First of the year! Here you go gang. Wildlife News Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife The Fish Ohio Report April 6, 2005 Tip of the Week -- Many of Ohios inland lakes have been stocked recently with trout and most trout fishermen attest that there is no absolute bait for catching trout. Most trout baits can be purchased while grocery shopping! Things like canned corn and Velveeta cheese often work as well as typical baits like meal worms, salmon eggs, Power Bait, or any other type of bait. CENTRAL OHIO Buckeye Lake (Fairfield, Licking, and Perry counties) Crappie fishing is hot, even in cooler temperatures. Try fishing the warm, shallow bays of the lake, near vegetation, where crappies will congregate. Use a jig and minnow combination in the area near the dam and around any drop-off points for saugeyes. Fingerlings are stocked annually, including 613,000 last year. Saugeye fishing is great throughout central Ohio right now. Fish along the lake bottom on the windward side of the lake, in bays where the wind blows dead gizzard shad, with cut baits and prepared baits to take some nice channel catfish. Indian Lake (Logan County) -- April is the best month at Indian Lake to take crappies when using minnows and jigs fished around shallow shoreline cover. Most of these fish measure 7 to 12 inches. Saugeyes are hitting throughout central Ohio. Fish the Moundwood area where the south fork of the Great Miami River enters the lake. Try drifting with jigs tipped with grubs and minnows along the deep break lines of dredged areas and old Indian Lake, keeping your jigs tight to bottom. Almost one million saugeye fingerlings were stocked in Indian Lake last year. Try for bluegills and largemouth bass as well; most success for these fish will come on warm days in farm ponds when they will move toward the shallows. NORTHWEST OHIO Riley Reservoir (Crawford County) The water temperature is 49 degrees and the reservoir is cloudy. Saugeyes are being taken on live minnows. Sandusky River (Sandusky County) The river is at flood stage and it is very dangerous to wade at this point. The water temperature has dropped to 42 degrees and conditions are very cloudy. No fish are being caught. The water was still on the rise as of Sunday afternoon, but should be on its way down by mid-week. Maumee River (Lucas and Wood Counties) The water temperature is 47 degrees and conditions are very cloudy. Slow catches of walleyes are being caught. Lead heads and twister tails with green, pink, and orange are producing the best catches. The best location is around the Fort Meigs area. NORTHEAST OHIO Guilford Lake (Columbiana Co.) -- This 328-acre lake is currently being fished for black crappies reaching an average of 7 inches in length. While white crappies also live in this lake, black crappies are the dominant species. Pin-mins tipped with maggots on 2 to 4-pound test line are doing the trick. Wheelchair accessible shoreline facilities available. Berlin Lake (Portage, Mahoning, and Stark counties) -- Walleye fishing at this large 3,280-acre lake has picked up recently with anglers catching the majority of these fish on Rapalas. Survey results show that these walleyes average about 17 inches in length with a few exceeding 20 inches or more. Walleyes caught in 2005 are expected to be 12 to 15 inches in length, since this size is plentiful. Anglers should be aware that there is a 15-inch length limit on walleyes in this lake, so undersized fish should be released. On an unfortunate note, the tail water area (Mahoning County) below the Berlin Reservoir dam has been closed, leaving only a small portion of public fishing access. SOUTHWEST OHIO Clark Lake (Clark County) -- Rainbow trout are being caught by anglers using live minnows, earthworms, wax worms, mealworms, PowerBait, or corn as bait. Keep the bait under a bobber or move it slowly along the bottom. Place bait on a long-shank bait-holding hook. Anglers are seeing good catches in the late afternoons when the weather is nice. Rocky Fork Lake (Highland County) -- Rainbow trout are being caught by anglers using crankbaits, jigs with plastic bodies, wax worms, or stink bait as bait. When using artificial lures, choose ones colored green, pink, or chartreuse. From the shoreline, still fish the bait under a bobber keeping the bait between three and six feet deep. Use a bait-holding hook for live baits. SOUTHEAST OHIO Monroe Lake (Monroe County) Water conditions continue to be very muddy and high due to recent rains. Water temperature is 50 degrees. Trout are being caught by trolling with rooster tails or by using yellow or chartreuse PowerBait. Bluegills are hitting red worms and wax worms fishing in two to three feet of water around structure. A few 12 to 14-inch largemouth bass can be caught on Jo flies and wax worms. Muskingum River (Washington County) Although water conditions remain high and muddy due to recent rains, persistent fishermen are catching a few saugeyes below Devola Dam. Lead-head jigs with green twister tails have proven to be the most successful bait. AEP ReCreation Land Ponds (Morgan County) Most ponds are clear and at normal pool. At this time, most gates at access points to the ponds are closed; however, anglers can walk into these areas. Largemouth bass can be caught on lead-head jigs with a worms and twister tail. . LAKE ERIE ** The 15 walleye minimum size limit remains in effect for the entire season. From March 1 through April 30 the walleye limit on Lake Erie and its tributaries is 3 fish per day. Anglers are reminded that the daily bag limit for trout and salmon on Lake Erie and its tributaries is 2 fish through May 15. The trout and salmon minimum size limit is 12 inches.** With highs in the 10 day forecast all being in the 50s and 60s, fishing should really improve in the Maumee and Sandusky Rivers and Lake Erie. Anglers are fishing the Camp Perry firing range reef complex, the Bass Islands area, and nearshore from Toledo to Marblehead (including Maumee Bay and Sandusky Bay). Gale force winds over the past weekend (4/2-3) greatly reduced water clarity in the western basin. Look for transitions between dirty and clear water to find active walleye. During March and April, walleye can be caught by jigging on the reefs or by trolling the open water flats around the reefs. Yellow perch have also been caught recently with the Marblehead lighthouse being the most popular spot. Use spreaders with shiners or small jigging spoons to catch big early season perch. Extreme caution is necessary with sub 40-degree surface temperatures. Boaters should dress appropriately and always wear life jackets. Recent surface temperatures have been from the upper 30s to the lower 40s. Walleye fishing in the Maumee and Sandusky Rivers is improving as more migratory walleye move into the rivers to spawn. Most fish being caught in both rivers are 18 to 22-inch males with occasional trophy females up to and over 10 pounds. The most popular technique is to Carolina-rig a floating jig head tipped with a soft plastic curly tail. The first two weeks of April have historically been the best time to catch walleye in the rivers. OHIO RIVER Reports of river conditions indicate that most pools are still high and muddy as the result of recent heavy rains and flooding conditions. The extended weather forecast for this week indicates that more rains are expected, which will prolong the less desirable conditions. Water temperature for the river is averaging 46 degrees. Use all safety precautions when around the river and wear a life vest at all times.