Report from the Dock
The yellow perch bite on the Western Basin of Lake Erie is a little bit early as it typically ramps up in the fall. But, anglers in the last couple of weeks are producing limits of perch fishing around the Bass Islands and off Marblehead. They’re using the typical set up of a spreader tipped with emerald shiners, preferrably. Also, some walleyes are still being caught in the Western Basin, although the larger fish seem to have migrated into the Central Basin. The smallmouth bass bite on the Maumee River has been tough sledding as of late. Look for that bite to pick up some steam as waters cool down into the fall. On inland waters, channel catfish have been a popular quarry. On Hoover Reservoir in particular, one angler reports a 36-inch channel cat caught on nightcrawlers fished near the bottom. Good luck out there!
Hoover Reservoir (Franklin County) – Anglers are targeting catfish, blues and channels, in deep water on Hoover. An angler recently caught a 36-inch channel catfish by fishing nightcrawlers on the bottom. For the blues, fishermen are using cut bluegills to get these big fish to bite. The tactic is the same as for channels: Fish the bait as close to the bottom as you can get it. Saugeyes are being caught by trollers utilizing Flicker Minnows or Flicker Shad in 10- to 15-foot depths.
Alum Creek Lake (Delaware County) – Anglers are finding schools of shad on their sonar and then fishing below them in 10 to 16 feet of water to catch crappies. They’re using a variety of baits, but a simple minnow under a float has been the go-to offering. Some bluegills, rock bass, and smallmouth bass have also been in the mix. Saugeye fishing has been slower, according to reports.
Indian Lake (Logan County) – Pew Island and the area south of Dream Bridge have been productive spots for saugeyes in recent days. Some are drifting and casting worm harnesses to pick up keeper saugeyes while others are trolling varying styles of crankbaits with some success. You’ll sort through some channel catfish using these methods as well. The keeper saugeyes, according to reports, have ranged from 16 to 22 inches.
Buckeye Lake (Fairfield, Licking, Perry counties) – Saugeyes are holding on rocky points in deeper water. Anglers are trolling Bandits or Flicker Shad in a variety of patterns to catch them. Anglers advise also that the water level is noticeably down, a foot and a half in some places. Be extra careful when boating here, especially in the many canals as there may be exposed rocks.
Sandusky Bay (Sandusky County) – Fishermen are targeting the area around the railroad bridge to land channel catfish. They’re using shrimp, nightcrawlers, or cut bluegill fished a foot or two off the bottom to pick up fish. Catfish in the 33-inch range are being reported.
Maumee River (Lucas County) – As of this writing on Aug. 2, the water temperature on the Maumee was 76 degrees, according to Maumee Bait and Tackle. The fishing for smallmouth bass has been tough, but a few are being caught. Some rain and a cooldown in air temperatures made for some decent smallmouth fishing during the first weekend of August. Anglers are fishing jig and spinner combos or Husky Jerks to search out the smallmouths. On Maumee Bay, the crappie fishing too has been slower than usual. Walleye reports from the river have also been slow.
Maumee Bait and Tackle, www.maumeetackle.net
Portage River (Ottawa County) – Fishermen launching their boats in the Port Clinton area of the river have had some success catching largemouth bass and crappies. They’re using chatterbaits during the daytime hours and topwaters in the evenings for the bass. To catch crappies, anglers are fishing minnows in about 10 feet of water.
Nimisila Lake (Portage County) – Crappies are biting along deep water weedlines on this lake that has clearer water than most in the area. The night bite, between 8 p.m. and midnight, has been the better time to fish for these panfish. Largemouth bass, too, are being caught along these same weedlines.
Pymatuning Reservoir (Ashtabula County) – Surface temperatures are still pushing 80 degrees, which has made the fishing a bit tougher than usual. But, some anglers are catching yellow perch by fishing Carolina rigs or slip bobbers and keeping the bait a foot or two off the bottom. Anglers are attempting to catch walleyes by drifting harnesses or trolling stick baits, but are catching more channel cats and white perch on these offerings than anything. Some largemouth bass are being caught along weed edges and along the rocky shorelines. For a full report on Pymatuning, see the back page of this issue of Ohio Outdoor News.
Lake Milton (Mahoning County) – Anglers are chasing muskies up into the Mahoning River where they can find cooler water. Muskies up to 40 inches have reportedly been caught and released. Most muskie fishermen don’t target muskies in the summer months because of the heat stress it puts on the fish. But, as these results show, it can be done in cooler water as long as the fish is caught, photographed quickly, and gently released.
Berlin Lake (Portage, Mahoning, Stark counties) – Walleyes are suspended at 15 to 17 feet in 25 to 30 feet of water on this big Mahoning Valley lake. Fishermen are trolling Flicker Minnows to boat walleyes. Crappie fishing has improved, and is best in the early mornings or evenings. Anglers are employing floating jigs or Jigging Raps to pick up crappies in deeper water around structure. The channel catfish bite has been excellent, too, for fishermen targeting deep water. They’re fishing nightcrawlers a foot or two off the bottom to pick up catfish. Both boat and shore anglers are having success on catfish.
Rocky Fork Lake (Highland County) – In a recent tournament, anglers targeted shoreline cover, docks, etc. to catch largemouth bass. The popular method was using swimbaits tossed in and around the cover. The saugeye bite has been really tough in recent weeks. Crappies have been more willing, with anglers targeting midlake humps and flats to catch fish. They’re using jigs tipped with minnows to get on the crappies.
Caesar Creek Lake (Warren, Clinton, Greene counties) – Saugeyes are being caught by anglers fishing in 12 to 15 feet of water. The popular method has been drifting and casting crawler harnesses. Many of the saugeyes being caught are short fish, but a few keepers have been in the mix. Some crappies are being caught in these same depths. Anglers are throwing jigs at the crappies, but the harnesses are taking most of the fish, according to local reports.
Grand Lake St. Marys (Mercer, Auglaize counties) – A recent crappie tournament on Grand Lake St. Marys, Ohio’s largest inland lake, took 10.5 pounds to win it. The winning team was employing chatterbaits to pick up the winning catch. They were fishing in the lake’s many coves and inlets to pick up fish.
Burr Oak Lake (Morgan, Athens counties) – Largemouth bass are the typical quarry for fishermen here as this lake is known for good bass fishing. But, in recent days, the spillway has been the target spot. Anglers are catching a mixed bag of fish, although most are of the smaller variety. Bluegills, yellow perch, crappies, and channel catfish have all been in the mix. Nightcrawlers have been the popular offering.
Tappan Lake (Harrison County) – Largemouth and smallmouth bass have been the primary target in the past couple of weeks. A recent bass tournament on the lake took an 18-pound bag of primarily smallmouth to win it. Anglers are fishing main lake points and flats in deeper, 12-15 feet, of water to get on the bite.
Hocking River (Hocking County) – Smallmouth bass have been the target in recent days. Anglers are catching fish on chatterbaits and Husky Jerks in current eddies. The largest smallmouth being reported was a decent 18-inch 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 5 fish per angler with a 14-inch minimum size limit.
Where: The bigger walleyes have moved east into the Central Basin, but anglers in the Western Basin continue to have success catching good “eater” size walleyes up to 18 inches. The popular setup has been to troll Bandits in 15-18 feet of water until you find the depth at which the walleyes are holding. Casters are drifting weight-forward spinners and crawler harnesses and also doing well. Anglers are still reporting quick limits on the Western Basin, although the size of the catch appears to be a bit smaller, as was previously mentioned.
In the Central Basin, anglers are using much the same tactics, although in deeper water. They’re using Bandits or Perfect 10s and searching the water column to find where the walleyes are holding. Casters, too, have had success. Some shore anglers have also had luck with the night walleye bite off the piers in Cleveland. They’re using Bandits or Husky Jerks to catch walleyes and yellow perch at times. Some stray steelhead are also being caught by the anglers trolling the Central Basin.
Fishermen targeting deeper water in the Western Basin have been finding yellow perch, according to recent reports. They’re using the typical spreader setup tipped with minnows, preferably emerald shiners when you can find them. Anglers are reporting many 30-fish limits in a few hours of fishing. For more on the recently hot perch bite, check out John Hageman’s story on Page 13 of this edition of Ohio Outdoor News.