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Fish Ohio Report, Oct. 31, 2012

October 31, 2012

Provided by ODNR


Buckeye Lake (Fairfield, Licking, and Perry Counties) - As water temperatures continue to cool hybrid striped bass will feed more actively. Try chicken livers fished on the bottom or troll spinners along the north shore from Seller's point to the north boat ramp at St. Rt. 79. Channel catfish are being taken right now using cut bait on the bottom. Crappies from 10 to 13 inches are active, use minnows and jigs around points especially in the east half of the lake.

Article Photos

Barry Johnson (left) and Jimmy Johnson, perch caught on Lake Erie.

O'Shaughnessy Reservoir - This 912-acre reservoir north of Columbus is a good place to catch largemouth bass, crappies, and saugeye. For largemouth bass try tubes, and creature baits around shoreline cover, drop offs and points. Crappies are being caught around woody cover, use minnows or jigs suspended by a bobber. Saugeye are active in the southern end of the reservoir. Use crankbaits and jigs with night crawlers fished close to the bottom for best results.


Clear Fork Reservoir (Richland and Morrow Counties) - Located just 8 miles south of Mansfield along State Route 97, this 971-acre reservoir is well known for its muskellunge population. It is one of the 8 lakes stocked with muskellunge in Ohio. Muskie can be caught by fishing large crankbaits along the edges of weed beds. Anglers can also catch yellow perch using minnows and redworms. Crappies can be caught using minnows as bait as well. Try fishing around fallen trees and other structure. There are three picnic areas with access to the lake located along the south side of the reservoir. Shore fishing is only allowed along the south and west shorelines from the Orewiler Road bridge to a point 1000 feet upstream of the dam. There are no motor size restrictions, but an 8 mph speed limit is enforced by the city of Mansfield.

Fact Box


Buckeye Lake (Fairfield, Licking, and Perry Counties) - As water temperatures continue to cool hybrid striped bass will feed more actively. Try chicken livers fished on the bottom or troll spinners along the north shore from Seller's point to the north boat ramp at St. Rt. 79.

Ottawa Reservoir (Putnam County) - This 20-acre reservoir is located near the Putnam County Fairgrounds on South Agner Street. Try fishing for saugeye, channel catfish, and crappie in this small above ground reservoir. For saugeye, try using minnows, night crawlers, and jigs tipped with worms. To catch crappies, use minnows suspended under a bobber. Catfish can be caught using night crawlers, shrimp, or cut shad as bait. Try fishing along the shoreline in the evening. Boats are allowed, but are restricted to electric motors only. There is no boat ramp, so only small boats which can be carried may be used.

Bellevue Reservoir #5 (Huron County) - Now should be a good time to catch crappie and yellow perch at this 85-acre reservoir located at the intersection of State Route 547 and County Road 30. Try for crappies in the mornings and evenings using minnows on the north and south banks. For perch, try fishing the west side using minnows under a slip bobber. Fishing is from the shore only.


Tappan Lake (Harrison County)- The hybrid cross between a female walleye and a male sauger- the saugeye- is a fish that can be caught all year round at this 2,132-acre lake. Saugeye stocked in 1999 are expected to average over 20-inches this year. Some fish from earlier stockings may even exceed 30-inches. Casting Rat-L-Trap style lures or using crankbaits and jigs with minnows into shallow waters at sunrise and sunset should do the trick. Vertical jigging with Sonars, Cicada's and other jigging type lures around the bridges located on U.S. 250 from mid-October through mid-November can be very effective. Saugeye are attracted to current and with the water level being drawn down at this time, the saugeye congregate at these constriction points, where water current is most noticeable. It's never too muddy for a saugeye since they tolerate turbid water very well, so try black jigs and twister tails in these conditions. The white crappie outlook is good with many crappie averaging 8.5-inches. Anglers are reminded that there is a nine-inch minimum length limit and a daily bag limit of 30 for crappie in this lake to improve fish quality. Wheelchair accessible shoreline facilities available; 299 horsepower limit.


Wills Creek Lake (Muskingum County) - Saugeye fishing generally picks up in the late fall, and this 375-acre lake is a great place to find this popular sport fish. Jig-and-twister combinations, vibrating blade baits, stick baits, and live baits such as minnows are all popular with anglers. Try fishing any of these around shallow flats, points, or areas with riprap. The tailwater area below the dam can also be very successful. Dusk and evening times may be your best bet for activity.

Dow Lake (Athens County) - This 171-acre lake, located inside Strouds Run State Park, is a popular destination for local anglers. Shore access is available from U.S. Route 50, and boat access is available from County Road 20 (Stroud's Run Road). Fall offers great opportunities for largemouth bass as the cooler temperatures cause the fish to move back to shallower water. Try fishing around structure such as weed beds and fallen trees using spinner baits and crankbaits.


Acton Lake (Preble County) - Good crappie action being reported. Minnows are the bait of choice. Try about 15-foot deep and slow retrieve from bottom.

Grand Lake St. Marys (Auglaize and Mercer counties) - Channel catfish are being caught by anglers using night crawlers, cut shad, or chicken liver as bait. Fish the bait along the bottom of the lake. Keep the bait along the sides of underwater structure such as the stumps in the shallower bays. Bluegills are being a caught by anglers using wax worms or redworms as bait. Fish them two to three feet deep and under a bobber. Fish the bait along the shore, near any type of structure including the rocky areas and seawalls, and into the channels. Yellow perch are being caught by tipping a jig with night crawlers, minnows, redworms, tiger worms, or wax worms. Cast anywhere along the state beaches and fishing piers. Successful anglers are fishing the shorelines where the wind is blowing into them. Fish the bait in three to five feet of water and about six-inches off of the bottom. Largemouth bass are being caught by anglers using slow baits in the back of the bays such as jigs, jig-n-pig combos, Carolina Rigs, and rubber worms. Shad color variations, pink, purple with a green head, or a black or white head colored lures are working well. Fish the main lake points.

Great Miami River (Hamilton, Butler, Warren, Montgomery, Miami & Shelby Counties) - Anglers are reporting nice catches of smallmouth bass in the 13 to 17-inch range. Use dark colored twisters, Texas rigged, Hot-n-Tots and X-Raps. Cast into bank and bounce back along areas with sunken trees and rocky slopes.

Mad River (Clark, Montgomery Counties) - Trout are being taken on Mepps spinners and roostertails. Wading the river and fishing from a kayak are both popular with anglers.


Western Ohio River - Anglers are still taking channel catfish. They are being caught on chicken livers and cut bait around warm water discharges. Carp are biting on dough balls and corn. Hybrids are hitting Rapalas and rattletraps.

Eastern Ohio River - Hybrid striped bass and white bass fishing remains consistent in the tailwaters. Popular baits include twister tails and casting spoons. The sauger bite should start picking up as the water temperature continues to drop. Try using jigs tipped with twister tails or minnows in the tailwaters, creek mouths and around the islands. Catfish are still active and can be caught on skipjack, night crawlers, or chicken livers.

Belleville Locks and Dam - Sauger and walleye fishing is starting to pick up in the tailwaters section as river temperatures cool. Try white or chartreuse twister tails or swimbaits near the dam and along the walkway. Night and early morning are the best times right now, although fish are still being caught throughout the day. Walleyes over 22-inches are being caught, though most walleye and sauger will be in the 12 to 16-inch range. Hybrid striped bass fishing continues to remain good, with many three to four pound fish being caught. Spoons, crankbaits and livebait seem to work best.

Regulations to Remember:

The daily bag limit for walleye on Ohio waters of Lake Erie is 6 fish per angler. The minimum size limit for walleye is 15 inches.

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

The trout and salmon daily bag limit is 2 fish per angler from September 1 through May 15. The minimum size limit for trout and salmon is 12 inches.

The black bass (largemouth and smallmouth bass) daily bag limit of 5 fish and a 14-inch minimum size limit.

Western Basin

All reports are based on fishing information before the major storm hit on October 29, 2012.

Walleye: There have been very few reports over the past week. As temperatures drop walleye will return to the islands area. Most walleye are caught in the fall by trolling crankbaits off of planer boards.

Yellow perch fishing has been good when the weather has allowed. The best areas have been 1 to 3 miles off Little Cedar Point, E of West Sister Island, N of "C" can of the Camp Perry firing range, N of Green Island, E of Kelleys Island, and between Kelleys Island and Marblehead. Perch spreaders with shiners fished near the bottom produce the most fish.

Central Basin

All reports are based on fishing information before the major storm hit on October 29, 2012.

Walleye had been caught 4 to 8 miles N-NW of Huron. Most fish were caught by trolling with worm harnesses or crankbaits.

Yellow perch fishing has been good within 1 mile of Huron and Vermilion. Farther east fishing continues to be excellent with many limit catches. The best locations to fish are in 32-35' of water NW of Wildwood State Park, in 35' of water N of Chagrin River, in 49-52' of water NW of Fairport Harbor (the hump), and in 45-62' of water NE of Conneaut. Perch spreaders with shiners fished near the bottom produce the most fish. The best shore fishing spots to try are the Cleveland Piers and at Headlands Beach Pier in Mentor and the Fairport Harbor Pier. Fair catches were reported this past week at the Fairport Harbor Pier. Anglers are using crappie rigs and spreaders with shiners and the mornings and evenings have been best.

Steelhead Trout: All rivers are near flood stage and it will be several days or longer before they are fishable again. Call ahead to your local bait shops to check on river and stream conditions. Before the storm, anglers were catching fish off the Fairport Pier at the mouth of the Grand River and also in the river up to the Uniroyal hole. Boat anglers were having good luck in the Grand River as well as the Ashtabula River and Conneaut Creek. Try using small spoons, spinner baits, and jigs with maggots.

The water temperature is 50 degrees off of Toledo and 57 degrees off of Cleveland according to the nearshore marine forecast.

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



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