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Published: Friday, 5/23/2014

The Blade Fishing Report: 5-23

The best angling information from area experts

Maumee River: Rain and the rising/receding water level is the constant wild card on this waterway, and most others. According to Maumee Tackle’s report, the white bass fishing remains good, but the angler numbers are down. Jigs with twister tails, spinners and minnows are all producing fish at most of the primary access sites, when the water level permits. River watcher Joe Roecklein reported that the white bass fishing had improved by midweek, and he sees an improving run as the weather and water conditions grow more favorable.

Sandusky River: One of the best white bass runs in recent memory continues, according to Bernie Whitt at Anglers Supply in Fremont, who said fishermen have been catching these spawning run fish from the Ballville Dam down through the popular downtown access sites. Whitt said twister tails, minnows, and spinners are producing fish, anywhere from a few feet off the bank to out into the main channel.

Sandusky Bay: Anglers have been catching some big catfish in the bay, using night crawlers and other traditional catfish baits fished tight-lined on the bottom. Catfish larger than 10 pounds have been in the recent catch. Largemouth bass are being caught in the small inlets and harbors, on spinner baits, crankbaits and soft plastic worms and grubs. Reminder: the bass season is closed through June 27 so all largemouth and smallmouth bass must be released immediately.

Lake Erie: Jann’s Netcraft reports that smallmouth bass fishing around the islands is heating up, with active fish in six-to-16 feet of water. The experts from Netcraft say jerkbaits, tube skirts and crankbaits have been very productive. Walleye anglers have been trolling worm harnesses east of Kelleys Island and found fish. Coe Vanna Charters reports that casters using gold Weapons and working them slowly, and bottom bouncers, were bringing in walleyes near Niagara and Clinton reefs.

Inland waters: The ODNR reports that the 115-acre Nettle Lake in Williams County is producing large crappies for anglers fishing the north bay of the lake and using minnows worked on the outside edges of the lily pads.

Ohio steelhead rivers: Owen Murphy with Ohio Steelhead Drifters reports that the rivers in northeast Ohio are back at fishable levels and a few steelhead are still present, while smallmouth bass are also making up part of the catch. Murphy recommends Clouser minnows, poppers, and crayfish patterns as the best bait choices.

Michigan steelhead rivers: On the Au Sable River, the steelhead are coming in strong numbers, with the best results between the dam and the piers. Anglers are using spawn, flies and wax worms. The Manistee River is seeing its steelhead run wind down, while a similar report comes from the Pere Marquette River.

Irish Hills: The Michigan DNR reports that bluegills and crappies are being located in the shallow flats and along the weed beds, with anglers using wax worms, crickets and small minnows. The bass should be moving onto the beds in the shallow water around weed patches and any available structure.

Detroit River: Guide Spencer Berman says that excellent walleye fishing continues, with some easy limit catches. The north end of the river has been best. The MDNR reports that white bass are starting to show up in the lower stretches of the river, while walleye anglers are also encountering an increasing number of smallmouth bass.

Lake St. Clair: Guide Jon Bondy reports smallmouth action in the Michigan waters has been very good most days, with fish hitting jerkbaits and tubes in shallow water.

Michigan Free Fishing: The free fishing days are June 7 & 8, with residents and non-residents permitted to fish that weekend without a license. All other fishing regulations apply and will be enforced.

Watch the show “Local Catch” on BCSN

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