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Friday, April 25, 2014 8:21 PM

OHIO DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

Division of Wildlife

Weekly Fish Ohio Fishing Report!

CENTRAL OHIO

Knox Lake (469 acres; Knox County) - Largemouth bass: Areas of woody shoreline cover are good locations to fish for largemouth bass this time of year; try dark-colored creature baits and jig-and-pigs fished shallow for the best results. Most of these fish measure 12-18 inches; there is an 18-inch minimum to keep largemouth. Crappie: Use jigs and minnows in brushy areas for crappie, who will be moving shallow as the temperatures warm. Channel catfish: Use cut bait, chicken livers or nightcrawlers fished along the bottom; some weigh up to 10 pounds. Boats greater than 10 horsepower must travel at no-wake speeds.

Rush Creek Lake (289 acres; Fairfield County) - Fish this small, secluded lake northeast of Lancaster for crappie, largemouth bass and channel catfish. Crappies: Located around woody structure; try minnows suspended under a bobber or crappie jigs for the best success. As water temperatures warm, fish will move into shallower water. Largemouth bass: Use creature and tube baits around woody structure. Channel catfish: Fish the east end of the lake around woody cover using nightcrawlers and cut bait for the best results. Outboard motors are limited to 10-HP or less.

 

NORTHWEST OHIO

Van Wert Reservoir #2 (65 acres; Van Wert County) - Trout: The DOW recently stocked rainbow trout; anglers have been having success using red and wax worms and trout nuggets. The mornings and evenings have been best; try the northwest corner. Boats are permitted; however, no boat ramp is available. Boats must obtain a permit from the city of Van Wert.

Pleasant Hill Reservoir (781 acres; Richland/Ashland County line) - Crappie should be biting now; try along the rocky ledge on the southern shore near the bend and in the small coves along the southern part. White Bass should soon be making a spawning run up the Clear Fork River; a boat ramp and marina are located on Covert Road, right off SR 95.

NORTHEAST OHIO

Leesville Lake (1,011 acres; Carroll County) - Located in the southwestern part of the county, approximately 2 miles SE of Sherrodsville on CR 22 and 5 miles south of Carrollton on SR 332. Muskellunge will move into the shallows during the spring to spawn and will hold tight to structure; cast 4- to 6-inch-sized minnow-imitating crankbaits. A wire leader or very high-pound test monofilament leader is a must, since muskellunge have an array of sharp teeth that will cut fishing line instantly.

Nimisila Reservoir (742 acres; Summit County) - Located in southeastern Summit County, approximately 2 miles south of SR 619, 2 miles east of SR 93 and 2.5 miles west of SR 241. Largemouth bass: Try close to shore using spinner baits, surface lures or plastic worms; fishing pressure is high but catch rates, sizes and overall bass numbers rank very high based on surveys conducted by DOW. Only boats with electric motors are allowed on this City of Akron reservoir.

SOUTHEAST OHIO

AEP Recreation Area (Morgan/Muskingum/Noble counties) - Largemouth bass: Try spinner baits and jig-and-pig combinations; target ponds that are “off the beaten path” since these do not receive as much fishing pressure. Bluegill: Try live bait such as red/mealworms, or small spinners and poppers. A permit is required to fish here.

Ross Lake (127 acres; Ross County) -Bluegill: Try casting wax worms or nightcrawlers over some of the submerged structure or wax/redworms below a bobber; look for spawning beds in shallow water during the spring. Largemouth bass are moving into shallow water to feed and prepare for spawning. Fish the upper end of the lake near shallow structure, or the spillway and dam; plastic worms and crankbaits are popular choices but spinner baits, jig-and-pig combos and other top-water baits also work well.

SOUTHWEST OHIO

Lake Loramie (843 acres/38 miles of shoreline; Auglaize/Shelby counties) - Catfish have been biting on red worms and nightcrawlers for anglers who are bottom fishing; the lake is currently very muddy.

Paint Creek Lake (1,190 acres/30 miles of shoreline; Highland/Ross counties) - Crappie have been biting in 3-10 feet of water on minnows and jigs; look for wood and rocks. Largemouth bas: have been hitting black jigs with blue pork in the 5- to 7-foot depths. Saugeye can be caught on chartreuse twisters. White bass are in the creeks; try minnows and shiny spinners.

Davis Lake (Auglaize County) - Trout: Try for recently-stocked trout with redworms.

OHIO RIVER

Belleville Pool (Athens/Meigs/Washington counties) - Crappie are moving this time of year and provide a great opportunity; just like the inland lakes, target areas around brush tops and sunken logs using jigs or minnows.

R.C. Byrd tail waters - Hybrid striped bass: Minnows, flukes, white jigs and spoons can all be used to target these fish which may be in the 10- to 20-inch range; try jigging off the bottom traditionally at the wall and at the end of the riprap. Sauger and Saugeye: Try jigging slowly off the bottom along the riprap; white jigs and minnows have been popular in the past.

Cincinnati Area (Hamilton County) - Catfish should be turning on as waters begin to warm. Try any legal live/cut bait as well as stinky baits, regardless of the type, or hot dogs as a secret weapon.

LAKE ERIE

Regulations to Remember: The daily bag limit for walleye on Ohio waters of Lake Erie is 4 per angler through Wednesday; Thursday, it will return to 6. The minimum size limit 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; minimum size limit is 12 inches. … The black bass (largemouth and smallmouth bass) daily bag limit is 5; 14-inch minimum size limit.

Walleye: Fishing has been excellent here. Anglers trolling are catching large fish outside of the reef complex around the buoys of the Camp Perry firing range and between Catawba and South Bass islands using deep-diving crankbaits such as Rapala deep husky jerks and Reef Runners, primarily in the middle of the water column at speeds from 1.0-1.8 mph; anglers jigging are catching fish on the reefs of the Camp Perry firing range and along the shoreline west of the firing range using hair jigs tipped with emerald shiners. … The Lake Erie water temperature is 49 off Toledo and 42 off Cleveland, according to the nearshore marine forecast.

MAUMEE RIVER - Walleye: River is below normal level and clarity is good; 57º F. Pressure has been light lately; anglers are catching a few fish with very few limits being seen. Wading to Bluegrass Island is possible at this time; all sites are accessible and producing about the same number of fish at this time. Water temperatures and water levels are good; fish surveys still show good numbers of walleye in the river and good numbers of spawning females. … White bass: The best fishing area is from the Conant Street Bridge (city of Maumee) upstream to the end of Jerome Road (Wood County) and below the Grand Rapids-Providence Dam (Lucas County).

SANDUSKY RIVER - Walleye: Water level is still high but dropping and clarity is poor; 53º F. Fishing pressure has been slow with very few limits being taken, with the best spots being Roger Young Park or between State Street and Hays Avenue bridges. Anglers should expect to start seeing white bass soon. … White bass: The best area is from the State Street Bridge (Fremont) upstream to the Ballville Dam; however, from the Ballville Dam to the Toledo Edison power line located at the southeast corner of Roger Young Park (in the City of Fremont) is closed to all fishing through Thursday.

(For both): Most commonly used is a Carolina-rigged twister tail with a 18- to 24-inch leader with about 1/4- to 5/8-oz. of weight depending on water flow; bright colors usually work the best. Water temperatures/levels are good for fishing but we are past the peak. The daily bag limit for walleye, saugeye and sauger is 4 fish through Wednesday; minimum size limit is 15 inches. Black bass possession is prohibited from Thursday-June 27. … White bass can be caught in many of Ohio’s larger reservoirs and their tributaries. Some of the best fishing in the state is in Lake Erie tributaries in the spring. They migrate up most of the Western Basin tributaries from Lake Erie each year to spawn. These rivers typically have the most. These may be found in the rivers from mid-April, toward the end of the walleye spawning run, through early June. The peak of the run is usually some time in mid-May when water temperatures reach around 55 degrees F. The 2014 spawning runs are expected to be good, if river conditions are good. The majority will range from 8-13 inches; most will be from the strong 2007 year class, with the 2006 and 2005 classes also contributing. Some larger, up to 16 inches from 2003, will be caught. Recent age studies using otoliths, an inner ear bone that is extremely accurate compared to scales, have shown that the oldest white bass in Lake Erie are from 10-12 years old. Most anglers fish the rivers by wading, or fishing from shore. The best baits are floating jigs tipped with a minnow or 1/8- to 1/4-oz. lead-head jigs (size depends on river flow; in lower flow use lighter lead) tipped with white-, yellow- or fluorescent-colored twister tails; as well as small silver-colored spinners and spoons. Small minnows are sometimes effective, especially when they are biting slowly.

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Ohio offers Free Fishing Days May 3-4

Ohioans are encouraged to take advantage of “Free Fishing Days” on May 3-4 and experience the great fishing Ohio has to offer. For these two days only, Ohio anglers may fish in any of the state’s public waters without having to buy a fishing license.

During the rest of the year, anglers 16 years and older are required to have a valid fishing license to take fish, frogs or turtles from Ohio waters. An Ohio fishing license is one of the best recreation bargains available, costing only $19 a year for residents.

Ohio’s Free Fishing Days were established in 1993 to promote fishing and allow Ohioans to experience fishing before buying a license. The offer is open to all Ohio residents and extends to all of Ohio’s public waters, including Lake Erie and the Ohio River. An estimated 1.3 million people fish each year in Ohio.

In northeast Ohio, young anglers age 15 and under are encouraged to visit the Division of Wildlife Youth Fishing Area in Portage Lakes. A special event will be held 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. (This area does not open to the public otherwise until May 24th). All young anglers must be accompanied by a parent or guardian while in the youth area. Adults are not allowed to fish but may assist their young anglers. Picnic tables and restroom facilities are available. Equipment, bait and staff member assistance are provided at no charge thanks to the purchases of Ohio fishing licenses and federal contributions from the Sportfish Restoration Fund.

Species that can be caught include but are not limited to bluegill, catfish, bass, crappie, trout and carp. Many fish meet or exceed Fish Ohio! length limits.

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Ohio youth, adults have successful Wild Turkey hunts

Ohio youth and adult Wild Turkey hunters had successful days earlier this week.

The youth checked 1,480 of these turkeys April 19-20. The top 13 counties were Coshocton (53), Knox (48), Muskingum (48), Ashtabula (47), Columbiana (44), Tuscarawas (42), Meigs (37), Belmont (36), Washington (36), Brown (34), Guernsey (34), Jackson (34) and Trumbull (34). Last year’s youth hunters killed 1,784 wild turkeys.

Ohio hunters checked 2,455 wild turkeys during the opening day of the 2014 season Monday. The top 10 Ohio counties were Harrison (82), Ashtabula (75), Trumbull (74), Columbiana (73), Belmont (71), Coshocton (71), Guernsey (69), Muskingum (68), Tuscarawas (68) and Meigs (66). Last year’s hunters checked 2,762 birds on opening day.

The spring wild turkey season is open through May 18.

• Hunters are required to have a hunting license and a spring turkey hunting permit. The spring season bag limit is two bearded turkeys. Hunters can harvest one bearded turkey per day and a second spring turkey permit can be purchased at any time throughout the spring turkey season. Turkeys must be checked by 11:30 p.m. the day of harvest.

• All hunters must report their turkey harvest using the automated game-check system. Hunters have three options to complete the game check: ohiogamecheck.com; call 877-TAG-ITOH (824-4864); or visit a license agent. A list of agents can be found at wildohio.com or by calling 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543).

• Hunting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise until noon through May 4. Hunting hours from May 5-18 will be 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset.

• Hunters may use shotguns or archery equipment to hunt wild turkeys. It is unlawful to hunt turkeys using bait, live decoys or electronic calling devices or to shoot a wild turkey while it is in a tree. The DOW advises turkey hunters to wear hunter orange clothing when entering, leaving or moving through hunting areas in order to remain visible to others.

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Ohio Black Bear sightings decrease in 2013

Ohio black bear sightings decreased in 2013, according to reports received by DOW biologists; they documented 158 sightings involving an estimated 74 individual black bears in 2013. In 2012, 224 sightings were received from an estimated 93 black bears.

Biologists were able to confirm 54 sightings in 2013, or 34 percent. This is a slight increase from 2012, when 29 percent of sightings were confirmed. Sightings are confirmed by evidence such as tracks or photos.

Trumbull County reported the most sightings, with 22. Trumbull and Portage counties each had seven confirmed sightings.

Last Updated on Friday, April 25, 2014 8:28 PM
 

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