Ohio fishing Stocking Schedule Port Clinton
Ohio’s waters include a Great Lake, inland lakes, small streams and big rivers. Not all fish in these waters bite equally well at all times of the year, of course, but every month provides some good fishing somewhere in the state. Here, month-by-month, are some of the best fisheries.
Lake Erie Walleyes
When sufficient ice forms atop the Western Basin waters of Lake Erie, ice fishermen locate and set up over huge schools of walleye that are staging for the spring spawn. From Toledo east to South Bass Island, hard water anglers look for schools of walleyes.
These schools usually hold the largest fish of the season, as the females are ripe with eggs and fattening-up for the spring effort to come.
Other options: Inland upground reservoirs in northwest Ohio and impoundments, such as Mosquito and CJ Brown reservoirs, that are stocked with walleye can offer good action when ice conditions allow anglers to venture out. Contact the Wildlife District Two Headquarters at 419-424-5000 for maps and more information on upground reservoirs that allow ice fishing in the district, and wildohio.gov for information about CJ and Mosquito winter walleye fishing.
Meanwhile, farm ponds are often the first waters to freeze each season — and some winters when conditions don’t allow it on larger waters may offer the only option for ice fishermen who seek bass, bluegills and crappies in the smaller, shallower, sheltered ponds.
Some of the larger wildlife areas include small ponds that are stocked with bass and panfish and perfect for ice fishing; check widlohio.gov for such wildlife areas near you.
Upground Yellow Perch
Yellow perch are found in practically all the upground reservoirs in Wildlife District 2 and remain active through the winter months — and catchable through the ice when frigid conditions exist. The fish will eat any small, natural bait presented by anglers. Findlay Reservoir #2 is a popular one for perch, but several upground lakes are open to hard-water angling for the popular panfish.
Contact the Wildlife District Two Headquarters at 419-424-5000 for lake maps and more information on upgrounds that hold yellow perch and are open to ice fishing for them.
Other options: Sandusky Bay and the protected harbor area at Put-In-Bay (P-I-B) are popular places to ice fish for yellow perch when weather conditions aren’t favorable for fishing the waters of Lake Erie. Using ice-fishing shanties that are blacked-out as much as possible, some island anglers even sight fish for their P-I-B perch, pulling baits away from small fish in favor of ‘jumbos’ that they target.
If ice fishing isn’t an option, the spillways below man-made reservoirs such as Paint Creek can offer excellent fishing for saugeye and other species.
Deer Creek Spillway Saugeyes
This central Ohio reservoir is one of the tops in the state for supporting a healthy population of saugeyes and a consistent winter fishery for the hybrids in the below-dam area downstream of the spillway. The shore fishing is so productive and popular that fishing accesses had been enhanced for anglers, who cast jig and twister combos and floating jig rigs to catch fish hand over fist for days after each winter and late spring water release.
Other options: The annual spring walleye spawning runs begin in the Maumee and Sandusky rivers in Northwest Ohio. March is also prime fishing time at the lock and dams along the Ohio River, where sauger are active and accessible from the fishing platforms found at many of the flood control facilities.
Seneca Lake Crappies
Locally famous for its spring ‘slab’ bite, the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy Lake is large, at 3, 600 acres, and offers excellent access to its waters that straddle Noble and Guernsey counties. Because it is surrounded by MWCD land, much of its 45-mile shoreline is open to the public — including crappie anglers who find their favorite fish species showing up this month in the flooded shoreline brush.
Other options: Any reservoir that holds crappies will offer near-shore fishing opportunities for bank fishermen this month as the fish gather in brushy or woody cover in the shallows. Delaware Lake in Delaware County was managed as a trophy slab fishery for years and annually surrenders fish in the 12- to 15-inch class.
Meanwhile, white bass replace the walleye in spawning runs up the Sandusky and Maumee rivers from Lake Erie.