Monday, February 6th, 2023
Monday, February 6th, 2023

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Ohio Outdoor News Fishing Report – September 8, 2022

Report from the Dock

The annual fall yellow perch bite on Lake Erie has started a bit earlier this year and anglers are doing well on the green-and-gold out by the Camp Perry Firing Range cans and around the Bass Islands in the Western Basin. Walleyes continue to be caught by trollers pulling crankbaits, spoons, or worm harnesses. In the Central Basin, fishermen are running out of Ashtabula to deep water to catch walleyes and steelhead. Speaking of steelies, the stream fishing season for these fighters is nearing. The Rocky and Chagrin rivers in northeast Ohio will be a good option once the temperatures cool down a bit. On inland waters, fishing is a bit slow due to warm temps.

Central Region

Alum Creek Lake (Delaware County) – Smallmouth bass fishermen have had good luck in the past two weeks anchoring and casting to the flats on the south end of the lake. Smallmouth bass will typically try to hide in some type of dropoff or structure to ambush prey. Fish for them in these spots with spinnerbaits or small crankbaits. Saugeye fishing has slowed down as water temperatures remain warm. Look for the saugeye bite to pick up once the weather cools into the fall.

Buckeye Lake (Fairfield, Licking, Perry counties) – Anglers are trolling Flicker Shad to pick up saugeyes, although there’s been many short fish in the mix. Most of the saugeyes being reported were just under the 15-inch minimum keeper length. Elsewhere on the lake, anglers are catching bluegills and crappies on Bobby Garlands and Crappie Nibbles.

Hoover Reservoir (Franklin County) – Fishermen are trying for saugeyes in 10 to 15 feet of water, trolling Flicker Shad or Rapala Shad Raps to get the fish to bite. The saugeye fishing hasn’t been on fire, but those who are catching them say to focus efforts on low light periods of the day – sunrise and sundown. Some are even targeting them at night. Look for ledges that drop off into deeper water to find the saugeyes. This lake is also stocked with walleyes.

Northwest Region

Maumee River (Lucas County) – At last report from Maumee Bait and Tackle the water temperature on the river was 72 degrees and water clarity was a 8 inches. Maumee Bait and Tackle reports that anglers are throwing crankbaits to catch smallmouth bass, some of good size and chunky. Also, the typical Maumee River setup of a light jig and curly tail is producing fish. The fall walleye and steelhead bite shouldn’t be far off now with water temperatures on the drop. 

Maumee Bait and Tackle, www.maumeetackle.net

Charles Mill Lake (Richland, Ashland counties) – The best bet for catching saugeyes right now on Charles Mill is to troll fast and shallow with Flicker Shad or Rapala Shad Raps. The best bite is coming in anywhere from 15 feet of water or shallower. Trollers are reporting moving the bait up to a quick 3 mph. The baits should be put in the lower half of the water column, just ticking structure without getting hung up on the bottom. Saugeyes must be at least 15 inches to keep, and anglers are reporting catching fish up to 18 1⁄4 inches.

West Harbor (Lake Erie) – One angler reports catching a pair of Fish Ohio largemouth bass on a recent outing here. One of the fish was a 5.5-pound specimen and the other tipped the scales at 4 pounds. He was fishing a chatterbait in the weeds when both of the big fish hit the bait. Panfish is also an option here. Crappies, bluegills, and yellow perch can all be caught on live bait offerings such as nightcrawlers or emerald shiners.

Northeast Region 

LaDue Reservoir (Geauga County) – Bass fishing has been good on LaDue in recent days for anglers fishing shallow water with buzzbaits and inline spinnerbaits. Anglers are casting the bait toward shoreline areas to catch bass up to 14 inches. Crappies are another good option here with fish up to 12 inches, although you’ll sort through many short fish before finding good size keepers. This lake also contains walleyes, but you’ll have to dial in a definite pattern to get them to bite. For a full report on LaDue Reservoir, see the back page of this issue of Ohio Outdoor News.

Mosquito Lake (Trumbull) – Anglers are using the tried and true nightcrawler to catch all manner of catfish from bullheads to flatheads. They’re fishing for other species – bluegills and crappies mostly – but are picking up catfish instead. One angler reports that he and his young son were fishing with worms and caught about a dozen catfish, all released to fight another day. Some bluegills and crappies are also being caught, although most of these fish have been on the smaller side. The walleye bite seems to have shut down until we get cooler temperatures in the fall.

Pymatuning Lake (Ashtabula County) – Anglers are pulling worm harnesses to catch walleyes and yellow perch, although the fishing has been slow. The catfish seem to always bite on this lake, and right now is no different. Anglers are catching them while fishing for walleyes and crappies. The walleyes are taping up to 18 inches. Fish the low light periods of the day – sunrise or sunset – for the best results.

Southwest Region 

Rocky Fork Lake (Highland County) – Anglers are using a variety of baits to catch good numbers of panfish – crappies, bluegills, and yellow perch. The campground boat ramp is a good place to try for these tasty fish. Elsewhere, anglers are catching a few saugeyes, although most of the fish have been sub-legal specimens and are being released. Catfish is another option here and they can be caught on most baits as long as they’re fished deep near the bottom.

Great Miami River (various counties) – Fishermen are employing plastic spiders or helgrammites to catch smallmouth bass right now. Some of these bronzebacks have been trophy size specimens, too, up to 16 inches and fat, according to local reports. The key is to find a deep water hole outside of the riffles and cast to it, letting the bait drift slowly down through the water column.

East Fork Lake (Clermont County) – The typical summer algae bloom has cleared up for the most part and anglers are taking advantage of it. They’re catching hybrid stripers, crappies, and the occasional saugeye. Baits being mentioned are mostly live offerings, from nightcrawlers to emerald shiners and other minnows. Crappies get big here, and the largest fish being reported right now taped right around 13 inches.

Southeast Region

Salt Fork Lake (Guernsey County) – The crappie bite at Salt Fork has been about the only species worth reporting right now. Anglers are finding laydowns or brush piles and dunking minnows to catch crappies up to 11 inches. The catfish bite continues to be strong as well with channels up to 3 pounds or better being caught. Live bait is the key for catfish as well, whether it be nightcrawlers or minnows.

Piedmont Lake (Belmont County) – Anglers are fishing for saugeyes here but are catching more channel cats and even the occasional muskie. Fishermen are trolling Flicker Shad to produce fish. The saugeyes that are being caught are dangerously close to the 15-inch minimum keeper mark with many just under that length. Be sure to have a tape handy in the case that you catch one that is close to the minimum. 

Leesville Lake (Carroll County) – The muskie bite at Leesville is fair right now, and anglers are releasing any fish that they catch. The good fall muskie window shouldn’t be far off now, when water temperatures come down, making it safer to fish for muskellunge. The saugeye bite has been slow, but fishermen are picking up a few by casting crankbaits in yellow perch patterns.

Lake Erie Region

• The daily bag limit for walleyes in Ohio waters of Lake Erie is six 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, 2021, 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 two 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 five fish (singly or in combination) per angler. The state also maintains a 14-inch minimum size limit on black bass.

Western Basin

Walleyes

Where: Anglers on the Western Basin can pretty much throw a dart at a map and find a productive walleye location. Trolling Bandits in a variety of patterns will put you on fish. Quick limits are the norm.

Yellow perch

Anglers fishing around Green Island and G Can of the Camp Perry Firing Range continue to produce good numbers of yellow perch. The good fall bite for these tasty fish has started a bit earlier than normal.

Smallmouth bass

Fishermen trying their luck around the Bass Islands in the Western Basin are producing some good size smallmouth bass. Crayfish on a dropshot rig or nightcrawlers are working well for these hefty bronzebacks.

Central Basin

Walleyes

Where: Anglers fishing the deep water (70 feet-plus) out of Ashtabula are producing limits of walleyes. They’re trolling crankbaits, spoons, or pulling worm harnesses to catch fish. 

Anglers fishing out of Lorain are catching some nice steelhead on the lake. The best bite is coming in about 40 feet of water on stinger spoons.

Yellow perch 

Anglers are running a good seven miles out of 72nd Street in Cleveland to find good schools of perch. They’re fishing for them in deep water, 60 feet or so, and finding jumbos up to 12 inches. Shiners on a spreader is the best bet.

CLEVELAND METROPARKS

Wallace Lake, Shadow Lake, Strawberry Pond and Lakefront Reservation are just a few of many places in the parks 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, as well at in Lake Erie harbors.

Smallmouth bass are typically found in the deeper, rocky pools of the Rocky and Chagrin rivers during the day in summer, and often move to the heads of such pools in the early morning and evening hours to feed actively.

Channel catfish and large carp are also present in some of these same areas in the river. On June 24, a total of 1,600 pounds of farm- raised channel catfish were stocked between Shadow Lake (500 pounds), Ledge Lake (300 pounds), Strawberry Pond (300 pounds), Oxbow Lagoon (300 pounds) and Ranger Lake (200 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.

Carp can 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 summer.

Anglers heading north of Cleveland on Lake Erie in 55-70 feet of water are catching walleyes trolling crankbaits, spoons, and crawler harnesses.  

Cleveland Metroparks, www.clevelandmetroparks.com

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