Northern Ohio Fishing Notes: Walleye runs, trout stocking delayed

Weather affecting fishing in Ohio

CLEVELAND - Ice fishing producing

There is still plenty of ice fishing going on around northern Ohio, but be careful if you take to the ice, because the recent warm-up could make it dangerously thin.

Right now, decent catches of walleye are being made through the ice near West Sister Island and off of Magee Marsh in the Western Basin. Vertical jigging with Little Cleos tipped with emerald shiners has been producing.

Inland, fair catches of panfish are being made at the Portage Lakes south of Akron, as well as at Nimisila Reservoir in Green. Fishing for stocked rainbow trout at Wallace Lake in the Cleveland Metroparks Mill Stream Run Reservation has been good. Steelhead opportunities have been limited because of ice on area rivers.

Walleye run delayed

By this time last year the walleye runs had just started on the Maumee and Sandusky Rivers. This year, the runs may not get started until after the first of April. 

The delay is courtesy of the cold, snowy winter. There is plenty of ice covering Lake Erie, and it’s in the rivers, as well.

Walleye begin their spawning runs once the water temperature rises into the mid-40s. That probably won’t happen happen anytime soon, unless the weather warms quickly. 

Rainbow Trout Stocking Delayed

The harsh winter also means a delay in rainbow trout stocking.  The Ohio Department of Natural Resources plans to stock 98,000 rainbows in 63 lakes and ponds around the state. 

Though rainbow trout aren’t native to Ohio, the state stocks them to provide anglers with an extra fishing opportunity. The annual stocking program was to start by March 14, but many of the lakes and ponds scheduled for fish are still covered with ice. The stocking is delayed until at least next week.

Northern pike plans

Northern pike are among the first fish to go on a feeding frenzy once the ice is out. Pike spawn early and then feed actively.

If you’re targeting pike, consider the upper Cuyahoga River above the city of Cuyahoga Falls, as well as the Tuscarawas River between Clinton and Dover. Mosquito Reservoir is a good pike producer, too. Dead bait bottom fished can be effective, as can live minnows, swim baits and spinners.

Saugeye Action

You can take advantage of Ohio’s tailwater saugeye fishing right now. 

Two places to try are below the dams at Charles Mill Reservoir and Pleasant Hill Reservoir. Jigs and twister tail combos, minnows, and suspending minnow imitations will take fish.

Helping Children

The Berkley Fishing Team is an organization that helps to bring families together and provides guidance to children by holding fishing derbies around northeast Ohio. In addition, the children get valuable lessons in fishing that will last a lifetime. 

The Berkley Fishing Team provides fishing tackle, rods, reels, bicycles, and other prizes to the children who fish in their derbies free of charge.

The team is holding its annual fundraising dinner where the money to provide all of those prizes, as well as to provide scholarships and meals for disadvantaged families during the holidays, is raised. If you’d like to attend, tickets are $25 a piece. The dinner will be held April 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the Canton Civic Center. 

Contact Keith at 330-484-3507 to purchase tickets, or go to the team’s website for more information.

Fishing Reports

Our regular fishing reports were so well received last year that we will start them earlier this year. Look for the first report April 1. They’ll be updated two to three times a week to provide you the most current fishing conditions on lakes and streams around the region.

Let us know if there are any bodies of water you want covered that we aren’t covering. Also, feel free to send us pictures of your catches. We’ll publish them on online and possibly even air them on NewsChannel5. You can send those photos or contact me at

You can contact me via our Facebook page , on Twitter @gnoleff , and I’m on where my handle is TopCat.

Until next time, happy fishing.

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