Ohio is a great state for fishing and the local area has numerous highly productive lakes, reservoirs and rivers to “drop-a-line.”
Known for its world-class fishing with waters full of walleye, steelhead, trout, saugeye (a hybrid of a female walleye and male sauger), bluegill, crappie, bass, yellow perch and catfish, the state provides Buckeyes with a real chance to land that big one.
Some of the best public fishing waters in the area include Indian Lake, CJ Brown Reservoir, Kiser Lake, Lake Loramie, Grand Lake St Marys, Clark Lake, Great Miami River, Mad River, Stillwater River and the Little Miami River.
Other lakes just a “stone’s-throw” away include Buckeye Lake, Madison Lake, Delaware Lake, Deer Creek Lake, Cowan Lake, Rocky Fork Lake, Eastwood Lake and Darby Creek.
Don’t forget that fishing license. Ohio’s 2018-2019 fishing license cost $19 and is available at many statewide locations and online. They are good from March 1, 2018 to February 28, 2019.
Spring fishing best bets
If you want to get off on the right foot fishing this spring then try fishing for what’s biting. Catching crappie and bluegill is always a sure bet in the spring at Indian Lake, Kiser Lake and CJ Brown Reservoir.
Indian Lake is also stocked annually with saugeye and is considered one of the best lakes in Ohio for catching large numbers of the species.
Walleye are stocked annually at CJ Brown Reservoir/Buck Creek State Park and are a good bet every spring. Spring is also the best time to catch bullheads at nearby Lake Loramie. Give channel cat a try at Kiser Lake. The lake is stocked every other year by the state with channel cat.
Crappie and largemouth bass are biting every spring at Madison Lake in London, Ohio. Buckeye Lake is a great place to go for largemouth in the spring also. It is considered a good “early lake” to fish because it warms up quickly due to being so shallow.
How to reel them in
Here are a few tips to help to land a “keeper” this year:
Crappie can be taken in the spring around logs, stumps and fishing piers either from the bank or by boat. Use live minnows or jigs.
Bluegill can be taken using wax worms, red worms or meal worms near aquatic vegetation, stumps, logs and around fishing piers and docks.
Channel cats are taken using night crawlers fished on the bottom at night or early morning.
Largemouth bass are caught using surface and diving lures, live worms and plastic worms. Fish around stumps and fallen trees. Also try around aquatic vegetation along the shoreline and along fishing piers.
Bullheads can be taken along fishing piers using night crawlers.
Walleye are caught in the spring in tailwaters, causeways and around dams using jigs tipped with twister tails and minnows.
Saugeye can be taken in the spring using jigs with minnows. Fish deep in muddy/dark water and fish shallow in clear waters.
Catfish are best taken with chicken livers and with homemade or commercial “stinkbaits.” For the larger cats, use fish-baits such as minnows and goldfish.
Lake Erie fishing
Walleye is the fish of choice in the spring after the spawning period. Lake Erie is over run with smaller walleye due to several back-to-back successful spring spawning hatches. Fish on the surface for a bountiful harvest, go deep for the big catch.
Ron Brohm is a regular contributor to this newspaper.