Ohio Outdoor News Fishing Report – Nov. 23, 2018

Central Region

Alum Creek Lake (Delaware County) — Anglers are casting live nightcrawlers and plastics to catch largemouth bass. Also, others are trolling Flicker Shad to catch white bass and crappies. The largemouth bite is coming in the coves where anglers can find wood.

Hoover Reservoir (Franklin, Delaware counties) — Fishermen are trolling Flicker Shad in a variety of patterns to catch crappies and white bass. The best bite is coming for those anglers trolling the bait at slow speeds. Some of the crappies are ranging up to 13 inches, and the white bass are plentiful, according to reports.

Indian Lake (Logan County) — Anglers fishing for saugeyes have had luck fishing swimbaits in recent days. Some of the saugeyes being caught are in the 16- to 17-inch range. Others are catching saugeyes on Vib-Es in various patterns. Dreambridge and Moundwood areas are producing the best bite.

Northwest Region

Findlay Reservoir No. 2 (Hancock County) — Anglers fishing for yellow perch and white bass here recently have been rewarded with some fish on the hook. The popular bait has been a simple waxworm fished beneath a float. Some of the white bass have been decent 12- to 13-inch specimens.

Maumee River (Lucas County) — Maumee Bait and Tackle recommends heading up to the dam at Grand Rapids to try for crappies, walleyes, and white bass. Simple rigs such as a jig and minnow combo seems to be working best. Or, simply use a lead-head jig and twister tail. River levels are dropping since the rain last week, the bait shop reports.

Maumee Bait and Tackle, www.maumeetackle.net

Lake Erie (various counties) — Fishermen are searching out the shoreline bite for walleyes in recent days with some success. Some 20- to 23-inch walleyes are being caught by anglers fishing the Fall Brawl. Anglers are throwing a variety of crankbaits and stickbaits at the walleyes with success. Perch-colored patterns seem to be working best, according to reports. 

Northeast Region

Nimisila Reservoir (Summit County) — Wading anglers are catching bluegills and crappies with some regularity. The best bite is coming on jigs and twister tails in a variety of colors. The bluegills being reported are in the smallish 6- to 8-inch range, but the crappies are ranging larger, up to 12 inches.

Mosquito Creek Lake (Trumbull County) — Anglers are fishing the dam area for walleyes with just a little success to show for it. Most anglers are casting crankbaits. Most of the walleyes have been in the 16- to 17-inch range. A few crappies are being caught incidentally by fishermen who are chasing walleyes.

Mogadore Reservoir (Portage County) — A new boat ramp opened on Nov. 1 on this reservoir, replacing the old Lansinger Road launch. However, the best reports are coming from anglers fishing for crappies from the shoreline. Crappies are being caught in shallow water, about six feet deep, on jig and minnow combinations.

West Branch Reservoir (Portage County) — Anglers are catching muskies and northern pike here. Some shoreline anglers are reporting muskie follows, and a few are hooking up with the toothy critters. Try a variety of baits from big swimbaits to larger inline spinnerbaits to catch both muskie and pike. West Branch is typically one of the better muskie lakes in northeast Ohio, according to the DNR Division of Wildlife.

Southwest Region

Grand Lake St. Marys (Mercer, Auglaize counties) — Anglers are doing well on this lake’s famed crappies and are even catching some largemouth bass. The successful bite is coming in the creek channels for crappies and against the rocks for the bass. Many of the crappies being caught are of the smaller variety, which portends to good things to come for this fishery in the years ahead.

Paint Creek Lake (Highland, Ross counties — Crappies and channel catfish are being caught at the spillway of this lake. Jig and minnow combos will fit the bill as will nightcrawlers or waxworms under a float. Some of the catfish have been decent size, but you’ll have to sort through a bunch of dinks before getting one of the bigger ones, anglers report.

Caesar Creek Lake (Warren, Clinton, Greene counties) — Anglers fishing the spillway of this southwest Ohio lake are catching a mixed bag of fish from saugeyes and crappies to largemouths and white bass. Fishermen have found the evening hours into the night to be the best time to fish. Some of the largemouth bass being caught are in the 16- to 17-inch range, according to reports. Try a swimbait in any pattern for the most successful bite.

Southeast Region

Tappan Lake (Harrison County) — Anglers are utilizing Vib-Es to chase saugeyes here with some success. Others are using nightcrawlers and worm harnesses with limited success. The nightcrawler bite though is picking up a variety of fish from crappies to catfish.

Piedmont Lake (Belmont County) — Anglers are trying jig and minnow combinations, stickbaits, and jerkbaits without much success for any species. This lake holds saugeye, channel catfish, and crappies but the bite is reportedly a tough one right now.

Leesville Lake (Carroll County) — Anglers in search of muskies have found a few in recent days with the largest specimen being a 44-inch fish. Leesville is annually on the DNR Division of Wildlife’s top list for muskie waters. If you catch a muskie, please report it to the Division of Wildlife’s Muskie Angler Log.

Lake Erie Region

• The bag limit for walleyes 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.

Western Basin


Where: Fishing has been fair with the best reports coming from Huron and Lorain in 30 to 50 feet of water. Anglers are reporting limits of 17- to 22-inch fish, but some larger fish are occasionally being caught. Boats are trolling after dark near shore using shallow diving crankbaits with moderate success. Anglers fishing from shore and piers are starting to do well on breakwalls, with a few limits reported, as walleyes are following baitfish closer to shore. 

How: Anglers trolling small spoons behind divers have been doing the best, but anglers trolling and casting deep diving stick baits and crankbaits are starting to see fishing pick up.

Yellow Perch

Where: Fishing for yellow perch has been good. The best fishing has been south of Green Island in 30 feet of water, and “L” can of the Camp Perry Firing Range in 19 to 20 feet of water. A few good reports came from the “Sputnik” buoy near Toledo in 28 to 30 feet of water.

How: Perch spreaders with shiners fished near the bottom produce the most fish.

Black Bass

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: Fishing is starting to wind down, but a fair amount of fish are still being caught 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: Fishing with shiners and nightcrawlers on the bottom have been best. Most anglers fish a Carolina rig or three-way rig fished on the bottom.

Central Basin


Where: Prior to the rough lake conditions good fishing was reported in 53 feet of water northwest of Gordon Park, in 68 to 72 feet of water northwest of Fairport Harbor, in 70 to 75 feet of water north-northwest of Ashtabula, and in 70 to 75 feet of water northwest of Conneaut. Fish are suspended and anglers are targeting fishing depths of 50 to 60 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.

Yellow Perch

Where: No new reports due to rough lake conditions. The following are reports from the previous week. Good reports have come from the Vermillion area in 26 to 31 feet of water. Prior to the recent rough lake conditions, fish were being caught in 51 to 54 feet of water northwest of Fairport Harbor, and in 50 to 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.

Steelhead Trout

Where: Good fishing reported from anglers trolling inside the Fairport Harbor breakwall and inside the Conneaut breakwall. Anglers fishing from shore are catching fish off the Fairport Harbor breakwall and the Painesville Township Pier.

How: The best baits have been trolling small spoons and crank baits for anglers fishing from boats, and jigs tipped with maggots fished under a bobber and small spoons for anglers fishing from shore.

In fall, anglers along the Rocky River and other area streams are pursuing steelhead trout, as well as a surprising number of walleyes in the northernmost river reaches. The Rocky River and other area streams are currently exhibiting good flow and stain for fishing, although abundant leaves can cause difficulties drifting.

Steelhead opportunities have been good recently and should remain that way until stream conditions change. As is typical this time of year, the greatest concentration of fish, and therefore also anglers, is in the northernmost river stretches. The big trout, averaging 5-7 pounds as of late, have been biting on brightly colored dime to nickel size spawn sacs when the water is stained and beads that mimic salmon eggs, small marabou jigs tipped with a few maggots, or a waxworm drifted under a float, flies (egg patterns and baitfish streamers), and lures such as Little Cleo spoons and Vibrax spinners as the water clears further. The fall run is just gaining momentum with the increase in flows and more steelhead will continue to migrate up area streams into the fall season.

Fishing along the Cleveland lakefront was good recently with steelhead and yellow perch by day and walleyes after dark caught from the E. 55th/E. 72nd breakwalls, as well as at Edgewater and Wildwood parks as wave conditions allowed. Lakefront steelhead will bite on a whole nightcrawler on a plain hook or small jig tipped with minnow suspended between four and six feet under a bobber, as well as for anglers casting a spoon (i.e., Little Cleo or KO Wobbler) or spinner (i.e., Vibrax or RoosterTail).

Anglers at Cleveland Metropark inland lakes and ponds are catching catfish, largemouth bass, and panfish. In mid-October rainbow trout (1,000 pounds) and farm-raised channel catfish (600 pounds) that were stocked in the Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area off E. 49th Street and plenty of these fish remain. Trout often bite well on a dime-sized ball of colorful PowerBait fished near the canal bottom with a sinker. Metropark lakes/ponds are scheduled to be stocked with rainbow trout around mid-December.

Walleye fishing was very good along the Cleveland shoreline of Lake Erie after dark. Anglers are connecting by casting Husky Jerk or Perfect 10 stickbaits. A few yellow perch are being caught at E. 55th breakwall, as well. Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, freshwater drum, northern pike, and panfish species can also be found along the Cleveland shoreline.

Cleveland Metroparks, www.clevelandmetroparks.com

Ohio River Region

Scioto County — Anglers in the past have had success fishing the Ohio River at the confluence of the Scioto River. Channel catfish are always a popular species to catch this time of year. Try using chicken livers or nightcrawlers fished tight-line off the bottom. Target flathead catfish by using live skipjacks or shad. Some hybrid striped bass may also be caught. Try using white jigs with twisters tipped with a minnow.

Western River counties (Hamilton, Clermont, Brown, Adams counties) — Flatheads can be caught on chicken livers fished with no weight at drop-offs of 15 to 20 feet. 

Serpentine Wall, Downtown Cincinnati (Hamilton County) — Anglers are having success catching blue cats in the morning hours. Try using chicken breast.

Greenup Dam — Hybrid striped bass and white bass should be moving this time of year. For hybrid striped bass, try fishing cut baits and live baits off the bottom. For white bass, try using topwater lures as well as skipjack, chubs, shiners, and cut bait. Early mornings will probably produce the most catches.

Meldahl Dam (Clermont County) — Channel catfish and flathead catfish are being caught below the dam.

Categories: News, Ohio Fishing Reports

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