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Best Ice Fishing Lakes in Ohio

Ohio winters can be brutal thanks to the cold air that blows off Lake Erie. Even though it is the source of some of the harshest cold, Lake Erie makes for one of the premier ice fishing spots in the country. The same goes for the state as a whole.

ice fishing ohio

Ohio has some great ice fishing even though there aren’t that many natural lakes to be found in the state. All of the lakes that can be found throughout Ohio have their own special characteristics, making Ohio one of the most unique states for ice fishing.

Whether you are fishing on a frozen Lake Erie or the scenic Piedmont Lake, you will never have the same experience.

Can You Go Ice Fishing in Ohio?

Ohio’s climate is perfect for ice fishing because of the cold area that blasts off of Lake Erie and the shallowness of most of the man-made lakes you will find.

ice fishing

Ohio is also home to some of the best species of fish for ice fishing like walleye, crappie, saugeye, and bluegill.

Check out some of the best places to go ice fishing in Ohio.

Best Ice Fishing Spots in Ohio

  1. Lake Erie
  2. Indian Lake
  3. Piedmont Lake
  4. Portage Lakes
  5. Mosquito Lake


Lake Erie

The Great Lakes always make for great ice fishing destinations, and Lake Erie is no different. Lake Erie is the fourth largest of the Great Lakes – it is 241 miles long and 57 miles wide.

man ice fishing on lake eerie

Make sure that you are planning out your trip beforehand to Lake Erie, due to its immense size, varying weather conditions, and different safety concerns.

Some of the best places you can find on Lake Erie are miles off shore, so pack your ice fishing equipment accordingly. Expect to find walleye, yellow perch, and crappie while you are fishing this natural wonder.

Indian Lake

If you are looking to get some great fishing in early in the season, then look no further than Indian Lake.

Since Indian Lake is so shallow, it starts to freeze earlier than other lakes in Ohio. This lake offers beautiful views and bountiful catches, which all add up to a great day out on the ice.

people camping and fishing on frozen indian lake

Indian Lake covers 5,800 acres, so it has plenty of room for everyone. During the winter months the lake also offers other activities like ice skating, ice boating, and snowmobiling.

When fishing here you will find bluegills, saugeye, crappie, and perch.

Piedmont Lake

One of the best places to fish in eastern Ohio is Piedmont Lake. With its scenic views and rustic charm, this is the perfect destination for an ice fishing trip.

It won’t be a dull day out on the lake with all of the beautiful wooded areas that surround the lake.

person holding trout caught at piedmont lake through the ice

While the views and feel of this lake may bring people in, it is the fish population that will keep you here for the whole day.

You can find trophy-sized fish in this lake, as it is one of the premier saugeye fisheries in the state. Make sure you contact a local bait shop or U.S army corps office before you head there because ice quality can differ from day to day.

Portage Lakes

If you are looking for a place that you can fish over and over again with good results, then try out Portage Lakes. Portage Lakes is a network of lakes and reservoirs near Akron, Ohio.

This system of lakes is relatively shallow throughout and freezes earlier in the season than other lakes.

people ice fishing on the portage lakes

Because these lakes freeze early on and have good fish populations, it is viewed as one of the more reliable choices for ice fishing.

You’re almost guaranteed to catch something when fishing here. While you are fishing at Portage Lakes you can find crappie, bluegill, perch, and catfish. 

Mosquito Lake

Ohio’s second-largest lake, Mosquito Lake is home to some of the best walleye fishing in all of Ohio.

Mosquito Lake spans 7850 acres and is just a short drive from Youngstown. Throughout the season, this lake is so popular that is home to many fishing tournaments.

ice fishing cabin on mosquito lake

The ample fish population in Mosquito Lake is why it is so popular throughout the year.

Walleye ice fishing in Mosquito Lake is some of the best fishing in the state, with walleye anywhere from 13 to 21 inches in size. Don’t think that you’ll only be catching walleye when fishing here, however. You can also find bluegill and crappie throughout the lake.


Final Thoughts

The Buckeye State is home to some of the best ice fishing lakes in the country, thanks to Lake Erie. Not only is Lake Erie a great place to go ice fishing, but it also helps cause the cold winters that freeze over the terrain.

Ohio is full of scenic lakes and bountiful fish populations, which makes it a great state to plan your next ice fishing trip to.

If you’re looking for more trip ideas, check out our lists of the best ice fishing locations in Montana, Colorado, and more.

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