Wildlife News Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife The Fish Ohio Report August 24, 2005 CENTRAL OHIO Antrim Lake (Franklin County) - This 40-acre lake in northwest Columbus is a good place to introduce kids to catfishing. Channel catfish from 10 to 20 inches can be caught using night crawlers, chicken livers and shrimp fished on the bottom in 10 feet of water or less. Over 2,000 yearling channel catfish were stocked last fall. Bluegills may be caught using night crawlers or crickets suspended by a bobber. No boats are permitted on this lake. Hargus Creek Lake (Pickaway County) This is a good channel catfish lake located three miles east of Circleville. Fish along the bottom with night crawlers, cut baits, and prepared baits for best results. They will probably be most active at dawn and dusk but will bite any time of day or night. Channel catfish usually measure 12 to 20 inches. Over 2,500 yearling channel catfish were stocked last year. Use small night crawlers beneath a bobber at depths of four to six feet when seeking bluegill. Most will range from six to seven inches. Jigs and minnows can be used to take crappie and largemouth bass can be found on points with drop-offs, around the islands, dam and east shore using plastic baits, spinner baits, or live bait. Minnows and night crawlers also are good largemouth bass baits. Electric motors only. NORTHWEST OHIO Paulding Reservoir (Paulding County) The water temperature is 82 degrees, the water levels are normal and the water clarity is clear. Bluegills have been biting in the mornings and evenings on wax worms fished under a slip bobber. The whole reservoir has been good fishing without a particular spot being better than another. Auglaize River (Paulding County) The water temperature is 80 degrees, the water level is normal and the water is cloudy. Sheephead have been taken in mornings and evenings by still fishing with nightcrawlers. The Five-Span bridge seems to be the best spot. Maumee River (Paulding County) The water temperature is 80 degrees and the water is cloudy. Flathead and channel catfish have been taken in the river in good numbers. Still fishing at night using shiners or nightcrawlers as bait is working the best. The hot spot seems to be the Cecil Bridge. Willard Reservoir (Huron County) Channel catfish have been caught here recently. Night crawlers are working the best. Morning and evenings are the best time and the best spot seems to be east of the launch ramp. Van Wert Reservoir (Van Wert County) - Crappie are being taken on minnows fished beneath slip bobbers. Evening is the best time and the best spot seems to be the northwest corner. Channel cats are also being taken in good numbers. Still fishing with night crawlers after dark is working the best for the channel cats. The East dike seems to be the best spot. NORTHEAST OHIO Lake Erie (Ashtabula, Lorain and Lake counties) - Fishing is really starting to pick up again in Lake Erie. Anglers are reporting limits of perch and walleye north of Lorain, limits of perch out of Fairport, and limits of walleye out of Geneva and Conneaut. While many walleye are of sub-legal size and must be returned to the water, a few are exceeding the 15 inch requirement. Trolling watermelon-colored spoons or worm harnesses in 45 feet of water is the best technique for walleye. Perch are eight to nine inches in length and have been taken in about 40 to 50 feet of water. For more information on access points, obtain a Lake Erie fishing guide by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE. Guilford Lake (Columbiana County) - Crappies ranging six to 13 inches (catching a 13-inch crappie qualifies for a Fish OH! award) are biting on live bait and white twister tails at this 328-acre lake located four miles northwest of Lisbon on State Route 172. Black crappie is the dominant species in these waters, but white crappie can be caught as well. Largemouth bass, three to five pounds on average, are hitting on rubber worms. Bass anglers are having the most luck along the docks, but anglers seeking crappie should check out the fishing pier on the south side of the lake. Wheelchair accessible shoreline facilities available, 10 horsepower limit. SOUTHWEST OHIO C. J. Brown Reservoir (Clark County) - A few walleye are being caught by anglers using crankbaits, jigs with plastic bodies or curly tails, small spinners, or live minnows, leaches, or nightcrawlers on a #6 long shanked hook as bait. Good curly tail color choices are white, orange, pink, or chartreuse. Fish by slowly jigging, trolling or drifting baits in 10 to 15 foot depths. Anglers report that the most successful bait has been silver or gold blade baits. Anglers report walleyes are being caught in the main lake river channel, around structure, and over the humps. The best fishing is in the very early morning hours. Most walleye are undersized fish but some legal fish are being caught. REMEMBER all walleye less than 15 inches long must be immediately released back into the lake. Channel catfish are being caught by anglers using shad, shrimp, nightcrawlers, and chicken livers in the upper end of the lake. Fish the bait tight line or slowly drift the bait along the bottom in three to six foot depths. Caesar Creek (Clinton, Greene, and Warren counties) - From Interstate 75 take State Route 73 east about 17 miles, or From Interstate 71 take State Route 73 west about seven miles, or from State Route 42 take State Route 73 east about five miles. Anglers casting in-line spinners and crankbaits are starting to catch a few MUSKELLUNGE and, also, having fish follow their baits. SAUGEYE anglers are catching a few 15 to 18 inch fish from six 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. Channel catfish are being caught by shore anglers using nightcrawlers, shrimp, and chicken livers. Fish the bait tight line along the bottom in five to eight foot depths. Cowan Lake (Clinton County) - Access the area from State Route 350 to Beechwood Road or Yankee Road or access from State Route 730 to Sprague Road or Osborn Road. Anglers casting or trolling shad-raps are starting to catch saugeye. Bluegill and sunfish are being caught by anglers using earthworms or waxworms as bait. Keep the bait between three and six feet deep. Use a #6 long shanked hook. Channel and flathead catfish are being caught by shore anglers using nightcrawlers and chicken liver. Fish the bait tight line along the bottom in three to six foot depths. SOUTHEAST OHIO AEP ReCreation Lands (Morgan County) Largemouth bass up to four pounds and four ounces were reported this past week. Improving numbers in the weight range of two to three pounds were noted. Anglers are using Power Worms in dark colors which include purple, motor oil, and black. Some bluegill sunfish have been caught using nightcrawlers fished below a bobber. Waters at this area are exceptionally clear and water temperatures are also in the low 80s. Muskingum River (Coshocton, Morgan, and Washington counties) Catfish anglers are still active and are successful with some quality catches of fish during water rises after rainfall events. Anglers continue to catch flathead catfish using live suckers, goldfish, and sunfish. Channel catfish anglers have been most successful using nightcrawlers, chicken livers, and cut bait from the river. Most channel catfish were reported to be in the weight range of four pounds to six pounds. The Muskingum River has individual flathead catfish up to 50 pounds as indicated from past netting surveys. Known catches this week were primarily in the under 22 pound value, but most were in the 12 to 18 pound range. The most productive sites continue to be at any of the low-head dams and at the mouth of larger tributary streams. Water conditions are low and clear with a temperature of 82 degrees F, but are subject to the influence of local watershed events from sudden thunderstorms. Salt Fork Lake (Guernsey County) -Water temperature is 84 degrees F with clear conditions at below normal pool elevation. The most functional, user-friendly motorboat access sites would be at the campground launch ramp and the old marina, with recommendations to use the far end ramp within the old marina area. If you boat on Salt Fork Lake, beware of stumps and other hazards due to the low water levels. Largemouth fishing is slow, but saugeye and walleye success has the featured spotlight due to improving conditions. The preferred lure is the night crawler harness fished during the early morning and in the late evening. Successful sites would include any deeper water (greater than 10 feet) areas where rocky shoals with known woody structure occur. Seneca Lake (Noble County) Water temperature is 83 degrees F with clear conditions and normal water elevation. Largemouth bass continue to be a challenge for the angler. However, the saugeye and walleye fishing success has improved substantially. This is quite apparent with good reports occurring during the daylight hours. The preferred lure color is silver and white and would include diving Shad Rap's and other similar imitations. Catches of saugeye from 16 to 23 inches have been reported. Fish water in the depth range of 12 to 22 feet associated with woody structure or unique lake basin features. LAKE ERIE Western Basin Walleye Walleye fishing has been slow recently. Look for fishing to improve as the water cools, as fish from the 2003 year class surpass 15 inches, and when the migratory walleye return from the east. Yellow Perch Perch fishing has good lately with many limit catches. 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 areas have been the Toledo shipping channel turnaround buoy, south of B and C cans of the Camp Perry firing range, east of Ballast Island, northwest of Kelleys Island, 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 has been good in Ohio waters of the central basin. The best areas were seven to 10 and up to 20 miles north of Geneva in 65 to 72 feet of water, and seven to 10 or 16 to 18 miles north of Ashtabula in 65 to 72 feet 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. Fish have ranged from 15 to 27 inches. Yellow Perch Yellow perch fishing has been excellent just north of the Huron River mouth, one mile north of Edgewater state park in 32 to 35 feet of water, three to six miles north of Ashtabula and Conneaut in 50 to 62 feet of water, and two to six miles northeast and northwest of Fairport Harbor in 45 to 60 feet of water. A perch spreader tipped with shiners is the most popular set-up. Fish have ranged from 7 to 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 inches. Lake Erie surface temperatures are in 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 Meigs, Scioto, and Washington counties Water temperature was reported at 82 degrees F and conditions are clear and low. 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 nightcrawlers fished tight-line on the bottom. The premier catches are using goldfish for the "shovelheads". Flathead catfish and channel catfish success is quite variable, but results are primarily at dusk, through the night and in the early morning hours before daybreak. Some of the larger fish which were reported would be channel catfish up to eight pounds and flathead catfish up to 26 pounds. The tailwater below the Racine, Willow Island, or Greenup Locks and Dam are good areas to try at night. Anglers have also been catching an occasional freshwater drum. Bass fishing has also been extremely slow due to the extensive amount of natural bait within the river.