The weather is having an effect on fishing in the region. Rain has left water levels high and conditions muddy on many inland lakes, while it has created a mud line that's forcing fishermen deep on Lake Erie. Let's take a look at what's biting around the Buckeye State:
The water is muddy from Huron to Geneva. The rain and winds have created a mud line that has made fishing difficult in some places.
The Port Clinton head boat fleet has had to go deeper. Chester at Shore-Nuf Charters at the Port Clinton Drawbridge Marina tells us drifters are taking limit catches between Green Island and Niagara Reef. Gold is the preferred color. But, fishermen are having to work for their fish.
The folks at Fisherman's Wharf in Port Clinton report good catches of walleye from Rattlesnake Island to Middle Sister. Drifters are casting crawler/spinner combos, trollers are having success dragging spoons in the Jager Bomb and Purple Demon patterns. Yellow perch are also being caught near Green Island.
Further east in the Central Basin, one of the top charter guides on Lake Erie, Captain Ryan Buddie tells us walleye fishing is good, but the recent weather has the in shore waters muddied. He had to go deep, way out by the weather buoy to find fishable water earlier in the week. Ryan fished off of Geneva Wednesday. He says the walleye are deep, but they're there. He caught a limit. Be sure to check out the photo section to see Ryan holding up a huge nine pound walleye he caught off of Lorain recently. You can keep up with how he's doing by checking his website ryanbuddie.com.
Craig Lewis from Erie Outfitters reports Yellow Perch fishing is excellent in about 35 to 40 feet of water from Lorain to Avon Lake. Walleye fishing in the same area has been good, but to escape the muddy water, trollers have had to go way out. A lot of anglers have made the switch from spoons and harnesses to crankbaits like Reef Runners. Pink Lemonade and Purple Demon patterns have produced.
The water off of Cleveland is turning up good catches of Walleye and Yellow Perch. Shine's is reporting walleye hitting harnesses and spoons in purple, pink, and green in 48 feet of water off Bratenahl. Perch are cooperating in 40 feet of water off East 72 nd Street.
Limit perch catches have come recently off the Linda Mae, the head boat that runs out of Wildwood Marina. Emerald shiners fished in 35 to 40 feet of water directly off of Wildwood and off of Euclid Beach will produce. Use crappie rigs or spreaders.
Don at Harbor Bait in Fairport Harbor says the walleye bite is fair. He says good marks are being made, but the water clarity means you have to put your bait right in front of them to get them to hit. Don expects the water to clear by the end of the weekend. Good yellow perch catches are being reported. Don says some big yellow perch are coming in. He says Perch of this size usually aren't seen until the fall. Smallmouth are being taken on tubes, crayfish, and crayfish imitations in rocky areas along the shoreline and in the Grand River.
Channel Catfish have really turned on at this chain of lakes south of Akron. Good catches are being reported from Rex Lake, Long Lake, and East Reservoir. Nightcrawlers, chicken livers, and doughbaits will take fish.
Ron Slater at Portage Lakes Bait and Tackle says the largemouth bass bite is good early in the morning and late in the day, just before sundown. He suggests fishing soft plastics like Wave Worms near shoreline structure and weed beds for largemouth. Ron says the area near the Main Street Bridge when East Reservoir meets Cottage Grove Lake has been especially productive. Rex Lake and Long Lake have also been producing good bass catches.
The panfish bite is also good. Maggots and waxworms will take fish. The bluegills and redears are off the nests, so you'll want to fish a little deeper for them. The crappie bite is slow, though they can be caught deep if you can find a school. Some catches of yellow perch are mixed in with the crappie.
The crappie bite is surprisingly still goo on at this impoundment in Green in southern Summit County. You can find them schooled deeper. Minnows or jigs fished under bobbers will take them, especially earlier in the day. The morning largemouth bass bite remains steady at Nimisila, too. Topwaters, flukes, and other soft plastics fished in the pad beds has been the way to go early. As the sun rises higher in the sky, the bass go deeper. Fishing the deep edges of weed beds in eight to 12 feet of water with spinner baits and soft plastics has been productive.
Mark from Mark's Bait and Tackle says the walleye are still hitting jigs and nightcrawlers in the weed beds. Those fish are in there eating small bluegills, and can be caught in the morning. Bass fishing has been fair around structure. Mark says to go with soft plastics or spinner baits.
Alvin at Ron's West Branch Bait and Tackle tells us the channel cats are cooperating. He suggests fishing cut bait or nightcrawlers.
Limit walleye catches are being made at this reservoir west of Youngstown. Les's Bait and Tackle tells us walleye are being taken by trolling nightcrawler harnesses near the humps between the railroad and Route 224 bridges. Those fish are all through the water column from six feet to 18 feet deep. Lots of catfish are also being caught at Berlin. Nightcrawlers, cut bait, and chicken livers have been producing. Bass fishing at Berlin has been fair. Crappies will provide good action when you can find them schooled around deep structure.
Goo catches of walleye are being made at this reservoir in Mahoning County. Trollers pulling harnesses and Flicker Shads with in-line weights or on lead core line have been taking fish. The best areas to try have been along the river channel. Fish are being caught in 12 to 20 feet of water. The bass bite at Milton has moved into a summer pattern, with best fishing at sun up and sundown. Largemouth will hit soft plastics fished near weeds and structure. Smallmouth are in deeper rocky areas, and on the deeper sides of the mid-lake shallows. Good catches of channel cats are being reported.
Kathy at Mosquito Lake Marina tells us the water is muddy, but good catches of largemouth bass are being made at sun up and at dusk in this lake just north of Warren. Soft plastics, spinner baits and buzz baits are catching fish. Decent walleye catches are being made fishing the outside edges of weed beds with jigs tipped with nightcrawlers.
Up the lake at Causeway Sporting Goods, good catches of Crappie are being made by shore fisherman from the north side of the causeway . Minnows are the preferred bait. Perch are also hitting nitroworms from the causeway. Walleye have been taken on both sides of the causeway. They're hiting nightcrawler harnesses, Shad Raps, and Flicker Shads trolled in eight to 17 feet of water. Channel Cats are hitting chicken livers and nightcrawlers everywhere in the lake.
The folks at Duck and Drake tell us limit walleye catches are being made on the south side of the lake in six to 21 feet of water. Harnesses and jigs tipped wit nightcrawlers are taking fish near weed beds and from submerged structure. Good catches or Panfish and Bass are also being made. They're being taken from near deep structure.
Charles Mill & Pleasant Hill
Dusty at Mifflin Lakes Trading Post reports the water is high at Charles Mill and Pleasant Hill, and that's put a crimp on everything but channel catfish. Dusty says to fish chicken livers, cut bait, or dough baits for the cats. Some Saugeye are coming from below the dam at Charles Mill, but fishing the strong current and high water is difficult and dangerous.
Panfish are being caught at this Medina County lake. Bob Nemeth at Chippewa Lake Bait and Tackle says worms or waxworms under a bobber will take them. Good catches of bass are being made. Crankbaits and spinnerbaits have produced lately. Catfish have been taking nightcrawlers and chicken livers. 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 turning up good catches of Smallmouth Bass. Jigs and small spinners are working, especially around submerged wood and rocks. Most of the Metro Parks lakes are providing good Panfish catches. Wallace Lake has been a consistent producer.
Red's in Columbiana reports sauger are being taken in good numbers below New Cumberland Dam. Minnows fished on the bottom will take fish. Good catches of smallmouth bass are being made in the Beaver Creek where it meets the Ohio River. Tube jigs and crayfish imitation are producing. Some big channel cats and flathead cats are also being caught on cut bait.
Good catches of channel cats are coming from this lake just southeast of Akron. Chicken livers and nightcrawlers will take fish. Bass fishing has been fair. Cranks and soft plastics will produce.
Helen at Mogadore Bait and Tackle reports good catches of redears and bluegills are coming from deeper water in the seven to 10 foot range. Maggots and wax worms will produce. Good catches of Largemouth Bass are coming from the weed beds around the lake. Soft plastics or spinner baits will take fish. Channel cats will take dough baits, chicken livers, and nightcrawlers.
High water has slowed saugeye fishing, though a few are being caught. The folks at Tappan Lake Marina tell us the water level has not affected the channel catfish bit. It has been good. Channel cats are hitting cut bait, chicken livers, and dough baits. Bass action has been hit or miss, but should improve when the water returns to normal levels.
There is a similar high water story at Atwood. Atwood Lake Boats, Marina East tells us some Saugeye are being taken on nightcrawler harnesses, but high water levels are making fishing difficult. It's also affecting bass. Channel Catfish are the bright spot. They are taking chicken liver or cut bait all around the lake.
More high water. The Piedmont Lake Marina reports some musky are being caught by trollers near the dam. Large diving cranks are the bait of choice. Some saugeye are being taken by drifting nightcrawlers. Good catches of Largemouth Bass have been made along the deep edges of weeds. Smallmouth Bass are taking jigs, crayfish, and crankbaits on rocky points.
We checked in with the folks at Cheshire Market in Galena for an update on fishing at this impoundment north of Columbus. We're told the bite is on for just about everything, right now. Saugeye can be taken drifting jigs tipped with nightcrawlers. Largemouth and smallmouth bass have set up in summer patterns and can be taken on jigs, soft plastics, and live bait. Good catches of channel cats are also being reported. Some crappies are being caught, but they are deeper.
Recent rains have left the river swollen. That's slowed fisihing for Northern Pike and Smallmouth Bass. The Lake Lucerne outflow just north of Canal Fulton has turned up some nice catches of Largemouth Bass. The fish are readily taking minnows, as well as crankbaits and spinners. Big Bluegills are being caught in that same area. Fair catches of Panfish and Yellow Perch are being made in the stretch of the Tuscarawas that runs through Firestone Metro Park in Akron.
Gone Fishing Bait and Tackle in Cuyahoga Falls tells us the stretch from Kent to Cuyahoga Falls is high but producing good catches of Smallmouth Bass and Northern Pike. Spinnerbaits, spoons, and jigs have been effective. Just a reminder that parts of the Cuyahoga through the Falls are off limits for a while due to dam demolition.
There are fair catches for Panfish from this Stark County Lake. 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.
We're hearing Largemouth Bass and Sunfish are cooperating at this Portage County Lake. Fish soft plastics near the weeds for the Largemouth. Sunfish will take wax worms, maggots, and red worms, go slightly deeper for bigger fish.
The panfish action at this lake near Wellington is supposed to be hot. That's what we're hearing from people who have fished the lake recently. 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.
There's something special coming up at West Branch to introduce children to the sport of fishing. You may know Ranger Julie aka Park Ranger Julie Stone. She is heading up a program for children at the East Boat Ramp at West Branch on Saturday, July 13 th from 10 A.M. to noon. She and volunteers from ohiogamefishing.com will be teaching children about the types of fish in the lake, fishing tackle and lures, and what to use for different species in different situations. Bait is free and will be donated by Mark's Bait and Tackle. Children will be given the opportunity to fish, and instruction will be provided. Plus, there will be a fish cleaning demonstration. If you would like to help, or if you would like more information about the event, call 330-358-2622.
Ron Slater is a well known guide and professional fisherman on the Portage Lakes. He also owns Portage Lakes Bait and Tackle. This Sunday will mark his third anniversary at his current location on Portage Lakes Drive. He'll celebrate by holding a party for all of his customers. Drop by Sunday from 1 P.M. to 5 P.M. for live music, food, and other surprises.
Check Out The Big Fish Pics
We want to share a photo with you of a huge seven pound four ounce walleye caught by Rick Leber of Leroy, Ohio. Rick caught it while fishing with his friend Scott Spangler off of Fairport on Memorial Day. That's Rich and Scott in the photo. Get this, they caught it while perch fishing in about 42 feet of water. Nice catch, Rick!
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 Noleff@wews.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find me on ohiogamefishing.com. 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.
This report will be updated through the week to reflect current conditions.