Fish for free on Father’s Day weekend


You’re not going be taken hook, line and sinker with this free offer from the state of Ohio.

It is for real.

Mark your calendars for some free fishing coming up on Father’s Day weekend. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), the free fishing weekend this year is Saturday, June 18 and Sunday, June 19. Father’s Day is June 19.

It’s not every day that you run across something that is really free in this world. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR ) invites all Ohio residents to experience the fantastic public fishing opportunities in our state without purchasing a license. All size and bag limits apply during these two days.

Ohio Free Fishing Days are open to all Ohioans and extend to all of Ohio’s public waters, so why not find a watering hole and cast a line on the cheap this year?

Have dad dig up his old fishing gear in the garage and take him out fishing on Father’s day weekend this year. Better yet, surprise him with a brand new fishing pole or some new fishing gear and you’ll make his Father’s Day, even if he doesn’t catch any fish. But, don’t worry, in all likelihood plenty of fish will be caught on Father’s Day weekend all throughout the state, because ODNR stocks its public waters with millions of fish every year.

In fact, ODNR’s Division of Wildlife stocked more that 40 million sport fish in Ohio’s waters last year, including channel catfish, walleye, steelhead, saugeye, muskellunge, brown trout, rainbow trout, blue catfish, and hybrid striped bass. That should certainly increase your odds of landing that big one.

There really are a lot of fish to catch out there.

Find a nearby public river, stream, pond or lake and drop a line for the catch of the day. Or, try your hand at the big pond up north just 3 hours away, also known as Lake Erie.

Lake Erie is known as the walleye fishing capital of the world. Nearly 55% of fishing license holders fish Lake Erie annually, according to the Lake Erie Foundation.

The American Sport Fishing Association estimates that sport fishing expenditures at Lake Erie top $1 billion annually. There are many charter fishing outfitters on Lake Erie if you don’t have a boat and there are many piers to fish off of also, Ohio is known for its world-class fishing, so this is your chance to get in on the action for free.

Nearby public waters to drop a line:

Fishing tips for Kiser Lake

Kiser Lake is known for largemouth bass, pumpkinseed sunfish, bluegill, channel catfish and crappie. The lake is also known for carp, yellow perch and bullheads. Channel catfish are stocked every other year by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Fish and Wildlife Division.

Kiser Lake covers 396 acres of fishing waters and 5 miles of shoreline.

Try using nightcrawlers, red worms or wax worms in vegetation areas for bluegill and sunfish. Use minnows for crappie in those same areas.

Fish chicken livers on the bottom for both channel cat and stripers.

Indian Lake fishing

Indian Lake is well known for its huge bluegills. yellow perch and pretty decent largemouth bass fishing. But its main draw is the saugeye fishing. It’s incredible and probably the best in all of Ohio.

Additional nearby public fishing waters

Check out these other area public fishing waters: Melvin Miller Park in Urbana (2-acre fishing pond), Big Garbry Woods (no license required every day of year), Grand Lake St Marys, C.J. Brown Reservoir, Great Miami River, Mad River, Lake Loramie, Clark Lake, Buck Creek, Alum Creek Reservoir, Delaware Lake, Stillwater River, Darby Creek, Little Miami River, Caesar Creek Lake, Madison Lake and Deer Creek Lake.

Fishing like the pros at Buck Creek State Park on a sunny spring day. like the pros at Buck Creek State Park on a sunny spring day. Photo by Ron Brohm

By Ron Brohm

Contributing writer

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