Best Places To Catch Catfish In Ohio

Best Places To Catch Catfish In Ohio – When you think of a big fish in Ohio, you probably imagine a bass that hangs completely in the air as it tries to get off the hook. Or maybe it’s a big, bottomless eye reflecting the moonlight on the river bank.

It makes sense. There is something seductive, even charming, about these fish. They look great on magazine covers or hanging on the walls of your local bait shop.

Best Places To Catch Catfish In Ohio

But ask any group of anglers what their favorite fish is, and a surprising number will tell you, catfish. These fish that live in the rivers and reservoirs of Ohio are the most interesting.

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After all, there’s no fish that fights deeper water than a 60-pound flathead in Ohio, and no fish tastes better than freshly cut trench cats dug out of cornmeal.

If you are looking for places to fish for catfish in Ohio, look no further. Chances are, wherever you find yourself in the state, there’s a large lake or catfish river within a few miles.

Anglers target three main species of catfish in the Buckeye State. Most of the best fishing ponds in Ohio offer fishing opportunities for these three types of fish:

Ohio is also home to three species of bulls: the yellow bull, the brown bull, and the black bull. Although they rarely exceed 2 or 3 pounds, they are sought after by many anglers, especially in the early spring.

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Bullfish can be found in almost every lake and river in the state, so we won’t cover them in this article.

You can’t talk about catfishing in Ohio without talking about the Ohio River. This mighty artery stretches 451 miles along Ohio’s southern and eastern borders. It offers the best catfish water in the state.

River catfish are abundant along the river, and there is not a single pool along it that does not produce river catfish. Flatheads are also common, often weighing 25 pounds or more.

Some of the best fishing spots are located along the stretch of river bordering eastern Ohio. The 3-mile Pike Island Basin is a particularly productive area in the headwaters below the New Cumberland Locks and Dams.

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There is banked access to the tail of Interstate 7 and several boat ramps to Pike Island Basin. Late May and early July are great times to fish these waters, with some of the biggest flathead being caught after dark.

The Ohio River section adjacent to Ohio is also known for producing big blue cats. A 50 pound fish is the norm and there is always a bigger shot outside.

Blue cats are often found in the lower reaches of rivers. If your destination is Bruce, Ohio, the best place to go is Markland Pond, 95 miles west of the Meldahl Dam through Cincinnati into Indiana.

Cincinnati’s Schmidt Boat Launch is a great place to launch into Markland Basin on the Ohio River. The mouth of the Little Miami River, about four miles upstream from the launch site, is a particularly good area.

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The Riverside Boat Launch Ramp is another great place to launch on the river in Cincinnati that also offers shore fishing.

Any bump or dip can be productive, and the best spots are located near the edge of a sharp dip.

Bluefish prefer to avoid the strongest currents and usually stay in the relatively calm water below the outer bends, rising at night to forage in the shallows.

Cut baits, including bluegills and bass, are best for large anchovies, and heavy gear with at least 40-pound test line is essential.

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Flowing 112 miles south through the mountains of eastern Ohio, the Muskingum River is Ohio’s flathead fishery. Other than the Ohio River, there may be no other river in the state that produces more catfish.

Catfish are also plentiful, with anglers catching table-sized 3- to 5-pounders as well as larger and larger fish. Fishing usually starts in late March and peaks from May to June.

Eight dam structures south of Zanesville divide the Muskingan River into basins. The headwaters below each dam offer some of the best catfish in the river.

Catfish can be found all over the Muskingen River, but Marietta Pond, the lower 5.8 miles of the river from the headwaters of Davola Dam to where the Muskingen meets the Ohio River, is the best spot.

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Fish are in the 12-20 inch range near gravel dams, current banks of main creeks and river cat tailwaters, and flatheads sometimes exceed 30.

Live minnows and sunfish prefer flathead baits, but trench cats are more likely to prefer cut baits or dough/stink baits.

Fishing can be tough during the spawning season in late June, but summer nights are a great time to be on the water after your catfish spawn.

Davola Pond (above Marietta Pond) is probably the next best area for catfish. Each of the river’s locks and dams offers public access to fishing, and on summer nights anglers often see lights along the river as they walk along the river.

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The entire Muskingum River is navigable and the Official Muskingum River Waterways Map and Guide is an excellent resource for anglers.

The Sandusky River is a 133-mile tributary of Lake Erie in northern Ohio. It empties into the lake through Sandusky Bay, and the combination of river and bay is one of the largest catfish fisheries in the state.

The Sandusky River is popular for spring walleye and white bass (expect anglers to pass the best spots along the river during March and April). But there is a known population of river catfish living in the river.

The best time to fish the Sandusky River is summer and fall when the river is relatively low and easy to wade or swim.

Catch ’em If You Can

The deepest part of the river is about 10 feet deep, and any hole over 5 feet is enough to hide catfish in the summer.

Catfish between 2-5 pounds are very common in the Sandusky River, and 10-pound fish are a real possibility. Pay attention to deep pools, especially those with rocks, log locks, or other coverings.

There are many convenient access points on both sides of the Sandusky River in and around Fremont. Most of the river is bordered by park land. Try fishing the corner of the Hayes Avenue Bridge and the North Shore Inland Trail.

Sandusky Bay is a large 41,000-acre bay that connects the river to Lake Erie and can offer better fishing than the river itself.

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Catfishing is possible from April to September, some of them weighing up to 20 kilograms have been brought from the bay.

There seems to be some flat land across the bay that extends 5-10 feet, but the best place to start is near the dead end between Bayview and Danbury.

Three bridges cross the bay at this point: the Route 2 Bridge, the railroad bridge, and the remains of “Old Route 2 Bridge,” which has been converted into a public state fishing pier.

A 231-mile tributary of the Ohio River, the Scioto River flows through the heart of the Buckeye State. The Scioto originated on farms in central Ohio as it flows through Columbus to Portsmouth, Ohio.

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Undoubtedly, this is one of the best catfish rivers in the state, with catfish in almost every area of ​​the Scioto.

There are many flat dams below Greenlawn Dam, the last dam before Theoto found the Ohio.

Transportation along the Upper Scioto River is convenient, but mostly consists of informal approaches and bridge crossings. This stretch of road through Marion and Delaware counties offers a great route for bank anglers.

As the Scioto approached Columbus, it was dammed to form O’Shaughnessy Reservoir and Griggs Reservoir. The effluent sections below the two reservoirs are accessible to the public and provide excellent opportunities for catfishing.

Great Miami River

Colombo has several parks and boat ramps along the Scioto River, making it easy for anglers to find a spot to splash. Lower Saito Park is a great spot for snorkeling or fishing on the downtown riverfront.

Backwaters and other areas farther upstream are often productive on the Scioto River. During the summer, river cats emerge from deep burrows at dusk and forage in the shallows.

At this time of year, they usually congregate below the presumed current resting grounds, but these areas are also heavily influenced by urban anglers. Prowl the shoreline to find out-of-the-way areas and use cut bait for best results.


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