Ohio Walleye Fishing
Guide To Fishing For Walleye, Sauger & Saugeye
Ohio is renowned for its exceptional walleye fishing opportunities, drawing anglers from near and far. The state is home to several lakes and rivers that provide prime habitat for walleye, making it a popular destination for anglers seeking these prized game fish.
Lake Erie stands out as one of the premier walleye fishing destinations in Ohio. The lake's vast size and abundant forage make it an ideal habitat for walleye to thrive. The western basin of Lake Erie, including popular spots like the islands region and the area near Toledo, is particularly renowned for its walleye fishing. Anglers target walleye using a variety of techniques, including trolling with crankbaits, casting with jigs, and drifting with live bait.
In addition to Lake Erie, several inland lakes and reservoirs in Ohio offer excellent walleye fishing opportunities. Places like Alum Creek Lake, Mosquito Creek Lake, and Pymatuning Lake are known for their healthy populations of walleye. These lakes provide anglers with a chance to catch walleye in a more relaxed and picturesque setting.
Ohio's rivers also offer exciting walleye fishing experiences. The Maumee River and the Sandusky River are two renowned walleye fisheries, particularly during the annual walleye spawning runs in the spring. Anglers flock to these rivers, casting their lines and enjoying the thrill of hooking into a hard-fighting walleye.
Ohio's walleye fishing records highlight the exceptional size and quality of fish that can be caught in the state. The current state record for walleye in Ohio stands at over 16 pounds, showcasing the potential for trophy-sized catches. Whether fishing on Lake Erie, inland lakes, or rivers, anglers have a chance to hook into impressive walleye that test their skills and provide a memorable angling experience.
Anglers planning to target walleye in Ohio should familiarize themselves with fishing regulations and bag limits specific to each body of water. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) provides valuable information on seasons, size limits, and creel limits to ensure sustainable fishing practices.
Overall, Ohio's lakes, rivers, and reservoirs offer a diverse range of walleye fishing opportunities, making it a popular destination for both local and visiting anglers seeking the thrill of landing these prized game fish.
Ohio anglers are fortunate to have many lakes with populations of walleye. They include Alum Creek Lake, Atwood Lake, Beaver Creek Reservoir, Berlin Lake, Buck Creek Lake, Buckeye Lake, CJ Brown Reservoir, Caesar Creek Lake,Charles Mill Lake, Clear Fork Reservoir, Clendening Reservoir, Grand Lake St Marys, Hoover Reservoir, Indian Lake, LaDue Reservoir, Lake Erie, Lake Lecomte, Lake Milton, Leesville Lake, Lost Creek Reservoir, Mosquito Lake, Paulding Reservoir, Piedmont Reservoir, Pleasant Hill Lake, Pymatuning Lake, Rocky Fork Lake, Salt Fork Lake, Seneca Lake, Tappan Reservoir, West Branch Lake and Willard Reservoir.
Additionally, you can find walleye in the rivers flowing into and out of some of these lakes.
World record: 25 lbs 0 oz
State Record: 16.19 lbs
World record: 17 lbs 7 oz
State Record: 7.31 lbs
World record: 15 lbs 6 oz
State Record: 14.04 lbs
Click the images and links above for species details.
Top lures for walleye in Ohio
Jigs with a variety of trailers and bait work well in virtually any depth water. When walleyes are shallow, spinnerbaits, small crankbaits and rip baits are the often very productive. Jigs and ice jigs are very popular with local ice fishing enthusiasts. As they move deeper, spoons are ideal for active walleye. Understanding the seasonal movements of walleyes improves your odds of selecting the right lures for conditions on local waters.
Lake Erie produced the Ohio state record walleye.
The state record sauger came from the Maumee River.
Antrim Lake delivered the state record saugeye.
Fishing For Walleye
This toothy fish will eat virtually anything it can catch and get in its mouth. They prefer small fish and will eat crustaceans, worms and insects. They tend to be somewhat wary and prefer the safety of deeper darker water. Trolling for walleye with deep diving crankbaits, jerkbaits, spinners and live bait provides a way to cover vast areas and locate concentrations of fish. Use of planer boards allows anglers to cover water out both sides of the boat while trolling. Try fishing for walleye from sundown to midnight, particularly during the heat of summer.
Walleye spawn in spring and when they have the option will choose to migrate from the lake up into feeder streams to spawn. If this option is not available they seek out shallow bars or shoals with clean bottom surfaces near deep water.
Fishing For Sauger
Closely related to the walleye and similar in appearance, sauger are generally smaller than walleye, reaching 4 to 5 pounds (or more) and up to about 20 inches. Often found in muddier rivers, it thrives in larger, silty lakes. They spawn in the shallows at night, without creating or guarding specific nests.
Fishing For Saugeye
This hybrid is created by mating sauger with walleye. The walleye influence allows the hybrids to grow larger than sauger, often to sizes equaling walleye. Saugeye tend to survive best in turbid/silty water and are caught in the same general areas and habitat populated by walleye and sauger.
Walleye prefer moderately deep lakes with gravel, rock or sandy bottoms. It is found primarily in cold water lakes but has proven to survive in warmer impoundments. It is prized for its great tasting filets. Click here to learn all about walleye fishing.
Ohio walleye spawn in spring and when they have the option will choose to migrate from the lake up into feeder streams to spawn. If this option is not available they seek out shallow bars or shoals with clean bottom surfaces near deep water.
Watch this video for walleye tips and tactics.
Also find information about walleye, sauger or saugeye fishing in these states.
Learn the migration patterns of walleye
Walleye become active in spring and begin the spawning process in medium-depth water. As summer arrives they move to deeper, cooler water. In fall walleye migrate into shallower water again and feed aggressively preparing for their move to deeper water where they will spend winter.