Saturday, January 28th, 2023
Saturday, January 28th, 2023

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Ohio Outdoor News Fishing Report – October 20, 2022

Report from the Dock

The fall transition period for fishing is in full swing with water temperatures dropping accordingly. Inland anglers are catching saugeyes, crappies, and smallmouth bass in good numbers. On Lake Erie, windy and wet weather has kept anglers off the big lake at times. But, when they have been able to get out, the Central Basin is the place to be for good catches of walleyes and yellow perch. Anglers are fishing the mouths of the Huron and Vermilion rivers for perch with some success.

Central Region

Alum Creek Lake (Delaware County) – Smallmouth bass are being caught in the middle pool of Alum Creek by anglers throwing jerkbaits and small crankbaits. Some nice specimens have been coming to the boat, some in the 3- to 4-pound range. The fall saugeye pattern has set up, too, and fishermen are catching them on cranks and Big Joshy swimbaits. Saugeyes are ranging up to a healthy 19 inches, and most of the fish being caught right now are legal size (15 inches or better). Some crappies, too, are being caught by shoreline anglers on swimbaits and jig and minnow combos.

Buckeye Lake (Fairfield, Licking, Perry counties) – The saugeye bite on Buckeye has been good, and anglers are catching fish up to 20-plus inches. The best bite is coming near sunset, according to local anglers. Crappies and yellow perch have also been in the mix, and don’t forget about the catfish.

Indian Lake (Logan County) – Anglers hitting the Moundwood access have been rewarded with good numbers of saugeyes on this old canal lake. Saugeyes are ranging up to a healthy 18 inches here, and are being caught on jerkbaits primarily. Crappies and yellow perch have also been part of the menu. Target the weeds on Indian and you’ll likely find the panfish. The fall saugeye bite has definitely turned on here.

Northwest Region

Maumee River (Lucas County) – Water temperatureas of Oct. 12 was a cool 52 degrees and water clarity was 11 inches. Smallmouth bass and channel catfish have been the most willing biters on the Maumee this month. Anglers are using the tried and true jig and minnow or jig and shiner setup to catch fish of either species. Some are using artificials such as crankbaits or spinnerbaits with some success.

Maumee Bait and Tackle, www.maumeetackle.net

Findlay Reservoir No. 2 (Hancock County) – Anglers are finding that pulling crawler harnesses here will put fish in the boat. One angler reports pulling a harness to catch three walleyes, a smallmouth bass, and a couple of yellow perch. Enough fish for a nice meal or two. The ticket is to target the weed edges where you can find them. This lake is mostly gin clear water, but you can find some weeds in spots, according to angler reports.

West Harbor (Lake Erie) – Anglers targeting the breakwall on West Harbor have been catching decent size smallmouth bass. They’re using rubber worms rigged Texas style for the most part to pick up the bite. You can also catch largemouth bass, bluegills, and crappies in this same area.

Northeast Region 

Pymatuning Reservoir (Ashtabula County) – Find a weed edge on Pymatuning and find the yellow perch. Anglers are reporting a good fall perch bite just outside the weeds here. Some are also taking muskies that are hiding in the weeds just waiting on their prey. Anglers are keeping the perch, of course, but releasing the muskies. The walleye bite has just been so-so and we haven’t seen a report of anybody who’s done real well on them. Catfish is another fall option.

Mosquito Lake (Trumbull) – Still not a lot of chatter about successful walleye catches at Mosquito heading into the mid-fall months. Crappies, bluegills, and yellow perch continue to keep anglers busy catching them near the causeway and in other areas of the lake. A jig and minnow combo is all you need to set up on the panfish. We’re hearing of a few northern pike being caught, too, most of which are caught and released.

Berlin Reservoir (Portage, Mahoning, Stark counties) – Anglers trolling Flicker Shad are finding willing walleyes in a real shallow 5 to 8 feet of water. Down by the 224 causeway, anglers are catching loads of crappies, though most of the fish have been on the short side. Lake levels have been dropped 4 to 5 feet and the water temperature in late September was right around 67.

Southwest Region 

Rocky Fork Lake (Highland County) – The spillway at Rocky Fork is the best place to dial in the saugeye bite in the fall and winter months. Anglers right now continue to catch crappies and bluegills off the beach and off the restaurant docks. The best bait has been live minnow offerings. You might also try a minnow-imitating swimbait in natural patterns.

East Fork Lake (Clermont County) – When it comes to East Fork Lake, anglers are typically talking about a good crappie bite. Right now, however, they’re talking about good size white bass coming over the transom. We’re hearing reports of anglers catching white bass up to 13 inches on swimbaits. The best bite is coming shallow, in 8 to 10 feet of water. Catfish anglers are doing well, too, by using live bait like nightcrawlers under a float.

C.J. Brown Reservoir (Clark County) – We’re not hearing a lot in the way of walleye catches at C.J. Brown just yet. Fall water temperatures are cooling, however, and it shouldn’t be far off. Right now, anglers are doing fairly well for crappies and yellow perch by fishing minnow rigs and minnow-imitating swimbaits. Crappies have ranged up to a healthy 11 inches.

Southeast Region

Salt Fork Lake (Guernsey County) – It’s still early for fall water temperatures to set up sufficiently, but a few anglers are reportedly catching saugeyes and crappies. Anglers putting their boat in at the old marina are finding saugeyes suspended in about 12 feet of water. One angler reports catching a sub-legal 14-inch saugeye and releasing it. He also caught a couple of 10-inch crappies, all on a minnow rig. Water temperature was reported at 62 degrees.

Piedmont Lake (Belmont County) – The saugeye bite has started on this large southeast Ohio lake that is known as a good saugeye spot. Anglers are trolling Flicker Shad or similar type cranks, like Shad Raps, to pick up keeper fish. Saugeyes have ranged up to 20 inches. The best depths have been in the 10- to 12-foot range. Crappies, too, have been a good option and are being caught by these same trollers. The muskie bite has been a quiet one so far. Look for muskies to put on the fall feed bag soon, fattening up for the long winter ahead.

Hocking River (Hocking County) – Water levels and color are good right now for the wading angler. Some fishermen in the past week have been hitting up the Hocking for catfish and crappies. They’re catching a few of each species, including one 20-inch channel cat caught on a spinnerbait fished in the shallows. Crappies are small, ranging up to 9 inches at best. 

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 are concentrating efforts on the reefs early in the morning to catch limits of walleyes. But, they’re working for them with most of the pack of walleyes now headed for the cooler waters of the Central Basin.

Yellow perch

Fishermen fishing just east of the ferry line to Kelleys Island are finding yellow perch. The best bite is coming on spreaders with emerald shiners or jig and minnow combos.

Central Basin

Walleyes

Where: Fishermen fishing out of Lorain in 51 to 57 feet of water are marking walleyes. They’re finding the productive spot about three miles due north of the dumping grounds.

Yellow perch 

Anglers fishing at the mouth of the Huron River are finding willing perch ranging up to 11 inches. Be aware of your location when fishing here as perch limits are different depending on where you are in Huron. Emerald shiners on a spreader have been the hot bait. Anglers fishing the mouth of the Vermilion River are also doing well for perch.

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