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Wildlife News
Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Division of Wildlife

The Fish Ohio Report

June 30, 2004

Tip of the Week - Watch out for the bug spray! If you get in on the palms of your hands it can great sorts of havoc with your fishing gear AND the fish don't particularly like the way it smells. Quick solution - Apply the spray to the backs of your hands and then using the backside of your hand apply the spray to your face and neck. For more information on fishing, check us out on the web at www.ohiodnr.com. Enjoy.

Big Darby Creek (Franklin, Madison, Pickaway, and Union counties)- If the rains continue to hold off, anglers can enjoy wading, bank fishing or float fishing on this scenic central Ohio stream. One of the few streams in central Ohio containing all three species of black bass found in Ohio. Smallmouth bass, spotted bass, largemouth bass, rock bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, sunfish and carp all provide good fishing opportunities in the stream at this time of year. Use hellgrammites and soft craws fished in the pools below shallow riffles for smallmouth bass. Top-water plugs, surface baits and imitation baits fished near aquatic vegetation works best when fishing for largemouth bass and spotted bass. Check the ODNR Division of Watercraft's website at: http://www.ohiodnr.com/watercraft/boat/rivers/bigdarby.html for information on boating access.

O'Shaughnessy Reservoir (Delaware County) - Excellent largemouth bass fishing can be found at this lake of 845 acres in the northwest Columbus area. Use top-water baits, six inch plastic worms, and live bait in areas along the west shoreline that have fallen trees and submerged brush piles. Early morning and late evening are the best times to fish. Bass will measure 12 to 18 inches. Areas with shoreline cover offer good bluegill fishing when using small crickets, worms and larval baits fished at depths of two to eight feet. Unlimited horsepower.

Auglaize River (Allen County) - Smallmouth bass, largemouth bass and rock bass in the six to12 inch range are being taken on crankbaits and jigs. Agerter Road access is where fishermen have been having the best luck.

Industrial Park Pond (Crawford County) - Largemouth bass have been biting well in this pond the past week. Night crawlers fished under a bobber are the trick here. This pond is located at the edge of Bucyrus near State Route 30. This is a great place to take the kids.

Riley Reservoir (Crawford County) - Channel cats are being caught using chicken livers and shrimp. Evening and into the night are the best times to catch these.

Oxbow Lake (Williams County) - Bass in the 10 to 12 inch range have been caught this week on top of the water using just about anything. Evening is the best time to catch them.

Nettle Lake (Williams County) - Great fishing for channel cats in the early mornings. Chicken liver is the bait of choice. The boat dock is the best spot to catch these.

Tappan Lake (Harrison County) - Panfishing is picking up with bluegills ranging up to eight inches biting. This is a great time for kids to bobber fish using a medium size hook tipped with small pieces of night crawlers (two to three inches long). If you prefer to cast your line out, tighten the line and wait for it to start moving then set your hook. The reason for using two different techniques is that it is hard for the kids to keep the line tight and watch it move. It is 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) - Panfish are biting very well at this reservoir. Shoreline access is abundant for six to 10 inch bluegill fishing. Medium (size #6 to #8) hooks tipped with meal worms or minnows are working best. There are 420 acres of fishing water available with seven and one-half miles of shoreline available for fishing. Both sides of the lake near the spillway are about 10 to 15 feet deep, a good depth for these fish.

Berlin Reservoir (Stark, Portage, and Mahoning counties) - Crappies are hitting in the shallow waters by the flooded willows and downed timber. Average size crappie are running eight to 10 inches and typically biting on minnows or tube jigs underneath a bobber. Anglers are also picking up walleyes while drifting live bait between the 224 causeway and the dam. Anglers are reminded that walleye must be 15 inches at Berlin Reservoir to be legally harvested. (3,321 acres; unlimited horsepower.)

Acton Lake (Preble County) -Channel catfish are being caught using chicken livers, shrimp, cut bait, earthworms, or chubs as bait. Place the bait on a #4/0 to 7/0 baitholding hook and keep the bait between five and seven feet deep. Use sinkers to keep bait close to the bottom. Good fishing opportunities are in the headwater area. Largemouth bass are being caught by anglers using small top water lures (dark colored), surface poppers, crankbaits (baby bass colored), spinner baits (white, yellow, or chartreuse), or plastic worms as bait. Cast into areas with woody debris, submerged trees or brush. Keep the bait three to six feet deep on a 1/0 or 2/0 hook. Cast and slowly retrieve baits.

Caesar Creek Lake (Warren County) - Bluegill and other sunfish are being caught by anglers using a 1/16 to 1/32 ounce jig tipped with a wax worm or by fishing a wax worm on a small hook. Keep the bait between three to 10 feet deep. Cast into areas with woody vegetation and fallen trees and brush.

Loramie Lake (Shelby County) - Channel and bullhead catfish are being caught by anglers using chicken livers, cut bait, shrimp, and earthworms as bait. Cast from the shoreline and into areas with deep slow moving pools or into channels. Fish the bait under a bobber, keeping the bait between three to six feet deep. Use a long-shanked or baitholding hook in the size range of #6 to 8. Anglers are catching largemouth bass using crankbaits, spinner baits, small top-water lures, or surface lures. Keep the bait about four to six feet deep and along the rocky bottom areas near woody debris. Successful anglers are using the Rapala floating minnow lure.


Seneca Lake (Noble and Guernsey counties) - Fishing for saugeyes is excellent at this lake. Fish off structures around the islands along State Route 313 at Owls Nest. Use bright colored (preferably yellow) lead-headed jigs with a spinner (also called a Roadrunner) and use one-half of a night crawler. Troll across the bottom in eight to 10 feet of water.

Jackson Lake (Jackson County) - Bluegills abound at this lake and can be caught on wax worms and night crawlers with wax worms being the preferred bait. Bass can be caught on an assortment of lures and tube baits, while catfish prefer chicken liver and night crawlers. Fishing is good throughout the lake by boat or from the shoreline with early morning and late evenings being the most productive times. On June 21, this lake was treated with herbicide for vegetation problems. All cautionary advisories have now been lifted and warning signs removed.

Scioto River (Scioto County) - Shovelhead catfish can be caught below the State Route 348 Bridge which crosses the Scioto River at Lucasville. This past weekend, fishermen on the east bank underneath the bridge caught four large shovelhead catfish weighing 10, 12, 25, and 36 pounds. They fished throughout the night and used four to five-inch green sunfish for bait. The sunfish had been caught from a local farm pond.

** The 15 inch walleye minimum size limit remains in effect for the entire season. The smallmouth and largemouth bass season opened on June 26th. The daily bag limit for bass is five with a 14 inch minimum size limit.** Surface temperatures are in the upper 60's. To view the predicted weather forecast for Lake Erie visit: http://seaboard.ndbc.noaa.gov/data/Forecasts/FZUS61.KCLE.html

Western Basin - The best walleye fishing has been northwest of the Turnaround buoy of the Toledo shipping channel. Fish have also been caught between West Sister Island and Middle Sister Island. Drifting mayfly rigs or trolling spoons and crawler harnesses produce the most fish. Walleye hatched in 2003, ranging in size from five to 10 inches, are already being caught. Please handle these sub-legal fish as gently as possible and quickly return them to the water. Yellow perch fishing has been best on the Kelleys Island airport reef and Kelleys Island shoal, around Green Island, and near Niagara Reef. Fish just off the bottom using perch spreaders tipped with shiners. The best smallmouth bass fishing has been around the Bass Islands, Kelleys Island and Sandusky Bay.

Central Basin - The best walleye fishing has been in 35 to 50 feet of water north of Lorain, six to seven miles north of Ashtabula in 60 to 70 feet of water, eight to nine miles north of the Chagrin River in 52 to 70 feet of water, and six to eight miles west of Geneva in 65 to 70 feet of water. Trolling spoons using divers or downriggers has produced the best catches. Yellow perch fishing has been best within one mile of Lorain, one to two miles north of Cleveland in 30 to 40 feet of water, and two to three miles out from Ashtabula to Conneaut in 50 to 55 feet of water. A perch spreader tipped with shiners is the most popular set-up. The best smallmouth bass fishing has been around Ruggles Reef and the shoreline and harbors in 15 to 30 feet of water from Fairport Harbor to Conneaut. Jigs tipped with shiners, tube jigs and crankbaits have been the most productive lures. Steelhead have been caught occasionally by walleye anglers trolling spoons eight to nine miles north of the Chagrin River in 52 to 70 feet of water. Target areas with schools of baitfish where walleye are also being caught.

Belmont County - In this level of the river, fish for flathead catfish by using chub minnows or small bluegills fished on the bottom. Use heavy lead sinkers to hold the bait in the strong current.

Meigs County - Channel catfish can be caught anywhere along the river right now during the early morning and nighttime hours. Use chicken liver for bait. Night crawlers or cut bait work best for catching hybrid striped bass below the dams.

Scioto County - The river level is returning to normal pool, but is still muddy. Water temperature is 76 degrees. The access below Greenup Dam is now accessible. Hybrid striped bass around three pounds or smaller can be caught on cut baits, shad, and cut skipjack herring. Use a heavy (one ounce) sinker to hold the bait on bottom out in the current. At the confluence of the Ohio River and Scioto Brush Creek, channel catfish 18 to 20 inches in length can be caught on chicken liver fished on the bottom and held in place by a heavy lead sinker. At the long boat ramp at the Portsmouth City Park near the historic murals, small hybrid striped bass under three pounds can be caught on night crawlers and red worms fished on the bottom.
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