Early August is usually one of the hottest times of the year here in Ohio. This year? Not so much. Highs in the mid 80's with nights dropping down to the low 60's has the fish starting to think "Fall bite" a little early. On lake Erie, the perch bite is picking up with nice catches off Cleveland in 47 feet of water. It takes some searching to find them, but they're out there. The bite has been good for a few weeks in the Western Basin around the islands. Limits of good sized perch have been common. Emerald shiners are also starting to make themselves available as bait, so hopefully things will continue to improve into the Fall.
The walleye have moved deep and to the East and the fishing is pretty hot off Geneva, Conneaut, and Ashtabula. You can still find them in the Central Basin, but they're out a good ways. Whenever you fish Lake Erie, keep an eye on the weather forecast. Getting caught in a Summer storm out there can be dangerous. They form very quickly and I know from experience, they are no fun to get stuck in. Always have your weather radio on and keep a radar app (the WKYC Weather App is great for this) so you can watch for anything coming towards you and plan accordingly. Also, wear your PFD/lifejackets. Being safe always takes priority over catching fish.
Inland, the bluegill are biting well. If you have a lightweight fly rod and some waders, you can target the risers early in the mornings and late in the evenings using floating ants or foam spiders. I've also had great luck using a 1/32 oz round jig with a GULP minnow. It's led to nice bluegill and even caught a few hard-fighting channel catfish in the 5-7 pound range. I've done great from the shore of Mogadore with these baits, but I finally got off the bank and in my boat last Sunday. It was an epic day.
I hit the water with my son Nick. He's 19 now and we've been fishing together since he was knee-high to a grasshopper. Well, we hit Mogadore because it's a great largemouth bass lake. There was a bass tourney going on, and of course we weren't in it. I was trying to find a school of bass so we could have a little fun. Usually, in Summer, they stage at the mouths of coves near deep weed edges close to deeper water. They use the weeds/deep water sto cool off, and when they get hungry, they'll head into the shallow coves to feed. Well, I found the spot.
We were using Yumdingers... A straight plastic worm made by YUM, wacky-rigged on an offset worm hook. We'd cast into the mouth of the cove and let the weightless worm sink on its own to the bottom. As we worked the bait back to the boat, we'd twitch,twitch,stop. Usually when we went to twith again, there was weight there. No "tick" or "tap" of a usual bass bite. They'd just pick it up and swim away. We caught 17 bass all together in about two hours, the biggest pictured above. It weighed in the 6 pound range and was Nick's biggest bass ever.
Mogadore is an electric only lake, managed by the Portage County Metroparks and owned by the City of Akron. It's a wild, beautiful fishery that is full of bass, catfish, bluegill, crappie, and yellow perch.
My Dad took me there when I was a kid and each time I go back, the memories just flow. It does my heart well to still have a place I can take my kids... All of them... To go and make those fishing memories. They really do last a lifetime.
If you'd like to share a story or send in a picture of your catch, we'll get it on the WKYC website. Subit them to me at CBachtel@tegna.com and we'll make it happen. Tight lines everyone!