Tuesday, February 7th, 2023
Tuesday, February 7th, 2023

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Ohio Outdoor News Fishing Report – August 5, 2021

Report from the Dock

The Lake Erie yellow perch bite right now is a little bit early for the traditional fall run. But, anglers are doing well in the Western Basin for this “Lake Erie Gold” species. Anglers are using the traditional emerald shiners when they can find them at local bait stores but far more fish these days are being caught on golden shiners simply because they’re easier to find at the bait dealers. The walleye bite continues to be strong in the Western Basin and Central Basin, with a lot of anglers in the Central reporting short fish, which bodes well for the future of the walleye fishery. On inland waters, muskies, crappies, saugeyes, and catfish are being mentioned in the reports. The crappie and catfish bite has been good all summer at places such as Hoover Reservoir, Indian Lake, and up north at West Branch and Mogadore.

Central Region

Alum Creek Lake (Delaware County) – Anglers fishing from the shoreline by the marina are reporting rock bass and bluegill catches. In the south pool, anglers are catching channel catfish ranging up to 6 pounds by dropping dough baits or chicken liver on the bottom. Saugeye and crappie fishing has been a bit difficult during these hot summer days. Try trolling Flickr Shad or similar cranks, and target ledges and drop offs. Muskie fishing continues to be good, though the usual caveat is to quickly release these big predators should you happen to land one.

Indian Lake (Logan County) – The ODNR recognizes there is a weed problem on Indian and is taking steps to address the situation. With that said, fishing for saugeyes here has just been so so in the past two weeks. Just like the story in our last report, anglers are finding saugeyes willing to bite, but there are a lot of short fish in the mix. You’ll sort through a bunch before landing a keeper in all probability. Catfish has been a better option, particularly for those fishing off the shoreline. They’re catching good size channels by dunking nightcrawlers or chicken liver on the bottom.

Hoover Reservoir (Delaware, Franklin counties) – Anglers are trolling Flickr Shad or similar baits to catch crappies up to 12 inches. The north pool continues to be the hot spot for crappies. Blue catfish has also been an option on the lake. Anglers are targeting the mouths of coves and inlets to catch these big blues. Nightcrawlers under a float has been the best option in the past couple of weeks.

Northwest Region

Findlay Reservoir No. 2 (Hancock County) – Anglers are fishing for walleyes here as they typically do but have been surprised by smallmouth bass. One angler reports fishing a jig and worm combo and being on the receiving end of a big hit. Turned out to be a smallmouth of about 3 pounds. Yellow perch fishing has also been OK here in the past two weeks for anglers using the same jig and worm combos.

Maumee River (Lucas County) – According to a report on July 22 from Maumee Bait and Tackle, the water temperature was 72 degrees. According to the bait shop, the water levels are down and are providing good fishing opportunities right now. A good tip is to find an area of the river with slack water and search out crappies and white bass. These species will seek out slack water to get out of the heavy current. Spinnerbaits, small cranks, and minnow rigs will take their share of fish. In the Grand Rapids area of the river by the dam, anglers are having good luck on catfish and even a stray walleye.

Maumee Bait and Tackle, www.maumeetackle.net

Sandusky Bay (Sandusky County) – We always seem to report on the good catfish options on the bay, but don’t overlook the potential for largemouth bass. Anglers in the past week are targeting rocky shorelines with chatterbaits or Senkos. Fishermen are reporting bass up to 4 pounds.

Northeast  Region 

West Branch Reservoir (Portage County) – High water from recent storms has slowed down the fishing on West Branch in the past week. When anglers have been able to access the lake, they’re going after bass, both largemouth and smallmouth. They’re pounding the shorelines, paticularly in areas where there is rocks, with spinnerbaits to catch fish. We’re not hearing much in the way of walleye or crappie catches.

Pymatuning Reservoir (Ashtabula County) – Finally we have some good walleye reports to share. Anglers in recent days report trolling for them and catching fish in 14 to 20 feet of water. Most of the fish, according to local reporting, have been better than 18 inches all the way up to 23 inches. The one bait being mentioned – an old school Hot N Tot – has been used by the trollers in perch patterns. The south side of the lake appears to be the best option. Find a sharp dropoff and you should find a walleye or two. Yellow perch also continues to be an option.

Mosquito Lake (Trumbull County) – Anglers are doing well for crappies and bluegills in shallow water. They’re searching out brush piles and dunking minnows or minnow-imitating plastics to catch crappies and bull gills. The best bite is coming right at 12 feet. If you can pick out a day with a bit of wind, the better the bite should be. Major League Fishing recently held a big time bass tournament at Mosquito. Largemouth bass wouldn’t be a bad option at this time of year. Walleye reports continue to be slow.

Mogadore Reservoir (Portage County) – Ned rigs and Texas-rigged plastics are bringing in largemouth bass for anglers. Fishermen are targeting shallow water spots where there is a distinct drop off to deeper water. One angler also reports a good size channel cat by fishing with these methods.

Southwest Region 

Caesar Creek Lake (Warren, Clinton, Greene counties) – Muskie fishing continues to be good at Caesar Creek. Anglers in recent days report landing a few muskellunge up to 36 inches and releasing them. They’re also reporting quite a few more follows. As is typical on this lake, crappie fishing continues to be good. Anglers are catching them in shallow water, relating to some type of structure such as brush piles or laydowns. We haven’t heard much mention of saugeyes being caught.

CJ Brown Reservoir (Clark County) – It’s a pleasant surprise for this notoriously tough walleye lake but anglers have dialed in the program in recent days to catch a few. The best bait has been a simple jig and worm combination or any minnow-imitating bait. One angler reports catching six walleyes in a couple hours of fishing recently, three of which were keepers. The key to finding walleyes here is to pick a day with a little wind, which will provide the proverbial “walleye chop.” Crappies are also a good option here.

Rocky Fork Lake (Highland County) – Crappie and perch fishing continues to go well at Rocky Fork. Anglers are catching them by fishing minnow rigs in 10 to 12 feet of water. The channel catfish bite continues to be good as well. Fish for them with a gob of nightcrawlers or chicken livers fished on the bottom.

Southeast Region

Salt Fork Lake (Guernsey County) – Crappie fishing has been good at this large lake near Cambridge in eastern Ohio. Anglers are using crappie nibbles or straight minnows under a float to produce the bite. Saugeye fishing has slowed down a bit since our last report. A nice bonus is that a few anglers have managed to land flathead catfish. These big cats bite well in low light periods of the day, so target your efforts at dusk and dawn. If you catch a small bluegill here, use it for bait and you could land a flathead. Catfish like roaming the depths around the dam.

Leesville Lake (Carroll County) – Anglers are dragging crawler harnesses for saugeyes here, but are catching more yellow perch than ‘eyes. They’re fishing in 11 to 15 feet of water to catch fish. Muskie fishing is going well. This top-producing muskellunge lake is seeing anglers catch fish up to 40-plus inches and releasing them.

Tappan Lake (Harrison County) – Saugeyes and crappies are the target species at Tappan right now. Anglers are slow trolling for them with crawler harnesses or Flickr Shad in fire tiger pattern. The saugeyes are mostly sub-legal specimens but some fish have taped up to a respectable 22 inches. Crappies are being caught up to 10 inches.

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 walleyes is 15 inches.

• The daily bag limit for yellow perch is 30 fish per angler in most Ohio waters of Lake Erie. As of May 1, the daily bag limit for perch shifted to 10 between Huron and Fairport Harbor.

• The trout and salmon daily bag limit is 5 fish (singly or in combination) per angler. On Sept. 1 the daily bag limit for trout and salmon changed to 2 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 5 fish (singly or in combination) per angler with a 14-inch minimum size limit. 

Western Basin


Where: Anglers are fishing the Lake Erie waters west of West Sister Island to produce limits of walleyes. Bandits in khaki and perch patterns have been working well trolled at slower than 2 mph. Others are casting purple worm harnesses to catch fish. Another spot that has been productive for walleyes and yellow perch has been off the cans of the Camp Perry Firing Range in 17-19 feet of water.

Yellow perch

Where: Multiple places on the Western Basin are holding perch from the tip of Catawba to Marblehead to Kelleys Island. Anglers are not having much trouble catching 30-fish limits of decent sized fish. Perch up to 12 inches have been reported.

How: Perch spreaders tipped with emerald shiners have been the best setup for perch. Golden shiners will work, too, in a pinch.

Smallmouth Bass

Where: Fishermen at Kelleys Island and off South Bass Island have still been producing smallmouth bass in good numbers. Drop-shot rigs and Ned rigs are producing the most fish. Smallmouths up to 4 pounds have been reported.

Central Basin


Anglers fishing anywhere east of Vermillion have been finding walleyes in 25-30 feet. Trolling Bandits has been the most productive technique. For casters, worm harnesses and weight-forward spinners has been the best setup. Anglers are reporting sorting through a lot of short fish on the Central Basin, which bodes well for the future of the walleye fishery.


Anglers going out of Eastlake have been reporting good success on Lake Erie “chrome.” They’re holding deep – 60 feet of water – but anglers are reporting hook ups.

Steelhead, Cleveland Metroparks

Highlight species targeted around Cleveland Metroparks include walleye, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, panfish, channel catfish, and common carp. 

Throughout June, a total of 3,000 pounds of farm-raised channel catfish were stocked between Acacia Reservation (1,000 pounds between three ponds onsite), Shadow Lake (600 pounds), Ranger Lake (400 pounds), Ledge Lake (300 pounds), Strawberry Pond (400 pounds), Oxbow Lagoon (200 pounds) and Judge’s Lake (100 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 liver, and processed dough baits.  Resident channel catfish are available in the Rocky, Cuyahoga, and Chagrin rivers all summer.

The walleye bite has been good less than three miles offshore in anywhere from 25-50 feet of water out of Gordon (E. 72nd) and Edgewater parks. Trolling deep diving crankbaits and spoons behind divers has been the most common presentations. Anglers also doing well casting harnesses and weight forward spinners. Diverse fishing opportunities include rock bass, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, white bass, catfish, freshwater drum and sunfish species can be found along the Cleveland shoreline

Cleveland Metroparks, www.clevelandmetroparks.com

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