Snowy Crappies

John Bruns holds a Lake St. Marys crappie taken during the recent snow.

Early Catfishermen

Early Lake St. Marys catfishermen test the water with most of the lake still under ice.

March at Beaver Creek

Moving water in Beaver Creek turn on the fish during the annual draw-down at Lake St. Marys.

Beaver Creek 2015

Beaver Creek below the West Bank Spillway is a saugeye/walleye hotspot at Grand Lake St. Marys. Crappie fishing can be good as well.

record catch

Doug Wehrley and Dean Smith caught this Catmaster tournament record at Lake St. Marys in 2013 with a 6-fish limit of over 65 pounds.

Grand Lake St. Marys Report

The main lake is open as are most of the channels around the lake. According to Grand Lake Bait & Tackle, the crappie fishing has started and the fishing has been good. The fish are spotty as the weather changes, but fishing pressure is evident around the lake. The morning and evening bites seem to be the best.

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Indian Lake Report

Lakeside Pro Bass Shop reports the lake is open as are the ramps at Lakeview and Moundwood. All ice should be gone shortly and ramps available. There have been few crappie and bluegill reports, but the excellent fishing during the winter is expected to continue. Pan fishermen are using jigs and plastic tails.

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Lake Loramie Report

Spillway Bait and Tackle reports that fishermen are looking for and finding fish. The lake is open and some crappies are being taken.  More keeper crappies are also showing up. The area around the 119 bridge has produced some nice crappies. A 14-incher was reported. Fishing pressure has been steady.

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Mar 24 2015

Outdoors with Forda Birds---By John Andreoni

The Auglaize Chapter of Pheasants Forever will be holding their annual banquet on March 28, 2015, and from what I understand, tickets are at a premium. The event will be held at the fairgrounds, and the site provides adequate room to handle the large crowd. As usual, there will be a live auction, silent auction, and other fund-raising activities to keep the evening exciting. Those purchasing any level of sponsorship will be included in a special drawing for a shotgun. A gun will be given away for every ten sponsors. Each sponsor will receive a framed print or .40 caliber handgun depending on their level of sponsorship. In the past, this annual dinner has always been well run and organized. All of the money received from the fundraiser is kept in the area.

I’ve always enjoyed taking part in this annual event and have attended most of them since the local Pheasants Forever chapter formed over 25 years ago. That’s a long time, and a lot of good work has been done by many dedicated people over the years. Of course, the mission statement of Pheasants Forever is: Pheasants Forever is dedicated to the conservation of pheasants, quail and other wildlife through habitat improvements, public awareness, education and land management policies and programs. It’s a well worded statement, comprehensive, and broad based. Many consider that increasing the pheasant population is the main goal and challenge of this philosophy. That might be true in some parts of the country. However, reading between the lines, one finds that reaching that goal in this neck of the woods is something not likely to happen, at least at the present time.

According to the Pheasants Forever viewpoint, the creation of habit will increase the population of pheasants, quail, and other species. This is true, but only if there is available acreage to develop into such an environment. In an agricultural area such as what we live in, the amount of available acreage for conservation is based directly on the price of grain. If grain prices trend high, all available land is put into production. It makes perfectly good sense to operate this way if you are trying to maintain a profitable business operation. On the other hand, if grain prices go lower, it becomes more economically feasible to put marginal land into some other form of cover, especially if this acreage is subsidized by a conservation program of some sort. A piece of land devoid of cover will not support a gamebird population.

Read more: Pheasants Forever to Hold Annual Banquet
Mar 16 2015

Outdoors with Forda Birds---By John Andreoni

I saw and heard a couple of red-winged blackbirds the other day and watched a pair of doves setting up shop in one of my pine trees, a sure sign of spring. My pond is still struggling to shed its ice cover, and when that happens, my tame duck can move out of the garage and start fertilizing my lawn instead of the cement, another sign of spring. Finally, the first Lake St. Marys catfish tournament of the 2015 season is just one week away, another sign that spring is here. Unfortunately, extended cold kept the ice-out from happening at a normal time, and if or when the March tournament is held, catching catfish will be a definite challenge.

Looking at the extended weather forecast, I’m assuming a number of hardcore catfishing teams will find open water on the main lake by next Saturday. We had some recent rain, temperatures are supposed to break 60 degrees on Monday, and winds could gust to 30 mph on Wednesday. That should break up a lot of the ice but not melt it all. Extended weather for tournament time calls for air temperatures in the middle to low 40 degree range with northerly winds that could get a little gusty. If that’s the case, any remaining ice could find its way stacked against the south shore. That’s not a definite game breaker, but it complicates things for fishermen who like to fish the south shore, and that’s probably a majority of them this time of the year. All of the streams and creeks that dump into the lake are on the south side, and I’m sure the running water will draw some catfishermen. It always does.

Read more: Catfish Tournament is a True Ice-Breaker


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