Ohio implements three rod rule for fishers

Lake Erie fishing boat
A fishing boat leaving mainland on Lake Erie.

Beginning in January 2020, Lake Erie anglers fishing Ohio waters will be allowed three rods for the first time.

New rule

The new three rod per person rule should bring smiles  — especially to big water walleye trollers who are expressing varied opinions about the change.

According to those who proposed the extra rod, it won’t change a thing, except of course how long it takes to limit out on the current flood of catchable walleyes in the lake.

For decades the question most asked of Lake Erie walleye anglers upon returning to dockside was, “did you get your limit?”

But in more recent years, following remarkably successful spawns, is, “how long did it take to limit out?”


Fast action

In fact, Lake Erie walleye fishing has been more about catching than fishing. Action has been so fast that some charters have been running multiple trips each day, with limits caught in less time than it takes to make the run out deep water and back.

New concerns

It’s hard to imaging running even more lines than presently allowed, but it will indeed be fad and fact next spring as trollers perfect the art of keeping multiple lines out of the way of other lines. Lures will need to be perfectly tuned, depth-diving gadgets as well, and other potential tangle problems averted.

Help small boaters

Nevertheless, the new three rod rule should help small boaters who fish alone or in pairs, who might find the additional lure in the water to be helpful in finding fish and trouble free to handle.

Comments forthcoming from fishery officials will certainly confirm the simple fact that other states have allowed three rods with no negative results and that the change is not expected to affect the big lake’s walleye population.

Taking care of itself

For several years back when the Lake Erie walleye population was taking a worrisome dive, anglers requested a closed spawning season to provide time for walleyes to reproduce undisturbed.

The official answer to those suggestions was always the same: the lake will take care of itself and there’s nothing that will change that. You’ve got admit that it has done just that.

Incidentally, the three rod rule goes for the Ohio River anglers as well.

South Dakota Pheasants

Always popular, pheasant hunting trips to South Dakota have dropped in popularity as bird numbers continue there to be spotty at best.

The first pheasant hunt held there was in 1919, a one-day hunt with about 200 birds killed. Just three years later, hunters bagged 15,000 roosters, and it was more and better from then on. But stuff happens.

Grassland, primary nesting habitat, agriculture practices, extremely bad winters and spring weather caused major drops in pheasant numbers. I would like to hear from area hunters who continue to make the trip west to chase wild pheasants.


Up-to-date agriculture news in your inbox!

Previous articleA trip to the Great American West with White and Burrier
Next articleStreamside forests help prevent pollution
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.



We are glad you have chosen to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated according to our comment policy.

Receive emails as this discussion progresses.