Fishing Report: Yellow perch fishing remains hot

Walleye, saugeye, bass also provide action

CLEVELAND - The Lake Erie gold rush continues.  The jumbo yellow perch fishing is outstanding from Huron to Conneaut.  The western basin is even getting in on the act with good numbers of average sized perch biting from Toledo to Kelley's Island.

Inland, crappie, walleye, and saugeye have turned on. 

Let's take a closer look at what's biting around the Buckeye State:

Lake Erie

In the western basin, the Port Clinton head boat fleet is running perch and walleye trips.  Fisherman's Wharf and Shore-Nuf Charters are reporting good catches of yellow perch off of Niagara Reef and near Kelley's Island.  Walleye are also hitting.  They're being caught near Northwest Reef on nightcrawler harnesses and Reef Runners.  Gold, green, and purple are the colors of choice.  The smallmouth bass bite is on, too.  Anglers dropshotting Gulp minnows, leeches, or softcraws have been picking good numbers of smallmouth off of rock piles close to shore and near the Bass Islands.   

 Further east, Craig Lewis at Erie Outfitters in Sheffield Lake says yellow perch fishing is excellent from Huron to Avon Point.  The perch are  in 40 to 45 feet of water.  Good catches of walleye are coming from 40 feet of water on nightcrawler harnesses.  Those fish are hitting from Lorain to Avon.  Good catches of smallmouth bass are being made trolling crankbaits in 10 to 12 feet of water off of Sheffield Lake and Avon Lake.  They can be caught casting jigs, too.

Closer to Cleveland, Shine's tells us the perching is fantastic.  Limit catches are being made in 20 feet of water off of First Energy Stadium.  Some steelhead, perch, and smallmouth are being taken off the breakwalls.

Wildwood Marina is the home to the head boat Linda Mae.  The folks there are reporting limit catches this week.  Fish are taking emerald shiners in 41 to 52 feet of water off of Euclid Beach, Euclid Hospital, and Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School.   Breakwall anglers are catching some perch, too.

The yellow perch  bite is excellent in 42 to 50 feet of water off of Fairport Harbor.  Don at Harbor Bait in Fairport tells us there are walleye just above those schools feeding on those perch.  The steelhead are staging near the mouth of the Grand River.  A number have been caught in the past week off the short pier in Fairport.  Anglers are throwing Little Cleos, Vibrex spinners, and jigs tipped with maggots.   Good catches of smallmouth are coming on tube jigs and cranks in rocky areas.  Those fish are also hitting well in the Grand River.

Off of Conneaut, Snug Harbor Bait reports limit catches of yellow perch in 52 feet of water.  Walleye fishing has been good in 62-72 feet of water.   Reef Runners and nightcrawler harnesses will take walleye.  Steelhead are moving in off the mouths of Conneaut Creek, Arcola Creek, and Wheeler Creek.

Portage Lakes

The crappie have started hitting again at this chain of lakes south of Akron.  Ron Slater at Portage Lakes Bait and Tackle tells us crappie are taking minnows in eight to 15 feet of water.  Work shoreline areas until you find schools.  Your best bets for crappie are Rex Lake, Turkeyfoot Lake, East Reservoir, and Long Lake.  Some yellow perch are in the mix with the crappie.  Largemouth bass fishing remains excellent.  Those bass are actively chasing schooled minnows, so blade baits, spinner baits, and shallow running cranks will work.  Look for bass in East Reservoir, Rex Lake, Miller Lake, and Long Lake.  Channel cats are hitting everywhere.  Chicken livers, nightcrawlers, hot dogs, and cut bait will produce.  Some big bluegill catches have been reported from East Reservoir, Turkeyfoot Lake, Rex Lake,  and Cottage Grove Lake.  Maggots, waxworms, or red worms will take panfish.

Nimisila Reservoir

The crappie bite is good Crappie at this impoundment in southern Summit County.  Anglers have been catching them near the dam on minnows fished in five to 15 feet of water.  Crappie jigs or twister tails fished under a bobber and popped will also take them.  Largemouth bass fishing is good.  Soft plastics fished near weed lines will take fish early in the day.  Shallow running cranks or blade baits will also catch largemouth marauding through schools of shad.  Some walleye are being caught vertically jigging blade baits in seven to 15 feet of water near the dam.  Good catches of channel cats are being made around the lake on chicken livers, cut bait, nightcrawlers, and minnows.

West Branch

Mark at Mark's Bait and Tackle in Ravenna tells us the musky continue to hit at this reservoir east of Ravenna. Good catches are being made by anglers trolling Boss Shad lures all over the lake.  Some musky are also being caught by fisherman throwing big bucktail spinners near weed beds.    Crappie fishing has turned on under the Rock Springs Road bridge, especially at night.   Good numbers of walleye are being taken vertically jigging blade baits, leeches, or nightcrawlers.  Channel cats are hitting everywhere on West Branch. Chicken livers, cut bait, nightcrawlers, and minnows will take fish. Bass fishing is improving.   Spinner baits, soft plastics, and shallow running cranks fished near structure or weed beds will produce.


Water levels are way down  at this popular lake west of Youngstown, and only a few launches are usable.  Walleye fishing has been good when fish have been found.  Trollers working the river channel from the causeway to the railroad bridge with Flicker Shads, Rapalas, Reef Runners, and nightcrawler harnesses are catching walleye.  Bass fishing is good.  Largemouth are being caught on shallow running crank baits, spinner baits, and soft plastic.  Points have been producing smallmouth bass on tube jigs and diving cranks.  


North Coast Bait and Tackle reports the crappie bite remains good at this Mahoning County lake.  Minnows fished around structure in seven to 12 feet of water have been producing.   The walleye bite is good. Fish are being caught deep on Flicker Shads, Wally Divers, and Shad Raps along the river channel. Channel catfish are hitting well, and will take nightcrawlers, chicken livers, cut bait, and dough baits. The laregemouth bite is good on  shallow diving crankbaits and soft plastics. Smallmouth fishing has been improving off the deep side of the hump on the south side.

Mosquito Creek

Joe at Mosquito Lake Marina tells us walleye are being caught on the south end by trollers pulling nightcrawler harnesses and diving cranks deep.  Bass fishing has been good with fish being taken in the early morning and at dusk on spinner baits and shallow running cranks.

Up the lake the folks at Causeway Sporting Goods tell us big bluegills are being caught from the show on waxworms, maggots, and redworms.  Good catches of walleye are being made by trolling nighcrawler harnesses and diving cranks along the creek channel from the causeway to the cemetery.   Causeway anglers have been making scattered catches of perch and channel cats.


Duck and Drake reports the walleye bite is hot north and south of the causeway.  Vertical jigging with blade baits has been taking fish.  Trolling cranks and harnesses will produce, too.  The  yellow perch bite remains hot.  Those fish are coming from the south side on minnows fished in about 12 feet of water.  Crappies have been taking minnows around submerged structure.  Good numbers of channel cats are also being caught.

Charles Mill & Pleasant Hill

Dusty at Mifflin Lakes Trading Post reports crappie are hitting well at Charles Mill.  Minnows fished around submerged timber will produce. The wiper (white bass/striped bass hybrids) bite is on, too, at this lake between Ashland and Mansfield. Twister Tails and Rooster Tails, and Rattle Traps will catch them.  Chicken livers will work for the wipers, too. Look for them chasing schools of baitfish near the surface. Channel cats are taking cut bait, chicken livers, and nightcrawlers.  The saugeye fishing is on below the dam at Charles Mill. Minnows fished on the bottom or under bobbers will catch them.

Just to the south at Pleasant Hill Reservoir, the saugeye bite has turned on.   Saugeye are being caught off the beach. Crankbaits or nightcrawler harnesses trolled in deeper water will take fish.  Fair numbers of white bass are in the mix. Bass fishing is good. Work rocky points with jigs and crawfish imitations for smallmouth.  Some crappie are being caught on minnows near downed trees.

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.   Some bass are being taken.

Cleveland Metro Parks

The smallmouth bass fishing is excellent in the Rocky River.  Steelhead are being caught near the river mouth on spoons and jigs.  Wallace Lake is providing good action for bass, channel cats, and panfish.   Fair catches of panfish are being reported from Coe Lake.  Ranger Lake is producing good catches of largemouth bass.  

Ohio River

Red's in Columbiana reports excellent fishing for sauger on the Ohio River below the New Cumberland Dam. Minnows fished near the bottom are catching fish. 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.


Fair numbers of walleye are being taken at this reservoir in Geauga County. Trolling or drifting nightcrawler harnesses and deep diving cranks has been productive. Good catches of panfish are also being reported. Waxworms, maggots, and red worms are the preferred baits. Bass fishing is good. Work shallow cranks and soft plastics near weed lines and submerged structure.


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 the saugeye bite is good. They'll take 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 fair. Work rocky areas with jigs or diving cranks for smallmouth. Some largemouth are being caught early in the morning and at sunset on spinner baits and cranks.

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 are improving.  Diving cranks and nightcrawler harnesses will take them.  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 is good in the dam area. Drifting or trolling nightcrawler harnesses deep will take fish, so will deep diving crank baits. Good numbers of channel cats are being caught all around the lake on nightcrawlers and cut bait. Shovelheads are hitting, too. Live shad or bluegills are the bait of choice for the shovelheads.  A 25 pound shovelhead was caught in the past week.  Good catches of largemouth bass are being made along deep weed edges. Smallmouth Bass are hitting crayfish, tube jigs, and crankbaits on rocky points. Work weed edges with spinner baits for largemouth bass.

Tuscarawas River

The upper stretch that runs through Firestone Metro Park above Long Lake is one of the best urban fisheries in northeast Ohio. It has been producing good numbers of yellow perch and panfish. Fish the deeper pools with minnows or nightcrawlers. Good catches of northern pike have been made from Clinton to Massillon. Decent numbers of channel catfish catches are being made closer to Dover.  There are a huge number of small bass and good sized bluegills at the Lake Lucerne outflow just north of Canal Fulton.

Springfield Lake

The bass fishing has been hot at this Summit County lake.  Laregemouth bass are hitting shallow running cranks, spinner baits, and soft plastics.  Smallmouth will take tube jigs, cranks, and crawfish near submerged structure.  Channel cats are also cooperating.  They'll hit cut bait, chicken livers, and dough baits. Crappies are taking minnows in 12 feet of water near submerged structure.

Cuyahoga River

Good catches of northern pike are being made near Route 91 and back through Munroe Falls.  Shiners fished under a bobber is the preferred method, though they'll also hit spoons and spinner baits.  Good numbers of smallmouth bass are being caught below the Gorge Dam ono soft craws, small inline spinners, twister tails, and tube jigs.  Further downstream, smallmouth have been cooperating near the Route 82 dam.

Lake Hodgson

Excellent 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. Walleye are also cooperating.  They are hitting drifted jigs tipped with nightcrawlers.  Panfish are taking waxworms, maggots, and red worms. The largemouth bite is good. Spinner baits and soft plastics will produce.

Lake Rockwell

Crappie are hitting near the causeway, especially after dark. This is an outstanding fishery that few are taking advantage of. Channel cats are taking nightcrawlers, minnow, chicken livers, and cut bait. Excellent catches of largemouth bass are being made on spinner baits, soft plastics, and shallow diving cranks.

Alum Creek

Cheshire Market in Galena reports excellent catches of saugeye and crappie are being made drifting or trolling nightcrawler harnesses, minnows, and jigs, and crankbaits on the flats, and near drops.  Bass fishing has been decent, with a number being on jigs, spinner baits, and shallow diving cranks. 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. Nighcrawler harnesses trolled or drifted will take fish. Good 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

Excellent panfish catches are being reported at this lake in Portage County. They will take wax worms, maggots, and red worms. The fish can be found in three to 12 feet of water. Some perch are being caught, too. The bass bite has gotten better. They can be caught around structure and weed edges early in the morning on soft plastics, topwater lures, and cranks.

Findley Lake

The panfish action at this lake near Wellington is outstanding. 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.

Wellington Reservoir

Good catches of panfish are being made at at this Lorain County impoundment.   Decent catches or channel cats are being made, too.  Chicken livers and nightcrawlers are the preferred baits.

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. You may have seen a series of questions I've been answering about catfishing on there recently. I always welcome your questions on Twitter, too.

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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