So what has happened to CJ

Discussion in 'Southwest Ohio Fishing Reports' started by GETTIN' THERE, Jun 25, 2007.

  1. Early to mid 90's an average morning on the lake would produce 6-8 throw
    backs and maybe a stinger of 4 or 5 15"-21" eyes. Late 90's to early 2000's
    the white bass started showing up the 15" limit on eyes was introduced and
    the walleye count started going down hill. You could put together a stringer of a dozen or so good sized white bass which kept things interesting.
    Then came the big draw down for the boat ramp. Last year sucked, and in my opinion this year is only marginaly better. In the two or three years
    leading up to the draw down it was hard to keep a white bass or a channel
    cat off your hook in the months of May and June. Marking fish all over the Lake, but the action is just about non existent. Your thoughts or opinions? Used to be my favorite Lake, at this point don't plan to return untill fall...hello Erie.
  2. Maybe it has just been getting over-harvested. Walleye are good eating I know, but that is a small lake. It could easily be getting over-harvested.

  3. flathunter

    flathunter Mellons mentor

    Could it be as simple as to many fisherman, taking out to many fish?
  4. Yea. that is partly to blame, but the walleye are not a naturally reproducing
    fish in this lake (so I have read and heard), so where are all the dinks that
    used to be caught. And for the white bass, I am told they are prolific reproducers, to the point of taking over a eco system. And what about the channel cats. Is any body cathing them in the numbers they were a few years back?

    I practice catch and release on all large and small mouth bass, all walleye
    over 3 or 4lbs (already have my wall mount), and any large catfish, but as far as crappie and white bass in that 10-15" range, stocked walleye and saugeye in the 15-22" range and the same for channel cat in that same size
    from a clean water system, several are coming home for the frying pan.
  5. Flathead King 06

    Flathead King 06

    I'm quite an avid fisherman of the lake since it's my homewater and I live right at the mouth of it and buck creek...but there has been a significant decrease in the number of all fish, which can be traced back to several possible reasons...
    1) there is always the reason of over-harvest, but with alot of set creel limits and regulations, one would tend to think that this isnt the problem...

    2) there is the WB...they are very prolific feeders and breeders, which will eat anything they can get their mouth on, that includes walleye, bass, crappie, bluegill, and catfish fry and fingerlings...but then you say they WB bite is down, thank the dnr for that, they have been netting them out of the lake for about 6 years now and transporting them to hatcheries and other lakes where they are native, but they overlook the fact that the lake is full of them and they could make a go out of turning their focus on them instead of walleye

    3) in my opinion the most practical reasoning for why the "bite" is down is because of all the draining of the lake...back when they first drained the lake in the 70s my uncle said the fishing was outsatnding before they did it, then for about 5 years after it it was slow but steadily increasing again, then last year theydrained it down again, and I tend to believe that alot of fish went with the water, may not be the reason but very possible...

    4) the the way inwhich the lake is "run"...the dnr wants to focus on walleye, and I have no problem with that, but it isnt a naturally reproducing fish in C.J. so why try and make it a huge thing when there are cats and whitebass in there which are alot easier to maintain and they could turn their focus to them for a while and get their numbers in "balance" and then turn back to walleye, or they could stock some saugeye or sauger in it which would also help.....

    5) another possible reason for why the fishing just inst the way it used to be is when coming out of winter into spring, the dnr doesnt allow the spring rains to fill the lake to its "summer pool", they leave the flood gates wide open when the crutial water we need drains right out and I believe with low water levels come time for fish to spawn, it puts alot of unnecessary pressure on the fish and they spawn at "weird" times of the year and they loose their eggs for that year

    alot of possiblities, but I do agree the fishing has been going downhill for years now, in all the 19 years I have lived here, none has been better than when I was about 2-5 years old, so...just my 2 cents
  6. wader

    wader Fishing Fool

    Flathead King makes some very ggod points, but I think the overharvesting of fish cannot be overlooked. As a Springfielder, I used to fish that hole all the time. It was very common, especially up on Buck Creek, to see a group of non-English speaking folks, putting every fish they caught into a bucket and taking it home, especially the 8-10" walleye. Its one of those things that can't be policed on a regular basis. I quit fishing out there due to the decline in fishing quality, not to mention the number of skiers and lake lice that act like they own the place. There is better fishing at Old Reid park, and lots of other places anyway.
  7. This discussion reminds me of a picture I have of my brother holding a stringer of Walleyes he caught at buck creek by the trussel. This was from the late 80's. He fish at the trussel for Walleye all the time in mid-late 80's. From what I am told, he always had luck.

    I was 8 year younger than him and most 19 year olds don't take their 11 year odl brother fishing with his buddies on a Friday night. So, I missed out on this time of abundant Walleye's down at the trussel.

    Fast forward to 1998 when I started fishing at the trussel for catfish on a regular basis. Never caught a walleye there and never seen anyone pull out a walleye from there...

    As for the catfishing (at least from the shoreline) it was awesome when I started fishing buck creek in 1998 up to 2002-3. Last 3 or 4 years have been productive, but nothing like the past.
  8. Flathead King 06

    Flathead King 06

    to make another point...alot of the walleye decline has been going on for about 10-15 years now... before the 15" limit was set on the lake, every walleye ever seen caught would go right into a bucket or basket... and still in buck creek, even though it isnt a major fingerling habitat for the walleye, they still tend to stay in it all through the year, but there is no size limit on them once you get past the bridge in new moorefield heading alot of the fingerlings could still be taken out, without much notice, and that goes for the 12-15" range as well...its like the people think nobody will see them stick an under-sized eye in a basket until they get home...too bad byron or one of his cronies arent always around
  9. Flathead, I bet you could catch a stingray out of CJ :D That's meant to be a compliment, you really are an awesome angler. If anyone has caught or goes fishing with others that catch walleye in new moorefield, it doesn't surprise me its you.

    I'm usually down there once a week, and still haven't seen anyone (even below regulation) pull one to the shore.
  10. Tall cool one

    Tall cool one strictly flyfishing

    I see lots of baby wallys in buck ck when I fish it for WB's so I don't believe the no repro staement...then again,maybe all the WB's eat them before hey make it back to the lake? TC1
  11. Flathead King 06

    Flathead King 06

    when the state stocks the lake with the walleye...they stock mainly that is most likely what you are seeing...but the dnr says that the walleye do not naturally reproduce in the lake...a few might, but the majority doesnt
  12. Chuck P.

    Chuck P. Here We Go Steelers

    I'm sure the drawdown for the new boat ramps didn't help anything.

    In my opinion, it's going to take C.J a few years just to get over it. I've read and heard about "A LOT of fish deaths" when they let the water out and the water that was left there probably wasn't the healthiest either.

    I've taken my kids out there to the Marina and spillway a couple times this year and the only thing we caught was small-medium crappie and a couple of nice bull bluegill.

    I sure wish the State of Ohio would stock Flathead and Blue cats in there, but they would eat all the fingerling Walleye so that's never going to happen.:(
  13. Flathead King 06

    Flathead King 06

    But at least they would be fat, healthy cats...:D :D :D but yea I totally agree, they would probably thrive with the conditon that the lake is always some real nice walleye fed the state pulled a flattie in out of the nets this year that I believe was around 15lbs., it came from the rock wall by the dam, and someone told me before that there are blues in it, now I have never caught one but that isnt saying there arent a few in there.

    whiskers, thanks, if there were stingrays in cj u better believe I'd be after ', by the way, how did friday night turn out...sorry i couldnt make it had some yard work to do
  14. I would love to see blues and flatheads stocked in the lake. Caught a 9 or 10 lb flathead last sept trolling the main basin between the campground beach
    and the spillway. Boy was that fun! I just think that it is ashame that such a good fishery has taken such a drastic turn for the worse. Lord knows I am
    not the best of fishermen, but I catch my share. I have trolled, jigged, used
    live bait, used plastics and cranks. The point is I have even thrown the kitchen sink at them. The numbers are down and more times than not the reports I am seeing (slow morning on CJ) is the norm rather than the exception. Hopefully it will come back after the fish recuperate from the drawdrown, but I think the ODNR needs to take a good look on how they are managing this lake. No fish+no fishermen=fewer fishing licenses/bait/gear
    which in turn= less money for ODNR. Heck look at all the tournaments that used to be run on the lake, and the floatilas of boats out on the flats. All are gone. Maybe the DNR just got tired of pumping fish into the lake to keep up with demand, beacause for a good long stetch the lake could keep up with demand.

    One last point, It looks like and sounds like Indian is doing just fine with lots of pressure and fish taken out of the lake. Maybe saugeye are the answer.
  15. I think all bodies of water go through cycles. When I am fishing on them they suck, and when I'm not they are really productive. ;)

    JK, what I mean is, when fishing is really good, the pressure goes up and depletes the population. Productivity slows down and pressure decreases. It takes at least a season, if not multiple seasons for productivity to go back up.

    I used to fish on the GMR, CC, and IL a few years back, with little success. Now I understand that last year was pretty much a banner year for all three. (Too bad I was in california :( ) This year it seems catches are down at IL, but the fishing pressure is still crazy, its the cycle at work. Kentucky Lake went through this same cycle, the fishing got so crazy good there that the boats were elbow to elbow and the fishing dropped off until the fisherman stopped showing up. Now KL is recovering well.

    Seeing less boats out on CJ is a good thing, so is the catching of so many 13-14" fish, it means that sometime in the next season or two we are going to have a crazy good season. At least until word spreads, fishing pressure goes up, and the cycle starts again.

    As far as the CJ fishery goes, I like fishing for walleye because its a challenge, and you never know when you are going to haul in a 28"+ fish ohio walleye. Catching a 28" fish in the GMR (North) is a once in a lifetime event. (Unless someone shows me where the pike are ;) )The walleye fishery isn't going away either, CJ is ODNR's "seed" lake for saugeye's.

    As far as the White Bass go, I love catching bigger white bass, they fight hard, I'd say even as hard as a smallie. I even like the way they taste, but they are probably feeding on the walleye fry, and with tens of thousands in the lake, those walleye, crappie, Gill, bass, catfish fry don't stand much of a chance. I for one am glad Flathead King and the town of Moorefield is doing their part at reducing the population of White Bass.
  16. Chemlab, I think you hit the nail on the head. CJ is my home lake, and fish it alot. I have spent alot of time out there this year and the results are a little discouraging!! I too believe that a body of water will go thru cycles...I was out this spring and witnessed the fish coming out of the nets.."Trust me" there are ALOT of HOGS in there (PLENTY).... they just dont seem to be actively biting much of anything........But on the other hand while fishing, there sure are alot of the short fish being caught which means there will be plenty of fish for future years to come1!!! Patience is the key this year for sure!!
  17. The ODNR does their netting at the dam don't they?

    Maybe there are some fish over there? :)
  18. Yes, there was one there, and 3 more in other areas of the lake. The netting takes place late march early april. We need to keep in mind also the ODNR relied on CJ (totally) this year for all there goodies to take back to the hatchery..They couldnt take anything from the erie eyes this year do to some kind of virus that has been present for the last 2 years. The virus is isolated to that body of water and they don't want it to spread...All in all the ODNR was very pleased with what they saw this year and also got everthing they needed to supply other lakes in the state :D With all this in mind I surely wouldnt think there is a shortage of fish in this lake, there must be other factors why there not hungy....Just my opinion
  19. Flathead King 06

    Flathead King 06

    Yeppers!!! they sure do, along with a few other places...and they pull in some true hogs...they even mentioned something about state record size eyes in the nets this year :D but I believe eyeguy or blueboat one or the other have pictures of the netting from this was in an article of the springfield news and sun...some 10-12 lbers in there...woooweee
  20. No answers from me as there are lots of nice eyes, crappies, cats in the lake:confused: Just thought I would add there is an abundance of baitfish in the lake, mainly gizzard shad. Everything eats well in this lake as it typically booms out at least 5-7 shad hatches per year. Not all lakes support the quanity of shad that CJ does and I believe this has something to do with the fish being a little harder to catch & very healthy.