Fishing in northeast Ohio? Here are the best spots

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Here's how to get the best catch of the kind of fish you're after

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TRUMBULL COUNTY, Ohio (WKBN) – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife says public lakes and reservoirs in northeast Ohio are home to some of the best populations of muskellunge, walleye and largemouth in the state.

ODNR is breaking down the best spots to catch certain fish in the region, including one right here in the Valley.

Walleye
Mosquito Lake in Trumbull County has brought in the best number of walleye in Ohio for the past five years, ODNR says. The lake is known for having high catch rates of walleye up to 18 inches, and some fish are even up to 28 inches.

The best catches are found in mid-lake areas and drifting, trolling and casting from six to 15 feet is recommended.

Mosquito Lake has three public boat launches and two boat rental facilities.

There is unlimited horsepower access on the lake, but a large area north of the causeway has wave restrictions. The far north end of the lake above the buoy line is not accessible due to a wildlife refuge.

Muskellunge
ODNR says the best place for muskie is West Branch Lake in Portage County. The ideal areas to target are long points, sunken islands and weed lines.

The lake has three improved launches and two unimproved launches. Boaters have no horsepower restrictions, but the area west of Rock Springs Road is a no-wake area.

Largemouth Bass
If you’re looking for largemouth bass, ODNR says the system of waterways at Portage Lakes in Summit County brings in the most Fish Ohio-qualifying catches.

The system is made up of five main lakes — Turkeyfoot, East, West, Long and North. Drop-offs at the lakes may extend to 60 feet deep in some areas.

While looking for largemouth bass, try pitching a spinnerbait, swimbait or jig around the docks early in the season. Later in the season, move offshore toward areas where the depth changes.

The upper lakes (Turkeyfoot, West and East) have two main launches, and North and Long each have a main launch.

Each lake has its own regulations and outboard boat motor horsepower restrictions.

Crappie
Atwood Lake in Carroll and Tuscarawas counties has been named among Ohio’s top 10 lakes for crappie fishing over the past five years, ODNR says.

Look for areas with downed trees, beaver lodges and brush. For the best luck, try using lightweight (1/32 ounce or 1/64 ounce) jigs with a plastic curly tail or tipped with a minnow.

The lake has three boat launches and a 25-horsepower restriction on outboard motors.

Sunfish
Pymatuning Lake in Ashtabula County, which is Ohio’s largest inland lake, is good for sunfish and perch fishing, ODNR says.

There’s not much area for shoreline fishing, so wading in shallow areas or small boat fishing works best. Fishing around any of the boat launches brings in catches, but the causeway that separates the north and south side is also recommended.

Boaters can choose from 12 launches, three marinas that rent boats and facilities in both Ohio and Pennsylvania. If you fish from the Pennsylvania side, you must have a Pennsylvania fishing license.

The lake has a 20-horsepower restriction on outboard motors.

Channel Catfish
ODNR recommends fishing for channel catfish at Springfield Lake in Summit County. They said the lake is stocked with catfish every year and there’s easy access to the shoreline.

Traditional baits like shrimp, cut bait and night crawlers work well.

Boat launches are available on the north and south ends of the lake.

It’s $25 for a resident fishing license in the state. For more information and tips about Ohio fishing, visit wildohio.gov.

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