Ohio's 2009 Fishing Calendar

Are you planning your 2009 angling vacation? Here's a sampling of 36 great Buckeye State fishing trips to consider. (Feb 2009)

Lake Eire offers some of the best fishing anywhere for walleyes, smallmouth bass, trout and salmon. Throughout the state, countless inland lakes and ponds offer year-round opportunities for saugeyes, bass, catfish, big rainbow trout and panfish.

With so many excellent places to wet a line, your only dilemma is deciding where to spend your precious fishing hours!

Here's a roundup of 36 of our best bets for productive fishing in 2009.

Regulations vary by season, species and location, so be sure to check the current rulebook before heading out.

JANUARY
Saugeyes
Buckeye Lake

This 2,816-acre Fairfield County lake is stocked with saugeyes each year. Use a jig tipped with a minnow for good success. Buckeye Lake is also home to largemouth bass, bluegills, carp, channel and flathead catfish, hybrid striped bass and crappies.

For access and area details, check DeLorme's Ohio Atlas and Gazetteer, Map 69.

Largemouth Bass
Griggs Reservoir

Northwest of Columbus, this 361-acre lake in Franklin County is one of the state's top 10 bass tournament sites, offering excellent fishing for big bucketmouths.

Griggs is also home to smallmouth bass, saugeyes, channel catfish, carp and crappies. There are two access areas on the east side of the reservoir near the dam. To get there, take Fishinger Road from U.S. Route 33 or Dublin Road.

Muskellunge
Berlin Reservoir

This 3,321-acre lake is the only inland impoundment in Ohio where natural reproduction of muskies' has been recorded. To target muskies on this big lake that spreads over Portage, Mahoning and Stark counties, focus on the Mill Creek area.

Berlin Reservoir is also home to walleyes, largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappies and bluegills.

For multiple access sites, check DeLorme's OAG, Map 42.

FEBRUARY
Hybrid Striped Bass
Charles Mill Lake

Located in Mifflin, this 1,350-acre lake provides excellent angling for striped bass.

There's a good population of fish in the 12- to 22-inch range.

Charles Mill Lake is also home to crappies, saugeyes, largemouth bass, channel catfish and a fair number of flathead cats. For multiple access sites, see DeLorme's OAG, Map 49.

White Bass
Ferguson Reservoir

This 305-acre lake in Allen County has good numbers of white bass ranging from 8 to 10 inches. It's known for its good ice-fishing for this species. Angling for white bass is also good here during May and June, just off the shoreline.

Ferguson Reservoir is also home to walleyes, smallmouth bass, channel cats and bluegills.

For access and area information, check DeLorme's OAG, Map 45.

Northern Pike
Guilford Lake

Anglers at this 328-acre lake in Columbiana County can expect excellent fishing for channel cats and largemouth bass in addition to plenty of big toothy pike.

For multiple access areas, see DeLorme's OAG, Map 53.

MARCH
Walleyes
Maumee River

Annual spring spawning runs from Lake Erie pump up the walleye population and increase angler success.

Walleyes taken here average 19 inches, with some up to 30-plus inches long.

Access is at the foot of Maple Street in Perrysburg and at Orleans Park. Fish from the Conant Street Bridge upstream to the end of Jerome Road in Lucas County. Try floating jigs tipped with white, yellow or fluorescent plastic tails.

Black Crappies
Madison Lake

Biologists report that this 105-acre lake in Madison Lake State Park has a good population of crappies over 10 inches long.

Madison Lake is also home to channel catfish and a fair number of largemouth bass. Check DeLorme's OAG, Map 67, for area information.

Saugeyes
Paulding Reservoir

This 63-acre lake lies in the northwestern Ohio town of Paulding.

The reservoir is also home to good numbers of channel cats and yellow perch. Access is off U.S. Route 23.

See DeLorme's OAG, Map 35, for details.

APRIL
Channel Catfish
Rush Creek Lake

This 273-acre lake in Fairfield and Perry counties was stocked with 13,500 yearling catfish in 2002, with another 2,700 in 2003 and in recent years, with anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000.

The bag limit is six fish, only one of which may be 28 inches or longer. Fish with cut bait, shrimp or chicken livers. Rush Creek also has good fishing for bluegills and crappies.

Rainbow Trout
Jefferson Lake

This relatively small lake (19 acres) in Jefferson Lake State Park is stocked each spring with 2,500 catchable trout measuring 10 to 12 inches.

Fishing for rainbows is excellent here in April and early May.

Jefferson Lake also offers opportunities to catch largemouth bass, channel catfish and bluegills. See DeLorme's OAG, Map 63, for details.

Largemouth Bass
Belmont Lake

Because bass were so plentiful in this 117-acre lake in Belmont County, a slot length limit of 12 to 15 inches was put into effect in 1992.

Recent surveys indicated greatly improved growth rates, and some excellent bucketmouth action is on the horizon.

Belmont Lake is also home to channel cats, and it is stocked with trout prior to April 1 each year.

See DeLorme's OAG, Map 62 for area details.

MAY
Saugeyes
Acton Lake

Since 2004, saugeyes have been stocked in this 642-acre lake within the Hueston Woods State Park. There are now numerous fish in the 13- to 18-inch range. Try fishing in five to 15 feet of water from the Sugar Camp to the dam on the west side of the lake. Use shad-patterned crankbaits or small jigs with plastic bodies.

When waters warm up, try trolling deep-diving lures or bottom-bounding night-crawler rigs.

Access may be had along U.S. Route 27 and state routes 177, 732 and 725.

Steelhead
Huron River
From Lake Erie upstream to the Monroeville Dam, this northwestern Ohio river offers anglers good opportunities for steelies in the 15- to 25-inch range. When waters warm next month, good steelhead fishing will start tapering off, so don't delay.

There's a minimum length of 12 inches. The daily creel limit is two trout from Sept. 1 to May 15, and five trout from May 16 to August 31.

Access is off River Road in Milan.

Flathead Catfish
Veto Lake

Flathead catfish weighing up to 40 pounds have been taken from this 160-acre lake in Washington County.

Night-fishing here is also productive for channel catfish weighing 8 to 12 pounds. And Veto holds a fair number of largemouths and bluegills.

Access is eight miles northwest of Belpre off State Route 339.

With so many excellent places to wet a line, Ohio anglers' only dilemma is deciding where to spend their precious fishing hours!

JUNE
Rainbow Trout
Turkey Creek Lake

This 51-acre lake in Shawnee State Park is stocked with catchable trout all spring and summer. Anglers report best success using black Rooster Tails or spinnerbaits when trolling from a boat, or using corn under a bobber when fishing from shore.

Turkey Creek Lake is also home to largemouth bass, channel catfish and bluegills.

See DeLorme's OAG, Map 107, for access and area details.

Channel Catfish
Hargus Creek Lake

This 140-acre lake in Pickaway County has good numbers of stocked catfish. Most cats taken here measure between 12 and 22 inches.

There's a creel limit of six channel catfish, only one of which may be 28 inches or larger.

Hargus Creek Lake also offers excellent fishing for largemouth bass.

The lake lies about three miles northeast of Circleville, and is accessible from U.S. Route 22 and State Route 188.

Brown Bullheads
Bresler Reservoir

This 582-acre lake in Allen County offers fine fishing for spring bullheads measuring 9 to 12 inches.

The reservoir is also home to white bass, channel catfish, largemouths, smallmouths, walleyes, yellow perch and bluegills.

Access is off Kemp Road. See DeLorme's OAG, Map 45, for details.

JULY
Largemouth Bass
Mogadore Reservoir

This scenic 1,076-acre reservoir in Portage County is known for its excellent catches of largemouth bass. A good number of bass here are more than 15 inches long.

Try casting white weedless rubber frogs into weedy bays and hopping them through open water for hard-hitting bass action.

The reservoir is also home to channel catfish, bluegills and crappies.

For access information, check DeLorme's OAG, Map 42.

Saugeyes
Indian Lake

This Logan County lake in Indian Lake State Park provides good summer fishing for saugeyes along the south bank and around the Moundwood and Dream Bridge areas.

Try fishing crankbaits and worm harnesses.

Check DeLorme's OAG, Map 56, for access and area details.

Flathead Catfish
Rocky Fork Lake

This long, skinny lake in Rocky Fork State Park offers good summertime fishing for flatheads. Fish night crawlers, shrimp or chicken livers tight-lined along the bottom in waters five to 10 feet deep.

Rocky Fork Lake is also home to bluegills and saugeyes. The lake is about five miles east of Hillsboro, accessible from U.S. Route 50 and state routes 124, 506 and 753.

AUGUST
Steelhead Trout
Lake Erie

This Great Lake offers plenty of deep, cold water through even the dog days of summer. Anglers report good catches of steelhead nine to 13 miles offshore from Geneva and Ashtabula, in about 70 feet of water.

Try blue or green/silver spoons while trolling with downriggers or off planer boards. See DeLorme's OAG, maps 32 and 33.

Smallmouth Bass
Big Darby Creek

Bronzebacks are popular sport fish at this creek, which lies west of Columbus. Try casting small crankbaits or plastics that resemble crayfish or shiners.

Fish near boulders, shoreline cover and spots where pools meet riffles.

Check DeLorme's OAG, Map 67, for area information.

Saugeyes
Wills Creek Reservoir

The hotspot to fish for saugeyes at this 421-acre Coshocton County lake is just below the dam, especially during high-volume water releases.

The dam lies about one mile upstream from the town of Wills Creek. The reservoir is also home to channel catfish and bluegills.

SEPTEMBER
Smallmouth Bass
Cuyahoga River

Anglers in Portage and Summit counties will enjoy good fall fishing for Cuyahoga River bronzebacks.

Smallmouths in the 10-inch range are abundant here.

Try crayfish-colored tube jigs, gold or fluorescent spinners or crayfish-patterned shallow-running crankbaits.

Access may be had from the Route 82 dam in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the Cascade Valley Metro Park in Akron and at Fuller Park in Kent.

Steelhead Trout
Chagrin River

The Chagrin River is stocked annually with yearling steelhead. These fish spend the summer in Lake Erie's cooler depths and return to the tributaries each fall.

Steelies caught here average 25 inches and weigh 5 to 6 pounds, with a good number of fish measuring over 30 inches and weighing 10 pounds.

Check DeLorme's OAG, Map 31, for access information.

Saugeyes
Pleasant Hill Reservoir

This 850-acre Richland County water hosts excellent numbers of saugeyes up to 26 inches long.

Try fishing near sandy beach areas in 10 to 15 feet of water, as well as the flat areas where the reservoir curves toward the dam.

The reservoir is also home to muskies, channel catfish, largemouths and smallmouths, bullheads, white bass, bluegills and crappies.

Check DeLorme's OAG, Map 49, for access and area details.

OCTOBER
Hybrid Striped Bass
Ohio River

The mighty Ohio is an excellent desti

nation for hybrid striped bass measuring up to 20 inches and weighing up to 9 pounds.

Fish the gravel bars near stream confluences, warmwater discharges and at the Greenup tailwaters.

Try rigging a bobber with a 3-foot leader baited with 8-inch white rattlesnake artificial baits, reeled in with a jerky rhythm.

For access and area details, see DeLorme's OAG, maps 63, 81, 83, 84, 85 and 87.

Rainbow Trout
Blue Rock Lake

Each October, this 18-acre lake in Blue Rock State Park is stocked with catchable rainbow trout.

Anglers report catching these fall-stocked beauties right through early April. Blue Rock Lake is also home to largemouth bass, channel catfish and bluegills.

Access is off Cutler Lake Road in the town of Blue Rock.

Smallmouth Bass
Hocking River

Fishing for bronzebacks here is good from the confluence of Clear Creek in Hocking County to The Plains in Athens County.

Anglers can expect to see plenty of fish over 12 inches, with some as large as 19 inches. There is a 15-inch minimum-length limit with a one-fish creel limit in effect from the Route 328 bridge south of Logan to the Route 278 bridge in Nelsonville.

NOVEMBER
Rainbow Trout
Rose Lake

The clear water in this 17-acre lake in Hocking Hills State Park provides excellent habitat for big rainbow trout. Rose Lake is stocked annually in spring, and bonus fish are added each fall when they're available.

The lake is also home to largemouths and channel cats. Access is via a half-mile hiking trail off state Route 374.

Muskellunge
West Branch Lake

Anglers at this 2,616-acre lake in West Branch State Park report catching muskies that exceed 42 inches.

West Branch also hosts walleyes, largemouth bass and channel catfish.

There are multiple access sites around the lake. To reach the park, take the Esworthy Road in Ravenna.

White Bass
Caesar Creek Lake

This 2,723-acre lake is in Warren, Clinton and Greene counties. Caesar Creek Lake hosts a healthy population of white bass, with most ranging from 8 to 12 inches and some over 15 inches. The lake is also home to largemouth bass, saugeyes, muskies, channel and flathead catfish.

The lake lies within Caesar Creek State Park, on state Route 73 in Waynesville.

DECEMBER
Yellow Perch
Metzger Reservoir

This 167-acre reservoir in Allen County offers good fishing for yellow perch measuring 8 to 12 inches. Try fishing perch spreaders or crappie rigs with shiners close to the bottom.

The reservoir also offers anglers opportunities for saugeyes, channel catfish and bluegills. Access is off East High Street in Lima.

Largemouth Bass
Springfield Lake

Bucketmouths are the fish of choice at this 290-acre lake in the Summit County towns of Springfield and Lakemore. Most largemouth bass here measure over 12 inches. A good number are at least 15 inches long.

The lake is also home to channel catfish, crappies and bluegills.

Access is off U.S. Route 224.

Rainbow Trout
Stonelick Lake

This 155-acre lake in Stonelick Lake State Park receives some 2,900 catchable rainbow trout each March and another 2,000 or so in October.

Stonelick Lake is also home to largemouths, crappies and bluegills. There's ample shoreline access here, as well as multiple boat launch areas.

See DeLorme's OAG, Map 75, for details.

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