The Best Bass Fishing in Ohio

The Best Bass Fishing in Ohio
The Midwestern state of Ohio provides some of the best angling opportunities for bass fishing. Healthy and naturally reproducing populations of smallmouth bass are found in reservoirs and streams throughout the state. Largemouth bass are caught in rivers, streams, ponds, reservoirs and lakes and are a popular tournament fish in Ohio.

Lake Erie

As the fourth largest lake by surface area in North America, Lake Erie tops smallmouth bass fishing in the state. "Game and Fish Magazine" even dubs it as the "best smallmouth bass fishing in the world." The most productive bass fishing is located where there is structures such as humps, dropoffs and rocky reefs. Smallmouth bass fishing hots pots are located in Lorain, Cleveland Stadium Reef and any structure from Fairport to Conneaut.

Lake Erie Access/Lorain
Beaver Park Marina

Ohio River

The Ohio River provides an excellent spot for smallmouth bass fishing. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources advises that fishing for smallmouth bass is best in the upper pool section of the river at the New Cumberland Pool in Jefferson, located in Columbiana County. Rocky shorelines along Ohio River's main channel and stream are a hot spot for bass, where most fish can be caught in the 10-to 16-inch range. There is also a healthy smallmouth habitat in upstream of the Willow Island dam at the river. Other types of bass in the river include largemouth, white, striped and hybrid striped bass.

Ohio River

Burr Oak Reservoir

Burr Oak is a top-rated lake for largemouth fishing in southeastern Ohio, according to Mike Greenlee, an Ohio Division of Wildlife fisheries biologist. The lake is known to produce quality size bass that are up to 6 pounds and 12 inches in length. Spring hot spots at the lake are situated in areas with submerged stumps, shallow bays and dropoffs. The lake's water clarity is excellent, and lures such as soft plastics and crankbaits are effective for largemouth bass. Anglers can also access the lake with a boat, and a campground site is available at the state park.

Burr Oak State Park
10220 Burr Oak Lodge Road
Glouster, OH 45732


All anglers age 16 years old through 65 must have a valid state-issued fishing license to fish in Ohio. Fishing licenses are valid from the March 1 through the end of February in the following year. A resident fishing license can be purchased for those who have resided in Ohio for the past six months.

The statewide daily limit for largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass is five (single species or in combination) and there is no minimum limit size. Site-specific limitations might apply to areas including Lake Erie and its tributaries, the Ohio River and Pymatuning Lake sections. Check local Ohio fishing grounds for specific bass regulations that might apply.

Article Written By Rona Aquino

Rona Aquino began writing professionally in 2008. As an avid marathon runner and outdoor enthusiast, she writes on topics of running, fitness and outdoor recreation for various publications. Aquino holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and English from the University of Maryland College Park.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.