Ohio’s abundant waterways are teaming with trout, bass, salmon, walleye, muskellunge, bluegill, and more varieties, making it a productive state for fishing. A stream goer may find many a quiet niche, but there are plenty of rivers and lakes to accommodate the discerning sportsman or sportswoman. Ohio can accommodate anglers, set lines, ice fishing, spear fishing, you name it!
The muskellunge is a fish worth noting in this state. Muskellunge are regularly stocked in Ohio’s lakes and reservoirs, such as; Clear Fork Reservoir, Grand River, Salt Creek and Piedmont Lake (home of the state’s record muskellunge). With an increase in efforts by the state three decades ago muskellunge fishing in Ohio is better than ever, so bring your heavy tackle and come join Ohio’s Huskie Muskie Club!
If bluegill are your game you may be inclined to set out to the Hoover Reservoir, Big Darby Creek, Buckeye Lake, Piedmont Lake, Indian Lake, Lake Erie, and far too many more to list as they are well distributed throughout the state.
Trout is a popular fish found along the various rivers, streams and lakes, although Ohio is not well known for its trout fishing. Troutline, floatline and bankline usage is regulated to include all streams and a handful of other locations (with maximum limits). For troutlines in Lake Erie a special class of license is necessary.
With the main and western shore of Lake Erie, Ohio can provide fine trout, walleye, steelhead, pike and yellow perch fishing. There is little question what the Bass Islands within the lake are known for, too. Some catfish can also be found within Lake Erie, Buckeye Lake, as well as some of Ohio’s rivers or deeper streams.
If you would like a large lake without going to Lake Erie, try East Fork Lake which has a variety of bass, crappie, catfish and many others. The East Fork Lake has a lengthy depth, as well as many coves to slip away to.
There are many site-specific laws exist that require minimum lengths and/or a maximum catch number (including the following but this is not a complete list: Lake Erie and its tributaries, Pymatuning Lake, Lake La Su An and the Ohio River, Maumee River, Portage River, Mahoning River and Sandusky River). Removal of brook trout from the Chagrin River, Rocky River, and the tributaries of both aforementioned rivers, is banned under Ohio’s fishing laws. Recently Ohio has fine tuned their bass fishing laws, so familiarize yourself with new changes. It is advisable to check fishing regulations for your intended location before setting out.
Persons interested in fishing require a license if they are over sixteen. Social security numbers are also necessary to obtain a fishing license of any kind. Resident fishing licenses are available to those who have lived in Ohio for six months, or members of the Armed Forces stationed within Ohio. Non-residents are invited to use one day, three day, and annual licenses, or to apply for a special one day charter license available for purchase before a charter trip.
With so many state parks free, accessible fishing can be found within this state (also, state park lakes are occasionally stocked with game). To let everyone try out their fishing Ohio has yearly Free Fishing Days where anyone can fish – license or no license!
Whenever you head out fishing to a new place, it's always best to speak to local anglers. Use fishing forums to ask questions and learn about the most accurate and up to date conditions.