Skip to main content

What’s the Best Fish to Catch in Ohio?

Everyone has their favorite, but what's the best fish to catch in Ohio?

Ohio anglers have a lot of options when it comes time to decide which fish species to target on any given day; which is the best, you ask?

You are likely to receive a different answer from every Ohio angler. That question can lead to some pretty spirited but good-natured discussions. Let's take a quick look at four of Ohio's top game fish species to target.


The walleye might be one of the most common answers an Ohio angler would provide to this question. It is an incredibly popular fish in the state, especially in the northern portion where anglers have easy access to one of the best walleye fisheries in the country; Lake Erie.

Walleye fishing can range from hot action to slower days on the water, but the toothy fish always puts up a good fight. Not to mention they are excellent table fare, as long as you don't overdo it.

They are also present in the larger reservoirs around the state. It certainly can't be argued that the walleye is one of the most popular fish to catch in Ohio, if not necessarily the best.

Flathead Catfish

Via wikimedia

Hard-fighting. Mean. Nasty. Those are all ways that a big flathead catfish from one of Ohio's rivers or reservoirs can be described.

Offering one of the best fights of any Ohio game fish species, flathead catfish are also one of the more difficult fish to catch in the state. Patience, perseverance, and a little bit of luck are all necessary in order to hook into a big ol' shovelhead. Then fighting and landing the fish is an entirely separate challenge.

However, as soon as you feel that pull on the other end of your line and watch that catfish emerge from the deep just once, you will be hooked for life.

Largemouth Bass

Via wikimedia

One of the most popular game fish species no matter where you go, the largemouth bass deserves a spot in this debate. Present in almost every fishable body of water in Ohio, largemouth bass are the main target of many an angler.

Their vicious strikes and inspiring leaps from the water during battles are both reasons why they are so popular to fish for. With the plethora of tournaments targeting bucketmouths, this fish will always remain popular in the Buckeye State.

Steelhead Trout

Every fall, the steelhead trout who spend their summers in the cooler water of Lake Erie begin to move back into the tributaries and streams where they are sought after by many anglers. With a great average size, and a few true trophies mixed in, steelhead offer anglers a great reason to break out their wading gear and head out to the area's rivers.


They can be caught using a variety of gear and techniques including via the fly. This is certainly a very popular fish to catch in Ohio.

This is by no means a definitive list of top fish species to catch in Ohio. It is just a small sampling of some of the best species an angler can target. Let's start one of those good-natured, spirited discussions I mentioned before. What do you think is the best fish to catch in the great state of Ohio? Why do you think that?

Let your voice be heard! Leave your opinion in the comments section below.

you might also like

What’s the Best Fish to Catch in Ohio?