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Guide to fishing for coho salmon in OH.

By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Fishing For Salmon

Ohio is not traditionally known for salmon fishing, as the state does not have a native population of Pacific salmon species. However, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has implemented stocking programs to provide anglers with opportunities to catch landlocked salmon in certain reservoirs and lakes. The purpose of this page is to share basic information about salmon fishing and identify popular salmon waters in the state.

Salmon Fishing Options

Atlantic Salmon

Landlocked Atlantic Salmon

Known as the “king of fish”, Atlantic salmon live in both fresh and saltwater, which means they are anadromous. They are renowned for their impressive athleticism, and delectable taste. Native to the North Atlantic Ocean, these fish undertake extraordinary journeys from their natal rivers to distant feeding grounds in the open ocean and back again to spawn. In recent years, the allure of fishing for landlocked Atlantic salmon in lakes has grown in popularity. These are populations of Atlantic salmon that are confined to freshwater environments, unable to access the sea due to geographical barriers such as waterfalls or dams. Landlocked Atlantic salmon in lakes exhibit similar behaviors to their sea-run counterparts, including feeding frenzies and impressive displays of strength when hooked. Anglers most often target landlocked salmon by trolling open water. The pursuit of landlocked Atlantic salmon also comes with a responsibility. Conservation efforts are essential to ensure the long-term sustainability of these populations. Anglers must adhere to catch-and-release practices, follow local regulations, and support habitat restoration initiatives to safeguard the future of this cherished species.

Fishing for Atlantic salmon is permitted in Lake Erie throughout the year. With a valid sport fishing licence, anglers have a catch and possession limit of one Atlantic salmon, while holders of a conservation fishing licence must practice catch-and-release.

Chinook Salmon

Chinook Salmon, like all Pacific salmon, die after spawning. They grow large and put up a great fight when hooked. Fish for chinook with down riggers to troll around the thermocline. Use flashers, trailed with bait for best results. The current Ohio state record for chinook salmon stands at over 30 pounds. Chinook salmon, also known as king salmon, is one of the main species targeted by Ohio anglers.

Coho Salmon

Coho Salmon

Coho Salmon are smaller in size compared to Chinook salmon but still provide a thrilling fight when hooked. They are typically stocked in Lake Erie and can be caught by trolling or casting near shore areas during their migratory periods. Use small spinners, or bait on a bobber setup. Good bait options include wax worms, minnows, shrimp, and nightcrawlers.

Ohio Salmon Fishing Lakes

While Ohio's salmon fishing opportunities are limited compared to other states, there have been notable catches that have set state records. Salmon are stocked in Lake Erie and a few inland reservoirs, such as Pleasant Hill Lake and Clear Fork Reservoir. Chinook salmon can grow to impressive sizes, with individuals exceeding 20 pounds not uncommon. Anglers typically target them using trolling techniques and deep-water fishing methods. The Ohio record for Chinook salmon stands at over 34 pounds, caught in Lake Erie, showcasing the potential for trophy-sized fish. Coho salmon state records are also impressive, with the largest caught weighing over 19 pounds.

Anglers interested in pursuing salmon in Ohio should consult the ODNR's website and fishing regulations for the latest information on stocking locations, seasons, and bag limits. It's important to note that the availability of salmon fishing can vary from year to year, depending on stocking schedules and environmental factors. Nevertheless, for those seeking the thrill of battling these iconic fish species, Ohio provides a unique opportunity to experience salmon fishing within its borders.

The best salmon fishing in Ohio is on Lake Erie and tributaries feeding into it hold salmon during the spawn.

Fishing Boats For Rent In Ohio

Chinook Salmon

Chinook salmon

World record: 97 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 31.13 lbs

Coho Salmon

Coho salmon

World record: 33 lbs 7 oz

State Record: 29.40 lbs

Click the images and links above for species details.

Lake Erie produced the state record chinook (king) salmon.

The state record coho salmon was taken out of the Lake Erie.

Conneaut Creek yielded the Ohio state record pink salmon.

About The Pacific Salmon Family

Pacific Salmon are born in and remain in freshwater streams for the early years of life. The number varies by species. Afterward they migrate to the Pacific Ocean waters where they bulk up and prepare for their once in a lifetime spawning run up the freshwater stream where they were born. They will instinctively return to their birthplace, spawn and die. They are found in the streams which empty into the ocean, and adjoining ocean waters.

The preferred method for catching salmon is fly fishing. Depending on the activity level, salmon may be caught on wet or dry flies. For more details check here for articles about fly fishing.

Ohio Salmon Fishing

The preferred method for catching salmon is fly fishing. Depending on the activity level, salmon may be caught on wet or dry flies, as well as a variety of other lures and baits.

Salmon Organizations

Atlantic Salmon Federation

Atlantic Salmon Trust

Atlantic Salmon Museum

Pacific Salmon Commission

Pacific Salmon Foundation


Salmon fishing waters and information, by state.

AK Salmon Fishing CA Salmon Fishing CO Salmon Fishing ID Salmon Fishing IL Salmon Fishing IN Salmon Fishing MA Salmon Fishing ME Salmon Fishing
MI Salmon Fishing MN Salmon Fishing MT Salmon Fishing NC Salmon Fishing ND Salmon Fishing NE Salmon Fishing NH Salmon Fishing
NJ Salmon Fishing NM Salmon Fishing NV Salmon Fishing NY Salmon Fishing OH Salmon Fishing OR Salmon Fishing PA Salmon Fishing
RI Salmon Fishing SD Salmon Fishing VT Salmon Fishing WA Salmon Fishing WI Salmon Fishing WY Salmon Fishing

Learn the life cycle of salmon

The more you know about the life cycle and seasonal migration of salmon, the more likely you are to be looking in the right area next time you visit Ohio salmon fishing waters. Visit the salmon fishing page for more information about the life cycle of the different species of salmon.

Best salmon fishing waters in Ohio!