Stories by Mike Tontimonia

Retired Jitterbug lived a long, exciting life

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Retired now, a gray and white Jitterbug bass lure keeps a faded eye on things from a wall in my office, a safe place and a retirement the battered lure earned the hard way. I bought the lure in Canada, a functional vacation gift from my dad. We were spending a week in a mouse-infested […]

Check out beetle-mania in Ohio at the Wilds

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Unlike the 1960s talented British Invasion force of John, Paul, George and Ringo, some highly coveted American beetles are about to take center stage as they find their way into Ohio news and Ohio soil. These guys are American burying beetles, colorful but somewhat creepy creatures that are federally protected and also carefully guarded by […]

Put-in-Bay events commemorate battle of Lake Erie

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

On an crisp autumn day in the year 1813, Admiral Oliver Hazard Perry, in just his late 20s, altered national history and spawned a coming international peace when he launched his just-completed small fleet of tall ships from Put-in-Bay to attack an English fleet of war ships in what has become known as the Battle […]

Lake Erie still a world-class walleye fishery

Thursday, May 9, 2013

PUT-IN-BAY, Ohio — According to Ohio’s Lake Erie fisheries supervisor Jeff Tyson, last year’s walleye season was the best in recent memory. That in itself might be debatable judging from the fishermen who struggled to fill their stringers, but when weighed against some pretty lean catches in the past few years, Tyson’s declaration is right […]

Hogs gone wild are getting to be a problem

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Hogs Gone Wild could be the title of a horror movie featuring some of the most destructive creatures to find wild America to their liking. We’re talking about feral pigs here, and the scene isn’t pretty. Feral pigs are getting a lot of attention lately and for good reason: their numbers are increasing rapidly and […]

Mercury outboard motors have made the difference

Thursday, April 18, 2013

When my dad came home with a brand new Mercury outboard, I thought that I had gone to fishing heaven. That was in the mid-1950s when outboard motors for the most part were considered luxuries and my dad wasn’t in to luxuries.But he did like to fish and he did like to fish from a […]

Crappies are out there, you just have to find them

Thursday, April 11, 2013

This year’s fishing season is off to a slow start, victimized by the lingering cool to cold weather. Anglers anxious to dunk baits have so far been disappointed, partially perhaps because they are spending time fishing their usual spring spots. Crappie, the area’s “go to” early season fish, aren’t using those usual spots yet, simply […]

Hunters bring their turkey season questions to Thomas Gobbolier

Thursday, April 4, 2013

With Ohio’s spring wild turkey season just weeks away it’s time to listen to hunting advice from Thomas Gobbolier, an unrecognized expert ,but a learned and insightful turkey fanatic. In fact, Thomas has been outsmarted by elusive turkeys so many times that he claims to be the most sympathetic person in the world when it […]

Spring turkey season will happen… no matter what

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sitting here with another deep freeze kind of day tapping on a frosted window, it’s hard to picture that in one month Ohio’s spring wild turkey season will open. But the calendar doesn’t lie and April 22 will happen, ready or not. Emerging trees and grass. Spring turkey hunting coincides with the emerging season, a […]

Walleye lovers always angling for ways to fish

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Ohio Walleye Federation events are open to weekend anglers as well as serious walleye chasers.

Walleye are this young man’s business on the lake

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Gribble gang may be Lake Erie’s hottest walleye fishing crew, knocking down approximately 600 charter trips last summer, a carefully planned and orchestrated summer assault on the fish that put some 9,500 walleyes in client coolers. If those numbers sound big, they are. Indeed, John Gribble and his skilled guides who make up the […]

Changes in Ohio deer hunting; early hiking opportunities

Thursday, February 28, 2013

This fall’s deer hunting regulations look to be altered but not drastically. First guesses about upcoming changes had Ohio’s January muzzle loader season and bonus gun hunting weekend eliminated, limits reduced, and some other moves intended to let the Ohio herd rebuild. Indeed, there were fewer deer in the woods last fall in many areas […]

Outdoor artist Kevan Crouse finds inspiration today, yesterday

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Award-winning artist Kevan Crouse never wants for inspiration.

Valentine’s gift: Teaching anglers to catch walleye

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Hey Mr. Fisherman, if you think simply turning an electronic depth finder on is all there is to it, think again. That’s exactly what several anglers attending Lance Valentine’s Walleye 101 fishing seminar learned recently when Valentine brought his popular walleye fishing school to Ravenna Marine. And schooling walleye guys is what Valentine does. According […]

Sports show’s decision to pull guns sets a bad precedent

Thursday, February 7, 2013

What was to be the annual big event of the year for sport show fans may be at death’s door. Indeed, the Eastern Sport and Outdoor Show was scheduled to run this week in Harrisburg, Pa. as it has for years, but an ugly turn of events kept the sprawling Pa. state capital farm complex […]

Middle of winter means time for sports shows in Ohio, Pa.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Dreary winter weather wearing you down? Tired of being tired. Itching to climb out of the recliner? Then gentlemen, start your engines because starting today, the show season starts. Starting today, Cleveland’s IX Center is full of shiny boats and big bucks as both the annual Mid-Eastern Sail and Power Boat Show and the Cleveland […]

Resolutions fall short, trying to set goals in 2013

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Another year past and time to set some goals for the coming 12 months. Most people call them New Year Resolutions, words that for the most part are synonyms for worthless promises stated then forgotten about as quickly as yesterday’s lunch. So I call them goals, more professional and lasting words that if put in […]

Lake Erie’s thinning walleye population troubling

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The coming summer’s Lake Erie rod and reel fishing forecast may be even less enthusiastic than those of recent years. At least the numbers point in that direction. Ohio’s Division of Wildlife test nettings aren’t encouraging. Let’s start with walleyes, the number one draw for the big lake, which may still be considered the walleye […]

Undercover poacher was dedicated to his job, and the hunting sport

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Outdoor enthusiasts are the most law abiding group ever created. Hunters follow daily limits, time charts, and a host of regulations as if there were someone looking over their should every minute when in fact, there is practically no one checking. Fishermen and trappers are cast from the same mold, policing themselves as well as […]

Hitting a deer may be easier than hunting one

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Ever wonder just how many deer-vehicle collisions occur every year? According to numbers crunched by State Farm Insurance and reports published by the Outdoor Hub New service, well over 1 million crashes occur each year nationally with over 50 percent of them in just 10 states. And yes, Ohio ranks right near the top, with […]

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About Mike

Mike Tontimonia has been writing weekly columns and magazine features about the outdoors for over 25 years, a career that continues to hold the same excitement for him as it did at the beginning. Mike is a retired educator, a licensed auctioneer, and marketing consultant. He lives in Ravenna, Ohio and enjoys spending time at his Carroll County cabin. Mike has hunted and fished in several states and Canada from the Carolinas to Alaska and from Idaho to Delaware. His readers have often commented that the stories about his adventures are about as close to being there as possible. He is past president of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio and a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. Mike is also very involved in his community as a school board member and a Rotarian.