Finally! SPRING!!! Wildlife News Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife The Fish Ohio Report May 18, 2005 Tip of the Week - Along rivers and creeks fish the deep pools on sunny clear days or fish in the morning or early evening hours. On days that are overcast or cloudy, fish anywhere along the banks of the stream. For more information on fishing, check us out on the web at www.ohiodnr.com. Enjoy. CENTRAL OHIO Knox Lake (Knox County) This 468-acre Knox County lake is among Ohios finest largemouth bass lakes. The areas with woody shoreline cover and vegetation produce good fishing success for anglers using a variety of plastic baits, live baits and artificial lures. Excellent bass fishing opportunities are forecast for this year. Use spinner baits, Carolina rigs, and crank baits. Most of these fish measure ten to 18 inches. This is also a good channel catfish lake. Over 3,700 yearling channel catfish were stocked in fall 2004. Some fish weigh up to ten pounds. Night fishing is best when using traditional baits such as night crawlers, chicken livers, shrimp, and prepared baits. 10-horsepower motor limit. Madison Lake (Madison County) Largemouth bass can be taken in the stream channel above the lake if the stream is running clear. Fishing should improve towards the end of the month for largemouth bass but fish up to 18 inches in length are waiting to be caught. Use spinner baits, shallow cranks and jig and lizards. Channel catfish are available in good numbers. Over 2,600 yearling channel catfish were stocked in fall 2004. Anglers are catching them on night crawlers and cut bait. Crappie and bluegill will be found in woody shoreline cover. Minnows, dug worms and meal worms are good live bait choices. Bluegills may also be taken with fly fishing gear. Electric motors only. NORTHWEST OHIO Sandusky River (Seneca County) The water is 52 degrees, clear and at normal levels. Small mouth bass and rock bass are being taken on spinners and white twister tails. A 14 inch pike was also reported to have been caught this past weekend. The St. Johns Dam area and the area below the Pioneer Mill Dam are the best spots. Honey Creek (Seneca County) The water is 53 degrees, clear and at normal levels. Rock bass are being taken near the Forest Preserve on spinners. Bullheads are being caught on chicken livers at the Caroline Dam area. Pleasant Hill Lake (Richland County) Excellent catches of crappie are being taken on minnows. The best spot is along the trees. White bass are being caught on jigs with twister tails as well as feather jigs. Saugeye are being caught on the bottom using minnows fished under a bobber. Clear Fork Reservoir (Richland County) Very nice catches of muskie are being reported at Clear Fork. Crank baits being trolled near shore are the best bet. Maumee River (Wood and Lucas Counties) The water temperature is 60 degrees. Anglers are taking good to excellent numbers of white bass & channel catfish from boats and fair numbers from the shore using shiners & night crawlers below bobbers or 1/8 oz. floating jigs with white or chartreuse tails. The best areas are: from a boat the Ft. Meigs area or from the shore the Buttonwood, Blue Grass Island, Orleans & White Street areas. Anglers are taking an occasional walleye. Sandusky River (Sandusky County) The water temperature is 62 degrees. The river is normal level with six to eight inches of clarity. Anglers are catching good numbers of white bass using minnows under bobbers, jigs & minnows or spinner baits. The best areas are between the bridges in downtown Fremont and the sand dock. Reminder: 15 minimum size limit for walleye for entire season. NORTHEAST OHIO Silver Creek Lake (Summit County) - About 1,500 surplus rainbow trout were stocked in this 95-acre lake last week which is in addition to the initial stocking of 2,500 trout in early April. These catchable-sized trout measure ten to 13 inches in length and are the perfect size to take home for dinner. For recipes, visit www.ohiodnr.com/wildlife/Fishing/recipes/frecipe.htm Excellent fishing opportunities for largemouth bass and channel catfish are available at this lake as well, with bass ranging from eight to 15 inches in length. Consistent alternate-year stockings of yearling channel catfish are providing successful results. Anglers are reminded that a $19 fishing license is required for anglers 16 to 66 years of age. A discounted rate for those over 66 is available for $10 and youth under 16 may fish for free. Buy your license online at www.ohiodnr.com Lower Killbuck Creek (Holmes County) - Anglers are catching one and a half to five pound bowfin, also known as dogfish, while fishing for northern pike south of State Route 62 at the north end of the Lower Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Area. The bowfin is a robust fish with a long dark green colored dorsal fin that covers over half the length of its body. Anglers should focus on areas of high vegetation since bowfin are commonly found in these areas. Chubs or shiners with a large bobber are working well. Atwood Lake (Carroll and Tuscarawas counties) - Crappies ranging seven to 14 inches are biting on 1/16 jig heads with slip bobbers near woody structures both in the shallow and deep areas of this 1,551 acre lake. Temperatures are at about 60 degrees. Allow the lure to sink slowly and then slowly retrieve. This method will cause a few jig heads to be tangled in the structures but chasing tangled jigs will only disturb and scare away the fish, so expect to lose a few. Bluegill, saugeye, channel catfish, and white bass all share very good to excellent outlooks at this body of water as well, so be prepared for reeling in a diverse amount of fish! SOUTHWEST OHIO Grand Lake St Marys (Auglaize and Mercer counties) Access to a variety of good fishing areas can be gained by the following directions: West Bank from US RT 127 just south of Celina, Windy Point off of SR 219 just north of Montezuma, or Montezuma Park on the south side of the lake on SR 703 just before the traffic light in Montezuma. Good places on the Auglaize county side of the lake are the East Bank, Frys Point located near the park office on the north side of the lake, Old Shelter House, and Harmons Landing Point located off of SR 219. Catfish are being caught by anglers using night crawlers, cut bait (shad), or shrimp as bait. Fish the bait along the bottom, near the shoreline. Use a #2 baitholding hook. Largemouth bass are being caught by anglers suing jigs, crank baits, or rubber worms are working the best. Fish the hard flat bottoms located along the brush and rocky areas. Choose blue and black colors for artificial lures. A few large CRAPPIES are being taken using a small jig tipped with a live minnow. Choose a variety of different colors for the jigs and use a variety of hook sizes. Fishing opportunities are good in the channels areas where there is brush and woody debris. Keep the bait deeper than 12 feet deep. 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. Bluegill and 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 from the shoreline and keep the bait between two to ten feet deep under a bobber. Cast into areas with wood debris and submerged trees or brush. Also look for good fishing opportunities in areas with rocky bottoms. Use a #2 fine wire hook for live baits. Anglers are catching Crappie by using jigs with plastic bodies, curly tails, small tube jigs, or live minnows as bait. Cast from a boat or shoreline and fish near submerged trees and brush. Choose white, red, blue, or chartreuse colors for artificial baits. Two color artificial lure combinations are working the best. Keep the bait about two to ten feet deep and under a slip bobber. A #2 or 3 fine wire hook is a good choice. Fish slowly along deep cover and structure. There is a nine-inch size limit. There is also a Kids Fishing Pond just north of the beach that was just stocked on May 7, 2005. SOUTHEAST OHIO Piedmont Lake (Belmont County) Water clarity is a little murky, but water level is normal. Saugeyes 15 to 20 inches in length can be caught on crank baits and jigs tipped with minnows while still fishing. Troll with crank baits when fishing from a boat. Best saugeye fishing areas are in the shallow coves and around sandy points in four to five feet of water. Largemouth bass 10 to 17 inches will hit white and light green spinner baits and buzz baits fished around trees and rocky points. Yellow perch 6 to 11 inches may be caught in the shallow coves on jigs tipped with minnows fished over brushy areas. Smallmouth bass up to 17 inches prefer red and green spinner baits. Use a slow cast and retrieve in five feet of water. Crappies six to nine inches will hit minnows with a bobber in six feet of water around downed trees in the coves out of the wind. Seneca Lake (Guernsey and Noble counties) Water conditions are clear and normal at this time. White bass 6 to 15 inches can be caught on yellow and red jig heads and small spinner baits. Crappies 6 to 12 inches will hit jig heads tipped with minnows over a bobber in 6 to 8 feet of water around fallen trees. Saugeyes 11 to 20 inches prefer crank baits, jigs tipped with minnows or night crawlers, or jig heads with yellow or red heads. Best area for saugeyes is near the swimming beach. Catfish 12 to 18 inches will hit night crawlers fished on the bottom in the muddy water areas where the small streams dump into the lake. Lake Rupert (Vinton County) Water conditions are clear and normal. Boat fishermen can catch smallmouth bass 10 to 16 inches on buzz baits, spinners, and purple worms around weed beds near shore and around downed trees. Shore fishermen will find their best fishing around weed beds and beaver dams for white crappies up to seven inches in size. LAKE ERIE ** The 15 walleye minimum size limit remains in effect for the entire season. Beginning May 1 the walleye daily bag limit on Ohio waters of Lake Erie returned to 6 fish. On May 16 the trout and salmon bag limit increased to 5 fish per day. The minimum size limit is 12 inches.** **From May 1 through Friday June 24 there is a no-possession season for smallmouth bass on Lake Erie. Anglers can legally target smallmouth bass, but they must be immediately returned to the water.** Western Basin Walleye - The best walleye fishing has been W and N of North Bass Island, outside of Maumee Bay, around Niagara reef of the Camp Perry firing range, and N of Kelleys Island. Drifting or trolling worm harnesses and trolling crankbaits or spoons produce the most fish. Yellow Perch - Yellow perch fishing has been best near the Marblehead lighthouse, near the Sandusky Bay foghorn, and E of Kelleys Island. 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. Central Basin Walleye - The best walleye fishing has been around Ruggles reef E of Huron and off of the Cleveland piers. Trolling spoons, crankbaits, or crawler harnesses, along with drifting crawler harnesses or casting crankbaits from shore have produced the best catches. Yellow Perch - Yellow perch fishing has been best off of Ruggles reef, 1 to 2 miles N of the Vermilion River mouth, NW of Lorain, off of the E 72nd street lighthouse of Cleveland in 30 of water, and 1 mile N of Ashtabula in 30 of water. A perch spreader tipped with shiners is the most popular set-up. Smallmouth Bass - The best smallmouth bass fishing has been around Ruggles reef and the shoreline and harbors in 15 to 30 feet of water around Fairport, Geneva, Ashtabula and Conneaut. Jigs tipped with shiners or leeches, tube jigs and crankbaits have been the most productive lures. Lake Erie surface temperatures range from 50 to 55 degrees. To view the most recent Maumee River and Sandusky River fishing reports visit: http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/wildlife/fishing/freport/walleyerunreport.htm To view recent updates regarding the tributary steelhead fishery visit: http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/wildlife/Fishing/fairport/steelhead.htm To view the predicted weather forecast for Lake Erie visit: http://seaboard.ndbc.noaa.gov/data/Forecasts/FZUS61.KCLE.html OHIO RIVER Scioto County Both the Ohio River and Scioto River in this area are in good shape with water temperature averaging 63 degrees. At Greenup Dam, anglers are catching hybrid striped bass with river shiners. Use a heavy lead sinker to weight the shiners on the bottom near the wall and then pull up about 6 inches to catch 2 to 14-pound fish. The river shiners can be caught in cast nets up against the wall. Stripers are being caught on live eight-inch shad thrown out towards the dam. Anglers can catch the bait shad below the access area. Skipjack herring are being caught mostly for bait and can be caught on 32 ounce jig heads with light twister tails, two on a line about one foot apart. Crappies 10 to 14 inches are being caught on cane poles with minnows around brush piles in the Holiday Point Marina area.