Fish Ohio Report

Updated Weekly April through October
October 17, 2012


Big Darby Creek (Franklin, Madison, and Pickaway counties) – Cooling water temperatures in creeks and rivers can provide good fall fishing action. Smallmouth bass and rock bass are the popular sport fish in this stream west of Columbus. Casting small crankbaits or plastics resembling crawfish or shiners can be rewarding; target boulders, shoreline cover, and locations where pools meet riffles.

Deer Creek Lake (Pickaway County) – As water temperatures cool fish will become more active. For crappie target woody cover in the creek channel and move to shallower water as temperatures cool. Try minnows or jigs suspended under a bobber. Largemouth bass can be caught on buzzbaits, crankbaits, and plastics. Fish shoreline cover and in schools of shad. White bass are active around Tick Ridge; look for fish breaking the water surface as they chase gizzard shad. Try using spinners and jigs.


Barton Lake (Williams County) – Barton Lake is located on the St. Joseph River Wildlife Area, along CR J, West of CR 10, southwest of Montpelier. It is 19 acres in size and now is an excellent time to pursue catfish in the lake. Try fishing during the evenings in the southwest corner of the lake. Night crawlers fished under a bobber or tight-lined usually produce the best results. A ramp for small boats is available. There is a limit of 10 sunfish area wide, and only 5 bass, which must be 18 inches in length, may be kept.

Willard Reservoir (Huron County) – Yellow perch usually start biting this time of year 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, try fishing just off of the bottom in 19 feet of water, using spreaders tipped with minnows or red worms. 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.

McComb Reservior #2 (Hancock County) – This reservoir is located east of the town of McComb off of South Park Drive, just south of State Route 613. Yellow perch should begin biting again this month. The best fishing is usually from a boat, in the deeper water. Try fishing with spreaders tipped with minnows or red worms placed near or on the bottom. A concrete boat ramp is available. Boats are restricted to electric motors only.


Pymatuning Lake (Ashtabula County) – This 16,300-acre lake is located in southeastern Ashtabula County and is approximately 1 mile East of Andover, Ohio and 1 mile North of Jamestown, Pennsylvania. Boats are allowed with a maximum of 20 horsepower. Anglers should note that boat anglers may have a license from either Ohio or Pennsylvania and be legal. However, shore anglers need to have a license for the state in which they are fishing, i.e., Ohio anglers must have a Pennsylvania fishing license in order to fish on the Pennsylvania side of Pymatuning Lake and Pennsylvania anglers must have an Ohio fishing license in order to fish on the Ohio side of Pymatuning Lake. This lake is known for its exceptional walleye fishing, but anglers often overlook its recent surge in the perch population. Anglers are reeling in nice limits of 40 fish while using minnows under bobbers or pin-mins tipped with maggots. These fish are only about 8 feet down, so focus efforts shallower than normal for perch.


East Fork (Clermont County) – Crappies are being caught by anglers using wax worms, tube jigs, or medium to large sized minnows tipped on white or chartreuse jigs. Look for good crappie fishing off of points and back into the cove areas, as well as up and into Poplar and Clover creeks. Bluegills are hitting on wax worms and red worms. Keep the bait under a bobber around 2 to 3 feet deep. Cast anywhere around the docks, standing wood, or downed trees. Channel catfish are being caught by anglers using night crawlers fished along the bottom in the mouths of the creeks.

Mad River (Clark and Montgomery counties) – Trout are being taken on Mepps spinners and Rooster tails. Wading in the river and fishing from a kayak are both popular with anglers.


Fox Lake (Athens County) – As the fall temperatures start to cool the water in this 53 acre lake, largemouth bass should start moving into shallow water. Fishing success should start picking up as these fish prepare for winter. Try using spinner baits, rubber worms, crankbaits, or jig-n-pig combinations fished near shallow structure, such as tree stumps, fallen logs, or even the edges of weed beds. Anglers should still be able to find some channel catfish as well. Night crawlers, chicken livers, and prepared catfish baits fished on the bottom all work well. Fox Lake is located approximately 4 miles West of Athens, and can be accessed from Township Road 29 and Fox Lake Road (County Road 81).

Lake White (Pike County) – Although this 333-acre lake receives lower than average fishing pressure, anglers report excellent catches of crappie and spotted bass throughout the year. Crappie can be caught with minnows and a bobber fished near stumps or brush piles. Spotted bass and largemouth bass can be caught casting using artificial lures like rubber worms, spinner baits, and crankbaits. With 10 miles of shoreline to fish, try casting near visible structure. The riprap face of the dam and boat docks are also good areas to try. Channel catfish aren’t as abundant as the other species, but fishing chicken livers or night crawlers on the bottom might still produce a successful catch. Try fishing the upper end of the lake or where Pee Pee Creek enters the lake. For your best chance at catching channel catfish at this lake try fishing after a heavy rain or a water rise.


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 per angler. The minimum size limit for trout and salmon is 12 inches.

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

Western Basin

Walleye: There have been very few reports over the past week. As temperatures drop walleye will return to the islands area. Most walleye are caught in the fall by trolling crankbaits off of planer boards.

Yellow perch fishing has been good when the weather has allowed. The best spots have been 1 to 3 miles off Little Cedar Point, around West Sister Island, North of Green Island, East of Kelleys Island, and between Kelleys Island and Marblehead. Perch spreaders with shiners fished near the bottom produce the most fish.

Central Basin

Walleye have been caught on the sandbar between Vermilion and Lorain and around the Huron dumping grounds. Most fish have been caught by trolling with worm harnesses or crankbaits. No current reports from the Ashtabula-Conneaut area. Look for walleye in 64 feet of water 8.5 miles out North of Conneaut. Try trolling with dipsy and jet divers, or inline weights, with worm harnesses.

Yellow perch fishing has been good within 1 mile of Huron and Vermilion. Farther east fishing continues to be excellent with many limit catches. The best locations to fish are in 38 to 40 feet of water Northwest of Edgewater along the Gold Coast, in 38 to 39 feet of water North of Wildwood State Park, in 52 feet of water Northwest of Fairport Harbor, and in 57 feet of water North of Ashtabula. Perch spreaders with shiners fished near the bottom produce the most fish. The best shore fishing spots to try are the Cleveland Piers, at Headlands Beach Pier in Mentor, and the Fairport Harbor Pier. Fair catches were reported this past week at Headlands Beach Pier and the Fairport Harbor Pier. Anglers are using crappie rigs and spreaders with shiners and the mornings and evenings.

White bass fishing has been spotty but can pick up at any time. Try near shore in 10 to 25 feet of water North of Cleveland Harbor, Northeast of Gordon Park (Bratenahl), and in 10 to 20 feet of water North of Eastlake CEI. Look for gulls feeding on schools of shiners at the surface. The white bass will be below the shiners. Shore anglers are catching white bass off the Eastlake CEI breakwall. Anglers are using agitators with jigs tipped with twister tails or using small spoons.

Steelhead Trout anglers are catching fish off the Fairport Pier at the mouth of the Grand River and also in the river up to the Uniroyal hole. Boat anglers are having good luck in the Grand River, as well as the Ashtabula River and Conneaut Creek. Try using small spoons, spinner baits, and jigs with maggots.

The water temperature is 53 degrees off of Toledo and 59 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.

View the predicted weather forecast for Lake Erie.

View Lake Erie boating information, safety tips, and launch ramps.


Western Ohio River – Anglers are still taking channel catfish. They are being caught on chicken livers and cutbait around warm water discharges. Carp are biting on dough balls and corn. Hybrids have been hitting Rapalas and rattletraps