Attention a necessity when ice fishing

Ice fishermen finally had a winter that was cold enough for long enough that they could have a season.

There has been much success over the past month by those who brave the cold and venture onto frozen water. The ponds, inland lakes, and harbors of Lake Erie produced huge catches of bluegill, crappie, and perch. However, it’s important to stay on your toes at all times when venturing out on the ice, especially if you’re trying to fish larger bodies of water like Lake Erie.

Eighteen people had to be rescued off Catawba last weekend when a large fissure developed and a large flow of ice began to drift into the lake. This is the second time this has happened in the past two weeks. Both times strong southerly winds created the thrust and caused the ice to break away from the shore and begin to drift.

Both of these situations endanger humans, both those who need to be saved and those who save them. On top of that, it’s quite expensive because only souls are saved by the Coast Guard, which means humans are saved but not equipment. Several ATVs and fishing gear had to be abandoned during the rescue.

Keep in mind when venturing out on the ice that things can change every day. Avoid bodies of water that have currents or ponds that have springs. The thickness of the ice must be checked in several places before venturing out of the bank.

Many factors affect the strength of ice in addition to its thickness. These include: Thawing and refreezing can weaken the ice; Air pockets can form under the ice on lakes where water levels are raised and lowered by flood control; The insulating effect of snow slows down the freezing process; Ice formed on flowing water and currents is often dangerous.

The water temperature of lakes and streams remains cold. Cold water will cool a body 25 times faster than cold air of the same temperature. Within minutes, even the best swimmers can experience complete exhaustion and symptoms of hypothermia.

It’s always a good idea to plan your outdoor activities and share your plan with a trusted friend or family member, especially if you’re alone or plan to be on or near water. jelly. Plans should include where you are going, what you are going to do, a schedule of your travels, and when you expect to arrive home. If you see someone falling through the ice, it’s important not to go on the ice after them. The ice that breaks once breaks again. The best solution is to call for help.

• The ODNR Wildlife Division compiled the 2021 Fish Ohio submissions, and the results show 8,943 anglers brought in at least one qualified fish last year. Bids were high for walleye in Lake Erie, as well as sageye, crappie and largemouth bass in Ohio’s inland lakes.

The Fish Ohio program highlights incredible catches in inland lakes and reservoirs, Lake Erie, the Ohio River and other waterways for 25 of Ohio’s most popular sport fish. Those who catch a qualified fish receive a Fish Ohio pin for first entry and a Master Angler pin for catching four separate qualifying species in the same year. Each year’s pin features a different species, and in 2022 the headliner is a black crappie. Fish Ohio pin requests are accepted at fishohio.gov.

Lake Erie is known as the walleye capital of the world and is the best place to catch Ohio walleye. To qualify for Fish Ohio, a walleye must be 28 inches or taller. In 2021, anglers caught 1,392 Fish Ohio walleyes in Lake Erie, the largest of which was 34 inches long. As I mentioned before, we landed nine Fish Ohio qualified walleyes ourselves in our boat last season.

Some of the most popular species in inland lakes are largemouth bass, sageye, and crappie. Saugeye over 21 inches, Largemouth Bass over 20 inches, and Crappie over 13 inches qualify for Fish Ohio status.

Largemouth Bass is one of the most popular sport fish sought after in Ohio’s inland lakes. Four anglers all reported catching a 26-inch largemouth bass, the largest of the inland lakes in 2021, at the Appalachian Wildlife Preserve.

Saugeye is stocked in over 60 Ohio lakes and reservoirs by the Division of Wildlife. These fish grow quickly and are caught year-round, making them a favorite of many Buckeye State anglers. The three main destinations for Fish Ohio sageye are Buckeye Lake, Indian Lake, and Alum Creek Lake. Three anglers shared the largest sageye catch reported in 2021, all measuring 30 inches. They were rolled up on the Griggs Reservoir and the Ohio River.

The three main destinations for Fish Ohio crappie are Mosquito Creek Lake, Indian Lake, and Hoover Reservoir. The largest crappie caught in public waters in 2021 was 18¾ inches long and was found at Lake Leesville.

Make plans now to go out this fishing season to catch your Fish Ohio fish. Until next time, happy hunting and fishing!

Ken Parrott is an agricultural science teacher at Northmor High School.

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