Fishing Report: Action picks up as summer winds down; Yellow perch hitting off of Port Clinton

Perch, catfish, walleye, saugeye in the mix

CLEVELAND - This has been a banner summer for yellow perch on Lake Erie. They are hitting in good numbers along the North Coast, even in the Western Basin where size is matching number.  And better perch fishing is expected as we move into fall.

Inland, the bass bite has tapered off in a lot of places, though catfish are holding steady and providing good action. Saugeye and walleye are cooperating in a lot of reservoirs, but it's not always easy fishing, and you'll have to work to find them.  Let's take a closer look at what's biting around the Buckeye State:

Lake Erie

The perching remains good in the Western Basin.  The Port Clinton head boat fleet is running trips for both perch and walleye. Shore-Nuf Charters out of the Drawbridge Marina tells us yellow perch are hitting in the area directly off of Port Clinton.  Walleye are further north near West Sister.  The boats at Fisherman's Wharf are targeting areas from Port Clinton to just west of Kelley's Island.  They're also taking walleye drifting off of West Reef and Niagara Reed.

Moving east, Craig Lewis at Erie Outfitters in Sheffield Lake report good walleye fishing outside the bar off of Avon Point and outside off of Lorain in 30 to 40 feet of water.  Use Reef Runners or nightcrawler harnesses.  Green has been the color of choice. A few steelhead are in the mix. Yellow perch fishing has been hit or miss.  The wind has them scattered. 

Our friends at Shine's in Cleveland tell us yellow perch fishing has tapered off, though some fish are being taken off of Cleveland.  Try the areas off of FirstEnergy Stadium and off of East 55 th Street.  White bass are being caught off the Cleveland breakwalls, on minnows, nightcrawlers, and spinners, but size is the problem with most of them running small.

Perch fishing has been up and down for the Linda Mae.  That's the head boat out of Wildwood Marina.  Good numbers were caught early in the week,  though it tapered off in the middle before picking up again.  The best spots have been off of Euclid in about 35 feet of water.  A few white bass and white perch are being caught from the Wildwood breakwall.

Don at Harbor Bait and Tackle in Fairport Harbor says good numbers of  smallmouth bass have moved into the Grand River.  Tube jigs, craws, and crawfish imitations will take fish.  There are yellow perch to be had from Fairport to Geneva.  The problem is finding them.  They're scattered in water 42 to 60 feet deep.  Once you find a school, the fishing can be fast.  Schools of walleye are still holding deep, up to 10 miles out, though a large school has moved back in and were being caught in 70 feet of water off of Perry. 

Snug Harbor Bait and Tackle in Conneaut is reporting good yellow perch fishing, but don't mind the waves.  They're hoping the lake will lay down this weekend.  Fish are being caught in 50 to 60 feet of water.  Walleye are being taken to the northeast of Conneaut in the 60 foot range.  Beware, the further east you go there's a shortage of emerald shiners.

Portage Lakes

The channel cat bite remains steady at this chain of lakes just south of Akron.  Chicken livers, nightcrawlers, shrimp, cut bait, and hot dogs continue to produce.  Try Rex Lake, Long Lake, Turkeyfoot Lake, and East Reservoir for best results.  Ron Slater at Portage Lakes Bait and Tackle tells us largemouth bass are also cooperating.  The early morning and dusk bites are the best.  Soft plastics will work around weed edges, though some fishermen say the largemouth have actively started chasing down and feeding on schools of minnows.  That's a behavior normally seen a little later in the year, though the recent cooling we had earlier in the month may have something to do with it.  You may want to switch to blade baits, spinner baits, and shallow running cranks to take advantage of it. Rex Lake, Turkeyfoot Lake, and East Reservoir continue to be the best producers.  Bigger bluegill have started actively feeding.  Some crappie are also in the mix, and they should turn on even more as we move into fall.

Nimisila  Reservoir

Channel catfish are hitting well at this impoundment in Green in southern Summit County.  Nightcrawlers, cut bait, and live bluegills and shiners will take fish.  The largemouth bass bite has tapered off, though some fish are cooperating early in the morning and again at sundown.  Work weed edges, drops, and submerged structure with soft plastics and spinner baits for the bass.  Some crappie are being taken off of deeper structure.  Walleye are occasionally being caught, too.  Trollers have caught them on nightcrawler harnesses and diving cranks near the dam.

West Branch

Mark's Bait and Tackle in Ravenna reports good catches of  musky are being taken by trollers pulling Boss Shad lures, especially in firetiger patterns.  Target the dam area.  Walleye have slowed down, though a few are being caught on jigs tipped with nightcrawlers or crawler harnesses.  Channel cats are hitting everywhere on West Branch.  Chicken livers, cut bait, nightcrawlers, and minnows will take fish.  Bass fishing is slow. 


Les's Bait and Tackle tells us fishing has been slow at this popular lake west of Youngstown.  Some walleye are being caught deep, but action has been spotty.  Some white bass are also in the mix.  Channel catfish are the saving grace.  Good catches are being reported on chicken livers and nightcrawlers.  Largemouth and smallmouth fishing has been slow.


The walleye bite at this Mahoning County reservoir has fallen off.  Some are being caught deep by lead core trollers pulling Flicker Shads in the river channel.  Channel catfish are hitting well, and will take nightcrawlers, chicken livers, cut bait, and dough baits. The smallmouth bass bite has slowed, though largemouth are hitting a little better.  Fish soft plastics and spinner baits near submerged structure and on the deep side of weed beds for the largemouth.

Mosquito Creek

Joe at Mosquito Lake Marina tells us unless you're fishing for channel cats, it's been slow.  Some bass are being taken at sunrise and at dusk on small soft plastics.  Some walleye are turning up for trollers and drifters, but not in great numbers.

Further up the lake, the folks at Causeway Sporting Goods report walleye, yellow perch and crappie are hitting in the area just to the west of the cemetery.  They're hitting jigs tipped with nightcrawlers or minnows, as well as trolled crank baits.  Catfish and crappie are being taken from the causeway.


Channel cats are being caught all around the lake on nightcrawlers, chicken livers, or cut bait.  Duck and Drake reports low fishing pressure, though some walleye are being caught by drifters south of the causeway.  Bass fishing is slow, though panfish are providing good action.

Charles Mill & Pleasant Hill

The wipers (white bass/striped bass hybrids) continue to cooperate on at this lake between Ashland and Mansfield.  Dusty at Mifflin Lakes Trading Post  says to cast or troll 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 taking shrimp, chicken livers, and nightcrawlers.  Good numbers of cats are being caught  The saugeye fishing has picked up below the dam when the flow is up.  Minnows fished on the bottom or under bobbers will take saugeye.

Just to the south, good numbers of saugeye are being caught off the beach at Pleasant Hill Reservoir.  Crankbaits or nightcrawler harnesses trolled in deeper water will take fish.  Some white bass are in the mix.  Bass fishing is slow.

Chippewa Lake

Bob Nemeth at Chippewa Lake Bait and Tackle says catfish have been taking nightcrawlers and chicken livers.   Panfish 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 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 turning up good catches of largemouth bass and channel cats.

Ohio River

Red's in Columbiana reports slow fishing for sauger on the Ohio River below the New Cumberland Dam.  However, good numbers of channel catfish, as well as a few shovelheads are being caught.  Cut bait, shrimp, and live bluegills are the baits of choice. 


The bass bite is good at this Portage County impoundment.  Early morning and dusk are better than other times of the day. Soft plastics, spinner baits, and crankbaits will take fish.  Bluegills and redears are hitting. Look for them in the five to 10 foot range. They will hit 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 everywhere on the lake. Nightcrawlers, shrimp, and chicken livers are the preferred baits.


Some walleye are being taken at this reservoir in Geauga County.  Trolling or drifting nightcrawler harnesses has been catching fish.  Good catches of panfish are also being reported.  Waxworms, maggots, and red worms are the preferred baits.  Bass fishing is fair. 


Channel cats are hitting well.  Nightcrawlers, cut bait, and  chicken livers are taking fish.  Some flatheads are being reported in the mix.  The folks at Tappan Lake Marina tell us saugeye have started to come around.  They'll hit nightcrawler harnesses or diving cranks trolled deep.  Largemouth bass have been hitting soft plastics and crankbaits fished near submerged structure and timber.  Smallmouth fishing is improving, but spotty. Work rocky points with jigs or diving cranks for smallmouth.

Atwood Lake

Atwood Lake Boats, Marina East says the channel catfish bite is hot. They are taking chicken liver or cut bait everywhere in the lake.  Saugeye catches have been scattered.  Bass fish remains good on points, weed edges, and submerged structure.  Soft plastics, jigs, and spinner baits remain the lures of choice.

Piedmont Reservoir

Musky are being taken by trollers pulling large crank baits near the dam and in the marina bay.  Piedmont Lake Marina tells us the saugeye bite has picked up in the dam area.  Drifting or trolling nightcrawler harnesses deep will take fish.  Good numbers of channel cats are being caught all around the lake on nightcrawlers and cut bait.  Shovelheads are hitting, too, with some huge fish being taken in the past two week.  Live shad or bluegills are the bait of choice for the shovelheads.  Fair catches of largemouth bass are being made along deep weed edges. 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 producing good numbers of yellow perch and panfish.  Fish the deeper pools with minnows or nightcrawlers.  Excellent catches of northern pike have been made from Clinton to Massillon. Good numbers of channel catfish catches are being reported closer to Dover.

Cuyahoga River

Gone Fishing Bait and Tackle in Cuyahoga Falls tells us it's a little slower, though some panfish, bass, and pike are being caught around Munroe Falls.  The dam removal in Cuyahoga Falls has disrupted the stream and it may be a while before fish in that area acclimate and begin hitting consistently.  Some smallmouth are being caught below the Gorge Dam.  Use tube jigs to take them.

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 produce fish.  Panfish are also cooperating on waxworms, maggots, and red worms.  The largemouth bite has been fair in the morning. Spinner baits and soft plastics will produce. 

Lake Rockwell

Big bluegill and some crappie are cooperating near the causeway, with the crappie bite turning on at night.  Channel cats are taking nightcrawlers, minnow, chicken livers, and cut bait.  Good catches of largemouth bass are being taken on spinner baits and soft plastics.

Alum Creek

It's a mixed bag at this Columbus area reservoir.  Cheshire Market in Galena reports saugeye and crappie are being taken by drifting or trolling nightcrawler harnesses, minnows, and jigs, and crankbaits. The fish are relatively shallow.  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

Good numbers of saugeye are being taken by trollers at this lake near Columbus, though they're running small.  Nighcrawler harnesses trolled or drifted will take fish.  Fair 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 decent 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

Big sunfish are being reported at this lake in Portage County. They will take wax worms, maggots, and red worms. The fish can be found in four to eight feet of water.  Some perch are in the mix, too.  The bass bite has slowed, though they can be caught around structure and weed edges early in the morning on soft plastics, buzz baits, and topwater lures.

Findley Lake

The panfish action at this lake near Wellington is very good.   Excellent 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.

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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