The Fish Ohio Report September 21, 2005 CENTRAL OHIO Alum Creek Lake (Delaware County) Because of cooling water, there is a net movement of fish to shallower water at this time of year. Fish any remaining weed beds and rocky shoreline bars. Cast large plugs or spoons into shallow water areas of the recessed bays in the lower end of the lake when seeking muskellunge. When trolling for muskie, concentrate your efforts at depths of six to 10 feet near the dam. This is a continually improving muskellunge lake capable of producing fish in the 45 to 50 inch size range. Channel catfish can be taken at night along the shoreline. Try top-water baits and spinner baits for smallmouth and largemouth bass. Trolling live bait rigs and crankbaits are popular for saugeye. Saugeye can move to very shallow water in the evening along the dam and causeways. Buckeye Lake (Fairfield, Licking, and Perry counties) Hybrid striped bass, crappie, saugeye and largemouth bass fishing improves this month as water temperatures decline. Hybrid stripers can be caught using chicken livers fished on the bottom or trolling imitation shad crankbaits particularly in the no wake zone between Cranberry Marsh and Elm Island. Largemouth bass can be caught around Cranberry Marsh and Maple Swamp using crankbaits, Carolina rigs, and spinner baits. Channel catfish can be caught at night using prepared bait and cut bait. Saugeye can be caught on a variety of artificial baits and minnows. To catch crappies, use live minnows beneath a bobber or small jigs jigged vertically near Cranberry Marsh. NORTHWEST OHIO Maumee River (Henry County) White bass are being caught during the daylight hours by casting a minnow or a jig. The best place to fish for these bass would be in holes. Oxbow Lake (Williams County) Bluegills are being caught in the evening by fishing wax worms under a slip bobber. The fishing has been excellent here the past week. Sandusky River (Sandusky County) Catfish, carp, white bas and white perch are being taken during the evenings and nighttime hours. Worms, liver, shrimp and minnows have been working very well. Still fishing or fishing under a bobber would work the best. The Ballville Dam and the Sand Docks are the best spots. Aldrich Pond (Sandusky County) Catfish and bluegill are being caught during the evening and nighttime hours. Worms fished under a bobber is the best bet. Van Wert Reservoir #2 (Van Wert County) Crappie and bluegill are being taken in the afternoon. Silver and black crankbaits being cast out and reeled back in are working the best. The west dike of the reservoir is the best spot. NORTHEAST OHIO La Due Reservoir (Geauga County)- If your boat needs a few more rides before the winter season comes, visit this 1,384-acre lake for some largemouth bass and walleye fishing. Bass measuring 12 to 15 inches will hit on spinner baits, rubber worms, or crank baits while walleye are biting on weight forward spinners and small jigs with night crawlers. Electric motors only please. Mogadore Reservoir (Portage County)- This lake is probably the most popular panfishing lake in northeast Ohio. Bluegills average about 7 inches, but a closely related species, known as a redear sunfish, often average 9 to 12 inches in size due its ability to consume higher quantities of food such as snails and small clams. Pinmins, jigs, and maggots are great baits for hooking these youth friendly panfish. Punderson Lake (Geauga County)- This largemouth bass and bluegill haven may be small at 82 acres, but it can provide hours of enjoyment. Bass sizes range from 9 to 12 inches and rubber worms or nightcrawlers have anglers reeling them in. Bluegills 6 inches+ are biting on maggots, red worms, or wax worms. SOUTHWEST OHIO C. J. Brown Reservoir (Clark County) - Crappie are starting to be caught by anglers fishing jigs tipped with minnows in 5 to 10 feet of water. Walleye are being caught by anglers using crankbaits, jigs with plastic bodies or curly tails, small spinners, or live minnows, leaches, or night crawlers 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. Some anglers report successful catches using silver or gold blade baits. Anglers report walleye 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 wse youth friendly panfish. Punderson Lake (Geauga County)- This largemouth bass and bluegill haven may be small at 82 acres, but it can provide hours of enjoyment. Bass sizes range from 9 to 12 inches and rubber worms or nightcrawlers have anglers reelingvers 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 I-75 take SR 73 East about 17 miles, or From I-71 take SR 73 West about seven miles, or from SR 42 take SR 73 East about five miles. Anglers are beginning to catch crappie by fishing minnows under a bobber and casting jigs. REMEMBER all crappie less than nine inches long must be immediately released back into the lake. Anglers casting in-line spinners, bucktails, and crankbaits are starting to catch a few muskellunge and 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. SOUTHEAST OHIO Muskingum River (Coshocton, Morgan, Muskingum, Monroe and Washington counties) - Water conditions are clear and low with a temperature of 76 to 79 degrees F. Channel catfish success rate for fish in the 16 to 26 inch range was excellent over the weekend. Try using live and cut shad and skipjack. Sheephead success was also excellent, with fish caught in the 12 to 25 inch range, using hard crawdads and white twister-tails with a minnow. A few white bass in the three to nine inch range were reported being caught on white or yellow twister-tails. Some flathead catfish, caught using live skipjack, shad and goldfish, were between 20 and 29 inches. Angler success with hybrid-striped bass was low, but some 18 to 20 inch wipers were caught using live skipjack. Fish near the bottom from shore, or drift fish by boat. Hocking River (Hocking County) - Fishing on the river south of Sugar Grove, north of Logan has had a high angler success rate, especially for smallmouth bass. Anglers reported catching smallies in the seven to 15 ½ inch range. Concentrate your fishing in high velocity current, where woody structure is present in more than 20 inches of water. Float shallow diving minnow imitation lures, or use white and chartreuse twister-tails on 1/8 to 1/9 ounce jigs. Water conditions are slightly cloudy and low, with a temperature of 79 degrees F. LAKE ERIE Western Basin Walleye Walleye fishing effort is still low, with few fish being taken. Anglers are picking a few up off of Kelleys Island Shoal. Elsewhere, most harvested fish are coming as incidental catch while perch fishing. 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 is good, with limit catches coming from many different locations. The best areas include the turnaround buoy of the Toledo shipping channel, the gravel pit W of West Sister Island, the Toledo Harbor Light, the northern cans of the Camp Perry firing range, and the area between Green and Rattlesnake Island. Most fish are still running on the small side, but larger fish (10 to 12 inches) are starting to appear in the catch. A perch spreader tipped with shiners is the most popular set-up. Smallmouth Bass The best smallmouth bass fishing has been on the Camp Perry firing range reef complex and around South Bass Island. Central Basin Walleye Walleye fishing has been good in Ohio waters of the central basin. The best areas were east of the sandbar off Lorain and six to 12 miles north of Ashtabula and Conneaut in 60 to 72 feet of water. Trolling 30 to 50 feet down with spoons, crawler harnesses or stickbaits, using planer boards, dipsy divers, or jet divers have produced the best catches. Fish have ranged from 15 to 24 inches. Yellow Perch Yellow perch fishing has been good from Huron to Lorain in 30 to 40 feet of water. Further east, excellent perch fishing can be found two to three miles northeast of E 72nd Street of Cleveland in 42 feet of water, three to six miles north of Ashtabula to Conneaut in 45 to 62 feet of water, and two to six miles north between Eastlake and Fairport Harbor in 40 to 60 feet of water. A perch spreader tipped with shiners is the most popular set-up. Fish have ranged from seven to13 inches. Steelhead Steelhead were 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 around 70 degrees. To view the predicted weather forecast for Lake Erie visit: http://weather.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/fmtbltn.pl?file=forecasts/marine/great_lakes/le/lez160.txt OHIO RIVER Lawrence, Monroe and Washington counties Water temperature is between 74 and 79 degrees F and conditions are clear and normal to low. Flathead and channel catfish have been reported at a good catch rate. Anglers are catching channel catfish on cut bait and night crawlers fished tight-line on the bottom. Flathead catfish are being caught on live shad, large suckers, and goldfish. Catfish success is best through the night and in the early morning hours before daybreak. Bass fishing continues to be challenging, due to the large amounts of forage fish available. Most bass caught over the weekend were reported to be pot-bellied, and full of two to three inch shad. A few largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass are being caught; reported bass catches ranged from four to 15 inches, and weighed in up to 1.7 pounds. Stay along the shoreline, along old concrete lock walls, concrete blocked banks, and various pier structures. Top rated bass lures included plastic worms/tubes that are black, pumpkinseed, and watermelon colored, white and chartreuse spinner baits that are 1/8 to 1/4 ounce, Deep Baby Ms and Deep Tiny Ms.