The Angler Magazine | November 2022 | Ohio Edition

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Aboard The Hard Merchandise

icked Tuna is a show my ancé, Capt. Brandon Storin, and I like to watch. As an avid angler betrothed to a charter captain, I think it’s pretty cool to watch these guys reel in giants, but it’s even cooler to do it Brandon and I wanted this experience, so we went on a charter with the legendary crew of the “Hard Merchandise.” Docked in Gloucester, Mass., the boat is very spacious with a heated cabin, full head and all the latest electronics. Capt. Joe Marciano and his Mate, Jay, are exactly as they are from the show, and their skillsets for catching

During our time with them, conditions were a bit rough. It called for us leaving the docks earlier than anyone else, and while riding out, you could really see how meticulous they are in each part of the rigging and set up. During the boat ride, conversation was great, with plenty of laughs to go around. Before we knew it, we were at the tuna grounds.

In the midst of catching and soaking baits and waiting for the bite, the crew made us fresh breakfast and it was amazing. We had bacon and scrambled eggs with lobster.

e experience is very much like what you would expect from watching the show. ere’s lots of refreshing baits and waiting for a bite. When they mark sh on the sonar, the enthusiasm from the crew is amazing, just like on television. Capt. Joe and Jay jump up, yelling “WE’RE MARKING!” Adrenaline starts pumping with anticipation as you hope everything is lined up perfect enough to get a bite.

Fortunately, we did get tight, and I have never seen a sh take such a wild and ferocious run… several times. I was up to battle this sh with coaching from Capt. Joe and Jay. ere is nesse needed to ght a giant like this, and a cra in staying tight and knowing when to let him run. Every second spent reeling elevated the hope that we might land this big tuna. Yet there was also anxiety. If you’ve watched the show, you know that losing one of these monsters is a very real possibility.

We battled the sh for a while. Gaining where I could, adrenaline kept me pumping while the crew maneuvered the boat. e communication is constant as everyone works together.

Finally, I saw this huge beast start surfacing. Capt. Joe moved in with the harpoon, ready to take the shot. Everything happened so quickly! e beast surfaced, and Capt. Joe drilled it with a perfect gill shot. It wasn’t over yet, but it was just a matter of time. A er the sh made one last run, taking a bunch of rope, we hauled it back in and roped its tail. At that point, I knew I had landed my top bucket-list sh.

It was an amazing experience, and it felt like we were literally in an episode of Wicked Tuna. What you see from the show is what you get in person. ere is no script; nothing is fake. ere is only grit, talent and hope, and these guys have all that.

e Hard Merchandise team recently launched Angelica Seafoods, where one can order fresh blue n, lobster, scallops, oysters and more to be delivered to your door. If you plan a trip to Boston and want to catch a sh of a lifetime, book a charter with the Hard Merchandise.

For more information on the Hard Merchandise, visit www.angelica sheries.com/fv-hardmerchandise.

IG: @catching_astrid @bnmbean @hardmerchjoe @melodyredwing @hardmerchandisejay.

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HILARY MARTIN:

INFLUENCER, YOUTUBER AND BASS ANGLER

That’s quite a headline for a 17-year-old high school student from Clewiston, Fla. who loves bass shing.

I spoke with Hilary while she was in Palatka, Fla. preparing to sh the Florida Bass Nation tournaments on the St. Johns River, and her enthusiasm and passion for the sport of bass shing were impressive.

Last year, at 16, she nished h at the State Championship of the Florida Bass Nation with a total weight heavier than 19 pounds. She’s hoping to do even better this year.

I asked her if she could remember when she rst started shing, and she laughed as she guessed that she was “probably only 2 years old.” A er all, she does come from a pretty well-known family of professional bass shermen.

Her grandfather, the legendary Roland Martin, is one of the greatest bass shermen of all time. Her father, Scott, won the 2011 Forest Wood Cup Championship, and also has 45 top-ten nishes and eight tour victories in the FLW and hosts the Scott Martin Challenge.

But things are di erent today than they were

Iin the past. Today, social media is the key to reaching your audience, and Hilary has done an incredible job on both YouTube, with over 100,000 subscribers, and Instagram with 103,000 followers.

Most of her videos are bass shing, although she’s had some very interesting saltwater shing videos, as well.

Hilary said she started taking bass shing seriously when she was 15 years old, and at 16, joined the Florida Bass Nation Series.

She has her own bass boat, a 20’ Skeeter FXR, with a 250hp Yamaha, but she also shes out of her dad’s boat from time to time, because, “it’s got all the goodies,” she laughed.

Her biggest bass, a whopping 9.1-pounder was caught ipping a black/blue Sweet Beaver along the edges of cattails on Lake Okeechobee when she was only 14 years old. She hopes to break that personal best soon.

Her shing arsenal includes a Favorite Phantom Series shing rod, a Shimano Curado reel and braided or uorocarbon line, along with her favorite bait, a Zoom Speed Worm.

“I was shing out of a kayak and I saw this

far away, so I threw my Speed Worm just past the mark,” she recounted. “I started a fast retrieve when a big bass came up and just exploded on it. at sh drug me around for what seemed like forever before I nally landed it. It weighed just over ve pounds. e cover picture of me holding a bass was taken the day a er.”

Listening to her tell that story, her excitement, enthusiasm and passion for bass shing became even more obvious.

If you haven’t seen one of her videos on YouTube ( eReelHilarySue), I’d strongly recommend you check them out. ey’re fun to watch, and you might just learn something. She’s a natural.

What an incredible future this beautiful, talented young lady has in store. I think she’ll be one of the biggest names in professional bass shing in the years to come.

Don Norton is co-publisher of the Okeechobee edition of e Angler Magazine.

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I always get a kick out of the boat owners who, come late August and mid-September, always brag how they’ve already got their rig out of the water and in storage. It seems that to them the race to get their watercraft into storage and put away for the year is more important to them than catching fish.

Fact is, autumn and early winter regularly features the year’s best fishing for almost all species, especially those of trophy size. Thank goodness for those early quitters that every year leave our waters that much less competitive for the hard core and more competitive anglers. Here are some ideas for some outstanding late-year options to consider.

EASTERN OHIO LAKE ERIE

Northern tributaries like Arcola Creek, the rejuvenated Ashtabula River, and Fairport Harbor feature prime autumn opportunities. Still, the best of all continues to be Conneaut Creek, annually the state’s most outstanding steelhead fishery. The sheer numbers of Pennsylvania license plates in the nearby parking lots tells a story.

A smaller boat can stay in the creek when the lake itself seems a bit too rough and opt for a trip out to the break walls on less inclement days. Trolling spoons is a popular method for the trout, though those steelies will smack a tube too when you try for the local smallies.

WESTERN OHIO LAKE ERIE

Word is now out that the year’s very best walleye angling is reliably from October to ice-up within 1/4 mile from shore from Vermilion west to the Huron River. Night is particularly productive for slowtrolling the shoreline with spoons and minnow baits. The two other cults of anglers are the shore anglers casting large, lipless crankbaits and larger-sized minnow profile plugs from the Huron River breakwalls .The other angling fraternity is the most fun when things turn on - it is the boaters who cast from their boats towards shallow water with the same kind of baits. Those that decry walleye angling as a boring excursion for a lame-fighting fish, have never tried this.

OHIO RIVER CUMBERLAND POOL

From upstream towards fabled Beaver Creek downstream amidst the warm-water discharges just past East Liverpool in Ohio and the Kennedy Ramp on the West Virginia shore, the Cumberland Pool of the Ohio River offers increasingly good opportunities in fall for smallmouth bass, sauger, wipers, stripers, and white bass, among others. I like to put in at the East Liverpool downtown ramp and seek out the warm water discharges on both sides.

UPPER CUYAHOGA RIVER

Come late September, the Buckeye State offers no location I know of that more effectively combines fishing and scenic opportunities better than this river’s stretch from Hiram Rapids down to Kent. We always have two vehicles, with one waiting for us downstream where we choose an appropriate spot to depart. Consider Mantua. Ideal for canoeists and kayakers alike. Take along some spinners for northern pike and small crankbaits and tubes for the smallmouth -and don’t forget the camera!

LOWER CUYAHOGA RIVER

Too many so understandably discouraged by the sad decline of the post-dams removal stretch through the once so revered Cuyahoga Falls stretch, have given up on the river entirely, overlooking the Cascade Valley course through Liberty Commons. Wadable, with good shore access, and fishable from shore or smaller watercraft as with the Upper Cuyahoga. Well populated with smallmouth, occasional steelhead and walleye are always a possible bonus.

PUNDERSON LAKE

Arguably the state’s most underrated fishery, the deep-water bluegill are numerous and of very decent size. For me that’s attraction enough, However, I always try to take advantage of the numerous species of state-stocked trout in these cool, deep waters in southern Geauga County.

***

Article by Jack Kiser, host of “Buckeye Angler” https://www. buckeyeangler.com/ https://www.facebook.com/buckeyeangler

Photos:

Jack Kiser with a big late -year Cuyahoga River northern pike Jack with a November Conneaut Harbor steelhead trout

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Marina, Dockage and Storage ReviewVenetian Marina – Sandusky, Ohio

Venetian Marina is located on beautiful Sandusky Bay, with a stunning view of Cedar Point Amusement Park. There’s nothing like sitting on your boat at one of their 380 floating docks and watching the sun rise and set over that amazing bay on the north coast of Ohio. Venetian has been a long-time favorite of many Lake Erie boaters who tout the incredible amenities, the convenient dry dock service and access to Lake Erie and its Bay.

While at the marina, enjoy the heated pool, airconditioned community room, bath house, and special events. Venetian Marina is also home to All Ports Yacht Club, along with a convenient fuel pier providing 90 octane fuel with no ethanol. The Hoty Marine Certified Service Department is also housed at Venetian Marina, which makes on-site service easy. The Marina is also undergoing a transformation from wood docks to a concrete surface, providing a smooth quiet walk, along with easy transport of dock cars – allowing you to get from your car to your boat…and to the water… quickly. Last but certainly not least, Venetian Marina is close to world-class fishing, so many fishermen use the

marina as their home base!

Not looking to keep your boat in the water? Venetian’s dry dock service is the best alternative to docking. With their trained and experienced rack drivers, when you request your boat to be launched, you can rest assured it will be done properly. With a few courtesy docks available by request, you can dock and use the marina amenities between boating adventures. Venetian Marina uses the SpeedyDock app, which makes requesting your boat easy and convenient! Check them out and see why it’s called “The place for Family, Friends, and Fun.”

You can contact the marina at (419) 625-2515 or Venetian@HotyMarine.com for more details on 2023 docks and racks.

2 LOCAL NOVEMBER 2022 COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THE ANGLERMAG.COM

November has reputation for year’s biggest Erie Walleyes

Anglers who brave the cold water and air temperatures know that November may give them the best time of year to catch an Ohio state record Walleye in Lake Erie while fish add to their winter fat reserves.

As Walleyes continue to gorge on nearshore schools of lethargic Gizzard shad, stupefied by falling water temperatures and other baitfish hugging pockets of warmer water flowing from nearshore warm discharge sources, they reach some of their heaviest weights of the season. Overstuffed footballs rival the dimensions seen in April just before the spring spawning season allows them to release pounds of mature eggs over the reefs and tributary rivers.

The Fall Brawl, now in its 12th year, is attracting thousands of anglers during the period of time while this feeding binge is underway. While its epicenter is around Huron, Ohio, trolling anglers are plying the lake everywhere from the shallow waters off of Monroe, Michigan to deeper haunts east of Cleveland.

One of the largest that I heard of and saw, once mounted, was a massive 15.18-pound, 32 ¼-inch Walleye caught by Captain Eric Hirzel. He caught it while fishing on Thanksgiving Day with fellow captain Ron Newmister netting the beast. It was caught on a “Grape Ape” Reef Runner lure trolled in the North Bay of Kelleys Island along with numerous 6 to 9 pounderstrophy fish in their own right in most locations. Thankfully, we so are spoiled on Lake Erie and anything under 10 pounds is usually met with a shrug of the shoulders.

Yellow perch were the intended quarry when Tom “Blackie” Haberman went fishing with Captain Andy Emrisko on November 23, 1999, off of Cleveland’s coast. Instead, he hooked a 33.0-inch Walleye on a wire perch spreader baited with an Emerald shiner. Of all of the millions of Walleyes that have been caught since then, it remains Ohio’s state record at 16.19-pounds. The Outdoor Writers of Ohio maintains the state record fish list for the Ohio Division of Wildlife. For the full list of eligible species, see: outdoorwritersofohio.org/current-ohio-record-fish/

With the 2003 walleye hatch being the largest ever recorded, there was high hopes, expectations, and predictions that the new state record would come from this year-class. As they continue to age out, get caught and

diminish in numbers, perhaps it will come from another newer, large yearclass.

Many additional large Walleyes are caught during the winters when it gets cold enough for anglers to go ice fishing. As a former ice guide who remains a regular ice angler at Put-in-Bay, I have seen many Walleyes that topped 12 and a few over 14 pounds. But the eggs in these always-female fish were not as mature as they are after ice-out in April, so none have threatened the state record. With more people fishing in the late fall, the state record Walleye could be beat in any year now, with the best odds during November or April.

Article by: John Hageman. John now writes approximately 125 articles per year after retiring from the Ohio Sea Grant/Stone Laboratory - The Ohio State University’s Lake Erie biology station at Put-In-Bay.

Captain’s Report – Lake Erie Western Basin

Late September and early October shook the nationwide fishing community with a cheating scandal in the local Lake Erie Walleye Trail tournament series. As famous as Lake Erie is for world class fishing, it’s sad that this display of poor sportsmanship is what grabbed the headlines. While time goes on, hopefully we can put that behind us and focus on all the positives that fishing brings to the area. We’re moving closer to the season that starts with a W and rhymes with splinter and it’s starting to seem like its already going to be a cold one! The main fishing season is slowing down with many people putting their boats away and looking forward to next year. As for people like me, I am still excited to fish some more and look forward to another ice fishing season and hopefully a longer lasting one than last year!

November will be the end of the perch fishing season and it has been a productive one compared to years past! Per usual perch spreaders with emerald shiners will be the bait of choice. Look for the fishing to be good near B and G cans, Rattlesnake island, Green island, Catawba green buoy, and the flats east of the Toledo water intake. Although, don’t be quick to forget about the toothy walleye, November can be a prime time for the night bite for walleye. The “Fall Brawl” and “Walleye Slam” fishing derbies have brought a lot of attention to this late season Hawg walleye fishing.

Casting stick baits from shore from dusk till dawn can sometimes produce a fun trip. Any pier or rock area from Luna Pier to Huron Pier could have some walleyes coming in around dark. A lantern/headlamp, net, and a bucket to sit on are a few necessities to bring. My favorite lures are blue

and chrome reef-runner rip sticks and Clown HJ-12 Husky Jerks! Reeling extremely slow and being persistent will help you land some cold-water “eyes” this fall. Smallmouth will continue to feed heavy this time of year. Normally a few will hang around deeper structure or reefs looking for a tube jig or drop shot. Lastly, the crappies and panfish will give any shore bound angler a chance at some fun. Floating a shiner minnow along the docks in marinas or coves will normally produce a few. Remember, this time of year water clarity will be very important, so keep it in mind when you’re picking a spot to fish. Wherever you cast your line, expect good things from the western basin of Lake Erie!

Article by Captain Jonny Fickert. He can be reached at Sea Breeze Charters @ 877-616-7780.

COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THE ANGLERMAG.COM NOVEMBER 2022 LOCAL 3
4 LOCAL NOVEMBER 2022 COASTALANGLERMAG.COM • THE ANGLERMAG.COM 13285 Netherland Road, Fredericktown, Ohio 43019 740-694-7774 www.knoxmarine-ltd.com 13285 Netherland Road, Fredericktown, Ohio 43019 740-694-7774 www.knoxmarine-ltd.com13285 Netherland Road, Fredericktown, Ohio 43019 740-694-7774 www.knoxmarine-ltd.com Come see us at the: Ohio RV & Boat Show - January 6 -15th, 2023 And Columbus Fishing Expo February 10th – 12th, 2023 Both at The Ohio Expo Center in Columbus

Kayak Fishing on Cold Water can be deadly, but DRYSUITS SAVE LIVES!!

Cold Water season is here, bringing some of the best fishing of the year but also bringing the most dangerous time of year. Fortunately, with the proper gear, it’s possible to safely fish until the lake freezes. In this article, I’ll teach you how. (This QR code will take you to all the invaluable resources associated with this article.)

Here’s how to protect yourself and prevent the scenario above: The most important piece of Cold-Water Safety gear is your DRYSUIT. A drysuit is a waterproof outer layer with latex wrist and neck gaskets with either latex ankle gaskets or booties to create a watertight seal around your body. There are also SEMI-DRYSUIT options. These have a more tolerable neoprene neck gasket vs restrictive latex neck gaskets. (Using a soccer ball inside the latex neck gasket a few days before your trip will pre-stretch it and counteract some of the strangulation feeling caused by the tight latex neck gasket). The neoprene neck gasket is not 100% watertight. If not cinched down properly you may experience a few tablespoons of water down your neck, just enough to wake you up. That being said, I’m wearing the Kokatat Hydrus Supernova Angler Semi-Drysuit in all my dry-suit testing videos.

First, let’s get familiar with the dangers cold water presents. The most important rules to live by are to ALWAYS wear your PFD or Life Jacket, dress for the swim, and frequently practice self-rescue. Never assume it won’t happen to you because it can, and it will. If you’re not prepared when the situation arises, you may not make it back home… It’s our families and loved ones that suffer. That is why I always practice self-rescue, Kayak re/ entry, and frequently swim test my safety gear.

The moment you enter the frigid water, you INVOLUNTARILY GASP, filling your lungs with air or water if your mouth is below the water’s surface. (common when not wearing a PFD - Personal Floatation Device) If that’s the case when this happens, your lungs will fill with water and you’ll immediately drown and sink to the bottom. Wearing your PFD you will most likely survive the involuntary gasp reflex but experience a dangerously rapid blood pressure spike. This can cause many potential issues including cardiac arrest. (Scan the QR Code and listen to Michael Paoletta’s NEAR DEATH experience with early cold water in October 2020)

Next, you’ll move into MAXIMUM INTENSITY COLD SHOCK. This is 2 to 10 intense minutes of uncontrollably gasping for air in an attempt to catch your breath. Once your breathing is under control, you can now attempt self-rescue. At this point, you’ve been in the water a few minutes and the frigid water has been silently taking its toll on you, rapidly wicking away your core body temperature and causing rapid loss of your motor skills.

It’s time to attempt to re-enter your kayak. Even the most healthy and fit people will be physically exhausted at this point. Your arms and legs won’t be working properly, and your mind is becoming foggy. Maybe you’ve never attempted self-rescue before, but how hard can it be? - right? (Scan the QR code and learn Re-Entry and Self Rescue)

The first attempt didn’t work. You try to make a second attempt, but your body won’t cooperate. All you can do now is hold onto your life jacket, and hope that somebody finds you because if not, this is the end of the road.

Drysuits are designed to keep you dry, not keep you warm so you must assemble the right set of INSULATING LAYERS to wear under your dry suit to keep you warm. Proper underlayers consist of materials like polyester, merino wool, fleece, nylon, and other high-insulating synthetic fabrics. NO COTTON!! (Scan the QR Code for a video on choosing the proper underlayers)

A WETSUIT can work but must be of a higher thickness. Wetsuits are designed to trap a layer of water in between your skin and the wetsuit, your body warms that water up creating a full cavity of warm water between your wetsuit and skin preventing any new cold water from entering. If you don’t have that layer of water in between the wetsuit and your skin when you hit the water, cold water will rush into your wetsuit causing some of the same cold-water dangers. A wetsuit can protect you from the frigid waters when primed with warm water, but it may not be the right fit for the kayak angler.

Some last-minute tips, tricks, and advice: Carry two pairs of gloves in case one set becomes wet. Stuff hand warmers inside your gloves for an instant warm-up after that monster fish catch. Assemble an emergency cold water survival dry bag containing a full change of clothes, socks, and winter hat as well as an emergency space blanket and multiple ways to start a warming fire. For extremely cold days, stick an extra-large “HotHands” pad in between your base layer near your chest. Stuff hand warmers under your wrist cuffs to warm up the blood flowing to your hands keeping them functional. Using antiperspirant on areas where your body sweats a lot helps keep you dry and warm throughout the day. Cheap underlayers can be found at thrift shops by choosing the right fabrics. Neoprene baklavas/neoprene facemasks work wonders. Take the time to check out all the videos through the QR Code, they’ll make you better prepared and teach you what you need to know to survive and make it back home to your loved ones. And lastly, swim test your safety gear often! A failure could cost your life. If you’re not able to justify the expense of buying a dry suit for yourself then do it for your family, they’re the ones who’ll suffer long after we’re gone. Fishing is life, but SAFETY comes FIRST!! See you on the water!!

Indian Lake – Late Fall and Winter Hot Spot

As the November cold weather begins, when it comes to fishing on Indian Lake, what can we really say other than you’ve really got to love fishing to withstand the colder temperatures! There will still be a few fishermen out there braving the wind, chasing the saugeye using Pam and ChapStick on their eyelets and reels. But for the most part, many of us will be dragging our shanties out of the garage, setting them up, digging the moth balls out and cleaning them up for the winter season! All while giving our ice rods, rod boxes, and ice fishing gear a once over to green-light the ice-fishing fun that’s about to take over - once the lake freezes over!

Many fishermen look forward to this time of year, when the lake is solid, and ready for the shanties to start popping up all over. Panfish are the most sought after, and are most bountiful, but there will always be a few guys still chasing the saugeye with Vibe’s under the ice. It isn’t uncommon to catch a few channel cats in there as well.

Until the ice forms though, November fishing is mainly stick baits and diehards in the middle of the night, toughing it out trying to stay warm and dry from the wind and blowing waters. Around this time, you’ll see many fishermen switch from fishing the lake to fishing the river below the spillway, where the Great Miami River begins. Dead sticking becomes a popular tactic. With suspended stick baits, a couple quick pulls to get the bait down in the water column in front of the fish, then let it sit, maybe up to a count of thirty, slight wrist rolls, a quick jerk, then let it sit again. It is often said that if you can get your bait in front of

the fish’s face this time of year, you’ll catch the fish no matter the weather or time of day.

Don’t forget, a cheap bit of lead solder around the shaft of the treble hook will help to get your baits to suspend more easily. Maybe try starting in a clear tub inside your house, the idea is to get the bait to sit level, suspended in the middle of the water column, perfectly still, but remember that the water temp will affect this.

Stay Warm!

Article by Tosh Collins. Tosh can be seen on YouTube channel: “American Outdoor Adventures” and can be reached on Facebook at “Indian Lake Fishing Reports”

Grand Lake Saint Marys Cold Weather Crappie!

As the fishing tournament season winds down and the pleasure boaters stray away from the lakes, serious crappie anglers need to get out on the water! The fall and winter months can be very lucrative to the anglers that bundle up and embrace mother nature while chasing the greatest feeling in the world, the THUMP! Grand Lake Saint Marys, late in the year, is one of the most sought-after crappie lakes in Ohio. When the temperatures dip and the fall colors start to show is when your die-hard crappie angler start getting the itch! This lake offers great bait shops with employees that will always lead you in the right direction. The ODNR has also done a tremendous job catering to the bank fisherman by placing man made fish attractants across the lake’s shoreline. Along with the stake beds, there are plenty of public fishing opportunities loaded with brush, docks, boat lifts and most of all, CRAPPIE!

There are many tactics that anglers use on GLSM in the fall to fill their limit. One of my favorites is “shooting” docks and pontoons. This tactic requires a short 5’-7’ light action rod, a light jig head and your favorite soft plastic. Using this method, you will grab the jig head, pull it back making the rod bend like a bow and arrow and sling it under the object you are trying to fish. Crappie love to hide in the shade waiting to ambush any type of prey that enters their feeding ground. I highly suggest checking out many educational videos that can be found online regarding this tactic. Another favored

tactic is fishing a 1/32-ounce jig head with your favorite soft plastic under a bobber. Remember, Crappie feed up! Setting your depth accordingly will increase your chances of getting your bait in the strike zone. Anglers using this method mainly target areas of structure such as docks, rocks, brush and aluminum boat lifts. Finally, the old favorite, minnow and bobber! This tactic has and will always be deadly to catch even the peskiest slab.

Fishing can be slow when the water temps drop. Do not get discouraged! Remember to slow down and fish your area thoroughly. Sometimes less movement is more when it comes to cold water crappie!

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Tappan Lake. Located along SR 250 northwest of Cadiz. Tappan Lake is a 2,350 acre lake with two public launch ramps and is home to an abundance of channel and flathead catfish, white bass, crappie, bluegill, and saugeye. It has a 399-horsepower limit and there’s a marina with boat rentals.

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The Advantages of Kayak Fishing

The

On July 25, 2022, I had the privilege of guiding for a very special true friend, by the name of Dr. Eric Dennis. He is in a battle with Stage 4 cancer and wanted to get out on the water when the treatments weren’t slowing him down. This trip was like no other, when I got the call, I dropped everything and made plans for Monday morning to guide for him. He wanted to use his boat too, just to give it a good workout.

There are many advantages when it comes to kayak fishing. Kayaks can be very stealthy and less likely to spook the fish, which definitely helps put more fish in the “boat”. I have floated directly over some nice size bass without them seeming to care that I was there. Kayaks are able to float in very shallow water and narrow areas where larger vessels cannot, which opens up opportunities to fish less pressured areas. Catching fish from a kayak also feels much more rewarding. It can be very exciting to bring in a large fish while sitting in a kayak.

Mr. Dennis is a well-known fly-tying champion and has given many demonstrations and talks about fly tying and fly fishing. One of his flies can be seen at the Fly-Fishing Museum in Vermont. He is planning on doing some fly fishing in Montana with his son and friends soon (who are all dentists), but for now, we were bass fishing, and it was a beautiful morning for it. When we pulled up on our first area, at Turkeyfoot lake, Mr. Dennis landed a huge bass that weighed in at a little over 6 pounds! As I was taking a few pics, we were all smiles and laughs. The fun and friendships we make on the water may be the best part of what fishing has to offer.

Cost is another huge advantage to kayak fishing. For as little as a couple hundred bucks, you could be on the water fishing your favorite spot. There’s also no maintenance costs when it comes to Kayak Fishing. There are no oil changes, no expensive breakdowns, costly tune-ups, and other costs that come along with larger boats.

After about 4 minutes we went across the lake and on his first cast there, he landed another huge bass, a 4 pounder this time. Our excitement was beyond words. It is not often you hook into back-to-back lunkers. This will always be a special day for Dr. Eric, his wife Mary and myself. We will never forget it and I hope that we can

You also don’t need a large vehicle to transport your fishing kayak. Strap it securely on the roof of your car with a quality roof rack setup, slide it in the back of your SUV or truck bed. Or get a lightweight trailer that can conveniently back down to the water and float your kayak off.

Your kayak fishing adventure could be as simple as an Entry level kayak with a PFD or a life jacket and fishing pole or as extreme as a pedal rig, with a fish finder, etc. like the one used by Chuck at Lake Erie Kayak Fishing guided adventures. I have even seen folks put a trolling motor on their kayak. The choice is yours. The best part of kayak fishing is the fun and exercise.

you’re interested in getting into kayak fishing or joining Chuck Earls for a Lake Erie Kayak Fishing Adventure, then call or message him at (216) 296-9157.

Indian Lake is located in Logan County, in northwest Ohio between Lima and Bellefontaine.

Seneca Lake. A 3,500 acre lake stocked with catfish, white bass, striped bass, largemouth, bluegill, crappie, perch and walleye. It has a full-service marina that provides boat and motor sales, service, rental, boating supplies, bait, tackle, and licenses.

For anyone looking for a great place to spend a day or two fishing, Indian Lake provides ample access with roughly five boat ramps, three tackle shops, and over three miles of public fishing on the south and west banks.

do it again someday. Stage 4 cancer is a terrible thing, my prayers are with them. P.S. I have never had such a touching guide trip as this one. Sometimes we need some sunshine and a great fishing trip to help us put life in perspective.

Leesville Lake. A 1000 acre lake located between New Philadelphia and Carrollton off Rt. 22 in Carroll county. It has a great reputation for Muskie fishing, as well as northern pike, catfish, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, perch and saugeye. It has two public launch ramps, a 10-horsepower limit and two marinas.

Ron Slater is a fishing guide on the Portage Lakes in Ohio, he can be reached at 330-780-3652 or email bassfisher273@gmail.com

There are many species of fish found in Indian Lake. Bluegill, pumpkinseed, green spotted sun fish, large and small mouth bass, white bass, saugeye, perch, and crappie. For those seeking the bigger ones, channel cats, bullhead, and flathead catfish are plentiful too. The lake is fed by three feeder creeks where you can find chubs, some of the best bait for catfishing!

Atwood Lake. Located in nearby Tuscarawas and Carroll Counties off St. Rt. 212, is a 25-horsepower lake which offers 1540 acres of water surface. It has two public launch ramps and two marinas featuring boat rentals, docking, fuel, boat sales and service. It stocks northern pike, catfish, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie,

The bite in September… with cooler weather coming in, the saugeye bite will slowly pick up. Perch will enter shallower water, and the bite will turn more active. Early morning bass bite topwater, using frogs/ pop-r/ bugs…follow the shad!

The baits and tactics you can use for catching fish around this time of year varies depending on what you are after. For panfish- 1/32-ounce jigs, in 2–3-foot depths, wax worms, pieces of nightcrawler, and minnows. Bass- swimbaits up to 3”, 1/16-ounce jig heads. White, chartreuse, and orange colors work well. Catfish- cut bait, live bait, BIG live baits produce best results.

The areas around the edges of Indian Lake produce some of the best fishing. Those looking for a challenge, stick around the weeds to the southwest. Those looking for traditional, muddier waters of Indian Lake, go to the northeast section, which is clear of weeds but offers very little public shoreline fishing.

The excess weeds are currently a challenge in some parts of the lake, but there are weed harvesters working to clear that up. There is plenty of navigable water by boat or bank that can lead to a successful day of fishing... Do not limit your time on Indian Lake, start before sunup and stay out well after sundown. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. are the slowest biting hours. You may have to move a few times, but hey, it’s all in good fun, anyway!

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Article contributed by Tosh Collins. Tosh can be seen on YouTube channel: “American Outdoor Adventures” and can be reached on Facebook at “Indian Lake Fishing

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JUNGLE JEOPARDY

In September, I embarked on one of the craziest adventures I’ve ever experienced to sh for crazy exotic species on the Rio Guaviare deep in Columbia’s Mapiri Jungle.

Just getting there was an adventure. We spent two days ying from Miami to Bogata and then to San Jose, Colombia, which was a buzzing little town where we picked up last minute supplies, ate a breakfast of pirahana head soup and got wrist bands tied by an elderly women and her pet spider monkey, Kiki.

At the port, we loaded gear in a small shaded boat powered by a Yamaha 200 2-stroke, with a spare lower unit tied on top. I was accompanied by my cameraman Adrian, from Poland, good friends Jake, Derek, Karl, and our jungle guide Diego, from Chile.

We set out downstream and rode for hours, passing through two army checkpoints, before we reached our halfway point at 118 miles. We stopped for lunch and to refuel at an isolated jungle town only accessible by boat. As we creeped up muddy stone steps, we were shocked to see a small town with convenience stores, restaurants, a playground, a basketball court, and happy people everywhere. It was a cool window into a di erent reality.

A er playing soccer with the local kids and a delicious fried sh lunch, we headed farther downstream. When darkness arrived, the jungle came alive and our driver did not feel comfortable navigating the rapids at night. So we stopped and Diego traded goods with an indigenous man for permission to sleep at his house. Some opted to sleep in the boat. e mosquitoes, hornets and massive cockroaches made it tough to sleep. A er long hours, the sun nally rose, and we headed another 45 minutes downriver to base camp, where we discovered we were in for even more travel.

We packed lighter for three days of shing and camping at a sacred waterfall inhabited by one of the jungle tribes. It was another 2.5 hours downstream to a small creek that would lead us up to a second camp. We shed our way up the creek.

On my rst cast, a 15-pound sardinata exploded on my popper boatside. Imagine a huge pilchard but with sharp teeth and hyper-aggressive topwater strikes. Fully grown, Sardinata can weigh 25 pounds. is one threw the hooks, and shing only got crazier from there.

I was throwing a 9-inch Countdown Rapala in Firetiger at the tree line and retrieving it to the boat. Almost every cast we hooked massive payara. is sh is similar to a tarpon, with silver scales, acrobatic leaps and a bony mouth that made hook sets di cult. Payara have long fangs on their lower jaw capable of slicing thick-scaled sh and shing line with ease. ey are without a doubt the most challenging, unique and aggressive jungle predators I’ve ever targeted. I managed to catch quite a few on y and spin tackle.

Another unique species was a matrinxa, a silver-scaled delicacy. ey are omnivorous and sit below trees to eat dropping fruits and nuts. ey also hit lures with insane power. ese sh were extremely hard ghting and very tasty. ey have teeth like human molars for cracking hard nuts.

Red bellied pacu are another ferocious species we caught. ey have a similar ambush style and diet to the matrinxa. ey are equally aggressive and display gorgeous hues of purple and black

Iwith a blood orange/red underbelly. Black and red bellied pirahana were in no shortage, either. A er three days of shing by the waterfall, we headed back to base camp for new species.

Heavy rains raised water levels, which busted our hopes to catch big peacock bass. But it opened a new door: catching monster cat sh.

I caught several new species of large cat sh. One of the most unique was a ripsaw cat sh. ey have so lips and a long face, similar to carp. ey also have a sharp chainsaw blade for a lateral line, earning them the nickname “Caiman Killer.” I caught small tiger shovelnose cat sh, as well as red tail cat sh. Red tail cat sh are one of the strongest ghting cat sh I’ve ever encountered. It took three days of break-o s before I was able to muscle one up. It weighed 40 pounds.

Fishing the jungle is tough, and it is not for everyone. is trip scarred me with bug bites from head to toe, and I su ered many bee and hornet stings. It is not comfortable in any sense, but it is good for the mind. ere’s no cell phone reception; you are stripped of everything. e only thing that matters is the present moment. For me, it is the biggest adrenaline rush to travel into the unknown and learn about new shing and culture.

Check out Ryan Izquierdo’s YouTube Channel, “Ryan Iz Fishing” for a series called “Jungle Jeopardy.” E-mail him at Ryanizquierdoyt@ gmail.com with questions or to nd out how you can go on one of these trips.

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OPTIONS ABOUND

There’s

more to Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula than world-famous salmon runs. e saltwater shing is also phenomenal, with species like halibut, salmon shark, ounder, yelloweye rock sh and ling cod being primary targets.

When you run out of Seward to Resurrection Bay, you might see some of the Deadliest Catch boats, and you might see multiple species of whale. We saw a lot of humpbacks this past summer. At more than 900 feet deep, with glaciers around the rim, the bay is awe-inspiring. ere are several good charter operations. Some make long runs for big halibut, while some o er shing that’s a little more local. Check with J Dock Fishing Co. in Seward for the latest shing information and charters. If you’re more of a DIY angler, Miller’s Landing in Seward o ers lodging and charters, and they also rent boats and shing equipment. If you want this option, book early. I have mine booked for next year, already.

Homer is the Halibut Capital of the World,

and it’s another great Kenai destination. We went with some friends and got on some good Halibut! I’m new to the electric reels we used. You had to time the hook-set just right. It took several bites to gure it out, but we caught sh once we got the hang of it. I pulled one a good way o the bottom before it decided it wasn’t coming in and broke a 150-pound-mono leader! We caught several good keepers and turned the smaller ones loose. ere are plenty of charters in Homer. North Country Charters is a great one that o ers halibut and salmon trips. ey will put you on some big halibut. My largest weighed 99 pounds, but North Country catches sh that are much larger.

If you want a long-run charter, check out Casino Charters. If you want to catch sh from the beach, check out Family Shore Fishing. ey set you up with a guide, shing rods and bait at Lands End, which juts out into the bay. Fishing low tide on the shelf, you can catch cod, ounder and halibut. We lled a cart with cod

and ounder in less than two hours shing from shore. en we went back another day without a guide and wore them out again!

Fishing in Alaska is just like anywhere else, once you learn what works, you can do it over and over. ere are lots of di erent kinds of shing there, but once you learn where and how to catch them, you can do it yourself.

On this past summer’s trip, as we were headed to the airport to go home, we drove along Cook Inlet and spotted a school of beluga whales swimming the shoreline. You never know what you’ll see in Alaska. Some things are just so amazing!

I’m currently pulling together next summer’s trip to Kenai, and I’m making a short guide of things traveling anglers might want to know. Feel free to shoot me an email with questions.

For more information, contact Gary Turner at gary@purgeright.com.

LOST FIN-NOR SETUP RETURNED AFTER 50 YEARS

About 50 years ago, Ralph Vodicka lost one of his favorite rod and reel combos when his boat capsized in North Carolina’s unpredictable Oregon Inlet. Recently, Vodicka was reunited with his 9-foot rod equipped with a Fin-Nor 4 spinning reel, and it still works!

Here is a brief recount of the amazing story reported by Summer Stevens in e Coastland Times.

In fair weather in the early 1970s, Vodicka and three buddies attempted to return through Oregon Inlet a er shing o Hatteras National Seashore in a 17-foot 1966 Boston Whaler. e outgoing tide colliding with incoming rollers created rough conditions, even for a large trawler the anglers watched navigating the inlet. Vodicka was faced with a decision. ey could either wait for the tide change, which would force them to make their run in the dark. Or they could go for it.

“Waiting it out would put us in the middle of the night,” Vodicka remembered. “We decided that the best choice was to race on in while we could see. I told everyone, ‘Hold on, don’t move. We’ll ride on the back of one of the breaking waves. Even if it takes a little water, it’ll be ok.’”

In the middle of the inlet, as they were taking on water, a line caught in the prop and it stopped turning. e boat was at the mercy of the tide and waves, and an 8-foot breaker ipped it end over end. e story of the exciting rescue is reported in detail in e Coastland Times. It involves the captain of an old 25-foot boat and his grandson risking great peril to time the waves and rescue each of the anglers one at a time. Vodicka’s badly damaged Whaler was later recovered, and he lost a bunch of shing gear, including the rod and reel that began this story.

e details are lost to time, but apparently the Fin-Nor reel and the rod were hauled up in a commercial angler’s net. e unique set-up ended up doing decades of duty as a showpiece on the wall in Dennis Dudley’s Elizabeth City, North Carolina home.

Vodicka,” and Dudley tried to locate the Fin-Nor’s owner when he received the rod in the mid-1970s. Dudley’s phone book searches came up empty, and the search was forgotten… until recently.

Dudley, 78, remembered the mystery of the reel’s owner while going through his possessions. A quick Google search turned up Vodicka, who is 89 and living in Raleigh, N.C. e men met to eat lunch, and Vodicka was reunited with the beautiful rod and reel he lost half a century ago.

Amazingly, the antique Fin-Nor is already back in action. Instead of hanging it on the wall, Vodicka had it serviced and used it on the Neuse River over Labor Day weekend.

The Return of a

e reel was equipped with a custom plate engraved with “Ralph E.

“It worked. It worked ne,” he said. “It’s amazing that a er 50 years you get your favorite rod and reel back.”

To read the whole story, go to www.thecoastlandtimes.com.

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TOURNAMENT CHEATERS BUSTED

Everyone hates a cheater, which is why it’s no surprise that tempers ared when two cheaters were caught red-handed at a Lake Erie Walleye Tour (LEWT) event on Oct. 1. e event was the tour championship for the series, and the Team of the Year would also be crowned a er weigh-ins. Team Crankin’ Hogs brought to the scales a ve- sh limit that weighed more than 33-pounds. It It would have secured Jake Runyan and Chase Cominsky well over $20,000 for the championship win and for Team of the Year honors. ey overplayed their dirty hand.

Tournament Director Jason Fischer suspected something was amiss when the sh hit the scales. Fischer later told CNN that the sh looked like they should have weighed 4 pounds each, but the total weight indicated they were much heavier. He handled the sh and felt something hard inside one of them.

In a now-viral YouTube Video, Fischer guts the sh as the cheaters stand by silently. “We have weights in the sh!” Fischer announced, and that’s when the shouting started as other anglers hurled obscenities at Runyan and Cominsky.

All-told, there were 8 pounds worth of lead weights, llets from other walleye and a pair of pliers inside Team Crankin’ Hogs’ sh. ey were immediately disquali ed and banned from the tournament series. Both men were later indicted by an Ohio grand jury on charges of cheating and attempted grand the .

It will be interesting to see if the team’s other tournament wins are called into question. ey have won numerous events over the last couple of years, including the 2021 LEWT Championship.

For more information, go to lakeeriewalleyetrail.com.

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