Ohio Outdoor News Fishing Report – Oct. 26, 2018
O’Shaughnessy Reservoir (Delaware County) – Jigs worked vertically in shallow water are taking their share of crappies, white bass, and bluegills here. Fish the light jigs in five to 10 feet of water for best results. Some of the crappies here are ranging up to 11 inches.
Deer Creek Lake (Pickaway, Fayette counties) – Anglers fishing Bandits are catching good numbers of crappies here. Fish the bait in the 10-12-foot range for best results. Most of the crappies being reported are 10 to 12 inches.
Delaware Lake (Delaware County) – Anglers are fishing stained water to catch decent numbers of crappies at this lake outside of the city of Delaware. The successful setup has been a straight minnow fished under a float or a jig and minnow combination. Color doesn’t matter so much, according to angler reports.
Alum Creek Lake (Delaware County) – Anglers are trolling crankbaits for saugeyes but are not having much luck to report. Bass anglers are faring better, working surface baits or tubes. The popular pattern has been green pumpkin for the largemouth and smallmouth bass. One angler recently caught a 22-inch smallmouth bass by working a surface bait.
Indian Lake (Logan County) – Anglers are trolling Flicker Shad or similar baits for saugeyes with some success. The cooler weather seems to have triggered a better bite for these walleye and sauger hybrids. Not one particular spot is producing, but instead anglers are fishing all over the lake. Many of the saugeyes have been smaller, though, in the 11-13-inch range.
Findlay Reservoir No. 2 (Hancock County) – Anglers fishing No. 2 in recent days have been rewarded with some white bass and sunfish. Schools of white bass are cruising the shoreline, according to angler reports. Toss out a minnow under a float or a jig and minnow combination to catch both species.
Sandusky Bay – Anglers chasing catfish have been experiencing decent success in past weeks. Flatheads and channels can be caught on shrimp, chicken livers, or nightcrawlers fished on the bottom. If one spot isn’t producing, stay on the move and you’ll eventually run into the catfish, anglers advise.
Maumee River (Lucas County) – According to Maumee Bait and Tackle on Oct. 15, the water temperature has dropped just enough to turn on the good fall fishing on the river. Right now is a good time to get after catfish, walleyes, yellow perch, and crappies as they’re all feeding up for winter. If it’s white bass you’re chasing, Providence Dam at Grand Rapids is a good place to try, according to the bait shop. The best bait to try right now for any of the above species is a light jig with a chartreuse twister tail.
Maumee Bait and Tackle, www.maumeetackle.net
Berlin Lake (Portage, Mahoning, Stark counties) – Fishermen are catching good numbers of crappies on jigs tipped with a piece of nightcrawler or maggot. Fish the bait shallow, in five to 10 feet of water. Use light jigs for best results. Channel catfish, too, are being caught by anglers using shad or nightcrawlers for bait. Walleyes have not turned on as of this writing on Oct. 12. A cold front passing through should bring water temperatures down, though, and trigger some bites.
Pymatuning Lake (Ashtabula County) – Fishermen are having luck catching crappies at this large lake on the Ohio/Pennsylvania border. Live minnows fished under a float are doing the trick. Crappies have ranged up to 10 inches. Other fishermen are catching largemouth bass on surface baits fished in the weeds. Bass have been up to 16 inches.
Lake Milton (Mahoning County) – Anglers are doing well on walleyes here by fishing crankbaits about midway down the water column. Fish have been in the respectable 15-20-inch range.
Mosquito Creek Lake (Trumbull County) – Fishermen are catching good numbers of crappies at the causeway. A variety of baits are catching fish from small, perch pattern swimbaits to jig and minnow combinations. The walleye bite should pick up once water temperatures cool down into the fall.
Cowan Lake (Clinton County) – Water is reportedly stained, but anglers are still managing a few bluegills and largemouth bass. Anglers report using minnows or nightcrawlers to produce the decent bite. Most bluegills have been in the 7-8-inch range. Also, try topwater baits fished in the weeds for bass.
Caesar Creek Lake (Warren, Clinton, Greene counties) – Water clarity is reportedly better here and anglers are taking advantage of it to catch crappies. Popular baits have been lightweight jigs tipped with a minnow or nightcrawler. Chartreuse and orange have been popular colors, according to angler reports. Fish are ranging up to 11 inches.
Paint Creek Lake (Highland County) – Crappies are the name of the game at this Highland County lake right now. A small swimbait fished in 10 to 15 feet of water is picking up fish, according to angler reports. Also, it’s hard to go wrong catching crappies with a lively minnow tied on line’s end.
Piedmont Lake (Belmont County) – Anglers fishing for smallmouth bass have been rewarded with some decent fish recently. Inline spinnerbaits fished in cover are producing fish. Some of the smallmouths being reported have ranged up to 17 inches.
Tappan Lake (Harrison County) – White bass anglers continue to be satisfied with their catch at this Harrison County lake. Fishermen are trolling worm harnesses to catch white bass and a few crappies thrown into the mix. Many anglers are catching enough of both species to fill a stringer for the day.
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.
Anglers should note that the ramp at Catawba State Park is closed through the end of the year for construction, according to the DNR Division of Wildlife.
Where: Fishing has been fair with the best reports coming from Huron and Lorain in 35 to 50 feet of water. Anglers are reporting limits of 17- to 22-inch fish. Fish are being caught east of Kelleys Island in less than 15 feet of water as well. Fish are sporadically being caught off piers and breakwalls as the walleyes are following baitfish closer to shore.
How: Anglers trolling small spoons behind divers have been doing the best from 45 to 80 feet back, depending on where the fish are. Anglers trolling deep diving stick baits are starting to have better success as the fish start moving nearshore during the fall chasing gizzard shad.
Where: Fishing for yellow perch has been fair with the inconsistent weather patterns. The best fishing has been near Green Island in 30 feet of water, and “G” can of the Camp Perry Firing Range in 20 to 23 feet of water. A few good reports came from the “Sputnik” buoy near Toledo in 21 to 25 feet of water, and near West Sister Island in 26 to 30 feet of water as well.
How: Perch spreaders with shiners fished near the bottom produce the most fish.
Where: Fishing for largemouth bass continues to be good for anglers in the Portage River mouth, East and West harbors, and Sandusky Bay. According to a small number of reports, smallmouth fishing has been good near Toussaint Reef, Niagara Reef, and near the islands.
How: Texas-rigged soft plastics and spinnerbaits have been producing well for largemouth bass on the outside of weed edges. Target smallmouth near the reefs and islands in approximately 15 feet of water using tubes, Ned rigs, and weighted worms.
Where: Anglers targeting catfish are doing well in Sandusky and Maumee bays. Shoreline fishing opportunities are available from the Jackson Street Pier, 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, though fish have also taken on shiners, nightcrawlers, and stink bait. Most anglers fish a Carolina rig or three-way rig. Fish can also be taken below a bobber suspended just off the bottom.
Where: Good fishing with some limits were reported in 65 feet of water north of Edgewater Park, in 72 feet of water northeast of Wildwood Park, in 68 to 72 feet of water northwest of Fairport Harbor, in 74 to 75 feet of water north-northwest of Ashtabula, and in 73 to 75 feet of water northwest of Conneaut. Fish are suspended, and anglers are targeting fishing depths of 50 to 65 feet while trolling.
How: Walleyes have been caught by trolling crankbaits, spoons, and worm harnesses with divers. Good colors to try are purple, green, orange, watermelon, black and white, and copper. Anglers fishing from shore are having the best luck in the evenings catching fish using spinners and stick baits.
Where: Prior to the recent rough lake conditions, fish were being caught in 51 to 54 feet of water northwest of Fairport Harbor, and in 60 feet of water north of Conneaut.
How: Anglers are fishing from the bottom up to 5 cranks off the bottom. Try different depths near the bottom until you locate the fish. Use minnows on spreaders. Fish have also been taken on maggots. The best reports have been from the late afternoon and into the evening.
Where: Anglers are catching fish trolling inside the Fairport Harbor break wall and in the Grand River. Anglers fishing from shore are catching fish off the Fairport Harbor break wall and the Painesville Township Pier.
How: The best baits have been small spoons and jigs, tipped with maggots, fished under a bobber.
As we enter fall, highlight species targeted by anglers along the Rocky River and other area streams include steelhead trout, smallmouth bass, carp, panfish, and channel catfish.
The Rocky River is flowing low and fairly clear and will remain that way until we receive some significant precipitation. A fair number of steelhead turned up this week off the rocks/breakwalls at Edgewater, E. 55th/E. 72nd, Wildwood Park, and in the northernmost river sections by the lake. 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 an early steelhead trout. Things traditionally start to heat up with the steelhead fishing later into October.
Anglers are also pursuing a mixed bag of warm-water species in the streams. Smallmouth bass are typically found in the deeper, rocky pools of the river. A dark olive or brown tube jig of about 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). A surprise this season has been a respectable number of keeper size walleyes by the Rocky River marina. There have been a very impressive number of baby walleyes in Cleveland Metropark streams lately. Please be gentle handling these index-finger-size fish from the outstanding 2018 hatch.
Anglers at Cleveland Metropark inland lakes and ponds are catching catfish, largemouth bass, and panfish. In mid-September, Metroparks released 746 largemouth bass, sunfish, and channel catfish at Beyer’s Pond following the Middleburgh Heights Family Fishing Days in mid-September. Wallace Lake, Ledge Lake, and Shadow Lake are a few other spots that can be worth poking around in early fall. Rainbow trout and farm-raised channel catfish will be stocked in the Ohio and Erie Canal fishing area in mid-October. The Ohio Division of Wildlife stocked 1,000 yearling channel catfish at the Ohio and Erie Canal in early October.
Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, freshwater drum, walleyes, and panfish species can also be found along the Cleveland shoreline in early fall and can be caught on offerings such as tube jigs, drop-shot rigs, crankbaits, and live bait. Some good eater-size walleyes (15-20 inches) have been found in shallow water 16-24 feet deep by Cleveland area boating anglers, although more consistent catches are still being made in 68-70 feet of water. Yellow perch fishing off Cleveland has been slowly heating up off Wildwood Park in 32-38 feet of water.
Cleveland Metroparks, www.clevelandmetroparks.com