Northern Ohio Fishing Report: Summer slowdown

Cats and perch cooperate, walleye scattered

CLEVELAND - We have settled into a summer pattern.  Catfish are plentiful,  panfish and perch are cooperating, bass are hit or miss, and walleye are up and down.  It's what we expect at this time of year.  Let's take a look at what's biting around the Buckeye State:

Lake Erie

The yellow perch are hitting from Catawba to Conneaut.  Good thing, too, because the walleye bite has been less than stellar.

How slow is the walleye fishing in the Western Basin?  The fact that the Port Clinton head boat fleet has started making perch trips should provide the answer.  The folks at Shore-Nuf Charters and at Fisherman's Wharf say they're still going for walleye, but they're boats are going way out, nearly to Canada.  They're making fair catches near West Sister.  The yellow perch fishing is better, and without the run, so they're also running perch trips closer to shore.  So far, they say the numbers are good, the size fair.

Further east, the yellow perch bite remains excellent.  Craig Lewis at Erie Outfitters in Sheffield Lake tell us perch are being taken in 40 feet of water off of Avon Lake. Walleye are being caught from Vermilion to Avon Point on Reef Runners in Bare Naked patterns, and on nightcrawler harnesses in purple.  Fish are suspending in water 28 to 34 feet deep.  Steelhead are being taken about 14 miles out.  They've schooled up on the thermocline at about 42 feet.  Large silver spoons will take them.

In the waters off Cleveland, yellow perch continue to bite.  Shine's reports good catches being made in 40 feet of water off the stadium and off of E. 72 nd Street.  Walleye fishing has been slow, though steelhead have been cooperating.  They're on the thermocline at about 40 feet. You'll have to go out for them, though.  Shine's says the best steelhead fishing is in about 68 feet of water.  Breakwall fishermen are taking white bass and some white perch. 

Wind has kept the Linda Mae in port at Wildwood a few days this week, but when the head boat has made it out, anglers on board have made good catches of yellow perch. The fish have been hitting emerald shiners in about 43 feet of water off Euclid Hospital.  Closer to shore, breakwall fishermen at Wildwood are taking good numbers of white bass on small spoons

Out in Fairport Harbor, Don at Harbor Bait and Tackle tells us the perch are cooperating just off of Fairport.  The bite is on at the 40 foot mark.  Walleye fishing has tapered off. Trollers are taking some fish out in the 68 foot range, but they're working hard to find the schools that are feeding.  Some smallmouth are being caught in rocky areas closer to shore on tube jigs.

Portage Lakes

The early morning and sundown bass bites are fantastic at this chain of lakes south of Akron.  Ron Slater at Portage Lakes Bait and Tackle says to work soft plastics near docks and deep weed edges for largemouth.  Cranks and buzz baits will also produce.  The top lakes for bass have been East Reservoir, Rex, and Turkeyfoot.  Panfishing has been excellent.  Big bluegills are being taken off of submerged structure in five to eight feet of water.  Waxworms and maggots are the baits of choice.  With water temperatures dropping in the past week crappie have been turning on.  Minnows fished around  structure in seven to 12 feet of water is the way to go for crappie, especially in Turkeyfoot and Rex Lakes.  Channel catfish are hitting everywhere.  Chicken livers and nightcrawlers are the top producers.

Nimisila Reservoir

Odd for this time of year, but trollers continue to make fair catches of walleye at this impoundment in Green in southern Summit County. Trollers are dragging diving plugs and nightcrawler harnesses near the dam for walleye.  Channel cats are hitting on chicken livers, cut bait, and stink bait.  Largemouth bass continue to hold steady.  Good numbers are being taken at sunrise and  at sundown.  Top water lures, soft plastics, and spinner baits are your best bets.  You'll find bass in  the pad beds and along deep weed edges.

West Branch

The musky and catfish continue to cooperate at this impoundment east of Ravenna, but walleye and bass have slowed down.  Mark at Mark's Bait and Tackle in Ravenna reports musky are being taken by trollers fishing near the dam and on the edges of the river channel near the islands.  Channel cats are hitting chicken livers, cut bait, and  nightcrawlers.  Some bass are being caught on soft plastics and spinner baits fished near weed edges. The walleye bite has tapered off, though a few fish are being taken.


Channel catfish and white bass are being caught in good numbers at this reservoir west of Youngstown.  Les's Bait and Tackle tells us the cats are hitting practically everywhere on chicken livers, nightcrawlers, or cut bait.  Plenty of white bass are being taken by trollers fishing for walleye.  The walleye fishing has been fair.  The river channel between the causeway and the railroad bridge has been the best location.  Largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing

has been slow.


Trollers using Flicker Shads, Hot-N-Tots, and Shad Raps are catching walleye in the river channel from the I-76 Bridge to the causeway.  The fish are deeper, in the 15 to 22 foot range.  The smallmouth bass bite has slowed, though largemouth are cooperating.  Soft plastics and spinner baits are taking fish near submerged structure and on the deep side of weed beds.

Mosquito Creek

Kathy at Mosquito Lake Marina tells us two big walleye came in during the past week (Check out the photo in our photo section!), but they were the exception.  Those two fish each weighed in excess of six pounds a piece, but very few walleye are being taken at this lake north of Warren.  Those that are being caught are coming from the creek channel in 15 to 20 feet of water.  Trolling deep diving cranks or nightcrawler harnesses on bottom bouncers will work.  Largemouth bass are hitting soft plastics, jigs, and crankbaits near deep structure and along the deep edges of weed beds.

Further up the lake, the folks at Causeway Sporting Goods report channel catfish are hitting chicken livers and nightcrawlers. Some yellow perch and bluegills are being taken by drifting minnows or nightcrawlers.   


Some Walleye are being taken by trollers and drifters at this popular Ashtabula County reservoir.  Duck and Drake tells us the walleye are in 11 to 16 feet of water south of the causeway.  Go with nightcrawler harnesess to catch fish.  Yellow perch and bluegill are being caught  the same way in the same area.

  Charles Mill & Pleasant Hill

The wipers (white bass/striped bass hybrids) have turned on at this lake between Ashland and Mansfield.  Dusty at Mifflin Lakes Trading Post  says to cast Twister Tails and Rooster Tails to catch them.  Chicken livers will work for the wipers, too.  Look for them chasing schools of baitfish near the surface.  Channel Cats are also hitting well.  Shrimp, chicken livers, and nightcrawlers are the preferred baits for the cats.  Some saugeye are being caught in the evening below the dam on minnows fished on the bottom or under bobbers.

Just to the south, Pleasant Hill Reservoir is turning up saugeye off the beach and near the lodge.  Crankbaits or nightcrawler harnesses trolled in deeper water will take fish.   Some white bass are being caught on spinners.

Chippewa Lake

Bob Nemeth at Chippewa Lake Bait and Tackle says worms or waxworms under a bobber will take panfish.  Some bass are being caught. Soft plastics or live minnows will produce.  Catfish have been taking nightcrawlers and chicken livers, and are being caught in good numbers.  One note: This lake gets a lot of pleasure boating traffic, so your best bet is to fish it early.

Cleveland Metro Parks

The Rocky River is running close to normal.  Tube jigs and crayfish imitation will take smallmouth bass. Most of the Metro Parks lakes are providing good Panfish catches. Wallace Lake has been a consistent producer.

Ohio River

Red's Columbiana reports good catches of sauger below the New Cumberland Dam.  They're being taken on jigs and minnows fished on the bottom.  The water is muddy.  Good number of channel catfish have been taken there, too.  Cut bait, shrimp, and live bluegills are the baits of choice.


The bass bite is on at this Portage County impoundment. Soft plastics, spinner baits, and  crankbaits are taking fish.  Bluegills and redears have moved deeper. Look for them in the seven to 10 foot range. They will take wax worms and maggots. The north end of the lake, and the Lansinger Road area have been best for the panfish.   Channel catfish are hitting all over the lake. Nightcrawlers, shrimp,  and chicken livers will catch fish.


Good catches of panfish are being reported from this reservoir in Geauga County.  Waxworms, maggots, and red worms are the preferred baits.  Some walleye are being reported.  Bass fishing is good.  Drop offs and deep weed edges have been productive.


Channel cats are cooperating.  Nightcrawlers, cut bait, and  chicken livers are the baits of choice.  Some saugeyer are being taken by trollers.  Largemouth bass have been hitting soft plastics and crankbaits fished near submerged structure and timber.  Smallmouth fishing is slow. 

Atwood Lake

Atwood Lake Boats, Marina East tells us some saugeye are being taken on nightcrawler harnesses if you can locate fish.  Bass are being caught around submerged structure. Soft plastics, cranks, and spinner baits will work.  The channel catfish bite is hot. They are taking chicken liver or cut bait everywhere in the lake.

Piedmont Reservoir

Muskie are being taken by trollers pulling large cranks near the dam.  The saugeye bite has cooled off, though some are being taken on nightcrawler harnesses fished along drop offs in the dam area.  Good numbers of channel cats are being made all around the lake on nightcrawlers and cut bait.  Some largemouth bass have been taken along the deep edges of weeds. Smallmouth

Bass are hitting crayfish, tube jigs, and crankbaits on rocky points.

Tuscarawas River

The upper stretch that runs through Firestone Metro Park above Long Lake has been a yellow perch bonanza.  Fish the deeper pools with minnows or nightcrawlers.  Large panfish are also being taken in those pools.  Good catches of channel cats are coming from the area near the Lake Lucerne outflow near Canal Fulton.  In that same area, for some fun, fish cut bait for bowfin.  You might not want to eat them, but you'll never forget the fight.  Plenty of them are being caught in that area.  Downstream from there, from Canal Fulton to Dover, good catches of northern pike are being made.   Some smallmouth are also being taken.  Catfishing has been good near Dover, too.

Cuyahoga River

Gone Fishing Bait and Tackle in Cuyahoga Falls tells us it's slowed down, though some  catches of crappie and bass are being made in the area around Munroe Falls.  Pike fishing has faded.  Decent panfish catches are being made.

Lake Hodgson

Good catches of yellow perch are coming from this Portage County Lake.  Minnows fished near the bottom in 12 to 15 feet of water will take fish.  Panfish are also cooperating on waxworms, maggots, and red worms.  The largemouth bite has been good in the morning. Spinner baits and soft plastics will produce.  Some walleye are being taken. 

Lake Rockwell

Excellent catfish catches are being made at this Portage County reservoir.  They're taking nightcrawlers, minnow, chicken livers, and cut bait.  Good catches of largemouth bass are being taken on spinner baits and soft plastics. Big bluegills are cooperating near the causeway.

Alum Creek

Cheshire Market in Galena reports saugeye are being taken by drifting or trolling nightcrawler harnesses.  Crappie have improved and are hitting minnows deep.  Bass fishing has been fair, with some being caught off of deep weed  edges using jigs, soft plastics, and spinner baits. Good catches of channel cats are being made on nightcrawlers and chicken livers.

Hoover Reservoir

Some saugeye are being taken by trollers at this lake near Columbus, though size has been an issue.  Nighcrawler harnesses trolled or drifted will take fish.  Good catches of white bass are being made on spinners and on minnows.  Channel cats are hitting cut bait, nightcrawlers, and shrimp.

Sippo Lake

There are fair catches for Panfish from this Stark County Lake, though they are running small. If you are looking for a great place to introduce a child to the great sport of fishing, Sippo is a good location. It offers a nice fishing pier, boat rentals, a bait shop, and a snack bar. Bass, catfish, crappies, and white perch can also be caught.

Wingfoot Lake

The morning bass bite has been excellent.  Largemouth are taking soft plastics near the weeds for them.   Big sunfish are being reported. They will take wax worms, maggots, and red worms. The fish can be found in five to eight feet of water.

Findley Lake

The panfish action at this lake near Wellington is on fire, right now. Good numbers of fair sized bluegills are being made in four to eight feet of water on red worms. Some largemouth bass are also in the mix on soft plastics.

Special Event

Looking ahead, the Berkley Fishing Team will be putting on another kids fishing derby.  This time it will be at the Magnolia Canal Days Festival on August 10th at the Stark County Park District's Whitacre-Greer Park.  It is a special event that let's families bond over fishing.  The event runs from 8 A.M. to 11 A.M. that day.  For more information, you can check out the Berkley Fishing Team's website at .

We Want To Hear From You

And, we want to remind you that you can submit photos of your fish catches. Go ahead, brag a little. We might post the photos or broadcast them on Good Morning Cleveland.

Send those photos to . We also welcome your fishing reports from you home waters, tips, suggestions, and even recipes that we can share. If any of you want to let us know how things are where you're fishing, feel free to email me at .

You can also find me on My handle there is TopCat, and you can send me a personal message. You can also follow me on Twitter @gnoleff.

If there's a body of water you fish, and we're not covering it, let us know and we'll keep you informed about the latest conditions there. Plus, feel free to send us your fishing questions. We'll try to get them answered.

This report will be updated through the week to reflect the most recent fishing conditions.

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