Here I had to work hard to nab a panfish, but it was worth it—certainly the kids cheered. Why it was so slow this time is beyond me, as small fish tend to school about the dock. Regardless, we had fun, and as the dun went down we got to watch a resident raccoon make her way along the shore.
Lake Medina is a sizable, beautiful lake where you do not need a fishing license to enjoy its waters. The water is clear, the shored are rocky, and there’s a huge amount of space to shore fish. Kayaks can be put in on the northern side of the lake — although it is about a 500-foot haul from the parking lot just off Granger Road. (I have not clue what the southern side of the lake looks like. I never made it there.)
When we arrived around 9am, my eyes popped—a couple of largemouth bass a short distance from the shore! And bluegill and other panfish immediately began hitting worm on bobber.
This downtown Akron spot is in for the performance space, Children’s Museum, and bars. But Lock 3 has a canal (hence the name) and its still spots have fish: bass, bluegill, catfish, and more.
A bobber and worm works, as does a 2.5″ Gulp minnow on a small jig head. I caught this fish on my daughter’s pink-purple Zebco rod. No need for heavy line or tackle here. The water is no deeper than 4 feet. 8-pound line is a happy medium. (Yes, you could use 10-pound or 12-pound, or 4-pound or 6-pound, although the latter two might bust if a big bass hits it. You do have to pull the fish up 12-feet or so to get it out of the canal.)
Earthworms are terrific for catching panfish. But what to do when you do not have a bait shop nearby and can’t dig any up (maybe you live in an apartment)?
Sure, I have heard folks sing the praises of boxed mashed potatoes. They have not worked for me—the potato tends to fall apart when the hook hits the water. I have reworked the consistency a bunch of time—and I’m done with that.
My new go-to bait is shrimp. I buy frozen, peeled shrimp—a container of 36 ran about $10. Each shrimp can be lopped into maybe a dozen tiny pieces that fit snugly on little size 8 snelled hooks.
Here’s the math for the value proposition: $10 / 36*12=432 pieces of bait = 2.3 cents per piece of bait. Bargain!
I only need to thaw three or four shrimp at a time—which can easily be done by soaking them in warm water for 10 minutes.
Shrimp also endures the nibbling by small panfish very well.
What more can you ask? Shrimp is cheap, you can have it on hand year round, and it work ridiculously well. Give it a shot.
It is the simplest of rigs: monofilament line tied to a modest swivel, then attach a trim bobber 6 inches above it and put an Eagle Claw snelled hook (size 6) on. Put a worm on (put the hook through both ends and the middle), and cast and watch.
I have had the following fish strike this rig and bait: bluegill, sunfish, large-mouth bass, channel catfish, and a carp.
The map above shows where I have had success—but don’t feel obliged to try only there. Fish run through the canal, which runs from Pennsylvania to Washington, DC. Wherever one finds a bridge or a fallen tree or brush in the water—those are good places to cast your bait.
One question I sometimes get is, “How can fish be in the canal?” Simple: the canal connects to Rock Creek and the Potomac River—so the fish in the latter two end up in the canal.
Bike/walking/running trails (former towpaths) run along the canal—so if you fish one spot and find it wanting, move along!
Talk about urban fishing!
One can fish Rock Creek under the Lauzun’s Legion Bridge. There’s a slab where one can drop a line into the water about eight feet below. Pumpkinseed are plentiful, and bluegill also can be found. (Both can be used as bait for catfish.) They hit worms very hard, and can be landed with bread or dough balls too. A bobber can scare them away, so consider just dangling your bait in there and watching them come and strike.
Go here when the weather is above 50 degrees, otherwise you may not find fish here—the water is only a few feet deep. (Come winter fish move to deeper water that is less brisk.)
I have frequently seen small-mouth bass and small catfish (maybe 15 inches) in the water, but they have proven very leary to respond to the various lures and baits I have tossed their way.
The August 2012 copy of the Washingtonian magazine carried this helpful article: https://www.washingtonian.com/2012/08/07/fish-tales/ It also had this below map.
Regarding Four Mile Run, the guys on FishBrain advise working the area near the Toyota Dealership (3750 Jefferson Davis Highway) for bass and bluegill (stay on the surface—plenty of snags below!), and another local angler advises fishing a not-long walk west in front of the water treatment plant (3400 Glebe, roughly), whose waters often are warmer (winter) and cooler (summer) than the surrounding water.