Report from the Dock
Some steelhead are moving back into the northeast Ohio rivers from their summer Lake Erie run and anglers are lining up to catch them. Conneaut Creek has been a particularly good spot for the chrome in the past couple of weeks. The walleye bite on Lake Erie continues to be a good one, particularly in the Central Basin area of Lorain, where anglers are reporting walleyes up to 27 inches. The fall yellow perch bite has yet to materialize in full swing, but it shouldn’t be too long now. As water temperatures fall on Lake Erie, look for the perch to start feeding. On inland lakes, anglers are trolling for saugeyes with some success while also catching crappies and channel catfish. On the hunting side of the ledger, we’ve heard of our first 200-inch buck being killed in the early archery season in northeast Ohio.
Alum Creek Lake (Delaware County) – Crappies and smallmouth bass have been the name of the game on Alum in the past couple of weeks. For crappies, anglers are fishing in 18 to 20 feet of water with jigs under a slip bobber. They’re managing to catch a load of fish, although finding many of quality keeper length has been challenging. The smallmouth bass are relating to points and dropoffs and are being turned by spinnerbaits and small crankbaits. Saugeye fishing has been a bit slow. Muskies, though, continue to be caught at the mouths of creek channels in shallow water. Muskie anglers might do well to consider concentrating on the north end of the lake.
Indian Lake (Logan County) – According to recent angler reports, the abundance of weeds on Indian has really turned on the yellow perch bite. Anglers are managing to catch good numbers and size in the slop by using jig and minnow combinations or by ripping a swimbait through the weeds. An occasional saugeye is also being caught by using this method as are some crappies. The weeds are slowly dying off now that water temperatures are starting to fall, according to local reports.
Buckeye Lake (Fairfield, Licking, Perry counties) – Anglers are doing fairly well right now catching saugeyes at Buckeye. They’re using blade baits such as Vib-Es or Joshys to turn fish, according to angler reports. Saugeyes are ranging up to a respectable 19 inches. This is also a good spot to catch some nice bluegills and crappies. The lake is overrun with channel catfish, and they can be caught in the typical deep-water places on chicken livers or nightcrawlers fished on the bottom. Hybrid striped bass are also present in these same places. For a full report on Buckeye Lake, see the back page of this issue of Ohio Outdoor News.
Findlay Reservoir No. 2 (Hancock County) – Stick baits and worm harnesses in shallow water has been the top setup to catch walleyes on No. 2 in recent weeks. Anglers are also catching yellow perch, although the bite for this species is not as good as it used to be on No. 2, according to local angler reports. One fisherman was surprised recently by a catch of a decent size smallmouth bass. Rock bass, too, can be caught here.
Maumee River (Lucas County) – According to a report in early October, the river levels are starting to come down from an abundance of rain in the past couple of weeks. As a result, anglers have been doing well for largemouth and smallmouth bass. They’re throwing plastics at them, including swimbaits fished along the shoreline, to produce fish. The channel catfish bite has also been good for fishermen using cut baits or a gob of nightcrawlers fished under a float.
Maumee Bait and Tackle, www.maumeetackle.net
Pleasant Hill Lake (Richland, Ashland counties) – Saugeyes are the top quarry right now at Pleasant Hill, and anglers are catching some fish by trolling cranks in 15 to 18 feet of water. Crappies, too, are being caught by the same methods and in the same spots. Channel catfish are another option here. The typical catfish setup will work. Fish during the evenings for better results on catfish. This is always a good spot to catch pumpkinseed sunfish and bluegills, according to local anglers. A simple wax worm under a float will put you in business.
Pymatuning Lake (Ashtabula County) – The bite for yellow perch continues to be the best thing going at Pymatuning. Anglers are fishing dropshot rigs with nightcrawlers to catch perch. The fish continue to hang out near the bottom depths, so get your bait down as far as possible for best success. Perch up to a quality 12 inches have been reported. Largemouth bass are also being caught along the shorelines in shallow water. Anglers are throwing buzzbaits in the shallows to catch fish.
West Branch Reservoir (Portage County) – Anglers are fishing hard, trolling for muskies without much in the way of reportable results. The largemouth bass bite has been better. Anglers are catching them on spinnerbaits and buzzbaits and releasing them for the most part. Bass up to 18 inches have been reported. They’re being caught in shallow water right now, and water levels on the lake itself are reportedly a bit low. We’re not hearing much in the way of walleyes.
Mosquito Lake (Trumbull County) – Crappies, bluegills, and perch are biting along weedlines, but finding keeper size fish has often been a problem. Anglers are using a variety of baits such as swimbaits and jig and plastic combinations. According to local reports, you can catch all the panfish you want in most places on the lake. Finding fish big enough for the creel has been the problem. As usual here, walleye reports have been slow.
Caesar Creek Lake (Warren, Clinton, Greene counties) – Crappies and saugeyes are being caught at Caesar Creek right now for anglers trolling Flicker Shad in a variety of patterns. These fish are feeding right now and can be tempted to hit baits in 10 to 15 feet of water. Saugeyes have ranged up to 17 inches and crappies up to 11, according to angler reports. The muskie bite has been decent as well for anglers fishing shallow water timber.
Cowan Lake (Clinton County) – Largemouth bass have been the hot ticket on Cowan in recent weeks. Larry Moore, a contributing writer for Ohio Outdoor News and a Greene Countian, recently landed a nice largemouth on an outing at Cowan. Fishermen are using spinnerbaits or small cranks fished in shallower water to catch bass. Most of these fish are being released.
CJ Brown Reservoir (Clark County) – Anglers are pulling crawler harnesses and crankbaits to catch walleyes. Fortunately or unfortunately, how ever you look at it, anglers are sorting through a load of channel catfish that are hitting these same offerings. Crappies and perch are other options here and they can be caught on wax worms or minnows under a float.
Salt Fork Lake (Guernsey County) – Saugeye and crappie fishing for the fall months should be happening at this large Guernsey County lake outside of Cambridge right now. The best bet for saugeyes is to troll a crankbait and keep the bait fairly deep. You’ll likely catch both saugeyes and crappies using this method. Channel catfish are another option and a good one here. The typical catfish setup of nightcrawlers or chicken livers fished on the bottom should produce some catfish.
Piedmont Lake (Belmont County) – Anglers are fishing blade baits along gravel points near the dam to catch saugeyes right now. This is, according to the ODNR Division of Wildlife, one of the better saugeye lakes in southeast Ohio. The key is to run your baits fairly deep to pick up these walleye/sauger hybrids. Anglers are also catching crappies in these same places.
Wolf Run Lake (Noble County) – Saugeyes are on the angler’s menu at this Noble County lake in southeast Ohio right now. Anglers are managing to catch a few saugeyes up to a respectable 18 inches by casting jig and minnow combos or trolling Flicker Shad or similar type rigs. Crappies and bluegills are also options here.
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.
• 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.
Where: Anglers casting for walleyes near Gull Island Shoal have done well in recent days. They’re casting worm harnesses or small crankbaits to catch fish up to 25 inches.
Where: Anglers fishing the Lake Erie area northeast of Kelleys Island are doing well for perch.
How: Perch spreaders tipped with emerald shiners have been the best setup for perch. Golden shiners will work, too, in a pinch.
Anglers fishing the Lake Erie waters off Lorain in 50 feet of water or so are managing to catch good numbers of walleyes. Size has been good, too, with some specimens taping up to 27 inches. Trolled Bandits in a mix of patterns have been the hot ticket.