Drawings for special controlled dove, waterfowl hunts approaching

By Al Smith - Guest Columnist

Drawings for special controlled dove and waterfowl hunts at two Limaland area facilities will be held Aug. 18 and Aug. 25.

A drawing for approximately 70 blinds at Mercer Wildlife Area near Celina will be held at 8 a.m. on Aug. 18 at the area, located at 6615 State Route 703. The area will be open for applications at 7:15 a.m.

The drawing for the opening day dove hunt at the St. Marys Fish Hatchery will be held at 12 p.m. at the hatchery office, located at 01735 Feeder Road St. Marys. Drawings for Sept. 2, 8 and 15 will be held at 12 p.m. Youth will be given priority on Sept. 2 and 8. An adult must be present with the youth(s) and sign the permit. Hunting hours will be noon to sunset for all controlled dove hunts. The hatchery is located at the east end of the lake. Contact the hatchery office at 419-236-8838 for more information.

In order to participate in dove and waterfowl drawings, hunters will be required to present a 2018-19 hunting license and current Harvest Information Program (HIP) certification prior to the drawing. HIP certification is free and can be accomplished by calling 877-HIP-OHIO. For more information on HIP go to http://www.fws.gov/hip/ .

Waterfowl blind applicants also must have a state wetlands stamp endorsement in the applicant’s name and a signed 2017 or 2018 federal duck stamp. Applicants under the age of 18 are required to have a parent or legal guardian present to sign the permit contract, and provide the required license and stamps.

Each hunter can apply for only one duck blind permit, and no one can apply or draw for another person. Lottery winners have 45 days to construct their blinds, and all blinds must be dismantled by March 15, 2019.

Dove hunters are reminded that shotguns cannot be capable of holding more than three shells, unless it is plugged with a one-piece filler which limits the capacity of the gun to three shells. The filler must be such that it cannot be removed without disassembling the gun. Doves may be hunted with lead shot.

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While many outdoor types are gearing for hunting seasons, anglers are looking at catching one of the tastiest panfish there is.

August signals the beginning of good yellow perch fishing. Late summer and fall traditionally provide the best yellow perch fishing of the year. Local anglers have several choices in Limaland to seek for this popular-eating fish.

Ferguson, Metzger and Williams are three highly rate reservoirs in Lima for perch. Ferguson and Metzger have numerous perch over 9 inches while Williams has been groomed by the Ohio Division of Wildlife (DOW) for great perch fishing. Some 12 to 13 inches are caught there.

Findlay Reservoir 2 is rated among the best inland bodies of water in the state for yellow perch. It is not unusual to catch a number of perch more than 10 inches long. Shoreline fishing in the fall can be productive over the fish attraction structures. If fishing from a boat, start along the dike opposite of the boat ramp and move east.

Van Wert Reservoirs 1 and 2 have decent populations of perch.

While many anglers like to fish for perch with minnows, the fish can be taken on worms and small jigs, too.

If you want to make the trip, Lake Erie offers a bonanza of yellow perch fishing as these panfish begin to school into large groups. Fishing from piers and marinas along the big lake is a popular pastime, but fishing over the side of a boat is by far the method preferred by most perch anglers.

Catching doubles is not unusual on Lake Erie when using a spreader tipped with shiners fished near the bottom. Perch fishing has been good, according to the DOW. The wildlife agency says the best reports have come from Rattlesnake and Green islands in 25 to 35 feet of water. Anglers are still doing well near the Toledo Water Intake, West Sister Island, and “A” can of the Camp Perry firing range.

Anglers are reminded that the ramp at Catawba State Park is closed through the end of the year for construction.

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Limaland bass anglers continue their tourney fishing on the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) trail.

A quarter of area bassers are among the top 30 in the points standings following action Aug. 4 on Lake Muskegon in Muskegon, Mich., in the Michigan Division.

Wilson Burton, of Findlay, moved into 18th after finishing 44th in the tourney with a five-bass limits that weighed 9 pounds, 6 ounces. Zach Maisch of Lima dropped from fifth to 19th after having a tourney tourney where he was 90th with one fish that weighed 1 pound, 13 ounces. Alex Newman of Wapakoneta fell to 23rd from 13th after placing 81st with one bass that weighed 3 pounds, 3 ounces. Mark Elkins of Spencerville climbed from 37th to 27th after finishing 37th with a five-bass limit that weighed 10 pounds, 6 ounces.

On the co-angler side Vickie Maisch Rumer, Zach’s mother, climbed to 13th in the points standings from 19th when she landed three bass that weighed 5 pounds, 4 ounces. She finished 32nd in the tourney.

The Hoosier Division also held a tourney Aug. 4 on the Ohio River out of Rocky Point in Cannelton, Ind.

Jay Ellis, of Celina finished 14th among the boaters with 2 bass that weighed 4 pounds, 4 ounces while Kyle Weisenburger of Ottawa finished 53rd with one bass that weighed 1 pound, 5 ounces. Ron Weisenburger of Continental finished 35th among the co-anglers with one fish that weighed 1 pound, 1 ounce. None among that trio is among the top 50 in the points standings.

The top 45 boaters and co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six regional tournaments where they are competing to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing — the BFL All-American.

Both divisions fish again Aug. 25 with the Michigan Division tourney being on the Detroit River while the Hoosier Division tourney is slated for Lake Monroe.


By Al Smith

Guest Columnist

Al Smith is a freelance outdoor writer. You may contact him at flyfishman7@hotmail.com and follow him on Twitter @alsmithFL

Al Smith is a freelance outdoor writer. You may contact him at flyfishman7@hotmail.com and follow him on Twitter @alsmithFL

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