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Moved to Athens and have just started getting out for the first times this year. I am trying to gather as much info on these lakes as I can since they will be my primary spots. Snowden and Fox are less than 5 minutes from me which makes it to get out after work for an hour or two in the evenings. When I went to school here I fished the hocking a couple times and got skunked at Dow once, but back then I was mostly just tagging along with others. Now that I am back in the area I want to isolate some places where I can go and relax and at least know I have a shot at catching one or two. If I am not catching anything I want to at least know *I* am the problem and that I am not wasting my time in a terrible location.

I have gone back and searched the forums for info but a lot of it is sort of old and scattered about in different threads. I thought maybe I could get some consolidated information on these lakes in one spot. Also, I should mention I am primarily interested in largemouth, channel cats and occasionally crappie. Most of my experience is in fishing for bass from a row boat, usually on spinner baits or top water poppers. This year I am trying more stick baits (texas rigged and wacky), jignpig, and lipless cranks. Also playing around with the carolina rig for channels.

Right now I am limited to fishing from the shore, but with girlfriend approval I will be buying a kayak in the next few weeks.

Fox Lake

So far at Fox lake I have tried hiking up the trail from the dam to the first small cove and casting off the point. Got a few small blue gill there and not a hint of anything bigger. Went back last night and fished all along the dam and off the spillway and got nothing. In the cove area I tried crankbaits, spinners and some poppers in the late evening. From the dam I tried a few different jig'n'pig combos and some 4" Senkos. Stick bait and jig'n'pig are both something I am trying for the first time this year so my presentation may be part of the issue but I tried lots of variations. I have never tried fishing the lower end of the lake as I have heard there is not much access. I might try a few casts off the dock out there tomorrow night though.

Lake Snowden

Tried a couple hours here along the bank near the boat dock. Senkos, spinners and some crankbaits. Got a couple decent strikes but lacked the skill to set them, and landed one dinky bass. I know this is supposed to be hard to fish from the shore due to the weeds once it gets into summer.

Dow Lake

I feel like this lake likely gets the most pressure as it most well-known to the college kids. I went out on it one time a few years ago with my buddy, then his boats engine died and we had to use the trolling motor to get all the way back across the lake. More cussing than fishing was done that day.
 

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All 3 has good fish in them its just a matter of catching them and dont forget about Lake Hope there is some nice channels in it I know of a 17 lb come from there and some big bluegills also .Ive caught 5 lb bass from Snowden & Dow havent fished Fox much but seen some nice bass caught there
 

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I haven't had luck at Fox and have tried there a few times. My best days at Snowden have come from trolling crankbaits from my kayak along the length of the dam. The weeds definitely become a problem by the time summer rolls around. Strouds, I only go there to catch trout in the spring but have heard of some monster bass coming from there.

Hands down my favorite place to fish in Athens is the Hocking at Whites Mill. I go there with livebait and set up shop for 5-6 hours.. sometimes it's great, sometimes it's slow, but you never know what you're going to catch and there are some monster catfish in there. On old threads on this forum, guys have talked about catching pike and even brown trout there (with picture proof). Last year something cut my line clean off, probably a muskie. I usually catch sauger, bass, crappie, cats, and gar when I fish livebait there.. also some drum (they fight like hell). I trap my livebait in local streams, keeping chubs and small bluegills and releasing anything else (since some stream fish are protected). There are a lot of snags there unfortunately, but it's still worth it.

Another place you may want to try is Lake Rupert, it's about 40 mins from Athens and has some good saugeye and catfishing. I caught a 36" flathead there last year, and had good action the whole day with smaller cats. Have also caught some decent saugeye there and have heard of other guys catching Fish Ohio saugeye there. It's a fun lake to fish esp. from a kayak. The drive out there is very picturesque also. I usually paddle from the boat ramp to the other side of the lake and fish from shore for a few hours, while trolling on the way there and back. It can get bad with weeds there too though.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Haha. We have been together a while and have combined our finances... so big purchases do need to go through a vetting process ;)
 

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"Girlfriend approval"?!?!?!?!?!? For once I don't even know what to say.
I do. It's time to start the official process of Man Card revocation!!
 

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Thanks. I am going to start getting out to Dow more now that I got a kayak and probably some lakes closer to central ohio as well. I was out at Snowden yesterday hitting the bank after work - started at the boat ramp and worked up the bank towards the highway. Got 3 LM, two were about 2lbs, one was a super tiny male. Got them all on a mojo rigged 6" senko in green pumpkin. Tried some top water frogs and had a few bites but had to head out before the golden hour.
 

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I have fished all of these lakes pretty hard when I was a kid growing up. They all have some good bass in them. Snowden used to be really good until hocking college started making it there play ground. Fox is good and gets very little pressure. I think they even cleaned it up some a few years ago. Dow has some monsters if you can find them. I was fishing in a trout tournament several years ago when I saw a guy pull in a bass that went just over 10LBS.
Since moving to central Ohio I have not fished them much but my father n law does all the time.
 

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True story! Lol I posted that before I was finished, any how we have had hours and hours of fun on them and they didn't really hurt the bank to much. I have since bought a set on top that I like a lot better for fishing though. Not sure what make it is off top of my head
 

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Just got back from kayak fishing at Snowden and the fishing was less than stellar. Two of us Fished from 4:30-9:30, caught three and lost one at the side of the boat.

We fished Texas rigged plastics, spinners, and some cranks with very little success. The fish seemed to be in a weird funk with the blue Gill all hanging out in warm sunny pockets with bass just drifting though but not really interested in feeding. I saw plenty of bass and sight cast all kids of different presentations but they were having none of it.
 

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Mine wants NOTHING to do with ouside of our house
Back when we were dating I made the mistake of completely spoiling mine fishing strip pits, catching bass after bass, one over 5, fast and furious action on crappie and bluegill, of course all of this with the scenic back drop of out in the middle of nowhere. Some time after were married I take her to Indian lake during the black and cavernous dark ages of my saugeye learning curve, cold, snowing, windy and dark, she hated every bit of it lol. Since then she more or less lost her patience for fishing. So anyhow, when we kayak a stretch of river she is pretty much all about sight seeing and likes to keep moving, a real pain when all you want to do is fish! The only way I can fish and go at the speed she likes is to troll a freaking buzz bait 40 or so feet behind me lol! This technique actually works on occasion but nothing like anchoring up and probing an area out. So, all this to say, sometimes, just sometimes, your better off fishing alone lol!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
For the record... maybe girlfriend "approval" wasn't the right phrase, more like her blessing. I'm all about domestic tranquility ;) Anyway, I got the yak so it's all a moot point now anyway.

Only been out twice with all this rain but hoping the weather starts turning around soon.

I noticed the bass being very weird as well. I think its all the crazy weather. Figured the cold would push them deeper but my success has recently been in spots ~6 ft deep. I think the males are still guarding/eating the fry. I had all my fish on a mojo rigged senko and most likely pissed them off by dragging it straight through their beds. Most luck has been fishing the edges of the shade from trees when it is very sunny (not much recently).



See you guys out there.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Bank fished Snowden again yesterday. Setup about 50 yards down the bank from the boat dock. Caught 4 in the 12" range in about 2 hours. Guessing it is still the males guarding the beds. All 4 caught on texas rigged baby brush hog, black with blue flake. Un-pegged weight. Also tossed a weightless senko and a zoom horny toad for a while, no action on either. Had a few bites on a mojo rigged senko, green pumpkin magic i think.

Hoping the weather stabilizes a bit here soon.
 
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