CLEVELAND - The Lake Erie Walleye bite is hot. Reports from the Western Basin and the Central Basin are similar. Fish are being caught in good numbers and good size.
Tim at Fisherman's Wharf in downtown Port Clinton reports that their boats have been catching Walleye drifting nightcrawler harnesses. He says the Walleye fishing is excellent. Other Port Clinton head boat operators Shore-Nuf, Tibbels, and The Sassy Sal are providing similar reports. Trollers working the edges of the reefs are also making outstanding catches. Spoons, diving plugs, and harnesses are all taking fish.
In the Central Basin, more success. Craig Lewis at Erie Outfitters tells us trollers are taking Walleye from Vermilion to Avon. Fish are running from 32 to 42 feet deep. Boats trolling spoons, Reef Runners and crawler harnesses in pink and chartreuse are catching Walleye.
Closer to Cleveland, the folks at Shine's say trollers and drifters are catching Walleye off of Rocky River on harnesses and weight forward spinners tipped with nightcrawlers. Some breakwall casters are also picking up fish on diving cranks. And east of Cleveland, Don at Harbor Bait and Tackle in Fairport Harbor says the Walleye bite is on in a big way. Fish are readily taking small spoons and nightcrawler harnesses.
Let's take a look around northern Ohio to see what else is biting:
The Yellow Perch have really started to cooperate. Good catches are being made off of Lorain, Sheffield, Cleveland, Euclid, Perry, and Fairport Harbor. Emerald Shiners fished on spreaders or Crappie rigs are the way to go for Perch. On Sunday, fishermen on the Linda Mae, the headboat out of Wildwood caught more than 200 Yellow Perch in the area around Euclid.
Smallmouth Bass have been hitting jerk baits and crankbaits in rocky areas near Cranberry and Ruggles Reef. The Smallmouth activity has really picked up in the past week.
Walleye have really turned on at this impoundment just north of Warren. Crankbaits, crawler harnesses, and jigs tipped with nightcrawlers seem to be triggering the most strikes. Joe at Mosquito State Park Marina tells us the east side of the lake by the cemetery has been producing. So has the area just north of there known as the "Red Barn". The fish are spread at different depths through the water column, but most have been taken in 10 to 18 feet of water. Crappies are also hitting well, too. Walleye trollers and drifters are picking them up. Some schools of them are still cruising the shallows and can be caught on minnows. The Largemouth bite has turned on, too. Jigs and plastics are taking fish around shoreline structure and off of weed beds. Some Northern Pike have been caught by Bass fishermen.
Ron Slater at Portage Lakes Bait and Tackler reports the Largemouth Bass action is hot! Plastics or shallow diving crankbaits are effective in all of the Portage Lakes. The best bets right now are Long Lake, East Reservoir, Rex Lake and Mud Lake. Big bluegills are on the beds, right now. They can be caught with worms, waxworms, and maggots. Good catches of Channel Catfish are also being made. Chicken Livers and nightcrawlers are the baits of choice. Long Lake, North Reservoir, and Turkeyfoot have been producing.
Yellow Perch fishing has picked up in Turkeyfoot and East Reservoir. They aren't often targeted by Portage Lakes fishermen, but fishing deep with a Crappie rig baited with minnows in deeper sections of East and Turkeyfoot can be effective if you can locate a school of fish.
Nimisila Reservoir has been producing good catches of Largemouth. Fishing brush and structure has been productive. Also, there have been scattered reports of Walleye being caught at Nimisila, as well.
Lots of bass are being taken at this Portage County impoundment. Plastics, spinnerbaits, and shallow diving cranks are taking good numbers of fish. They're holding on structure and in the weeds. The Walleye bite has also picked up, especially for trollers dragging crankbaits and spinners tipped with crawlers. Fishing just outside the weed beds and on the drop-offs has been productive.
Berlin & Milton
Fair catches of Walleye are being reported at these two lakes just west of Youngstown. Trollling nightcrawler harnesses and diving crankbaits have produced. Work the crawlers in shallower areas and on humps. Use the diving plugs for suspended fish in deeper water. Berlin is often a late producer, and better fishing is expected in the near future. Plenty of Smallmouth are also being caught at Milton. White Bass have also been cooperating with some very large fish being taken by trollers.
Charles Mill & Pleasant Hill
These two reservoirs near Mansfield and Ashland are good producers of spring Saugeye. Dusty at Mifflin Lakes Trading Post reports good numbers of Saugeye are being taken at Pleasant Hill. Areas in front of the beach and near the Mohican Lodge have been good for trollers
and drifters fishing diving crankbaits and crawler rigs. Saugeye are hitting minnows below the dam at Charles Mill. Fish them on the bottom or under a float. Above the dam, Charles Mill is producing good catches of Wipers, which are Striped Bass-White Bass hybrids. Jigs and twister tails, as well as chicken livers are the preferred baits.
The Walleye bite has really picked up in the past few days. The folks at Duck and Drake report a number of limit catches being made on the north end in five to 13 feet of water on Shad Raps and other crankbaits. Crappie fishing has been hit or miss. Bass and Panfish are being caught around structure in the shallows.
This popular lake south of Medina is open to the public, again. Panfish are being taken in good numbers. Largemouth Bass are also hitting. Bob Nemeth at Chippewa Lake Bait and Tackle reports White Perch and Channel Catfish are also being caught.
Cleveland Metro Parks
Most of the Metro Parks lakes are producing nice Panfish catches. The Rocky River is also providing good results for Smallmouth Bass. Fishing jigs and plastics near structure are the key.
Good numbers of Channel Cats and Flathead Cats are being caught below Cumberland Dam in Columbiana County. Cutbait and chicken livers are producing. Some Saugeye are being caught on jigs and jigging spoons.
This is one of the top Panfish lakes in northeast Ohio, and it is producing, as usual. Good catches of Sunfish are being made. Mogadore Bait and Tackle reports big Bluegills are on the nests. Good catches of Largemouth Bass are also being made around structure on jigs, plastics, and spinnerbaits.
The folks at NTR Canoe Livery in Bolivar tell us Smallmouth Bass and Northern Pike are being caught in the stretch above Dover. Crankbaits and jigs are catching both species. Some Channel Cats are being taking below Dover Dam. Good catches of Smallmouth Bass are coming from the stretch from Bolivar north to Canal Fulton.
The Cuyahoga above Cuyahoga Falls is providing decent action for Bass and Northern Pike. Spinner baits, spoons, and crankbaits will catch fish.
Go ahead, brag a little. We want to remind you that you can submit photos of your fish catches. We might post the photos or broadcast them on Good Morning Cleveland. Send those photos to Noleff@wews.com . We have several photos of good catches posted in the photo section of this article. We also welcome your fishing reports from you home waters, tips, suggestions, and even recipes that we can share.
This report will be updated through the week to reflect the most recent fishing conditions.