Ohio

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Ohio Fishing Charters

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Top Fishing Charters in Ohio


When in Ohio, you can safely say you’re “In the Heart of it All.” This applies to many things, the most important for us being angling. With more than 50,000 lakes statewide, Ohio fishing charters have their work cut out for them. While certainly impressive, it’s far from being all that The Buckeye State has to offer. Ohio’s numerous rivers and creeks are darlings of the fly fishing community, and we’re sure you’ll love them as much as the locals do.

Known For

It’s hard to pin down Ohio as being based around one single thing. Even its famous flats give way to the Appalachian foothills to the southeast. In a way, it’s the mix of influences that makes it so authentically American. The fact that it’s blessed with one of the Great Lakes is just a juicy cherry on top.

Fishing Spots in Ohio

Lake Fishing

Anyone asking about the best fishing lakes in Ohio will inevitably get one answer and one answer only - Lake Erie. No going around it - this is the world’s largest freshwater fishery, worthy of our respect and admiration. And what’s not to love? The Walleye and Smallmouth Bass mesmerise armies of anglers every year, and they’re always back for more.

While Lake Erie is definitely the cool kid on the block, it would be unfair to just leave it at that. Take a trip off the beaten path and you’re in for quite a treat. Ohio’s assorted small reservoirs are home to Catfish, Bass, and Walleye, as well as notably good Muskies.

The other smaller lakes can be just as much fun, if not more, depending on your ideal type of fishing trip. For example, Kiser Lake completely prohibits the use of motors, making for a much more outdoorsy experience. It’s also a great place to catch a bunch of Bluegills. The same goes for Highlandtown Lake in northeastern Ohio, but they actually do allow electric motors there.

To say Ohioans are fans of Bass would be quite an understatement. There are dozens of Bass clubs all over Ohio, with tournaments on a regular basis. In order to keep it that way, most of the popular Bass lakes have strict motor restrictions. These include Piedmont, Pymatuning, and Leesville Lake, all with 10 HP motor limits and the best Bass fishing in Ohio.

River Fishing

Flowing through six states, the Ohio River is the other main contender for the honor of having the best fishing in Ohio. With the likes of Channel and Flathead Catfish, alongside Walleye, White Bass, Striped Bass and Hybrid Stripers, it’s definitely got variety going for it. Anglers who’ve been fishing here for a long time like sticking to the dam tailraces. A lot of baitfish swim through regularly, attracting some world-class game.

Buckeye fly anglers tend to stick with rivers for the most part, and who can blame them? There’s a lot of them, and they’re packed with fish. Some, like the Clear Fork River sustain Trout-friendly water temperatures during the entire year. Others, like the Little Miami River, are more suited for Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass fishing, so it comes down to your personal preferences.

Fishing Techniques

The fun thing about the Ohio River is that it’s hard to be 100% sure whether you have a Walleye or a tough Striper on the other end of your line. Anglers tend to use jigs with Minnow tips and just drop them into the current. Some will also make do with blade baits and jigging spoons.

When it comes to Lake Erie, there are a few things you should know if you plan on making it your next angling destination. To begin with, the best Walleye bite is either at dawn or dusk, as these fish are somewhat sensitive to light. The western basin of Lake Erie is best explored in the spring, but it’s still great even when frozen. Summer is not as good for fly anglers because the waters will be too warm and low for comfort.

If you do plan on ice fishing on Lake Erie, be aware that safe ice is not ever a thing. Stay cautious and stay safe. The fish will be close to shore only at the start of the season, so you’ll need some transportation. Professionals use either snowmobiles or airboats.

Need to Know

Ohio fishing regulations can be a pain sometimes, but we believe it’s a very small price to pay considering. Any anglers over the age of 16 will need to buy a fishing license from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Wildlife. Non-residents have the option of choosing between a single-day, three-day, or annual license.

The above applies whether you’re fishing with a licensed charter captain or on your own. Ohio may be filled with grassland and farms, as you’d expect from a state in the Midwest, but there’s also some spectacular fishing to be had. When you finally try it, you’ll be dying to come back again and again.

Ohio
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 4.67
Based on 23423 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

January

The new year is upon us, so feel free to celebrate with some world-class ice fishing. If you know what you’re doing, you’ll be catching Walleye in droves.

February

The fact that it’s cold doesn’t mean the fish aren’t hungry. It’s perfect for either stalking Steelhead in Lake Erie or Largemouth Bass in the rivers.

March

The spring spawning run is upon us! Starting from Maumee River, this brings a whole bunch of fish right into the hands of prepared anglers.

April

White bass will usually begin their migration up Lake Erie tributaries in mid April. An absolute treat for shore anglers casting into the flow.

May

Mad River is a very popular spot for going after Brown Trout this time of year. Whether it’s conventional or fly angling, you’ll be drowning in fish soon enough.

June

Tournament season hits Ohio’s northern shores. If you think you’ve got what it takes, sign up and compete with other anglers for some fabulous prizes.

July

It can get really hot in summer, which is why some anglers opt for night fishing. In the case of Muskingum River, look forward to some big Catfish.

August

As the water temperatures go up, so does the Smallmouth Bass action in various rivers and streams. Have fun!

September

September is when Yellow Perch fishing really kicks into high gear on Lake Erie. Things keep getting better and better, to the joy of all Buckeye anglers.

October

Steelhead fishing in October is especially bountiful in the tributaries of Lake Erie. Fly anglers will try and win them over with nymphs and streamers.

November

Walleye are migrating west after having spent the summer in the Lake Erie central basin. Those after them will line up at the Huron Pier and hook ‘em up.

December

The cold weather does nothing to stop Brown Trout fishing from being great. Clear Fork River is especially potent for loading up on Browns in December.

Ohio Fishing Calendar

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6 hours, 7AM to 1 PM
Joel A. fished with Possessed Again Fishing Charters II on October 3, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
The weather can get nasty, but if you have a chance definitely go!
Productive Morning w/Captain Frank
Patrick C. fished with South Of Heaven Guide Service on September 19, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Make damn sure you booked with Captain Frank Sherry & South if Heaven Guide Service.
Perch/Walleye Trip with Capt Sam 9/16/21
Brian C. fished with Pork Chop Express Charters on September 16, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Great catch Lake Erie Perch 9/16/21. Waves and wind seemed to unlock more bites!
August fishing trip
George P. fished with BlackH2oDog Charters LLC on August 21, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Black H2O dog charter service and fishing Booker.com
4 hour trip with Captain Scott
Joe P. fished with Captain Scott's Catfish Charter on August 16, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Be ready for great action. Even though it was raining we caught a cooler full and had a blast catching and releasing many large fish.
Full Day Fishing Trip
Keith B. fished with Tail Chaser Fishing Charters on August 16, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Don't bring too young of children it may be a rough trip but for the adult a very good fishing experience!
Half day with Captain Cook
Mark C. fished with Vitamin Sea Fishing Charters on August 8, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Fish bite when they bite, do not expect to fill the boat. Be grateful for what you do catch.
Half day trip with Dean
Sott D. fished with Billy D Charters on August 8, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Use a charter service like Billy D’s to give yourself a better chance of catching fish

FAQs about Fishing Charters in Ohio

To give you an idea of how much a fishing trip in Ohio costs, the average price for a 4 hour private trip is $431, while an 8 hour private trip will cost you $615. These prices are based on trips booked on our site recently.

Prices will vary depending on trip length, fishing technique, as well as the type and size of the boat you booked. However, to give you an indication, the average boat size in Ohio is 27 ft and the most common vessel type is a Offshore sport fishing.

According to customer reviews, Reel Thrill Sportfishing Charters, Tail Chaser Fishing Charters, and Reel Em In Outdoors are some of the most popular fishing charters in Ohio. Full list of top fishing charters in Ohio.

Reel Thrill Sportfishing Charters, Tail Chaser Fishing Charters, and Reel Em In Outdoors all received great reviews from families who booked fishing trips in Ohio.

The best way to experience fishing in Ohio is to book a private charter with a licensed fishing guide. See the full list of charters available for online booking here: List of fishing charters in Ohio.

The most popular fish species you can target are Walleye, Perch (Yellow), and Bass (Smallmouth). Top fishing techniques include trolling, light tackle, and jigging. Lake fishing, nearshore fishing, and offshore fishing are commonly offered by local guides.

Steelhead fishing in October is especially bountiful in the tributaries of Lake Erie. Fly anglers will try and win them over with nymphs and streamers. Check availability for local fishing charters in Ohio.