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Here's the latest for ODNR. Don't catch 'em all gang!!!

The Fish Ohio Report

May 19, 2004

Tip of the Week - Missing fish? If the big ones and the little ones keep getting away when you are using bait or lures, check your hooks. Is the hook sharp? If the hook is not dull or broken, try using a smaller hook or lure. For more information on fishing, check us out on the web at www.ohiodnr.com.

Hargus Creek Lake (Pickaway County) - Fish in shallow water around aquatic vegetation with small night crawlers beneath a bobber at depths of 3 to 8 feet for bluegills. Over 10,000 yearling channel catfish were stocked in fall 2002. Use traditional baits such as night crawlers, chicken livers, and prepared baits along the lake bottom at night to take channel catfish. Most crappies measure 7 to 8 inches and can be caught on minnows. Use jigs and twisters to take largemouth bass of all sizes. More than 250 grass carp were released into the lake in 2003 to control vegetation. Please release any grass carp that you may accidentally catch. Electric motors only.

Knox Lake (Knox County) - This 468-acre lake is among Ohio's finest largemouth bass lakes. The areas with woody shoreline cover and vegetation produce good fishing success for anglers using a variety of plastic baits, live baits and artificial lures. Excellent bass fishing opportunities are forecast for this year and most fish measure 10 to 18 inches. This is also a good channel catfish lake. Over 11,000 yearling channel catfish were stocked in fall 2002. Some fish weigh up to 10 pounds. Night fishing is best when using traditional baits such as night crawlers, chicken livers, shrimp and prepared baits. If you are interested in black crappie, try fishing any brushy cover using minnows and jigs. 10 horsepower motor limit.

Scioto River (Hardin County) - Channel catfish are being taken on night crawlers drifted with a bobber. The best spots are from the City of Kenton east.

Norwalk Reservoir #3 (Huron County) - The water temperature is 66 degrees, the water is a bit cloudy and water levels are normal. Smallmouth bass in the 10 to 15-inch range are being taken, as well as largemouth bass in the 14 to 20-inch range. Watermelon seeds fished at a depth of 3 to 4 feet are working well. Early mornings and afternoons seem to be the best times to catch these fish. The best locations to fish are along State Street and along the dike between Reservoir #2 and #3.

Beaver Creek Reservoir (Seneca County) - There is good crappie fishing right now with 8 to 12-inch fish being taken. Fish for them in 6 to12 feet of water using minnows. A few small bluegills are being taken as well.

Paulding Reservoir (Paulding County) - The water temperature is 68 degrees, the water is cloudy and at normal levels. Good numbers of saugeyes in the 12 to 14-inch range are being taken along the wave washed shoreline. Jigs with twister tails and still fishing with leeches under a bobber is what is working well.

Wellington Upground Reservoir (Lorain County) - This 21-acre lake is providing good numbers of 14 to18-inch bass, which are being caught mostly on husky jerks with chrome pattern (black or blue). Crappies 7 to 8 inches in size are hungry for white rooster tails or live minnows. Make sure the minnows are small, though, and if you use a bobber, keep it small as well. Most crappies are about 8 to 12 inches, but catch a 13+ inch fish and that qualifies for the Fish Ohio award! This lake is steep-sided, so any shallow humps or rock ledges are best. The reservoir is located on Jones Road, one half mile west off of State Route 58. Electric motors only.

Spencer Lake (Medina County) -- This lake can be found two miles east of the city of Spencer, off of State Route 162 (Black River). Both shoreline anglers and boat anglers are successfully reeling in 6+ inch bluegills and 9+ inch crappies out of this small 50-acre lake. Largemouth bass are also biting and although there are many 6 to 8-inch bass, there are plenty of whoppers exceeding 15 inches. Aside from live minnows, soft fake minnows and crank baits are working very well. Electric motors only; wheelchair accessible shoreline fishing facilities are available.

Grand Lake St. Marys (Mercer and Auglaize counties) - Channel catfish are being caught using a long-shank hook baited with stink bait, shad, or an earthworm. Fish in areas near the shoreline. Use a slip bobber to keep the bait about 1 to 2 feet off of the bottom or fish tight-line along the bottom. Let the bait drift with the current or use a slip bobber. Use a #8, 1/0, or 2/0 long-shank hook. Harmon's and Windy Points are producing good catches.

Caesar Creek Lake (Warren County) - Crappies are being caught by anglers using jigs with plastic bodies, curly tails, live minnow, or wax worms as bait. Good color choices for artificial baits are white or chartreuse. Cast into areas with cover such as submerged trees and brush. Keep the bait under a slip bobber and either 3 to 4 feet deep or greater than 10 feet deep. Choose a #6 or #8 fine wire hook. Bluegill and sunfish are being caught using jigs with plastic bodies, red worms, earthworms, wax worms, or meal worms as bait. Pink or chartreuse are good color choices for artificial lures. Cast from the shoreline and into areas with submerged trees or brush. Keep the bait under a bobber and about 5 to 6 feet deep. Use a #8 fine wire hook. Saugeyes are being caught using pink or chartreuse colored jigs with plastic bodies or live minnows as bait. Fish in the tailwaters and keep the bait greater than ten feet deep. Use a long-shank hook for the live bait.


Seneca Lake (Noble and Guernsey counties) - There is good fishing for channel catfish ranging 2 to 4 pounds in size. Fish along the dam at the entrance to the spillway using chicken liver fished against the retaining wall. Walleyes up to 14 inches can be caught on yellow jig-heads with ½ a night crawler. Fish along the bottom around structure near the island or the buoys or near the cliffs at Owl's Nest in 7 to 8 feet of water. Saugeyes can be caught on minnow-tipped twister tails.

Jackson Lake (Jackson County) - This is the "hot" water area in the county right now. Bluegills of all sizes can be caught throughout the lake by both boat and shore fishermen. Down along the dam in the shallow water is also a good location for bluegills. Use night crawlers, wax worms, or meal worms for bait. Boat fishermen are catching large bass on a variety of artificial lures. Catfish are hitting chicken liver and night crawlers fished in any area of the lake. A 15-pound channel catfish was caught here recently. Crappie fishing is good right now with fish up to 3 pounds in size taken. Minnows are the best crappie bait.

Lake White (Pike County) - Although the lake level is 10 to 12 inches low, fishing is good at this lake when seeking crappies and bluegills. Catches of 3 to 7-inch fish are being reported. For crappies, use a small hook with a minnow and for bluegills, use wax worms under a small bobber. Best area is the vicinity of State Route 220 and State Route 552. Water temperature is 72 degrees.

**As of May 1 the walleye bag limit returned to 6 fish per angler and the treble hook restrictions in the bays expired. The 15" walleye minimum size limit remains in effect for the entire season. From May 1 to June 26 smallmouth bass possession is illegal. Anglers may catch and release smallmouth, but possession is not permitted.**

Walleye - The best walleye fishing has been between Kelleys Island and Catawba Island, between Huron and Vermilion in 25 to 32 feet of water, around A and K cans of the Camp Perry firing range, and N of Maumee Bay. Drifting or trolling worm harnesses or trolling crankbaits produce the most fish. When fishing the reef complex, be aware that ODNR sampling will be taking place throughout the spring. Nets are clearly marked with yellow flags and floats. Please stay clear of areas with nets.

Yellow Perch - Yellow perch fishing has been best between the Marblehead ferry docks and the lighthouse, between Marblehead and the SE corner of Kelleys Island, around Gull Island Shoal, off of the Vermilion River mouth, and within one mile of Lorain. Fish just off the bottom using perch spreaders tipped with shiners.

To view the predicted weather forecast for Lake Erie visit: http://seaboard.ndbc.noaa.gov/data/Forecasts/FZUS61.KCLE.html

Washington County - At the Lafayette Hotel site in Marietta, catfish are being caught on chicken liver, whole bluegills, or whole goldfish just before dark or after dark. At Willow Island, good catches of sauger 12 to 16 inches in size are being made when using lead-headed jigs.

Meigs County - Fishing for hybrid striped bass is good at the tailwaters of the Belleville and Racine Dams. Use little jig-heads for best results.

Scioto County - The fishing at Greenup Dam has been exceptional lately. Lots of hybrid striped bass up to 11 pounds in size are being caught on live or cut baits. Anglers are using cast nets to catch 7 to 9-inch shad, which they are using whole for bait. Using a Carolina rig with a 1 to 2-ounce lead sinker and a 2-foot line leader just past the sinker, they are casting out from the concrete wall, as far out as possible. Cut bait of skipjack herring pieces fished on the bottom and just letting it sit there is also a good method for catching the "wipers". A few saugers can be caught on river shiners by using a heavy sinker and dropping them straight down from the concrete wall. To catch the shiners for bait, use cast nets or dip nets. Both the upper and lower platforms at Greenup Dam are fishable right now as the result of good water conditions. Near Portsmouth at the mouth of the Little Scioto River, hybrid striped bass are being caught on chicken liver and night crawlers. Shad are also good bait for hybrids at this location. Anglers are catching the shad with cast nets, cutting them into pieces, and fishing the pieces on the bottom.
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