Catch a bunch!!! The Fish Ohio Report May 25, 2005 Tip of the Week - Missing fish? If the big ones and the little ones keep getting away when you are using bait or lures, check your hooks. Is the hook sharp? If the hook is not dull or broken, try using a smaller hook or lure. For more information on fishing, check us out on the web at www.ohiodnr.com. Enjoy. CENTRAL OHIO Griggs Reservoir (Franklin County) Largemouth bass are on their spawning beds but become more aggressive this time in the month at this 361-acre lake in Columbus. Try for them north of the island at the upper end of the reservoir using spinner baits, jerk baits, or tube baits. Good numbers of crappie can be caught near brushy areas on the steep eastern side of the lake near woody cover. Crappie fishing remains hot right now at Griggs as it is at other reservoirs. Very large carp can be caught on doughballs and canned corn. Try fresh cut gizzard shad for channel catfish which should be biting. Rush Creek Lake (Fairfield and Perry counties) - This 273-acre lake is located two miles east of Rushville on U.S. Route 22. Use larval baits and small worms fished beneath a bobber in shallow water to catch fair-sized bluegill. Over 1,300 yearling channel catfish were stocked in fall 2004. Traditional baits such as night crawlers and chicken livers may be fished on the bottom when seeking these catfish. They will become more active as the water warms and feeding moves closer to shore. Most largemouth bass measure eight to 15 inches and are protected by a 15-inch minimum length limit. Largemouth fishing should be picking up this week. Crappie will be in shallow wood cover and can be caught on small jigs and minnows. 10 horsepower limit. NORTHWEST OHIO Bucyrus #4 (Crawford County) The water temperature in 63 degrees. Yellow Perch in the eight to 10 inch range are being taken on spreaders with minnows. The southwest side of the reservoir is the best bet. Amick Reservoir (Crawford County) The water temperature is 64 degrees. Largemouth bass are being taken on crank baits and top water spinners. The best spots are near the boat ramp, the southwest and the northwest corners. Olentangy River (Crawford County) The water temperature is in the lower 60 degree range. Crappies are being taken fished under a bobber with night crawlers. Sandusky River (Sandusky County) - The water temperature is 60 degrees and the river is normal level with six to eight inches of clarity. Anglers are catching good numbers of white bass in the12 to 14 inch range. The best bet is to fish minnows under bobbers, 1/8 oz. jigs tipped with minnows, or with slow retrieve, small spinner baits. Anglers are also catching white perch and channel catfish. The best areas are downtown Fremont, the sand docks through the Dam area. Outlook is good. Maumee River (wood and Lucas Counties) - The water temperature is 60 degrees and the water is clear and near normal level. Anglers are taking good numbers of white bass in the 12 to 15 inch range using 1/8 oz. jigs with white, chartreuse or florescent pink tails or minnows below bobbers from the bank. Also anglers are taking channel catfish fishing off the bottom, tight-lining night crawlers. The best areas are White Street through Blue Grass Island and at the Dam in Grand Rapids. Outlook is good. Anglers are taking an occasional walleye. 15 minimum size limit for walleye for entire season. NORTHEAST OHIO Lake Erie- near Geneva State Park Marina (Ashtabula County) - Early in the morning to mid afternoon, yellow perch are biting near the marina in ten or more feet of water. Live minnows on long shanked hooks have anglers perchin by the dozens. The recent rains may have the water murky, so attach beads to the rigs for some attention-getting action. Anglers are reminded that the Lake Erie daily bag limit is 30 perch per day. Headlands Beach Breakwall (Lake County) - White bass and yellow perch are hitting on live minnows or emerald shiners about 10 feet from shore in the east end of the park. Early morning fishing near rocky bottoms with size 6 hooks (long shanked) are working best. Access this area through Headlands Beach State Park off of Headlands Road in Grand River Village. LaDue Reservoir (Geauga County) - Shoreline anglers are catching eight to 10 inch crappie and eight to 15 inch largemouth bass in this 1,475 acre lake located in southern Geauga County. Fish with spinner baits in various colors (black, white, or green) or live minnows around submerged brush in early mornings and late evenings. Best access points are off of the right-of-ways along U.S. Route 422, Route 44, or Auburn Road. Lake Erie- near Edgewater State Park & Gordon Park (Cuyahoga County) - Anglers night fishing from the East 55th, Edgewater, or 22nd Street breakwalls are catching walleyes on black or white jigs with plastic bodies. Yellow perch are also biting on live minnows and earthworms. For walleye, keep bait at about five feet, but perch are about six inches off the bottom. Perch are also hitting on size 6 hooks tipped with minnows at the 72nd lighthouse in 30 feet of water (boats needed for this location). Please be aware that the minimum size limit for walleye remains at 15 inches throughout the season for the Lake Erie fishing district. SOUTHWEST OHIO East Fork Lake (Clermont County) Crappies are being caught by anglers using white or chartreuse colored jigs with plastic bodies or live minnows as bait. Cast into areas with submerged trees and brush or near other woody debris. Keep the bait between eight to ten feet deep. Choose a #6 to #8 sized baitholding hook. Look to catch larger crappies in water greater than eight feet deep. Also try 1/32 ounce tube jigs that are white or chartreuse in color. Channel catfish are being caught by anglers using crawdads, live minnows, and earthworms as bait. Cast into the areas under undercut banks, 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. Grand Lake St Marys (Auglaize and Mercer counties) - Good places on the Auglaize county side of the lake are along the rocky areas of 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 chicken livers, cut bait (shad), or earthworms as bait. Fish the bait tight-line 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 one foot deep. SOUTHEAST OHIO Piedmont Lake (Belmont County) Despite recent rains, water level is still normal and water conditions are clear. Water temperature is 64 to 65 degrees in the main lake and warmer in the shallower coves. Largemouth bass fishermen are doing very well at this lake and tournament activity has been very successful. Right now, bass will hit any jig, spinner bait, crank bait, tube bait, or Jig-n-Pig thrown in or around cover. Fishing for saugeyes is also good with near-limit catches ranging 13 to 15 inches in size. Drift fish with jigs or white or chartreuse twister tails tipped with worms and let the bait bounce off the bottom. Crank baits or shad-colored rapalas fished at eight-foot depths are also excellent saugeye catchers. Wills Creek (Coshocton County) Water conditions are near normal and anglers have been catching some really big flathead catfish in the 15 to 35-pound range. Creek chubs four to six inches in length are the best bait for these large fish. AEP ReCreation Land Ponds (Morgan County) Water conditions in most ponds range from clear to stained and water temperature averages 60 degrees. Nice bass up to six pounds are being caught on K & S Bass Stoppers, night crawlers, spinner baits, and Rattle Traps. Bluegills are hitting wax worms or night crawlers fished under a bobber. These ponds provide an exciting experience for the first-time angler! A Safety Reminder When using inflatable rafts for fishing smaller water areas, everyone must be wearing a personal flotation device. Think safety first! 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 northwest of North Bass Island, west of Rattlesnake Island, around Niagara reef of the Camp Perry firing range, and east of West Sister 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 east 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. Largemouth bass have been caught in Sandusky Bay and East Harbor. Central Basin Walleye - The best walleye fishing has been around Ruggles Reef east of Huron, four miles north of Fairport Harbor in 60 to 65 feet of water, 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 one to two miles north of the Vermilion River mouth, one to two miles off of Lorain, off of the E 72nd street lighthouse of Cleveland in 30 feet of water, and one mile northeast and northwest of Conneaut in 30 feet 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, on the breakwalls and shoreline around Lorain, 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 52 to 57 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 Recent rains have caused a rise in water level. Water temperature ranges 65 to 66 degrees in this area. Both channel and shovelhead catfish can be caught at Pike Island on chicken liver or any of the catfish baits tight-lined on the bottom. Monroe County In this stretch of the river water conditions are near normal and a little cloudy with temperature at 65 degrees. Carp and channel catfish can be caught on night crawlers and chicken liver. Gallia County Water conditions in this area are high and muddy; however a few stripers and catfish can be caught on chicken liver and night crawlers at the K. H. Butler Angler Access.