Ohio Outdoor News Fishing & Hunting Report – July 5, 2019

Central Region

Buckeye Lake (Fairfield, Licking and Perry counties) – Anglers are finding channel catfish biting well here. Angler reports indicate the fish are deep, and are reacting to any type of bait with a little twitch in it. Saugeyes and crappies are being taken, too, by anglers slow-trolling Flicker Shad or similar type baits. Other anglers are casting to docks and pads for saugeyes up to 18 inches and crappies.

Alum Creek Lake (Delaware County) – Water levels are high after and abundance of rain, but fishermen are managing to catch smallmouth and largemouth bass by casting plastics and small crankbaits along the shoreline. Anglers are anchoring in 10 to 15 feet of water and casting toward shore.

Delaware Lake (Delaware County) – Water levels were extremely high at this Delaware County crappie hot-spot. If levels recede in the near future, look for the crappie bite to pick up again. Any of the lake’s coves hold crappies, and they can be taken on jigs tipped with live minnows.

Hoover Reservoir (Delaware and Franklin counties) – Crappies are scattered, but anglers are still managing to find them here. The best bite is coming in anywhere from 10 to 20 feet of water. They’re catching them on straight minnows under a float. Fish are ranging from 8 to 13 inches.

Indian Lake (Logan County) – Anglers are trolling for the saugeye bite at this large Logan County lake. Troll Flicker Shad or similar type baits in 6 to 15 feet of water. Some white bass, crappies, and channel catfish have been in the mix as well.

Northwest Region

Findlay Reservoir No. 2 (Hancock County) – Anglers fishing the north side of the reservoir have been catching smallmouth bass and rock bass. They have been using small craw shakey heads or five-inch swimbaits to produce a successful bite. Fishermen also report catching small yellow perch.

Maumee River (Lucas County) – According to Maumee Bait and Tackle, fishermen have been catching largemouth bass in marinas and various harbors as well as into Maumee Bay as water temperatures warm. The successful bite is coming for anglers throwing crankbaits, jigs, and various soft plastic riggings. Some catfish up to 10 pounds are being caught in the river as well. Most anglers fish their bait on the bottom or drift the bottom for a good bite, according to the tackle shop. The smallmouth bass bite hasn’t been the greatest with high water levels making some areas inaccessible. But, as water levels recede and temperatures warm, expect the bite to pick up. Anglers are using crankbaits, tube jigs, and spinnerbaits for the smallmouth.

Maumee Bait and Tackle, www.maumeetackle.net

Sandusky Bay (Sandusky County) – Anglers are fishing the Old Bay Bridge area and doing well on channel catfish, according to reports. Fish cut bait, shrimp, or nightcrawlers on the bottom for the best catfish bite. Anglers are reporting catching channels up to 10 pounds or better.

Northeast  Region 

Berlin Lake (Portage, Mahoning, Stark counties) – Crappies are being caught all over the lake on jigs, either with a skirt or tipped with a minnow. Anglers are reportedly catching a lot of channel catfish, too, while fishing for crappies. Walleye fishing has been slow, according to reports, with a lot of rain in recent weeks. Hybrid striped bass fishing is going well, again with successful anglers catching them on jigs.

Pymatuning Reservoir (Ashtabula County) – If you’re after a good bite on panfish, this lake might be worth a look right now. Anglers are fishing shallow water for bluegills, 3 to 5 feet, using nightcrawlers and slip bobbers. Many bluegills here are still on the spawning beds with water temperatures slow to warm.

Lake Milton (Mahoning County) – Anglers casting plastics to any type of structure, especially docks and rocks, are catching smallmouth bass. Others are trolling Flicker Shad for walleyes and crappies with decent success. For a full report on Lake Milton, see the back page of this edition of Ohio Outdoor News.

Mosquito Creek Lake (Trumbull County) – Water levels are high just like they are in much of the state with unending precipitation. Those anglers who are getting out are catching crappies and yellow perch on simple baits such as minnows or wax worms under a float. Others are trolling Flicker Shad and/or worm harnesses to try to catch walleyes with only limited results. More crappies are being caught by the trollers than walleyes.

Southwest Region 

Rocky Fork Lake (Highland County) – Anglers are catching crappies in shallow water, anywhere from 3 to 8 feet. Minnows under a float continues to be the popular set up. Fish are ranging up to 11 inches.

Paint Creek Lake (Highland County) – Panfish is the name of the game right now on Paint Creek. Crappies and bluegills are being caught in shallow water, with some bluegills still on the spawning beds. Others are throwing tube jigs and picking up the occasional largemouth bass.

C.J. Brown Reservoir (Clark County) – Anglers have been fishing the C.J. Brown spillway and catching crappies and channel catfish. The best bite is reportedly coming on swim jigs in a variety of patterns. Crappies have ranged up to 10 inches, and the channel catfish have been of the smaller variety, 12 to 14 inches.

Caesar Creek Lake (Warren, Clinton, and Greene counties) – Anglers are catching numbers of saugeyes, but many are sub-legal length throwbacks, according to reports. Anglers report that most of the saugeyes are just shy of the 15-inch minimum and they are catching lots of them. The biggest fish being reported recently was a 22-incher.

Acton Lake (Preble, Butler counties) – Anglers are using cut bait or shrimp on circle hooks fished on the bottom for channel catfish. Fishermen report that you can catch catfish all summer long by using these methods.

Southeast Region

Clendening Lake (Harrison County) – Anglers are catching good numbers of crappies on jig and minnow combinations right now. Fishermen are finding the fish in shallow water, holding tight to cover. Crappies have ranged up to 12 inches, but most are in the 8- to 9-inch range.

Salt Fork Lake (Guernsey County) – Anglers report catching decent numbers of saugeyes in the morning hours recently. The successful set up has been to simply fish a minnow on lake points in 10 to 15 feet of water.

Leesville Lake (Carroll County) – This lake is known for its muskie population, but don’t overlook the saugeyes. One angler recently caught a 29-inch saugeye by using a Vib-E cast toward the shoreline and then jigged, according to reports.

Piedmont Lake (Belmont County) – Saugeyes are being caught, along with largemouth bass and crappies, according to local reports. The saugeyes are coming in right at legal size of 15 inches. The best set up for any of the above has been a swimbait or a jig and minnow combination.

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 5 fish per angler. The minimum size limit is 12 inches.

Western Basin

Walleye

Where: Fishing continues to be excellent, despite less than ideal weather conditions. Many limits of 19-23-inch fish have been reported. Fishing has been good around Round Reef, the “A”, “B”, and “C” cans of the Camp Perry firing range, and the area between Lakeside-Marblehead and Kelleys Island. Anglers reported having the most success in 20-30 feet of water. In addition, anglers have been doing very well around West Sister Island in 30-32 feet of water, both trolling and casting. 

How: Anglers in the western basin have been having the most success trolling spoons and crawler harnesses. Anglers casting or drifting with crawler harnesses and casting weight forward style baits have been having success as well. Popular colors have been purple, blue, chrome, and gold.

Largemouth Bass  

Where: Largemouth bass fishing has been excellent in various marinas and harbors, as well as Sandusky Bay in recent weeks as water temperatures have been increasing. 

How: Anglers have been doing well throwing crankbaits, jigs, and various soft plastic riggings. 

Catfish  

Where: The bite in Sandusky Bay has really picked up with high numbers of fish being caught, many weighing over ten pounds. Shoreline access to the bay is available at the old Route 2 bridge in Bay View and Port Clinton. 

How: Most anglers fish the bottom or drift with baits on the bottom. Common baits include nightcrawlers, cut bait, and frozen shrimp. 

Central Basin

Walleye 

Where: Excellent fishing was reported in 35-58 feet of water north-northwest of the Gold Coast in Lakewood, in 30-48 feet of water north of the Chagrin River, in 45-54 feet of water northwest of Fairport, in 45-55 feet of water north-northwest of Ashtabula, and in 25-45 feet of water north-northwest of Conneaut. Fish are suspended and anglers are targeting fishing depths of 20-40 feet. 

How: Walleye have been caught by trolling with crankbaits or worm harnesses assisted by divers, and by casting and drifting weight forward spinners. Good colors to try are yellow, blue and silver, green, purple, and red. Anglers fishing from shore are catch a few fish off the piers in Cleveland using spinners and stick baits. 

Yellow Perch  

Where: A few reports of anglers catching fish in 30-35 feet of water north of the Chagrin River. 

How: Anglers are fishing from the bottom to 3-5 cranks above the bottom. Try different depths near the bottom until you locate the fish. Use minnows on spreaders. Shore anglers are catch fish off the piers in Cleveland using spreaders tipped with minnows. 

Smallmouth Bass  

Where: Excellent fishing has been reported in 10-30 feet of water around harbor areas in Cleveland, Fairport Harbor, Ashtabula, and Conneaut. 

How: Anglers are using crankbaits, tube jigs, spinnerbaits, and drop shot rigs tipped with nightcrawlers. 

Catfish  

Where: Anglers are catching fish off the Cleveland and Fairport Harbor piers. 

How: Most anglers fish the bottom or drift with baits on the bottom. Common baits include nightcrawlers, cut bait, and frozen shrimp. 

Smallmouth bass are typically found in the deeper, rocky pools of the Rocky River during the day in early summer, and often move to the heads of such pools in the early morning and evening hours to feed actively. A dark olive or brown tube jig of 3-4 inches length is one of the best producers of bass in the river. “Smallies” also bite well on live bait (i.e.: minnow, crayfish, and leeches), lures (i.e.: spinners and minnow plugs), and flies (i.e.: crayfish patterns, Clouser minnows, dark brown or olive sculpin or muddler minnow patterns). Bass of all sizes are abundant bass in the river, with a healthy number of trophy lake-run fish available. Most anglers release the larger bass so that these fine gamefish can be caught again. Note: as of May 1 the Lake Erie zone smallmouth/largemouth bass combined bag limit changed to 1 bass/day of 18 inches minimum size. The zone includes Lake Erie waters and (locally) the Rocky River to Detroit Road bridge, Cuyahoga River to Harvard Road bridge, and Chagrin River to Route 283 bridge. Rock bass are also present in the same river areas as smallmouth, and can be caught using the same offerings listed above.

Channel catfish and large carp are also present in some of these same areas in the river. Good numbers of channel catfish stocked in May also remain to be caught at Wallace Lake and the Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area, as well as several smaller Cleveland Metroparks waters. More catfish were stocked at various locations in late June, as well. Catfishing is usually best during lower light conditions using baits such as nighcrawlers, minnows, chicken liver, and processed dough baits. A good number of larger catfish are moving into the river from Lake Erie on their spawning run. Resident channel catfish are available in the river all summer.

Some large carp will be found in the northern river reaches throughout the month, as well. Carp can often be caught throughout the day on such bait as canned corn, carp dough baits, worms, or crayfish tails.  A growing contingent of fly anglers looking for a challenge are targeting carp with nymphs and crayfish imitations, as well. 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 early summer. For the angling generalist, any of the species thus far can be effectively targeted by fishing a nightcrawler worm right on the river bottom with a sinker.

Summer means family fishing time for many folks, and panfish fit the bill perfectly for a leisurely picnic and fishing outing. Anglers seeking panfish have experienced decent fishing at most of the ponds and lakes in the Park District in the past week. Crappie, bluegill, and other sunfish species can be taken with a number of offerings, but a wax worm or red worm on a small hook (or tiny jig) suspended under a stick float and fished around a weedbed or shoreline brush is always a good choice. Wallace Lake, Shadow Lake, and Lakefront Reservation are just a few of many places in the park to wet a line for various panfish species.  Largemouth bass fishing is often best in Wallace and Hinckley lakes, although bass can be found in most park waters.

Rock bass, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, white bass, northern pike, catfish, freshwater drum, and sunfish species are biting along the Cleveland shoreline of Lake Erie on offerings such as tube jigs and live minnows. The walleye bite has been excellent and the yellow perch bite good in the near-shore waters of Cleveland, as well.

Cleveland Metroparks, www.clevelandmetroparks.com 

OHIO RIVER REGION

Racine Pool Anglers searching out saugers are having a tough time finding them. Between high water periods and thunderstorms, the bite has been rough going.

Greenup Dam Anglers are catching some Kentucky spotted bass and largemouth bass here by fishing the shoreline with plastics.  

Pike Island – Anglers are trying for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass here with some success. The popular bait has been plastic worms in purple, black, or chartreuse.

Meldahl Pool – Anglers are catching good numbers and sizes of crappies by fishing the creek mouths in this pool. Successful bait has been a jig tipped with a minnow or a waxie under a float.

Categories: Hunting News, News, Ohio Fishing Reports

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