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Bass Fishing In Ohio

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By Rick Seaman

Bass fishing At Daybreak

Ohio Bass Fishing

Lodge on a fishing lake in Ohio

Choice fishing for spotted, smallmouth and largemouth bass in OH. The purpose of this page is to share basic information about the best fishing lakes in the state, and the species found in each lake.

Bass fishing in Ohio is a beloved pursuit, cherished by anglers of all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels. Few experiences rival the thrill of hooking into a largemouth or smallmouth bass, making it a timeless pastime that transcends cultural boundaries. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a novice angler eager to learn the ropes, mastering the art of bass fishing can be immensely rewarding. That's why this page is dedicated to offering invaluable insights and tips on bass fishing, providing a comprehensive guide on everything from bass fishing techniques to essential bass-catching strategies. Whether you're seeking advice on selecting the perfect lure or honing your casting skills, we're here to equip you with the knowledge and expertise needed to excel on the water. Dive into our wealth of information to discover the secrets of successful bass fishing and unlock the full potential of your angling endeavors.

Bass Fishing Favorites

Largemouth Bass Fishing In Ohio

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass are the most abundant, and most pursued bass in Ohio. They are available in most warm-water lakes in the state, they tend to thrive in most water conditions and grow to bragging size in relative short order. Often called big mouth bass, or wide mouth bass, they are savvy predators that feed on most things that live in their territory. Bass in the 5 to 10-pound range are common in Ohio. The state record largemouth bass is over 13 pounds.

Finding & Catching Bigmouth Bass

Anglers can target big mouth bass in various lakes, reservoirs, and rivers. Spring and early summer are typically the best seasons for targeting largemouth bass as they are more active and feeding in the shallows near shoreline cover. Start with topwater baits, as they cover the water most efficiently. Reaction baits like crankbaits and spinnerbaits are the next choice. For finicky bass, plastic worms and jigs may entice a bite as you can move them very slowly around cover. In the heat of summer and the cold of winter bass move to deeper water, usually following the baitfish. Jigs, drop shot rigs and spoons are a good approach for bass holding in deep water. Vary your retrieve speed and action to find what the bass like today!

Smallmouth Bass In Ohio

Smallmouth Bass

While smallmouth bass don't grow as large as their cousin the largemouth, they make up the difference with tenacious fights. Known for long battles and spectacular jumps, smallies grow fat and strong but rarely exceed ten pounds. Their range and locations are often with or nearby the largemouths. The state record smallmouth bass is over 9 pounds. They are commonly found in rocky areas of rivers and lakes, particularly near drop-offs, rocky points, and underwater structures. Anglers often target them using jigs, crankbaits, and soft plastics, mimicking crayfish or baitfish patterns.

Spotted Bass In Ohio

Spotted bass, sometimes referred to as Kentucky bass, are less common in Ohio but can be found in certain lakes and rivers. They share similarities with both largemouth and smallmouth bass in terms of habitat preferences and feeding habits. Anglers targeting spotted bass often use similar techniques to those used for largemouth and smallmouth bass, such as crankbaits, jigs, and soft plastics.

Ohio's diverse bass fishing opportunities attract anglers of all skill levels. From picturesque lakes and reservoirs to winding rivers, there are plenty of options to explore and discover new fishing spots. Whether you're seeking the thrill of battling a largemouth bass, the strength of a smallmouth bass, or the challenge of catching a spotted bass, Ohio's bass fishing scene has something to offer every angler.

Bass fishing basics video.

Best Bass Fishing Lakes In Ohio

Plenty of private ponds, creeks, streams and rivers in Ohio hold bass. Lake Erie expands the opportunity for anglers to catch nice stringers of bass. Other major lakes with nice populations of bass include Acton Lake, Alum Creek Lake, Atwood Lake, Bass Lake, Berlin Lake, Buck Creek State Park Lake, Buckeye Lake, Caesar Creek State Park Lake, Charles Mill Lake, Clear Fork Reservoir, Clendening Reservoir, Cowan Lake, Deer Creek Lake, Delaware Lake, East Fork Lake, Findlay Reservoir, Grand Lake St Marys, Griggs Reservoir, Hoover Reservoir, Indian Lake, Kaiser Lake, Knox Reservoir, La Due Reservoir, Lake Erie, Lake Hodgson, Lake Milton, Leesville Lake, Mogadore Reservoir, Mosquito Lake, Piedmont Reservoir, Pleasant Hill Lake, Portage Lakes, Pymatuning Lake, Rocky Fork State Park Lake, Salt Fork Lake, Seneca Lake, Tappan Reservoir, Walborn Reservoir, Wingfoot Reservoir and West Branch Lake.

Fishing Boats For Rent In Ohio

Bass In Ohio

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass

World record: 22 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 13 lbs 2 oz

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass

World record: 11 lbs 15 oz

State Record: 9 lbs 8 oz

Spotted Bass

Spotted bass

World record: 9 lbs 8 oz

State Record: 5 lbs 4 oz

Click the images and links above for species details.

Top 5 bass fishing lures for Ohio this year

When bass are shallow, spinnerbaits, crankbaits and stickbaits are the most productive. As they move deeper, worms and jigs are among the top producers.

Brylee Haupt With A Bass From Ohio
Brylee Haupt

OH State Record Bass

The state record largemouth bass was taken out of a private pond.

Lake Erie produced the state record smallmouth bass.

Lake White served up the state record spotted bass.

Bass fishing in Ohio

Bass are one of the most sought after of all the game fish. Its appeal spans cultures, age groups and genders to tap on the heart strings of anglers everywhere. Join us in our endeavor to offer information about bass fishing on your favorite bass lake in Ohio.

Understanding the primary seasonal movements of smallmouth bass and largemouth bass is key to locating them on local lakes in the Buckeye State.

Bass fishing book

Catch big bass!

Learn to catch more and bigger largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and spotted bass. Visit the Bass Knowledge Center for additional, valuable information about bass and bass fishing.


Bass fishing information by state.

AL Bass Fishing AR Bass Fishing AZ Bass Fishing CA Bass Fishing CO Bass Fishing CT Bass Fishing DC Bass Fishing DE Bass Fishing FL Bass Fishing GA Bass Fishing HI Bass Fishing IA Bass Fishing ID Bass Fishing
IL Bass Fishing IN Bass Fishing KS Bass Fishing KY Bass Fishing LA Bass Fishing MA Bass Fishing MD Bass Fishing ME Bass Fishing MI Bass Fishing MN Bass Fishing MO Bass Fishing MS Bass Fishing MT Bass Fishing
NC Bass Fishing ND Bass Fishing NE Bass Fishing NH Bass Fishing NJ Bass Fishing NM Bass Fishing NV Bass Fishing NY Bass Fishing OH Bass Fishing OK Bass Fishing OR Bass Fishing PA Bass Fishing
RI Bass Fishing SC Bass Fishing SD Bass Fishing TN Bass Fishing TX Bass Fishing UT Bass Fishing VA Bass Fishing VT Bass Fishing WA Bass Fishing WI Bass Fishing WV Bass Fishing WY Fishing
The lifecycle of bass

The more you know about the seasonal migration of bass, the more likely you are to be looking in the right area next time you visit Ohio bass fishing lakes. Visit the bass fishing page for more in-depth information about bass activities.