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Fish Ohio Report, 9-25-13

September 26, 2013

Inland Lakes and Rivers


Kokosing Lake (Knox County) - This lake of 149 acres in Knox County is limited to outboard motors of 10 horsepower or less. Largemouth bass are being caught around shoreline cover and along the dam using spinner baits and tubes. Bluegills are in shallow areas, try wax worms or night crawlers under a bobber. As water temperatures decrease crappies will move to shallower water. Use minnows or crappie jigs fished under a slip bobber around cover or the old creek channel for best results. Channel catfish can be caught on chicken livers, shrimp, or night crawlers fished on the bottom.

Madison Lake (Madison County) - Crappies are the target fish in this 104-acre lake west of Columbus. Use minnows and a bobber around woody cover especially in the northern half of the lake to catch fish over nine inches and up to 13 inches long. Largemouth bass are being caught around shoreline cover and in concentrations of shad. Catfish can be caught using shrimp and chicken livers fished on the bottom. Lake is restricted to use of electric motors only.


Beaver Creek Reservoir (Seneca County) - The reservoir is located at the intersection of Township Road 196 and County Road 34 in the northeastern part of the county. Boat anglers have been catching nice sized yellow perch and crappie fishing near the bottom using minnows and shiners. Sunfish have been biting as well. Anglers have been using redworms fished under a slip bobber near the bottom. A boat ramp is located on the east side of the reservoir. Boats are limited to electric motors.

Fact Box


Muskingum River (Morgan County) - Carp and catfish are most active right now. For carp, try casting dough balls or corn. Catfish prefer night crawlers, chicken liver, or cut bait fished on the bottom in the current.

Lake McKarns (Williams County) - Lake McKarns is located on the St. Joseph Wildlife Area, south of Montpelier on County Road J and west of County Road 10. The lake is 70 acres in size and right now is a good time to try for some largemouth bass. Try fishing along the edges, particularly in the southwest area of the lake. Anglers should try using top water lures fished along the structure edges. There is a daily bass limit of 3 fish, in which only 2 fish less than 14 inches and 1 fish greater or equal to 20 inches may be kept. The lake features a boat ramp and boats are limited to 10 horsepower engines.


Cuyahoga River (Cuyahoga, Geauga, Portage, and Summit counties) - With autumn upon us, fishing for northern pike is picking up in the Cuyahoga River! Consistently producing regions of the river include the Fuller Park area in Kent, Rt. 303 bridge area near Shalersville, and the area in and around Mantua. Remember to obtain written permission to wade-fish on private property. As fall gets into full swing and water temperatures drop, pike begin their fall feeding frenzy putting away energy reserves for both winter survival and their early spring spawn. Try fishing with large baits and lures that mimic prey fish such as shad, suckers, and chubs. Examples include larger crank baits, jerkbaits, swimbaits, lipless crankbaits, and large spinners. The use of a small leader will minimize the chances of a pike biting off your line. Don't miss the thrill of catching this large, feisty, toothy fish while wading along the scenic Cuyahoga River this fall!

West Branch Reservoir (Portage County) - Some major bonus action is taking place for walleye anglers out at West Branch the last couple of weeks. While trolling for walleye, angler's rods are being pummeled by some large muskies. This recent bump in activity could provide adrenaline seekers a chance at quite a rush. To specifically target muskies try trolling cranks, possibly downsizing to match YOY shad, and running bait in the prop wash. If muskie fishing is too much heart pumping action for you, you can try and find the fall crappie bite. Crappie are starting to work in shallower. Must schools are still being found suspended around structure or contour breaks. Small jigs tipped with a minnow have been the way to go lately.


Muskingum River (Morgan County) - Carp and catfish are most active right now. For carp, try casting dough balls or corn. Catfish prefer night crawlers, chicken liver, or cut bait fished on the bottom in the current. Use a heavy sinker to hold the bait on bottom. Saugeye fishing should be picking up. Use a variety of jigs and concentrate effort below any of the 10 lock and dams located between Dresden and Marietta.

Hocking River (Athens and Hocking County) - The stretch of river by White's Mill in the Athens area is always a popular and usually successful spot for local anglers. Try casting Rebel craws or other artificial soft craws in the deeper pools of the river for smallmouth bass. The old train station in Nelsonville, Falls Mill and Kachelmacher Park in Logan are all popular spots for smallie anglers. Concentrate your fishing in high velocity current, where woody structure is present in more than 20 inches of water. Float shallow diving minnow imitation lures, or use white and chartreuse twister-tails on 1/8 to 1/4 ounce jigs.


Acton Lake (Preble County) - Channel catfish are biting on creek chubs or night crawlers fished along the bottom or between eight to 19 feet deep during the late evening or early morning hours. Fishing for channel catfish is productive anywhere in the lake. Bluegills are being caught by anglers using wax worms or night crawlers as bait. Bluegill fishing is bountiful along the banks. Saugeye are active in this lake and are currently being caught by anglers using night crawlers, bass minnows, or jigs as bait. Fish the bait by trolling it through in water that is eight to 10 feet deep.

East Fork (Clermont County) - Crappies are being caught by anglers using wax worms, tube jigs, or medium to large sized minnows tipped on chartreuse jigs as bait. Fish the bait six to eight inches deep or 16 to 20 feet deep. Channel catfish are being caught by anglers fishing tightline at night using night crawlers, large minnows, or chicken liver as bait. Fishing is best in water between eight to 20 feet deep. Bluegill are hitting on wax worms or redworms. Keep the bait under a bobber and about two to three feet deep. Cast anywhere around the docks, standing wood, or downed trees. Largemouth bass are being caught by anglers using six-inch plastic worms, spinner baits, or deep diving (six to 10 feet) crankbaits colored shad.


Clermont, Brown and Adams Counties -Try fishing the embankments, near stream confluences, and near warmwater discharges. Spinner baits, jig/pork combinations, and crankbaits are good lures to try. Warmwater discharges and stream confluences as well as the dam tailwaters are good areas to fish for sauger - try using twister tail jigs and minnows. Sauger and hybrid striped bass have also been caught on big creek chubs or any deep-diving bait that resemble minnows. For hybrid striped bass and channel catfish stay in any of the tailwaters. Channel cats are being caught on cut bait, live shad, chicken livers and worms. Flathead catfish have been hitting cut baits, chicken liver, and night crawlers fished on the bottom. For smallmouth bass try tube baits or crankbaits.

Greenup Dam (Scioto County) - Recent surveys showed good numbers of smallmouth bass. While not a traditional target fish in this area, they can provide a different opportunity for the adventurous angler. Target the large rock riprap along the Ohio shore with a crankbait, swimbait, or lead-head jig with a twister. Fishing for blue catfish has been successful in this area, with catches up to 30 pounds reported in previous years. Live skipjack has generally been the preferred bait, and don't be afraid to use one up to 12 inches in size. Try using a slip rig or a 3-way rig fished off the bottom. Channel catfish can be caught by the same method.


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 with a minimum size limit of 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 effort has dropped recently and there have been very few reports from the western basin. As temperatures drop expect fishing to improve as migratory walleye return to the islands and also nearshore areas. Trolling crankbaits behind planer boards is a popular method for catching fall walleye.

Yellow perch fishing was fair over the past week. The best areas have been West Sister Island, "C" can of the Camp Perry firing range, West Reef and Northwest Reef (W of North Bass Island), W of Green and Rattlesnake islands, 1 mile SW of Kelleys Island, and S of Kelleys Island Shoal. Perch spreaders with shiners fished near the bottom produce the most fish.

Largemouth bass fishing continues to be good in harbors and nearshore areas around Catawba and Marblehead, and also in Sandusky Bay.

Central Basin

Walleye fishing continues to be excellent in 62-72' of water NE of Ashtabula and in 68-72' of water N of Conneaut. Anglers are trolling wire line with white, pink, blue, yellow, orange, green and red stick baits.

Yellow perch fishing has been fair at the S end of the sandbar between Vermilion and Lorain. Excellent fishing was reported in 42' of water N of Rocky River, in 44' of water N of Gordon Park, in 42' of water NW of Fairport Harbor (south of the hump), in 45-52' of water N of Ashtabula and in 42-68' of water NE of Conneaut. Spreaders with shiners fished near the bottom produce the most fish. Shore fishing off the Cleveland area piers has been slow.

Smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing has been good in 10 to 20' of water around harbor areas in Cleveland, Fairport Harbor, Geneva, Ashtabula and Conneaut. Anglers are using soft-craws and leeches.

White Bass fishing has been hit and miss off the E. 55th St and E 72nd St Piers in Cleveland and the short and long piers in Fairport Harbor. Evenings have been the best. On the lake, look for gulls feeding on shiners at the surface; the white bass will be below. Anglers are using agitators with jigs and small spoons.

Channel Catfish are being caught off the Edgewater and E 55 St piers in Cleveland and the short pier in Fairport harbor. The evenings are best. Anglers are using nightcrawlers.

Steelhead Trout are being caught off the short Pier in Fairport Harbor. Anglers are using small spoons and jigs tipped with maggots.

The water temperature is 63 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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