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Fish Ohio Report, 8-27-14

August 27, 2014

Inland Lakes and Rivers


Knox Lake (469 acres; Knox County) - Largemouth bass: Are a popular fish at this lake. Target shoreline cover and the stump field in the east end of the lake using spinner baits, plastics, and crankbaits. Largemouth bass must be 18 inches or longer to harvest. Channel catfish: Are biting on chicken livers, cut bait, and night crawlers. Fish the points and around the stump field at night for best results. Crappie: The crappie bite will increase as water temperatures decrease. Use minnows and jigs around woody cover.

Article Photos

Freeman Hawkins with a nice 14' crappie, taken from Westville Lake, OH. Photo courtesy of Runzo's Sports

Olentangy River (Delaware and Franklin counties) - Smallmouth bass and rock bass: are two fish species that provide action to the angler on this river that runs through Columbus. The best angling can be found from Highbanks Metropark to the Delaware Lake dam. Try spinners and crayfish-imitating crankbaits around rocks and other cover in pools and runs. Other fish present include crappie, saugeye, carp and channel catfish.


Clear Fork Reservoir (971 acres; Richland and Morrow counties) Clear Fork is one of the 8 lakes stocked with muskellunge in Ohio. However, the reservoir has good populations of largemouth bass and bluegill as well. Bluegill: fishing should be excellent this time of year with fish ranging from 5 to 7 inches, with an occasional 9 inch fish being taken. Try using wax worms, or worm pieces fished under a bobber along the edges of weed beds. Largemouth bass : fishing should also be excellent right now. Try using jigs tipped with pork, fished near structure located on the bottom. 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


Willow Island Pool (Hannibal Lock and Dam Tailwater) (Monroe County) Hybrid striped bass: A popular area is the hydro plant discharge at the Hannibal Dam. Hybrids can be caught at the surface and on the bottom of the river.

Killdeer Plains Pond #33 (Wyandot County) - 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.


Portage Lakes (1,190 acres; Summit County) - All lakes in this system have a 400 horsepower limit. All areas are "no wake" except for portions of Turkeyfoot Lake and East Reservoir. Largemouth bass: anglers are finding fish offshore. They are catching some nice sizes in the 3-to-4 pound range in deep water while using crankbaits.

Highlandtown Lake (187 acres; Columbiana County) - Boat launching ramps and latrines (seasonal) are situated at two locations on the north side of Highlandtown Lake. Boats with motors of 10 HP or less are permitted on the lake. Sunfish: palm-sized bluegills are being caught in seven to eight feet of water from shore by anglers using wax worms or red worms on small hooks under a bobber. Anglers are finding success while fishing known sunken fish attractors. These locations can be found on the Highlandtown Lake map at


Burr Oak Lake (632 acres; Athens and Morgan counties) Largemouth bass: If fishing during the day, try using plastic worms at the edge of weedlines. If fishing during the night, try using top-water baits in the lily pads, especially in the upper end around Dock 3. Channel catfish: Nighttime fishing is normally reliable at most major tributary sites within the lake, especially where the east branch of Sunday Creek enters in the upper end of the lake around Dock 3. Tight-line fishing using night crawlers or chicken livers is the preferred method, but other baits like shrimp, red worms, and cut bait should work just as well.

Piedmont Lake (2,273 acres; Belmont County) Largemouth bass: Fishing success will continue to improve with the cooling temperatures. Crankbaits or spinner baits cast parallel to the shoreline are popular choices for anglers. As shad begin moving into the lower end of the lake, shad-colored baits should be the most successful. Saugeye: On bright days fish in deeper water and on overcast days fish in shallow water. The most successful technique in the past has been vertical jigging with twister tails in a variety of colors tipped with a night crawler. Smallmouth bass : Nighttime angling for smallies is especially productive this time of year: fish along rocky shorelines in 6-to-9 feet of water using tube jugs and spinner baits. Short-arm spinner baits (7/16 ounce) with a pork trailer work well at this lake. Spinner baits should be retrieved slowly just along the bottom over rocky substrate.


Caesar Creek (Clinton, Greene, and Warren counties) Muskellunge: in-line spinners and crankbaits. Muskie are also being taken in the smaller creeks leading into the lake. If you catch a muskie please report your catch to the Division of Wildlife's Muskie Angler Log. The Muskie Angler Log was developed in partnership with the Ohio Muskie Anglers as a resource for Ohio Muskie anglers and to support muskie management efforts in Ohio by providing valuable muskie catch data to the Ohio Division of Wildlife. Saugeye : Troll medium or deep diving crankbaits along submerged points or underwater humps. Cast or drift with live night crawlers on a bottom bouncing harness rig, or use a lead head jig tipped with a piece of worm; fish in the early morning and early evening hours. Channel catfish: are being caught by shore anglers using night crawlers, shrimp, and chicken livers. Fish the bait tight line along the bottom in 5-to-8 foot depths.

C. J. Brown Reservoir (Clark County) Walleye : are being caught by anglers using crankbaits, jigs with plastic bodies or curly tails, small spinners, or live minnows, leeches, or night crawlers. Good curly tail color choices are white, orange, pink, or chartreuse. Fish by slowly jigging, trolling or drifting baits in 10-to-15 foot depths. Anglers report that the most successful bait has been silver or gold blade baits. Anglers report walleyes are being caught in the main lake river channel, around structure, and over the humps. The best fishing is in the very early morning hours. Most walleye are undersized fish but some legal fish are being caught. REMEMBER all walleye less than 15 inches long must be immediately released back into the lake. Channel catfish: are being caught by anglers using shad, shrimp, night crawlers, and chicken livers in the upper end of the lake. Fish the bait tight line or slowly drift the bait along the bottom in 3-to-6 foot depths.


Willow Island Pool (Hannibal Lock and Dam Tailwater) (Monroe County) Hybrid striped bass: A popular area is the hydro plant discharge at the Hannibal Dam. Hybrids can be caught at the surface and on the bottom of the river. Anglers should look for jumping schools of bait fish as signs of hybrids feeding on the surface. Use surface baits or near surface baits if fish are feeding near the surface. Soft bodied swim baits (fished below a "launcher float") and shallow running or surface stick baits such as pencil poppers work well when fish are feeding near the surface. Channel and flathead catfish : Both of these fish can be caught this time of year using cut bait fished on the bottom. Most catfish (and hybrids) can be caught in current off of the most upstream fishing platform and in slack water along the sides of the hydro plant.

Western Ohio River (Cincinnati to Adams County) Fishing has been slow with most action around Meldahl Dam or the tributaries running into the Ohio. Catfish, channel and flathead: chicken livers or cut bait. Blue cats: are being taken in the downtown Cincinnati area on skip jack.

Lake Erie

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.

* Through August 31 the trout and salmon daily bag limit is 5 fish per angler. From September 1 through May 15 the bag limit reduces to 2 fish per angler. The minimum size limit is 12 inches.

* The daily bag limit for black bass (largemouth and smallmouth bass) in Ohio waters of Lake Erie is 5 fish per angler. The minimum size limit for black bass is 14 inches.

Western Basin


Where: Walleye fishing has been slow in the western basin. The best reports have come from west of Rattlesnake Island up to the Canadian border, including Northwest Reef, West Reef, and the red bell buoy near the Canadian border. Other spots to try include northwest of Kelleys Island and off Cedar Point.

How: Anglers trolling are using worm harnesses with inline weights, divers or bottom bouncers, and spoons pulled behind divers. Anglers casting are using mayfly rigs or are drifting with bottom bouncers and worm harnesses.

Yellow Perch

Where:Yellow perch fishing has been good based on numbers of fish, but the size of the fish has been small, including a lot of throwbacks. The best spots have been north of "B" can of the Camp Perry firing range, Rattlesnake Island, Green Island, Lucy's Point of Middle Bass Island, the green buoy off Catawba, southeast of Kelleys Island, and off Kelleys Island Shoal.

How: Perch spreaders with shiners fished near the bottom produce the most fish.

Smallmouth Bass

Where:Smallmouth bass are being caught around Kelleys Island and Middle Bass Island.

How: Smallmouth bass have been caught on tube jigs, crankbaits and jerkbaits

Largemouth bass

Where: Largemouth bass are being caught in the harbors and bays in the western basin and also along the main lake shoreline around Catawba.

How: Largemouth bass are being caught on crankbaits, spinner baits and soft plastics

Central Basin


Where: Fishing has been good off Ruggles Reef and near the weather buoy at the north end of the Sandbar. Excellent fishing has been reported in 70-to-74 feet of water north-northeast of Ashtabula.

How: Anglers are using wireline or Dipsy and Jet divers with worm harnesses or stick baits.

Yellow perch

Where: Anglers are catching some perch off St. Anthony's near Lorain and offshore northeast of Vermilion near the 30/20 lines of latitude and longitude. Excellent fishing has been reported in 47-to-50 feet of water north of Gordon Park, in 53-to-60 feet of water northeast of Chagrin River, in 50-to-61 feet of water north-northwest of Fairport Harbor, and in 48-to-63 feet of water north of Ashtabula. Fishing from shore has been spotty off the E. 55th Street and E. 72nd Street piers in Cleveland and at the long pier off Mentor Headlands.

How: Perch spreaders with shiners fished near the bottom produce the most fish.

Smallmouth bass and Largemouth Bass

Where: Fishing has been good around the harbor areas in Cleveland, Fairport Harbor, Geneva, Ashtabula and Conneaut.

How: Anglers are using drop shot rigs with leeches and soft craws.

White bass

Where: Anglers fishing from boats are catching white bass north of Cleveland, Eastlake and Fairport Harbor in 20-to-40 feet of water. Watch for the gulls feeding on the surface and the white bass will be below the school of emerald shiners. Anglers fishing from shore are catching fish off the piers in Cleveland, Eastlake and the Grand River, with the evenings being the best time. It is always hard to predict when the fishing will pick up for white bass.

How: Anglers are using small spoons, spinners, and agitators with jigs tipped with twister tails.

The Lake Erie water temperature is 73 off Toledo and 69 off 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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