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Fish Ohio Report, 7-17-13

July 18, 2013

Inland Lakes and Rivers


Buckeye Lake (Fairfield, Licking and Perry Counties) - Channel catfish are being caught around Lieb's Island and Fairfield Beach areas use cut shad or shrimp. Largemouth bass are being caught along cover. Target vegetation, points and riprap using spinner baits, crankbaits, and plastics. Hybrid striped bass can be caught using spinners or drifting chicken livers between Seller's point and the north ramp.

Article Photos

Rick Todd with a nice walleye (29 1/2') taken on a Lake Erie charter aboard Trophy Charters of Andover, OH.

Hargus Creek Lake (Pickaway County) - A large population of largemouth bass measuring 8-12 inches, with some larger, can be found at this lake of 146 acres near Circleville. Fish main lake points, secondary points with rip rap, and drop-offs using crankbaits, spinner baits and tubes for consistent catches. A fair population of 6-7 inch bluegill and redear sunfish can be caught using night crawlers suspended by a bobber. For a change try fishing crickets or use a fly rod and present floating spiders or poppers for bluegill. Electric motors only.


Lake LeComte, Fostoria #5 (Hancock County) - Lake LeComte is three miles southwest of Fostoria on Hancock Country Road 23. Lake LeComte has populations of bluegill, black and white crappie, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, white bass, and brown bullhead. The Division of Wildlife has stocked yellow perch, saugeye, and channel catfish in the reservoir. Gizzard shad is the main forage species, so using baits that mimic shad can be productive when pursuing saugeye and bass. Crappie have been biting recently. Try fishing with minnows in the southeast corner. Boats are allowed on the reservoir, with a 9.9 horsepower restriction.

Fact Box

LaDue Reservoir (Geauga County) - Crappie have been biting well on the 22 and 422 overpasses. Anglers are using perch rigs tipped with minnows, catching lots of bonus white perch as well. Largemouth bass have been biting well, particularly during low light.

Sandusky Bay (Ottawa and Erie Counties) - Once the water levels settle down from recent the storms, anglers should be able to catch some nice channel catfish in the Bay. Public fishing accesses include the Willow Point Wildlife Area off of Wahl Road, Pipe Creek, Pickerel Creek, and and the Sandusky Bay Bridge Fishing Access off of State Route 2. Try using worms, shrimp, or chicken livers fished on the bottom.


Highlandtown Lake (Columbiana County) - Classic summer bass patterns continue to produce on this quiet, hill country lake. Try topwater baits during low light conditions, or crankbaits near offshore structure for largemouth bass feeding on gizzard shad. The catfish bite has been pretty steady, with worms and chicken livers doing well, but commercial stinkbait has been producing lately as well. Sunfish continue to bite well on worms fished under a bobber, but small jigs have produced some good catches lately as well.

LaDue Reservoir (Geauga County) - Crappie have been biting well on the 22 and 422 overpasses. Anglers are using perch rigs tipped with minnows, catching lots of bonus white perch as well. Largemouth bass have been biting well, particularly during low light. Try targeting offshore structure and weedbeds with topwater lures, weedless frogs, spinnerbaits, and Carolina-rigged soft plastics. Channel catfish have been taking the occasional bluegill angler by surprise, with several reports of good catches on worms fished under a bobber.


Piedmont Lake (Belmont County) - Channel catfish anglers should try fishing night crawlers using tight-line techniques in the shallow coves of the lake. Channel catfish can usually be caught using night crawlers and chicken livers. Flathead catfish are also found in the lake, try using bluegill as bait and fishing the area close to the marina. Largemouth bass may still be caught in the very early morning and late at night when the weather is a bit cooler. Try rigging a worm "wacky style" for a different presentation.

Lake Snowden (Athens County) - The high water and hot temperatures left over from the recent storms have not created the best conditions for anglers, but with a little planning and some patience you can still find some fish. Largemouth bass are going to be moving deeper this time of year to take advantage of the cooler water, but will come into the shallows between dusk and dawn to feed. Try targeting them at this time using plastic worms or crankbaits. Channel catfish may provide the best opportunity in muddy conditions since they are not primarily sight feeders. Try targeting shallow coves and bats at night using any of the typical catfish baits like night crawlers, chicken livers, or any of the prepared baits..


Stillwater River (Miami County) - Smallmouth bass are being caught by anglers using artificial soft craws and real soft craws. Lead headed jigs tipped with a curly tail or other soft bait. The best color choices are black and green or pumpkinseed.

East Fork (Clermont County) - Largemouth bass are being caught by anglers using plastic worms, banded crankbaits, or top water baits such as buzzbaits. Best times are early in the morning and late in the evening. Cast along the points, buck brush, banks and in the areas with submerged trees or brush. Jig the worm on the bottom. Keep the shiners or minnows moving in the top two to three feet of water. Channel catfish are being caught by anglers using minnows or chicken liver as bait. Larger channel catfish are being caught on the night crawlers, Nitro worms (green night crawlers), or chicken livers. Keep the bait along the bottom and near any rock wall and at least 18 feet deep. Bluegills are hitting on meal worms, wax worms, or redworms. Keep the bait under a bobber and about two to five feet deep. Cast anywhere around the docks, standing wood, or downed trees. Hybrid striped bass are being caught by anglers trolling near the main beach, campground beach, and the flat near the Army Corp ramp. Start watching for schools of shad acting skittish on the surface and be ready to cast a twister or bait into the school.


Water levels on the Ohio River have been unusually high in the past weeks due to the abnormally large rainfall events. While levels have gone down in many places, the release of water still creates strong currents and unfavorable conditions. Anglers are encouraged to check water levels before deciding to fish.


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 (as of 7/16). The best areas were between West Sister Island and Middle Sister Island, off of Crane Creek, Northwest Reef (W of North Bass Island), and between Kelleys Island Shoal and the Canadian border. 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 (as of 7/16). The best areas have been the gravel pit, "B" can of the Camp Perry firing range, between Rattlesnake Island and West Reef, between Kelleys Island and Lakeside, and 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 at the weather buoy between Vermilion and Lorain near the Canadian border, in 20-24' of water NE of Rocky River, in 32-42' of water N of Edgewater, in 68-72' of water NE of Geneva, and in 68-72' of water N of Ashtabula. Anglers are trolling dipsy and jet divers with worm harnesses and yellow ,orange, pink, green and purple spoons with copper backs.

Yellow perch fishing has been excellent in 39-43' of water off of Avon point, Edgewater, Eastlake/Mentor, Fairport Harbor, Ashtabula, and Conneaut. Shore anglers are catching a few fish off the E. 55 St pier in Cleveland, the Mentor Headlands pier, and the short 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 (5-20' of water), Fairport Harbor, Geneva, Ashtabula and Conneaut. Largemouth bass are also being caught in the same areas. Anglers are using crankbaits, spinnerbaits, tube jigs, curly tail grubs, soft-craws and leeches.

White Bass has been fair in the evenings off Euclid Beach and Sims Park in Euclid and the short pier in Fairport Harbor. Anglers are using agitators with jigs and small spoons.

The water temperature is 74 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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