BE A FALL FISHING FANATIC
Opportunities abound for fall fishing in northeast Ohio
AKRON, OH – Summer is over but anglers need not hang up those fishing rods for the winter just yet according to the ODNR Division of Wildlife. Fish are just coming out of their summer feeding slumps and fishing now can be as good as traditional springtime opportunities.
“Anglers have a wide variety of choices right now,” said fish management supervisor Phil Hillman. Virtually any species of fish that can be caught in the spring months can be caught now if anglers have the inclination. Just go against the grain of thinking that fishing is done by Labor Day. Don’t lose a great opportunity,” Hillman explained.
Read below for species specific tips and tactics for the fall season:
Inland channel catfishing is excellent in September since they forage heavily on gizzard shad. Cast nets are legal for gathering shad from inland waters, but not Lake Erie. Anglers are encouraged to review the 2007-2008 fishing digest before netting bait fish. Using one to two inch shad in their entirety or cut up and then suspended about five to six feet under a bobber is a successful method.
Crappie also can be caught in relatively shallow water (six to 10 feet) until mid-October. During this time, crappies are not necessarily associated as much with brush as in the springtime. Light-weight jigs (1/32 or 1/64 in calmer conditions) such as twister tails, either tipped with minnows or without are the best choices.
Steelhead start cruising the break walls along the Lake Erie shoreline around Labor Day and start making their way upstream thereafter. Rain events trigger early runs and less rain triggers later runs. Try casting spinners, spoons (1/4 ounce to 2/5 ounce) or small crankbaits. Florescent spinners and spoons are the best for muddy conditions; chrome crankbaits are good for clear water conditions. Jigs (1/64 ounce) tipped with maggots work well, especially when combined with a Styrofoam bobber and lead pin (for casting weight).
Inland largemouth bass fishing offers good fishing opportunities in the fall. Spinner baits and crankbaits are good choices for lures. Plastic worms will work especially when there are not too many weeds. Bass are found in relatively shallow water (less than 10 feet) this time of year.
For the anglers looking for a more adventurous fishing experience, muskie fishing shifts from primarily trolling to casting. Good muskie fishing is usually pretty solid through the end of October. Large spinner baits and jerk baits are the way to go. Jerk baits allow the angler to impart action on the lure, simulating a dying fish. Be prepared for the strike with a tight line since muskies will most often snatch the lure when it is diving or on the rise as it surfaces.
Walleye and saugeye fishing can be very good, especially where current is found within inland lakes. Fishing for these species is effective around bridge crossings for example. Both of these species come into very shallow water, particularly during the night-time hours. Crankbaits are good choices if there are not too many weeds. Light-weight jigs tipped with minnows and fished in less than five feet of water should work well. Walleye and saugeye tend to chase vertical jigging lures around the aforementioned bridge crossings.
For more information on fall fishing in northeast Ohio, call Wildlife District Three’s fish management section at (330) 644-2293 or go to: www.ohiodnr.com/wildlife/tabid/6518/Default.aspx