Northern Ohio Fishing Report: Exercise caution, look out for high water

Yellow Perch hot on Lake Erie, mixed bag inland

CLEVELAND - A note of of caution:  The excessive rain and severe storms we've had in the past few days have made many bodies of water, especially streams and rivers unsafe and unfishable.  Exercise caution if you are going anywhere near them in the next few days.  The weather should be drier for the next few days.

We also want to remind you of something very important that's coming up this weekend at West Branch Reservoir near Ravenna. It's an opportunity to help children learn how to fish. 

You may be familiar with Ranger Julie Stone.  She's organizing the event Saturday, July 13 from 10 a.m. to noon at the East Boat Ramp at West Branch.  She and volunteers, many from, will be putting on a program designed to teach kids the joys of sportfishing. There will be demonstrations of fishing techniques, tackle and bait programs, fun lessons on fish species identification, and fish cleaning demonstrations. Plus, children will be able to fish, and get expert advice.

Mark's Bait and Tackle and others are donating bait and some tackle. If you'd like to donate or volunteer, contact Ranger Julie at 330-358-2622. That's also the number to call if you'd like more information about the event. 

Now, let's take a look at what's biting around the Buckeye State.

Lake Erie

The mud line caused by the recent wind and rain continues to force walleye anglers deeper in some areas.  In the western basin, the Port Clinton head boat fleet is fishing further north, almost to the Canadian border in some cases to find fish.  Shore-Nuf charters reports fair catches on drifted harnesses and Erie Dearies.  Gold is the preferred color.

Fisherman's Wharf in Port Clinton reports trollers are pulling spoons to catch fish.  They've been deeper lately, fishing north and west of the Bass Islands.  Jager Bomb and Purple Demon patterns have taken fish.

In the central basin, Craig Lewis at Erie Outfitters  tells us the perching is excellent from Lorain to Avon Lake.  Limit catches of yellow perch are being reported in 45 feet of water.  Walleye are north of the bar from Vermilion to Avon Point.  Fishing has been hit or miss with some boats taking limits, and other boats working hard for just a few fish.   Purple has been the color of choice.  Craig says the thermocline has yet to set up, but that hasn't stopped some anglers from targeting steelhead.  They're trolling large silver spoons deep, with a few fish reported.  In shore, the white bass have been hammering wiggle spoons in good numbers.

The folks at Shine's in Cleveland  report white bass and white perch are being caught from the breakwalls.  Minnows or nightcrawlers fished on the bottom should do the trick.  The yellow perch bite has been excellent off of Cleveland in 38 to 44 feet of water.

At Wildwood Marina, the head boat Linda Mae has been bringing in limit catches of yellow perch the past few days.  Emerald shiners on spreaders or crappie rigs are the way to go.  The best fishing has been off of Euclid Beach in 37 feet of water.

Moving east, Don at Harbor Bait tells us the yellow perch fishing remains hot, with most success coming in 52 feet of water.  Walleye are being caught further out in the mid 60's, but it's hard fishing with many fish being marked, but only fair numbers being taken.  Orange is the color that is producing.  In shore, good numbers of smallmouth bass are being caught.  Crayfish are the preferred bait.  Fish them in rocky areas to 17 feet deep.

Portage Lakes

Ron Slater at Portage lakes Bait and Tackle reports largemouth bass are hitting very well, right now.  He suggests top water plugs during the early morning, with a switch to soft plastics, spinner baits, and cranks later in the day.  The largemouth will be around shallow structure early.  You can find them around submerged structure and along the deep edges of weed beds and near drop offs later in the day.  East Reservoir, Turkeyfoot, Long Lake, and Rex Lake have been the top producers.

Bluegill are off the nests at the Portage Lakes, but good catches are being made in all the lakes in six to eight feet of water.  Maggots and wax worms are the preferred baits.

Channel catfish are in active summer mode, and that means fast action.  Good catches of big channel cats are being made in East Reservoir, Mud Lake, Turkeyfoot Lake, and Rex Lake.  Go with nightcrawlers, chicken livers, and cut bait for the cats.

Nimisila Reservoir

Buckzeye11 is our man out a Nimisila.  Here's what he emailed me about recent fishing in this reservoir in Green in southern Summit County:

"Went out with my Wife on Sat and found some huge schools of Crappie in 12 feet of water off the reeds (Reed islands in the south end). It felf like Spring time out there the way they were hitting before the storm rolled in... every cast on a 1/32 oz jig, color didn't matter a bit, just as long as it was moving. We only fished that area, but I assume the crappie bite was great all around the lake… The best bite I had for bass was the night bite... buzzbaits, black tubes(on bottom 10 feet of water) and white swimbaits all picked up fish at night... just not big fish, 2 pounders at best. Caught 20 Bass Sunday night."

Thanks for that information Buckzeye11.  If you have a fishing report you'd like to share, feel free to email me at, or you can find me on where my handle is TopCat.  Send me a personal message there.  You can also contact me on Twitter @gnoleff.

West Branch

Mark's Bait and Tackle reports the walleye bite is still on for fisherman using jigs tipped with crawlers in the weeds.  Bigger fish are actively feeding on bluegills and bait fish in the weed beds.  Bass are cooperating on soft plastics and crank baits fished near the edges of weed beds.  Muskies are taking large crank baits trolled around deep structure.

Alvin at Ron's Bait and Tackle tells us channel cats are hitting everywhere around the lake.  Chicken livers, shrimp, and nightcrawlers are the preferred baits.


The folks at Les's Bait tell us the walleye bite remains good, with bigger fish in the mix.  The best success has come on the humps between the railroad bridge and the Route 224 bridge.  Trollers pulling nightcrawler harnesses, Flicker Shads, Shad Raps, and Reef Runners in six to 15 feet of water have been taking good numbers of fish.    Bass fishing has been fair.  Channel cats have been cooperating.  They are taking cut bait, chicken livers, and nightcrawlers.


Walleye are being taken by trollers along the river channel from the causeway to the I-76 bridge.  Diving crankbaits and nightcrawler harnesses have been producing.  The Bass bite at Milton has moved into a summer pattern, with best fishing at sun up and sundown.  Largemouth will hit soft plastics fished near weeds and structure.  Smallmouth are in rocky areas off of points, and on the deeper sides of the mid-lake shallows.

Mosquito Creek

Kathy at Mosquito Lake Marina tells us outstanding Largemouth catches are being made along weed lines in the southern end of the lake.  Soft plastics, spinner baits and buzz baits are catching fish.  Fair walleye catches are being made fishing the outside edges of weed beds with jigs tipped with nightcrawlers. 

Up the lake, Causeway Sporting Goods let us know good catches of crappie are being made by shore fisherman off the north side of the causeway.  Minnows are the preferred bait.  Walleye are hitting trolled nightcrawler harnesses, Shad Raps, and Flicker Shads near the creek channel and just south of the causeway in eight to 20 feet of water.  Orange, silver, and white have been the top producing colors for the harnesses.  Channel Cats are hitting chicken livers and nightcrawlers everywhere in the lake.


Duck and Drake reports limit catches of walleye are being caught on the south side by trollers working the weed line in eight to 15 feet of water. Nightcrawler harnesses have been the preferred bait.  Carppie and yellow perch are also cooperating. They're hitting minnows fished  in 12 feet of water near structure.  Bass are being taken along shoreline structure on soft plastics and spinner baits.

Charles Mill & Pleasant Hill

Dusty at Mifflin Lakes Trading Post says fishing for channel cats has been phenomenal.  They are hitting all over Charles Mill on nightcrawlers, chicken livers, shrimp, and dough baits.  The Wiper bite has been slow.  A few of the white bass/striped bass hybrids are showing up.  Good catches of saugeye have been coming from below the dam when the flow is up. Minnows fished on the bottom or under a float will produce.

At Pleasant Hill, White Bass are being caught in good numbers. Drifting or trolling nightcrawlers and minnows will catch them.  Some Saugeye are being caught trolling nightcrawler harnesses or Flicker Shads off the beach, and in the deep water off of the lodge.

Chippewa Lake

Bob Nemeth at Chippewa Lake Bait and Tackle says worms or waxworms under a bobber will take panfish.   Good catches of bass are being made.  Crankbaits and spinnerbaits have produced lately.  Catfish have been hitting nightcrawlers and chicken livers.  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 turning up good catches of Smallmouth Bass.  Jigs and small spinners are working, especially around submerged wood and rocks.  Most of the Metro Parks lakes are providing good Panfish catches.  Wallace Lake has been a consistent producer. 

Ohio River

Water levels are high and the current is swift, excercise caution.  Red's in Columbiana tells us the sauger bite is slowing below the New Cumberland Dam.  Some fish are being taken on jigs or minnows fished on the bottom.  The smallmouth bite continues to be fair on Beaver Creek.  Tube jigs, minnows, and crayfish are preferred.  Fishing for catfish has picked up.  Good numbers of channel cats, and some flathead cats, have been reported.  Cut bait, shrimp, and live bluegills are producing.


Mogadore Bait and Tackle reports good catches of largemouth bass at this Portage County impoundment.  Soft plastics in black with purple fleck have been the top producers.  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 and chicken livers are the favored baits.


Saugeye action has been slow because of the recent weather, but it's created ideal conditions for channel cats.  Tappan Lake Marina reports good catches of channel cats. Chicken livers, nightcrawlers and cut bait are producing. 

Atwood Lake

High water and muddy conditions are also causing problems at Atwood.  Atwood Lake Boats, Marina East tells us some Saugeye are being taken on nightcrawler harnesses. Bass fishing  has been fair. Channel catfish are the bright spot.  They are taking chicken livers or cut bait all around the lake.

Piedmont Reservoir

The Piedmont Lake Marina  reports Musky fishing has been good near the dam. Trolling large diving crankbaits has been producing. Saugeye fishing has been fair. Good catches of Largemouth Bass have been made along the deep edges of weeds. Smallmouth Bass are taking jigs, crayfish, and crankbaits on rocky points.

Tuscarawas River

The water is high from the headwaters just west of Akron all the way south to the Muskingum River.  Exercise caution if you plan to fish the Tusc.  Your best bet is to stay clear of the river until at least Saturday.  Expect conditions to remain high and fast for at least the next five days.  When it's safe to return to fishing, some northern ike and smallmouth bass are being caught from Canal Fulton to Dover.  Spoons, jigs, and crankbaits will catch fish.  The Lake Lucerne outflow just north of Canal Fulton has turned up some nice catches of largemouth bass.  The fish are readily taking minnows, as well as crankbaits and spinners. Big Bluegills are being caught in that same area. Good catches of Panfish and Yellow Perch are being made in the stretch of the Tuscarawas that runs through Firestone Metro Park in Akron. 

Cuyahoga River

High water and swift currents are making conditions dicey along most of the Cuyahoga.  Exercise caution. Gone Fishing Bait and Tackle in Cuyahoga Falls tells us the stretch from Streetsboro to Munroe Falls is producing good catches of northern pike.  Spinnerbaits, spoons,  cranks, and live shiners have been effective.  Smallmouth bass are cooperating below the Gorge Dam.  And just a reminder, parts of the Cuyahoga through Cuyahoga Falls are off limits for a while due to dam demolition.

Lake Hodgson

Good catches of panfish are coming from this lake just east of Kent. Waxworms, maggots, and red worms will take fish in four to eight feet of water.  Fair catches of largemouth are also being made.

Alum Creek

The folks at Cheshire Market in Galena say good catches of saugeye are being made drifting minnows in eight to 15 feet of water at this reservoir north of Columbus.  Crappies are being taken, too. Some decent bass catches are being reported.

Hoover Reservoir

Cheshire Market also reports good catches of white bass at this impoundment northeast of Columbus.  They tell us bass fishing has been fair. 

Hudson Springs

Hudson resident fish this lake for free, though there's a charge for everyone else.  We're told that bluegills and yellow perch are cooperating.  Both species are hitting maggots fished in six to 10 feet of water. 

Sippo Lake

Panfish are cooperating at this Stark County Lake.  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 are hitting well at this Portage County Lake.  Fish soft plastics near the weeds for the largemouth.   The sunfish bite is on, too.  They'll take wax worms, maggots, and red worms, go slightly deeper for bigger fish.

Findley Lake

The panfish action at this lake near Wellington is supposed to be hot.  That's what we're hearing from people who have fished the lake recently.  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.

Print this article Back to Top