Featured Photo

Saugeyes caught by Bob PickleBob Pickle caught these beautiful saugeyes on December 1st at Indian Lake.

The Indian Lake Ohio Fishing Page

These crappies caught at Indian Lake by Lonnie Stayman.

Garret Ray caught this Saugeye ice fishing at Indian Lake.

Bob Vermillion - caught the crappie in his right hand and Travis Rowe the one in Bob's left hand.

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Algae blooms Report - The Indian Lake Development Corporation has been working to keep the lake clean for over 20 years now. It is an effort that has made the lake a showcase for the rest of the state. At the 2015 Dredge event a report on keeping phosphorous out of the lake is shown through studies of the microcystin levels in the lake water. The microcystin levels of Grand Lake this summer was 78 parts per billion, while the level in Indian Lake was .082 parts per billion. Health officials say contaminated water can start to pose a risk at 20 parts per billion. Thank a farmer for their efforts to keep phospherous out of the lake.

Anglers 16 years of age and older are required to have a valid fishing license to take fish, frogs or turtles from Ohio waters. An Ohio fishing license cos $19 a year for residents. Ohio residents born on or before December 31, 1937 can obtain a free fishing license at any license vendor. Residents age 66 and older who were born on or after January 1, 1938 are eligilable for $11, an amount that later can be applied toward the cost of an annual fishing license. Fishing licenses are available at bait and tackle stores, outdoor outfitters, major department stores, as well as on the Internet at wildohio.com.

2010-1011 - The crappie limit is 30 a day with a 9 inch minimum.

New in 2011. Point of sale fishing and hunting licenses.
The Division of Wildlife has entered into a contract with The Active Network, Inc. to build and implement a Web-based license sales and game check system. The new system will replace the existing hunting, fishing and trapping license/permit sales system on March 1, 2011. more...

4-13-10 - Ohio Wildlife Council passed a 15-inch minimum size limit on walleye, sauger and saugeye. This regulation is designed to improve the number and size of walleye, sauger and saugeye populations which means better fishing for Ohio’s anglers.
All rules go into effect on March 1, 2011.

Blackbird Basin (Lucy's Pond) More Fish Project

Upper Valley Joint Vocation School’s (UVJVS) Environmental Occupations Class is helping to improve fishing at Indian Lake’s Blackbird Basin (also known locally as Lucy’s Pond). more....

Fishing Events
Click here for Kids Fishing Derby Photos

Saugeye Stocking Report 2011 - Ohio Division of Wildlife
Our standard annual request for stocking of saugeye at Indian Lake is 100 fingerlings per acre. Fingerlings are fish that are about 1-2 inches long. Each year, a total of 503,660 fish are requested based on a lake size of 5,036 acres. In... some years, we have surplus and can stock more than the requested amount. During the past two years, we have encountered fish production shortfalls in our hatcheries that prevented us from completely meeting requests. As a result, stocking rates where lower at a few of our lakes during these years, such as Indian, and in a small subset of lakes we could not stock saugeye at all. We have revised our operating procedures to address these issues and adjustments will be made statewide to prevent this from happing again. That said, Indian Lake is a high priority stocking lake for saugeye and is scheduled for an allocation of 503,660 fish this spring.
Saugeye Stocking Report 2010 Indian Lake received 104,013 fingerlings on 5/19/10 and 127,516 on 5/20/10. Indian total was 231,529 saugeye

INDIAN LAKE - 265, 310 saugeyes stocked by ODNR in 2009.

ODNR/DOW 2008 stocking of IL ...595,083 saugeye fingerlings ODNR/DOW 2007 stocking of IL

688,807 Saugeye fingerlings on 5 different dates (May to June) year/2007 per Wildinfo_Fish

Ohio Fishing Licenses

Licenses can be purchased at:
State Park Office - State Route 235 N
Indian Lake Outfitters - State Route 366 S
Lakeview Hardware - State Route 33
Bud's Marine - County Road 38

License Fees

Resident Fishing License. .................................................. $19.00 For persons age 16 through 65 who have resided in Ohio for the past 6 months.

One-Day Fishing License ................................................... $ 11.00

The One-Day Fishing License may be exchanged for credit towards the purchase of an annual fishing license (minus writing fee).

Senior Fishing License
For persons age 66 and older born on or after January 1, 1938 who have resided in Ohio for the past 6 months.

Annual Nonresident License .............................................. $40.00

3-Day Nonresident Tourist's License .................................. $19.00

A reissued license may be obtained from any license vendor for a fishing license that has been lost, stolen, or destroyed. The cost is $3.00.


License Requirements
A fishing license is required to take fish, frogs, or turtles from Ohio waters. Persons fishing in privately owned ponds, lakes, or reservoirs to and from which fish do not migrate, are not required to have a license to take fish, but must have one to take frogs or turtles. Persons fishing in privately owned ponds, lakes, or reservoirs that are open to public fishing through an agreement or lease with the Division ofWildlife are required to have a fishing license. Anglers must have their license in their possession while fishing and must show the license to anyone on request.

The following Ohio residents are eligible for a free license:

Ohio residents born on or before December 31, 1937 can obtain a free license at any license outlet or online.

The following Ohio residents are also eligible for a free license, available by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE:

  • Persons who are mobility imparied and require the assistance of another person to cast and retrieve
  • Residents of state and county institutions
  • Holders of “Veteran” license plates displaying the international wheelchair symbol
  • Certain veterans who are permanently disabled
  • Former prisoners of war

License Exemptions

A fishing license is not required of persons who are:

Less than 16 years of age
Giving assistance to an angler who is physically disabled, provided the two persons together are using only one line
Fishing in a private pond
Fishing on land and water which they or their parents own
Fishing on land and water where they or their parents are tenants on which they reside and from which they derive the majority of their income from agricultural production on that land (except state owned lakes)
Members of the U.S.Armed Forces on annual leave or furlough.

Lets Talk Fishing!
Bass  Bluegill  Saugeye  Crappies

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Get the real scoop about fishing at Indian Lake

February 24, 2016 - Walleye
I've had some pretty incredible shallow water, and big fish bites at night. That can't be duplicated during the day. I think the larger Walleye got to be large by realizing the dangers during the daytime are greater than they are at night. Walleye can see fine at night, which makes for easy meals for Walleye at night. During the daytime, many of these fish have returned to deeper water and don't intend to be active again until the conditions turn the table to their advantage.

Walleye Central

March 1, 2016 - Night Bite
It is always better at night for size than in the day-time for the entire year - but you'll have to adapt your methods to the seasonal conditions/locations & create a new method/s for the 'chase after dark...

Just 'think active Eyes very shallow after dark (usually midnite to dawn is best) & you'll be on the path to nite-time sUMos

Also, eating bugs, stealth & a boat are a must for the nite-bite.

I'll see if I can find a old post of mine to add to the above info.

-for numbers the March/April >daytime< Slam-bite still rules, but are mostly ripe males doing the mess in the boat. The females like to move up to spawn after dark w/o much interest in food that time of year...


Trolling Tips
1. Change colors often. Once you find the right combo/bait style for the hour/day, then run on several and/or all rods out.
2. Target speed at 2.7-3.2 MPH. Adjust accordingly.
3. Make frequent turns and troll in lazy S’s and/or Z’s. Pay attention to inside and/or outside rod bite then adjust straight speed in # 2. Don’t be afraid to troll in complete and repetitive circles.
4. Pay attention to bite pattern vs your direction with wind. ( I like crossing wind at about 45 degrees and straight with wind ) Adjust as necessary to maintain # 2.
5. Use the correct bait/line out/line type to consistently “tick” the bottom.
6. Pay attention to depth. On IL, six inches in depth change is a lot. Those breaks will hold fish.
7. Early start closer to shore and work your way out as the daylight progresses.
8. Don’t be afraid to stray from the pack. Not all active eyes are in a 300 acre section of the lake.
9. Spring use slimmer profile baits, as we move towards summer use fatter baits.
10. Alter the angle of your rod holders and adjust to what seems to be working best related to # 5

10a. When switching to slightly deeper divers,angle your rod up to be able to get a few more yards released.Don't be afraid to point the rod straight vertical. Less snags as well as a good changeup for a slow bite. 11. When you nail a saugeye,waypoint it.Especially a double.Pound that spot and hit it from all directions. If you pull out several from 1 spot then the bite dies down,remember that waypoint!There's sometimes more at that spot. Hit it 30-60 minutes later can yield you a few more eyes. When the bite stops,it looks like the saugeye moved so most people move to other spots. Saugeye sit on the bottom.Give them a little time and they'll bite again at those hot waypoints. If you can locate 2 of those hot waypoints,you're into a nice mess of saugeye. 12. If you have room for an extra rod,run it down the propwash,rod tip straight vertical.Cranks won't dive as deep so you'll be able to go with a slightly deeper diver,same amount of yardage released, and give the saugeye a different presentation.Saugeye are drawn to propwash and that crank will do lots of crazy stuff in the propwash.. 13. Don't be afraid of too much boat/pleasurecraft traffic. Some of my largest saugeye have come out of their boat wakes.It actually draws them.

Tips for Saugeye
Indian Lake is well known for its huge bluegills, yellow perch and fair largemouth bass fishing. But the lake's main draw is its incredible saugeye fishery. Indian Lake, at 5,800 acres, has what many anglers would call the best saugeye fishing in all of Ohio. This opinion is hard to debate, since literally thousands of 'eyes are harvested from the lake every winter. Many of these fish reach weights approaching 10 pounds. Up to 500,000 saugeyes are stocked in the lake every year. Their fast growth and hardy nature, coupled with optimal lake features, make this place a virtual smorgasbord for saugeye fishermen. Many of Ohio's fishing clubs frequent the lake every season. The Western Ohio Walleye Club (WOWC) and the Western Reserve Walleye Association make forays to this lake every year. According to John Clark, president of the WOWC, the members of his organization love fishing Indian Lake. "This is probably the club's favorite lake, and often yields the best catches," he said. Indian Lake is 15 miles northwest of Bellefontaine and may be accessed off state routes 117, 235 and 366. Good areas to target are shallow embankments with woody structure, the mouth of the North Fork Great Miami River and the many channels or dredged areas. Areas where deep water meets shallow water are always good. Biologists recommend targeting the shallow edge of these drop offs, since that's where active fish will typically hold. Less active fish will be in the deeper water.


Cost per pound for fish fillets A couple yrs ago, I averaged out how much per saugeye. Of course, gas prices were half back then. Somewhere in the neighborhood of $2 per saugeye. It cost me around $15 for 5 hrs of saugeye trolling, truck gas and we averaged 7-8 keepers per trip. Half that $15 was for lost baits, LOL! Saugmon $15 dollars a pound? Get real. Don't forget to add in the cost for the boat, motor and trailer, boat insurance, equipment, fuel, mainentance, props, etc. When asked, I generally reply that my cost per pound of fish fillets is around $800. Of course, I am also a very bad fisherman. But hey. It's worth it. Therapy cost much more! Newcomer

Better Homes and Gardens
Great Fish Recipes provided by
Indian Lake's own!

Photo - Fish fry by Mike Ward. Hmmmm!

Message Board Rules: The Message Board is designed to let you share your fishing stories. Please do not embarrass yourself by using disrespectful language or topics. Disclaimer: World Wide Web Enterprises Inc. has no involvement in the discussion on this message board other than to monitor decency nor does it support or other wise credit the accuracy of any suggestions, comments, or recommendations given by participants.

Indian Lake Biggest Fish Caught

15-1/4 inch White Crappie - Longball

25" SAUGEYE - Dryrock

8lb 10oz saugeye (caught by my xwife) - Crappieking
16" crappie caught by a customer in the fall. did not check the length i'd say 30"-Crappieking

  33 inch blue cat
  27 inch saugeye
  14-1/2 crappie
  9 inch bluegil
I didn't weigh any of them - Jim Burkholder

25 " Saugeye last summer (2010). - Lee

24 1/2 inch Saugeye - Larry Winkleman
May 29, 2002 - Ray Wise - 7lb 5oz Gal I just brought in for a photo & to stock my channel. Click here for photo.

Send photos, recipes or tips to webmaster@indianlake.com Thanks Guys for contributing!

Raybob's IL shallow-water Saugeye size chart -

-Water-Skiier (under 12") you know you have one on when you see them on the surface behind the boat

-Smelt (12-14") a baby dink -a lil' dead weight on the line

-Dumb-Dink (14-17") -dead weight on the line w/some rod-bend

-Eater (17-20") -a Rod-shaker w/a lil' smarts

-Gal (20-26") -Mean-a$$ fighter

-sUMo (over 26") -Nasty-a$$ toothy critter

sUMo's -or- Bust!



Species Daily Limit Minimum Size
Yellow Perch 40 None
Crappie 30 9 inches
Largemouth, Smallmouth, and Spotted Bass 5 (singly or in combination) 12"
Walleye, Sauger, and Saugeye 6 (singly or in combination) 15 inches
Channel Catfish (under 28 inches) 6 (public lakes less than 700 acres)
None (all other public waters)
Channel Catfish (28 inches and larger) 1 (Statewide) --
Blue & Flathead Catfish (under 35 inches) None None
Blue & Flathead Catfish (35 inches and larger) 1 (of each Statewide) --
All other fish None None

Ohio Records

Bass, Largemouth- 13.13 pounds. 25 1/16" Farm Pond. Roy Landsberger, Kensington, on May 26, 1976.

Bass, White- 4 pounds. 21" Gravel pit. Ira Sizemore, Cincinnati, on July 1, 1983.

Bluegill- 3.28 pounds. 12 3/4" Salt Fork Reservoir. Willis D. Nicholes, Quaker City, on April 28, 1990.

Carp- 50 pounds. 40" Paint Creek. Judson Holton, Chillicothe, on May 24, 1967.

Catfish, Channel- 37.65 pounds. 41 1/2" LaDue Reservoir. Gus J Gronowski, Parma, on Aug. 15, 1992

Crappie, Black- 4.5 pounds. 18 1/8" Private Lake. Ronald Stone, Wooster, on May 24,1981.

Crappie, White- 3.90 pounds. 18 1/2" Private Pond. Kyle Rock, Zanesville, on April 25, 1995.

Saugeye Record -12.83 lbs.

Walleye- 16.19 pounds. 33" Lake Erie. Tom Haberman, Brunswick, on November 23, 1999
Information from the Ohio Division of Wildlife.

Fish Ohio Awards

Anglers who catch a big fish should enter their prize in the Fish Ohio angler recognition program. A fish qualifies for an award if it meets the minimum size requirement set for the Fish Ohio program. Applications are available from the ODNR Division of Wildlife and from many bait and tackle stores.

Qualifying lengths | application

Qualifying Fish and Minimum Lengths

BROWN TROUT . . . . . . . . . 25IN.
CARP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .... 26IN.
CHANNEL CATFISH . . . . .. 26IN.
CRAPPIE . . . . . . . . . . . . . .... 13IN.
HYB STRIPED BASS . . . . . ..21IN.
MUSKIE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..36IN.
NORTHERN PIKE . . . . . . . ..32IN.
RAINBOW TROUT . ........ . ..28IN.
ROCK BASS . . . . . . ......... . .10IN.
SAUGER . . . . . . . . . . . ..........16IN.
SAUGEYE . . . . . . . . . ........... 21IN.
SUNFISH . . . . . . . . . ......... . . .9IN.
WALLEYE . . . . . . . . . ........ ..28IN.
WHITE BASS . . . . . . . ........ .16IN.
YELLOW PERCH . . . . .........13IN.

Anglers will receive: (1) a certificate for each qualifying fish, (2)
a Fish Ohio pin for their first entry each year, (3) a Master Angler
award for qualifying entries in four different species categories.
1. Fish must be taken by legal angling and not from pay lakes.
2. Deadline for application is January 15.
3. Possible state record fish must be kept frozen for verification
by the Outdoor Writers of Ohio.

Fish Ohio Award Application

Note: The Fish Ohio Award Application Form is saved as a PDF and requires the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and print. Acrobat Reader is available as a free download from Adobe's web site at www.adobe.com


fishing    safety    old

Catfish Tips
Anglers use a variety of scented baits since a catfish’s sense of smell and taste is excellent. The most effective baits include cut shad, prepared blood bait, chicken livers, shrimp, and nightcrawlers. Keep tackle simple. When fishing on the bottom use a fixed or slip sinker and when fishing the surface or suspended, try either a slip or fixed float. Hook sizes range from size 4 to 6/0 depending upon the size of fish you are seeking and the size of bait that you are using. Having a strike indicator is a good idea for catching catfish. Catfish do not “hit and run” like other fish, instead moving very slowly away with baits.

Crappies are usually situated around structure including points, drop offs, creek beds, and cover such as brush piles, fallen trees and stumps. If crappies are in the area and the bite is slow, a change in jig color may increase the bite rate.

* Although saugeye are a cross between walleye and sauger, they often behave differently than walleye, so methods can vary. Saugeye are not likely to suspend off the bottom, unlike walleye, so present lures close to the bottom. * Consider water color when determining how deep to fish. In clear water fish deeper, and in darker or muddy water, fish shallower. It is not uncommon to catch saugeye in less than six to eight feet of water. It’s never too muddy for a saugeye, but in dark-water conditions, try black jigs and twister tails. * Checking good overhead cover in shallow lakes may be important, too. Saugeye have even been known to hide under brush or lily pads like bass. * From “ice-out” until water temperature reaches about 55-degrees, try a stop-go method when casting and retrieving crankbaits and don’t be surprised if saugeye inhale the lure on the pause.

# Keep moving fishing different areas and fishing different depths until you find a school of sunfish. Use a slip bobber to easily fish different depths and to consistently fish the same depth once the fish are located. # Fish near structure (cover). Sunfish like to hold near any type of structure including vegetation, submerged trees or brush, rock piles, and drop offs or old road beds. # Look for spawning beds in spring. # Fly fishing especially in evenings during mid summer is very effective.

Smallmouth bass use pools to rest and feed and will move to runs and riffles below pools when most actively feeding. When a bass strikes raise the tip of the pole to prevent the fish getting to cover. Cast past your target and retrieve bait to intended area.


  • Fish with a buddy! Wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket or float coat if you are on the ice. 3" of good quality ice is recommended for safe walking. Life vests provide excellent flotation. Carry a rope and a whistle or other noisemaker to alert people that you are in distress. Remember ice thicknesses vary. Beware of aerators near shore lines. Watch for geese gatherings because there is usually open water near.

Old Fishing Tips

"Remember, the best day to fish was yesterday. "Not doing much today but you should have been here yesterday...." Scooter

"If the winds out of the WEST fishing is the best! If the winds out of the EAST fishing the least! If the winds out of the SOUTH they open their mouth! If the winds out of the NORTH don't leave port!" Water Dude

"wind from the northeast, fish will no -more feast." Special Indian Lake addition to the conventional wisdom....Homebrew

"Fish shallow, fish swallow, Fish deep, in for defeat

Fishing Tips by Bill Dance (video)
It's a hoot!
New! Bill's Classic bloopers


Indian Lake Award Winners

Ty Hunt - March 21, 2009
Fish Ohio Award Winner for Saugeye at 22 inches and 5.25 pounds.
Caught it tightlining with minnows in the Old Field Channel.
Click here for photo.

May 2006 -Adam Stayman caught this 13.5 inch crappie for his third Fish Ohio Award in 2 years! Click here for photo.

March 27, 2004 - Indian Lake Record Bass caught by Barry Clayton. 24 3/4 inches long and had a 16 3/8 girth. The weight was 8lbs 5oz. The fish was released after measurements and pictures were taken. Click here for photo.

Lonnie Stayman Fish Ohio Award width=

Lonnie Stayman captured this fish Ohio award winner on Feb 11, 2003. A 9.5" Bluegill through the ice.

Lonnie Stayman - February 2003, 9.5 inch Bluegill. " Click here for photo

Mark Garmon and Lonnie Stayman from Forest, Ohio caught these 14" Fish Ohio Award winners on March 3, 2001. Click here for photo.

New in 2011. Point of sale fishing and hunting licenses. The Division of Wildlife has entered into a contract with The Active Network, Inc. to build and implement a Web-based license sales and game check system. The new system will replace the existing hunting, fishing and trapping license/permit sales system on March 1, 2011. Benefits of the new system License sales and game-check transactions would be performed in real time and available during holidays when many license sales outlets/check stations are closed. Faster and easier, more efficient, reduced waiting times for customers. Will save hunters and anglers on fuel costs, time, and frustrations with closed license sales outlets/check stations, which equates to more time in the field. Helps to ensure customers are properly licensed. The system will not sell to those under license suspension or other restrictions. Would allow biologists and law enforcement to electronically gather data to manage wildlife and enforce Ohio’s hunting regulations.

Blackbird Basin (Lucy's Pond) More Fish Project Upper Valley Joint Vocation School’s (UVJVS) Environmental Occupations Class is helping to improve fishing at Indian Lake’s Blackbird Basin (also known locally as Lucy’s Pond). The Blackbird Basin More Fish Project is a large scale conservation partnering project between the Ohio Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (B.A.S.S.) Federation Nation (OBFN), UVJVS, Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Parks and Recreation, and ODNR Division of Wildlife.  Blackbird Basin is a protected 23-acre bay on the west shoreline that provides critical habitat for bass, crappie, sunfish, catfish and other wildlife. The effort is part of the second and final phase of the project to preserve and improve this crucial habitat. The first phase was completed in 2009 when over 3,000 feet of riprap rock was placed to prevent erosion along the basin’s shoreline that borders the open waters of Indian Lake. The Environmental Occupations Class has been learning about bass populations, life history, spawning and habitat requirements for the past two years in order to restore fish habitat in Blackbird Basin. Their research culminated in the hands-on construction of Spawning, Attraction, and Fry Enhancement Structures (SAFES) that combine nesting and fish attracting habitat. The structures can be used by bass and other gamefish for spawning in the spring and as cover the rest of the year. The class will finish their conservation assignment by placing the SAFES in Blackbird Basin on September 10. “With UVJVS involved in enhancing the bay’s habitat, the project is providing hands-on education to youth that represent our conservation future,” said Rich Carter, Fish Management Supervisor for the Division of Wildlife District 1. “The bass anglers of the OBFN have given something back to the resource with the Blackbird Basin More Fish Project. They helped save and restore the basin, and in doing so have preserved this precious fish and wildlife resource for future generations to enjoy”. The OBFN received a $57,000 More Fish Partnership Fund grant from the national B.A.S.S. Federation Nation and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to complete both phases of the project. The grant money was donated to the ONDR Divisions of Wildlife and Parks & Recreation who are providing matching dollars and/or labor to complete the project. The donation is the largest ever given by an angling group to the ODNR.  Written by: ODNR Division of Wildlife 9/3/2010

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