Ohio Outdoor News Fishing & Hunting Report – Jan. 18, 2019
Alum Creek Lake (Delaware County) — Anglers fishing the shoreline at the spillway in recent days have been catching muskies of all things. Most muskie catches have been incidental by anglers fishing for saugeyes at the dam. Not much to report on saugeye success. A few crappies are being caught, however.
Buckeye Lake (Fairfield, Licking, Perry counties) — Saugeyes are the most popular quarry on Buckeye Lake right now, and anglers seem to be doing quite well for them. Anglers fishing in the evening hours and after dark are employing Smithwick Rogues and are catching some nice size fish, up to 22 inches in a few cases.
Indian Lake (Logan County) — With all of the rain we’ve had in central Ohio over the past 10 days, the waters of Indian Lake are turbid. Still, anglers are fishing the Blackhawk and Moundwood areas for saugeyes. But, they haven’t had much to show for it, according to reports. Fishermen are doing better on crappies and bluegills fishing from the shoreline.
Findlay Reservoir No. 2 (Hancock County) — Anglers fishing open water here have caught crappies and bluegills in recent days. The popular setup for both species has been a jig and waxworm combination. Fish the bait in eight to 10 feet of water for best results.
Maumee River (Lucas County) — Fishermen who have braved the cooler weather have been rewarded with catfish and crappies. The best bite is coming on live bait, such as nightcrawlers and minnows, drifted in the current. Fish deep for the catfish and midway down the water column for the crappies. Some smallmouth bass are also an option.
Maumee Bait and Tackle, www.maumeetackle.net
Lake Erie (East Harbor) — The largemouth bass bite is about the best thing going right now. Anglers have been dunking minnows off the docks to catch bass and also crappies.
Berlin Lake (Portage, Mahoning, Stark counties) — Anglers fishing from shore are catching crappies, yellow perch, and bluegills at Berlin right now. Most are using minnows or nightcrawlers for bait. Fish shallow for the panfish, anywhere from five to 12 feet deep. Yellow perch and crappies will also bite on waxworms fished at these same depths.
Mosquito Creek Lake (Trumbull County) — Anglers are successfully catching crappies on the open waters of Mosquito Creek Lake. Fishermen fishing near the state park have had good luck on panfish, according to reports. Some crappies have been in the jumbo 12-inch range. Some yellow perch have been in the mix as well.
Nimisila Reservoir (Summit County) — Crappies and yellow perch are on the menu at Nimisila right now. Either species can be caught by anglers simply dunking a minnow in six to 10 feet of water. Also, a jig and trailer will catch its fair share of panfish and perch.
C.J. Brown Reservoir (Clark County) — Fishermen are hitting the docks at C.J. Brown now that the boats are out of the water. Anglers using ice jigs are having some success catching crappies from the docks. A high water level, though, is making the fishing difficult. Still, some of the crappies have been in the 10-inch range.
Rocky Fork Lake (Highland, Ross counties — Anglers have had good luck catching yellow perch, crappies, and white bass from the docks at Rocky Fork. The popular bait has been a rattling spoon, according to angler reports. Blade baits such as Vib-Es would also fit the bill. The crappies and white bass are the most willing biters and can be caught in good numbers.
East Fork Lake (Clermont County) — The crappie bite is still on through late December, according to angler reports. Anglers are catching crappies larger than 9 inches with some regularity. Tie on a jig and tip it with a minnow for best results.
Salt Fork Lake (Guernsey County) — Anglers are catching channel catfish with some regularity, although water levels have been high due to excessive rain in the region and across much of Ohio. Fish for catfish with cut bait on the bottom for best results.
Tappan Lake (Harrison County) — Anglers are focusing their efforts on the bridge overpasses in the evening hours to catch crappies. Fishermen are throwing a variety of baits at them, including jigs, spoons, and blade baits. Some of the crappies have been decent size, around the 12-inch range.
Leesville Lake (Carroll County) — Anglers continue to chase muskies at this Carroll County lake known for its muskie population. Try throwing big bucktails or other similar baits for best results. Not many anglers are reporting catches, but there should be some action if you stay at it long enough.
Lake Erie Region
• The 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.
New for 2019:
A Lake Erie fishing permit is required for nonresidents from Jan. 1 to April 30 when fishing Lake Erie and areas immediately upstream in creeks, rivers, and tributaries.
Where: Fishing has been good for anglers who have been able to get out. Most anglers are focusing their effort from Huron and east of the Bass Islands. Limits have been reported northeast of Kelleys Island in 40 to 50 feet of water.
How: Anglers have been trolling deep diving crankbaits 80 to 100 feet back at speeds of 1.0 to 1.4 mph unassisted, or adding snap weights up to 2 ounces 40 feet back to get down to the fish. Anglers have also reported success jigging lipless crankbaits and spoons tipped with shiners, like ice fishing presentations.
Where: Fishing for yellow perch has been average. Good fishing reported in 40 feet of water north of Gordon Park, and in 48 feet of water north of Conneaut with reports of fish over 13 inches.
How: Perch spreaders with shiners fished near the bottom produce the most fish.
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 Edgewater, Gordon Park, Fairport Harbor, and Painesville Township piers, and the Fairport Harbor breakwall.
How: The best baits have been small spoons and crankbaits for anglers troll fishing from boats, and jigs tipped with maggots fished under a bobber or small spoons for anglers fishing from shore.
The Lake Erie water temperature is 35 off Toledo and 40 off Cleveland, according to the nearshore marine forecast.
The Rocky River and other area streams are currently muddy from recent rain, but should be in great shape just in time for the weekend. Fish are spread throughout the system at this time, with anglers reporting some better size fish (25-29 inches) in the mix the past few weeks. Steelhead have been caught on marabou jigs under floats, brightly colored dime to nickel size spawn sacs, beads that mimic salmon eggs, flies (egg patterns and baitfish streamers), and lures such as Little Cleo spoons and wobbling crankbaits. Overall, the general feeling is that this steelhead season has been somewhat below average overall, although the past several weeks have offered some of the best fishing of the year so far. Steelhead numbers can be expected to peak around March-April.
Anglers fishing along the Cleveland lakefront still have a shot at late season walleyes from the E. 55th/E. 72nd areas. At the same locations, some steelhead have been caught on nightcrawlers or small jigs tipped with minnows suspended in four to six feet of water under a bobber, as well as for anglers casting spoons. Some jumbo yellow perch are being caught on the west side of the E. 55th north facing breakwall on live and salted emerald shiners on the lake bottom using crappie rigs. Perch success seems to vary quite a bit day by day.
In mid-December, Cleveland Metroparks stocked 3,000 pounds of rainbow trout, as follows: Wallace (1,400 pounds), Shadow (750 pounds), Ledge (600 pounds), Judge’s (150 pounds), and Ranger (100 pounds) lakes. The size of the trout averages about a pound and a half each, although fish range from 0.75 pounds to 2.5 pounds Along with the predominantly standard rainbow trout are a fair number of colorful golden rainbow trout. Please note: the limits on these trout is three/day at Wallace, Ledge, Judge’s, and Ranger lakes and five/day at Shadow Lake and Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area (there is no size limit, unlike the river where trout need to be minimum length of 12 inches and you can harvest two/day). The second and final round of winter trout will go into the same lakes around mid-January. These trout bite well on jigging spoons, brightly colored PowerBait, and small jigs tipped with a few maggots or a waxworm. Our lakes should continue to be ice free for the weekend based on the current forecast.
Cleveland Metroparks, www.clevelandmetroparks.com