfish have ranged in size up to a respectable 16 inches.

Upper Sandusky Reservoir No. 2 (Wyandot County) – Anglers are trying to catch largemouth bass here but are not having much luck. Concentrate your efforts on any type of shoreline cover with plastics or live bait. Shore fishermen could do well here on crappies by following the same techniques.

Maumee River (Lucas County) – Fishermen in recent weeks have shifted their focus from walleyes to flathead and channel catfish on the Maumee. Choose any variety of typical catfish baits to get them to bite. The best advice is to just tie on a hook and a chunk of nightcrawler. Fish the bait on or near the bottom. Some flatheads in the river will be near 35 inches or better.

Northeast Region 

Berlin Lake (Portage, Mahoning, Stark counties) – Fishermen are doing OK on walleyes here, according to angler reports. Trolling Flicker Shads or Shad Raps seems to be the hot ticket. Try a variety of patterns and colors, and troll in anywhere from 10 to 18 feet of water. Walleyes have been reported recently up to 25 inches.

Lake Milton (Mahoning County) – Anglers are trolling worm harnesses in deeper water for walleyes with some success. Troll the bait in anywhere from 18 to 25 feet of water. Find the correct depth and stick to it. Crappies, too, are being caught on minnows under a float.

Nimisila Reservoir (Summit County) – The largemouth bass spawn appears to be over, but anglers are still managing to catch a few at this Portage Lake. Try plastics, or small crankbaits. Fishermen are targeting deep water structure for crappies with some success.

Mosquito Creek Lake (Trumbull County) – Anglers are focusing on shallow water and getting some largemouth bass to bite. The popular baits have been any type of swimbait or a jig and live bait offering. Walleyes and crappies, too, are being caught on the same baits. Walleyes have ranged from 15 to 21 inches. Crappies are running small, but anglers report catching a bunch of them.

Southwest Region 

Rocky Fork Lake (Highland County) – During warm weather months, anglers have success on Rocky Fork trolling Flicker Shads for saugeyes. Troll the bait at a slow speed for best results. Saugeyes here will range from 15 to 20 inches. Crappies are being caught right now on crappie rigs tipped with live bait.

Paint Creek Lake (Highland County) – Fishermen are casting small crankbaits and other plastics for largemouth bass and crappies here, according to angler reports. Locate deep structure and fish it, is the best advice being given. Some crappies and bluegills are also being caught on minnows or waxworms under a float.

Caesar Creek Lake (Warren, Clinton, Greene counties) – Water clarity conditions have varied in recent days, but have been more turbid than not. Anglers are still trying to catch crappies here with some success. Swimbaits and jig and live bait combos will do the trick for the papermouths, and you’ll also likely catch a channel catfish or two on the same setup.

C.J. Brown Reservoir (Clark County) – Walleyes are stocked at this southern Ohio impoundment, but they are typically a tough bite. Recently, though, anglers are reporting catching a few walleyes in deeper water on jig and minnow combinations. Be aware that many of the walleyes being caught are short fish, so be careful to release these shorts back into the water unharmed.

Southeast Region

Belmont Lake (Belmont County) – Anglers are fishing laydowns and other cover around the shoreline here for largemouth bass with some success. Use Texas-rigged plastics for the best bass bite for fish up to 4 pounds. The DNR Division of Wildlife reports good size structure on bass here, though numbers aren’t particularly great. Still, put in the effort and you might just catch a trophy bass.

Salt Fork Lake (Guernsey County) – Anglers are targeting shallow water with small crankbaits for saugeyes with some success. Cast the bait in anywhere from six to 10 feet of water. Saugeyes being caught are ranging from 16 to 20 inches, according to angler reports.

Clendening Lake (Harrison County) – Fishermen are focusing their efforts on deeper water now that the spawn is over for the lake’s crappies. Anglers are employing jigs tipped with minnows or waxworms, or crappie rigs tipped with the same baits. Crappies are ranging up to a respectable 12 inches.

Lake Snowden (Vinton, Athens counties) – Largemouth bass are the primary quarry that anglers are chasing right now, according to reports. The best bait has been a small crankbait in any type of perch pattern. Bass have ranged up to 17 inches, though most of the fish being caught are smaller.

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): The daily bag limit is five fish per angler with a 14 inch minimum size limit. May 1 through June 29 is closed to possession (catch-and-release is legal).


Where: Anglers are doing well around Kelleys Island, one mile out from Marblehead, and off Huron and Vermilion. There are quite a few reports of limits being caught in two or three hours. 

How: Anglers trolling worm harnesses behind bottom bouncers at 1.5 to 2.2 mph seemed to be catching the most fish. Anglers drifting have been picking up fish on harnesses with varying success. Color did not seem to matter. Anglers are also having success trolling spoons 45 to 75 feet back behind divers, and trolling deep diving crankbaits unassisted 30 to 50 feet back.

Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass

Where: Anglers fishing for largemouths have been doing well in the Portage River mouth, East and West harbors, and Sandusky Bay, as well as picking up the occasional fish around Catawba. Anglers targeting smallmouth have been fishing deeper marinas around Kelleys and the Bass islands, and 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 plastic and wacky worms usually produce well for largemouth bass. For anglers targeting smallmouth, tubes and drop-shot rigs work well, though plenty of fish are being caught trolling crankbaits.


Where: Anglers targeting catfish are doing extremely well in Sandusky and Maumee bays. Shoreline fishing opportunities are available from the Shoreline Park, Battery Park, or Meigs Street Pier in Sandusky, and the Sandusky Bay Bridge access.

How: Shrimp is a popular bait in Sandusky and Maumee bays, although fish are also being taken on shiners, nightcrawlers, and stink bait. Most anglers fish a Carolina rig, although fish can be taken below a bobber suspended just off the bottom.

Central Basin


Where: Excellent fishing has been reported in 38 to 45 feet of water off Edgewater and Gordon parks in Cleveland, in 10 to 30 feet of water northeast and northwest of Fairport Harbor, and in eight to 40 feet of water north-northwest of Ashtabula.

How: Walleyes have been caught by trolling with crankbaits, spoons, worm harnesses flat-lined or with divers, and by casting weight-forward spinners. Good colors to try are blue, green, silver, pink, purple, and yellow. Anglers fishing from shore are having the best luck in the evenings catching fish using spinners and stick baits.

Smallmouth Bass

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 and small spoons, and are also using jigs tipped with maggots and golden shiners.

Smallmouth bass are typically found in the deeper, rocky pools of the Rocky River during the day in early summer, and often move to the heads of such pools in the early morning and evening hours to feed actively. A dark olive or brown tube jig of 3-4 inches length is one of the best producers of bass in the river. Smallies also bite well on live bait (i.e., minnow, crayfish, and leeches), lures (i.e., spinners and minnow plugs), and flies (i.e., crayfish patterns, Clouser minnows, dark brown or olive sculpin, or muddler minnow patterns). Bass of all sizes are abundant in the river, with a healthy number of trophy lake-run fish available through at least early July. It has been very encouraging to see most anglers releasing the larger bass recently so that these fine gamefish can be caught again. Also, note that 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. Rock bass are also present in the same river areas as smallmouth, and can be caught using the same offerings.

Channel catfish and large carp are also present in some of these same areas in the river, and fishing for them can be a laid back and relaxing way to enjoy some time on the water. Good numbers of channel catfish stocked in May also remain to be caught at Wallace Lake and the Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area, as well as several smaller Cleveland Metroparks waters. More catfish will be stocked at various locations in late June as well. Catfishing is usually best during lower light conditions using baits such as nightcrawlers, minnows, chicken liver, and processed dough baits. A good number of larger catfish are moving into the river from Lake Erie on their spawning run. Resident channel catfish are available in the river all summer.

Some large carp will be found in the northern river reaches throughout the month as well. Carp can often be caught throughout the day on such bait as canned corn, carp dough baits, worms, or crayfish tails. A growing contingent of fly anglers looking for a challenge are targeting carp with nymphs and crayfish imitations. The key to fishing for either carp or catfish is fishing on (or very near) the river/lake bottom. In addition, freshwater drum (sheepshead), white perch, and bullhead catfish are also abundant in the northern river reaches (north of Morley Ford) in early summer. For the angling generalist, any of the species thus far can be effectively targeted by fishing a nightcrawler worm right on the river bottom with a sinker.

Summer means family fishing time for many folks, and panfish fit the bill perfectly for a leisurely picnic and fishing outing. Anglers seeking panfish have experienced decent fishing at most of the ponds and lakes in the park district in the past week. Crappies, bluegills, and other sunfish species can be taken with a number of offerings, but a waxworm or red worm on a small hook (or tiny jig) suspended under a stick float and fished around a weedbed or shoreline brush is always a good choice. Wallace Lake, Shadow Lake, and Lakefront Reservation are just a few of many places in the park to wet a line for various panfish species. Largemouth bass fishing is often best in Wallace and Hinckley lakes, although bass can be found in most park waters.

Rock bass, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, white bass, northern pike, catfish, freshwater drum, and sunfish species are biting along the Cleveland shoreline of Lake Erie on offerings such as tube jigs and live minnows. Yellow perch and walleye are biting in the nearshore waters of Cleveland.

Cleveland Metroparks, www.clevelandmetroparks.com 


Racine Pool The sauger bite has been decent on this Ohio River pool. Anglers are fishing Vib-Es and other types of blade baits for the best bite.

Greenup Dam Anglers are fishing for channel catfish and flathead catfish with some success. Cut bait is working the best. Keep the bait deep for the best catfish bite.

Pike Island – The white bass and catfish bite has been the best here in recent weeks. Fish a creek chub under a float for either species.

New Cumberland Lock and Dam – Anglers are catching channel and flathead catfish here on cut baits fished on the bottom. Some of these catfish have been large specimens, according to reports.

Categories: News, Ohio Fishing Reports

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