The Fish Ohio Report August 17, 2005 Tip of the Week - August 18 - Fin Tips For the best fishing success, fish in the early morning and late evening hours. Fishing for catfish is good right after a hardy rain or in the late evening. Fish the bait along the bottom and where a stream enters another body of water. Channel catfish prefer chicken liver, bullheads like earthworms, and flatheads enjoy cut bait. For more information on fishing, check us out on the web at www.ohiodnr.com. CENTRAL OHIO Kokosing Reservoir (Knox County) This is a 149-acre lake in Knox County that offers fishing opportunities for largemouth bass, crappie, and channel catfish. The drop-offs along the old creek channel are the best places to fish for largemouth bass. Use soft plastic baits, small spinners, crank baits, and live bait during the early morning and evening hours. Channel catfish can be taken at night by fishing along the bottom with cut baits, prepared baits, and night crawlers. 10 horsepower limit. OShaughnessy Reservoir (Delaware County) - This 845-acre lake in the northwest area of Columbus is an excellent largemouth bass fishery. Try spinner baits, plastics, and live bait along the brush and fallen trees along the entire western shoreline. Take advantage of the relatively cooler weather this week it will much more comfortable out on the lake. Crappie eight to 12 inches long can be taken with minnows suspended under a bobber in deeper areas with wood cover. Bluegills from six to seven inches can be caught on small worms and crickets suspended under a bobber around shoreline vegetation. Channel catfish can be caught using night crawlers, shrimp, and other cut baits in the upper end of the reservoir. NORTHWEST OHIO Sandusky River (Sandusky County) Catfish, carp, white perch and white bass are being caught just below the Ballville Dam in Fremont. Fishing worms, liver, shrimp or minnows under a bobber in the evening has proven successful. Muddy Creek (Sandusky County) Catfish and bullhead are being caught on worms, liver or shrimp fished under a bobber. Evenings and after dark are the best times. The State Route 53 bridge seems to be the best spot. Maumee River (Defiance County) Channel catfish are being caught by fishing night crawlers under a bobber. Set the bobber so that the bait is suspended 2 to 4 feet below the bobber. Morning has been producing the best results. Below Independence Dam is often the best spot. Oxbow Lake (Defiance County) - Blue gills are hitting well in Oxbow. Night crawlers and wax worms fished 3 to 5 feet under a slip bobber will work the best. The best catches are coming in the mornings. Close to shore near the north pier seems to produce the best catches. NORTHEAST OHIO Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Cuyahoga County) Just a short drive from the major metropolitan areas of Cleveland and Akron, Cuyahoga Valley National Park encompasses 33,000 acres along the banks of the Cuyahoga River. Fishing is offered in many lakes throughout the park. Kendall and Indigo lakes and Horseshoe and Armington ponds are bringing anglers success particularly with sunfish and largemouth bass. Fishing under a bobber with wax worms in 4 to 6 feet of water proves to be the best technique. Anglers should visit http://www.nps.gov/cuva/planavisit/todo/recreation/fishing.htm or call (216) 524-1497 or (440) 546-5991 for more information on fishing the CVNP lakes as well as park fishing regulations. These regulations may be more stringent than those of the ODNR Division of Wildlife. A 2005-2006 Ohio fishing license is required to fish all public lands including CVNP properties. Fishing access for those with physical disabilities is available at Horseshoe Pond and Kendall Lake. Portage Lakes (Summit County) - East Reservoir, at 208 acres, is offering excellent fishing for 10 to 11 inch redear sunfish. Wax worms, earthworms, or maggots on pinmins are great choices. Contrary to popular belief, these redears were not stocked to control the non-native zebra mussels in this reservoir. The invasion has worked in their favor, however, providing an extra food source and contributing to their large growth. Even though these fish are benefiting from the zebra mussels, the overall effect of the invasive species is negative. For more information about invasive species, visit http://www.ohiodnr.com/wildlife/resources/mgtplans/invasives.htm. North Reservoir is also worth casting a line to reel in seven to 12 inch white crappies. This year is expected to be exceptionally good due to high reproduction success in 2003. Wheelchair accessible shoreline fishing facilities are available at this location. SOUTHEAST OHIO Clouse Lake (Perry County) Late night fishing for largemouth bass has been the technique at this Perry County lake. Anglers are using topwater baits such as weedless frog imitations and un-weighted rubber worms skipped across floating mats of vegetation. Bluegill and other sunfish are being taken along the dam using small worms fished below a bobber. Hanging Rock-Wayne National Forest (Lawrence County) - Water temperature is at 87 degrees F. Sunfish primarily less than six inches in length are being caught on wax worms. Largemouth bass are also being caught from early morning to late evening up to 14 inches on surface baits. Little Muskingum River (Monroe County) - A few muskellunge are being caught in the deeper pools of this beautiful stream. Water levels are below normal, clear, and are around 86 degrees F. Successful anglers are using crank baits, Mepp's spinners for these prized game fish. The Little Muskingum River is one of very few small streams in southeastern Ohio that support muskellunge. Muskellunge in large lakes can reach up to 50 inches; however stream muskellunge are often smaller in size. Monroe Lake (Monroe County) Water temperatures are around 86 degrees F. Water levels are down slightly due to the dry conditions. Fishing pressure has been light at this lake with the recent hot weather. Most anglers are seeking channel catfish at night using nightcrawlers. Some largemouth bass are being taken from the limited fishing effort observed. The preferred methods would include using night crawlers and plastic worms rigged Texas style, but fishing success is slow. Though night fishing is popular with catfish anglers, night angling for bass may be a good tactic during the hot summer season and try using surface lures for some top-water action. Piedmont Lake (Belmont County) Saugeye have been active after cool fronts move through the area. Successful saugeye anglers have been throwing crankbaits and spinnerbaits along the outside weed beds in eight feet of water. Piedmont Lake has become one of the best saugeye lakes in southeastern Ohio. Saugeye have adapted well here and many large fish are available. Catches of channel catfish have also been favorable. Tight-line fishing using night crawlers, cut bait, and chicken livers has been most productive. Twin Churches Lake (Perry County) This small Rush Creek Conservancy District lake has been providing good catches of largemouth bass. Anglers are using weedless, topwater baits fished on top of weedbeds. Panfish are being caught near the dam using small worms and bobbers. SOUTHWEST OHIO Great Miami River (Miami, Montgomery, and Warren counties) - Remember to ask permission before entering private property. The water levels are down and now providing great opportunities to wade the rivers and find holes that you can come back to later when the river is up. All fish like the deep holes this time of year because the water is cooler and there are concentrations of bait and better oxygen levels. Catfish are the best bet this time of year. Be adventurous and find your own spot you'll be glad you did. MIAMI COUNTY Fair numbers of smallmouth bass and rockbass are being caught in the early morning and late evening hours, in transition areas where deep and shallow water areas connect. Popular baits are soft crayfish and salted tube jigs. The fishing is slower on the montgomery county portion of the Great Miami River but the catfish are always consistently hitting in many of the deep holes through out the river. The popular spots on the river are the deeper water areas below the low head dams. Anglers can find the fish laying in these deeper holes. Good baits for catfish are chicken liver, shrimp, and worms, as well as shad and goldfish for the larger flatheads. Access to the Great Miami River in WARREN COUNTY can be gained along SR 73 between Franklin and Middletown. Anglers are catching channel and flathead catfish by using chicken livers, cut bait, earthworms, night crawlers, or live goldfish or bluegill for flatheads. Cast from the shoreline and fish the bait slowly along the bottom or just off of the bottom. Also, try fishing the bait tight line along the bottom. Use a #1/0 heavy, long shanked hook. East Fork Lake (Clermont County) - Located east off of 275 to 32 east to Half Acre Road exit. A few 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. Watch for what anglers call fishing the jumps: hybrids breaking the waters surface as they chase schools of gizzard shad to feed. 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 sub-legal 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. LAKE ERIE Western Basin Walleye Walleye fishing has been extremely slow over the past 10 days, due in part to high temperatures and many undersized fish (less than the 15 inch minimum size limit). Look for fishing to improve as the water cools and the fish from the 2003 year class surpass 15 inches. Yellow Perch Perch fishing has been better lately with some catches approaching limits. As with walleye, there are many fish from the 2003 year class. These 2003 yellow perch currently range from six to eight inches. As the 2003 perch continue to grow the average size of the catch will improve. The best area recently has been Kelleys Island. Fish have been caught all around Kelleys with the southwest and northwest corners being the best. Other areas that have produced fish include the Toledo lighthouse, the Toledo shipping channel turnaround buoy, and just north of Cedar Point. 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 again over the past weekend (8/13/05) in Ohio waters of the central basin. The best areas were 10 to 20 miles north of Geneva in 70 to 74 feet of water, and five to 10 or 12 to 20 miles north of Ashtabula in 60 to 72 feet of water. Trolling 30 to 45 feet down with spoons, crawler harnesses or stickbaits, using planer boards, dipsy divers, downriggers or jet divers, have produced the best catches. Fish have ranged from 15 to 28 inches. Yellow Perch Yellow perch fishing remains excellent one to two miles north of Wildwood and Lakewood in 35 to 42 feet of water, two to four miles north of Ashtabula in 50 to 55 feet of water, and two to four miles north of Conneaut in 35 to 55 feet of water. A perch spreader tipped with shiners is the most popular set-up. Fish have ranged from 6 to 12 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 inches. Lake Erie surface temperatures have dropped into the mid 70s. To view the predicted weather forecast for Lake Erie visit: http://seaboard.ndbc.noaa.gov/data/Forecasts/FZUS61.KCLE.html OHIO RIVER Belmont, Lawrence, and Monroe counties Water temperature has been reported up to 86 degrees. Fishing has been slow in the Ohio River other than catfish angling. Catfish anglers are catching channel catfish and some flathead catfish on cut bait, stink baits as well as chicken liver, and night crawlers fished tight-line on the bottom. Fishing during the night seems to be the best time to fish for channel catfish and flathead catfish. Some of the larger fish which were reported would be channel catfish up to 11 pounds and flathead catfish up to 31 pounds. Anglers have also been catching an occasional freshwater drum. Bass fishing has been somewhat slow. Largemouth bass are being caught early morning to late evening on spinner baits, surface baits, and plastic worms.