Fishing Tips & Fish Ohio Program

OhioFishGuideDo you know your Ohio fish? The Ohio Division of Natural Resources division of Wildlife provides some great resources about the most commonly fished for species and also offers recognition for those who catch fish that exceed average size with the Fish Ohio program. This program is also a great way to recognize your child’s first big catch!

Here is a general list of commonly fished for and caught species in Ohio waters and tips on how to catch them provided by the ODNR division of Wildlife! This is a general guide, for example there are more than one species of sunfish, catfish and crappie. Here is a more complete Ohio Fish Identification Guide (PDF) and it even includes fishing, filleting, and knotting suggestions.

The Fish Ohio Program can give anyone a sense of pride in a great catch! This program provides recognition and a pin for a qualifying catch. Each year, the pin has a different fish (and not necessarily the species you catch). If you are able to get at least four qualifying catches within a year, you may also qualify for a Master Anglers pin, which is the same fish pin for the year, but it is gold in color.  If you think you caught a real whopper, and want future proof of this catch instead of just a great fishing story, you can apply for a Grand Slam submission. To start the submission process, you will first need to make a Fish Ohio Account. We highly recommend taking a picture of your fish being measured, as well as with the person who caught it!

Want to honor your child’s first catch or first “big” catch at Punderson State Park even though it may not be a “Fish Ohio” qualifier? Feel free to contact us with a picture of the catch, the angler who caught it, it’s size, permission to use the pictures and information on our website and/or Facebook Page, the person honoring the angler (or making the submission) and we will make sure they get recognized!

Qualifying Fish Ohio Sizes:


  • Blue Catfish: 35 inches
  • Brown Trout: 25 inches
  • Carp: 26 inches
  • Channel Catfish: 26 inches
  • Crappie: 13 inches
  • Flathead Catfish: 35 inches
  • Freshwater Drum: 22 inches
  • Hybrid Striped Bass: 21 inches
  • Largemouth Bass: 21 inches
  • Muskellunge: 36 inches
  • Northern Pike: 32 inches
  • Rainbow Trout: 28 inches
  • Rock Bass: 10 inches
  • Sauger: 16 inches
  • Saugeye: 21 inches
  • Smallmouth Bass: 20 inches
  • Sunfish: 9 inches
  • Walleye: 28 inches
  • White Bass: 16 inches
  • Yellow Perch: 13 inches

Below is the information you need to make your submission: