*Attached video: Cleveland Metroparks hosts Children’s Fishing Derby*

(WJW) – Summer is just around the corner and you know what that means — the days are getting longer, the temperatures are staying warmer and fishing is in full swing across Ohio.

According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife, the state has 124,000 acres of inland water, 7,000 miles of streams, 2.25 million acres of Lake Erie water and 481 miles of the Ohio River for anglers to choose from.

Many great fishing spots are located right here in Northeast Ohio.

Before you head out… get a license!

Before heading out to make the big catch, you’ll first need an Ohio fishing license, which can be purchased here.

Anglers 16 and older must have an Ohio fishing license to fish from public Ohio waters.

Ohio residents have the following options:

  • Resident 1-Day License: $14.00
  • Resident 1-Year Upgraded from a 1-Day License: $12.00
  • Resident 1-Year License: $25.00
  • Resident 3-Year License: $72.11
  • Resident 5-Year License: $120.18
  • Resident 10-Year License: $240.36
  • Resident Lifetime License: $599.04
  • Resident 1-Year Senior License….$10.00
  • Resident 3-Year Senior License….$27.04
  • Resident 5-Year Senior License….$45.07
  • Resident Lifetime Senior License….$84.24

Nonresidents have the following options:

  • Nonresident 1-Day License: $14.00
  • Nonresident 1-Year License Upgraded from a 1-Day: $37.44
  • Nonresident 3-Day License: $25.00
  • Nonresident 1-Year License: $50.96

An annual license is valid for 365 days from the date of purchase, while multiyear and lifetime licenses are valid from the day of purchase until the expiration date written on the license.

Multiyear and lifetime licenses are only available for Ohio residents.

The state also offers free fishing days on June 17 and 18, allowing Ohio residents to fish without a license. All size and bag limits still apply.

Find a full list of license requirements and exemptions here.

What fishing spots should you try this season?

ODNR offers an interactive map of fishing spots across the state. You can find it right here.

But if are aren’t sure where to start, ODNR recommends these fishing spots in Southwest Ohio this spring and summer:

Clarence J. Brown Reservoir at Buck Creek State Park (Clark County)

With a surface spanning nearly 2,000 acres and more than 14 miles of shoreline, the Clarence J. Brown Reservoir gives you plenty of room to stretch out. The reservoir’s main piscine claim to fame is its walleye, with a single fish exceeding 10 pounds possible. ODNR says the C.J. also has good populations of largemouth and smallmouth bass. While not as numerous, crappie, bluegill, longear and green sunfish can also be found. A recent addition to the stocking list are muskellunge.

Caesar Creek Lake Wildlife Area (Clinton, Greene and Warren counties)

Operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a flood control reservoir, Caesar Creek Lake offers largemouth and smallmouth bass, bluegill, carp, catfish, crappies, suckers, sunfish and walleye.

Spring Valley Wildlife Area (Warren and Greene counties)

The 80-acre Spring Valley Lake has provided enjoyment for nearly 70 years. ODNR says anglers can look forward to largemouth bass, bluegill, black bullhead and carp.

Sycamore State Park (Montgomery County)

Dayton anglers don’t have to go far to catch some largemouth bass, bluegill and catfish in the Sycamore State Park’s ponds. There is also a pond specifically designated for kids to try their hands at fishing.

John Bryan State Park (Greene County)

Enough with these “standing bodies of water.” It’s time to tackle some streams at the John Bryan State Park. Specifically, the Little Miami River. You can find smallmouth bass, rock bass and panfish in the running water. Note: While the park is adjacent to the Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve, you can’t fish there.

Acton Lake at Hueston Woods State Park (Preble and Butler counties)

Covering nearly 600 acres, Acton Lake features a strong population of largemouth bass measuring up to 22 inches. The lake’s saugeye can grow to nearly 2 feet, its crappie to 11 inches and its bluegill to 8 inches.

You can learn more about fishing in Ohio on the ODNR website.