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Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Division of Wildlife

The Fish Ohio Report

May 26, 2004

Tip of the Week - If you are fishing in a river or stream, cast into deep pools, slow moving sections of water, bends, and undercut banks to find the fish. Fish face the current therefore you must too. Cast upstream and let the bait or lure move downstream. For more information on fishing, check us out on the web at www.ohiodnr.com. Enjoy


Hoover Reservoir (Delaware and Franklin counties) - The seasonal spawning run of white bass is occurring in the Big Walnut Creek. These fish generally measure 8 to 12 inches and can be taken on small jigs or rooster tails. Hoover is an excellent lake to catch nice largemouth bass due to reduced fishing pressure compared to other large lakes. Fish shoreline cover with lures like spinner baits, Jig & Pig and jerk baits. Crappies are now moving into shoreline cover like downed treetops. A minnow suspended under slip bobbers and ultra-light jigs work best. Look for spawning bluegill on beds in the backs of coves. Now is the time to switch from minnows to worms for your saugeye presentations at deep drop-off points in the reservoir near flats. There is a 10-horsepower motor limit on the lake.

Indian Lake (Logan County) - Hundreds of thousands of fingerling saugeye will be stocked on May 25th at this 5040-acre lake in Logan County. Catchable size saugeyes are aggressive on wind swept points and channel openings with current. Try casting small rattletraps and suspending crank baits. Largemouth bass fishing is popular along the many stone riprap areas. Many bass are in the 12-18 inch size. Crappie and white bass fishing can both be good during May. Minnows are the most popular choice for live bait. Channel catfish fishing is picking up as the water warms.


Ottawa Reservoir (Putnam County) - The water is at normal levels, cloudy, and 68 degrees. Crappies in the 10-12 inch class range are being taken in the early morning or in the evening. Two-inch chartreuse jigs with slip bobbers are working great fished at a depth of three to five feet. Bluegills are also being taken by the same method.

Nettle Lake (Williams County) - The water temperature is around 65 degrees and warming rapidly. Crappies continue to bite well and are being caught on minnows suspended four to five feet down in areas where there are lily pads. Some bass are being taken by using worms or spinners.

St. Joe River (Williams County) - Bass are biting well in the river where CRR crosses. Access to this is on state property. The best spot is at the first bend in the river.

Nettle Creek (Williams County) - Fishing in this creek at bridges just before the creek empties into Nettle Lake has been a hot spot for catfish. Night crawlers fished off of the bottom are working great.


Mosquito Lake (Trumbull County) - This 6,550 acre lake is offering some great fishing right now, despite the severe storms lately. White crappies in the 10-12 inch class range are being caught in 18-20 feet deep. Emerald shiners or jigs with minnows are doing the trick. The Western side of the lake, past 2nd point south of the causeway is offering a good spot. Bass in the 10-12 inch class range are biting on shiners (emerald or golden colored) as well, in 15-20 feet of water. Channel catfish in the 12-14 inch class range are biting on minnows on the western side of the lake in 10-15 inches of water. Good fishing is in the early in the morning. This lake has unlimited horsepower limit and has wheelchair accessible shoreline facilities.

Tappan Lake (Harrison County) - Pan fishing is picking up with bluegills ranging up to 8 inches in length are biting. This is a great time for kids to try bobber fishing by using a medium size hook tipped with small pieces of night crawlers (2 -3 inches long). If you prefer to cast your line out, tighten the line and wait for it to start moving, and then set your hook. The reason for using two different techniques is that it's hard for the kids to keep the line tight and watch it move. It's a lot easier for them to watch the bobber, but sometimes bobbers can spook the fish. An updated map of Tappan Lake is available at www.dnr.state.oh.us/wildlife/fishing/lakemaps/lmaps.htm (2,132 acres, 299 horsepower limit, wheelchair accessible shoreline facilities available).

East Branch Reservoir (Geauga County) - Pan fish are biting very well. Shoreline access is abundant for 6-10 inch bluegill fishing. Medium (size 6-8) hooks tipped with meal worms or minnows are working best. There is 420 acres of fishing water available with 7.5 miles of shoreline available for fishing. Both sides of the lake near the spillway are about 10-15 feet deep, a good depth for these pan fish.

Berlin Lake (Portage, Mahoning, and Stark counties) - For the bow-angler, this 3,321-acre lake offers some excellent carp fishing. Due the heavy rains, 20-24 inch carp are flowing over the dam and into roadside ditches. Fishing from the dam is prohibited, but along Price Street and Low Road, the carp are abundant. Also, the state boat ramp is covered. Cast into areas with willow trees and flooded waters. Any type or pull weight of bow can be used to bow-fish for carp. An inexpensive longbow in the 35-45 pounds pull weight will do the job just fine. Gearing up is as simple as stopping at the local outdoors or tackle store to shop for one or two fiberglass bowfishing arrows, a retrieval line, and a spool for storing the line.


Grand Lake St. Marys (Mercer and Auglaize counties) - Crappies are being caught using white or chartreuse colored hair or plastic jigs or live minnows. Anglers fishing on the south side of the lake using a slow retrieve are successful. Keep the bait between ten to twelve feet deep off of the rocks and around brush. Fishing in the channels and boat docks is also good. Keep the bait between two and one-half to three feet deep. Channel Catfish are being caught using a long-shanked hook baited with a minnow, stink bait, shad, or an earthworm. Fish in areas near the shoreline. Using a slip bobber keep the bait about one to two feet off of the bottom or fish tightline along the bottom. Let the bait drift with the current or use a slip bobber. Use a #8, 1/0, or 2/0 long-shanked hook. Harmon's and Windy Points are producing good catches of channel catfish. Bluegills are being caught using a #10 sized hook baited with red worms or jigs with plastic bodies. All colors of artificial lures are doing well. Fishing is good on the south side of the lake. Cast into channels, along the pier, or along the rocky shoreline into areas with rocks or brush. Keep the bait about one to two feet deep.

Cowan Lake (Clinton County) - Located nine miles southwest of Wilmington on SR 730. Crappies are being caught by anglers using a boat and fishing a medium or small minnows on a #2 - 6 fine wire hook at least six feet deep. Keep the bait under a bobber or slip bobber. The best times of the day to go fishing are from dawn to 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to dark.

Paint Creek Lake (Highland County) - Crappies are being caught by anglers using curly tails, waxworms, or live minnows. When using live bait use a #6 sized fine wire hook. White, pink, or chartreuse are good color choices for artificial lures. Cast into areas with submerged trees and brush. Keep the bait under a slip bobber and about three to four feet deep. Some anglers are finding success with minnows under a bobber. Bluegill and sunfish are being caught by anglers using red worms, earthworms or waxworms as bait. Fish the bait under a slip bobber and keep the bait about two to three feet deep. A good hook size to choose is a #6 fine wire hook. The best fishing is in areas with woody debris such as fallen trees or over-hanging brush. Largemouth bass are being caught by anglers using crankbaits, spinnerbaits, or plastic worms as bait. Pumpkinseed is a good color choice is when using artificial lures. Choose a #2/0 hook size when fishing with live bait. Cast into areas with rocky bottoms and submerged trees or brush. Keep the bait about three to four feet deep.


Lake Logan (Hocking County) - Fishing for catfish at this lake has been excellent following the recent storm system. Anglers are using night crawlers and liver for bait. Nice catches of crappies can also be caught at this lake when using minnows, small tube jigs, or twister tails. A few bluegills can be caught on wax worms or pieces or night crawlers. Bass will hit top water lures in the evening hours.

New Lexington Reservoirs A & B (Perry County) - Lots of nice sized bluegills can be caught at either of these reservoirs. Use night crawlers or in-line spinner baits and fish around the dam or in the backwater areas. Fly rod fishermen can experience great success catching sunfish in the shallows.

Tycoon Lake (Gallia County) - Both the bass and bluegills are completing spawning activity at this lake. Water temperature is around 80 degrees right now, so bass fishermen will be most successful in the late evening or early morning hours using top water lures and spinner baits. Sunfish can be caught on wax worms or pieces of night crawlers fished at 2 to 8-foot depths, while crappies will hit small minnows or twister tails. Fishing for catch is excellent when using night crawlers or chicken liver fished on the bottom.


**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 inch 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, E of Kelleys 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.

Yellow Perch - Yellow perch fishing has been best near the Marblehead lighthouse; between Marblehead and the SE corner of Kelleys Island, around Gull Island Shoal, near the Sandusky Bay foghorn, off of the Vermilion River mouth, within one mile of Lorain, 0.5 to 1 mile N of Cleveland, and 1 to 2 miles out from Fairport to Conneaut. Fish just off the bottom using perch spreaders tipped with shiners.

Smallmouth Bass - The best smallmouth bass fishing has been around the Bass Islands, Kelleys Island, Sandusky Bay, from Ruggles Reef to Vermilion, and the shoreline and harbors around Fairport, Geneva, Ashtabula and Conneaut. To view the predicted weather forecast for Lake Erie visit: http://seaboard.ndbc.noaa.gov/data/Forecasts/FZUS61.KCLE.html


Heavy rains have brought river conditions back to flood stage. Areas in the upper river basin have crested; however, the lower reaches of the river continue to receive tributary run-off keeping water levels elevated. In those areas where the river has crested and is beginning to recede, fishing for catfish can be excellent. Night crawlers, cut baits, whole bluegills or shad, and a variety of "homemade" baits fished near the bottom will catch flathead and channel catfish. Because river conditions are hazardous, debris laden, and swift, be sure to exercise all safety precautions including wearing a life vest whether fishing from shore or boat.
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