Places to go fishing in Ohio
The state of Ohio can be an angler’s paradise – during the right time of the year. Ohio has over 124,000 acres of inland waters, over 7,000 miles of streams and close to 50,000 lakes. All of these bodies of water make for some of the best places to go fishing in the world. Ohio is home to the 11th largest freshwater body of water in the world, Lake Erie, which can have some AMAZING walleye and perch catching.
Similar to a lot of other states in the US, with this many waterways, you can easily have too many items on the menu and get tired just from narrowing down your decision on where to go. In an effort to help with the decision making process, we have sectioned out the places to fish below by where they are located in the state (ie Northeast Ohio, Central Ohio, etc).
For a list of licenses, fees and where to buy, see our Ohio Fishing License page.
The locations below are listed alphabetically in the region of the state and just a sampling of the many places to go fishing and some of the species you can catch in Ohio.
Places To Go Fishing In Ohio
Lake Erie: At 6,350,000 acres, Lake Erie is the 11th largest lake in the world. It also has an average depth of 62 feet with 210 feet being the deepest. There is no question about it, the walleye and perch fishing is what anglers go after in Lake Erie, specifically in the summer months. Anglers will be targeting walleye from July through September and will have the most success from offshore, though shoreline fishing can also be productive. However, walleye and perch aren’t the only summer time bites on Lake Erie. Steelhead and lake trout at “the mountain” is great when they have moved into much deeper waters. In fall, the bite does tend to drop of on the lake, but trolling for salmon and steelhead from September through October can produce some giants. For the most part, “catching” fishing on Lake Erie from November through to about mid-May is non-existent, as the lake freezes over. However, you can go ice fishing on Presque Isle Bay, but this is not on the lake per se.
Popular Species To Catch: Walleye, Perch, Lake Trout, Steelhead, Smallmouth Bass
Seneca(ville) Lake: At 3,550 acres in size and an average depth of 25 feet, Seneca Lake in west Ohio is the state’s 3rd largest inland body of water. There are about 45 miles of pristine shoreline around this beautiful lake, most if which is fishable. Seneca Lake is very unique in the state of Ohio in that it is one of the only lakes that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources stocks with blue catfish. During the spring and fall months, focus your efforts in the shallows in and near any kind of vegetation, brush, or boat docks. Here you’ll find feeding catfish, crappie, bass, bluegill and more. In the summer and winter months, the fish tend to move into deeper waters. Focus on areas near the small islands, creek channels, and dropoffs. During the colder winter months, anglers doing more “catching” will be trolling with shad-colored crankbaits or worms for saugeyes. For bass, the best recommendations are buzzbaits and spinnerbaits. For those targeting crappie, use a 1/16 oz lead-head with a small twister in 8 – 12 feet of water around any kind of structure.
Popular Species To Catch: Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Channel Catfish, Blue Catfish, Black Crappie, White Crappie, Bluegill, White Bass, Hybrid Striped Bass, Saugeye
Clear Fork Reservoir: This is a 997 acre reservoir in north central Ohio, located southwest of Mansfield. It has about 14 miles of shoreline and most of which are accessible and can be fished from. It has a maximum water depth of about 24 feet. Now, for those planning on taking a boat fishing, note that Clear Fork reservoir does have a 10-hp maximum. The fishing for muskie here is/can be absolutely amazing. The quantity and size are considered to be “excellent”. However, you can also catch decent size crappie, largemouth bass and sunfish.
Popular Species To Catch: Muskie, Largemouth Bass, Black Crappie, White Crappie, Bluegill, White Bass, Channel Catfish, Saugeye
To see the full list of Ohio fishing licenses and prices, please visit our Ohio Fishing License page.
Many more locations to come. If you have any favorite spots or bodies of water that you think should definitely be on this page, please send us a note.
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