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Ohio Weekly Fishing Report - April 21st, 2004

Reprinted with permission from the ODNR

Ohio's Weekly Fish Report:
A sampling of our favorite lakes & rivers

Tip of the Week
- Supply your own worms by attracting them to the bait boudoir. Turn the soil making it loose and cover with several inches of old straw. Keep area moist. Whenever you need some worms head out to your bait boudoir and gently dig some up. Place the worms in a container with some of your bait boudoir bedding. To keep worms nice and cool, place a few ice cubes in a resealable plastic bag and bury it under the bedding.

Hoover Reservoir (Lake Map) (Delaware & Franklin Counties) - Saugeyes may be taken below the dam in the tail waters at night when fishing along the bottom; jigs and twistertails have proven successful. The white bass spawning run up Walnut Creek will provide good fishing action as we approach the end of April. These fish generally measure 8-12 inches and can be taken on small jigs or rooster tails. Use minnows and jigs fished in areas with brushy cover in the upper end of the lake when seeking crappies. 10 horsepower limit.

Oakthorpe Lake (Fairfield County) - This little known 41-acre lake northeast of Lancaster is the only public lake in central Ohio containing redear sunfish. This is a great opportunity to add variety to your angling trips. Use insect larvae or night crawlers suspended by a bobber around shoreline cover. Try minnows suspended by a bobber to catch crappies up to 12 inches long (…remember 13 inches is a Fish Ohio!). The western bank along drop-offs and woody cover can be productive. These same areas can be good locations for largemouth bass, using crank baits and jigs. 750 yearling channel catfish were stocked in fall 2002. Electric motors only.


Pleasant Hill Reservoir
(Lake Map) (Richland County) – The water is clear. Excellent catches of crappie have been taken using minnows or jigs at a depth of 24 inches. Brush piles seem to be the best spot to get these fish.

Auglaize River (Putnam County) – The water temp is 56 degrees and the water is cloudy. Smallmouth bass in the 10 to 14 inch range are being taken in 4 to 5 feet of water during the afternoon. Natural color rubber worms and small crank baits are working well for these fish. Wading between SR 224 and Ft. Jennings is the stretch of the river where the best concentrations are.

Maumee River (Map) (Lucas and Wood Counties) – The water temperature is 62 degrees and the water level is low. Anglers are still taking good catches of walleye using floating jig heads with bright colored twister tails. In Wood County the best area is Buttonwood and in Lucas County the best area is Blue Grass Island. Some white bass are also being caught.

Sandusky River (Map) (Sandusky County) – The water temperature is 64 degrees. Only a few walleye are being taken using ¼ ounce jigs with chartreuse twister tails. Some white bass are also being caught.


Highlandtown Lake
(Columbiana County)- Largemouth bass, crappies, northern pike, and catfish are all hitting fairly well at this 182-acre lake. Average sizes are as follows: largemouth bass 10-16”, crappies 8-13”, pike 20-24”, and cats 18-28”. Over 47,000 catfish have been stocked since 1994 and the removal of many bass less than 12” should benefit both the size and condition of the bass population in this lake. The bass and crappies are biting on minnows while pike are biting on spinners or live bait. Catfish are hungry for chicken or beef livers, worms, or even homemade stink bait for the serious catfish anglers. Catfish aren’t too picky, but are pretty lazy this time of year, so get a hook close to the bottom and let it sit. If you’re waiting for the “WHAM!” of a largemouth bass, June brings hungry appetites when fish are replacing lost stores of fat to regain energy. Wheelchair shoreline fishing facilities are available.

Conneaut Creek (Map) (Ashtabula County)- In the spring of 2003, this stream was stocked by the ODNR Division of Wildlife with over 108,000 yearling steelhead trout and the PA Fish and Boat Commission also stocked 75,000 five to six inch steelhead during 2003, so the population outlook is excellent. For 2004, Ohio has scheduled to release 70,000 steelhead while PA will release about 75,000. Fishing the harbor up through the PA line should provide some good hits, but waters are up. Hook these trout on fly rods with light line (4-8 lb.) and spawn bags for bait.

West Branch (Portage County)- Crappies are being caught in five to ten feet of water on minnows off the bottom. Water temps are still cool so the bass action has not heated up yet. Muskies are being caught in the shallows on a variety of baits. Anglers are catching them while crappie or bass fishing. Fish concentration devices were placed on the west end of the lake this past fall. These should provide excellent opportunities for panfish anglers.

Pymatuning Reservoir (Ashtabula County)- Crappie action has heated up off the causeway and in the shallows in the north end. Walleye are occasionally taken at night by anglers wading the points and rock reefs. Anglers are reminded that an Ohio fishing license allows you to fish on the Ohio shoreline and the causeway up to the state line. Boat anglers may fish the entire lake with an Ohio license.


Grand Lake St. Marys
(Mercer and Auglaize counties) – Channel and flathead catfish are being caught using a long shanked hook baited with chicken livers, cut bait, and earthworm. Fish in areas near the shoreline and keep the bait near the bottom. Let the bait drift with the current or use a slip bobber. Bluegill are being caught using a #10 sized hook baited with redworms or waxworms or jigs with chartreuse plastic bodies. Fishing is good on the south side of the lake. Cast into channels, along the pier, and from the shoreline into areas with rocks or brush. Keep the bait about one to two feet deep. Crappie are being caught using jigs with plastic bodies, live minnows, or waxworm as bait. Good color choices for artificial lures are pink and chartreuse. Use a #8 hook when fishing with live bait. Fishing is good on the south side of the lake. Cast into channels, along the pier, and from the shoreline into areas with rocks or brush. Keep the bait about one to two feet deep.

Cowan Lake (Lake Map) (Clinton County) – Located nine miles southwest of Wilmington on SR 730. Anglers are catching crappie by using live minnows on a #8 fine wire hook. Keep the bait about two to three feet deep. Good fishing hours are in the early morning and late evening. Still fish from the shoreline and into areas with woody debris.

Adams Lake (Adams County) – Located off of SR 41. Anglers are catching trout by using waxworms, Berkley PowerBait, or corn as bait on a #4 or #5 longshanked hook. Cast into areas with submerged trees and brush. Keep the bait about two to three feet deep.

Paint Creek Lake (Lake Map) (Highland County) – Crappie are being caught by anglers using jigs with plastic bodies, curly tails, live minnow, and waxworms. When using live bait use a #4 sized fine wire hook. White, chartreuse, and pumpkin seed are good color choices for artificial lures. Cast into areas with submerged trees and brush. Keep the bait under a slip bobber and about three to four feet deep. Channel catfish are being caught using chicken livers, stink bait, shrimp, and night crawlers as bait on a 2/0 baitholding hook. Fishing is good beneath the dam. Let the bait drift off of the bottom or keep it about five to six feet deep. Largemouth bass are being caught by anglers using crankbaits, spinnerbaits, plastic worms, or night crawlers as bait. Good color choices when using artificial lures are black, pumpkinseed, or chartreuse. Cast into areas with submerged trees and brush. Keep the bait about three to four feet deep.

Lake White (Pike County) – Water conditions are cloudy but clearing and the water temperature is 60 degrees. The best action is in the tailwater where saugeye and channel cats are being caught. Saugeye averaging 14 to 23 inches are being taken on 1/8 to ¼ ounce jigs dressed with white or chartreuse twister tails. One 27 inch saugeye was taken using a jig tipped with a live chub. Channel catfish in the 16 to 24 inch range are being taken on night crawlers and live chubs fished on the bottom. The lake is yielding bluegills up to 6 inches and crappies in the 8 to 11 inch range caught by fishing 1/8 ounce jigs tipped with white or chartreuse twisters. Largemouth bass fishing is fair to good with 10 to 14 inch fish being taken on plastics and crank baits.

Hammertown Reservoir (Jackson County) – Trout fishing is excellent with fish ranging from 1 to 1.5 pounds being taken on power baits of any color. Most fish are being caught in the morning on the south shore. The 2004 trout stocking took place on April 17. A few trout from the 2003 stocking are being caught and these fish range from 16 to 24 inches. A few nice bluegill are also being caught on wax worms fished in 2 to 4 feet of water along the shore line.

AEP Recreation Lands (Morgan County) – The water temperature in most ponds was about 60 degrees. A few nice bass are being taken by anglers fishing slow moving plastic worms in dark colors and black jig-n-pigs. Several 4 pounders have been reported with the largest being a 7 pound fish. Some nice bluegills in the 6 to 7 inch range are being taken in the shallow water using night crawlers and wax worms.

For Map and Other Information See:

See Lake Erie Report with Maumee & Sandusky Walleye Run and Steelhead Report

See Ohio River Report

© 2004 ODNR, Division of Wildlife

Link to full article: http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/wildlife/fishing/freport/weekly.htm
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