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Fish Ohio Report, 10-2-13

October 2, 2013

Inland Lakes and Rivers


Kiser Lake (Champaign County) - This 394-acre lake in Champaign County is perfect for a quiet day on the water since no motors are allowed. The lake has a good population of largemouth bass; try plastics, light colored spinner baits and crankbaits along the lily pads or cover on the north side of the lake. Crappies are becoming more active as the water cools this fall. Fishing with minnows in the old creek channel or around woody cover is best. Bluegills are also being taken around aquatic vegetation and cover using wax worms and redworms.

O'Shaughnessy Reservoir (Delaware County) - This 912-acre reservoir north of Columbus is a good place to catch largemouth bass and channel catfish. For largemouth bass, try tubes and creature baits around shoreline cover targeting drop-offs and points. Channel catfish can be caught on cut baits, night crawlers, and shrimp fished on the bottom. Crappies are also being caught around woody cover using minnows and jigs.


Killdeer Plains Pond #33 (Wyandot County) - This pond is located northeast of the village of Marseilles, 1 mile east of State Route 67 on former County Road 75. Now is a good time to try for largemouth bass. Anglers usually have the best success early in the morning along the south dike and on the fishing piers. Try fishing with a jig and pig slowly off points, logs and other structure, or casting buzzbaits over weedbeds. The pond has a boat ramp with a floating dock. Boats are limited to 10 horsepower motors. Shore fishing is available from the dike and piers. Wading along the north shore is also popular.

Fact Box


Berlin Lake (Stark, Mahoning and Portage counties) - Anglers are seeing some good action at Berlin Lake. Vibees and jig-and-minnow combos are producing mixed bags of fish including mostly walleye, crappie and white bass.

Willard Reservoir (Huron County) - Walleye and perch should be biting now at the reservoir which is located on State Route 61, 2 miles north of New Haven. As the water temperature begins to cool this fall, fish for walleye along the contour breaks locate throughout the reservoir. Try casting diving crankbaits and jigs with minnows or vertical jigging blade bits. Anglers can fish from shore or from a boat. There is a boat ramp available, but only electric motors may be used. A boat permit must be obtained from the city of Willard at City Hall. For maps and fishing forecast, visit the Division's website at


Berlin Lake (Stark, Mahoning and Portage counties) - Anglers are seeing some good action at Berlin Lake. Vibees and jig-and-minnow combos are producing mixed bags of fish including mostly walleye, crappie and white bass. Anglers are also having success catching black bass, leaning heavily on crankbaits, jigs and topwater baits.

Lake Erie tributary streams (Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Lake, & Lorain counties) - Reports are flowing in of steelhead trout being caught in the rivers and streams in northeast Ohio. Ohio's primary steelhead streams are Vermilion, Rocky, Chagrin and Grand Rivers and Conneaut Creek. Several other rivers including the Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Huron and Black rivers, and Arcola, Cowles, Wheeler, French, Euclid, Turkey, Beaver and Cold creeks get runs of stray steelhead. Popular baits this time of year include casting spoons, jig-and-maggots, spawn sac bags and other live bait.


Dillon Lake (Muskingum County) - Cooler weather can mean some great opportunities to catch largemouth bass in this 1,376-acre lake. Try using spinner baits, jigs or crankbaits that imitate gizzard shad or crayfish. Fall is also a great time to start looking for crappies again. Drift fishing with minnows is recommended to locate schools of crappies. Shovelhead and channel catfish can still be caught on suckers, small bluegills and worms. Don't overlook the Dillon tailwaters this time of year as saugeye and hybrid striped bass fishing can be very good.

Hammertown Lake (Jackson City Reservoir) (Jackson County) - Fishing should be picking up in this 157-acre lake and will continue to improve as the water temperatures cool, especially in the bay area and in the evening hours. Largemouth bass are feeding heavily this time of year preparing for winter. To capitalize on this feeding frenzy try using lures that imitate forage fish and crayfish. Spinner baits or any top water lures like buzzbaits or floating Rapalas are good choices this time of year. Remember that there is a 5 fish limit for largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass at this lake and that none may be taken between 12 and 15 inches. For channel catfish use chicken livers or night crawlers fished on the bottom.


Great Miami River (Miami, Montgomery and Warren counties) - Smallmouth bass fishing can be excellent as the water cools and river conditions remain clear and stable. Look for areas with water deeper than 4 feet around bridge pilings, submerged logs and undercut banks. Try drifting a live night crawler or minnow fished under a bobber. Plastic crayfish or crank baits in crawdad patterns are also effective.

Rocky Fork Lake (Highland County) - Saugeyes are being taken in 8-to-15 foot depths near the islands and along main lake points. Try trolling silver-colored crank baits so that the lure occasionally bumps bottom. Largemouth bass can be found along rocky shorelines and near fallen trees. Cast jigs, rubber worms and crankbaits for bass.


Clermont County - Fishing for striped bass and catfish is hot right now. Fish above or below the Meldahl Dam using chicken liver or night crawlers fished on the bottom.


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. The best areas have been Northwest Reef, West Reef and "F" can of the Camp Perry firing range. 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 improved over the past week. The best areas have been N and E of West Sister Island, near the N end of the Toledo shipping channel, N of "B" can of the Camp Perry firing range, West Reef, W of Green and Rattlesnake islands, NW of Kelleys Island, and 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. Some smallmouth bass have been reported on the reefs of the Camp Perry firing range.

Central Basin

Walleye fishing is improving off of Huron, mostly 8 to 12 miles N and NE of the river. Fishing continues to be excellent in 62-72' of water NE of Ashtabula and in 68-72' of water N of Conneaut. Many limit catches were reported this past week. Anglers are trolling wire line with white, pink, blue, yellow, orange, green and red stick baits.

Yellow perch fishing has been fair 1 mile N of Beaver Creek, in 38' of water N. of Lorain, and at the S end of the sandbar between Vermilion and Lorain. Excellent fishing was reported in 45' of water NE of Gordon Park, in 41-43' of water N of Wildwood Park, in 42' of water N and 44-62' of water NW (the hump) of Fairport Harbor, in 56-65' of water NE of Ashtabula, and in 52-70' of water NW 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.

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

The water temperature is 63 degrees off of Toledo and 67 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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