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Fish Ohio Report, May 18, 2011

May 18, 2011
Ohio Valley Outdoors
CENTRAL OHIO

Alum Creek Lake (Delaware County) - This 3,192-acre lake north of Columbus is a good bet for crappies, white bass, and channel catfish now.  Fishing jigs and minnows suspended by a float around woody cover in the upper end of the lake and in coves is a good way to catch crappie.  Crappie must be nine inches or longer to keep.  Use minnows, jigs, and small spinners in the upper end of the lake north of Howard Road when seeking white bass.  White bass are also available in the creek itself, at Kilbourne.  The area above Howard Road has good numbers of channel catfish; use cut shad for best results.

Indian Lake (Logan County) - Saugeye, crappie, largemouth bass and channel catfish are all available at this 5040-acre lake in Logan County. Try casting or trolling small rattletraps and jigging suspending baits on points for saugeye.  Largemouth bass fishing is popular along the many stone riprap areas, docks, and islands.  Many bass are in the 12 to18-inch size range and are in shallow water.  Crappie and white bass fishing can both be good during May.  Minnows are the most popular choice for live bait. Channel catfish fishing should be picking up as the water warms.

NORTHWEST OHIO

Auglaize River (Defiance County) - The water temperature is 80 degrees and the water is muddy.  Channel catfish are being caught during the daytime by still fishing with goldfish.  The best spot is at the base of the power dam.

Maumee River (Lucas and Wood Counties) - The water temperature is 80 degrees and the water is muddy.  Crappies are being taken during the day by fishing minnows under a slip bobber.  The best spot is in the Independence Dam State Park area.

Oxbow Lake (Defiance County) - The water temperature is 80 degrees.  Largemouth bass are being taken during the daytime by casting spinner baits.  They are biting lake wide.

Sandusky River (Sandusky County) - The water temperature is 64 degrees.  Anglers are catching excellent numbers of white bass.  Successful anglers are using spinner baits, minnows, or brightly colored twister tails.  All areas, from the mouth of the river to the Ballville Dam, are producing excellent catches of white bass.  Reminders:  Black bass season is closed to possession from May 1 through the last Friday in June (June 24, 2011); any caught must be released immediately unharmed.  Black bass are protected by a 14-inch minimum length limit at all times.  Walleye have a 15-inch minimum size limit the entire season.

Maumee River (Lucas and Wood Counties) - The water temperature is 62 degrees.  Anglers are catching good numbers of white bass with the occasional male walleye.  White bass anglers are using spinner baits, minnows, or brightly colored twister tails.  White bass are being caught in all areas.  Reminders:  Black bass season is closed to possession from May 1 through the last Friday in June (June 24, 2011); any caught must be released immediately unharmed.  Black bass are protected by a 14-inch minimum length limit at all times.  Walleye have a 15-inch minimum size limit the entire season.

NORTHEAST OHIO

Mogadore Reservoir (Portage County) - The boats are back! Boat rentals at Mogadore Reservoir, on State Route 43, open the door to some great fishing opportunities.  Recent surveys resulted in a nice size structure of largemouth bass and sunfish populations.  Largemouth bass are in the shallows and on beds right now.  Concentrate on these areas, working soft plastics and stick baits.  Sunfish can be caught using very small jigs with twister tails.  A pinmin or plain hook under a bobber baited with a wax worm, maggot, redworm, or pieces of night crawler is often the best choice for catching sunfish..

SOUTHEAST OHIO

Dillon Reservoir (Muskingum County) - Anglers are catching largemouth bass on spinner baits and chartreuse crankbaits in this 1403-acre lake.  Try fishing in six to eight feet of water near submerged structure or around the shore close to the dam.  Crappie have been hitting on jigs tipped with minnows fished over structure. 

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 crankbaits.

Seneca Lake (Noble and Guernsey counties) - White bass fishing has been excellent along the spillway area of the lake, anglers are casting mister twister jigs and reeling in fish in the nine to 12 inch range.

Lake Hope (Vinton County) - The recent rainfall has not affected the water clarity of this 120-acre lake.  Bluegill and redear sunfish are abundant in the six-to-seven inch range.  Try worms, wax worms under a bobber, or small spinners near weed beds in the shallow water at the upper end of the lake.

SOUTHWEST OHIO

Cowan Lake (Clinton County) - Crappie, between nine and 14-inches, are being caught around brush piles with slip bobber and minnows 12 to 18-inches deep, within 20 feet off the bank.

Acton Lake (Preble County) - Crappie and Saugeye are being caught.  Fish fallen timber on both shore lines.  Try minnows or chartreuse and white for saugeye.  The crappie are being taken on minnows under a float at about 12 to 20-inches deep.

OHIO RIVER

Pike Island Dam (Belmont County) - Water clarity is clearing up as the river returns to a more normal level.  Sauger fishing has been good, and anglers have been fishing the pier by vertical jigging with ? oz. or smaller jigging spoons.  Other methods for sauger fishing on the river include cast and a slow retrieve off the bottom of jigs with pearl or chartreuse twister tails tipped with a minnow.  Catfishing has been picking up in the evenings and early mornings, try night crawlers or chicken livers.  Anglers fishing for catfish have also reeled in the occasional hybrid striped bass.  Smallmouth bass fishing has been fair, try casting spinner baits, crankbaits, tube baits or top water "walk-the-dog" style baits off of stony points.

Ohio River (Jefferson County) - There are several anglers catching smallmouth below the New Cumberland lock.  The numbers being caught are in the double digits and the sizes range from 12-inch fish up to 18 inches.  Anglers are using jigheads with twister tails or grubs.  White and chartreuse colors were the hot picks this past weekend.  This tackle is ideal because it is effective and not expensive.  Tackle loss at this location can be high.

Riverbend to downtown area (Hamilton County) - Water levels are still high but anglers report channel cats off gravel humps in about 20 feet of water near channel drop-offs. Fish depths from 15 to 30 feet and try cut skipjack and shad.

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 picked up last week following several days of good weather.  A few walleye continue to be caught on the reefs although success has been minimal.  Anglers caught fish in clean water throughout the western basin (outside of the Camp Perry firing range, around the Bass Islands, and north of Kelleys Island) trolling Reef Runner crankbaits 140-160' behind planer boards.  Some walleye were caught on crawler harnesses, but crankbaits were still dominant.  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.

Central Basin

Walleye have been caught in the evenings in 15' around the Cleveland breakwalls.  Anglers are using stick baits such as rapalas, husky jerks, and bombers.

Yellow perch fishing has been good 25-38' NW of Gordon Park in Cleveland, 38-40' NW of Wildwood State Park, 35-56' NW of Fairport Harbor and 42' N of Geneva.   

Perch spreaders with shiners fished near the bottom produce the most fish.

Smallmouth bass fishing has been very good in 15 to 25' around harbor areas in Cleveland, Fairport Harbor, Geneva, Ashtabula and Conneaut.  Fish are being caught on soft-craws, leeches, tube jigs, blade baits and crank baits.

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

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