Fall Crappie

Fall Crappie
Me with a nice Black Crappie and Cigar

Late Summer Crappie

Late Summer Crappie
Me with a nice White crappie and Cigar

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


   I've been a fisherman for a long time. I've stated before, that I started fishing at a very young age. When ever my family would be around a pond, lake or stream, I would be fishing! When you're young, the size of the fish doesn't really matter. It's the quanity that counts!
   The Bluegill is the number one fish that most youngins like to catch.
   While in school, I couldn't wait for spring break to get here! Usually, the weather had warmed enough to have melted the ice and I had all day to sit on the bank of our lake and fish!
   I would dig up some worms, grab my fishing pole and away I would go. Nothing fancy, just a spincast rod, hooks, bobbers and worms! It was so much fun just watching and waiting for any sign of movement from the bobber!
   I would generally, release the fish that I caught, until I got older and learned how to fillet the Bluegill. They are a very tasty fish, fun to catch and very plentiful in most bodies of water! This was all the fishing I needed to do at the time. When I became a teenager, my interests turned to Bass fishing and artificial baits. I love to cast for Bass but every once in a while, I still get the urge to put on a bobber and some worms for some old time fishing!
   Today, I think most serious fisherman would laugh at the idea of sitting on the shore with bobbers and worms, but I will bet, it is the way they got started!
   Some Saturday or Sunday, get the family together and head to you favorite fishing spot, and just for the fun of it, string up the old hook, bobber and worms and see how much you enjoy getting back to how it all started!

Saturday, July 28, 2012


  My passion for fishing is no secret! I grew up from age 3, knowing that there wasn't anything that I wanted to do, that I enjoyed as much as fishing!
  Dad was my guiding force and I will forever be greatful to him for sharing this love with me!
  Even though Dad taught me how to catch Bluegill through Northern Pike, my interest soon solidified on Largemouth Bass fishing!
  I studied all the fishing techniques of the 60's and would practice these methods and learned how to modify them to fit my style!
  It diffently helped to have grown up on a 12 acre lake and to have the opportunity to fish every day, weather permitting! This lake was, at one time, the best Bass fishing waters in our area and regularly gave up #3-#5 Bass plus an occasional #6+ fish! this lake really spoiled me and a couple of friends. It was an extreme rarity that we couldn't catch fish on this lake! It was very disappointing to travel to other waters and fish our hearts out but end up getting skunked!
  As I got older, our family started traveling to Canada and upstate New York in search of both Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass as well as Walleye and Pike. We enjoyed some very good trips and a few that weren't so good! Our best year was in June 1971, at Black Lake New York. We had some fabulous fishing! Everyone caught Bass, Walleye and Pike. We limited out each day!
  A technique that worked so well that summer was to wind drift over weed beds and drop black hair jigs through the openings in the weeds. We only used a length of line around the length of our rods. We would drop the jigs and follow them down, bounce them a couple of time, then lift and start over. One old timer, we talked with, called this "DAPPING". This worked on bright sunshiny days where a slight breeze could move your boat across the weed beds. The fish were just piled in under those weeds and we caught Bass, Walleye, large Crappie, Perch and Pike and an occasional Needlenose Gar. This technique will work anywhere!
  Back in Ohio, I fished and caught Bass at a number of locations. Westville Lake in Northwestern Columbiana County is a favorite of mine. This lake is fished heavily on weekends but is very empty during the weekdays. This is an excellent Bass lake and is used by several area Bass Clubs for weekly and weekend tourneys.
  There are a couple of State waters in my area but they are fished hard. It has been several years since I've fished either one but I have heard they have become fairly good Bass Lakes! The State of Ohio doesn't do anything to promote Bass fishing. They seem to be more interested in annual stockings of Saugers, Catfish and Trout!
  I caught my first Bass over #6 in May of 1971 and since then I have been fortunate to have caught Bass up to #8. It is always a thrill to bring a beauty like that to the boat, lip it, unhook it, admire it then release it! The one thing I regret about my earlier fishing days is, I didn't release enough of the big Bass that I caught. These large fish are the brood fish of tomorrow, so with that said, enjoy every fish you catch and release the big ones!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


  I don't know how long this return may last! This past 1 1/2 years has taken it's toll on me! I suffered a small stroke in January 2011, which knocked the snot out of me! I was laid up for 4 months, not being able to see very well and my legs suffered the most with extreme weakness! I still have a very hard time maneuvering and have a tendency to trip and fall! Not much fun!
  On July 23, 2011 we lost our youngest son at the age of 33! To this day we are not sure what killed him! After this incident, I basically just gave up! I lost interest in everything and just hung around the house!
  I went fishing one time last summer and have yet to get out this year!
  It's really hard to give up what has been my main interest in life but it's just not there for me anymore! I still feel the love for fishing but being disabled has taken a lot of the enjoyment away!
  My wife bought me some new soft plastic grubs and worms for Easter, hoping I would attempt to give them a try, but they are still in a bag beside my easy chair!
  I have one friend that I did most of my fishing with but he has found other interests this year and hasn't had the time for fishing!
  All that said, let's try to get back to fishing.
  This has been a very warm and dry summer. This has dropped the water levels and created difficulties launching boats in some waters. Mosquito reservior, up in Trumbull county, has three main ramp areas closed and I've heard there are new islands and sand bars showing that we could not see before! Even with the low water, Walleyes, Bass and large Catfish are still being caught. The Bass and Walleyes are around weed beds.
  For Bass, try throwing buzz baits, spinner baits and crank baits around the weed beds,wood and rock formations. Walleyes are being caught trolling worm harnesses around weed beds in the deeper water.
  I guess, if you can stand the heat, the fish are still hungry and can be caught! If you can, Catch a few for me but please, release the Bass!

Friday, March 11, 2011


It has been a terrible winter for me! I've been sick and in and out of the hospital so much since New Years that the hospital staff knows me by sight! I'm still not back to where I should be but I'm working on it day after day!
It is approaching the middle of March, 2011, the weather is starting to play tricks on us by being sunny and warm one day then cold windy and wet the next, followed by more snow! I haven't even taken a drive to check on our area lakes to see if they are in ice-out condition
With the price of gasoline edging up to $4.00 per gallon, my wife says to save the gas for work so who knows how much I'll be fishing this spring!
I've been watching films, on the internet, of ice fishing and early spring Crappie fishing.The Crappie will be moving into channels, bays, and canals as we get more into spring. They are fairly easy to catch using minnows hung from under a bobber (preferably a stick style bobber because this style gives less resistance and is easier for the fish to pull under). Also try 1/32ounce jigs with plastic bodies or grubs or maribou. These can be worked under a bobber and bounced slowly back in. Crappie will shallow up as the water warms but even in this cold water in early spring Crappie can be found in 3ft.-5ft.water depths.
If any of you know Columbiana County here in Ohio, you probably know Guilford Lake. One of the best early season areas in this lake is in the bay next to the camp grounds. The road that passes over the lake is CountyRd # 411 and is know as Teegarden Rd. There is a culvert under the road that feeds to the pond on the other side of the road. This has been the favorite area of Crappie fishermen for generations!
It's time to put fresh line of 4# to 6# on those Crappie poles,grab your box of panfish jigs and go catch some good eating Crappie!

Monday, December 6, 2010


The ice is forming on the ponds and lakes! It is the 6th of December, 2010 here in Northeastern Ohio, and by the looks of things, it could be a long and cold winter! This is good news for us ice fishermen! The lake that I fish is a 12 acre pond with the water depth a maximum of 10-12 feet. Once the ice has obtained a thickness of 4"-5" I can be fairly sure it is safe for me to venture out on! As mentioned in my last post, I will cautiously work my way to the areas I want to fish by "TESTING" the ice thickness with a spud bar. The areas I want to fish are the same places we caught fish right before ice up. My auger allows for an 8" diameter hole (Ohio regs call for nothing larger than 12") which has proven to be big enough for the fish I catch! When the hole is opened, I will take my ice jig and lower it to the bottom to get a general depth of the area. I usually start fishing about a foot off the bottom and will shallow up if no bites occur within a few minutes. My choice of bait is generally maggots on the end of a small pin-min type panfish jig. I will load 3-4 maggots then drop the jig through the hole. I use a very small bobber (just large enough to float the jig) and a small split shot about a foot above the jig. On deeper water, a bobber is rarely used and the jigs are allowed to suspend and be vertically worked while watching the line and the "very light" rod tip for signs of a bite. This area of the country offers a couple of larger lakes that hold Walleye but for the most part the fishing is for Bluegill, Crappie and Perch. It always seemed funny that Bluegill are usually a secondary fish when fishing open water but become the primary sought after fish through the ice! Most of the strategy for ice fishing is the same as open water fishing. If you don't find the fish at one spot, move to another or try a different color jig and as mentioned earlier, different water depths! Once the fish are located, they should be in abundance! Other baits  that are commonly used are wax worms, minnows and spikes,which are a large maggot. Short rods are made for ice fishing and are adviced due to the fact that they are easier to use because they get you closer to the hole. My rods are no longer that 25"-30" and I have small reels attached with no heavier that 4 pound test mono. The newer flurocarbon line like Berkley's Vantage is great to use! The best advice I can give here is to have really warm boots that are water proof and insulated. There are all kinds of material used now for insulation but to be honest a cheap and effective material is the felt pack liner. For years all I had was a set of felt packs slipped into a pair of old buckle up rubber boots and these worked just fine! You might want to invest in ice spikes or cleats for the bottom of the boots. These really help on a slick ice surface and take it from me, when you slip and fall, hitting that ice is like hitting cement! I carry a plastic 5 gallon bucket that holds all my tackle when I'm moving around and then I use the bucket as a seat and to carry the fish back home! You can spend alot of money on equipment such as a power auger, fancy cold weather gear, sleds to haul your equipment and ice shanties or tents along with heaters and lights, or you can buy or make a good, sharp spud bar, have a decent pair of warm weather coveralls and boots, like I mentioned earlier, buy a cheap ice rod for under $15 and a few panfish jigs plus maggots and be set to go! For the doubters, it will be next to impossible to get them on the ice but for the ones who really enjoy the winter, it's a very interesting way to spent the day and hopefully take home some very good eating!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Today is November 30, 2010. Although today's weather is above normal with rain, tomorrow is suppose to be near normal with snow showers. It's often said about the weather here in Ohio, "if you don't like the weather today, wait until tomorrow"! There has been some skim ice on the ponds already but it hasn't been cold enough to start a good ice over. I was checking the weather in Minnesota the other day and found the weather at Mille Lacs lake to be in the low twenties for day time highs and near "0" at night! This area usually ends up with over 3 foot of ice and their ice fishing season runs through March! If we get the right weather here in Ohio, I've seen our season run from mid January till mid February. It takes several nights with temperatures around zero to make good ice on our lakes. I refer to "Good Ice" as being hard and 6" or more in thickness! A rule of thumb states that 2" of ice can support one 200 pound man, 3" can support a small group that are spread out, 6" of hard ice will support a car. I mentioned "Hard Ice". If the freeze isn't interrupted by warming temperatures or rain and snow, the ice should form a hard, thick covering. If there is a period of snow during the freeze over, the ice will take on a cloudy, softer form and will require thicker ice to be safe! Personally, I never traverse on the ice until it is at least 5" thick. I'm a large guy at over 350 pounds and I don't like to take chances! When I think the time is right to check out the ice, I approach from the shallows, and using a spud bar, I attempt to see how solid the ice is by chopping small holes close to shore! If I'm happy with the results then I'll move further out and open another hole. I'll do this until I reach the first area I want to fish then I'll use my auger to open my fishing hole. I will use this method over the entire lake or at least the areas I will be fishing. The thickness of the ice can vary according to different underwater conditions or any structures like boat docks, rocks or wood that is protruding through the ice. These objects will draw heat from the sun and actually melt the ice that is surrounding them! You should never venture out on new ice alone. Keep in mind that the surface water is at 32 degrees and can be extremely life threating if you should break through! Ice fishing is a great sport and a fun way to make it through the long winter months. Use common sense, dress accordingly, have good equipment and you will find out just how much you will enjoy fishing through "Hard Water"!

Friday, November 19, 2010


Today was probably the last open water fishing day for 2010! We got out around 11a.m. and fished until 4p.m.. The day was sunny, breezy and COLD! The air temperature was 45 degrees, the wind out of the southwest at about 10 m.p.h. and the water temperature was around 43 degrees. Not the most perfect fishing day that we have enjoyed! We did, however, manage to catch 6 bass each for a total of 12 fish! My buddy caught all of his on spinners, using a C.P.Swing tipped with a yellow and white Uncle Josh Fly Strip and a chartreuse Rooster Tail. I used a black jig/plastic combo and a Smithwick Rogue jerk bait to lure my bass. The fish didn't seem to be on any pattern but were randomly scattered. Some came out of deep water while some came from the shallows. It was good to end the season on a high note since it's always good to catch bass and not get skunked on days like these! The small 12 foot boat is pulled from the water and turned over until spring, when we start the whole process over again! I've started making out my wish list for Christmas, wanting two new casting reels and rods to go with them, a new spinning outfit and maybe a new 9 foot fly rod with 7-8 weight line for bass fishing, plus several new fishing lures that are due out on the market soon! Over the winter, we will probably make a trip down to Wheeling, W.Va. to Cabala's and maybe one to Toledo, Ohio to Bass Pro Shops. I really need to get rid of some of my older tackle before I buy new but it is all like old friends to me and I don't know what to give up! It's hard for me to believe that my favorite casting rod is over 25 years old! We've had fun this fall with bass fishing and will be ready to get back to it come spring. I've yet to decide if ice fishing is in the cards, only time will tell! I'll let you all know so keep reading!