Bass angler clinic and top lake picks


Considering that spring is having such a hard time presenting itself it’s no wonder the early fishing scene is anything but consistent.

Never the less, fishing success is on the minds and wish lists of every angler in the region. The Ohio Division of Wildlife is offering a one-time evening program on bass fishing, an appropriate topic since bass fishing, especially largemouth bass fishing, is easily most popular angling pursuit throughout inland Ohio.

And the location of the seminar is right in the middle of some of the best largemouth bass fishing in eastern Ohio.

Learn how to take advantage of this spring feeding frenzy at a free clinic according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Interested bass anglers need to understand that attendance is limited.

ODNR Division of Wildlife experts will present basic bass fishing strategies in a clinic May 24 from 6:-9 p.m. The location of the seminar is Wildlife District Three Headquarters, 912 Portage Lakes Drive, Akron.

Topics to be included: what makes a bass tick, equipment and lure selection, local lakes to consider, and how to locate bass in those particular lakes.


While the seminar is free, pre-registration is required as spaces are limited. Call Ken Fry, ODNR Division of Wildlife, 330-245-3030 to pre-register.

Buckeye anglers are fortunate to have access to plenty of fishable water including 124,000 acres of inland lakes and reservoirs, 7,000 miles of streams, 2.25 acres of Lake Erie and 481 miles of Ohio River.


That’s a lot of water to cover in search of creatures as elusive as Buckeye sport fish.  Maps might help in the search and new this season is an interactive fishing map allowing fishermen to select features to customize their own fishing maps.

Smartphone and tablet owners will be able to gather fish finding information while they move about a body of water.  Interested fishermen can find instructions and maps by clicking the fishing tab at

Top picks

State wildlife officials have published their picks for the best 2017 fishing lakes. Best bass fishing, according to the state is to be found in the Portage Lakes chain with Turkeyfoot Lake identified as a good first choice.

Just to add another option, especially for non-boat owners, look to farm ponds and private compounds for fast bass action right now before summer weeds clog these small bodies of water.

Keep in mind that landowner permission is required. Many landowners will grant permission if no bass are kept and if a child is involved.

Atwood Lake is the division’s top choice for crappie fishing backed by a five-year rating as one of the top ten crappie producers in northeast Ohio.  Not just crappies but crappies over nine inches nose to tail. Boaters who would like to try Atwood are limited to 25 hp motors.

Cannel cats are a highly rated fishery at Springfield Lake just east of Akron.  Division fisheries target this lake for cats and stock it yearly to boost its reputation. Anglers might also want to try Lake Milton where channel cats are plentiful.

Inland walleye chasers will be wise to head for Mosquito Creek Lake just north of Warren where the state’s highest numbers of success on walleye catches have been recorded for several years.

Walleye anglers chase fish by wading, tolling, drifting and still fishing. The division’s officials suggest that the best walleye fishing found here at depths ranging from 6 to 15 feet.

Other good walleye lakes include Pymatuning, Milton and West Branch.

Muskellunge are the big deal at West Branch where annual catch numbers tell the story. Lots of muskies and plenty of big fish offer muskie fishermen the best chance of scoring multiple fish on any given day.

Although late fall probably produces the highest catch rates of the year, these giant predators are nearly always ready to attack the right lure.   

Bad gas

Let’s talk gasoline, specifically bad gas.

The concern over the implementation of upcoming planned changes to the Renewable Fuel Standards is beginning to worry everyone who knows about or has experienced, the costly damage ethanol charged fuel can and often does to marine engines and recreational equipment.

It is well documented that a huge percentage of damaged engines can be attributed to ethanol blended gas.

In the pages of the 1995 RFS legislation is written a switch from 10 percent (E-10) to higher levels of corn-ethanol, up to 15 percent (E-10) and the change is scheduled to take place this year.

Most of the protest letters to Federal legislators being delivered ask for a common sense solution to this potentially disastrous mix. The current law as written needs to be altered.

The big question will be if legislators will care enough about the negative effects of the additional ethanol on constituents to do the right thing or simply go along with lobbyists who tend to hold the lion’s share of political influence.

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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.



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