■ Maumee River: The word from the religious fly fishermen is that a variety of species are being taken on bunny fur patterns of olive and chartreuse, as well as a wide range of clouser minnows and wooly buggers. Crawfish patterns also remain a reliable option in most situations. Fly angler and guide Hunter Hayes said his clients have been taking smallmouth bass and carp on the river, near Mary Jane Thurston State Park, on rust-colored crawfish patterns. Hayes said that for gar, white wooly buggers with nylon rope tails and a size 6 or 8 hook have turned the trick. The rope makes it easier to hook the fish, since it catches in their teeth, Hayes said. Maumee River watcher Joe Roecklein said the recent action on the Maumee has been pretty slow for the casters and catfishermen.
■ Sandusky River: The Division of Wildlife reports that anglers are taking gar below the Ballville Dam by fishing minnows under bobbers during the daylight hours. Catfish anglers have been finding fish below the dam with the conventional catfish baits fish on or just off the bottom.
■ Lake Erie: The charter captains are mostly in agreement that walleyes can sometimes be located under the mats of algae, where they use the low-light conditions to their advantage while chasing baitfish. The pros also agree that yellow perch seem to avoid the algae, and are found in deeper, clearer water once the algae bloom is present and spread throughout the water column. Captain Bob Brown Jr., who operates “Sundance” out of Channel Grove Marina in Marblehead, said his recent outings have focused on the waters to the north and east of the Lake Erie Islands complex, and he has encountered very little algae in that region. To the east of Pelee Island, Brown said the water was “beautiful and clear”.
■ Lake Fish Safe to Eat: Extensive testing on the tissues of Lake Erie walleyes has indicated that the meat does not contain the toxins produced by the massive algal blooms, and is therefore safe to eat. Captain Paul Pacholski, president of the Lake Erie Charter Boat Association, said the charter captains have been sending both tissue and water samples to Ohio State for analysis.
■ Bass fishing: The Division of Wildlife reports that the smallmouth bass fishing is best around Kelleys Island and North Bass Island, with anglers using tube jigs, crankbaits and jerkbaits. Fishermen pursuing largemouth bass have focused their efforts on the many harbors, bays and marinas in the Western Basin, and around the shoreline on the Catawba Peninsula. Crankbaits, spinnerbaits and soft plastics are the most common choices for largemouth fishermen.
■ Michigan inland lakes: Author and angler Brian Miller reports that the big bluegills have been hitting on the inland lakes. Miller said small plastic grubs or tubes in one-inch size have been working, when tightlined over weed beds.
■ Youth fishing: Anglers 15-and-under are invited to fish on Saturdays in August at the Youth Fishing Pond at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, located at 13229 West State Route 2, north of Oak Harbor. Loaner fishing equipment and bait will be provided, with Division of Wildlife staff on hand. Only youths aged 15-and-under are allowed to fish in the pond, located adjacent to the Sportsmen’s Migratory Bird Center. Youth must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.