Top Ohio Lake Communities for Ice Fishing this Winter Season
With January about to start wrapping up that doesn’t leave lake community residents too many more weeks to keep ice fishing. Although Ohio has seen some pretty heavy winter storms lately (and another possibly on the way) anyone who is thinking about doing some ice fishing may want to consider getting some in before March hits us. As a quick guide to help anyone planning on ice fishing the remainder of this winter, I have compiled a small list of the top Ohio lake communities to ice fish at to help you out.
Due to the lake’s general shallowness compared to other Lakes in Ohio, Buckeye Lake is a great place to ice fish at since it freezes quicker and holds that freeze longer compared to other lakes. Buckeye is well known for being a place to catch saugeye in the winter, a highly prized winter catch due to it’s high activity in the cold months. With the lake’s large size there is plenty of room for multiple ice fisherman during the season so you don’t have to worry about being crowded. Not to mention that Buckeye has a dozen or so local restaurants and gear shops nearby to warm up, get coffee or gear. It does get cold out there on the lake!
Similar to Buckeye Lake, Indian Lake is a shallow lake and so it is a popular destination for ice fisherman due to speed and consistency of the ice freezing over. It is generally one of the first areas open for ice fishing each year and with being 5,800 acres in size there are plenty of spots to target. The lake is well known for saugeye, crappie and some of the biggest sunfish in the state. As a public lake there are no shortages of places to warm up with a cup of warm brew or get some new gear when taking a break from that cold ice fishing!
Atwood Lake, a lake governed by the Muskingum Watershed District, happens to be a well kept secret for ice fisherman but is a prized location during the winter. There are fewer anglers due to it’s location and size but the lake is a saugeye fishery and is stocked annually with fingerlings, making it a great location for that number one catch in winter: the saugeye. The bad news is that due to depth and location the ice can be unpredictable at times so you should consider fishing with a partner or guide. Remember, No ice is safe!
Another MWCD lake, Piedmont is one of the most beautifully rustic lakes in the state and for that reason alone is a popular destination for ice fishing every year. The lake is surrounded by heavily wooded terrain but ice fisherman can access the lake through several points. Another saugeye fishery in Ohio, Piedmont offers anglers a healthy population of the winter trophy fish each and every winter. Potential fisherman will want to check the ice before going however, as lake depth and location can change the depth of the ice.
Last but not least, ice fishing is probably the most extreme at Ohio’s most well known and largest Lake. Fishing here is different than other lakes as weather conditions can be more severe and since ice fishing is best several miles away from shore, it can also be the most dangerous. Many anglers who go ice fishing will hire a guide or will get a few years of experience before going on their own. However, with all the risks involved anglers will have an easy time getting the daily limits with ease of crappie, walleye and yellow perch. Erie continues to be one of the most popular ice fishing lakes in the state.
Just remember, NO ICE IS SAFE ICE! I’ve said it a dozen times and I will continue to say it. Please be careful when going ice fishing anywhere and make sure to use basic ice fishing safety guides. Now that being said, I hope this list helps any first time ice anglers find a lake, and be careful and have fun!
Written by Justin Shelton Lakefront Consultant – The Lake Team