Wednesday, February 8th, 2023
Wednesday, February 8th, 2023

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Ohio Fishing Report – July 9, 2020

Report from the Dock

The inland lake crappie bite has moved off the nearshore brush piles and into deeper water. Crappies are still relating to structure, but they’re doing so in deep water now that the spring spawn is finished. Saugeye reports on inland lakes have also picked up. Anglers have been most successful fishing for these walleye and sauger hybrids during the early mornings and evenings. Some are trolling baits such as Flicker Shad or similar type of stick baits, while others are casting jig and minnow combinations. On Lake Erie, the walleye bite continues fast and furious in both the Western and Central basins. If you’re not planning a trip to Lake Erie sometime this summer, you’re missing out on the best walleye bite most folks have seen in their lifetime, including some veteran charter captains. Catfish have been a popular target on Sandusky Bay.

Central Region

Hoover Reservoir (Franklin County) – Anglers are employing worm harnesses right now to entice some saugeyes into biting. According to local reports, they’re catching them in deeper water, 15-20 feet. Most of the fish are smaller, but there have been some keepers in the mix. Crappies, too, are being caught by fishermen trolling Flicker Shad or similar type baits.


Alum Creek Lake (Delaware County) – Fishermen are catching largemouth and smallmouth bass as well as bluegills. The bluegills, surprisingly, are good size fish and are biting for anglers throwing small crankbaits or swimbaits. The bass are biting near rocky outcrops and downed trees in deeper open water now that summertime water temperatures have heated up.


Indian Lake (Logan County) – Fishermen are trolling Flicker Shad and similar type baits to pick up some saugeyes, the biggest ranging up to a good 23 inches, according to local reports. Others are catching saugeyes by casting jigs with black tails. Crappies, too, are being caught using these same techniques. Anglers report that white bass are busting minnows on the surface and can be caught on jigs.


Delaware Lake (Delaware County) – Fishermen in recent days have had good luck catching crappies from the shoreline. They’re targeting their efforts around the rocks and brush piles in shallow water. Crappies up to 12 inches have been reported. Remember there is a 9-inch keeper limit on crappies here and a daily bag limit of 30 fish.

Northwest Region

Bresler Reservoir (Allen County) Anglers are catching largemouth and smallmouth bass here on a variety of baits. In low light periods of the day, fishermen are employing surface baits to catch bass up to a nice 18 inches. At other times, such as in the heat of the day, anglers are throwing plastic worms in motor oil or black patterns to catch fish.


Maumee River (Lucas County) As of this writing on July 7, the water temperature on the Maumee was 74 degrees, according to Maumee Bait and Tackle. Anglers continue to search out and find smallmouth and largemouth bass. The technique is a simple one for both types of bass: Use a nightcrawler or a minnow set under a float. Also, topwater frogs fished in the early morning or evening are producing fish. Reports for anglers catching walleyes have been slow. On Maumee Bay, anglers have managed to cash in on a decent crappie bite.


Maumee Bait and Tackle,

Findlay Reservoir No. 2 (Hancock County) – It’s not too often that you hear of anyone catching a limit of walleyes here, but one angler reports doing just that a few days ago. He was using a jig and minnow setup and at other times a swimbait. Fishing was best on structure, such as drop-offs in deeper water. Other anglers report catching smallmouth bass and rock bass in recent days.

Northeast Region 

Nimisila Lake (Portage, County) – Fishermen are trying to catch largemouth bass here and are having some success. They’re using plastics in purple or black fished around shoreline structure to catch fish. Some of the fish are coming out of the grass around the edges as well. Anglers have also had some success catching bluegills and crappies in decent numbers.


Pymatuning Reservoir (Ashtabula County) – Anglers are catching a mixed bag of fish on Pymatuning right now from channel catfish to walleyes. One angler reports catching catfish, walleyes, crappies, and bluegills by fishing a jig and half a nightcrawler. The walleyes that are being caught are decent size specimens, all keeper length, according to reports. Others are drifting and casting worm harnesses specifically for walleyes with some success.


Mosquito Creek Lake (Trumbull County) – Anglers are still managing to catch decent numbers of crappies here in relatively shallow water – 8 to 12 feet. They’re casting minnows under a float around any type of structure to pick up fish. The walleye bite, again, has been a little tougher. Anglers are drifting and casting worm harnesses to pick up a few fish. There is no minimum keeper size limit for walleyes here, but most anglers are releasing the smaller walleyes.


Berlin Lake (Portage, Mahoning, Stark counties) – Walleyes are moving to deeper water and are being caught on points and rocky drop-offs. They’re using crawler harnesses and jigs, but are sorting through a lot of channel catfish in order to get the desired species. Crappies, too, are moving into deeper 14-20 feet of water. They’re still relating to structure in the deeper water and can be caught on jig and minnow combinations or simply a minnow under a float.

Southwest Region 

Rocky Fork Lake (Highland County) – In a bit of a surprise twist on a lake that is typically tough for saugeyes, anglers are catching some right now. The baits have been simple jig and minnow combinations fished in mid-depths. The largest saugeye being reported was better than 20 inches in length. The crappie bite, too, has been a hot one. The same setup used to catch saugeyes will also catch crappies.


Caesar Creek Lake (Warren, Clinton, Greene counties) – The saugeye bite has finally picked up a little on this large southwest Ohio lake. Anglers are trolling for them with stick baits or crankbaits in 10 to 15 feet of water to catch saugeyes. Crappies, too, are being caught by trollers. Muskie fishermen are fishing coves and wood and reporting follows, but not much catching going on. For a full report on Caesar Creek Lake, see the back page of this issue of Ohio Outdoor News.


Paint Creek Lake (Highland County) – Below the dam, the bite has been decent for saugeyes and even some flathead catfish. On the main lake, crappies are the name of the game and can be tempted with the usual offerings: jigs, minnows, wax worms, etc. Largemouth bass are ambushing inline spinnerbaits fished in the shallows.

Southeast Region

Salt Fork Lake (Guernsey County) – Anglers are managing to catch some saugeyes and crappies right now. They’re using light jigs – 1⁄8 of an ounce – and brightly colored tails such as pink or chartreuse. The saugeyes have ranged up to 18 inches, and anglers are reporting catching multiple keepers on every trip. The same baits are catching crappies up to 10 inches.


Tappan Lake (Harrison County) Fishermen are throwing small spinnerbaits in the shallower depths to catch bluegills, crappies, and yellow perch. All of these fish have been of the smaller variety, according to local reports. Some anglers are trolling Flicker Shad in black and gold patterns to catch saugeyes. The best bite is coming fairly near to shore in 8 to 12 feet of water.


Atwood Lake (Carroll, Tuscarawas counties) – Anglers are catching saugeyes in very shallow water in the lake coves. One angler reports catching five saugeyes in an afternoon of fishing and releasing them all. They’re drifting and casting worm harnesses or simply running a nightcrawler under a float to catch fish.

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 per angler. The minimum size limit is 12 inches.


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



Where: Anglers are tuning up their trolling game plan to catch limits of walleyes in short windows on both the Western and Central basins of Lake Erie. Depending on the day, six-fish limits are being caught in as little as two hours of fishing. Trollers are using Bandits, Perfect 10s, and Reef Runner stick baits pulled behind the boat to catch walleyes. Casters are using worm harnesses and old-school weight-forward spinnerbaits to catch walleyes. Fish are coming at various depths in both basins, so the best recommendation is to fish baits at various depths and then fine-tune your trolling technique to a specific depth when you find where they’re biting. Some trophy size – 28- to 30-inch – walleyes have been reported. Ohio Outdoor News has talked to more than one charter captain who says that the walleye fishing is better now on Lake Erie than it was in the heyday of the 1980s.


Around Catawba Island, the bite for both smallmouth and largemouth bass has been exceptional, according to recent reports. Anglers are using dropshot rigs on the main lake to catch bass, and they are also hitting the marinas near Catawba to catch smallmouths and largemouths along with a mixture of crappies.


As we move further into summer, highlight species targeted around Cleveland Metroparks include walleyes, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, panfish, channel catfish, and common carp.


Summer means family fishing time for many folks, and panfish fit the bill perfectly for a leisurely picnic and fishing outing. Bluegills, crappies, pumpkinseeds, and other sunfish species can be taken with a number of offerings, but a wax worm or red worm on a small hook (or tiny jig) suspended under a stick float and fished around a weedbed or shoreline brush is always a good choice. Wallace Lake, Shadow Lake, Strawberry Pond, and Lakefront Reservation are just a few of many places in the park to wet a line for various panfish species. Early mornings and dusk are typically better times to fish during the heat of summer. Largemouth bass fishing is often best in Wallace and Hinckley lakes, although bass can be found in most park waters.


Smallmouth bass are typically found in the deeper, rocky pools of the Rocky River during the day in early 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 in length, other lures/flies that imitate minnows or crayfish, and live bait are all offerings that can catch smallmouth. Rock bass are also present in the same river areas as smallmouths, and can be caught using the same offerings.


Channel catfish and large carp are also present in some of these same areas in the river. On June 16-17 a total of 1,600 pounds of farm-raised channel catfish were stocked between Shadow Lake (500 pounds), Ledge Lake (400 pounds), Ranger Lake (250 pounds), Oxbow Lagoon (150 pounds), and Strawberry Pond (300 pounds). Channel catfish stocked in late May also remain to be caught at Wallace Lake and the Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area. Catfishing is usually best during lower light conditions using baits such as nightcrawlers, minnows, chicken livers, and processed dough baits. A good number of larger catfish are moving into the river from Lake Erie on their spawning run. Resident channel catfish are available in the river all summer.


Carp will be found throughout local rivers in summer, as well. Carp can often be caught throughout the day on such bait as canned corn, carp dough baits, worms, or crayfish tails. The key to fishing for either carp or catfish is fishing on (or very near) the river/lake bottom. In addition, freshwater drum (sheepshead), white perch, and bullhead catfish are also abundant in the northern river reaches (north of Morley Ford) in early summer. For the angling generalist, any of the species thus far can be effectively targeted by fishing a nightcrawler right on the river bottom with a sinker.


The walleye bite has been good in the nearshore waters of Cleveland, especially after dark. Casting Perfect 10s, Husky Jerks, or shallow Bandit stickbaits at Edgewater Park, E. 55th breakwall, Wendy Park at the old Coast Guard station pier, or Wildwood Park are all good bets. Rock bass, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, white bass, catfish, freshwater drum, and sunfish species are biting along the Cleveland shoreline of Lake Erie on offerings such as tube jigs and live minnows.


Cleveland Metroparks, 

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