Wildlife News Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife The Fish Ohio Report August 10, 2005 CENTRAL OHIO Buckeye Lake (Fairfield, Licking, and Perry counties) Channel catfish may weigh up to 20 pounds in this 2847-acre lake in Licking County. Use prepared baits and soft craws fished along the bottom lake-wide, especially in boat channels, to take them. Anglers fishing at night may also catch flathead catfish when using small sunfish and large chubs as bait. Use doughballs in shallow water near the shoreline when seeking carp. Look for hybrid striped bass chasing baitfish along the surface. The Cranberry Marsh and Clouse Cove areas are good locations to fish for largemouth bass using top water baits, small spinners, soft plastic baits and live bait. Indian Lake (Logan County) - Areas with slow moving current are good places to fish at night for channel catfish. Fish close to shore using cut bait, chicken livers or prepared baits. Look for areas with deeper brush piles to catch bluegills on redworms, mealworms, and larval bait at depths of three to eight feet. The riprap areas are best for largemouth bass. Irregularities like corners or underwater projections are good areas to target. Keeper bass must measure at least 12 inches. The Old Indian Lake area remains among the top spots to fish for saugeyes. NORTHWEST OHIO Pleasant Hill (Richland County) Excellent catches of catfish are being reported from Pleasant Hill. Cut shad fished at night is working great right now. The best spot is around the marina area. Charles Mill (Richland County) Great catfish fishing here as well. Chicken livers and frozen shrimp are hot. The best time is after dark and the best spot is around the State Route 430 bridge. Blanchard River (Putnam County) Good numbers of catfish are being caught in the Blanchard. Still fishing night crawlers on the bottom at night will yield the best results. The best spot seems to be on the Putnam/Hancock County border. 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. 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 Portage Lakes (Summit County) - Crappie reaching Fish Ohio! lengths are being taken in 8 to 10 feet of water from Nimisila and Long lakes. A pinmin tipped with live bait is good for catching these 13+inch keepers, but even if a Fish Ohio! crappie doesnt send your bobber under water, many 8 to 12 inch fish are nearby, hungry for a bite. Anglers should focus on the weed edges in the back bays and coves. East Reservoir- At the south end of Miller Lake in East Reservoir, panfishing is picking up in the mornings and late evenings. Bluegills, pumpkinseeds, warmouths, and redear sunfish (averaging 6 to 8 inches) are biting on maggots, wax worms, and night crawlers. Cuyahoga River (Cuyahoga County) - As reported last week, this river is a great location to catch smallmouth and northern pike. However, due to recent rains, the river is very muddy and has slowed fishing. To check on current conditions, call Wildlife District Three in Akron at (330) 644-2293. Spencer Lake (Medina County) - Anglers are encouraged to fish structure near the shoreline for channel catfish in late evenings. Despite the heat, however, fish are biting throughout early afternoon as well. Best access for this 50-acre lake is the shoreline near the dock as well as by boat. Chicken livers, scented bait, shrimp, or night crawlers are recommended baits. Wheelchair accessible shoreline facilities are available and electric motors only. Akron Youth Ponds at Portage Lakes (Summit County) - Over 1,000 hungry sunfish hybrids were stocked in the ponds last week and 1,000 more will be stocked this week. All equipment is provided, the ponds are easily accessible, no license is required for 15 and younger, and the smiles are huge (not to mention many of the fish) so its time take Junior on a fishing trip! Over 15 fish qualifying for Fish Ohio! were caught by young anglers just this past weekend alone! Youth anglers 15 years and younger are welcome to fish all day provided he/or she is accompanied by an adult. The ponds are open 9 AM to 7PM every Saturday and Sunday through Labor Day. Fishing assistance, picnic tables, and restroom facilities are all available. The ponds are located at the District Three Division of Wildlife headquarters, 912 Portage Lakes Drive, Akron, OH. Hope to see you there! For more information visit: http://www.ohiodnr.com/wildlife/News/youthpondakron04.htm or call (330) 644-2293. SOUTHWEST OHIO East Fork Lake (Clermont County) - Located east off of 275 to 32 east to Half Acre Road exit. Hybrid striped bass are being caught by anglers trolling or jigging shad colored crankbaits or spoons in 5 to 7 foot depths. Also, try slowly trolling with live gizzard shad. Shore anglers have been successful using nightcrawlers and chicken livers. Best area to fish is around the main state park public swimming beach. Anglers are catching fair 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 4 hybrids. Channel catfish are being caught by anglers using crawdads, 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 #1-3 sized baitholding hook. 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 7 miles, or from SR 42 take SR 73 East about 5 miles. Saugeye anglers are catching a few 15 - 18 inch fish from 6 to 15 feet depths, but most fish are small. 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. Fish in the early morning and early evening hours. Bluegill and other sunfish are being caught by anglers using curly tails, jigs with plastic bodies, live minnows, earthworms, or waxworms as bait. When using an artificial lure, good color choices are white or chartreuse. Fish along 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. Channel catfish are being caught by shore anglers using nightcrawlers, shrimp, and chicken livers. Fish the bait tight line along the bottom in 5 to 8 foot depths. SOUTHEAST OHIO Forked Run Lake (Meigs County) Channel catfish are being caught during the nighttime hours. The best locations have been in the upper end of the lake. Anglers have been using night crawlers and chicken liver fished on the bottom. Water levels are low and clear. Muskingum River (Morgan County) Excellent catches of flathead catfish have been reported below the McConnelsville Lock and Dam. Fish have been running in the 20 to 48 pound range. Anglers are using live bait such as gizzard shad to catch these large fish. The water levels in the Muskingum River have been low and are clear. Water temperatures have been in the low 80s. Ohio Power ReCreation Area (Morgan County) Some largemouth bass up to three pounds have been caught this past week. Anglers are using plastic worms rigged Texas style. Darker colors have been working best. Some bluegill sunfish have been caught using small bits of night crawler fished below a bobber. Waters at this area are exceptionally clear and water temperatures are near 83 degrees. Salt Fork Lake (Guernsey County) Water levels are still below normal at this lake. Bass and sunfish angling has been slow but Muskellunge fishing has been above average since the drawdown. Many large flathead catfish have been reported in the last week. One flathead weighed in at 51 pounds. The beach area has been the best spot for flathead catfish. Live bait is being used by successful anglers. If you boat on Salt Fork Lake, beware of stumps and other hazards due to the low water levels. LAKE ERIE Western Basin Walleye Walleye fishing has been slow. Expect fishing to improve as the large 2003 year class begins to surpass the 15 minimum size limit. The best walleye fishing has been around A can of the Camp Perry firing range and around West Sister Island. Drifting or trolling worm harnesses and trolling spoons produce the most fish. Yellow Perch Perch fishing improved over the past weekend (8/6/05) with limits being caught. The best areas have been NW of Kelleys Island, between Ballast Island and Middle Bass Island, S of B can of the Camp Perry firing range, from the gravel pit to the turnaround buoy of the Toledo shipping channel, and from Lakeside to Kelleys Island. A perch spreader tipped with shiners is the most popular set-up. 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 was excellent over the past weekend (8/6/05). The best areas were 7 to 21 miles N from Fairport Harbor to Geneva in 70 to 75 of water, and 10 to 18 miles N of Ashtabula in 70 to 72 of water. Trolling 30 to 50 feet down with spoons, crawler harnesses or stickbaits, using planer boards, dipsy divers, downriggers or jet divers, have produced the best catches. The best spoon colors have been confusion, watermelon and black/silver. Fish have ranged from 15-28 inches. Yellow Perch Yellow perch fishing has been excellent 3 miles N of Edgewater state park in 45 of water, 3 to 5 miles N of Ashtabula in 45 to 60 of water, and 3 to 4 miles off of Fairport Harbor in 45 to 55 of water. A perch spreader tipped with shiners is the most popular set-up. Fish have ranged from 7-11 inches. Smallmouth Bass The best smallmouth bass fishing has been around breakwalls and rocky drop-offs from Lorain to Avon point. Tube jigs and drop-shot rigs with goby imitations have been the most productive lures. Steelhead Steelhead have been caught by walleye anglers in the same areas mentioned in the walleye report. Fish have ranged from 16 to 28. Lake Erie surface temperatures are in the upper 70s. To view the predicted weather forecast for Lake Erie visit: http://seaboard.ndbc.noaa.gov/data/Forecasts/FZUS61.KCLE OHIO RIVER Scioto County Fishing has been slow in the Ohio River other than catfish angling. Channel catfish and flathead are being caught below the Greenup Locks and Dam tailwaters using shad and skipjack herring fished tight on the bottom. Fishing during the night seems to be the best time to fish for channel catfish and flathead catfish. The confluence of the Scioto River and the Ohio River has been producing catches of flathead catfish as well. Flathead catfish are generally caught using live bait such as shad and skipjack herring. Water temperatures are in the mid-80 degree range. Meigs County Catfish anglers are catching channel catfish on cut bait (shad and skipjack herring) as well as chicken liver and night crawlers fished tight on the bottom. Some larger fish have been caught. Overall, fishing pressure has been light due to the hot weather conditions. The tailwater below the Racine Locks and Dam is a good area to try at night. The water has been clear lately due to lack of rain in southeastern Ohio.