Ohio Fall Fishing: Lunker Time!

By: mark fleagle


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Fishing In The Fall: Lunker Time!

For many Ohioans, the fall season provides an abundance of new outdoor activities. You have the amazing fall foliage and the start of the new hunting season as well as small community fall festivals,as well as the football season, which provide a variety of options available in Ohio during the fall.

One activity not to be missed is the tremendous fall fishing opportunities that are available across the state. The fish are feeding enthusiastically from Lake Erie to the Ohio River as they begin storing up fat reserves in preparation for winter, and this can make for some very successful fishing trips, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife.


RAINBOW TROUT
Thousands of rainbow trout, raised in Ohio's state fish hatcheries, are released into local fishing holes and neighborhood lakes throughout Ohio in the fall. This annual stocking provides excellent opportunities for anglers to continue fishing into the cooler months- and it's fun for the whole family.

STEELEHEAD
One of the most under fished species in the fall is the Steel head. They start start moving in along the Lake Erie Shore lines just after labor day with changing weather patterns pushing them into their upstream migrations. The Division of Wildlife annually stocks five Lake Erie tributary streams (Vermilion, Rocky, Chagrin and Grand rivers, and Conneaut Creek) with steelhead.

The stocked fish will migrate back into Lake Erie and spend the summer in the deeper cooler parts of lake Erie before moving back upstream again for there annual migration. Stream-caught steelhead trout average 25 inches in length, weigh five to six pounds, and have usually spent two to three summers out in the lake. You will be surprised how many big trophy steelhead can be caught in the fall. Many of the Trophy Steelhead are well over 30 inches in length and weigh well over 10lbs.

BASS, CRAPPIE, AND SUNFISH
Fishing inland reservoirs for bass, crappie, or sunfish also can be very productive. Crappie will be found in there traditional habitat deep in good cover, drop offs, sloping points, and at the mouth of creek channels. Moving offshore a bit and checking drop-offs near these areas can pay off, too. Spillways believe it or not are an excellent holding area for fall crappie. If you catch the right time you can dozens of fish in a very short time in these areas. These area are usally very easy to fish from the shore line.

Bass fishing in the fall is a amazing thing. Bass are feeding heavy this time of year to get fat for the up coming winter. There is an abundance of bait fish that school along the shorelines all over Ohio in the inland reservoirs and lakes. This can lead to some frenzied fishing action! Anglers should target shallow bays and structure that are adjacent to deeper waters. But the easiest way to find feeding bass is to look for schools of bait fish breaking the surface when a bass is feeding on them. Cast a top-water plug or a twister tail into the commotion and it should lead to success.

Sunfish will be in deeper water this time of year , but they will still be abundant and the bite will be fantastic! Like other species sunfish are on the constant feed during the fall fattening up for the winter. If you fish the the deeper waters for these fish you will be pleasantly please with your catch.

YELLOW PERCH
If you want to catch some yellow perch, a drive to Lake Erie will not disappoint, but perch anglers can also fish up ground reservoirs with excellent results. Most of these reservoirs are located in northwest Ohio and the best ones for yellow perch include: Findlay Reservoir No. 1 (Hancock County), Metzger and Ferguson reservoirs (Allen County), Wauseon Reservoir No. 2 (Fulton County), Shelby Reservoir No. 3 (Richland County), Upper Sandusky Reservoir No. 2 (Wyandot County), and Willard Reservoir (Huron County).

WALLEYE AND SAUGEYE
Movement is the key for catching trophy walleye or saugeye that can be found in waterways across Ohio. Some late fall November walleye anglers find that fishing for walleye when they're on the move is highly effective. Best baits for walleye are floating jigs tipped with white, yellow or fluorescent colored plastic tails. Saugeye become highly active this time of year as well. With lakes being drawn down for flood control, saugeye school up near areas where the flow is funneled down, such as bridge abutments. Vertical jigging or casting with twister tails or crankbaits works well to catch these female walleye/male-sauger hybrids.

Check out these quick tips for excellent autumn fishing or visit wildohio.com and click on "Fishing" for more details about choosing the right bait, places to fish, fish identification, and even how to fillet and cook the fish you take home. Recipes are available at wildohiocookbook.com

Anglers age 16 and older are required to have a valid fishing license to take fish, frogs or turtles from Ohio waters. Fishing licenses are available at bait and tackle stores, outdoor outfitters, major department stores, and at wildohio.com. An Ohio fishing license is one of the best recreational bargains available, costing state residents only $19 a year. Fishing licenses do not expire until February 28, 2009, anglers can enjoy the "hard water" season as well!

Ohio residents born on or before December 31, 1937 can obtain a free fishing license at any license vendor. Residents age 66 and older born on or after January 1, 1938 are eligible to obtain a reduced-cost senior fishing license for $10. A one-day fishing license is also available for $11, an amount that can be applied toward the cost of an annual license.
Mark Is a dedicated fisherman with 30+ years of experience and has published numerous articles on fishing. He offers free fishing information and "how to articles at his websites. Visit his site at Fishing Ohio In The Fall and download a free copy of his "78 fishing discoveries unleashed"

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Mark Is a dedicated fisherman with 30+ years of experience and has published numerous articles on fishing. He offers free fishing information and "how to articles at his websites. Visit his site at lake erie central basin fishing report and download a free copy of his "78 fishing discoveries unleashed"

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