Best Places to Fish in Ohio

A Fisherman's Guide

With over 124,000 acres of inland water, 7,000 miles of streams and 50,000 small ponds to large lakes, in one single state, Ohio is brimming with the best fishing opportunities.

You can be expected to catch species ranging from Northern Pike, Catfish, and Crappie, to the prized Walleye and Perch of Lake Erie.

With so many options, it is possible to suffer from choice blindness. Throughout this article, I aim to help ease the decision-making process by providing you with a rundown of the best places to fish in Ohio.

A lot depends on what you’re looking for, be it the specific species of fish, the type of fishing you’re looking for or even what else is offered in the local surrounding areas. Are you looking to show off your latest catch with a perfect snap for social media? Or would you rather disconnect from the world for a bit and enjoy a moment of serenity in breathtakingly beautiful surroundings?

Always be sure to check for any updates from The Ohio Department of Natural Resources before you set off on any Ohio fishing trip. As they provide the most up to date information on fishing forecasts, so you can be sure your chosen location will be well-stocked.

Let’s take a look at the top 11 best places to fish in Ohio and why you should pick them!

Best Places to Fish in Ohio
Chapter 1

Lake Erie

Catch of the day here:

  • Walleye
  • Yellow Perch
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • White Bass
  • Steelhead Trout
  • Lake Erie Bluegill
Lake Erie

Best Places to Fish in Ohio: Location 1

Lake Erie is one of the most popular fishing lakes in Ohio and as such is a good jumping-off point for our list.

Erie is best known for its Walleye and Perch fishing, but it is also a great lake for anglers looking to catch Bass and Steelhead too.

Not far from the coast, just by Port Clinton, it is well worth the trip if you are looking to reel in larger catches.

Some consider fishing on Lake Erie to be quite a challenging endeavor, which is a large part of the appeal for anglers looking to test their abilities.

Being part of the “Great Lakes System,” Lake Erie can experience shifts in the local climate throughout the day, ranging from quite calm to some very adverse conditions. Anglers will need to ensure they are prepared for sudden shifts in the weather during their trip, traveling with spare clothing and checking forecasts beforehand is advised.

One of the things we loved at this location is that many local restaurants will actually cook your catches for you too. Nothing tastes better than your own fresh catch of the day.

Chapter 2

Ohio River

Catch of the day:

  • Saugeye
  • Walleye
  • Hybrid striped Bass
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Channel, Flathead and Blue Catfish.
Ohio River

Location 2

Beginning in Pittsburgh, PA and extending the full 981 miles to Cairo, IL, the Ohio River has a plentiful amount of varying fishing hot spots and provides full year-round fishing fun.

In terms of species, listed above are only the most popular, whereas due to the volume of fishing spots available you can also hook yourself with fish species such as Longnose Gar, Bowfin, Channel Catfish, and a range of others.

For fishing enthusiasts looking for Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth, Spotted, Northern Pike, Panfish, and Walleye then head to the upper portion of the Ohio River. Once you head downstream the Ohio river becomes much deeper and broader, with Catfish, Flathead and Blue, all taking up residence in these waters.

A few hot spots not to miss (if you’re nearby): Byrd Dam, Lock and Dam 21 and Cluster islands.