ODNR recommends NW Ohio fishing spots

FINDLAY — Ohio offers many locations for the public to fish, including 124,000 acres of inland water, 7,000 miles of streams, 2.25 million acres of Lake Erie water, and 481 miles of the Ohio River, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.

DOW has numerous resources available to assist anglers including lake maps, fishing tips by species and fishing forecasts.

Anglers are encouraged to use an online interactive fishing map which allows users to select features to customize their own fishing maps for Ohio’s inland lakes. The map and the selective features are mobile-friendly so anglers can access information right on the water.

For more information, visit wildohio.gov.

Here are a few areas in northwest Ohio anglers may want to check out. Be sure to share the experience and take someone fishing.

Black bass

Clear Fork Reservoir (Richland and Ashland counties) – Ranks in the top 10 statewide for large bass. Explore the western, shallow end for bass hiding among fallen trees and stumps. The reservoir features a multilane concrete ramp, as well as a full-service marina. This is an unlimited horsepower lake with an 8 mph speed limit. Clear Fork Reservoir is also one of Ohio’s premiere muskellunge lakes.

Crappie

Pleasant Hill Reservoir (Richland and Ashland counties) – Contains a large number of crappie longer than 9 inches. Popular spots for fishing are along the rocky ledge on the southern shore and small coves along the southern neck of the reservoir. Focus on trees or logs submerged in the water. The northern end becomes more popular during the summer as fish seek more cover. Pleasant Hill has an improved boat ramp with courtesy docks, as well as an accessible fishing dock near the boat ramp.

This lake is an unlimited horsepower lake that attracts many boating enthusiasts. Try fishing in the upper end of the reservoir when the reservoir gets crowded.

Sunfish

Lake La Su An (Williams County) – The lakes and ponds on Lake La Su An Wildlife Area are managed for large populations of big bluegill (larger than 8 inches). For the largest lake on the area, Lake La Su An, the east shoreline and the south shoreline directly across from the fishing dock are the best locations to start. Live bait such as waxworms or redworms will entice panfish to bite.

The main lake features a concrete boat ramp with a boat dock, plus an accessible fishing dock near the launch ramp. The lake is unlimited horsepower with a no-wake restriction. Other ponds on the area have primitive boat ramps suitable for small boats. Fishing is available from early May through late summer on Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Visit wildohio.gov for a full listing of the rules.

Channel catfish

Van Wert Reservoir No. 2 (Van Wert County) – This upground reservoir offers good bank access for anglers of all ages. Look for channel catfish in deeper water during the day using cut baits or night crawlers. For night time anglers fishing from shore, the southern end of the reservoir produces good numbers of fish. For anglers fishing from boats, try fishing the middle of the reservoir where the lake shallows from 20 to 9 feet. This is an old dike that was partially removed when the reservoir was expanded in 2012.

The reservoir has an improved concrete ramp with dock and is limited to electric motors only. Boats with larger motors can keep them tipped up and out of the water. Be aware of strong winds which can affect launching and landing boats.

Saugeye

Pleasant Hill Reservoir (Richland and Ashland counties) – When possible, fish the flat just outside the marina, as well as where the reservoir bends south to the dam. Saugeye fishing can also be good just off the beach area in 10 to 15 feet of water. Try fishing that area at night with a jig tipped with a live minnow near the bottom.

 There is an improved boat ramp with courtesy docks, as well as an accessible fishing dock near the boat ramp.

This lake is an unlimited horsepower lake that attracts many boating enthusiasts. Try fishing in the upper end of the reservoir when the reservoir gets crowded.

Yellow Perch

Williams Reservoir (Allen County) – This reservoir was opened in 2012. It offers good numbers of large perch. Anglers often land perch larger than 13 inches. If fishing from a boat, start along the north or south shore where the old haul roads are still in place. These features often attract fish of all species. Shoreline fishing in the spring and fall can be productive.

Williams Reservoir has an improved concrete ramp and launching dock. There is an electric motor only limit. Wind is usually more intense on this reservoir because of its height. Be careful of the wind direction and speed before venturing out. 

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