Best Fishing Lakes in Ohio

Ohio is a fisherman’s dream state, full of excellent destinations for your fishing pleasure. You are always within a couple of hours of a great lake in which to fish. There is even a Great Lake to enjoy in Ohio. Anglers fishing in Ohio can choose from more than 50,000 lakes and ponds in which to find everything from crappie to northern pike, from walleye and perch to catfish and various types of trout. The following bodies of water are among the best fishing lakes in Ohio.

Lake Erie

Lake Erie is among the best fishing lakes in Ohio. The state shares this fourth-largest Great Lake with several other states and Canada. It is the 11th largest lake in the world when ranked by surface area, which is 9,900 square miles. At 240 feet of depth at its maximum, this is easily Ohio’s deepest lake. Be prepared for different conditions on the Great Lakes than you will find in the following inland lakes. Conditions of the weather and water may change rapidly, catching those anglers who are unprepared off their guard. Anglers may find some of the best fishing experiences the state has to offer here but guides or charter services familiar with the area are a good idea. Lake Erie is the key to Ohio’s state records for yellow perch, burbot, white perch, brown trout, smallmouth bass, lake trout, chinook salmon, rainbow or steelhead trout, largemouth bass, and walleye.

Piedmont Lake

With its boast of offering year-round fishing, Piedmont Lake has many downed trees around its rocky shoreline. These, with the docks, create natural habitats for crappie, including specimens longer than nine inches. Piedmont Lake is one of the best fishing lakes in Ohio for smallmouth bass. Nearly half of the lake’s population is made up of this fish, but you can also find saugeye and musky here. Piedmont Lake’s 2,270 acres offer a shoreline of longer than 40 miles.

Grand Lake St. Marys

Located in southwest Ohio, this lake is one of the best fishing lakes in Ohio for crappie, known for both their numbers and their sizes. This large lake with its nine-mile length provides many access points to its shoreline. It offers channels, rocky edges, and shorelines bristling with brush to provide ideal conditions for your fishing pleasure. While large, Grand Lake St. Mary’s is not particularly deep; most of it is, in fact, less than seven feet in depth. Because of this, many fish find excellent habitats. These include walleye, largemouth bass, channel catfish, carp, flathead catfish, bullhead, suckers, perch, and bluegill.

Pymatuning Lake

Northeast Ohio is home to this lake, whose 14,000 acres also extend into Pennsylvania. Pymatuning Lake is known for the size and numbers alike of its fish. These include yellow perch, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, musky, walleye, crappie, and bluegill. Be sure you know in which state you are fishing so that you can be positive you have the correct license. This lake is near Cleveland. If camping is not your thing, you can easily find comfortable lodging in that nearby major city.

Indian Lake

A versatile lake, Indian Lake’s 5,800 acres provide plenty of access points for your fishing pleasure on shore and by boat. This is one of the best fishing lakes in Ohio because of its numerous populations of sunfish, large crappie, and saugeye; these are in addition to catfish, walleye, yellow perch, and largemouth bass. Shallow channels, along with abundant brush cover, make for ideal fishing spots. You can easily have a spontaneous fishing trip at one of the lake’s many roadside pull-offs with inviting coves. Look out for bald eagles around Indian Lake, as well.

Caesar Creek Lake

Located in Caesar Creek State Park near Waynesville, Ohio, this DNR-controlled park and lake of more than 2,000 acres boasts largemouth bass, Kentucky spotted bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, saugeye, bluegill, crappie, and carp. Fingerling muskies have been used to stock Caesar Creek Lake since 1998; this has resulted in anglers reporting fish of lengths greater than 42 inches. In fact, this southwest Ohio fishing lake is among the state’s best sites for targeting muskies. Reaching depths of 115 feet in the vicinity of the dam, this lake is the deepest of Ohio fishing lakes.

Buckeye Lake

Not far from downtown Columbus, Ohio, Buckeye Lake has a great location and a prime time for fishing for largemouth bass. Check for them here in the early season. Anglers also routinely find channel catfish, saugeye, and bluegill in Buckeye Lake, which is 3,100 acres in size. While designated as a lake of unlimited horsepower, it is not unknown to pontoons, canoes, rowboats, and sailboats.

Mosquito Creek Lake

One of Ohio’s largest fishing lakes, Mosquito Creek Lake is over 7,000 acres and is surrounded by almost 2,500 acres of marshes and woodlands. Located in Trumbull County, the Ohio Division of Wildlife is responsible for maintaining the populations of fish here. This lake has among the state’s best fishing for large crappie, northern pike, and yellow perch in Ohio. Stocked annually, walleye are plentiful, and white bass are numerous here as well. Look for fairly large sunfish, channel catfish, and largemouth bass here as well, although they are not as numerous.

Wolf Run Lake

In Noble County, an Ohio fishing lake lies in a state park named for it: Wolf Run Lake. The DNR manages this park and the lake within it, stocking it with rainbow trout, saugeye, and channel catfish. This 220-acre lake is also known for large catches of bluegill, bass, and crappie. During fall and spring, your best bet is to fish from the shoreline. In the summer, you want to fish near the center of the lake. While Wolf Run Lake has a boat ramp, the boats permitted in the lake can be a maximum of 10 horsepower.

Harrison Lake

You can reach this Fayette, Ohio fishing lake from state routes 127 and 66 to enjoy the shoreline fishing, which is the best place to find its stock of bluegill, carp, northern pike, smallmouth, and largemouth bass, bullhead catfish, and crappie. Harrison Lake is in a 142-acre state park; it is known for its opportunities for fishing, swimming, paddling, and camping.

Knox Lake

Built in 1954 by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife, this lake’s reservoir was formed by damming Kokosing River. With 11.4 miles to its shoreline, Knox Lake covers 469 acres and has a maximum depth of more than 24 feet in the dam area. Much of the water, however, is around a dozen feet or fewer in depth. While the tailwaters hold rainbow trout, the rest of the lake is known for its populace of muskellunge, bluegill, yellow perch, catfish, crappie, and largemouth bass.

Delaware Lake

This lake sprawls across over 900 acres and was filed originally by the United States Army Corps of Engineers. It boasts bluegill, crappie, channel catfish, bullhead, white bass, smallmouth bass, and largemouth bass. For bait, minnows prove quite successful in Delaware Lake. For fishermen who favor boat fishing, there are boat ramps and boat docks.