John Martin Reservoir offers four-season fishing. Anglers come from all over the United States to fish here – especially in early to mid-summer. The reservoir comes to life with anglers in early/late spring when the saugeyes and crappie fishing is particularly good. The main catches during the early to mid-summer are striper, wiper, and bass. The summer is also a great time to catch channel catfish and walleye at night. The fall offers the opportunity to catch crappie and wipers. Drum and bluegill are year-round species.
This warm water reservoir is very diverse, and you are likely to catch many species of fish in one sitting. The extensive shoreline is dotted with secluded fishing spots for private and relaxed angling. Using weighted streamers and sink tip fly lines is recommended. There are lots of flat, rocky areas to explore near the water’s edge where you can set up comfortably without waders. You can also head to Lake Hasty just below the dam for additional fishing opportunities.
There is no marina or boat rental, but private boats are allowed on the water. The boat ramps and access gates close for the annual waterfowl season starting November 1. During the season, no fishing is allowed near the northern shore. You will need a day pass into the John Martin Reservoir State Park to access the dam and camping grounds, and there may be an entrance fee payable.