Knox Lake (Knox County)– Anglers continue to catch crappiesat a good rate here. They’re biting on jigand wax worm combinations or nightcrawlers. Fish up to 11 inches have been reported coming in shallow water.
Alum Creek Lake (Delaware County)– Anglers are using ice-fishing gear to jigthe docks on Alum Creek right now. They’re catching primarily crappies, but also the occasional saugeye on blade baits and ice spoons. Some bluegillsand yellow perchhave also been in the mix for those fishermen who have braved cool temperatures in the evenings.
Delaware Lake (Delaware County)– When the weather has cooperated, anglers are catching good numbers of crappieshere on jigstipped with minnows or just a straight minnow under a float. These crappiesare hitting shallow, according to local reports.
Hoover Reservoir (Franklin County)– White bass and crappiesare on the fishermen’s menu at Hoover right now as we transition into early winter. Keep the bait simple to catch either of these species: a minnow under a floator a jigand trailer combo.
Indian Lake (Logan County)– Fishermen are itching for some ice fishing at this lake known for a good hard-water bite through the winter. But, for now, open-water anglers are doing well catching saugeyes in the Moundwood area by casting crankbaits. Saugeyes have ranged up to 18 inches.
Willard Reservoir (Huron County) –Fishermen are catching decent numbers of yellow perchand crappiesat this Huron County upground. They’re catching them on bass minnows, according to local reports. Fish are biting either on the bottom or about two cranks off the bottom on slip bobber rigs. Fishermen are sorting through a lot of fish, but managing to keep a few of good size for the frying pan.
Maumee River (Lucas County) –According to Maumee Bait and Tackle, walleyesare relating to shallow water right now, particularly after dark when they can be caught while chasing shad. Maumee Bait recommends using Smithwick Perfect 10sor similar type baits to catch these after-dark walleyes. Match the hatch, in other words. On the Maumee proper, anglers are out chasing walleyesand steelhead. The water is still fairly clear on the Maumee, making for decent steelheadprospects. The walleyebite on the river has been decent in recent days, according to the bait shop.
Maumee Bait and Tackle, www.maumeetackle.net
Sandusky Bay (Sandusky County)– Fishermen are tying into some nice catfish on the bay in recent days. Shrimp has been the bait of choice for the catfish, some of which have been better than 10 pounds. Others are catching smallmouth bassalong the riprap on soft craws. Some crappies, too, are being caught on minnows or nightcrawlers.
Mogadore Reservoir (Portage County)– Fishermen are doing well on a smorgasbord of species, including bluegills, yellow perch, and crappies. They’re catching them in shallow water, anywhere from 5 to 12 feet. Use minnows for bait.
Nimisila Reservoir (Summit County)– Fishermen are catching decent numbers of crappieson Nimisila right now. Fish ranging up to 11 inches have been caught in shallow water, 6 to 11 feet, on wax worms, minnows, and nightcrawlers.
Atwood Lake (Carroll, Tuscarawas counties)– Anglers fishing the areas around the docks are catching a few saugeyes in recent days, according to reports. They’re catching them in 7 to 12 feet of water on crawler harnessesand crankbaits. Saugeyes up to 17 inches have been reported.
Mosquito Creek Lake (Trumbull County)– The late fall/early winter walleyebite on this large Trumbull County lake is going OK right now. Anglers are using Vib-Esor other types of blade baitsto jigup some fish. Walleyesup to 15 inches are being reported. The yellow perchbite remains good, too. Anglers are using crappie spreaders tipped with minnows to catch both perchand crappies.
East Fork Lake (Clermont County)– Anglers in recent days are doing well catching smallmouth basshere. They’re using spinnerbaitsaround rocky areas to produce the smallmouthbite. One angler recently caught a 20-inch smallmouthin early November by using these methods.
Caesar Creek Lake (Warren, Clinton, Greene counties)– Crappiesare the top quarry for anglers at Caesar Creek Lake right now. They’re catching them in 12 to 15 feet of water on minnows or wax worms fished under a float. Some channel catfish have also been in the mix.
Paint Creek Lake (Highland County)– The crappiebite is the hottest thing going on Paint Creek Lake right now. Anglers are targeting submerged wood to find fish, according to local reports. They’re dunking minnows under a light floator using jigand minnow combinations to produce fish.
Rocky Fork Lake (Highland County)– Fishermen are hitting the dock areas on Rocky Fork right now in search of crappieswith some success. Size is nothing to write home about, but some individual fish have been reported up to 10 inches. Anglers are using ice-fishing gear to produce the bite.
Burr Oak Lake (Morgan, Athens counties) –Fishermen in search of bassare switching their focus to crappiesin recent days. They’re finding a few in shallow water, and the fish are biting on wax worms or nightcrawlers under a float. Concentrate efforts around shoreline cover for best results. Crappiesup to 10 inches are being reported.
Salt Fork Lake (Guernsey County) –Anglers fishing near the dam on this large Guernsey County lake are catching crappiesin this late fall/early winter transition period. They’re catching them on blade baitssuch as Vib-Esand jigand minnow combinations. Most fish have been in the small 8-inch range, but a few have been larger, according to local reports.
Tappan Lake (Harrison County)– Bassanglers are having some success in recent days, although fishing pressure has been really light due to the 46-degree or so water temperatures. Anglers report catching a few stray saugeyes, too, on blade baitssuch as Vib-Es. The basshave been biting on small crankbaitsfished along shoreline cover.
Lake Erie Region
• The daily bag limit for yellow perchis 30 fish per angler in all Ohio waters of Lake Erie.
• The trout and salmondaily bag limit is two fish (singly or in combination) per angler. The minimum size limit is 12 inches.
Where: Walleyesare starting to show up in their traditional fall feeding grounds from Huron to Cleveland. Anglers are trolling stickbaitsoffshore during the day, and nearshore near and after dark at 1.6 to 1.8 mph.
How: Trolling stickbaitshas been the best presentation at speeds 1.8 to 2.8 mph. Slower presentations have been better after dark. Shore bound anglers can start picking up walleyesnear and after dark casting stickbaitsand lipless crankbaitsthat imitate shad, especially in the “clown” color.
Where: Yellow perchfishing has picked up slightly, however limits are still tough. The best reports are coming from west of Catawba in 18-22 feet of water, north and southwest of Kelleys Island, and between Huron and Vermilion in 28-32 feet of water.
How: Vertical crappie rigsseem to be producing better where baits can be presented at different depths. Anglers are reporting that small lifts and long pauses between lifts have been triggering the most bites.
Where: Fish are being caught in 50-65 feet of water north of Gordon Park during the day. The night bite is along the Cleveland breakwall. Shore anglers are catching walleyesoff the Cleveland piers and the Fairport Harbor short pier in the evenings. Boat anglers during the day are targeting fishing depths of 20-40 feet.
Where: A few reports of yellow perchbeing caught in 30-35 feet of water off the East 72nd St. lighthouse in Cleveland. Shore anglers are catching a few fish in the mornings and evenings off the breakwalls in Cleveland.
How: Try minnows on spreaders and crappie rigsnear the bottom.
Where: Anglers are catching fish trolling inside the Fairport Harbor breakwall and the Grand River. Shore anglers are catching fish off Edgewater Park, Gordon Park, Fairport Harbor, and Painesville Township piers, and the Fairport Harbor breakwall.
Where: Best spots have been in 20 to 30 feet of water in the harbor areas and rock piles in Cleveland, Fairport Harbor, Geneva, Ashtabula, and Conneaut.
According to Cleveland Metroparks, steelheadare biting from the rocks and breakwalls along the Cleveland shoreline at Edgewater Park, E. 55th breakwall, Gordon Park at E. 72nd, Wendy Park pier at the old Coast Guard station, and Wildwood Park breakwall/pier. Of these spots, Edgewater Park breakwalls by the boat launch, Wendy Park, and E. 55th breakwall are most protected by the outer city breakwall during wavier conditions. Casting a spoonor spinnerat these locations are a good bet for connecting with fall lakefront steelhead trout, which requires no more than a medium action spinning rigspooled with 8- to 10-pound monofilament line. A bobber with a light jigtipped with minnow or maggots suspend 3 to 6 feet below is also a good producer in the aforementioned areas. A nightcrawler suspended under a bobber on a bare hook can also work well. A longer noodle rod is best for fishing floats and a long handle net is required to land fish safely along the lakefront.
Local stream levels are low and clear at the moment, but rain is forecasted. With the low water, steelhead remain most concentrated in the deeper northern reaches of local streams awaiting higher flows before heading further upstream. This scenario has allowed for very good opportunities at the Emerald Necklace Marinaand river mouth area at Lake Erie (access to the latter requires a small watercraft). Steelheadare hitting spoonsand spinners.
Another river that shines during current conditions is the Cuyahoga River, which has a good flow even when other local streams are barely moving due to its large watershed size of 813 square miles.
Cleveland Metroparks, www.clevelandmetroparks.com