Here’s how to score the big one in Lake County

Family Fishing Frenzy Father And Daughter With Catfish 300 Dpi
Some ponds in Lake County are fishable without a license. Rainbow trout, largemouth bass, challen catfish and blue gill have been stocked and are ready for the big catch.

By Mimi Vanderhaven

Along Lake County’s bountiful ponds, streams, piers and lakes, it’s time to hear the excited alert that summer fishing season is officially open.

While late winter and early spring saw anglers’ nets filled with steelhead, Lake Metroparks Natural Resources Manager Tom Koritansky reports the stocking program for summer fishing has already begun, with rainbow trout, largemouth bass, channel catfish and blue gill being introduced to our waters.

“Some ponds are stocked once a year and others twice a year,” he reports.

You do not need a State of Ohio fishing license to fish in the following ponds: Blair Ridge Park, Chapin Forest Reservation, Concord Woods Nature Park, Girdled Road Reservation, Hidden Lake, Hidden Valley Park, Penitentiary Glen Reservation and River Road Park. However, you do need a fishing license to fish at Veterans Park, as well as all rivers and tributaries of Lake Erie, and along the lakeshore.

To help maintain the delicate fish populations, Lake Metroparks encourages catch and release.

Want to know where they’re biting? Before you head out, check out the helpful Fishing Report at

There are also plenty of programs for children to learn about fishing. The Go Fish! program runs Wednesdays, June 12, 26, and July 24; Tuesday, July 30; and Thursday, August 15, from 6 to 7 p.m., at Hidden Lake in Painesville. Bait and poles are provided and junior anglers ages 4-12 are taught all the basics needed to land a largemouth bass or bluegill.

Also at Hidden Lake, the Family Fishing Frenzy promises an evening of fun Saturday, June 22, from 5-7 p.m. Fams can bring their own poles or borrow from the Metroparks.

And don’t miss Bass Class 101 on Thursday, June 13, from 6-7 p.m., at Blair Ridge Park in Leroy Township. Targeted to kids ages 8 to 16, who have already fished and have their own poles, the class touches on topics like bass habitats and the best artificial baits to use to snare a big one.

With the mission of conserving and preserving the natural resources of Lake County, Lake Metroparks provides more than 3.3 million visitors each year with educational and recreational programs and activities. For anglers, access to waterways has been made possible through construction of trails, parking areas, canoe landings and decks. For more information, visit or call 440-358-7275.