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Fishing & Recreation

Each and every river in NE Indiana provides the outdoors sports person with varied opportunities to fish and catch several species of fish in varying ecosystems.
Fishing the NE Indiana Waterways (Pigeon, Fawn, Wabash, Mississinewa, Eel and Elkhart Rivers)

"Each and every river and the supporting systems that they surround and flow in and out of provide the outdoors sportsperson with varied opportunities to fish and catch several species of fish in varying ecosystems.  The Pigeon river has approximately 17 miles of free flowing river and over 500 acres of impoundments and lakes connected to the entire system.  In the lakes you will find several species of fish from the very top of the food chain NorthernPike, Larger and Smallmouth Bass, Catfish and several species of panfish including; Crappie, Bluegill, Redear Sunfish and Yellow Perch. 

The state of Indiana also stocks the highly sought after Rainbow Trout and you can find everything you need to know about the states stocking program here.

When fishing for Rainbow Trout in the streams we like to use various baits that target each section of the river.  For the fast moving main waters small Rapalas and mini crank baits in bright colors are best.  You could also try your hand at Fly Fishing for those who seek the challenge of making a Trout rise to the surface for various dry flies, streamers and wet nymphs.  As always the old standby Grandpa taught me tends to land a few each time, bobber and sinker with a tasty red wiggler hanging below floating down the main channel.

Note: Indiana has a Open Season for Trout in streams that goes from Open season for streams that runs from the Last Saturday in April after 6:00AM Local Time through December 31st.

Fishing the Fort Wayne Rivers (St. Joseph, Maumee and St. Marys Rivers) 

When fishing the three rivers of Fort Wayne you will need to take into account the current, the weather and your target fish.  Target fish that most people seek out on the rivers are Walleye and Smallmouth Bass which can be found in all three rivers but you will find the best concentrations of Walleye below the Hosey Dam just below Anthony Blvd. Smallmouth Bass can be found along the shorelines of the St. Joseph river as far north as Leo-Cedarville and all the way downstream to the confluence of the three rivers.  

Other popular game fish in the river system are Black and White Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Flat Head and Channel Catfish, various panfish including Bluegills, Sunfish.  You will also find other species that live in the river like; common carp, Spotted Gar and Fresh Water Drum.  

There are also some awesome predator fish which live at the top of the food chain and can provide an exhilarating fight if you hook into them; Northern Pike and Muskie can grow to lengths over 40 inches and have been regularly caught in both the St. joe and Maumee rivers.

All of these fish actively feed on something in the rivers food chain and with that knowledge we use a variety of baits to lure and catch them. Most popular baits used are; 

Shallow water crank baits in bold colors like red, yellow and chartreuse green with bold black lines seem to attract Large and Smallmouth Bass and can provide some of the most aggressive bites when knocking the lure off the bottom or bouncing them of the rocks.

Spinner baits and various jig style baits that go a little deeper can be very effective for Walleye and Pike.

Of course there is always the option to use live worms and minnows but we seem to find that artificial baits provide a fun challenge for a great day of fishing”  - Joe Armstrong, Fort Wayne Outfitters Hobie Fishing Team Member.

Fish Consumption Advisory

The rivers, creeks, and streams in NE Indiana are teeming with high quality fish, which are a great source of protein and Omega-3 fatty acids essential for growth and brain development.  However, fish can accumulate toxins such as Mercury and Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) in their tissue from the water they live in and the food they consume.  These toxins can be harmful to humans who eat fish regularly.  The Indiana Department of Health, Department of Environmental Management, and Department of Natural Resources work together to produce the Fish Consumption Advisory which provide a guideline to follow for the people to follow when consuming fish.  Click here to check out the most up-to-date Fish Consumption Advisory.

Links to even more fishing information in Indiana.

IN Department of Natural Resources (Fishing Guide)


Indiana Free Fishing Days


Indiana Interactive Lake Depth Maps


Indiana Make fishing fun (Take a Kid Fishing)