Here's a sampling of 36 great fishing trips for Buckeye State anglers to consider as they plan their 2007 vacation getaways. (February 2007)
Another new year has rolled around, and that means that anglers have 52 weekends (including a few vacation and "sick" days) to take advantage of numerous fishing hotspots around the Buckeye State.
Thanks to careful management by the Ohio Division of Wildlife, the state's fisheries are better than ever in 2007. Whether it's hardwater action you seek, teasing trout out of a stream or boating on the big lakes, Ohio has it all.
Here's a roundup of 36 best bets for saugeyes, bass, trout, crappies and more to keep anglers busy every fishing day available this year!
This 105-acre lake in Fayette is a great hardwater destination where largemouth bass average 12 to 20 inches. Fish deep and slow with jigs and soft-plastics. Harrison is also home to smallmouths, crappies, bluegills, channel catfish and pike.
Access may be had at several sites in Harrison Lake State Park. Visit www.dnr.state.oh.us/parks for directions.
Caesar Creek Lake
Caesar Creek Lake spans 2,830 acres in Warren, Clinton and Greene counties. The lake has received generous stockings of muskellunge for the past decade. Many of these fish are now in the 30- to 36-inch range, and a few over 40 inches are taken annually.
To get there, take state Route 73. The lake lies 4.5 miles east of Waynesville.
This 63-acre pond in Paulding County boasts an excellent population of 12- to 16-inch saugeyes. The reservoir is also home to a good population of yellow perch and a fair number of channel catfish and bluegills.
The reservoir is one mile south on county Road 132 from state Route 111 at Paulding.
Lima Lake, an 85-acre impoundment in Allen County, is stocked with rainbow trout each spring. Try jigging with small baits about 10 feet down. Lima Lake is also known for its saugeyes, channel catfish, largemouth bass and white bass.
The lake is three miles east of Lima on state Route 81.
Mosquito Creek Lake
Nearly half of all anglers visiting this 7,241-acre lake in Trumbull County come here for its plentiful walleyes, which average 13 to 21 inches. Mosquito Creek also has black crappies, channel catfish and bluegills.
Access is at the Ohio Division of Wildlife ramp on the eastern shore south of the causeway, or through Mosquito Lake State Park on the southern end.
Burr Oak Lake
This 628-acre lake in Morgan and Athens counties is stocked annually and offers up saugeyes averaging 12 to 24 inches that can tip the scales at 8.5 pounds on occasion. Try tip-ups or jigs baited with minnows, fished about 6 inches from the bottom.
Burr Oak is also home to bluegills, redear sunfish, largemouth bass, channel catfish and crappies. Follow state Routes 13 and 78 northeast of Glouster to reach the lake.
Hybrid Striped Bass
This stocked 2,847-acre Fairfield County lake produces hybrids that reach more than 20 inches by their third year. Buckeye is also excellent for saugeyes and channel catfish.
Access areas are at Buckeye Lake State Park on Lakeshore Drive, the North Shore Ramp on Route 79 and the Brooks Park area.
Walleyes over 20 inches are taken through the ice at this 14,650-acre lake in Ashtabula County. Millions of walleye fry were stocked three years ago, meaning there should now be plenty of mature fish.
Expect good catches of channel catfish, crappies, bluegill, muskies, bass and yellow perch, too.
The lake is off state Route 84 two miles east of Andover.
This 1,684-acre lake in Mahoning County has been stocked with thousands of muskies. Fish in excess of 50 inches have been reported here! Milton is also home to largemouth and smallmouth bass, bluegills and walleyes.
The lake lies off state Route 534 at County Road 18, 15 miles west of Youngstown.
Mt. Gilead Lake
This 11-acre lake in Morrow County is stocked each spring with catchable yearling rainbows averaging 10 to 12 inches. Try the lower end of the lake, using corn and cheese balls. Access may be had through Mt. Gilead State Park off state Route 95 one mile east of Mt. Gilead.
For a stocking schedule of lakes and ponds including Gilead, visit http://www.ohiodnr.com.
This northwest Ohio river winds its way through Sandusky and Seneca counties.
Spring spawning runs bring walleyes in from the big lake. Try fishing the stretch in downtown Fremont. Use jigs with twister tails, and Doll Flys.
Access may be had at Battery Park in downtown Sandusky.
This 41-acre lake in Fairfield County is a good place to tempt carp, using doughballs or night crawlers fished on the bottom. Anglers here can also expect to find good numbers of largemouth bass, redear sunfish and crappies.
Oakthorpe Lake Wildlife Area is three miles northwest of Rushville.
More than a million saugeye fingerlings have been dumped into this 1,655-acre lake in Auglaize and Shelby counties since 1999. Try casting or trolling crankbaits now.
Channel catfish, bullheads, carp and largemouth bass also inhabit Loramie. The lake is one mile south of Minster off state Route 362.
This 625-acre lake in Preble County has good numbers of crappies averaging 8 to 11 inches. Try fishing with live minnow, wax worms or small jigs around fallen shorelin
e trees in water less than 6 feet deep.
Acton Lake is also home to bluegills, channel catfish, largemouth bass and saugeyes.
Take state routes 732 and 177. The lake is five miles northwest of Oxford.
This 468-acre lake in Knox County has been stocked with thousands of surplus yearling channel catfish, some weighing up to 10 pounds. Try bottom-fishing at night with shrimp or night crawlers. Knox is also known as a good bet for largemouth bass.
Access is via U.S. Route 95 onto county Road 5, one mile northeast of Fredericktown.
Turkey Creek Lake's 51 acres lie within Shawnee State Forest in Scioto County. Between 1,500 and 3,000 catchable rainbow and golden trout are stocked here annually.
Anglers have been most successful using black Rooster Tails or spinners; drifting corn under a bobber is also productive.
Access is through the state forest off state Route 125 northwest of Friendship.
Charles Mill Lake
For channel catfish averaging 14 to 25 inches, and some even larger, head for 1,350-acre Charles Mill Lake in Richland County. The lake is also home to excellent populations of largemouths and hybrid striped bass.
The lake is eight miles east of Mansfield. Boat ramps are on state Route 603 and U.S. Route 30.
The Ohio River in Columbiana and Jefferson counties contains largemouths, smallmouths, spotted bass, white and hybrid striped bass, offering peak fishing from April through June.
Fish for whites below the lock chambers. The New Cumberland Pool and Pike Island Pool have been stocked in recent years.
This 285-acre Wyandot County reservoir boasts smallmouths in the 10- to 17-inch range. Fish the east shoreline and the artificial reefs. Night-fishing from a boat is productive here.
The reservoir is off state Route 67 at the northern edge of Marseilles.
This 1,000-acre Delaware County lake offers channel catfish in the 12- to 16-inch range. Night-fishing with cut bait or soft craws is most productive, especially in the upper half of the lake.
Delaware Lake, home to 8- to 13-inch white and black crappies, is considered to be the highest quality crappie fishery in central Ohio.
Access is via two boat ramps at Delaware State Park.
Rocky Fork Lake
This 2,080-acre lake in Highland County has healthy populations of channel and flathead catfish. Some of the flatheads top 30 pounds; channels average 1 to 3 pounds, with a few 15-pounders. Night-fishing is your best bet. Rocky Fork is also an excellent largemouth bass and sauger fishery.
The lake lies six miles southeast of Hillsboro on state Route 124.
This 2,708-acre reservoir is in Delaware and Franklin counties. Try twistertails fished very slowly along the bottom. The reservoir also has good numbers of white bass, crappies, bluegills and saugeyes.
Hoover Reservoir lies northeast of Columbus, four miles east of Westerville.
This 361-acre reservoir in Franklin County is one of the top five tournament lakes in the Buckeye State. Fish along its steep shorelines and the upper end, north of the island.
The reservoir is seven miles south of Dublin on U.S. Route 33.
Caesar Creek Lake
Anglers can expect plenty of bluegill action in this 2,830-acre lake in Warren, Clinton and Greene counties. During summer's heat, larger fish are found at depths of 10 to 20 feet around deep points, dropoffs and submerged humps.
There are five public boat ramps at Caesar Creek State Park, which is off state Route 73 about 4.5 miles east of Waynesville.
This 317-acre lake was initially stocked with saugeyes in 1984. Annual stockings since 1990 have increased angling opportunities. Minnows fished at 6 to 10 feet deep bring the best success here.
Channel catfish are also considered excellent here. The lake is on state Route 664, two miles southwest of Logan.
The 67-mile Stillwater River is one of the Buckeye State's 11 scenic rivers. Its headwaters begin in western Darke County and flow in a southeasterly direction to its confluence with the Great Miami River in Dayton.
Access is available at several locations along the river, including at the Englewood Dam off state Route 440.
This river in northwestern Ohio flows through about 20 miles of Richland County. The Clear Fork Mohican is a designated brown trout fishery, with a good population of 8- to 15-inch trout and a few over 25 inches!
To reach the Clear Fork Reservoir Spillway, take Goss Road.
For a map of access sites along the river, visit www.dnr.state.oh.us.
Lake Erie Piers
Lake Erie is known as the Walleye Capital of the World, but is also a top spot for jumbo yellow perch. Three best bets for perch action are Metzger Marsh in Lucas County, Port Clinton in Ottawa County and Huron Pier in Huron County.
Peak perch season is from August through October. Yellow perch here average 9 inches, with a few measuring over 13 inches.
Arcola Creek winds its way through Lake County in northeast Ohio. It is known for good catches of steelies averaging 25 inches.
The Lake Metroparks estuary and beach are the only areas open to the public. Parking is available at the north end of Dock Road on the east side. The stream section south of the estuary may be accessed only with landowner permission.
Each fall, this 64-acre lake in Vinton County is stocked with hundreds of catchable yearling r
ainbow trout. Stocking usually is coordinated with the annual Halloween camp-out in the region. The lake is also stocked with channel catfish and contains bluegills, redear sunfish and largemouth bass.
Thanks to careful management by the Ohio Division of Wildlife, the state's fisheries are better than ever in 2007.
Access is through the Lake Alma State Park off state Route 349 one mile northeast of Wellston.
Over the past decade, increasing numbers of saugeyes have been stocked into this 2,273-acre lake. Try in and around the riprap or rocky bottoms along the shoreline.
Saugeyes in the 12- to 17-inch range are often caught in 5 to 10 feet of water on jig-and-minnow or jig- and-night crawler combinations. Try fishing in shallow water at the south end of the lake near the county Road 100 bridge during early mornings and evenings, using jerk baits or crankbaits imitating minnows.
The lake is off U.S. Route 22 one mile east of Smyrna.
Delaware Lake, home to 8- to 13- inch white and black crappies, is considered to be the highest quality crappie fishery in central Ohio.
The best fishing is around shoreline cover in early spring and late fall. November is a very productive month here, especially for large black crappies.
Access is via two boat ramps at Delaware State Park, which is eight miles north of Delaware and east of U.S. 23.
Rush Run Lake
Some 3,000 catchable rainbows are stocked into this 58-acre lake in Preble County each spring. Another 1,200 fish are stocked in fall. Easy shoreline access makes this a great early spring-late fall destination, too. Rush Run has a good population of bluegills and a fair number of largemouth bass.
The lake is four miles southeast of Camden on Northern Road.
This 305-acre reservoir in Allen County has a very good population of 8- to 15-inch white bass. Ice-fishing heats up from now until spring. Anglers can also try their luck on good populations of yellow perch, walleyes, bluegills, smallmouth bass and channel catfish.
The reservoir is two miles east of Lima on High Street.
Fingerling saugeyes have been stocked into this 5,040-acre lake in Logan County since 1990. Try the Moundwood canal feeder during winter.
Access is via Indian Lake State Park off U.S. 33, about 12 miles northwest of Bellefontaine.
Veteran's Memorial Reservoir
This 160-acre reservoir in Hancock County boasts an excellent population of largemouth bass, with many fish measuring over 15 inches. Veteran's Memorial Reservoir is also home to black and white crappies, bluegills and a fair number of saugeyes and yellow perch.
The reservoir is off state Route 12 one mile west of Fostoria.
Find more about Ohio fishing and hunting at: OhioGameandFish.com