Northern Ohio Fishing Report: Mixed weather, mixed bag

Weather affecting fishing, but plenty still biting

CLEVELAND - The weather continues to be a factor this summer.  It's muddied the water in some places, especially on Lake Erie, and in other places it's caused high water levels or fast currents. Despite all of that, the bite remains good for a variety of species, including walleye and catfish. Let's take a look at what's being caught around the Buckeye State:

Lake Erie

Two words if you're looking for walleye on the big lake: Go west.

A check with the Port Clinton head boat fleet  finds western basin walleye are cooperating, but you'll have to GO almost to Canada to find them.  The boats out of Fisherman's Wharf and Drawbridge Marinas are running 15 miles out to areas west of North Bass Island and near West Sister Island.  Nightcrawler harnesses in gold and chartreuse are producing.  Trollers are picking up fish on spoons in orange and chartreuse, as well as on harnesses and Reef Runners.

Moving east to the central basin, Craig Lewis at Erie Outfitters reports good catches of walleye from Vermilion to Lorain, and from Sheffield Lake to Avon Point.  Nightcrawler harnesses will take fish, as will Reef Runners.  Green and pink are the preferred colors.  Craig tells us the yellow perch bite remains excellent.  Big fish are being taken in 36 to 43 feet of water off of Avon Point.  Now that a thermocline has set, steelhead are being taken around the 40 foot mark north of the bar.  Use large silver spoons to catch the steelhead.  Some smallmouth bass are being caught off the rocks and around pierheads.

The further east you go, the muddier and rougher the water gets.  Shine's in Cleveland tells us it's been hard for fishermen to get on the water the past few days.  Those brave few have been catching nice sized yellow perch in 44 to 55 feet of water off of Cleveland.  Emerald shiners will produce.  Breakwall anglers are catching some white perch and white bass from the East 55 th and  East 72 nd Street access areas.  Minnows or rooster tails are the way to go.

The rough waves have kept the Linda Mae in port at Wildwood Marina.  Perch trips should resume today.  Good catches of yellow perch were coming off of Euclid before the most recent weather system moved in.  Breakwall fishermen have been taking white bass off the rocks at wildwood with Wiggle Spoons, Agitators, and Rooster Tails.

 Don at Harbor Bait and Tackle in Fairport Harbor says you can find fantastic yellow perch fishing in 41 feet of water, if you can make it on to the water.  High waves have been a problem.  The walleye bite is slow to fair because few boats are going out, and those that do are having to go 15 miles north to find fishable water.

Portage Lakes

The recent rains have had little effect on this chain of lakes south of Akron.  Ron Slater at Portage Lakes Bait and Tackle says largemouth bass fishing is excellent.  Soft plastics or diving cranks fished near deep weed edges will take fish.  East Reservoir, Cottage Grove Lake, Rex Lake, Long Lake, and Turkeyfoot Lake have been the top producers.  Good catches of panfish are also being made.  Big bluegills and redears can be caught in five to eight feet of water on maggots and waxworms.  Yellow Perch have been taking minnows deep in East Reservoir.  You can locate schools in about 15 feet of water off of deep points.  Catfish are biting everywhere around the Portage Lakes.  Good catches of channel cats are being made on nightcrawlers, chicken livers, and shrimp.

Nimisila Reservoir

Fair catches of walleye have been reported from this lake in Green in southern summit county recently.  Trollers pulling diving cranks just off the face of the dam have run into schools of good-sized fish.  The largemouth bass bite is good.  Topwater lures and soft plastics worked around the pad beds will produce early in the day.  Move deeper with crankbaits, soft plastics, and spinner baits later in the day.  You'll find them near deep weed edges and submerged structure.  The channel cat bite is on fire.  Chicken livers, nightcrawlers, cut bait, and live bluegills are the baits of choice.

West Branch

The muskie bite is on at this impoundment east of Ravenna.  Mark at Mark's Bait and Tackle says to troll Boss Shad lures to catch them.  Some walleye are still being taken using jig and crawler combos near weed beds.  Good catches of bass are being made along weed edges and near submerged structure.  Spinner baits, soft plastics, and diving cranks will produce.  Channel catfish are being caught in good numbers.  They're hitting chicken livers, cut bait, and nightcrawlers. 


The weather has kept a lot of anglers off this lake west of Youngstown, but those who have made it, are catching limits of walleye.  Les's Bait and Tackle tells us trollers working Flicker Shads and nightcrawler harnesses in 16 to 17 feet of water between the Route 224 Bridge and the railroad bridge have been making good catches.  Crappies are also being taken deep in the same area on minnows.  Bass fishing has been slow, though a few are being caught around the Mill Creek area. 


Flicker Shads, Hot-N-Tots, and Shad Raps are the way to go for walleye on this Mahoning County reservoir.  Good catches have been reported by trollers working the river channel from the I-76 Bridge to the causeway.  The smallmouth bass bite has slowed, though largemouth are cooperating.  Soft plastics and spinner baits are taking fish near submerged structure and on the deep side of weed beds.

Mosquito Creek

Kathy at Mosquito Lake Marina tells us the channel catfish have been on fire at this lake north of Warren.  Chicken livers, nightcrawlers, cut bait, and dough baits are all taking fish.  Largemouth bass are hitting soft plastics, jigs, and crankbaits near deep structure and along the deep edges of weed beds.

Further up the lake, the folks at Causeway Sporting Goods report walleye are being caught by trollers in the creek channel.  Flicker Shads and nightcrawler harnesses fished deep have been producing.  Bluegills and perch are cooperating off the causeway.  Nightcrawlers have been the go-to bait.


Some Walleye are being taken by trollers and drifters at this popular Ashtabula County reservoir.  Duck and Drake tells us the walleye are in 11 to 16 feet of water south of the causeway,  and hitting drifted nightcrawlers.  Yellow perch and bluegill are being caught  the same way in the same area.

Charles Mill & Pleasant Hill

The wipers (white bass/striped bass hybrids) have turned on at this lake between Ashland and Mansfield.  Dusty at Mifflin Lakes Trading Post  says to cast 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 also hitting well.  Shrimp, chicken livers, and nightcrawlers are the preferred baits for the cats.  Some saugeye are being caught in the evening below the dam on minnows fished on the bottom or under bobbers.

Just to the south, Pleasant Hill is just becoming fishable again.  Water levels are receding.  Bass fishing has been fair.  Crayfish imitation, crayfish, and soft plastics fished near submerged structure will take some fish.   Some saugeye are being caught trolling or drifting nightcrawlers off the beach. 

Chippewa Lake

Bob Nemeth at Chippewa Lake Bait and Tackle says worms or waxworms under a bobber will take panfish.  Some bass are being caught. Soft plastics or live minnows will produce.  Catfish have been taking nightcrawlers and chicken livers, and 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 close to 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 a consistent producer.

Ohio River

Red's Columbiana reports good catches of sauger below the New Cumberland Dam.  They're being taken on jigs and minnows fished on the bottom.  The water is muddy.  Good number of channel catfish have been taken there, too.  Cut bait, shrimp, and live bluegills are the baits of choice.


The bass bite is hot at this Portage County impoundment. Soft plastics, spinner baits, and  crankbaits are taking fish.  Bluegills and redears have moved deeper. Look for them in the seven to 10 foot range. They will take 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 all over the lake. Nightcrawlers, shrimp,  and chicken livers will catch fish.


Good catches of panfish are being reported from this reservoir in Geauga County.  Waxworms, maggots, and red worms are the preferred baits.  Some walleye are being reported.  Bass fishing is good.  Drop offs and deep weed edges have been productive.


Channel cats are cooperating.  Nightcrawlers, cut bait, and  chicken livers are the baits of choice.  Some saugeyer are being taken by trollers.  Largemouth bass have been hitting soft plastics and crankbaits fished near submerged structure and timber.  Smallmouth fishing is slow. 

Atwood Lake

Atwood Lake Boats, Marina East tells us some saugeye are being taken on nightcrawler harnesses if you can locate fish.  The water is finally returning to normal levels.  Bass are being caught around submerged structure. Soft plastics, cranks, and spinner baits will work.  The channel catfish bite is strong. They are taking chicken liver or cut bait everywhere in the lake.

Piedmont Reservoir

Muskie are being taken by trollers pulling large cranks near the dam.  The saugeye bite has cooled off, though some are being taken on nightcrawler harnesses fished along drop offs in the dam area.  Good numbers of channel cats are being made all around the lake on nightcrawlers and cut bait.  Some largemouth bass have been taken along the deep edges of weeds. 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 a yellow perch bonanza.  Fish the deeper pools with minnows or nightcrawlers.  Large panfish are also being taken in those pools.  Good catches of channel cats are coming from the area near the Lake Lucerne outflow near Canal Fulton.  Downstream from there, from Canal Fulton to Dover, some smallmouth bass and northern pike are being caught. 

Cuyahoga River

Gone Fishing Bait and Tackle in Cuyahoga Falls tells us good catches of crappie and bass are being made in the area around Munroe Falls.  Pike fishing has slowed.  Decent panfish catches are being made, too.  improve below

Lake Hodgson

Good catches of yellow perch are coming from this Portage County Lake.  Minnows will take them.  Panfish are also cooperating on waxworms, maggots, and red worms.  The largemouth bite has been good in the morning. Spinner baits and soft plastics will produce.

Lake Rockwell

Excellent catfish catches are being made at this Portage County reservoir.  They're taking nightcrawlers, minnow, chicken livers, and cut bait.  Good catches of largemouth bass are being taken on spinner baits and soft plastics. Big bluegills are cooperating near the causeway.

Alum Creek

This reservoir north of Columbus is producing a mixed bag.  Cheshire Market in Galena reports saugeye are being taken by drifting or trolling nightcrawler harnesses.  Crappie are hitting minnows deep.  Bass are 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

Some saugeye are being taken by trollers at this lake near Columbus.  Nighcrawler harnesses trolled or drifted will take fish.  Som e white bass are being caught on spinners.  Channel cats are hitting cut bait, nightcrawlers, and shrimp.

Sippo Lake

There are fair 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

Largemouth bass have been hitting well. Fish soft plastics near the weeds for them.   Big sunfish are being reported. They will take wax worms, maggots, and red worms. The fish can be found in five to eight feet of water.

Findley Lake

The panfish action at this lake near Wellington is excellent. Good 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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