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Fish Ohio Report, 7-3-13

July 3, 2013

Inland Lakes and Rivers


Deer Creek Lake (Fayette and Pickaway counties) - This 1,287-acre lake southwest of Columbus provides good largemouth bass and crappie fishing. Fish shoreline cover and riprap for largemouth bass. Throwing creature baits, tubes and crankbaits is popular. When crappie fishing, use a minnow suspended under a bobber around wood for best results. Crappies must be nine inches or longer to keep. Channel catfish are being caught using cut shad, shrimp or catfish baits.

Article Photos

Adrian Puz with a nice largemouth bass, taken in Mahoning County, OH.

O'Shaughnessy Reservoir (Delaware County) - Saugeyes can be caught using trolling worm harnesses and small crankbaits in the south end of the reservoir. Try fishing the flats at dawn and dusk for good results. Bluegills are being caught in the north end and on shallow flats of the lake using wax worms and night crawlers. Largemouth bass are being found lake-wide around shoreline cover. Also fish secondary points and riprap areas. Try crankbaits, spinner baits, and tube baits in morning and evening for best results. Crappies have moved to deeper water, target drop offs into the old river channel.


Resthaven Wildlife Area, Pond 7 (Erie County) - Resthaven Wildlife Area is located just outside Castalia on State Route 269. The area has 444-acres of water contained in 10 different ponds. Anglers should still be able to hook into some largemouth bass this time of year. Typical largemouth lures include plastic worms and crankbaits. Pond 7 is also an excellent pond to fish for carp. For something new, try bow fishing for carp from the access roads or from a boat. Boats may be used on the ponds; however, no boat ramps are available at most of the ponds. Pond 8 does have a boat ramp and a handicapped accessible fishing pier. Gasoline motors up to 9.9 horsepower may be used on all ponds.

Fact Box


Deer Creek (Stark County) - The bass fishing has picked up at this scenic, electric-only lake. Try crankbaits near the causeway or soft plastics around wood cover for the chance at a big one.

Bressler Reservior (Allen County) - This reservoir is located outside the city of Lima, one mile south of State Route 81 and one mile north of State Route 117 on Kemp and Grubb Roads. Bresler Reservoir has a surface area of 582-acres. Its maximum depth is 44-feet near the northeast corner, with an average depth of 27-feet. An underwater island adjacent to the conservation pool along the southern shoreline has shallower depths to 10-feet. This shallower water provides better food production than the deeper waters of the reservoir and serves as a fish concentration device. The only aquatic vegetation beds in the reservoir are around this underwater island and in the shoreline area south of the boat ramp. Bluegill can be caught along the reservoir's entire shoreline; however, anglers usually have the best success at the east end of the north shore. Walleye can be caught along the drop-off all along the shoreline, or near the underwater island. Try drifting or trolling worm harnesses or crankbaits in the morning and evenings.


Deer Creek (Stark County) - The bass fishing has picked up at this scenic, electric-only lake. Try crankbaits near the causeway or soft plastics around wood cover for the chance at a big one. Bluegill continue to bite along the shoreline on worms or waxworms suspended under bobbers. The catfish action has slowed a little, with the bite switching to night crawlers fished off the bottom.

Tappan Lake (Harrison County) - Bass fishing has picked up at this larger lake as well, with fast moving lures triggering strikes. Try spinnerbaits or crankbaits near weeds, wood, or rock cover. Saugeye continue to bite as well, with crawler harnesses being the top bait. Some anglers are reporting success on crankbaits for saugeye as well.

Highlandtown Lake (Columbiana County) - The bass bite has been explosive at this remote, Wildlife Area lake. Topwaters and crankbaits have been producing tremendous catches of schooling fish chasing gizzard shad. Focus on the dam area and offshore structure. Anglers continue to catch good numbers of sunfish off the fishing pier on bobbers, and some catfish continue to be caught off the bottom on chicken livers. Common carp have moved shallow to spawn and are making a ruckus in the lily pads, providing a great opportunity for bowfishing anglers.


Seneca Lake (Guernsey and Noble counties) - Trophy striped bass can be targeted using artificial lures trolled near the first small island outside of the no wake zone. Saugeye can be caught by drift fishing jigs tipped with a twister tail and a minnow, or try twister jigs tipped with a night crawler and fished slow retrieve along the bottom. The area around the upper island and submerged humps near the mouth of Cadillac Bay are always popular with anglers. Channel cats can be caught off the banks of the lake near Briar Hill Road past the last island in the upper section of the lake. Try chicken livers or night crawlers for bait.

Hocking River (Hocking and Athens counties) - Smallmouth bass fishing is usually popular this time of year. The best smallie fishing tends to be in pools and near submerged structure, rocks, or root systems. Successful baits include minnows, roostertails, soft craws, and twisters. Any of these can be effective when fished from canoes or the shoreline. Channel catfish can also be found throughout the river. Try using cut bait, bluegill, and minnows..


East Fork Lake (Clermont County) - Crappies are being caught by anglers using live minnows or jigs tipped with PowerBait. Try fishing in and around structure such as brush piles and fallen trees. Keep the bait below nine feet deep. Channel catfish are being caught using chicken liver as bait. Keep the bait under a bobber and off of the bottom. Channel catfish are being caught off of Tunnel Mill.

CJ Brown (Clark County) - Walleye anglers are reporting success trolling deep diving lures. Try keeping the lures between nine and 14-feet.

Paint Creek Lake (Highland County) - Anglers are reporting success with crappie. Try using chartreuse jigs near the shore at about three to10-feet.


Racine Dam area - Live bait has been the hot choice this week for catching both hybrid striped bass and smallmouth bass. Try creek chubs, shiners, or your favorite variety of live bait fished near the dam.

Meldahl Dam area - Fishing pressure was pretty slow all along the river this week due to warm weather and scattered storms. Anglers are having the most success catching hybrid striped bass, channel catfish, and flatheads on chicken livers and night crawlers. Best times will be at dawn and dusk when the temperature is not too high.


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 5 through August 31. The minimum size limit for trout and salmon is 12 inches.

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

Western Basin

Walleye fishing was good over the past week until recent windy weather limited fishing opportunities (as of 7/2). The best areas were N of West Sister Island, Northwest Reef (W of North Bass Island), and American Eagle Shoal (SW of Kelleys Island). Trollers have been catching fish on worm harnesses or with divers and spoons. Drifters are using worm harnesses with bottom bouncers or are casting mayfly rigs.

Yellow perch fishing was good over the past week until recent windy weather limited fishing opportunities (as of 7/2). The best areas have been around the Toledo water intake, NE of West Sister Island, "C" can of the Camp Perry firing range, between South Bass Island and Green Island, and one mile E of the Kelleys Island airport. Perch spreaders with shiners fished near the bottom produce the most fish.

Smallmouth Bass fishing has been very good around South Bass Island. Anglers are using soft-craws, tube jigs, and crankbaits. Largemouth bass fishing has also been good in harbors and nearshore areas around Catawba and Marblehead.

Central Basin

Walleye fishing has been good W of the Huron dumping grounds, at the weather buoy, 1.5 miles N of Beaver Creek, nearshore from Sheffield to Avon point, in 61-65' of water N of Gordon Park in Cleveland, and in 40-42' of water NE of Chagrin River. Fishing has been excellent in 68-70' of water NE of Geneva and in 65-72' of water NW of the Ashtabula. Anglers are trolling dipsy and jet divers with worm harnesses and yellow ,orange, pink, copper and purple spoons. There has also been excellent fishing nearshore in 12-24' of water NW of Ashtabula and off Conneaut. Anglers are drifting Erie Dearies.

Yellow perch fishing has been excellent in 37' of water N of Wildwood State Park, in 33' of water N of Chagrin River, in 39-47' of water NW of Fairport Harbor (the hump) and in 45-48' of water N of the Conneaut. Shore anglers are catching a few fish off the E. 55 St pier in Cleveland and the long pier on the Grand River. Spreaders with shiners fished near the bottom produce the most fish.

Smallmouth bass fishing has been excellent in 15 to 25' of water around harbor areas in Cleveland, Fairport Harbor, Geneva, Ashtabula and Conneaut. Largemouth bass are also being caught in the same areas. Anglers are using soft-craws and leeches.

White Bass has been good in the evenings off Euclid Beach and Sims Park in Euclid. Anglers are using agitators with jigs and small spoons.

Rock Bass are being caught off the breakwalls in Fairport Harbor.

Channel Catfish has been very good along the Grand River. Anglers are using chicken livers and large chubs.

The water temperature is 69 degrees off of Toledo and 68 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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