Fishing in Ohio

Last updated on August 2nd, 2021 at 02:56 pm. Originally published on July 19th, 2021

With more than 7,000 miles of rivers and streams, 124,000 acres of inland water, and 50,000 large lakes and small ponds, Ohio brims with some of the best fishing opportunities in the United States. You can expect to catch numerous fish species, including catfish, crappie, northern pike, walleye, smallmouth bass, carp, saugeye, trout, and perch. If you’re searching for a holiday destination to relax and enjoy a moment of tranquillity in stunning surroundings, Ohio has plenty of fishing-friendly spots to suit your fancy. Before you go fishing in Ohio, ensure that your Ohio fishing license is valid and you understand the state’s fishing regulations.

A dramatic sunset turns the sky purple and orange over a harbor, a long paved pier with rocky edges leading out into the water.

Fishing Spots in Ohio

Lake Erie

Lake Erie is renowned for its perch and walleye fishing. Bordering Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York, this Great Lake is easily accessible to anglers coming from Sandusky, Cleveland, Port Clinton, Geneva-on-the-lake, and Toledo. It’s also an excellent spot for anglers looking to catch burbot, chinook salmon, smallmouth bass, rainbow trout, lake trout, brown trout, and largemouth bass. As the 11th largest lake in the world, Lake Erie’s water and weather conditions can change rapidly and catch unprepared anglers by surprise. Nevertheless, it has plenty of good fishing spots within its 9,910 square mile surface area.

Caesar Creek Lake

Caesar Creek Lake sits within Caesar Creek State Park, which you can easily access by State Route 73 and Interstate 71 in Waynesville. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources runs the lake and park, which occupies over 2,000 acres. You will find the best fishing along the shore, although some anglers opt for deeper portions. The state park has a campsite, and the lake features four boat ramps. The lake is a perfect location for bass, crappie, carp, catfish, saugeye, and muskellunge. Besides fishing, you can enjoy canoeing, mountain biking, water skiing, hiking, boating, and kayaking.

Ohio River

The Ohio River is a perfect answer to where to fish in Ohio. Starting in Pittsburgh and stretching 981 miles to Cairo, IL, this spot has diverse fishing hot spots and offers year-round angling fun. Walleye, saugeye, bass, and catfish are the most popular, but you can also hook other species like bowfin and longnose gar. If you are after largemouth bass, northern pike, smallmouth bass, walleye, and panfish, go to the upper part of the river. When you head downstream, the Ohio River gets much broader and deeper, with plenty of blue and flathead catfish populations. 

Pymatuning Lake

Fishing camping in Ohio is fantastic at Pymatuning Lake. Situated within Pymatuning State Park, this reservoir sits in both Pennsylvania and Ohio, so ensure that you know the state you are fishing in, especially if you don’t have a Pennsylvania fishing license. Pymatuning Lake is the biggest inland lake in Ohio, occupying more than 14,300 fishable acres. You can expect to encounter numerous fish species such as smallmouth bass, yellow perch, largemouth bass, sunfish, crappie, and walleye.

Alum Creek Lake

Situated seven miles north of Columbus, Alum Creek Lake is a famous fishing destination in Ohio due to its size, fish species available, and numerous access points for shoreline and boat anglers. Numerous deep coves and high shale bluffs offer perfect habitats for a wide variety of fish, including musky, saugeye, catfish, crappie, smallmouth bass, and largemouth bass. The northern portion of the lake is ideal for channel catfish, especially during spring, while the southern part is the perfect spot to target smallmouth bass. 

Seneca Lake

Located in central Ohio, Seneca Lake is one of Ohio’s most extensive public fishing spots. There are over 45 miles of fishable shoreline and an array of species, including crappie, saugeye, channel catfish, and largemouth bass. If you have plans to stay close to the spot, Senecaville is the nearest town, but Cambridge, just 12 miles away, is the ideal place to find restaurants and hotels. There are numerous boat ramps at the main marina north of the reservoir.

Hoover Reservoir

Go fishing for catfish in Hoover Reservoir near Columbus. The lake features a 10-horsepower-motor limit, making it a perfect place to fish from the shore or from a small watercraft. Hoover Reservoir has plenty of channel catfish, longnose gar, crappie, bluegill, largemouth bass, saugeye, smallmouth bass, and carp. You will find the perfect spots to fish for bass near the southern basin.

Where to Fish in Ohio

While there are plenty of great Ohio fishing regions, we think fishing adventures in Columbus are particularly unique. With over 14 fishing lakes within the city and many more nearby, fishing in Columbus is top-rated. From shore casting to ice fishing to fly-fishing, the city offers extraordinary fishing opportunities for anglers of all skill levels and ages. In addition, Columbus hosts a boat and fishing show each year

Camping and Fishing in Ohio

Before you set off on any Ohio camping and fishing trip, ensure that you check for updates from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, which offers the most up-to-date information on angling forecasts. Also, check out interactive maps to find active species and monitor water conditions. Pre-planning will save you aggravation and time and show you the perfect fishing destinations in Ohio.

Of course, don’t forget your fishing gear and fill your tackle box with items that will attract several species. Before you head out on your trip, check out our blog for all you need to know about fishing.

With an RV rental, your fishing trip will be a little more comfortable! After you’ve spent a long day fishing, grill up your catch right at your campsite. Then, retire inside to enjoy all the comforts of home onboard your RV. Plan your perfect fishing getaway with an RV rental from RVshare.

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