ATHENS, OH – As the spring days grow warmer, more and more Ohioans will be venturing out to go fishing. Ohio offers many fantastic opportunities 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 (ODNR). Here are a few areas in southeast Ohio anglers may want to check out.
The ODNR Division of Wildlife has numerous resources available to assist anglers, including lake maps, fishing tips by species, and fishing forecasts based on survey data. Anglers are also encouraged to use an online, interactive fishing map which allows users to select features in order to customize their own fishing maps for Ohio’s inland lakes. This map and the selective features are even mobile-friendly so anglers can access information right on the water. For more information, click the “fishing tab” at wildohio.gov.
Lake Logan (Hocking County) – Lake Logan has a high abundance of largemouth bass that consists of many large fish – recent surveys report many fish are over 15 inches. Focus on the dam and the southern shore close to the dam where there are many fallen trees and other underwater structure.
The main boat ramp for Lake Logan is located close to the dam off Lake Logan Road. Another ramp is located in the upper part of the lake next to the beach, also off Lake Logan Road. An unimproved ramp is located in the upper end of the lake off Murphy Road. Anglers fishing from shore can fish along the dam, around the boat ramps, and a fishing pier on the north side of the lake off Lake Logan Road. The lake has a 10-horsepower limit. Boat rentals are available at the marina.
Lake Rupert (Vinton County) – Lake Rupert, located north of Wellston, holds decent numbers of crappie between seven and nine inches. Newly added fish attractors provide easy way to locate fish and increase odds of catching fish. Focus on fallen trees especially in the large cove on the east side of the lake early in the year. Through the summer and fall look for suspended fish around the old road bed just north of the ramp. Also fish the newly added brush piles which can be found on our interactive fishing map.
A two-lane boat ramp is located on the west side of the lake off OH-683. Numerous shore fishing spots are located along the west side of the lake along OH-683. Other shore fishing access is available at the dam with access off OH-93 and off Bay Road on the east side of the lake. Lake Rupert has an idle only/no wake requirement for all motor boats. For all species of bass (largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted) there is a 5-fish daily limit and no bass between 12 and 15 inches may be harvested.
Seneca Lake (Noble County) – Seneca Lake is one of a few places in the state where you can catch all three species of catfish (channel, blue and flathead). The lake holds good numbers of channel catfish. Anglers also report catching flathead catfish up to 50 pounds. The initial stockings of blue catfish are now starting to get past the 15-17 inch size range. Look for channel catfish roaming the shallow bays and upper end at night. Drift open water flats along the creek channels for blue catfish. Target rocky shoreline areas for flathead catfish.
There are multiple boat access points around the lake, including a launch ramp off Seneca Dam Road, the Seneca Marina ramp located off Lashley Road, and the Seneca Park Campground Ramp located off Park Road. Access for anglers fishing from shore can be found along the dam, along the causeways, campground, and roads that are along the lake. Seneca Lake gets busy in the summer and has no horsepower requirements, but there are posted no wake zones around the lake.
Ohio River (southern border of the state, including Scioto, Lawrence, Gallia, Meigs, Washington, Monroe, and Belmont counties) – Overall numbers of walleye have been increasing in the Ohio River in recent years, and large fish up to 26 inches are being caught by anglers. Focus on the tail waters at Racine, Belleville, and Hannibal Lock and Dams during the fall through the spring.
Shore access is available at each of the tail waters. Numerous boat ramps can be found in the region throughout each pool. Anglers should be aware that fishing regulations differ between Ohio and West Virginia for walleye. Consult the 2018-2019 Ohio Fishing Regulations booklet to ensure compliance.