Ohio River Angler’s Notes Belleville Pool
Belleville Pool

Fewer islands and tributaries than the other upper river pools this pool is nonetheless popular with local anglers. The reasons are clear: the upper end of the pool is urbanized and the lower end of the pool is quite rural and wooded with excellent weed beds, (at least in most years), in the lower end of the pool.

Tailrace Waters Below The Willow Island Dam (Mile 161.7): Some of the best sauger fishing on the River.

There are opportunities for shore fishing in the area.

The upper pools of the River have numerous discharges, both hot and cold. These discharges create current, oxygen, baitfish, and favorable water temperatures. They should be fished if you are in the vicinity.

There are several launch ramps on this pool. Check with local citizens for specific locations, prices, and seasonal availability.

Old Lock #17 (Ohio-Mile 167.6)

Some remnants of this old dam and lock remain. They hold good populations of game fish, especially walleye and sauger. Black bass are taken from these waters with some frequency as well.

Little Muskingum River (Ohio-Mile 168.3)

This is one of the best tributaries on the pool. There is a deep hole at the mouth. The remainder of the river provides excellent cover for game fish.

Marietta/Kerr Island (Mile 169)

This is a very long island. It will produce fish upon occasion.

Muskingum River (Ohio-Mile 172.2)

The Muskingum River is the largest and best tributary on the pool. It has a wide variety of cover and structure along its banks including laydowns, weeds, rock, stumps and the like. It is a long stretch of river with locks and dams.

This area, near where it empties into the Ohio River, is well known to catfish anglers. It has produced some trophy flatheads over the years.

Muskingum Island (Mile 176)

This island has some wood cover and will produce fish upon occasion. The island is in a very congested area of the River with several restrictions on movement and mooring. Check the charts and/or with the US Army Corps Of Engineers if you plan on spending any amount of time in the area.

Halfway Island (Mile 178.5)

The backwater area, Ohio side, will produce bass at times when they are shallow.

Neal Island (Mile 182)

Not much here—it is included for navigation and reference purposes only.

Little Kanawha River (West Virginia-Mile 184.7)

One of the largest tributaries on the pool. It consistently produces fish for the willing angler. The Little Kanawha is best known for musky.

Blennerhassett Island (Mile 186-190)

There is a dike at the head of this island that is one of the best spots on the pool for smallmouth. Boat in this area with great care—it is shallow and full of snags and obstructions.

Little Hocking River (Ohio-Mile 192)

The mouth is an excellent spot for catfish. On up the creek, when the water is high enough to navigate it, there is enough cover for an occasional bass or two.

Little Sand Creek (West Virginia-Mile 194)

There is much wood in this creek and it is best known for largemouth. It is very shallow, some areas may not be navigable, so boat in this creek with care.

Mustapha Island (Mile 197)

The head of this island is shallow silt, rock, and has several current breaks in the area. It will, upon occasion, produce a few fish.

Hocking River (Ohio-Mile 199.3)

This is one of the largest and best tributaries on the River. It is navigable for many miles and provides a wealth of opportunity.

Rock Bank (Ohio-Mile 201)

A producer of smallmouth and spotted bass.

Lee Creek (West Virginia-Mile 201.8)

A consistent producer of largemouth. Travel with care in this area as there is much to strike in the shallow water.