Advice on Catching Steelhead Trout in Cleveland, Ohio

Source: Wikimedia.org

January in northern Ohio is brisk, but the fishing is good. D’arcy Egan at Cleveland.com reports:

In the Cleveland area, the Chagrin and Rocky rivers have been producing numbers of steelhead trout. The Vermilion River has also been popular, and the sprawling Grand River has been crowded in spots….

A week ago… black marabou jigs with green, chartreuse or orange heads were the best at luring trout to bite. In recent days, anglers are asking Moore to tie white marabou jigs with a little bit of flash in the pattern.

Steelheaders generally like jigs in the 1/32-ounce or 1/16-ounce category — best for when the river current is a bit slow — with maggots or an emerald shiner minnow for bait.

And in lakes and ponds that are being stocked with trout, Egan advises:

Anglers generally suspend tiny jigs tipped with maggots, waxworms or a hunk of Berkley PowerBait under a small float. To find success, keep changing the depth of the jig and probe a lot of locations to determine where the trout are feeding.

Read more at https://www.cleveland.com/outdoors/2021/01/rivers-low-slow-and-full-of-trout-cleveland-area-fishing-report-for-the-weekend-of-jan-22-24-2021.html.

It’s autumn and the big catfish are prowling

One of two 20+ pound blue catfish caught in October 2020.

It happens each autumn—the big catfish of the Potomac and Anacostia rivers start prowling more during daylight hours.

Here’s my theory: young catfish hunt for food most hours of the day for the sake of survival. The more they eat, the bigger they get, and the less likely they will be devoured by predators. But once catfsh get to a certain size —15 pounds? bigger?— they feel less of an imperative to hunt for so many horus of the day. The bigger they get, the more they will be likely to do thier hunting at night.

Why night? Beats me, but those who hunt the monsters tend to advocate going after them during the dark hours. My own biggest catfish (40 pounds), I landed at around 1 am.

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Kids only! Little Turtle Pond, Akron, Ohio

Kosar fishing Turtle Pond Akron Ohio 07-2020Little Turtle Pond is at 2338 Harrington Rd, Akron, OH 44319. Park in the lot (no charge) and stroll maybe 500 feet past the no fishing pond and you will be at the fishing pond. On the way you might see a beaver ambling across the grass, a blue heron poking about the waters, and frogs splashing.

It’s a nice pond with a dock. You can fish all sides of it. But only if you are a kid, or with a kid. So a couple of us dads could have a line in the water while helping our junior anglers chase bluegill. A bobber and small worm proved very effective.

The pond also has largemouth bass, which I twice saw come marauding into the shallows chasing bluegill fry. I also caught eye of a carp. There are plenty of walkers and joggers who use the path around the pond, so do be mindful when you are casting.

Kosar fishing Turtle Pond Akron Ohio 2 07-2020

Places to fish in and around Akron, Ohio

The site Akron.com carried a July 16, 2020 article by Sean Patrick on fishing opportunities in the Akron area. The full story is here, and highlights are below. Some of these leads provided will require additional investigation—oh, darn, I’ll just have to go fish them!

  • Little Turtle Pond at Firestone Metro Park: Kid-friendly bluegill and bass fishing.
  • Brushwood Lake in Furnace Run Metro Park: Bass, bluegill, catfish and perch.
  • The Cuyahoga River in Cascade Valley: It “is an extremely productive small-mouth bass fishery.” Where exactly one should go is something I need to investigate.
  • Summit Lake: Large-mouth bass (especially), panfish, channel catfish, warmouth, and perch.
  • Nimisila Reservoir: Largemouth bass, sunfish and channel catfish. Not clear where to park and fish—it is a sizable body of water.
  • Mogadore Reservoir at Mogadore Reservoir Park: Largemouth bass, sunfish and channel catfish. I previously caught bass here on a boat. Park at the boathouse. Some shore fishing is possible.
  • Michael J. Kirwan Reservoir at West Branch State Park: Muskellunge! Not clear if there is good shore fishing here. This is a huge body of water, so where to park and fish is unclear.
  • Berlin Lake: Smallmouth bass and walleye. Another huge lake, so it is not clear where one should go and fish.
  • Lake Milton: Smallmouth bass and walleye. Same deal as Berlin Lake and Kirwan Reservoir, although one might park at the marina and try there(?)

To locate additional fishing opportunities in the Medina County Park District, surf to http://www.medinacountyparks.com.

For other fishing opportunities in Summit County, see https://www.summitmetroparks.org/fishing.aspx.

Chasing bass and bluegill at Meadowbrook Lake in Stow, Ohio

Kosar bass Meadowbrook 2 07-2019

Here’s a nice little find—Meadowbrook Lake.

You enter the park at 5069 Hudson Drive. There is a swing set and small playground. You can shore fish from the grass around the end of the lake or you can use one of the little fishing platforms. Bluegill and bass can be found there, and you can also chase them in the creek that is fed by the lake.

It was there that I got the hog above. He jumped on my boy’s Zebco 33, which had a bobber and nightcrawler.

Kosar basss Meadowbrook 07-2019

Oh, and the lake also has carp. We failed to bag any, but I saw one surface near the asphalt ramp.

 

Fishing the Calvert Cliffs pond in Lusby, Maryland

Calvert Cliffs in Lusby, Maryland is famed for its little beach, where one can find fossils and shark teeth. It also has a freshwater pond—with fish!

The pond is very easily accessed—drive into the lot, park just pass the restrooms building, and there it is. It is kid-friendly.

I saw panfish (bluegill and sunfish), small rock bass, and largemouth bass in the water. One can fish eith side of the pond, and either standard tackle or fly are usable.

The ivdeo above shows the fish interest in the small, top water flies I chucked. But a small bobber, small hook, and litle wriggling worm will also score fish easily.

How to keep your bait and catches fresh

Aeration system 05-2020Want to fish with live fish? Want to keep caught fish fresh?

Then you need a livewell.

Many boats have built-in livewells. But what should the owner of a simple john boat or for the shore fisherman do?

Answer: Get a cooler, and add a marine Metal Products 12-volt aeration system.  It installs easily in a cooler—preferably one with wheels—with no tools needed. You powre it with a 12-volt rechargeable battery, which you can recharge with a charger.

You can create a serious fishing set-up by screwing rod holders onto the side. Here you can see my set-up.

I pull the cooler, which holds four rods, and inside includes the aerator and battery. Then when I get to my fishing spot, I remove the  battery, and use the aerator to suck water into the cooler. Then the I rig the aerator to bubble the cooler water. Catch your baitfish, toss them in the cooler, and let the chasing of big catfish or whaetevr you are chasing begin.

Shad spoons and darts I like

Nungesser shad spoon 05-2020Spoons

  • Nungesser 30G-2: The second largest shad spoon I use. UPC # 044269120147
  • Nungesser 20N-1: The largest shad spoon I use. UPC # 04426912025
  • Luhr Jensen 13 Pet Spoon with feathers: The largest shad spoon I use. UPC # 012553385626
  • Luhr Jensen 12 Pet Spoon no feathers: The second largest shad spoon I use. UPC # 01255333444

Darts

  • Nungesser 2RDG-1 1/2 ounce dart with feathers: Largest dart I use. UPC # 044269121090
  • Nungesser 4RDG-2 1/4 ounce dart with feathers: Second largest dart I use. UPC # 044269121106

 

Using a modified Nungesser rig to catch shad on the Potomac River, April 11, 2020

The Nungesser dart-spoon combo rig is a classic. It is easy to tie (see here), and you can swap dart and spoon sizes to adjust to the current and the shad’s bite.

However, there are three reasons why one might need to add a little weight to this rig: (1) fast current; (2) low-lying fish; and (3) casting distance.

Fast current will make your baits slow to sink, which can leave you missing the fish. Othertimes shad will be way deep—down near the bottom, and without additional wait your rig will not stay low as your reel in. Finally, sometimes the fish are far out in the river, and your cast can’t reach them without addign weight.

Splitshot are tried and true, but they have a downside: your rig can get tangled on them. Which is a drag.

I recently chose to add my weight another way: I added a small barrel sinker above the swivel. So my set -up goes: reel—line—barrel sinker—plastic bed—swivel—dart/spoon rig. You can see it in the video above. This rig has worked marvelously. I nabbed about 30 fish on it in two hours this morning. I got 20-some fish on it two days ago. And the rig has held strong—it is made of 10-pound monofilament. (The reel has 8-pound monofilament.)