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Fish Ohio Report - May 11, 2011

May 12, 2011
Provided by ODNR

Hoover Reservoir (Delaware and Franklin counties) - White bass are the hot fish at Hoover Reservoir right now.  Try using small spinners and jigs in Big Walnut Creek north of the reservoir.  Crappie are also active right now.  They can be caught in two to four feet of water on jigs tipped with minnows or twister tails.  Most fish range from seven to 10 inches.  Hoover is also an excellent lake to catch nice largemouth bass due to lower fishing pressure than other large lakes.  May is the time to fish shoreline cover with lures like tube baits, jig-and-pig, and jerkbaits.  Look for spawning bluegill on beds in the backs of coves.  There is a 10 horsepower motor limit at this reservoir.

O'Shaughnessy Reservoir (Delaware County) - Crappies will become active as water temperatures rise in the north end of the lake; target submerged cover using minnows suspended under a bobber.  Fish shoreline cover throughout the lake with small worms and larval baits suspended beneath a bobber when seeking bluegills. Areas along the west shoreline that have fallen trees and brush piles are good places to fish for largemouth bass. Try a variety of creature baits, lizards, and tubes for best results.   Channel catfish can be taken in the upper section of the reservoir.  Use cut baits, shrimp, or night crawlers fished on the bottom.


Upper Sandusky Reservoir #2 (Wyandot County) - The water temperature is 53 degrees, the water is cloudy and at normal levels.  Largemouth bass have been caught in the evenings by fishing flathead minnows under a slip bobber or by casting twister tail jigs.  The shallow shoreline area along the south shore is the best spot.  Yellow perch are also being taken in the early afternoon by fishing minnows or worms under a slip bobber.  The best spot is the deep water west of the brush line.

Killdeer Reservoir (Wyandot County) - The water temperature is 52 degrees, the water is cloudy and at low levels.  Smallmouth bass are being caught in the evenings by trolling or casting softcraws, leeches, and twister tailed jigs. The island area is the best spot.  Walleye are being taken in the evenings by still fishing minnows.  The south shore is best for walleye fishing.

Findlay Reservoir #1 (Hancock County) - The water temperature is 55 degrees.  Walleye and yellow perch are biting on night crawlers fished in about 10 feet of water.  The best time seems to be in the morning from the dock.


Chagrin River and Grand River (Lake County) - Tic tock goes the steelhead clock. It is late into the river steelhead season. With the rivers finally subsiding the upcoming weeks may be the last opportunities to land one of Ohio's most sought after fish. Most of the steelhead are making their run to Lake Erie. Try fishing stretches between Route 2 and Lake Erie for both rivers. Steelhead can be caught using spawn bags, jig and maggot, and spinners.

District Wide - This week has largemouth bass spawn written all over it. Pick a lake, find the shallows, work those baits, and set those hooks. The action looks promising all over the district. Some of the top locations reporting good numbers of bass being caught are Wingfoot Lake, Portage Lakes, and Mosquito Lake. Largemouth bass are being caught on jerkbaits, spinnerbaits, jigs, rattlebaits, and soft plastics.


Tycoon Lake (Gallia County) - Largemouth bass fishing on this 204-acre lake attracts many early anglers.  Use rubber worms or spinner baits along the old fencerows or over other submerged structure.  An 18-inch minimum length limit is in effect on this lake, and helps to produce top quality largemouth bass angling.  Crappie fishing has been good for anglers using jigs and minnows in two to eight foot depths.  For dusk to dawn fishing opportunities, fish for channel cats using chicken livers, night crawlers or other cut bait in shallow areas.

Ross Lake (Ross County) - Several areas of submerged structure have enhanced this 143-acre lake.  Try casting wax worms or night crawlers over some of this submerged structure for good catches of bluegill.  Fishing for largemouth bass has picked-up, try casting plastic worms and crank baits. 

Burr Oak Lake (Athens and Morgan counties) - White crappie are hitting on jigs tipped with a minnow fished over structure throughout the lake.  Bluegills are being caught by fishing a worm four-feet below a bobber cast out over structure - heavy structure by the dam wall is producing great results.  Target the shallower, upper end of the reservoir for channel catfish, especially where feeder creeks come into the main lake.  Night crawlers and cut bait have been successful.


Grand Lake St. Marys (Auglaize and Mercer County) - Bass are being caught in good numbers. They are being caught along the shoreline in less than three feet of water using soft plastics, (pumpkinseed, watermelon) and white spinner baits.   The bass are starting to spawn so concentrate your efforts in the back of channels, and bays where there is brush, and rock.  For pan fish - good numbers are being caught with cork, and live bait.  Fish about one to two feet deep along any rocky or brushy channel. Catfish - good numbers are being taken on the main lake using cut bait, and raw shrimp, and night crawlers.  Fishing tight-line is best. 

East Fork Lake (Clermont County) - Anglers are reporting success on crappie using minnows and jigs with tubes.  Try chartreuse and white color patterns.  They are generally being taken in 18 to 24-inches of water.  Fish around structure, fallen trees and in the coves. 

Rocky Fork Lake (Highland County) - Anglers are reporting decent saugeye fishing.  Try crankbaits or troll with a Shad-Rap.  Crappies are hitting between 3-4 feet, use black or chartreuse jigs and minnows. Bass are being taken with crankbaits in water 2-6 feet in depth.


Racine Dam Area (County) - As water levels slowly return to normal, fishing activity has been picking up.  Sauger, white bass, and hybrid striped bass are all being caught.  Spinners and jigs have both been successful.  White, pearl, chartreuse, orange, and yellow twister tails all seem to be popular.

Western and Cincinnati area - Current river conditions are high and muddy.  Water levels should steadily drop. Anglers are encouraged to check water levels before deciding to fish. 

Regulations to Remember:

The daily bag limit for Lake Erie walleye is 6 fish. 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. May 16 through August 31 the daily bag limit is 5. The minimum size limit for steelhead is 12 inches.

The Lake Erie black bass (largemouth and smallmouth) daily bag limit is closed to possession May 1 through June 24.

Walleye fishing in the western basin has been slow over the last week due to inconsistent weather, particularly for this time of the year.  A few walleye continue to be caught on the reefs although success has been minimal.  Trollers have catching post-spawn fish throughout the western basin (outside of the Camp Perry firing range, around the Bass Islands, and north of Kelleys Island); however, muddy water conditions have limited trolling success.  Yellow 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.

Fact Box

NORTHEAST OHIO - Chagrin River and Grand River (Lake County) - Tic tock goes the steelhead clock. It is late into the river steelhead season. With the rivers finally subsiding the upcoming weeks may be the last opportunities to land one of Ohio's most sought after fish. Most of the steelhead are making their run to Lake Erie.

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