Ohio Outdoor News Fishing & Hunting Report – July 19, 2019

Central Region

Buckeye Lake (Fairfield, Licking, Perry counties) – The catfish bite continues to go strong. Anglers are utilizing cut shad to catch channels upward of 20 inches. Fish the bait deep for better results. Also, some saugeyes and crappies are being caught by those fishermen trolling crawler harnesses.

Alum Creek Lake (Delaware County) – Anglers are doing quite well catching bass here, both smallmouths and largemouths. The biggest fish being reported was a 20-inch smallmouth. They’re being caught on topwater baits and plastic nightcrawlers in pumpkin pattern. Soft craw imitators are also catching fish. Other anglers are catching crappies any place they can find wood. The fish are stacked up in the brush right now.

Deer Creek Lake (Pickaway, Fayette counties) – Boating anglers are catching loads of fish all over the lake, according to reports. Water levels were reported as a little high but with a nice stain. The highlight of the reporting has been white bass more than a pound or better. Focus efforts on brushpiles in the lake with any type of swimbait or jig and skirt combination.

Hoover Reservoir (Delaware, Franklin counties) – Anglers are catching saugeyes here by trolling Flicker Shad or similar type baits in 10 to 16 feet of water. According to angler reports, they’re focusing their efforts on flats and points to pick up fish. There is reportedly a lot of fishing pressure from boaters right now, however. Move to different spots to try to find the hot bite.

Indian Lake (Logan County) – Fishermen are having success trolling Flicker Shad all over the lake to catch saugeyes. Troll the bait in anywhere from 7 to 13 feet of water for the best bite. Some incidental catches of crappies and yellow perch have also been in the mix.

Northwest Region

Findlay Reservoir No. 2 (Hancock County) Anglers are having some success catching a stray walleye here and there, yellow perch, and rock bass. The successful bite is coming on chartreuse and white swimbaits or spinnerbaits. The walleyes being caught are just shy of the legal 15-inch keeper minimum. Yellow perch are ranging up to 10 inches.

Maumee River (Lucas County) According to Maumee Bait and Tackle, anglers are catching largemouth and smallmouth bass, big catfish, white bass, and a stray crappie here and there in the river and Maumee Bay. Perpetually high water on the river and bay is producing a good smallmouth bite, according to the bait shop. Catfish up to 10 pounds or better continue to be caught by anglers fishing skipjack and bluegills on the bottom.

Maumee Bait and Tackle, www.maumeetackle.net

East Harbor (Lake Erie) – Anglers are doing really well catching largemouth bass here. An average day, according to local reports, will produce about 30 bass. Fishermen are using plastic worms, soft craws, and lizards to produce the successful bite. Popular patterns on the lures has been green and/or brown.

Northeast Region 

Berlin Lake (Portage, Mahoning, Stark counties) – Hybrid striped bass fishing continues to be a hot ticket on Berlin. Bigger wipers are being caught on chicken livers, jigs and grubs, or topwater baits in the evening hours, according to reports. Channel catfish, carp, and crappies have also been in the mix.

Pymatuning Reservoir (Ashtabula County) – Bluegills have finally moved off the spawning beds here and out into deeper water. You can still catch them, however, on wax worms or really any type of live bait. Walleye reports have been few and far between. Anglers are trolling crankbaits and spoons for them, but not having much luck in the summer heat.

West Branch Reservoir (Portage County) – Anglers are catching decent numbers and sizes of muskies by fishing this muskie hot spot in northeast Ohio’s Portage County. Fish are hanging in 15 to 20 feet of water and are relating to weed lines, according to angler reports. The successful bite is coming on big spinnerbaits in chartreuse and white patterns.

Mosquito Creek Lake (Trumbull County) – Anglers are successfully trolling a mix of Flicker Shad and crawler harnesses and doing well on walleyes. The largest fish being reported was 23 inches. Crappies and channel catfish have also been in the mix.

Southwest Region 

Rocky Fork Lake (Highland County) – Fishermen are having some success catching saugeyes on this big Highland County lake, according to angler reports. The best combinations have involved nightcrawlers in one form or another. Fish a straight nightcrawler under a float or a jig and crawler rig for better results. Fish are ranging up to a best of 17 inches with most right around keeper size of 15 inches.

Paint Creek Lake (Highland County) – Anglers are catching a few stray saugeyes here, but most have been short fish. Successful fishermen are utilizing crankbaits and swimbaits of several varieties to pick up saugeyes, crappies, and channel catfish.

C.J. Brown Reservoir (Clark County) – Anglers are catching a mix of walleyes, crappies, and channel catfish. The walleyes, according to reports, are relating to some type of structure and are being caught on light jigs tipped with a piece of nightcrawler. Most of the walleyes that are being caught are between 13 and 16 inches.

Cowan Lake (Clinton County) – Shore fishing is going fairly well right now on this lake just outside of Wilmington. Anglers are reporting catching crappies, white bass, and largemouth bass from shore. Fish near the marina and spillway for better results.

Southeast Region

Seneca Lake (Noble, Guernsey counties) – Fishermen are working hard for them, but a few saugeyes are being caught here. Anglers are fishing for saugeyes deep, shallow, trolling, and jig fishing with just a few keepers to show for it. Also, they’re catching white bass and crappies more often using these methods. Crappie fishing has generally been better than most other species by anglers dunking minnows around brush piles.

Salt Fork Lake (Guernsey County) Fishermen are reporting doing OK on saugeyes here. The best recommendation has been to tie on a jig and minnow combination and fish it tight line a foot or so off the bottom. The morning hours are reportedly the best time to catch fish.

Leesville Lake (Carroll County) – Anglers are catching muskies at this muskie hot spot in southeast Ohio. The successful fishermen are using big swimbaits or spinnerbaits and fishing them along weedlines. The best fish being reported recently was a 36-incher.

Piedmont Lake (Belmont County) – Piedmont is a fairly good saugeye lake when water conditions allow. High and turbid was the condition of the lake, according to the most recent reports, however. When water levels drop, use a minnow under a float or a jig and minnow combination.

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 walleyes 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 five fish per angler. The minimum size limit is 12 inches.

Western Basin

Walleye

Where: Fishing remains excellent as the fish continue to transition to the deeper waters of the Central Basin. The bite east of West Sister Island remains good in 30-35 feet of water. Anglers trolling have been outperforming those casting. Good reports are also coming from east of Kelleys Island, the Cedar Point dumping ground, and from Huron east to Cleveland in 35-60 feet of water targeting the mid-water column.

How: The majority of anglers trolling are using spoons behind dipsy or jet divers, as well as crankbaits behind boards at speeds of 2.5 to 3 mph. Anglers are also having success trolling worm harnesses with in-line weights or bottom bouncers at 1 to 1.2 mph. Anglers drifting worm harnesses and weight forward spinners are also having success. 

Largemouth Bass

Where: Largemouth bass fishing has been excellent in various marinas and harbors, as well as Sandusky Bay in recent weeks as the water temperature has been increasing.

How: Anglers have been doing well throwing crankbaits, jigs, and various soft plastic riggings including tubes, Texas-rigged worms and creature baits, and Ned rigs at shoreline structure.

Catfish

Where: The bite in Sandusky Bay continues to be good, with many fish weighing over 10 pounds. Shoreline access to the bay is available at the old Route 2 bridge in Bay View and Port Clinton, the Dempsey Fishing Access, and various locations in downtown Sandusky.

How: Most anglers fish the bottom or drift with baits on the bottom. Common baits include nightcrawlers, cut bait, and frozen shrimp.

Central Basin

Walleye

Where: Excellent fishing continues in 35-55 feet of water north-northwest of Edgewater Park, in 35-55 feet of water north-northeast of Gordon Park, in 45-55 feet of water north of Fairport, and in 45-60 feet of water north of Geneva. Fish are suspended and anglers are targeting depths of 20-40 feet.

How: Walleyes have been caught by trolling with crankbaits or worm harnesses assisted by divers, and by casting and drifting weight forward spinners. Anglers are also casting and drifting worm harnesses and weight-forward spinners. Good colors to try are yellow, black, orange, green, and pink and purple. Anglers fishing from shore are catching a few fish off the piers in Cleveland using spinners and stick baits.

Smallmouth Bass

Where: Excellent fishing has been reported in 10-30 feet of water around harbor areas in Cleveland, Fairport Harbor, Ashtabula, and Conneaut.

How: Anglers are using crankbaits, tube jigs, spinner baits, and drop-shot rigs tipped with nightcrawlers.

Catfish

Where: Anglers are catching fish off the Cleveland and Fairport Harbor piers.

How: Most anglers fish the bottom or drift with baits on the bottom. Common baits include nightcrawlers, cut bait, and frozen shrimp.

The big fishing story this summer has been the amazing walleye fishing off Cleveland (and just about every other port on central Lake Erie), according to Cleveland Metroparks. Limits are generally coming very quickly for folks trolling spoons, crawler harnesses, and crankbaits. But equally effective many days, and lots of fun, is casting and slowly retrieving a weight-forward spinner like an Erie Dearie tipped with a whole or half nightcrawler. All summer (so far) the biggest schools off Cleveland have been in approximately 48-52 feet of water with fish typically suspended 20-30 feet down. But that’s not to say folks aren’t still catching their share in shallower water off Lakewood and Bratenahl, and some anglers are still making some catches from shore after dark, as well. The Cleveland Harbor behind the breakwall was muddy much of June due to a rain-swollen Cuyahoga River pumping dirty water into the harbor. But with somewhat dryer weather into early July, that is clearing up and fishing should improve.

Categories: Hunting News, News, Ohio Fishing Reports

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