Category: Fishing

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Ohio Free Fishing Days May 5-6

The Black River at its mouth at Lake Erie in L...

The Black River at its mouth at Lake Erie in Lorain, Ohio (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

COLUMBUS, OH – Ohioans are encouraged to take advantage of “Free Fishing Days” on May 5-6 and experience the great fishing Ohio has to offer. For these two days only, Ohio anglers may fish in any of the state’s public waters without having to buy a fishing license.

During the rest of the year, anglers 16 years and older are required to have a valid fishing license to take fish, frogs or turtles from Ohio waters. An Ohio fishing license is one of the best recreation bargains available, costing only $19 a year for residents.

Ohio residents born on or before Dec. 31, 1937, can obtain a free fishing license at any license vendor. Residents age 66 and older who were born on or after Jan. 1, 1938, are eligible to obtain a reduced cost senior fishing license for $10. A one-day fishing license is also available for $11, an amount that later can be applied toward the cost of an annual fishing license. Fishing licenses are available at bait and tackle stores, outdoor outfitters, major department stores, as well aswildohio.com.

Ohio’s Free Fishing Days were established in 1993 to promote fishing and allow Ohioans to experience fishing before buying a license. The offer is open to all Ohio residents and extends to all of Ohio’s public waters including Lake Erie and the Ohio River.

Great fishing exists around the state and throughout the year. An estimated 1.3 million people fish each year in Ohio. In late winter and early spring, anglers reel in excellent catches of steelhead trout and walleye from northern Ohio streams. Spring also means great saugeye and crappie fishing. During the summer months, the fishing heats up on Lake Erie for yellow perch, walleye and smallmouth bass, while anglers on the Ohio River enjoy excellent striped bass fishing.

The “Free Fishing Days” weekend offers Ohioans of all ages the chance to experience the fun of fishing. For anyone taking a young angler, there’s nothing more rewarding than teaching a kid to fish. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Keep it simple. Consider the child’s age and skill level. If this is their first time, shore fishing is recommended.
  • Kids like to catch fish. The size of fish doesn’t matter to kids. But catching a fish—any fish—does. Choose a pond, lake or stream where they will easily be able to catch a few fish.
  • Use simple tackle. A good rod and reel for kids costs between $15 and $30. A spin-cast reel is easy to use and, after a few practice casts, kids usually have mastered it.
  • Bring along a camera. Children love to show off pictures of their “big catch.”
  • Keep the trip fun and short. Let the child have a good time, even if it means taking a break. Take time out to enjoy the time together.
  • Be patient. Plan on spending some time untangling lines, baiting hooks, landing fish and taking pictures of big smiles and wiggling fish. When people concentrate all of their attention on their young angler, they will likely be developing a fishing buddy for a lifetime.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at www.ohiodnr.com.

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Ohio Fishing Licenses Available By Phone

COLUMBUS, OH – With spring fishing heating up, anglers can now purchase one-day and three-day fishing licenses over the telephone according the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

Customers have two telephone options to purchase a “last-minute” fishing license by using a credit card:

Calling 866-703-1928 between 5 a.m. and midnight to reach a live operator who will walk the customer through the transaction; a $5.50 convenience fee is included with this option.

Calling 855-764-3474 any time for an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. Callers should be sure and have their nine-digit customer identification number, which can be obtained at no cost from the Wild Ohio Customer Center at www.wildohio.com. The IVR option includes a $3.25 convenience fee.

In both cases, the customer is issued a 10-digit license number and instructed to carry it along with a picture ID as proof that the angler is properly licensed. A printed copy of the license is not included. Convenience fees in either option can be avoided by purchasing licenses early at license agent outlets or online at www.wildohio.com. Customers should note $10 of the one-day fishing license can be exchanged for credit toward the purchase of an annual fishing license at any time within the license year. All license purchases include a $1 writing fee.

Also new this year, anglers have the option of buying in advance an $11 “Lake Erie Charter 1-Day Fishing License” allowing them to wait and validate the license at the dock the day of the trip. Waiting to sign and date the license allows for its future use in case the original fishing trip is cancelled due to weather or other circumstances. This license is not available for purchase over the telephone.

Customers should be aware that Social Security Numbers (SSN) will be required of all individuals, youth and adults, who plan to buy licenses and permits. United States Federal Statute 42 requires the collection of SSN of any individual to whom the state issues a recreational hunting or fishing license. When buying a license, customers are also required by law to give their full name, date of birth, gender, declaration of residency, mailing address, height, weight and hair and eye color.

For questions or clarification, contact the Division of Wildlife at 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543) or visit our website at www.wildohio.com.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at www.ohiodnr.com.

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100 Days of Summer: 100 Recreational Areas Within 100 Miles

Within 25 Miles

Within 50 Miles

Within 75 miles

Within 100 Miles

How To Use this List:

  • I’ve kept State Parks and related State Forests as two lines. This might be cheating, but they usually offer different experiences.
  • Each Link goes directly to the appropriate site, not to a directory, wherever possible.
  • Scroll down to your favorite area. Look right above it. Have you been here? How about the area right below it?

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100 Days of Summer: June 4th- Junior Fishing Derby in NE Ohio

There are two Fishing Derbys on June 4th in Northeast Ohio:

  • Youth Fishing DerbyLake Milton – June 4, 10:30 AM – 2 PM at the Meshel picnic area. For kids 15 & under. (330) 654-4989.
  • Youth Fishing DerbyQuail Hollow – June 4, 9 AM – Noon at the Shady Lane pond. For kids  14 & under. (330) 877-6652.

For More Information, Check out the Calendar on the  Explore the Outdoors Home page.

For more Ideas on Fishing with the Kids, Check out ODNR’s Fishing with the Kids Page.

 

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100 Days of Summer: Fishing

State Fishing and Boating Regs

Ohio Division of Wildlife

Ohio Division of Watercraft
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
ODNR Spring 2009 Trout Stocking Schedule

Local Lakes


Mosquito Lake

Berlin Lake
West Branch– Walleye, Smallmouth, Crappie and Muskie.
Lake Milton
Lake Erie Fishing Report
Lake Arthur
Pymatuning

Groups

Ohio Valley Bass Anglers

Resources

Essential Gear: Water And Hydration

Top Ten Essential Tips


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PA waters Participate in Cabela's "Wanna Go Fishing for Millions?" Contest

Harrisburg, PA – Anglers registered with Cabela’s “Wanna Go Fishing for Millions?” promotion will have an opportunity to land prize-winning fish in eight Pennsylvania waterways announced today by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) and Cabela’s.

In conjunction with the contest, the PFBC will offer fishing instruction and a variety of other activities at six of the eight waters on May 30 as part of its annual Fish-for-Free day. The selected waters where Fish-for-Free activities will be held include:

  • Lake Wallenpaupack, a 5,700-acre lake located in Pike and Wayne counties;
  • Raystown Lake, an 8,000-acre lake in Huntingdon County;
  • The Emsworth Pool of the Three Rivers in Pittsburgh;
  • Presque Isle Bay, a 3,300-acre body of water which is part of Presque Isle State Park in Erie County;
  • Foster Joseph Sayers Lake, a 1,730-acre reservoir located in Bald Eagle Creek State Park in Centre County.
  • Lake Nockamixon, a 1,450-acre lake located within Nockamixon State Park in Bucks County.

The remaining two waters include:

  • Penns Creek, which begins from a spring in Penns Cave, Centre County, and flows eastward to its confluence with the Susquehanna River near Selinsgrove in Snyder County.
  • Lake Arthur, a 3,200-acre lake located within Moraine State Park in Butler County.

The contest officially starts today and runs through July 14. Anglers can register through the Link on Steel Valley Outdoors left hand sidebar for a chance at landing the $2.2 million prize.

“We’re excited that the Cabela’s contest coincides with our first Fish-for-Free day on Memorial Day,” said PFBC Executive Director John Arway. “Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer and it’s a day when many families and friends get together at lakes and parks throughout the state. It is the first of two Fishing Holidays this year.”

“First-time anglers can learn how to fish from our instructors and, in the process, maybe land a prize-winning fish,” he added. “It’s a great way to get introduced to the sport of fishing.”

In addition to providing free fishing tips, PFBC outreach and education staff will have exhibits, free publications and more at the six selected sites. Fish-for-Free Days allow anyone (resident or non-resident) to legally fish. No fishing license is required to fish on these days. All other fishing regulations apply. The second Fish-for-Free Day is Labor Day, Sept. 5.

To help reporters with stories and websites, the PFBC has created a media resources page which contains high resolution tagging photos and videos. High-resolution logos can also be downloaded. The page is located at: http://www.fishandboat.com/media-resources/fish-tagging/tagging-contest-media.htm.

The mission of the Fish and Boat Commission is to protect, conserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s aquatic resources and provide fishing and boating opportunities. For more information about fishing and boating in Pennsylvania, please visit our website at www.fishandboat.com.


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Ohio Free Fishing Days 2011 May 7 and 8

COLUMBUS, OH – Ohioans are encouraged to take advantage of “Free Fishing Days” on May 7 and 8 and experience the great fishing Ohio has to offer, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife. For these two days only, Ohio anglers may fish in any of the state’s public waters without having to buy a fishing license.

During the rest of the year, anglers 16 years of age and older are required to have a valid fishing license to take fish, frogs or turtles from Ohio waters. An Ohio fishing license is one of the best recreation bargains available, costing only $19 a year for residents.

Ohio residents born on or before December 31, 1937 can obtain a free fishing license at any license vendor. Residents age 66 and older who were born on or after January 1, 1938 are eligible to obtain a reduced cost ($10) senior fishing license. A one-day fishing license is also available for $11, an amount that later can be applied toward the cost of an annual fishing license. Fishing licenses are available at bait and tackle stores, outdoor outfitters, major department stores, as well as on the Internet at wildohio.com.

Ohio’s Free Fishing Days were established in 1993 to promote fishing and allow Ohioans to experience fishing before buying a license. The offer is open to Ohio residents, and extends to all public waters including Lake Erie and the Ohio River. An estimated 1.3 million people fish each year in Ohio.

Great fishing exists around the state and throughout the year. In late winter and early spring, anglers reel in excellent catches of steelhead trout and walleye from northern Ohio streams. Spring also means great saugeye and crappie fishing. During the summer months, the fishing heats up on Lake Erie for yellow perch, walleye, and smallmouth bass, while anglers on the Ohio River enjoy excellent striped bass fishing.

The Free Fishing Free Days weekend offers Ohioans of all ages the chance to experience the fun of fishing. For anyone taking a young angler, there’s nothing more rewarding than teaching a kid to fish.  Here are some helpful tips:

  • Keep it simple. Consider the child’s age and skill level. If this is their first time, shore fishing is recommended.
  • Kids like to catch fish. The size of fish doesn’t matter to kids. But catching a fish—any fish—does. Choose a pond, lake or stream where they will easily be able to catch a few fish.
  • Use simple tackle. A good rod and reel for kids costs between $15 and $30.  A spin-cast reel is easy to use and, after a few practice casts, kids usually have mastered it.
  • Bring along a camera. Children love to show off pictures of their “big catch.” Share your fishing photos at wildohio.com.
  • Keep the trip fun-and short. Let the child have a good time, even if it means taking a break. Take time out to explore and enjoy the time together.
  • Be patient. Plan on spending some time untangling lines, baiting hooks, landing fish, and taking pictures of big smiles and wiggling fish. By concentrating all your attention on your young angler, you’ll likely be developing a fishing buddy for a lifetime.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at www.ohiodnr.com


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Cabela’s “Wanna Go Fishing for Million$” Partner’s with PA Fish and Boat

Cabela's 50 Years 50 Trucks Sweepstakes

Harrisburg, PA – Get out your shiny lures and round up your fishing gear. Cabela’s and supporting sponsors announced today Wanna Go Fishing for Millions?, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to win millions of dollars in cash and prizes by enjoying one of America’s favorite pastimes – fishing.

Cabela’s is tagging hundreds of fish in selected waters in states that have Cabela’s retail stores – including Pennsylvania – and every one of them is a winner. Among the winning fish, there are grand prize winners that may qualify for additional bonuses based on the winning angler using or wearing sponsors’ products when they catch a tagged fish.

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is Cabela’s state partner and will tag fish in selected waters, which will be publicly announced on May 14, the official start of the contest. The contest runs through July 14.

PFBC Executive Director John Arway said the timing of the contest is perfect because it will coincide with the PFBC’s Fish-for-Free Day on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, giving vacationing families more incentive to try fishing.

“The contest creates a fantastic opportunity to promote all the fishing opportunities we have in Pennsylvania to first-time anglers on our Fish-for-Free Day,” he said. “On this day, we will hold special events at many of the selected contest waters. We will have exhibits, fishing instruction and tips, free publications and more.”

“The contest – and in particular the Fish-for-Free Day – promises to be fun and exciting for all levels of anglers,” Arway added. “Now when someone is fishing and feels that tug on their line, they will be thinking ‘Am I reeling in a million dollar prize?’”

Fish-for-Free Days allow anyone (resident or non-resident) to legally fish. No fishing license is required to fish on these days. All other fishing regulations apply. The second Fish-for-Free Day is Labor Day, Sept. 5.

Winning is as easy as baiting a hook. Go to the PFBC’s website for contest and Fish-for-Free information at: http://fishandboat.com/fishformillions.htm. Anglers need to pre-register and hit their local waters between May 14 and July 14 for their chance at winning a fish worth $2.2 million.

The mission of the Fish and Boat Commission is to protect, conserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s aquatic resources and provide fishing and boating opportunities. For more information about fishing and boating in Pennsylvania, please visit our website at www.fishandboat.com.

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Portage Lake Dam Renovation : Water Level Will Not Be Lowered

A crane with a pile driver.

Image via Wikipedia

COLUMBUS, OH – Work on rehabilitating the Portage Lakes State Park’s West Reservoir will not require the lake level to be lowered, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

The use of a hydraulic pile driver, a relatively new technology, will allow construction to proceed without lowering the lake level ahead of the previously scheduled draw down.  Initially it was thought the lake level would have to be dropped by three feet for the project a month ahead of time.

“Our priority throughout this project was to make sure it was being conducted in the safest manner possible and to protect the lives of people and property around the lake,” said David Payne, chief of Ohio State Parks.  “The use of this new technology will allow us to proceed in a safe manner without inconveniencing the many boaters who enjoy the use of the lake.”

Construction on the project is anticipated to begin in August.  The dam, built in the 1840s, will be reinforced with a sturdy concrete shell that will be covered with soil and replanted with grass to maintain its historic appearance.  The existing spillway will also be replaced with a new concrete spillway and the pedestrian bridge on the crest of the dam will be demolished and replaced with a new bridge.  The project is expected to be completed in August 2012.

This year’s normal fall drawdown will occur in mid-October through mid-November.  After this year, the traditional fall drawdown will occur every other year.

The West Reservoir Dam project is part of an ongoing capital construction improvement program for the Portage Lakes to ensure that the dams and associated structures are safe.  Area residents may notice increased truck traffic along with some noise and dust while construction is underway.  Residents are urged to keep children a safe distance from the construction site and the equipment.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all.  Visit the ODNR Web site at www.ohiodnr.com

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Ohio Lake Erie Fishing Forecast

Lake Erie Sunset with fish net

Image via Wikipedia

COLUMBUS, OH – Lake Erie anglers should experience another year of diverse fishing opportunities during 2011, according to biologists with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife.

“When you consider the variety of species and sizes of fish that are available to Ohio anglers, we are optimistic about Lake Erie fishing prospects this year,” said Roger Knight, Lake Erie fisheries program manager for the Division of Wildlife.  “Weather is always the wild card on Lake Erie, but anglers who take advantage of seasonal fishing opportunities have good odds at catching walleye, yellow perch, smallmouth bass, white bass, and steelhead, often in combination during many trips.”

Lake Erie walleye and yellow perch fisheries are managed through an interagency quota system that involves Ontario, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio jurisdictions.  Each jurisdiction regulates their catches to comply with their agency’s quotas and minimize the risk of over-fishing these species.  Quotas for the upcoming fishing season are determined through consensus agreement by these jurisdictions through the Lake Erie Committee of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, which were just recently announced for 2011.

Lake Erie Walleye and Perch Limits

Ohio’s walleye and yellow perch bag limits were set after the March 25, 2011, LEC quota announcement, and will go into effect May 1, 2011.  As a result of the 2011 quota allocation, the walleye bag limit will be six from May 1, 2011 to February 29, 2012, and four from March 1, 2012 to April 30, 2012.  A 15-inch minimum size limit is in effect during the entire season.  The daily bag limit for walleye remains four fish per person during April 2011.  As a result of the 2011 quota allocation, the yellow perch bag limit will be 30 perch per angler in all Ohio waters from May 1, 2011 to April 30, 2012.  There is no minimum size limit on yellow perch.  Lake Erie anglers can find walleye and yellow perch bag limit information at ODNR offices, in special publications at bait and tackle shops, and on the Web at wildohio.com.

Lake Erie anglers have great access to fishing in the Western and Central basins due to the numerous public boat ramps, private marinas, and shoreline access areas.  Anglers also benefit from having access to the largest charter boat fleet on the Great Lakes.

Walleye

Ohio walleye anglers will catch fish mostly from the 2007 and 2003 hatches, with some contributions from the 2001, 2005, 2006, and 2008 hatches.  Walleye from the moderate 2007 hatch will range from 17-22 inches long and will complement the larger 22- to 28-inch fish from the strong 2003 hatch as the major contributors to the Ohio catch.  Fish from the fair 2005 hatch should be in the 20- to 25-inch range.  Fast growing fish from the 2008 cohort will begin to contribute to the fishery.  Large walleye from strong hatches in the mid-1990s still persist in the population, providing “Fish Ohio” award (greater than 28 inches) opportunities.

“Fish from the 2007 hatch grew faster than expected last year and showed up prominently in our fishery in 2010, and they should dominate the Western Basin catch this summer,” said Knight.  “The 2003 hatch is still out there, and it will likely contribute many fish in the Central Basin fisheries, particularly as the waters warm up and large fish migrate eastward to cooler waters.”

Yellow Perch

Perch anglers should encounter fish ranging from 7- to 13-inches from the 2007, 2008, 2005, and 2003 hatches in this year’s fishery.  Lake wide, yellow perch numbers should be similar to levels observed in 2010 in the Western and Central basins.  Small fish from the weaker 2009 hatch are not expected to contribute much to the fishery.

“Overall, we expect to have good perch fishing in 2011, with the largest fish coming from the eastern part of the Central Basin,” said Knight.

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass fishing in 2011 is expected to be fair.  Although bass abundance remains below desired levels, those caught should be of excellent size (15 to 22 inches, weighing 2 to 6 pounds).  Some small fish may be encountered from recent good hatches and must be released as quickly as possible.  Bass fishing is best in areas with good bottom structure, which is available across much of the entire Ohio near-shore area.  A closed season remains in effect from May 1 through June 24, 2011, during which all black bass (smallmouth and largemouth) must be immediately released.  Beginning June 25, 2011, the daily bag limit for bass will remain at five fish, with a 14-inch minimum length limit.

Steelhead

Steelhead anglers should enjoy another year of good fishing in Ohio’s Lake Erie open waters and in tributaries throughout the fall, winter, and spring months.  Peak summer steelhead action on Lake Erie can be found offshore from June through August between Vermilion and Conneaut, with catches measuring 17 to 29 inches.  Most Lake Erie anglers troll for steelhead in deep waters using spoons with dipsy divers or downriggers until fish move close to shore in the fall.  The daily bag limit remains at five fish per person from May 16 to August 31, and two fish per angler between September 1 and May 15, with a 12-inch minimum size limit throughout the year.

White Bass

White bass will continue to provide excellent seasonal fishing opportunities in the Maumee and Sandusky rivers and in the open lake.  The catch will be dominated by hatches from 2007 and 2008, which will include 13- to 16-inch fish.  The moderate 2009 and strong 2010 hatches should contribute many 10- to 14-inch fish to the fishery.  Anglers should focus on major Western Basin tributaries during May and June and near-shore areas of the open lake during summer months.  There is no daily bag or size limit on white bass.

Anglers are also advised of numerous fishing opportunities in the bays and harbors on the Ohio shoreline.  These inlets offer excellent fishing for panfish including crappie and bluegill, as well as largemouth bass.  In early spring, anglers may also catch an occasional Northern pike or muskellunge in vegetated areas.

Anglers are reminded that fishing conditions on Lake Erie can change hourly and adjustments are often necessary to improve success.  Anglers should take into account factors such as water temperature, cloud cover, water clarity, boat traffic, wave action, structures, currents, and the amount of baitfish in the area.  Anglers are also reminded to carefully monitor Lake Erie weather and to seek safe harbor before storms approach.

Updated LAke Erie Fishing Reports Online

During the season, updated Lake Erie fishing reports are available online at wildohio.com and by calling 1-888-HOOKFISH.  Division of Wildlife staff members are available from 8 a.m.to 5 p.m. weekdays at our research station facilities at Fairport Harbor (440-352-4199) for Central Basin information and at Sandusky (419-625-8062) for Western Basin information.  For additional information on lodging, charter boat services and local launch ramps, contact one of the following lakeshore visitors’ bureaus:

Ashtabula County Convention & Visitors Bureau – 800-337-6746
Lake County Visitors Bureau – 800-368-5253
Convention & Visitors Bureau of Greater Cleveland – 800-321-1001
Visit Lorain County – 800-334-1673
Erie County Visitors Bureau – 800-255-3743
Sandusky County Visitors Bureau – 800-255-8070
Ottawa County Visitors Bureau – 800-441-1271
Greater ToledoConvention & Visitors Bureau – 800-243-4667
Ohio Division of Travel & Tourism – 800-BUCKEYE

Information on the Division of Wildlife’s Lake Erie research and management programs, fisheries resources, open lake and steelhead fishing reports, as well as maps and links to other Lake Erie web resources are available at wildohio.com: Be sure to choose the “Fishing” icon from the Division’s homepage, and then select “Lake Erie Fishing” from the list at the bottom of that page.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all.  Visit the ODNR Web site atohiodnr.com.

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