What’s in your wallet? Here’s what ought to be in there — a fresh fishing license for starters.
Sure, you have a picture of it saved on your phone, but it’s a good idea to have a hard copy with you as well just in case the “cloud” eats your phone copy.
And be sure to sign the license before you snap the phone photo.
Fishing licenses for 2019 are available in several forms from one day, one year, multi-years, and even lifetime with slight discounts for the extended periods. There is now a lifetime youth license, even though youth under 16 are not required to have a fishing license.
Old people, generally referred to as seniors, are required to have a license but those 66 and older get a cheap seat at just $10 while a regular adult annual license cost is $19.
This old fellow has saved a bunch on senior fishing and hunting licenses, and I appreciate the discounts. It covers the cost of a spool or two of fresh fishing line.
Keep copies of boat and trailer registrations as well as a current fishing license on the boat at all times. Stow them safely in a plastic bag. Add to the package a $20 for the day you forget money for the ramp, fuel or lunch.
Now that you have your signed license in your wallet, you might want to add a couple of additional items. Include at least a handwritten note describing the minimum length of the most popular fish to qualify for Fish Ohio recognition.
Most popular being the species that you most often catch — or fish for.
Add to that list, the state record for those same species. Yes, you can find the list online, but why look for it when you already have it on your phone and in your wallet.
That way you can release that almost trophy (not quite large enough) to spawn again.
Why bother carrying a copy or photo of your current license? Interestingly, because anyone can ask to see it — anyone.
That regulation, clearly listed in the current fishing regulations booklet, may seem odd since a hunting license need only to be shown to a short list of identified people.
There is a lot to know when fishing Ohio waters. Stuff like daily limits and size limitations, that may or may not be the same as you think you remember.
There are also differences between bodies of water concerning limits, minimum or slot limits. For example, the daily limit of steelhead trout is five in the summer but just two in the offseason.
Lake Erie’s daily walleye limit is also different in summer than it is during the spawning period. Be aware too about the rules on waters shared by West Virginia, Kentucky and Pennsylvania.
And what about frogs and turtles? Both are targeted by sportsmen. Both require a fishing license.
Add to those regs, the rules spelling out methods and limits concerning trot lines, jug fishing, set lines and frogging; all popular and tasty pursuits.
Ohio anglers are lucky. We have lots of rivers, lakes and other options available for our use. But to be sure, we also have a book full of regulations designed to protect our resources.
For the most part, the sportsmen and women are diligent and police themselves, but it is our responsibility to know the rules. So what’s in your wallet?
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