Wildlife News Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife The Fish Ohio Report June 29, 2005 Tip of the Week - The weather is hot and the fish are most active in the cooler early morning and late evening hours. Anglers will find success by fishing in areas with structure or close to the thermocline. The thermocline is a band of water that marks a rapid temperature change in a body of water, loosely translated: where the cold and warm water meet. First-time anglers are encouraged to check out our web-site at www.ohiodnr.com to find out more about fishing. CENTRAL OHIO Hargus Creek Lake (Pickaway County) - A good population of channel catfish measuring 12 to 24 inches can be found at this lake of 132 acres east of Circleville. Fishing along the bank with shrimp, night crawlers, and chicken livers is most productive. Over 10,000 yearling channel catfish were stocked in 2002, with an additional 2,500 yearlings added in 2004. Shoreline areas near the dam, island and east shore are good places to fish for largemouth bass. There is a 15 inch minimum length limit to keep your bass. Successful baits to use include plastic baits, crankbaits and live bait. Crappie can be found on drop-offs and around woody vegetation. Use minnows to catch these fish in early morning. A fair population of six to seven inch bluegill can be caught using night crawlers suspended by a bobber. Electric motors only. OShaughnessy Reservoir (Delaware County) - Excellent largemouth bass fishing can be found at this lake of 845 acres in the northwest Columbus area. Try spinner baits, plastics, and live bait along brush and fallen trees along the entire western shoreline. These areas, especially the deeper shorelines, are also good for crappies. Try using a minnow suspended by a bobber. Early morning and late evening are the best times to fish. Bass will measure 12 to 18 inches and crappie will range from eight to 12 inches. Channel catfish can be taken throughout the lake using shrimp, cut bait, and night crawlers fished on the bottom. A good population of bluegill six to seven inches long can be caught using small worms or crickets suspended at least two feet under a bobber. NORTHWEST OHIO Maumee River (Paulding County) The water level is low. Flathead catfish are in abundance with an 18 pound fish caught recently. Night is the best time. Willard Reservoir (Huron County) The water level is down two feet but that has not seemed to hurt the fishing. Yellow perch are being taken on white weighted jigs. Late afternoon is the best time and the best spot is along the north shore. Blanchard River (Hardin County) Good numbers of smallmouth bass are being taken in the evening. Light colored rapalas are working well. The best spot seems to be around the County Road 20 bridge. Lost Creek Reservoir (Allen County) Saugeye in the 12 to 18 inch range are being caught on leeches. The best spot is the north side of the reservoir. Ferguson Reservoir (Allen County) Channel cats are being taken on nightcrawlers fished on the bottom. The East side of the reservoir is the best. Smallmouth bass in the 14 to 16 inch range are being taken on the surface using buzz baits. The west side of the reservoir is the best location. NORTHEAST OHIO Tappan Lake (Harrison County)- Channel catfish ranging from six to 30 inches are biting on stink bait and nightcrawlers on or near the bottom of this 2,131 acre lake. The surface temperature is in the low 80s, so look for bluegills hitting on earthworms in three to eight feet of water. Boat anglers can access the lake at the boat ramp on State Route 250 where there is also good shoreline access. Tappan Lake has a 299 horsepower limit and wheelchair accessible shoreline facilities available. Atwood Lake (Carroll and Tuscarawas counties)- Saugeye fishing is heating up in this nearly 1,600 acre lake located on State Route 212, two miles south of New Cumberland. A saugeye is a hybrid cross between a female walleye and a male sauger and this fish has provided excellent fishing opportunities in recent years due to an aggressive stocking program. Anglers should try using a jig tipped with a leech or night crawler in 15 feet of water. Atwood Lake has a 25 horsepower limit. SOUTHWEST OHIO Caesar Creek Lake (Clinton, Greene, and Warren counties) - From I-75 take SR 73 East about 17 miles, or From I-71 take SR 73 West about seven miles, or from SR 42 take SR 73 East about five miles. Saugeye anglers are taking good numbers of 15 to 18 inch fish from six to 15 feet depths. Troll medium or deep diving crankbaits along submerged points or underwater humps. Cast or drift with live night crawlers on a bottom bouncing harness rig, or use a lead head jig tipped with a piece of worm. Bluegill and sunfish are being caught by anglers using curly tails, jigs with plastic bodies, live minnows, earthworms, or wax worms as bait. When using an artificial lure, good color choices are white or chartreuse. Fish from the shoreline and keep the bait under a bobber between two to 10 feet deep. Cast into areas with wood debris and submerged trees or brush. Also look for good fishing opportunities in areas with rocky bottoms. Use a #8 fine wire hook for live baits. There is also a Kids Fishing Pond just north of the beach that was just stocked on June 17, 2005. Channel catfish are being caught by anglers using night crawlers, shrimp, and chicken liver in the creek above the lake. Fish the bait tight-line along the bottom in five to eight foot depths. Access the creek from the bridge on Roxanna New Burlington Road. East Fork Lake (Clermont County) Located east off of 275 to 32 east to Half Acre Road exit. Largemouth bass are being caught by anglers using night crawlers and plastic worms fished via Texas rig. Fish undercut banks on the shady side of the lake during early morning or late evening. Hybrid striped bass are being caught by anglers trolling or jigging shad colored crankbaits or spoons in five to seven foot depths. Also, try slowly trolling with live gizzard shad. Anglers are catching good numbers of sublegal fish with some fish caught up to 19 to 22 inches in length. Remember, all hybrids less than 15 inches long must be immediately released back into the lake. Also, anglers can only keep a daily limit of four hybrids. Channel catfish are being caught by anglers using crayfish, live minnows, or earthworms as bait. Cast into the areas under undercut banks or near submerged trees and brush. Keep the bait off of the bottom and about five to eight feet deep. Use a #1 to 3 sized baitholder hook. Stillwater River (Miami County) - Access from Frederick Garland Rd., SR 571, Calumet Rd., SR 55, Fenner Rd., Sugar Grove Rd., SR 36. Remember to ask permission before entering private property. Smallmouth bass and channel catfish are being caught by anglers using dark colored jigs or crankbaits, night crawlers, or crayfish as bait. Fish shallow areas in the early morning and early evening hours. Fish deep pools during midday. In Montgomery County, access the area from the bridges along Old Springfield and Martaindale roads. Look for deep water holes above and below these access points. Anglers are catching smallmouth bass. Use a small hook size and fish a worm or minnow by casting it upstream and allowing the current to float it into the hole. SOUTHEAST OHIO Muskingum River (Washington, Morgan, and Coshocton counties) Catfish anglers are still active and some have been rewarded for enduring this heat wave with some quality catches of fish. Anglers continue to catch flathead catfish using live suckers, goldfish, and sunfish. Channel catfish anglers have been most successful using night crawlers, chicken livers, and cut bait. Large flathead catfish up to 40 pounds are also being caught. The most productive sites continue to be at any of the low-head dams and at the mouth of larger tributary streams. Water conditions are low and clear with temperatures in a range of 79 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit. Tycoon Lake (Gallia County) - The most productive angling success is for white crappie. Boat anglers were catching crappie from six inches to nearly 10 inches while fishing submerged fence rows with small crank baits in two to eight feet of water. Sunfish are being caught at all near shore locations with worms and bobber. Size has been in the five to seven inch range and angler success has slowed due to the recent heat wave. Water temperature is 84 degrees Fahrenheit and pool conditions are low and clear. Lake Rupert (Vinton County) - Angler effort has focused toward channel catfish during this heat wave. Nice catches of fish in the 15 to 26 inch range have been recorded while fishing the shallow weed beds. Live bait in the form of night crawlers or small minnows has been favored. Boat angling pressure for white crappie, saugeye, and largemouth bass has slowed considerably. Fishing at night and with surface lures has been the only effective technique reported from bass anglers. Lake conditions are low and somewhat turbid with a water temperature of 81 degrees Fahrenheit. LAKE ERIE **On Saturday, June 25 the black bass (largemouth and smallmouth bass) season opened on Ohio waters of Lake Erie. The daily bag limit is five and the minimum size limit is 14 inches.** Western Basin Walleye - This past weekend (June 25 and 26) walleye fishing was slow in Ohio waters of the western basin. The best walleye fishing has been northwest of the turnaround buoy, between the turnaround buoy and West Sister Island, and south of F and G cans of the Canadian border. Drifting or trolling worm harnesses and trolling spoons produce the most fish. Yellow Perch - Yellow perch fishing has been good recently. The best areas have been south of Niagara Reef, west of Kelleys Island, and around Gull Island Shoal. 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 and Sandusky Bay. Largemouth bass have been caught in Sandusky Bay, East Harbor and West Harbor. Central Basin Walleye - Walleye fishing has been excellent in eastern Ohios waters of the Central Basin. The best fishing has been three to five miles north of Fairport Harbor in 50 to 70 feet of water, three to seven miles northwest of Ashtabula in 50 to 70 feet of water, and three to five miles north of Geneva in 50 to 70 feet of water. Trolling spoons or crawler harnesses using planer boards, dipsy divers or jet divers, have produced the best catches. The best spoon colors have been confusion and watermelon. Fish have ranged from 15 to 28 inches. Yellow Perch - Yellow perch fishing has been excellent one to three miles out from Fairport Harbor to Geneva in 30 to 50 feet of water and one to three miles out from Ashtabula to Conneaut in 25 to 50 feet of water. A perch spreader tipped with shiners is the most popular set-up. Fish have ranged from seven to 13 inches. White Bass - The best white bass fishing has been from the shore at the Eastlake CEI wall. Anglers are using agitators with small spinners and twister tails. Fish have ranged from nine to 12 inches. Smallmouth Bass - Smallmouth bass fishing has been excellent on Ruggles Reef and around the shoreline and harbors in 15 to 30 feet of water around Fairport, Geneva, Ashtabula and Conneaut. Jigs tipped with shiners, tube jigs, jerkbaits and crankbaits have been the most productive lures. Lake Erie surface temperatures range from 68 to 74 degrees. To view the predicted weather forecast for Lake Erie visit: http://seaboard.ndbc.noaa.gov/data/Forecasts/FZUS61.KCLE.html OHIO RIVER Belmont County - River conditions continue to be excellent for fishing opportunities for channel catfish and flathead catfish. Channel catfish have been caught using cut baits, night crawlers, chicken livers, or river shiners. Flathead catfish have been caught using cut bait, live goldfish, and live suckers. Water temperature continues to climb higher. The current 81 degree Fahrenheit has been favorable for catfish feeding behavior and the likelihood of angler success. Water conditions are clear and low.