Saturday, February 4th, 2023
Saturday, February 4th, 2023

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Ohio Fishing Report – Jan. 3, 2020

Central Region

Alum Creek Lake (Delaware County)– When they’ve been able to find open water, anglers are doing quite well catching crappies. They’re using the typical wintertime baits such as jigs and ice spoons with or without live bait. Many of these crappies are reportedly 11 inches or better. For a full report on Alum Creek Reservoir, see the back page of the Jan. 3 edition of Ohio Outdoor News.


Delaware Lake (Delaware County)– Anglers in early December were doing well on crappies here, according to local reports. They’re finding them in pockets all over the lake, and shore fishermen have even been getting in on the action. They’re using jig and minnow combinations or simply a minnow under a float. Fish up to 12 inches have been reported.


Indian Lake (Logan County)– Most of the lake is locked up with a layer of thin ice, according to recent angler reports. It’s a period of transition between open water and ice and there is very little fishing going on right now.


Northwest Region

Willard Reservoir (Huron County)– Anglers are reportedly catching yellow perch here close to shore by using jig and minnow or jig and wax worm combinations. The perch are in shallow water right now looking for a quick meal, so adjust your fishing sights accordingly. Perch up to 10 inches are being reported.


Maumee River (Lucas County) According to Maumee Bait and Tackle, the river had formed some slush ice as of Dec. 21, but a quick warm up in the forecast will likely melt all that away. There are some open-water opportunities on the river for walleyes and crappies to be had. If the expected warm up occurs, look for walleyes at the river mouths. Also, crappies can be caught in pretty much any part of the river right now.

Maumee Bait and Tackle,


Sandusky Bay (Sandusky County)– Smallmouth bass continue to be the hottest ticket on Sandusky Bay, according to local reports. Anglers are employing spinnerbaits fished along shoreline cover with a slow retrieve to get the smallmouths to bite. The catfish bite had slowed down in recent days.


Northeast Region

Mogadore Reservoir (Portage County)– The first ice fishermen were reportedly out just before Christmas on Mogadore off of Congress Lake Road. Reports of catches have been scarce, but earlier in the fall anglers were catching good numbers of yellow perch while fishing for crappies.


Nimisila Reservoir (Summit County)– It’s a transition period right now between open water and ice formation, but prior to the cold temperatures closing in anglers were catching numbers of yellow perch, some up to 10 inches or better. They’re using minnows, wax worms, or maggots to entice the bite.


Mosquito Creek Lake (Trumbull County)– Ice was starting to form on most of Mosquito Lake as of Dec. 20, but a warm up in temperatures was expected in the coming days through Christmas. Not much to report on the angling side of things. Some are chasing crappies and walleyes, but are not reporting any success.


Southwest Region

Caesar Creek Lake (Warren, Clinton, Greene counties)– Fishermen employing jigs and wax worms have found a good crappie bite in recent days, according to local reports. These fish are holding in 20 feet of water, the reports indicate. Keep moving until you find a school of fish. For saugeyes, anglers would do well to try bright-colored jerkbaits or crankbaits in 10 to 15 feet of water. A jig tipped with a minnow is also a good option for either species.


Rocky Fork Lake (Highland County)– Crappies are on the top of the menu for fishermen at Rocky Fork right now. They’re catching them near the docks on ice-fishing gear such as glow spoons and jigs. Crappies up to 11 inches have been reported.


Paint Creek Lake (Highland County)– Anglers fishing below the spillway here are catching the occasional saugeye and a better number of crappies. A simple jig and trailer will catch fish, or you could tip the rig with a minnow or nightcrawler for better results.


Southeast Region

Burr Oak Lake (Morgan, Athens counties) When anglers have been able to get on the lake in recent days, they’re reportedly catching largemouth bass and crappies. They’re primarily using live bait such as nightcrawlers or minnows to produce the bite. Crappies up to 11 inches have been reported.


Salt Fork Lake (Guernsey County) Anglers are looking for crappies on this large Guernsey County lake by focusing their efforts near the dam. They’re employing blade baits and jig and live bait combinations to find the fish in 15-20 feet of water.


Tappan Lake (Harrison County)– Anglers continue to fish the bridge pilings on this Harrison County lake for saugeyes, but are not reporting catching any numbers of fish. Anglers who are reporting say they’re using blade baits and jig and minnow combos but without much success.


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 two fish (singly or in combination) per angler. The minimum size limit is 12 inches.

• Black bass (largemouth and smallmouth bass): The daily bag limit is five fish (singly or in combination) per angler with a 14-inch minimum size limit.


Western Basin


Where: Walleyes are being caught sporadically in their traditional fall feeding grounds from Huron to Cleveland. East of Kelleys Island in 35-45 feet of water was good this past weekend, as was 45-55 feet out of Cleveland. Finding areas of better water clarity has resulted in improved success. Anglers fishing from shore have been targeting fish after dark from Port Clinton east to Geneva with variable success.

How: Trolling deep diving crankbaits and stickbaits has been the most popular technique at speeds 1.2 to 1.8 mph. Anglers have been experimenting with lures 50-150 feet back without any additional weight, or 20-40 feet back to a 2-ounce weight, and another 20-40 feet back to the lure. Slower presentations have been better after dark. Shore-bound anglers can start picking up walleyes near and after dark casting stickbaits and lipless crankbaits that imitate shad.


Steelhead Trout

Where: Anglers are catching fish trolling inside the Fairport Harbor breakwall and the Grand River. Shore anglers are catching fish off the Edgewater Park, Gordon Park, Fairport Harbor, and Painesville Township piers, and the Fairport Harbor breakwall.

How: Best baits have been trolling small spoons and crankbaits for the boat anglers, and jigs tipped with maggots fished under a bobber and small spoons for the shore anglers.


Yellow Perch

Where: Yellow perch fishing has picked up slightly, but 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 rigs seem 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.


Local stream levels around Cleveland Metroparks received a good bump in flow this week, which enticed a modest push of fresh steelhead further up the watersheds. Some of the steelhead formerly stacked up by the marina/river mouth areas have moved further upstream, but fresh fish are still being caught in the lower river too. The entire main branch of the Rocky River(from Cedar Point Road bridge north) is worth exploring at this time. Steelhead have been hitting dime to nickel size spawn sacs, live (or salted frozen) minnows, and small marabou jigs tipped with maggots drifted near the river bottom under a float. At least two surprise brown trout were caught by steelhead anglers in the Rocky River this week, as well.

Steelhead are an option for Lake Erie anglers from the rocks and breakwalls along the Cleveland shoreline at the E. 55th breakwall, Edgewater Park, 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 the E. 55th breakwall are most protected by the outer city breakwall during wavier conditions. Casting a spoon at these locations is a good bet for connecting with fall lakefront steelhead trout, which requires no more than a medium action spinning rig spooled with 8-10-pound monofilament line. A bobber with a light jig tipped with minnow or maggots or simply a nightcrawler on a bare hook suspended 3-6 feet below is also a good producer in the aforementioned areas. The walleye bite is also still an option after dark along the Cleveland shoreline, with the E. 55th breakwall and Wildwood Park being recent hot spots. Anglers have a shot at connecting by casting lures such as Husky Jerks, Bandits, Rattle Traps, and Perfect 10 stickbaits at dusk and after dark.

Cleveland Metroparks,

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