Grand Lake Bait

june high water

June high water calls for some adjustments in fishing tactics.

bluegills biting

Bluegills are biting at Indian Lake, Lake Loramie, and Lake St. Marys. An 11 inch bluegill was weighed in at Indian that weighed 1 pound, 6 ounces. Bluegills are mixed sizes, but big ones are available if you hunt for them.

Big Poles for Big Cats

A great day for catfishing. Fishermen rig heavy for big cats.

cottonwood time

Cottonwood seeds can be an aggravation to fishermen, but not if the fish are biting.

Big Channel

Six-fish winning weight for the April Catmaster tournament at St. Marys was 61.95 pounds. Big channel cat weighed in at 20.30 pounds.

St. Marys Crappies

Local angler Tony Aldora shows a couple of the Lake St. Marys crappies caught by him and Dan Dawson.

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

According to Grand Lake Bait & Tackle, panfishing is showing signs of picking up as average temperatures start to drop. A few crappies are being taken in late evening along the rocks. Occasionally, a few boat fishermen are shooting pontoons if they have that skill. Bluegills of mixed sizes are also being taken along the rip-rap.

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Indian Lake Report

Lakeside Pro Bass Shop reports that the crappie fishing started picking up last week. The fish have to be hunted, but some good keepers are being taken. Fishermen are using jigs and plastic tails. Wax worms and spikes are commonly added to the combination. Bluegill fishing is decent. Small spider jigs and wax worms are popular.

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Lake Loramie Report

According to Spillway Bait and Tackle, fishermen are looking for and finding some panfish. The water around the 119 Bridge and the Luthman Bridge is a steady producer. Bluegill fishing continues to be good. Fishing pressure has been steady. Fishermen are using small jigs tipped with plastic tails for both bluegills and crappies.

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Aug 23 2015

Outdoors with Forda Birds---By John Andreoni

People who read this column know I have a bias toward waterfowl hunting. I grew up learning about the sport from my father more than 70 years ago, got my first shotgun when I was 11, and started to hunt the next fall. I’ve looked forward to the waterfowl season ever since then, although I view it a bit differently than I used to. Regardless, the announcement of the season opening day and the bag limits was an exciting time. It wasn’t so much the number of days one could hunt or the number of birds one could take home. It was more of a reminder that fall was just around the corner and some fun times in the field were on the horizon.

I imagine there are area waterfowl hunters out there today who are excited about the upcoming season, although that number might not be as large as in the past. Many were upset because the weather failed to cooperate the last two years, and lake hunters took a major hit. Split-season date selection in 2013 gave open-water hunters a reduced season because of ice. In 2014, even with an earlier split, unexpected cold not only drove the birds south but put an ice cover on the main lake in late November. This year, the season opener for ducks in the North Zone, where we’re located, is October 24 and runs through November 8. It reopens on November 21 and continues through January 3, 2016. The goose season is open during the duck season, and in addition, there are extended days that run from January 14 through January 31, 2016. Unfortunately, the Division of Wildlife failed to include weather predictions with the season dates.

The waterfowl hunting zones remain the same as last year. I-70 is the current dividing line between the North and South Zones. Hunters have had the opportunity to provide input on season dates and zone boundaries if they bothered to take offered waterfowl surveys. This information and other factors will be used to define future boundaries. Some hunters predicted that changes would be made this year by the Ohio Division of Wildlife, but that wasn’t in the cards. Ohio waterfowl regulations, like all states, are determined by U.S. Fish and Wildlife regulations and guidelines. According to the rules, waterfowl zones can only be altered every fifth year. Waterfowl zones were last updated in Ohio in 2011, and that means they can’t be revised again until the 2016-2017 season. Future waterfowl hunter surveys will include questions specifically geared to assess hunter preferences towards waterfowl zones. If you have concerns or views concerning zone changes, it would be advisable to take and answer these questions. Hunter input has had a significant impact on previous decisions concerning waterfowl hunting.

Read more: 2015-2016 Waterfowl Seasons Announced
Aug 16 2015

Outdoors with Forda Birds---By John Andreoni

Can your dog think and reason? From my experience, I have a tendency to think so. One thing for sure, they aren’t mindless creatures that survive totally on instinct. They have cognitive skills. According to the dictionary, cognition is a set of mental abilities and processes related to knowledge, attention, memory, working memory, judgment, along with evaluation, reasoning, computation, problem solving, decision making, and comprehension. It also includes the ability to produce a language and use existing knowledge and generate new knowledge. I’m definitely not a behavioral scientist, and I know there are many of them out there doing the research and using proper scientific methods needed to answer the same question. At the same time, what I and any other dog person have observed and experienced makes all of this easy to believe.

The other day, I happened to reread a column I wrote about my special bird dog named Aly. Looking back over the many years I shared with that dog gave me an entirely different view of canine intelligence. The things I watched her do in the field amazed me. I always thought it was animal instinct that made her such a good hunting dog, but it had to be more than that. For example, I recall on more than one occasion having a pheasant decide to run along the ground instead of flushing like I wanted it to. When a bird decided to do this, Aly would sweep around it, run past, then turn and hunt back. The pheasant would almost always turn and head back my direction. If a fencerow was handy, all I had to do was stand by it and wait for the bird to show up. With the dog on its tail there was nowhere for the pheasant to go but up. There had to be evaluation, reasoning, problem solving, and decision making taking place somewhere. I know I never trained her to do that.

One day, I had Aly along when a buddy and I were hunting ducks in a cornfield. A large flock of birds came in and if I recall correctly, at least three birds were dropped. Since I only marked one, where the others were was a mystery. It wasn’t a problem for the dog. She paid attention, marked the three birds, and retrieved them one by one. Again, the dog was focused, had more of an attention span than I did, used one heck of a memory, and did her job.

Read more: Can Your Dog Think and Reason?

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