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Pleasant Hill Lake

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Pleasant Hill Lake is a Reservoir in Ashland, Ohio.

Have you fished Pleasant Hill Lake? Help your fellow anglers out by giving a fishing report, some fishing tips or general information about Pleasant Hill Lake.

Do you have a question about Pleasant Hill Lake, ask it here.

The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) owns Pleasant Hill Reservoir. The reservoir was constructed in 1938 by damming the Clear Fork Branch of the Mohican River. The reservoir was originally constructed primarily for flood control in the Muskingum River watershed. Today, recreation is one of the biggest public benefits. The ODNR Division of Wildlife manages the reservoir under agreement to provide public fishing and hunting.

Fishing Description: 

Pleasant Hill Reservoir has populations of bluegill, black and white crappie, rock bass, saugeye, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, white bass, brown bullhead, black bullhead, and channel catfish. Occasionally, muskellunge that travel down to Pleasant Hill from Clear Fork Reservoir are caught. Gizzard shad is the main forage species.

Fishing Cover / Structure: 

The Clear Fork River empties into the western end of the reservoir. This western end of the lake is shallow with most of the area under less than 10 feet of water. The middle section of the lake gradually slopes to a depth of 20 feet. At that point the lake makes a sharp bend to the south, and the basin changes to a steep-sided, deep, gorge-shape with a maximum depth of 35 feet.

The portion of the lake that runs from west to east is shallower and warmer. The bottom of that part of the lake is composed of mud (clay and silt), except along the shorelines where wave action has exposed sand and small gravel. The lower portion of the reservoir, running north to the south, is deeper, slightly cooler, and has larger boulders along the shoreline. Vegetation is confined to the shoreline of the western end of the impoundment, and is controlled by water clarity. The transparency of the water varies from about 6 inches in the springtime to 4 feet later in the season, when the sediment has settled.

Fishing Tips, Tactics, How-To info: 

Popular spots for angling are along the rocky ledge on the southern shore near the bend in the impoundment, and the small coves along the southern neck of the reservoir. Bass, bluegill, crappie, and saugeye are caught in these areas.

Panfish angling is generally done towards the western end along the gradually sloping southern shore during the springtime and towards the eastern end during the summer. Most anglers use conventional methods fishing live bait under a bobber.

Largemouth bass and smallmouth bass may be caught with live baits such as worms, soft crayfish, and minnows. Trolling with jointed deep-running lures near the rock ledge area or in the bay west of the camping area can be an effective way of catching bass. Stump casting for bass can be effective using deep running lures or plastic worms on the lower end of the reservoir, or plastic worms and shallower running lures on the upper end of the lake. Fishing top water lures after dark during the summer can be very effective in catching bass. Smallmouth bass are usually caught in the deeper, lower end of the reservoir and more largemouth bass are caught in the shallower upper end of the lake.

When fishing for saugeye, try trolling a jointed 2 1/2-inch, 1/4-ounce, lure about 10 to 15 feet deep. To get your lure to that depth you may need to attach a weight followed by a 6-foot leader with your lure attached to the end of the leader. Saugeye fishing is also good just off the beach area in 10 to 15 feet of water. Try fishing that area at night with a jig tipped with a live minnow fished near the bottom.

White bass make a spawning run up the Clear Fork River in the spring and they can provide a lot of action and good eating. Most white bass are caught on live minnows or small jigs tipped with twister tails or tube baits.

Bullheads and channel catfish are usually fished for by tight-lining with worms or other baits. When fishing tight-lined, a weight with a single hook is cast out. The weight lies on the bottom of the lake with the line pulled taut to the reel, on a rod resting in the fork of a twig set upright in the earth. The clicker on the reel is set to give notice of a strike. Carp may be taken with worms or doughball bait on a "tight line."

Facilities and Parks: 

The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy operates and maintains the recreational facilities located on the north side of the reservoir. A beach, vacation cottages, marina, campground, parking area, picnic area, and sanitary facilities.

The Mohican State Park is located on the southern shore of the reservoir and provides numerous recreational opportunities on and around the Pleasant Hill Reservoir. Mohican State Park operates a lodge overlooking the southern shore in the bend of the reservoir. There is both primitive and improved camping in the state park, south of the reservoir, on the Clear Fork River. The reservoir is also open to waterfowl hunting during the fall.


Pleasant Hill Lake Park
3431 State Route 95
Perrysville, OH 44864
Phone: (419) 938-7884

Camping facilities include:

380 campsites (class A full hookups and with electric)
37 primitive campsites designed for campers with horses
Group camping
Swimming beach
Vacation cabins, camper cabins

Mohican State Park
3116 State Route 3
Loudonville, Ohio 44842
(419) 994-5125 Park Office
(419) 994-4290 Camping Information

Camping facilities include:

118 electric sites
33 full hook-up sites
35 non-electric sites
Showers, flush toilets, dump station and a camp commissary
Registered campers may use the pool located in the campground
Campground offers many recreational activities such as volleyball and basketball courts, and horseshoe pits
Commissary loans games and sporting equipment to registered campers
The group camp can accommodate organized groups of up to 100 people available by reservation

Getaway Rentals

2 camper cabins are available from May through October
Each comes equipped with bunk and double beds, a mini refrigerator and fan
Registered guests may use the pool located in the campground


96 air-conditioned rooms, each with a private balcony and color television
Private meeting and banquet rooms for groups up to 425
Restaurant and lounge
Gift shop
Lodge guests may use the Olympic-size indoor and outdoor pools and sauna

Boat Ramp: 

Boat ramp are located on the northern shore of the reservoir. The marina has a concession stand and gasoline dock.

Pleasant Hill Marina
Phone: (419) 938-6488


Mohican is home to numerous mammals including raccoon, white-tail deer, skunk, opossum and red fox • Reptiles such as the box turtle, black rat snake and the poisonous copperhead are present in the area • Dusky salamanders, American toads and the gray tree frog are samples of local amphibians • The wild turkey has made a tremendous comeback in Ohio after being totally extirpated at one time • Significant numbers of this magnificent bird can be found in the surrounding forest • Bald eagles are occasionally sighted in the area

Of particular interest is the abundance of nesting warblers in the Clear Fork Gorge • More than fifteen species including Northern Parula, Hooded, Cerulean and American Redstart nest here during spring and summer


6 hiking trails

Lyons Fall Trail • 2 Miles • Easy • follows Clear Fork Gorge and features two waterfalls
Songbird Trail • 1 Mile
Grist Mill Trail • 1 Mile
North Rim Trail • 1 Mile
Hemlock Gorge Trail • 2 Mile • Difficult • Leads to the scenic wooden bridge
Pleasant Hill Trail • 3/4 Mile • Easy • Follows the lake shoreline and offers beautiful views of the lake


Wildlife District Two
952 Lima Ave.
Findlay, Ohio 45840
Telephone 419/424-5000

Directions to Lake: 

Pleasant Hill Reservoir is located on the Richland-Ashland County line, approximately 2 miles southwest of Perrysville. The boat ramp and marina are on Covert Road off State Route 95. The marina is north of the Mohican State Park.

Pleasant Hill Lake
Waterbody type: 
United States
Standard elevation: