ODNR: The Fish Ohio Report
Updated Weekly April through October
September 4, 2013
Deer Creek Lake (Fayette, Madison, and Pickaway counties) – Crappies are providing the action at Deer Creek right now as we wait for the saugeye fishing to pick up later this month. Fish woody structures using a jig or minnow suspended by a bobber. Remember, at this lake crappie must be nine inches or longer to keep. Baitfish abound right now creating a challenge to anglers. Channel catfish are being caught in the upper end of the lake using cut bait in the evenings.
Indian Lake (Logan County) – Saugeye are being caught along south bank, and around the Moundwood and Dream Bridge areas, try crankbaits and worm harnesses trolled near the bottom, jigging has also been effective. Anglers are catching largemouth bass in the canals around cover, try spinner baits, tubes, and crankbaits. Bluegills are still being caught in the channels, use wax worms, night crawlers or crickets. Try fishing the lily pads for crappie. Use a minnow or jig and fish openings in the lily pads.
Maumee River (Defiance County) – Anglers have been catching saugeye below the Independence Dam using small jigs and twister tails. The dam can be accessed from Independence Dam State Park, off State Route 424. Try using beetle spins (white or chartreuse), or inline spinners.
Ottawa River (Allen County) – This river, which passes through the city of Lima, is a good place to try for channel catfish. The best locations are from downtown to the Collett Street railroad trestle. Night crawlers, chicken livers, raw shrimp as well as commercial catfish baits are all popular with local anglers. Fishing access is mainly limited to the shoreline; however, some anglers do use small boats or canoes.
Bucyrus Reservoir #4, Outhwaite Reservoir (Crawford County) – Located in central Crawford Co., 2 miles northeast of Bucyrus off State Route 98, this 160 acre reservoir contains populations of saugeye, yellow perch, largemouth and smallmouth bass, channel catfish, crappies and bluegills. The best areas are around the artificial fish attractors spread liberally around the reservoir, areas near the fish shelves located at the southeast and northeast corners or the weed bed at the northeast side. For bass try minnows, plastic worms, tubes, crank baits, small jigs and crayfish. Saugeye can be caught using smaller jigs tipped with a twister tail, spinner baits and minnows. There is shoreline access around this entire reservoir as well as two modern ramps located at the southwest corner of the reservoir. Access to these ramps is from State Route 98. There is no motor size restriction but a “No Wake” zone exists throughout the reservoir.
Berlin Lake (Stark, Mahoning, and Portage counties) – Anglers worked hard to put some walleye on ice this weekend at Berlin Lake. The bite was inconsistent but walleye were being caught. Anglers had their best success trolling shad raps and flicker shads. Although the walleye bite was slow, many anglers picked up enough crappie to make a meal while trolling these same setups.
Atwood Lake (Tuscarawas and Carroll counties) – With summer winding down, recreational pressure will follow at this busy reservoir. Now is a great time to purse largemouth bass, which are feeding heavily on small baitfish. Try small crankbaits or finesse worms fished around wood, weeds, and rock structure. Channel catfish have been biting as well, with cut shad, shrimp, nightcrawlers, and chicken liver being top baits. Try trolling crankbaits during low-light for some tasty saugeye.
Lake Rupert( Vinton County) – Largemouth bass are available in good numbers and sizes and can be caught using a variety of artificial lures. Try fishing areas with lilypads or the riprap on the dam in the morning and evenings. The saugeye bite should be improving with cooling water temperature. Drift fish jigs tipped with minnows or troll crankbaits along the drop-offs of flats close to deep water. Good numbers of catfish are available throughout this 327 acre lake. Try fishing a tight line rig on the bottom using chicken livers or night crawlers as bait.
Hocking River (Hocking and Athens counties) – Using a canoe to fish for smallmouth and spotted bass can be successful adventure this time of year. The best fishing tends to be near submerged structure, rock or wood, especially if located in current. Successful baits include minnows, crawfish, roostertails, or jigs with twister tails. Channel catfish can be targeted on rocky shorelines using a simple slip bobber rig baited with a night crawler.
R.C. Byrd Tailwater (Ohio River) – Water remains higher than normal, but don’t let that deter your fishing efforts. A successful catfish bite should continue for anglers willing to fish muddy water and faster current. For channel catfish try tight lining chicken livers or night crawlers and for shovelhead catfish, live or cut gizzard shad and skipjacks fished along the rip-rap should produce results.
Buck Creek State Park (Clark County) – Channel catfish are being caught by anglers using chicken livers, cut bait, or earthworms as bait. Fish the bait slowly along the bottom and into deep pools. Fishing is good near the mouth of Buck Creek. Keep the bait greater than 10 feet deep.
Cowan Lake (Clinton County) – Channel catfish are being caught by anglers using chicken livers, cut bait, shrimp, or earthworms as bait. Cast from the pier area. Keep the bait off of the bottom and about 3 to 6 feet deep.
** The daily bag limit for walleye on 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 on all Ohio waters of Lake Erie.**
** The trout and salmon daily bag limit is 2 fish with a minimum size limit of 12 inches.
** The black bass (largemouth and smallmouth bass) daily bag limit is 5 fish per angler with a 14-inch minimum size limit.**
Walleye fishing was best NE of Niagara Reef and “C” can of the Camp Perry firing range, NW of “B” can of the Camp Perry firing range, NW of Green Island, and along the Canadian border NE of Kelleys Island. Trollers have been catching fish on worm harnesses or with divers and spoons. Drifters are casting mayfly rigs or weight-forward spinners tipped with worms.
Yellow perch fishing was best 2 miles N of the Toledo water intake, near the turnaround buoy of the Toledo shipping channel, NE of West Sister Island, NW of “A” can of the Camp Perry firing range, on Northwest Reef, NW of Green Island, on the dumping grounds E of Marblehead, off of Cedar Point, and 1-5 miles E of Kelleys Island. Perch spreaders with shiners fished near the bottom produce the most fish.
Largemouth bass fishing continues to be good in harbors and nearshore areas around Catawba and Marblehead.
Walleye fishing has occasionally been good around the SW corner of the sandbar (N of Vermilion) and nearshore from Sawmill Creek to Ruggles Reef trolling crankbaits or worm harnesses. Excellent fishing, the best of the year, was reported in 70-72’ of water NE of Ashtabula and in 70-72’ of water N of Conneaut. Anglers are trolling wire line with white, pink, blue, yellow, orange, green and red stick baits.
Yellow perch fishing has been fair on the Huron dumping grounds, N of Vermilion, and in 45-50’ of water N of Edgewater Park. Fishing has been excellent in 50-60’ of water NW of Fairport Harbor (the hump), in 46-60’ of water N-NE of Ashtabula and in 58-68’ of water NE of Conneaut. Spreaders with shiners fished near the bottom produce the most fish. Shore fishing off the Cleveland area piers has been slow.
Smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing has been good in 10 to 20’ of water around harbor areas in Cleveland, Fairport Harbor, Geneva, Ashtabula and Conneaut. Anglers are using nightcrawlers, soft-craws, leeches and tube jigs.
White Bass fishing has been good with a few larger adult fish being caught off the E. 55th St and E 72nd St Piers in Cleveland and the short and long piers in Fairport Harbor. Evenings have been the best. On the lake, look for gulls feeding on shiners at the surface; the white bass will be below. Anglers are using agitators with jigs and small spoons.
Channel Catfish are being caught off the Edgewater and E 55 St piers in Cleveland in the evenings. Catfish are also being caught in the Grand River. Anglers are using nightcrawlers.
The water temperature is 74 degrees off of Toledo and 73 degrees off of Cleveland according to the nearshore marine forecast.
Anglers are encouraged to always wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device while boating.
Meldahl Dam area (Clermont County) – Anglers are reporting steady fishing, with catches of gar, cat fish, and a few white bass. Daylight hours until dusk have been producing good numbers but early evening until dawn have been good for catfish. Try chicken liver or cut shad.
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