Local anglers have long known that Wingfoot Lake State Park is a largely overlooked gem for largemouth bass and panfish. In fact the smallish ( 444 acres ) impoundment is consistently ranked in the state's top ten bass fisheries in Ohio by the Division of Wildlife. Though not favored with a particularly expansive number of different species, the lake harbors standout populations of largemouth bass, crappie, and bluegill, and also notable numbers of catfish, walleye, and yellow perch. Though not a particularly deep lake -maximum depth is 10-15' - the lake features ample shore fishing areas, two quality boat ramps, several islands, and a variety of shoreline cover and varying bottom structure. the horsepower limit is 10 and kayak and paddleboat rentals are available.
Wingfoot Lake was originally constructed under the auspices of the famed Goodyear Tire Company in 1916 and was originally constructed as a means of supplying a reliable supply of water to nearby Goodyear Mfg. From it's inception originated the legendary Goodyear Hunting & Fishing Club, arguably the largest and most influential outdoors organization in the country. Fifteen years ago the lake and adjacent park area were taken over by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Parks and the aforementioned DOW, which still maintain ownership and management. The park and office phone number is 330-628-4720, and is well worthy of a visit just to meet the friendly and helpful staff and peruse the ample supply of free outdoors-oriented books and other literature.
Now the Headquarters for DOW's District #3, the increasingly popular park continues to add amenities keyed to the entire family and age ranges. Six shelters of varying sizes are available, and weddings there are quite popular. Park Manager Mike Studeny conveys that over 3000 boat registrations were handled there just last year. Among just the latest items Wingfoot has to offer include :
- a New Nature Center with displays, live animals, and interactive throughout
-Naturalist guided programming (kayaking, fishing, birding, archery) year-round
-coming soon will be a self-guided Braille Trail, dedicated to the visually impaired and blind guests to experience area wildlife, area history, and the lake itself through enhanced braille panels on a loop trail
-the park attendance is significantly up over the last several seasons, pushing the annual total to over 300,000 yearly guests
- continued improvements to facilities and infrastructure , including updating the mini golf course with new wood and paint throughout, and
- Wingfoot's popular " Fall Fest " on 10/28/22 , from 6-9 p.m., with games , food, and spooks !
Feel free to follow the park's news and latest events on Facebook.
photos courtesy Taylor Orvosh, Adina Findlay, Buckeye Angler Mutimedia
Jack Kiser is host of " Buckeye Angler ", as well as the long time Outdoors Columnist for the Record-Courier and " Midwest Outdoors " magazine, and TV and radio host at PBS and Fox Sports. You may contact Jack at the Buckeye Angler Facebook site or the new buckeyeangler.com