Monday, January 30th, 2023
Monday, January 30th, 2023

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Ohio Fishing Report – October 15, 2020

Report from the Dock

The water temperature on northern Ohio lakes has cooled into the low 60s, which is triggering a fall pattern for walleyes, saugeyes, and crappies. Anglers are catching all three species by targeting shallow water structure, according to recent reports. In southern Ohio, water temperatures are just a bit warmer, in the upper 60s, but expect a major cooldown in the coming weeks as we head deeper into the fall. On Lake Erie, the fall yellow perch bite is going strong and anglers are also still cashing in on the good walleye population in both the Western and Central basins. On the hunting side of the ledger, fall turkey hunting just got started on Oct. 10 in 70 of Ohio’s 88 counties. We’re hearing of a few birds being harvested already. Also, deer archery season is in full swing and we have received word of some real bruisers being killed. Stay tuned.

Central Region

Delaware Lake (Delaware County) – Anglers searching out the crappie bite on Delaware Lake have been rewarded with good catches in recent days. Fishermen are using small swimbaits and fishing them at various depths from 5 to 15 feet to pick up panfish. Some of these crappies have been of the large variety, up to 13 inches.


Alum Creek Lake (Delaware County) – Water temperatures have dropped into the mid-60s at Alum Creek, which has triggered a decent fall crappie and saugeye bite. Successful anglers are trolling still, much like one would in the summer months, using Flicker Shad and similar type baits to pick up fish. The best bite is coming in 10 to 13 feet of water. Big fish on the saugeye side have ranged up to 19 inches, according to recent reports.


Indian Lake (Logan County) – The area south of Dream Bridge has been a popular spot for saugeyes in recent days. Anglers are employing swimbaits and small crankbaits fished a couple of cranks off the bottom to pick up fish. Biggest fish being reported was a 22-incher, but anglers are reportedly catching many legal keepers. 


Deer Creek Lake (Fayette, Pickaway counties) – Although lake levels are reportedly down a foot or so, anglers continue to catch crappies in sporadic patterns – one day the bite will be decent and the next day nothing. Those fishermen who are having success are finding structure, anchoring over it, and casting swimbaits or minnows under a slip bobber.

Northwest Region

Findlay Reservoir No. 2 (Hancock County) – Yellow perch is about the only species being caught with any regularity right now on No. 2. Anglers are fishing for walleyes not far from the boat ramp, but success has been minimal, according to recent reports. They’re catching the perch in 10 feet of water or so on minnow rigs. The biggest perch being reported was 12 inches with most fish running right around the 8- to 9-inch range.


Maumee River (Lucas County) – Water temperatures on the Maumee had cooled down into the lower 60s at the time of this writing on Oct. 13. Anglers continue to catch catfish and smallmouth bass on the river with the catfish being the more ready biters. Right now might be the last good bet to get on the river in a kayak or in waders to catch a few fish and observe the changing fall colors, according to Maumee Bait and Tackle.


Maumee Bait and Tackle,


Bresler Reservoir (Allen County) – Bluegills and crappies are being caught by anglers on this popular Allen County lake just outside of Lima. Baits being used are simple live bait offerings such as nightcrawlers, wax worms, or minnows under a float. These panfish are being caught in shallow water right now – in some cases as little as 5 feet. Crappies are ranging up to a respectable 10 inches.

Northeast  Region 

West Branch Reservoir (Portage County) – With water temperatures in the low 60s, the fall crappie bite is on at West Branch. Anglers are vertically jigging Vib-Es or similar types of blade baits to catch fish. Or, they’re casting minnows in 10 to 14 feet of water to pick up not only crappies but some yellow perch as well. Some fishermen are targeting bluegills as well, though the bluegill bite hasn’t been as good as the crappie bite.


Pymatuning Lake (Ashtabula County) – The yellow perch bite has been the best thing going on Pymatuning in recent days. Anglers are fishing the area near the causeway with success for yellow perch, channel catfish, and the occasional white perch. They’re targeting the yellows with a mix of baits from wax worms under a float to small spinner rigs. The walleye bite hasn’t been so good as of late, according to recent angler reports.


Lake Milton (Mahoning County) – Fishermen are trolling Flicker baits to catch walleyes. The best depth has been from 12 to 15 feet. Walleyes are ranging from sub-legal fish (less than 15 inches) all the way up to 22 inches. Crappies, too, are putting on the fall feed bag, according to reports. Anglers are using primarily live bait – wax worms or minnows – to catch these panfish.


Mosquito Lake (Trumbull County) – When the northeast winds haven’t been too strong, anglers are getting out on Mosquito in search of walleyes. When the wind has picked up, they’re focusing their efforts on coves and inlets on the lake. The biggest walleye being reported was a 20-inch specimen. They’re using smaller crankbaits fished in shallow depths (7-10 feet) to pick up fish.

Southwest Region 

Cowan Lake (Clinton, Greene counties) – Shoreline fishing has been decent for crappies in recent days at Cowan. Crappies and bluegills are ready biters for anglers fishing from shore, according to recent reports. Make sure to have a bucket of minnows at the ready as these panfish will reportedly devour them. Big fish on the crappie side has been a 10-inch specimen.


Paint Creek Lake (Highland County) – Anglers focusing their efforts on ledges and in deeper cover have been finding the crappies here. The bigger panfish are ranging up to 12 inches. Fishermen are catching them primarily on live bait offerings, i.e. nightcrawlers or minnows fished in 15- to 18-foot depths.


Acton Lake (Preble and Butler Counties) – Anglers fishing the shallow water bite for crappies and bluegills have been rewarded in recent days. Water temperatures have cooled into the mid-60s, which is triggering the fall panfish bite. More bluegills are being caught than crappies. They’re catching them on jig and minnow combos fished with a slip bobber rig.


Caesar Creek Lake (Warren, Clinton, and Greene counties) – Fishermen in recent days have gotten on the crappie bite. These anglers are going through a lot of minnows to catch fish up to 10 inches. The best bite is coming for anglers who are finding fish in thet lake’s coves, anchoring the boat, and then casting jig and minnow combos. Most crappies have been in the 8- to 9-inch range and are being kept for a nice meal.

Southeast Region

Piedmont Lake (Belmont County) – Anglers fishing for catfish in recent days are focusing their efforts on shallow flats with cut bait and doing well. Some of these channel cats have ranged up to 7 pounds, according to recent reports. Other fishermen targeting the upper end of the lake are catching the occasional saugeye, although the bite for these hybrids has been especially tough.


Hocking River (Hocking County) – Light chatterbaits fished in some of the deeper holes near fast moving water on the Hocking are taking smallmouth bass. Anglers are also using Ned rigs to catch these bronzebacks, some of which have taped out at 17 inches or better.


Salt Fork Lake (Guernsey County) – Anglers fishing near the dam at Salt Fork are catching crappies in decent numbers. The bait is a simple minnow rig under a float fished in 10 feet of water or so. The big crappie being reported is an 11-inch specimen.


Leesville Lake (Carroll County) – Water temperatures are still in the mid- to high 60s but a few fishermen are targeting muskies right now. A few anglers are reportedly catching these big predators on large inline spinnerbaits fished among the woody shoreline cover.

Lake Erie Region

• The daily bag limit for walleye in Ohio waters of Lake Erie is 6 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 2 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: Anglers continue to produce limits of walleyes, primarily fishing the waters east of Kelley’s Island and around the Western Basin reef complex. Deeper water – 40 to 50 feet – around Vermilion and Lorain are providing fishermen with limits of walleyes further east on the lake. The yellow perch bite in the Western Basin has been good to very good in recent days as well. Anglers are using minnow rigs cranked a foot or two off the bottom to catch perch.


How: Most anglers are having success trolling deep diving crankbaits or spoons behind divers for walleyes.


Largemouth Bass


Where: Fishing has been best in Sandusky Bay, the Portage River mouth, and various marinas in the Western Basin. More numbers of fish than quality fish being caught right now. 


How: Anglers are targeting the water depths of 5-20 feet, throwing squarebill crankbaits, chatterbaits, spinnerbaits, and various soft plastics.


Channel Catfish


Where: Good action has been reported from the Sandusky Bay bridge and surrounding area. 


How: Most anglers use slip sinker rigs with raw shrimp being the best bait. Other popular baits include nightcrawlers and cut shad.

Central Basin



Where: Good walleye fishing continues in the Central Basin with anglers going out of Ashtabula, Conneaut, and Geneva. They’re fishing in deep water – 70 to 75 feet – and targeting fish suspended about halfway up the water column. Trollers are employing deep-diving Bandits and Perfect 10s in a variety of patterns to pick up walleyes.


How: Anglers are trolling using planer boards, dipsy and jet divers with crankbaits and spoons. Colors to try including white, orange, pink, purple, bronze/gold. 


The Rocky River and other area streams are back to low flow and clear water conditions, and with the forecast looking dry into the weekend this isn’t expected to change. Steelhead are staging (and being caught) in good numbers by the Rocky River Marina. The Cleveland Lakefront steelhead bite took a big step forward this week, with many catches reported by anglers. Productive spots are off the rocks at Edgewater and breakwall/rocks at E. 55th/E. 72nd areas, as well as at Wildwood Park.  Casting a spoon or spinner, or drifting a light marabou jig tipped with a wax worm or a few maggots under a sensitive float at these locations are as good a bet as any for connecting with an early steelhead trout. These lakefront areas are producing walleyes after dark, as well, with Perfect 10 and other shallow running stick-style crankbaits working well.


Some anglers are pursuing white perch and yellow perch at the E. 55th breakwall and Edgewater Park. These fish can bite well on bits of worms, wax worms, or small minnows fished on the bottom on a crappie rig. Bluegills (and other panfish), largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, freshwater drum, northern pike, and channel catfish can also be found in the diverse fishery along the Cleveland shoreline in early fall and can be caught on offerings such as tube jigs, dropshot rigs, and live bait. 


Cleveland Metroparks recently stocked 1,000 pounds of rainbow trout and 600 pounds of channel catfish at the Ohio and Erie Canal off E. 49th Street despite the annual Fall Family Fishing Fest being cancelled due to the pandemic. The trout average 1 pound each and the catfish average 2 pounds, but Metroparks included a handful of trophy trout and a few albino catfish to spice things up. If you are happy catching either species, you can try a nightcrawler or piece of shrimp fished on the canal bottom.


Cleveland Metroparks,

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