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July
28

Photo courtesy of Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District

Imagine a perfect day on the lake - a gentle breeze blows as the waves playfully crash against the side of the boat. The sun beats down on the water, which sprays up in drops of crystal as you whiz by. Or perhaps you'd rather be sitting in a canoe, watching the water, a fishing pole in hand. Either way, the perfect summer day is easier to come by than you think! North central Ohio's abundant freshwater supply means a lake or river may not be far away.

Note: This blog post discusses places to fish, water ski and operate jet skis and motor boats. For information on kayaking and canoeing in north central Ohio, click here.

 

Photo courtesy of Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District

1. Pleasant Hill, Perrysville

With 850 acres of water surface and no horsepower limit, Pleasant Hill is a no-brainer for boating, fishing, water-skiing and jet-skiing enthusiasts. Fish species include largemouth and smallmouth bass, bluegill, crappie, yellow perch and more. A valid Ohio fishing license is required to fish at Pleasant Hill.

Pleasant Hill Marina offers seasonal docking as well as a public launch ramp. The full-service marina also rents fishing, pontoon and cruise boats as well as waverunners, jet skis, kayaks and paddleboards. Multi-day and season passes are available for some boats.

 

Photo courtesy of Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District

2. Charles Mill, Loudonville

Charles Mill is located just 6 miles east of Mansfield and is easily accessible via US 30 and I-71. It has a surface area of 1350 acres and a maximum depth of 24 feet. The 10 horsepower limit ensures a more relaxed atmosphere ideal for exploring in a kayak or on a paddle board. Pontoon, fishing and house boats are also popular on the lake. You can rent boats in the full-service marina or launch your own from the public ramp off St. Rt. 430.

The lake is home to channel catfish, flatheads, batfish bullheads, white bass, largemouth bass, hybrid striped bass, crappies, bluegills and saugeye. State licenses are required for boating, fishing and hunting.

Charles Mill also has a swimming beach, a nature trail and a full-service campground.

 

Photo courtesy of Destination Mansfield Richland County.

3. Reservoir No. 3, Shelby

Shelby Reservoir 3 has a concrete boat ramp open to boats of any size. Rowboats, canoes paddle boats and electric-motor watercraft are welcome. Boats with gasoline motors are prohibited.

Bluegill, yellow perch, walleye, channel catfish and rainbow trout live in the stocked reservoir. Controlled fishing is allowed between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.

 Photo courtesy of Destination Mansfield Richland County.

4. Clear Fork Reservoir, Mansfield

The Clear Fork Reservoir contains 997 surface acres of water and 14 miles of shoreline. The public launch ramp on the south side is free to use. The speed limit is 8 mph and while there is no horsepower limit, a no wake policy is enforced. Boat rentals are available at the marina.

Fishing from boats is allowed, provided boats stay at least 500 feet from the dam. Shore fishing is also allowed on the south and west shores. Fish in the Clear Fork Reservoir include largemouth bass, black crappie, bluegill, white bass and more!

The Clear Fork Reservoir also offers hiking trails and picnic areas.

5. Mohican and Clear Fork Rivers, Loudonville and Bellville

Ready for some fly fishing? If you're angling for some brown trout, you may get lucky in the Clear Fork and Mohican rivers, which are stocked annually. Much of the Clear Fork runs through private property, but the stretch the runs along Gatton Rock Road is a popular spot for fishing. According to Mohican Fly Fishers of Ohio, the best place to fish in the Mohican is in the park, between the Pleasant Hill dam and State Route 3.

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