C.J. Brown Reservoir: Trollers are picking up walleyes and white bass on the flats and over the humps. Hot ’N Tots and Vib-E’s have worked well for walleyes. A few anglers are jigging with nightcrawlers. For white bass, Roostertails and Mepps have been the best baits. A few crappies have been caught from the deep holes, mostly on minnows. Work the brush and fish attractors for bluegills with waxworms or redworms. Catfish are hitting nightcrawlers and chicken liver all over the lake.
Grand Lake St. Marys: The main lake is clear and recent winds have helped break up some of the algae scum in some channels. There was a fish kill in low-oxygen areas, mostly shad. Catfish have been biting on cut shad and nightcrawlers. In the Outdoorsman’s weekend catfish tournament, the top catch was 52 pounds for 6 fish with 35 teams taking part. Cut shad and nightcrawlers are the best baits. A few perch have been caught along the north shore about mid-lake. Crappie fishing has been very slow. Plenty of bluegills are being caught, but most are small. Bass are hitting chatterbaits and buzzbaits.
Indian Lake: Look for deeper holes to catch crappies with minnows or jigs tipped with waxworms. If you seem to catch all of the fish in one spot, move around, but the return to that spot a few times and you are likely to catch more. Bass have been scattered. Try working the lily pads with frogs, buzzbaits and spinnerbaits. Saugeyes have been hitting close to shore. Boat anglers are tightlining with large minnows or trolling with nightcrawler harnesses. Vib-E’s have been working around Dream Bridge. Catfish have been biting on bloodbaits, cut bait and leeches.
Cowan Lake: A few crappies have been caught, but it takes some effort. The larger crappies are scattered and deep. A number of small ones have been caught on the north side. Anglers are trolling for saugeyes with crankbaits. For bass, use plastics or a topwater bait early or late. Catfish have been plentiful, especially on the east end after a rain.
Caesar Creek Lake: Work the flats to catch saugeyes. Anglers are tightlining nightcrawlers and drifting. A few have been picked up by trolling around the island with a crawler harness or a crankbait. Some bass are tight to the banks, hitting spinnerbaits and topwater, while others are up to 20 feet deep, going after plastics and deep-diving crankbaits. Some nice smallmouth have been caught below the dam. Crappies are deep, suspended at 15-23 feet. Fish for catfish where creeks enter the lake.
Rocky Fork Lake: Bass fishing continues to be good, mostly off of points in 4 to 7 feet of water. Green/pumpkin plastics and fire-tiger crankbaits have worked best. Crappies are 8-16 feet deep and most have been small. Look for wood and fish with minnows or chartreuse jigs or tubes. Bluegills – some nice size – have been hitting waxworms in the coves. For catfish, work the area between the south beach and Fisherman’s Wharf with nightcrawlers, cut bait or chubs. Saugeye fishing has been slow. A few anglers have been trolling the area in front of the south beach and around the island with worm harnesses or Shad-Raps.
Paint Creek Lake: Crappies are being caught, but most are under the 9-inch limit. Fish 5-10 feet deep and look for wood. Minnows or any tube or jig with chartreuse in it have worked best. Bass are hitting black/grape plastics or black crankbaits off of points and along cliff walls. Catfish are biting on the flats near the campground ramp on nightcrawlers, cut bait and chubs. In the spillway, saugeyes have been caught on chartreuse/red fleck twisters.
Lake Loramie: Crappies have been caught early and late along the Minster branch off of grassy banks. Use minnows or jigs tipped with waxworms. Keeper bluegills are being caught around docks and in shallow brush. Use jigs with waxworms or redworms. Bass have been caught out of heavy brush and in deep water with lily pads. Use jigs or spinnerbaits early or late. Catfish are hitting all over on nightcrawlers, chicken liver or stinkbaits.
Acton Lake: Saugeyes have been caught by trollers using brightly colored twisters and Hot ’N Tots. For bass, look for wood and fish with a spinnerbait or jig. Bluegills are being caught on waxworms and surface poppers. Crappies are 10-12 feet deep around structure. Minnows have worked best. Catfish are biting all over on strawberry chicken, nightcrawlers and chicken liver.
Lake Erie: Walleye fishing has been good northwest of West Sister Island, around the Toledo water intake and southwest of Kelleys Island on American Eagle Shoal. Yellow perch fishing was good over the past week at the Toledo water intake, “A” can of the Camp Perry firing range and within a mile of the southwest corner of Kelleys Island and the southeast corner of Kelleys. Smallmouth Bass fishing has been very good around South Bass Island with soft-craws, tube jigs, and crankbaits.
For Lake Erie information, visit wildohio.com or call (888) HOOK-FISH.
Outdoors columnist Jim Morris can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.