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Fish Ohio Report — April 27, 2011

April 27, 2011
Ohio Valley Outdoors

Knox Lake (Knox County) - Areas of woody shoreline cover are good locations to fish for largemouth bass at this time of year.  Try dark-colored creature baits and jig-and-pigs fished shallow for the best results.  Most of these fish measure 12 to 18 inches. There is an 18-inch minimum for keeper largemouth at this lake.  Use jigs and minnows in brushy areas to take crappie.  Crappie will be moving shallow as the temperatures warm.  Use cut bait, chicken livers or night crawlers fished along the bottom to take channel catfish.  Some channel catfish weigh up to 10 pounds. Boats greater than 10 horsepower must travel at no wake speeds.

Rush Creek Lake (Fairfield County) - Fish this small, secluded lake northeast of Lancaster for crappie, largemouth bass, and channel catfish.  Crappies are located around woody structure.  Try using minnows suspended under a bobber or crappie jigs for the best success.  As water temperatures warm, fish will move into shallower water.  Largemouth bass can be caught using creature and tube baits around woody stickups.  For catfish, fish the east end of the lake around woody cover using night crawlers and cut bait for the best results.  Outboard motors are limited to 10 horsepower or less.


Sandusky River (Sandusky County) - The water temperature is 51 degrees.  The river flow is high and the water visibility is low.  Anglers have not been catching much walleye.  Those that are have been most successful with Carolina rigged floating jig heads with a 3 foot leader.  The jig is tipped with a twister tail usually in fluorescent colors.  Anglers need to be very cautious while fishing in swift water.  Do not keep any walleye shorter than 15 inches.  Take a ruler with you.

Maumee River (Lucas and Wood counties) - The water temperature is 49 degrees.  The river flow is high and the water visibility is low.  The islands are not accessible at this time.  Anglers have not been catching much walleye.  Those that are have been most successful with Carolina rigged floating jig heads with a two-foot leader.  The jig is tipped with a twister tail usually in fluorescent colors.  Anglers need to be very cautious while fishing in swift water.  Do not keep any walleye shorter than 15 inches.  Take a ruler with you.


Region Wide - Rain, rain go away... While the copious rainfall this spring has shut down much of the fishing on the rivers and streams, many of the lakes have begun to turn up the heat. Murmurs of the crappie bite across many lakes in Northeast Ohio are starting to rise. Small jigs or minnows fished under bobbers around brush piles or fallen trees have been consistently productive. Channel catfish are also biting well in shallow, rapidly warming backwater areas, on a variety of natural baits including night crawlers, chicken liver, and cut fish.  Nighttime fishing produces the most success for catfish anglers. Largemouth bass fishing has been dependant on weather, with excellent catches reported during stable warming periods and immediately before cold fronts.  A variety of artificial lures have been effective for largemouth bass.

» Lake maps

Wingfoot Lake (Portage County) - A property acquired last year by the State of Ohio has already given many Ohio anglers some memorable catches. Reports have indicated that largemouth bass have been found in their pre-spawn "staging areas." Focus on structural changes, mainly changing contour lines that lead into shallow spawning areas. Stick baits being ripped slowly have proven to be the most successful pattern. Ripping stick baits is simply giving a pull of the bait, followed by a pause or delay and then repeating to simulate a dying baitfish.

Portage Lakes (Summit County) - Find the eight- to ten-foot depths on any of the lakes that make up the Portage Lakes right now and hook into some tasty panfish fun. Sizable redear and pumpkinseeds with a few bluegills thrown into the mix have highlighted the reports coming out of the Portage Lakes. Keep the bait presentations small. Use an ultralight fishing rod with two to four pound test fishing line and pinmins under bobbers with maggots or waxworms.

Canal Fulton, OH Canal #4 (Stark County) - From 8am-11am youths can catch sizable rainbow trout (10 to13 inches). After 11:00am all are welcome to join in on the fun. Rainbow trout can be caught on variety of simple setups and baits. Casting jigs tipped with maggots (using a stopping and retrieving approach) and popular trout nugget baits will produce great results. The daily limit is five fish per day. These trout are delicious to eat and just the right size. Go to for recipe ideas!


Lake Hope (Vinton County) - As water temperature increases, so has the fishing action in this 120-acre lake.  Anglers have had success fishing for largemouth bass using a variety of artificial baits including shallow running crankbaits.  For crappie and bluegill, fish live bait including waxworms and nightcrawlers fished under a bobber.  The recent rain has also created some great conditions for channel cats.  Try fishing the bottom using cut bait in the evening or early mornings, especially as temperatures begin to climb.

Timbre Ridge Lake (Lawrence County) - This 97-acre lake was stocked with approximately 1,000 surplus rainbow trout on Monday, April 26th.  These fish can be caught on a variety of bait including kernel corn, marshmallows, cheese, and small worms.  Anglers fishing for largemouth bass on this lake are reminded of the protected slot length limit of 12 to 15 inches.

Turkey Creek Lake (Scioto County) - The 46th Annual Trout Derby at Shawnee State Park will be held this Saturday, April 30th, from 6am to 6pm at the Turkey Creek beach.  For more information, call 740-858-6652.


Rush Run Lake (Preble County) - Head back to Rush Run for more trout fishing!  An additional 1,000 catchable surplus trout were stocked into the lake on April 21.  Anglers are catching trout by using wax worms, Berkley Power Bait, or corn as bait. Cast into areas with submerged trees and brush.  Keep the bait about two to three feet deep.  The water is a little muddy due to heavy rains last week.

C. J. Brown Reservoir (Clark County) - Walleye fishing continues to improve, and anglers are beginning to catch a few white bass.  Early morning boat anglers fishing jigs tipped with a night crawler over the mid-lake humps and in the north end of the lake are beginning to catch some nice walleye.  Remember there is a 15-inch minimum size limit and daily bag of six on walleye.  Bluegills are being caught around the rocky shorelines of the dam and the marina.  Also, try fishing the wooden piling structures near the boat ramp and campground.  Use wax worms or redworms for bluegill, fished under a bobber.  Anglers are still catching a few white bass along the rocky shorelines.  Try using small spinners, jigs, or minnows. 

Indian Creek Wildlife Area (Brown County) - Bluegill and sunfish are being taken by anglers using red worms, earthworms, or wax worms.  Keep the bait about two to three feet deep. The Family Fishing Pond is best and is marked and accessible from Campbell Road in the wildlife area.


Water levels on the Ohio River are unusually high and/or flooded this week.  Heavy rain is forecasted through the weekend and into next week and water will continue to rise.  Anglers are encouraged to check water levels before deciding to fish.  

Regulations to Remember:

The daily bag limit for Lake Erie walleye is 4 fish per angler March 1 through April 30. The minimum size limit is 15 inches.

The daily bag limit for yellow perch is 30 fish per angler on all Ohio waters of Lake Erie.

The steelhead daily bag limit is 2 fish per angler through May 15. The minimum size limit for steelhead is 12 inches.

The Lake Erie black bass (largemouth and smallmouth) daily bag limit is 5 fish per angler through April 30 with a minimum size limit of 14 inches. May 1 through June 24 is closed to possession.

Spring walleye fishing on western Lake Erie is under way, however, wind and waves over the past week have limited fishing activity.  Pending weather, fish have been caught with hair jigs tipped with shiners in Maumee Bay, inshore of the reef complex in 8-15' of water in and around Turtle Reef, and on the reef complex in the Camp Perry firing range.  Trollers have caught post-spawn fish along the northern and eastern buoys of the Camp Perry firing range trolling stick baits.  Perch fishing is starting to pick up in traditional early spring spots in water depths ranging from 25'-35' using minnows on perch spreaders fished near the bottom.

Anglers are encouraged to always wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device while boating.

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