Ohio Outdoor News Fishing & Hunting Report – Aug. 2, 2019
Buckeye Lake (Fairfield, Licking, Perry counties) – Fishermen are catching saugeyes and channel catfish in mid-level waters using crankbaits. The catfish have been of the small variety, but the saugeyes have ranged up to a respectable 17 inches. Anglers are employing a semi-fast retrieve on the baits to trigger a strike.
Alum Creek Lake (Delaware County) – Anglers are trolling Flicker Shad in a variety of patterns to catch saugeyes right now. The best bite is coming in shallow water, anywhere from 5 to 10 feet, and on the edges of flats. Anglers report that many of the fish are upward of 15 inches. Some smallmouth bass, too, are being caught using these same methods and depths.
Deer Creek Lake (Pickaway, Fayette counties) – Crappies are reportedly holding in 8 to 14 feet of water and are relating to brush piles here. The effective method has been a simple jig and minnow combination right in the trees. Some of the crappies have good size on them, up to 11 inches or so. One angler recently reported catching a handful of this size in one afternoon of fishing.
Hoover Reservoir (Delaware, Franklin counties) – Fishermen are having decent luck catching white bass and crappies by trolling small crankbaits. The south pool of Hoover is where most of the action is concentrated right now. A good tip is to use any type of crankbait with a bit of red to its color.
Indian Lake (Logan County) – Anglers continue to slow troll Flicker Shad or similar type baits to pick up saugeyes. One individual angler reported catching a 22-inch fish on one recent outing. Purple seems to be the hot color on the Flicker Shad. Some crappies and channel catfish have also been in the mix.
Findlay Reservoir No. 2 (Hancock County) – Anglers are fishing the evening or early morning hours at No. 2 for walleyes and white bass. The popular bait has been a leech on a slip bobber, particularly in the low light of the evening. Walleyes must be at least 15 inches to keep. White bass are willing biters on these same baits.
Maumee River (Lucas County) – According to Maumee Bait and Tackle, anglers are breathing a sigh of relief after the recent heat wave that enveloped the area. Look for the cooldown to prompt smallmouth bass out of the deeper pools and into the shallows. Work bank edges with any type of plastic for the best smallmouth bite. Anglers continue to catch a stray walleye here and there on jig and minnow combinations. And, catfish can still be caught in the deeper holes by fishing chicken livers on the bottom.
Maumee Bait and Tackle, www.maumeetackle.net
Pleasant Hill Lake (Richland, Ashland counties) – Fishermen are hitting up the area around the main beach for saugeyes. Also, anglers are targeting any wood in the lake for largemouth bass. Bass, according to reports, are ranging up to 15 inches.
Berlin Lake (Portage, Mahoning, Stark counties) – Light jigs tipped with maggots or wax worms is producing crappies and white bass. Nightcrawlers and chicken livers are the bait of choice for catfish. For walleyes, try weight-forward spinners or crawler harnesses. Crappies are being caught at the bridges in good numbers. For bigger catfish, use cut shad or shiners fished on the bottom. Overall, fishing has been good for walleyes all year, but the bite seemed to slow a bit this week due to the hot temperatures.
Pymatuning Reservoir (Ashtabula County) – Summer heat is really warming up the water, but anglers are managing to catch a few crappies and walleyes. Successful fishermen are trolling spoons or small crankbaits in deeper water to get the fish to bite. Crappies have ranged up to 11 inches, but the walleye bite is a little slower. One individual trolling recently caught a 22-inch walleye on a spoon.
West Branch Reservoir (Portage County) – Anglers are reporting a decent bite on crappies here. Fish the bait shallow, anywhere from 5 to 10 feet of water, around logs or brush piles. For muskies, this lake ranks right at the top for all muskellunge lakes in all of Ohio. Try a big spinnerbait amidst the logs in shallow water to entice a strike, or at least a follow.
Mosquito Creek Lake (Trumbull County) – Anglers launching at the state park to fish the deeper south end of the lake are catching good numbers of crappies and some bluegills. The best bite has come for those anglers drifting minnows in 18 to 20 feet of water. Walleye reports have been slow to come in, but one angler recently caught a 23-inch fish while slow trolling a crankbait.
Rocky Fork Lake (Highland County) – A 15-pound channel catfish was caught in a recent tournament on this lake, according to reports. The fish hit cut bait fished on the bottom, where catfish typically hang out. Others are catching catfish while trolling for saugeyes with the typical trolling baits like Flicker Shad or crawler harnesses.
Paint Creek Lake (Highland County) – Fishermen are managing to catch largemouth bass and channel catfish, but the saugeye bite has been slow everywhere but below the spillway. Some crappies are being caught, too, but most are reportedly small fish. Try any type of live bait for the bass and catfish, and a jig tipped with a wax worm or straight minnow under a float for the crappies.
C.J. Brown Reservoir (Clark County) – Dusk and dawn are the best times to fish this lake, according to angler reports. Crappies and channel catfish are plentiful, and will bite on nightcrawlers or minnows. Walleyes are a tougher proposition here, but they sometimes can be caught in the early morning hours, again, on live bait offerings.
Cowan Lake (Clinton County) – Anglers are catching crappies and white bass here in decent numbers in spite of high water temperatures with all of the heat. The successful bite is coming on jig and minnow combos or simply a lively minnow under a float.
Seneca Lake (Noble, Guernsey counties) – White bass fishing has been good. Anglers are fishing topwater baits later in the evening to pick up a few white bass. Some saugeyes are being caught, too, by anglers trolling crawler harnesses in 10 to 15 feet of water.
Salt Fork Lake (Guernsey County) – Anglers are hammering the crappies here in deep water. One pair of anglers recently reported catching 30 in one afternoon by fishing 10 to 12 feet off the bottom in 14 feet of water. These crappies have been of good size, too, up to 12 inches. Most fishermen are simply fishing minnows in these deep water depths.
Lake Logan (Hocking County) – Fishermen are catching largemouth bass and crappies at this Hocking County lake near the Hocking Hills. The biggest largemouth reported recently was more than 3 pounds. The best advice is to fish early in the morning using buzzbaits, topwater baits, or spinnerbaits.
Tappan Lake (Harrison County) – Shoreline anglers are doing well catching crappies close to the dam. However, you’ll have to sort through a lot of short crappies to find many keeper size fish, according to reports. Use a jig and minnow combo or simply a minnow under a float.
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 five fish per angler. The minimum size limit is 12 inches.
Where: Fishing remains good, but following two large mayfly hatches last week, angler success has declined in the far Western Basin. The best fishing continues to be from Huron west to Lorain in 30 to 55 feet of water.
How: The majority of anglers trolling are using spoons behind dipsy or jet divers, as well as crankbaits at speeds of 2.5 to 3.0 mph. Anglers are also having success trolling worm harnesses with in-line weights or bottom bouncers at 1.0 to 1.2 mph. Anglers drifting worm harnesses or weight-forward spinners are also having success.
Where: Largemouth bass fishing has been excellent in various marinas and harbors in the Western Basin, as well as Sandusky Bay in recent weeks as water temperatures have been increasing.
How: Anglers have been doing well casting crankbaits, jigs, and various soft plastic riggings, including tubes, Texas-rigged worms, creature baits, and Ned rigs at shoreline structure.
Where: Anglers are starting to turn their attention toward yellow perch with some good reports coming from the Toledo Harbor Light in 20 to 25 feet of water.
How: Minnows fished under a perch spreader continue to be the presentation of choice for perch anglers, but consider trolling small crankbaits behind a bottom bouncer to locate active fish in loose aggregations.
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: Anglers have been fishing the bottom with shrimp, nightcrawlers, and cut bait.
Where: Excellent fishing continues in 48 to 55 feet of water north-northwest of Edgewater Park, in 40 to 52 feet of water north of Chagrin River, in 35 to 50 feet and 55 to 75 feet of water north-northwest of Fairport, and in 50 to 65 feet of water north of Geneva. Fish are suspended and anglers are targeting fishing depths of 15 to 40 feet.
How: Walleyes have been caught trolling using crankbaits or worm harnesses with planer boards, dipsy, and jet divers. Anglers are also casting and drifting worm harnesses and weight-forward spinners. Good colors to try are lemon, chartreuse, orange, green, and pink and purple. Anglers fishing from shore are catching fish off the piers in Cleveland using spinners and stick baits.
Where: Excellent fishing has been reported in 17 to 22 feet of water around harbor areas in Cleveland, Fairport Harbor, Geneva, Ashtabula, and Conneaut.
How: Anglers are using crankbaits, tube jigs, spinner baits, drop shot rigs tipped with nightcrawlers, golden shiners, crayfish, and leeches.
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.
Smallmouth bass are typically found in the deeper, rocky pools of the Rocky River during the day in 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. Note: On May 1 the Lake Erie zone smallmouth/largemouth bass combined bag limit changed to one bass per day of 18 inches minimum size. The zone includes Lake Erie waters and (locally) the Rocky River to Detroit Road bridge, Cuyahoga River to Harvard Road bridge, and Chagrin River to Route 283 bridge.