Fishing on the Hoosier

fishing opportunities


Welcome to the Hoosier National Forest fishing web site, the Hoosier National Forest in beautiful southern Indiana offers some of the best fishing locations in the state. The warm climate of southern Indiana provides anglers with several more quality fishing days relative to the northern parts of the state. Numerous lakes, ponds, and streams on the forest provide anglers with the opportunity to pursue largemouth bass, bluegill, channel catfish, redear sunfish and other sport fish.

The state of Indiana manages and regulates the fish populations within the Hoosier National Forest. Fishing within the forest requires a current state of Indiana fishing permit. Contact the Indiana Department of Natural Resources for additional information regarding fishing rules and regulations on the Hoosier National Forest. Thank you for your interest in the Hoosier National Forest. Good luck and good fishing, don't let the big one get away!

Len Kring
Hoosier National Forest Fish Biologist

Although the Hoosier National Forest manages fishing habitats on the Forest such as ponds and lakes; the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Fish and Wildlife regulates and manages sport fishing throughout the state. Everyone who fishes must have a fishing permit or qualify for an exemption. Users must be aware of State fishing rules and regulations. Please refer to the Indiana DNR webpage link below for specifics on any of these subjects.

Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Fish and Wildlife

Fishing on the Hoosier

U.S.D.A. Forest Service National Fishing Page

Fishing Derbies


Accessible fishing locations

teaching kids to cast




Fishable Ponds, Lakes, and Rivers

Several water resources on the Hoosier National Forest are managed to provide you with opportunities to fish for largemouth bass and panfish (smaller fish such as bluegill or sunfish). A long-term stocking program in some waters has been established to provide channel catfish and saugeye as well.

Fishable waters range in size from 1 to 10,000 acres and are scattered throughout the Forest. These may include former farm ponds, wildlife watering holes, or limestone quarry ponds. Some have easy, drive-in access and others are accessed by walk-in trails. Forest maps will help you locate these ponds and lakes. Included here are some of the more popular fishing holes:

  • Lake Monroe (10,750 acres) with a launch ramp for boats at Hardin Ridge Recreation Area, as well as several miles of lakeshore fishing is an excellent fishing resource. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources also manages several boat ramps on the lake.
  • Tipsaw Lake (131 acres), offers boat access as well as camping, picnicking, swimming, and hiking. An excellent destination for a weekend of family fun.
  • Celina Lake (164 acres), Indian Lake (152 acres), are two adjacent lakes with a variety of facilities including boat ramps, picnic and camping areas, trails, and an historic building.
  • Springs Valley Lake (140 acres), has a boat ramp for launching small fishing craft.
  • Saddle Lake (41 acres) provides superb fishing either from a boat or along the bank.
  • Sundance Lake (5 acres) is another scenic lake which provides for good family fishing.
  • River access is provided at Mano Point on the Ohio River.

fishing spot  Rivers on the Forest are Lost River and Little Blue. Although neither of these rivers have boat access points, each provides many miles of good fishing opportunities. When accessing these waters, be aware that private land is intermingled with national forest land and be careful not to stray from public land.

Ice fisherman at Indian LakeFishing on the Hoosier can be a year round activity. If you choose to ice fish, please use caution to ensure your safety!

handicapped Fully accessible fishing piers are available at at Sundance Lake, Celina Lake, and Hardin Ridge. These provide anglers with disabilities a barrier-free opportunity to fish.   sundance_lake