Ohio's 2014 spring wild turkey season will be one to remember in the Fredericksen household after seven-year-old Tucker Fredericksen got his first turkey on April 20. The second-grader at Genoa Elementary was hunting in southern Ohio. As the photo shows, when the bird is as big as the boy, we have ourselves a very good hunter.
As the water level has dropped in recent days, the anglers have spread out to most of the traditional walleye spring run locations along the Maumee River, but the fishing has gotten tougher, according to river watcher Joe Roecklein. Anglers were dragging limits out of the Jerome Road stretch at mid-week, but by Thursday things had slowed considerably. Roecklin expects the weekend to be an indicator of whether the run has peaked, or hit a lull. Gary Lowry at Maumee Tackle reports that the water temperature was at 48.7 degrees on April 17th, with conditions continuing to improve and bright-colored lures producing the most fish.
The Ohio Division of Wildlife has changed its spring trout stocking plans for the Van Wert reservoirs, in order to prevent damage to the dike around Van Wert reservoir No. 1. Catchable rainbow trout will not be stocked in the Van Wert reservoir No. 1 this year, but instead the trout will be stocked in the Van Wert reservoir No. 2. The date of the stocking, April 11, will remain the same. Rainbow trout are raised at state fish hatcheries and are 10-13 inches long before they are released by the ODNR Division of Wildlife. The daily catch limit for inland lakes is five trout.
The heavy rains of the past two days have turned the Maumee River into a dangerous and powerful flow in a nasty mood. The best advice for spring run walleye fishermen is to stay away for a couple of days and give the river a chance to settle down. The river was at 588.73 feet Saturday morning and continuing to rise, after jumping nearly six feet in the past day. The Maumee drains a huge area of Ohio, Michigan and Indiana, much of it agricultural land, so the flush of water keeps coming. There are very few, if any, safe places to fish right now.
Some of the ideal gear for fishing the spring walleye run on the Maumee and Sandusky rivers is pictured above. These items are available at most retailers of outdoors goods, and most sporting goods stores.
* A majority of the seasoned river run fishermen prefer a graphite rod that combines good backbone with a lot of sensitivity. A medium-action rod is ideal is most situations, since it has the muscle to pull a big fish out of strong current, without sacrificing all of the action.
* A quality spinning reel is necessary to stand up to the conditions, which can be sloppy and taxing, with the constant cast-and-retrieve work required during the spawning run. The reel should always be balanced in weight and size with the rod.
* The fishing line options for working the river can be a bit dizzying, with monofilament, fluorocarbon and braided line all making a reasonable case for partnering with you during the run. The experts prefer the strength and zero stretch of braided line, but use monofilament as the leader.
* The business end of the line should hold a Carolina rig. While lead head jigs were used nearly exclusively for decades, the floating jig heads have stated their case by keeping the hook out of the rocks, reducing snags, and giving the angler more leeway to work the strike zone.
* A lot of river anglers use a swivel to attach a leader to the end of their line, and then tie a floating jig with a No. 2 size hook on the leader, with a three-inch twister tail slipped on the hook. They attach a weight to another piece of monofilament, or use some variation of an in-line sinker, to get the rig working along the bottom, where walleyes are usually holding.
* The choices of colors for the jig head and the plastic tail are as endless as the hues in a rainbow. The best advice for the river run angler is to carry lots of options, and not be afraid to experiment if what you are using is not producing fish.
The “2nd Annual Walleye Run River Clean Up” event will run from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, April 5 & 6. The Partners for Clean Streams group will be passing out trash collection bags at the Rotary Pavilion at Side Cut Metropark. Prizes donated by Bass Pro will be awarded to those who take part in the weekend clean-up.
OAK HARBOR -- The Oak Harbor Conservation Club will hold its annual wild game dinner on Saturday, March 29, at the club, located along the Portage River at 975 S. Gordon Road, southeast of Oak Harbor and just off County Road 18. The social hour begins at 5 p.m., with dinner at 6:30 and auctions and raffles at 7:30. There will be a wide selection of items up for bid, including guns and prints. Tickets are $15 at the door, with children under 10 free. There will be venison, elk, pheasant, rabbit, duck, goose, fish, muskrat and spaghetti served. For more information contact Keith Kralik at 419-202-9544.