Ohio Lakes- the worst in the country?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by UFM82, Jul 21, 2005.

  1. UFM82

    UFM82 The one others want to be

    Give me your thoughts. Ohio has been the butt of jokes for many years regarding its fishing- with the exception of Lake Erie, it's a desert for good fishing. Most of its lake are too shallow and silted to support a good quality fish population and the fish management seems to be pretty poor. I can't go to a lake within 100 miles of me with any expectation of catching quality fish on a regular basis. I have heard nationally known celebs comment on our state. (Orlando Wilson actually said. "Man, it would be tough to be a bass fisherman in Ohio".) I read the posts about the lakes here and I see the same thing, shallow, muddy, silted, dirty, etc. From Loramie to Kiser to Clendening and on, the lakes here all seem to be in poor condition. I have to drive a minimum of 3 hours to get to any quality bass water and sometimes even farther than that.

    Is it just me? Am I expecting too much? Or am I spoiled after having fished Texas lakes or Florida saltwater? I understand that sometimes people do very well- that happens of course. But the sheer number of man-hours spent in Ohio to catch what I believe are small fish amazes me. I don't believe spending 8 hours to catch two 12" bass constitutes a good day and I hear about days like that all the time. Is it our climate? Is it our topography? Is it money?

  2. flathunter

    flathunter Mellons mentor

    I think you are right.

  3. It's all in what you make of it I guess. I often wonder what I'd do if I had to move to a state that didn't have any 'eyes. I'd probably try to become the best trout fisherman I could be. If SW Ohio doesn't get it done for you then pick a spot in this great state/country and make it your life's goal to achieve it. You can do anything you set your mind to.
  4. I have thought that for a long time, I've came on here and blamed the ODNR directly........then people jump all over me? Whatever........

    This is one of my motivations to move to Florida after college.
  5. I don't think its so much the DNR's fault, it's just ohio as a state. With the exception of a few, there are no natural lakes in ohio and there were few good rivers to dam up and make something like the lakes in kentucky or tennessee. Ohio is also so heavily deforested in most areas that those big lakes that do exist are too muddy. At least you guys in the rest of the state can fish reservoirs that are flooded valleys with fingers, points, bays and coves, in NW ohio all there are is big huge rock lined round upground lakes with no cover, structure, or shape. I absolutley hate fishing in a round hole with no scenery and until i get a real boat i'm stuck on those or small ponds.
  6. bronzebackyac

    bronzebackyac Crick Smallie Fisherman

    I agree, but this is when you have to adapt. Go smallmouth fishing in small creeks if the big lakes bore you. I would rather catch a 12" smallie over a 18" largemouth anyday. There are great bodies of water in Ohio you just have to get out of your boats and off your butts and go find the great resources that this state has. Finding good fishing is not easy but when you do find the "honey hole" it makes it even more enjoyable.
  7. I like a few of Ohio's lakes.....Alum, Piedmont and Tappen are pretty nice. I just think the fisheries could be managed better and laws better enforced. However.....there's no money to do so......which I believe is the fault of our Ohio government.
  8. catking

    catking Banned

    First of all Craig, doesn't matter where YOU go , you won't catch fish anyways.... if one member on this site sucks more than DA KING !!! when it comes to catchin, you be da man..... :D With that said , how about this: Pymatuning is an EXCELLENT lake , as is Piedmont and Clendening . The problem is most of the very good lakes in Ohio has a 10 hp limit . This prevents alot of fishermen from catchin..... I've fished all over these states and Canada . Sure there are alot of lakes that do produce up there in Michigan , Wisconsin etc. But they HAVE alot of lakes .... For every sure thing up there , there are 4 that are as hard to fish as Ohio Lakes......... Now down here where you and I live,it just plain sucks..... Wish I had better news for ya or a magic wand , but you would need more than that anyways .... :p ..... Great Thread by the way ..... ;) THE CATKING !!!
  9. Lewzer

    Lewzer Powderfinger

    I totally (but respectfully) disagree with you.

    I don't know about SW Ohio but NE Ohio has some GREAT fishing.

    What am I comparing this too? Florida inland lakes. Florida bass fishing sucks compared with NEO with the exception of a few lakes like Stick Marsh/Farm 13, Walk on the Water and Okeechobee.
    What other Florida lakes have I been on?
    Toho, Kissimmee, Harrison chain of lakes, Minnehaha, Mineola, Louisa, Jewel, Apopka, Lucy Lakes to name a few.
    Sure you'll catch a few bass and they are bigger on average. But day in and day out Ohio (NEO) blows them away.
    Of course fishing in a big round bowl where a 1' drop is a cliff makes the fishing tatics different.
    We have Berlin, West Branch, Nimisila, Mosquito, Milton, Atwood, Tappan, Leesville, etc... for fishing up here. Each lake is different and different species do better in some lakes than others.
    I think the ODNR is doing just fine. Do I think they could be doing some things better? Absolutely.

    What would I like to see from them?
    Slot limits on channels
    Slot limits on bass (on more than a few select lakes)
    Slot and daily bag limits on flatheads, muskie and northern.
    One lake in each district that is catch-and-release only for bass (SM, LM) my dream:eek:
    Strict enforement of these and other current rules like requiring fishing licenses (my other dream)
    A more active position on reducing runoff, pollution and raw sewage in our rivers.
  10. Carpman_1977

    Carpman_1977 Big Softy the Fish Finder

    It’s not the DNR’s fault about the fishing- you can only play the hand you are dealt. If the lakes are naturally muddy or have a lot of sediment in them, yeah, they will fill in over time. Some of the lakes up here (Portage Lakes, Berlin, Nimisila, Pymatuning) are excellent bass lakes, and within an hour’s drive, I can find some of the best bass, walleye, catfish, panfish lakes around. You just have to know what’s there and when to go. If the lakes aren’t there or aren’t capable of holding bass, it’s not the DNR’s fault. They probably didn’t build the lake- US Army Corps likely did. And fishing is WAY down on their priority list.

    And please, don’t even start the comparison between Florida/Texas fishing and fishing up here. That does not even make sense. You are talking about an area that has twice the growing season, hundreds of thousands of acres of fishable waters, and a bass subspecies that cannot live for more than 2 generations past Kentucky.
  11. Marshall

    Marshall Catch Photo And Release

    Our lakes are too small compared to the big lakes of the south. Our fish get a lot more pressure. Which equals tougher fishing. But we have to make do with what we got.
  12. ParmaBass

    ParmaBass Kiss The Converse

    A bad day of fishing blows away a good day of work!
  13. Whaler

    Whaler Whaler

    The lakes here in Northeast Ohio are just fine with plenty of fish. You have to know what you are doing though if you want to catch them. The ODNR does a pretty good job managing the lakes , but there is one thing which can effect the fishing and that is lake levels. The ODNR doesn't have contrl over most of the lakes. It's the Army Corps of Engineers who controls lake levels. Sometimes they can make you or break you.
  14. misfit

    misfit MOD SQUAD

    i think there are many good lakes in the state.maybe not right outside everyone's back door,but i can find plenty of different waters by driving less than 2 hours in any direction from columbus,that provide lots of action for various species.
    you mention bass,so i have to argue that this is not florida and northern bass don't grow nearly as fast nor do they attain the sizes that southern bass do.but i can say there is plenty of quality bass fishing in this state also.
    just one example is recent tourneys on a central ohio lake.i think there have recently been bags of up to 18+ pounds brought to the scales,which i don't think anyone would complain about ;)
    yes,there different opportunities to be had in other places,but i sure wouldn't put ohio at the bottom of the heap :)
    and you can't catch bass through the ice in florida :D
  15. Hooch

    Hooch Fare Thee Well!

    I've often returned from vacations in other states, thinking I'll be glad to be back in Ohio, where I can catch some fish! Your "go to" lures in Ohio may not be the right lure for another region and visa versa. I agree with everyone else, that you can't compare Ohio to Southern States for Bass Fishing. But let's see them bring in a 10 lb. Walleye or a 15 lb. Steelhead! -Hooch-
  16. OH lakes aren't as bad as everyone makes them out to be. Fish a day in OH, drive down to Norris in TN, and except for the size of the lake, the fishing is roughly the same.

    I would love to see a lot more vegetation in OH waters, which I think would help a lot of species, but realize that a lot of lakes that we fish are flood control resevoirs.

    One thing is for sure, OH lakes have made me a better fisherman! If it don't kill you, it will only make you stronger.
  17. RiverRat

    RiverRat Banned

    Thats the reason i dont fish lakes in Ohio...i leave them to the 1000's of meathunter, pleasure boaters, ect.
    Until OHIO as a whole deceides to change there fishery programs like slot limits for MANY species to turn lakes into trophy fisheries, we will never compare to the states around us. BUT it will never happen unless the STATE can make money off of it!

    Only reason Erie has lasted this long is because of its vast size(=more fish) and it will only be time until anglers, charter captains have cleaned it out. And 2 because the State makes money off the people that go there(like the eye run on Maumee).
    I'd much rather catch a smallmouth stream 5 lber than an erie 5 lber...any day and ive done both!

    If i had a chance to move anywhere it would be either Tenn. or Minnasota...NOT Ohio!!

  18. H2O Mellon

    H2O Mellon Hangin' With My Gnomies

    Scott, I second the Minnesota move. Boy is it nice up there. I also like the UP of Michigan.
  19. Ok here I go! I have fished a few of the lakes in Ohio. You may notice that most of my post come from rivers, AND THERE ARE NO FISH IN THE CREEKS AND RIVERS OF OHIO :rolleyes: . Most of you guys seem to be upset over our lakes. Try a few in West by God Virginia. Crystal clear down to 30' and every fisherman with a boat in the state hitting them. Are the lakes in Ohio the same as guntersville, weiss, kerr, etc, etc, and so on? NO! Are bass in our lakes? YES. Why do you not catch them, same reason I only catch a few.
    Today I went down to the LMR and it was muddy. They type of muddy that you need to cut a hole in the mud to put your lure. I still managed a 16"er and a few smaller ones. Normally I would say that this was not a good day. Today I am proud that I managed to catch not only one but several bass in rising Willa Wonka river water. I must look at lakes and rivers different than most. I thrive on the worst condition and only one bass that day. When I load the boat or towel off I believe that I have out fished the fish and nature for that moment.
    I go on trips to Guntersville and other southern lakes. My best trip to Guntersville that I have had was in March. The snow was falling and I had to break the ice out of my ilets every fouth cast. My dad sat at the back of the boat having a field day netting my fish. (Don't take the last sentence wrong. I always end up with more fish and weight than my dad. The onlly thing is he is the one that ends every trip with the big fish and bragging writes.)
    The point to this is that I do not believe that number and size are the important thing. The experience is what I fish for.
    Try new things people and enjoy Ohio. I love exploring new water and Ohio is full of it.
  20. Iron_Chef_CD

    Iron_Chef_CD Allez Cuisine

    I think it depends on what your looking for out of a fishing trip. As many others have already mentioned if your goal is to catch 5-10lb hawgs all day well your definately in the wrong place. As mentioned before we don't have the climate up here to support that and I'm sure that's not what you ment.

    So I'm thinking you must be talking about your catch and truthfully are you trying to say that in places like Florida and Texas you never get skunked? I just watched the flw tour this afternoon and they were on okachobee and there were plenty of big bass being caught but the biggest was 8lbs... Out of all them pro anglers the biggest bass was 8lbs? My point is to me you'll always have some good days and some bad ones no matter where you fish.

    That being said it has been a life long ambition to go to Texas, Cali or Florida and catch as many lm's in double digits as I can because I never traveled much as a youth so I havn't had the oppurtunity. One day, one day soon...

    Until then the lakes here can be frustrating, but make you a better fisherman and I'm currently enjoying the sm bass I've been catching!