■ Maumee & Sandusky rivers: The low water levels of the summer months expose a lot of the secrets of the waterways, and the wise angler is taking notes, snapping pictures and already preparing for next spring’s walleye runs. The reduced flow and wide, exposed shorelines on the Maumee also give the dog days fishermen opportunities to work the holes, where they should find a few smallmouth and white bass mixed in with a number of resident catfish. The anglers pursuing cats stick with the traditional baits – worms, crayfish and shrimp fished on the bottom. Maumee River watcher Joe Roecklein reports decent action below the dam at Mary Jane Thurston State Park, with white bass smacking minnows and white twister tails, along with catfish, carp and even a few walleyes showing up in the catch.
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■ Lake Erie: Captain Dave Spangler says the western end of the lake got muddied up by strong northwest winds at the start of the week, making the walleye fishing very tough, but as the weather settles and the water clears, he expects the areas around the D, E, F, and G cans to heat up again, along with the area northeast of West Sister Island. Pro Ross Robertson of Bigwater Fishing said that in our end of the lake there are some walleyes closer to shore, and he recommends Reef Runners on a fast troll to keep the junk fish off and the walleyes on. In the deeper waters offshore and to the east, Robertson said silver streak spinners or spoons trolled at 25-30 feet down in 30-40 feet of water seems to be the best approach. Oregon angler Bryan Johnson’s party recently found big walleyes off Geneva, trolling deep-diving Thunder Sticks with wire line in 72-feet of water. Johnson reports their 24-fish limit checked in at 145 pounds.
■ Bass fishing: The pros at Netcraft report that smallmouth are hitting tube jigs, crankbaits and jerkbaits north of Kelleys Island and around South Bass Island and Marblehead. The harbors, marinas and bays along the western end of the lake, and the shoreline around Catawba, have been serving up largemouth on soft plastics, spinner baits and crankbaits. The Netcraft experts recommend fishing shallow-running crankbaits over weeds, and using swim jigs and bladed jigs, and the new Strike King Tour Grade Rage Blade.
■ Northwest Ohio reservoirs: The ODNR reports that crappies are hitting minnows in the Killdeer Plains reservoir, especially in the area south of the boat ramp. Channel catfish are taking night crawlers or cut baits fished on or just off the bottom. The Van Wert reservoirs should provide good bluegill fishing for anglers using wax worms under a bobber and worked 5-7 feet deep in the mornings and evenings.
■ Lake St. Clair: Guide Spencer Berman says the focus is on muskies now, and despite the cooler weather slowing things a bit, Berman has found fish in numbers and big fish along the south shore. He reported 47 muskies caught last week, with five of them more than 50 inches in length. Musky Innovation’s Bull Dawgs and Chaos Tackle’s Medussas have worked for casters, and Musky Mayhem’s Trolling Girls have produced for trollers.
■ Irish Hills: The bluegills have been proving a bit elusive, according to local angler Zak Decker, but he said the bass are a better bet as they stage along the dropoffs. Decker said he has been finding fish 6-10 feet down with the bass hitting coffee-colored tubes on the fall. The 15-inch bass have come in numbers, with a few bigger ones mixed in, Decker said.