Ohio Outdoor News Fishing Report – July 6, 2018

Central Region

Buckeye Lake (Fairfield, Licking, Perry counties) – Fishermen are doing OK on catfish here by fishing cut bait on or near the bottom. Chicken livers will work as well. Some of the channel catfish being reported have been over 20 inches.

Alum Creek Lake (Delaware County) – Anglers are successfully trolling Flicker Shads in shallow water for saugeyes. Trolling depths have been in the eight- to 10-foot range with a variety of patterns on the baits. Most saugeyes are running smaller than the legal limit, however. Some keepers have been in the mix, but most fish are running less than 15 inches.

Deer Creek Lake (Pickaway, Fayette counties) – Anglers are trolling Bandits for crappies and white bass with some success. Some of the crappies being caught have ranged up to 12 inches or better. The white bass are running a bit smaller.

Hoover Reservoir (Delaware, Franklin counties) – Anglers are trolling for crappies here with some success. Troll the bait, a small crankbait, or other similar offering, about 15-20 feet deep. Crappie catches have been respectable. You’ll also pick up some catfish using the same methods.

Indian Lake (Logan County) – The fishing seems to get tougher on this large Logan County lake as the summer temperatures warm up. Still, you might catch some panfish – bluegills and crappies – by dunking a minnow or piece of nightcrawler in front of them. Saugeye fishing is really tough in the summer, but the anglers who are successful troll Flicker Shads in a variety of patterns.

Northwest Region

Sandusky Bay – Anglers continue to catch channel catfish, and even some bullheads, by fishing primarily in the evening hours. Fish chicken livers or nightcrawlers on the bottom for the best results. The bullheads being caught have been relatively small, but some of the channel catfish have been up to 30 inches.

Willard Reservoir (Huron County) – Anglers are catching channel catfish in good numbers on this small northwest Ohio lake. Catfish will bite on cut bait, chicken livers, or nightcrawlers. Keep the bait on the bottom for best results. This lake also has walleyes in it. To catch them, troll a crankbait in perch patterns at slow speeds. For a complete report on Willard Reservoir, see the back page of this edition of Ohio Outdoor News.

Findlay Reservoir No. 2 (Hancock County) – Fishermen are attempting to catch yellow perch and walleyes here but are having little success, according to angler reports. Shore fishermen are fishing for both species with jig and minnow combinations.

Maumee River (Lucas County) – According to Maumee Bait and Tackle on June 26, the water level is dropping in the Maumee, which should trigger the smallmouth bass to start biting. Also, catfish are being caught from downtown Toledo to the dam in Grand Rapids. Fish any type of prepared baits on the bottom for catfish.

Maumee Bait and Tackle, www.maumeetackle.net

Northeast Region 

Berlin Lake (Portage, Mahoning, Stark counties) – Anglers are trolling Flicker Shads for walleyes, but are mostly coming away with crappies. These panfish have come in a mix of sizes, from a small of 7 inches all the way up to 12 inches. The crappies seem to be hanging out in deep-water structure.

Pymatuning Lake (Ashtabula County) – Anglers are drifting nightcrawler harnesses in shallow water and trolling crankbaits for the walleyes here. Some limits of walleyes are being reported in just a few hours of fishing. Some of the walleyes have been fairly large, up to a reported 26 inches. Some yellow perch are also being caught by these same fishermen.

Nimisila Reservoir (Summit County) – The panfish bite is on at Nimisila. Keep your offering simple and you’ll likely catch a few. Straight minnows under a float, waxworms, or a nightcrawler are all working. Some of the crappies being reported are up to 12 inches. Anglers are also catching bluegills and other sunfish.

Mosquito Creek Lake (Trumbull County) – Fishermen are doing quite well on walleyes here by fishing shallow water. The popular method has been any type of spinnerbait fished shallow – six to eight feet of water – anywhere you can find weeds. Some crappies and largemouth bass are being caught as well on these same offerings.

Southwest Region 

Great Miami River (various counties) – When this river hasn’t been high and muddy, fishermen are catching some decent smallmouth bass. Inline roostertail spinnerbaits or buzzbaits will both do the trick. Some of the smallmouth being reported have ranged up to a respectable 13 inches.

Paint Creek Lake (Highland County) – Crappie fishermen are doing OK right now on this Highland County lake. A lively minnow under a float can’t be beat as a live bait choice. Also, some bluegills will be in the mix. Anglers fishing the campground area and the docks have been doing OK on panfish.

Caesar Creek Lake (Warren, Clinton, Greene counties) – Some decent size largemouth bass are being caught by anglers fishing shallow areas next to deep drop-offs. The successful bite is coming on drop-shot rigs. Fish have ranged up to a couple of pounds.

C.J. Brown Reservoir (Clark County) – Fishermen are managing to catch a few walleyes in a part of the state where walleyes are few and far between. The best setup has been a jig and worm combination fished near structure. Most of the walleyes have been short fish, which must be released, but there’s been a few keepers in the mix, according to angler reports.

Southeast Region

Seneca Lake (Noble, Guernsey counties) – Anglers are catching some decent saugeyes here in recent days. The successful setup has been a small spinning harness tipped with a minnow trolled slowly in deep water. A lot of shorts are being caught, but a few 17-inch keepers have been in the mix as well.

Salt Fork Lake (Guernsey County) – Anglers are fishing slip bobbers and minnows for crappies and saugeyes with some success. If you can beat the heat of summer, some of the panfish have been slab-size. The best advice is to slowly jig the bait, with the key word being “slow.” These fish seem to be sluggish in the warm water conditions.

Piedmont Lake (Belmont County) – Anglers are focusing their efforts on blow downs and wood in the water to catch crappies right now. Anchor your boat and tie on a small hook, minnow, and float, and fish the presentation right among the trees.

Lake Vesuvius (Lawrence, Vinton counties) – This secluded southeast Ohio lake is fairly decent for largemouth bass. Fish a plastic worm anywhere along the banks and in the shallows for the best bite. Green pumpkinseed, black, and chartreuse are all good colors to use. Some bass will range up to a respectable 3 pounds or better.

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).

Walleye

Where: The east winds this past weekend brought in colder water and pushed fish slightly offshore but expect fishing to return to normal as the weather stabilizes. Fish are still being caught around the islands with the most consistent area being around Middle and North Bass islands. Based on creel interviews, over 75 percent of anglers reported catching their limits, and quite a few reports of limits being caught in two or three hours and sometimes less.

How: Worm harnesses trolled 1.3 to 1.7 mph seemed to be catching the most fish. Anglers drifting are also picking up fish on harnesses with good success. Best colors have been purple and gold. 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 exceptionally 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 smallmouths have been having a tougher time but are still finding fish near the islands and reef complexes.

How: Texas-rigged soft plastic and wacky worms usually produce well for largemouth bass. For anglers targeting smallmouths, tubes and drop-shot rigs work well, though plenty of fish are being caught trolling crankbaits.

Catfish

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 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

Walleye 

Where: Fishing continues to be exceptional from Huron to Lorain in 35 to 45 feet of water, with a few fish coming in from as deep as 70 feet of water. Excellent fishing with many limits was reported in 15 to 25 feet of water northeast of Rocky River, in 25 to 30 feet of water northwest of Edgewater Park, in 20 to 50 feet of water northwest to northeast of Fairport Harbor, and in 28 to 40 feet of water northwest to northeast of Ashtabula.

How: Walleyes have been caught by trolling crankbaits, spoons, or worm harnesses behind planer boards and divers or flatline trolling, and by casting weight-forward spinners. Good colors to try are purple, green, orange, pink and purple, and chartreuse. 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 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 

OHIO RIVER REGION

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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