The Top 10 Fish Species to Target in Ohio

Ohio Fish Species to Target This Spring and Summer

With spring finally here, everyone is itching to spend time on the water! Besides breathing in the fresh spring air and enjoying the milder temperatures, the spring also provides some of the best fishing opportunities of the year. There is no better place to do this than in the resource rich state of Ohio.  Home to numerous streams, lakes, and world class fisheries, it’s no wonder so many people travel to the state for their fishing expeditions.  However, what they don’t know is the incredible opportunities that lie not only on the state’s public water, but with-in the state’s private property. This includes world-class fishing clubs such as Briarwood Sporting Club.     

With over 125 acres of pristine waters stocked with the countries best fishing opportunities, every angler’s target species can be found in one place.  There are fly casting only waters, family friendly areas, and a sustainable fish population to make every anglers dream a reality.   

Below is a list of ten exciting and unique species to target this spring in the great state of Ohio. 

Trout Opportunities 

One of the most exciting and sought after fishing opportunities in the state of Ohio is the trout fishing.  Species selection is abundant, opportunities are rare, and the novelty of the catch is high! Many people don’t expect Ohio to be an incredible trout fishery, but between cold water streams and the gorgeous fishing clubs such as Briarwood, it’s no surprise that it attracts fishermen across the country.

1.Steelhead Trout 

Steelhead migrate up the streams to spawn in the spring and return to their homes for the remainder of the year.  This allows for an exciting but limited opportunity for anglers to capitalize on their presence. Steelhead can get relatively large in size, with many fish surpassing that 30” mark.  

These fish can be found primarily on Lake Erie and its tributaries.  Most setups include long rods with light line.  Tackle includes spoons, larger jigs with maggots, and spinners for spinning rods.  Fly fishermen can find success with nymphs and streamers.  

2. Rainbow Trout 

The gorgeous rainbow trout is one of the most popular fish to target across the country.  Unfortunately, rainbow trout are NOT native to Ohio and instead are stocked every spring and fall in select waters.  Since they can only survive in Ohio’s coldest and smallest streams, these fish generally do not live throughout the summer and provide a limited fishing period immediately upon stocking.  These trout tend to be 10 to 14 inches in length and are a popular target for fly fishing enthusiasts.  

It’s recommended to use lightweight spin-casting gear or a four to six weight fly rod.  For tackle use small spinners, spoons, and jigs.   

3. Brown Trout 

Brown trout, similar to Rainbow trout, are not native to the state. They too are stalked yearly, and only in a very few select waters.  However, these fish are expected to grow for a few seasons rather than dying off during the summer months. They are another novelty trout that Ohio enthusiasts get the honor to catch.  

Brown trout are also stocked monthly in Briarwood in both its fly and spin casting streams.   

Just like with fishing rainbows, brown trout can be caught off lightweight gear.  Similar presentations such as streamers and woolly buggers work well too.  

4. Brook Trout 

Brook trout make the list because they are the only species of trout native to Ohio, and they are native in very limited numbers.  Because they need to spawn in very clear and cold water, they are exclusive to the state’s smallest, spring fed streams, very similar to the rainbows and brown trout.  These fish can also be caught on lightweight spinning or fly gear in a similar manner as the two species above.  

5. Blue Trout 

Due to their rarity, blue trout are one of the most highly sought after fish species in the country.  They are a rare version of the rainbow trout and unique only to select waters. This can be a catch of a lifetime for many trout enthusiasts.  

Unique Trout Fishing Opportunities 

Blue trout is a great example of the fishing opportunities that are unique to Ohio’s Briarwood sporting clubs.  However, all trout fishing opportunities improve significantly within Briarwood Sporting Club itself. Briarwood stocks their pristine streams monthly, assuring high quality, indefinite fishing opportunities for the trout fishing diehards.

Anglers that are interested in chasing these species should contact Briarwood Sporting Club regarding membership options and angling tactics. 

For those who prefer to fish with a fly rod, a fly only zone exists on the eastern end of the property.  This assures fly fishermen the tranquility and opportunity that isn’t always presented to them when fishing high pressured, public waters.

Popular Game Fish 

6. Walleye 

The walleye is one of the most sought after fish species in Ohio.  From the famous Lake Erie to the small, freshwater streams located throughout the state, walleye opportunities in Ohio are endless.  They are not only a popular fish to pursue but a great one to eat as well.  Spring is a fantastic time to capitalize on their post spawning hunger so be sure to utilize that time to get out on the water. 

Walleye fishing can mean a finesse bite. Therefore, jigs, minnow or twisty tails are great options when targeting the species. A medium action rod with fairly light line can help pick up a weak jig bite.  

7. Perch 

A cousin to the walleye, Perch area also abundant in Ohio waters. Lake Erie is one of the most popular perch destinations in the country. These fish are another favorite species of the residents, and can be found in numerous waters throughout the state of Ohio.  

Perch will require a similar presentation as a walleye but with lighter spin-casting gear.  Anglers should use a light action rod with 6 to 8 pound test line.  

8. Largemouth Bass 

Bass is the most popular game fish in the world.  Located in waters from Canada to Mexico, it’s no surprise that it, too, plays a big presence in the state of Ohio as well. Largemouth opportunities are plentiful across the state, including in some of the state’s biggest bodies of water.  However, unlimited opportunities also reside in the sporting clubs themselves.  

9. Bluegill  

For angler’s looking for oversized pan fish, Ohio is a perfect option. The bluegill sunfish is abundant and can found up to twelve inches in length and two pounds in size (which is incredibly large for a sunfish).  They are frequent and fun fish to catch for children and families.

Bluegill can be caught on small presentations on ultra-lightweight rods with 4 to 8 pound test.  

10. Muskellunge Muskie” 

Muskie fishing popularity is growing nationwide.  From the elusive bite, to the incredible challenge they present when they are on the line, muskie fishing provides an adrenaline rush nearly all sportsmen can appreciate.  

Spring is one of the best times to target these fish. The water temperatures are cold and the bite is strong after spawning.  Ohio is home to both pure bred and hybrid species, both of which can be caught on heavy duty fly casting gear and large bait. 

The best part? All of these game fish can also be found in abundant numbers on pristine waters at Briarwood Sporting Club.

Every Fish in One Place 

There is no need to travel hundreds of miles or multiple destinations to be able to catch numerous different fish. They can all be found in one place: Briarwood.  When looking for family friendly activities, fantastic accommodations, and a large variety of fish to make everyone in the group happy, it’s no doubt that Ohio’s best destination is Briarwood Sporting Club.

The waters are sustainable. They are stocked regularly, properly regulated, and not subject to the fishing pressure and practices of the public waters. That’s where sporting clubs such as Briarwood Sporting Club are the perfect all in one place for angling enthusiasts. Ohio is a fantastic destination for angling enthusiasts to visit all year around.  With the frequent stockings, pristine waters, and diverse fish species.  It’s obvious Ohio should be on every fisherman’s destination list.

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