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Where to Fish in Ohio: Tappan Lake [PICS]

Tappan Lake in eastern Ohio offers anglers solid bass fishing along with high numbers of eater-sized channel catfish.

Located in Harrison County near the town of Deersville in eastern Ohio, Tappan Lake holds good numbers of largemouth bass and channel catfish.

The vast 2,131 acre lake ensures that anglers won’t feel crowded while wetting a line.

Lake Information

Tappan Lake has a surface area of 2,131 acres, over 35 miles of shore length, and features a maximum depth of 25 feet. Shore fishing here is possible, but fishing from a boat is ideal for covering the most water. However, fishing from certain accessible areas on the shore at night for the plentiful channel catfish found in the lake can be productive.

The lake has plenty of amenities for visitors including restrooms, three boat launch ramps, and a handicapped-accessible fishing pier by Route 250 near the middle of the shoreline. The Ohio Division of Natural Resources (ODNR) also maintains fish attractor stations in multiple locations around the lake which you can locate on the map below.

Tappan Lake is surrounded by land owned by the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District. It is also earmarked by the state of Ohio as a reference reservoir which means biologists sample the lake’s fish populations every year.

It has a horsepower limit of 399-horsepower motors and recreational boaters are common in the summer months.

Tappan Lake
Ohio Division of Natural Resources

Fish Species

There are a wide range of fish species in Tappan Lake that will interest anglers. The lake used to be one of the best saugeye fisheries in the state of Ohio, though populations have been on the low side for the last several years. However, state biologists have been encouraged by recent results and the population of saugeye is thought to be on the upswing.

The true star of Tappan Lake is the largemouth bass. Most of the largemouth bass caught from Tappan measure over 12 inches in length and 5- to 6-pound specimens are regularly caught in surveys.

Other species of interest to anglers include bluegill, crappie, channel catfish, flathead catfish, and white bass. The channel catfish are especially numerous if not generally very large. The average length of channel catfish caught at Tappan Lake is 16.7 inches. This makes it a great destination for anglers who want to eat their catch. The flathead catfish are known to grow very large in Tappan Lake as well.

Fishing Tips

The best area in the lake to target the resident largemouth bass is the eastern shoreline. Most of the shoreline structure and vegetation is found on that side of the lake. Anglers should cast their lures near fallen trees and brush piles they come across. Fishing these areas will also give anglers a chance to catch crappie. The eastern side of the lake is also typically wake-free.

Anglers at Tappan Lake should target the fish attractor stations if fishing for bluegill and typical channel catfish baits such as chicken livers or processed baits will be successful. Ice fishing is also possible at Tappan in the smaller back bays that get the best ice cover.

Final Thoughts

Tappan Lake is worth a trip for anglers who enjoy fishing large lakes and those who wish to have a great shot at catching a good haul of channel catfish. The lake is also a good destination for anglers after the elusive flathead catfish. The amenities are more than sufficient at Tappan Lake and it is worth a visit for any Ohio angler within reasonable driving distance.

NEXT: Where to Fish in Ohio: Burr Oak Lake

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Where to Fish in Ohio: Tappan Lake [PICS]