More from Lima area qualify for bass regionals

By Al Smith - Guest Columnist

Five more Limaland bass anglers joined six other veteran area bassers as regional qualifiers on the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing (BFL) trail.

They qualified during the final Michigan Division tourney last weekend on the Detroit River. The quintet advanced to the Oct. 18-20 BFL Regional Championship on Kentucky Lake in Gilbertsville, Kentucky.

Six veteran bass anglers from the Lima area who fish the Buckeye Division have qualified to fish in the regional championship on the Chesapeake Bay in northeast, Maryland, from Oct. 11-13.

The latest qualifiers include boaters Wilson Burton, of Findlay, Zach Maisch, of Lima, and Alex Newman, of Wapakoneta, along with co-anglers Vickie Maisch Rumer, formerly of Lima, and Michael Kokoska, of Findlay, who fish in the Michigan Division. They join boaters Cody Seeger, of Bellefontaine, Dick Shaffer, of Rockford, Kyle Weisenburger, of Ottawa, Jay Ellis, of Celina, and Greg Burwell, of North Baltimore along with co-angler Ron Weisenburger, of Continental, who qualified out of the Buckeye Division.

Burton finished 17th in the points standings with 1,173 while Maisch was 21st with 1,164 points and Newman was 26th with 1,132 points. Maisch Rumer was 10th in the points standings with 1,205 points while Kokoska was 34th with 997 points.

Kokoska used a strong 10th place finish by weighing in 8 fish that tipped the scales at 31 pounds, 7 ounces. That helped him easily moved into the top 45 who qualify for regional competition.

Burton placed 53rd during the tourney while Maisch was 54th and Newman was 64th. All had one-day limits, but failed to qualify for the second day of the event. Maisch Rumer was 59th in the tourney. She failed to qualify for the second day.

Matt Elkins, of Spencerville finished 17th in the tourney and with a two-day total of 34 pounds, 13 ounces. He sits in 50th in the standings, He still has a chance to qualify for the regionals as does Buckeye Division co-angler John Lane, of Findlay, who sits in 49th in the standings.

Brian Johnson, of the FLW, explained how bassers that do not finish among the top 45 can qualify to the regional.

“The top 45 anglers as well as anglers who 1. won a qualifying event 2. entered 5 qualifiers 3. fished at least two of them, are the only anglers guaranteed entry into a regional. It is very common for multiple double-qualifiers for the regionals (because they met the 3-point Win and In criteria and are already a top-45 angler). That is when we extend invitations to 46th, 47th etc.”

He explained, “Depending on how many boaters or co-anglers accept the invitation is how we determine the field. If 45 co-anglers accept but only 39 boaters accept, we will go down the list another 6 boater spots from the original invitation cut off to even the field. If only 42 co-anglers accept and 39 boaters accept, we will go 3 spots down from where the original invitations cut off to even the field, even if it is less than 45 pairs.”

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The fall-like change in the weather expected this week should put bow hunters more in the mood for the deer season opening on Saturday (Sept. 29). Of course, long range forecasts can change, but predicted high temperatures in the 70s and then 60s later in the week will be a welcome respite for those climbing into tree stands or sitting in a ground blind.

There are some changes in deer regulations with the main one being that only one antlerless deer may be taken from Ohio’s public hunting areas. In addition, no antlerless deer may be taken from public hunting areas, excluding controlled hunts, from Dec. 3 through Feb. 3, 2019.

Antlerless permits are not valid in the 9 Limaland counties. Hardin and Logan are both 3-deer counties while the remaining 7 area counties are 2-deer counties. A person cannot exceed an individual county bag limit. The statewide bag limit is 6 deer of which only one may be antlered.

Bow season runs through Feb. 3, 2019. The youth gun hunt is scheduled for Nov. 17-18. Deer-gun season is slated for Nov. 26-Dec. 2 with the extra gun weekend set for Dec. 15-16. The muzzleloader season runs from Jan. 5-8, 2019.

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The future looks bright for walleye and yellow perch fishing in the Western Basin of Lake Erie.

August bottom trawling surveys by the Ohio Division of Wildlife (DOW) indicate an outstanding walleye hatch and a strong yellow perch hatch. The walleye results were the second best on record while the yellow perch results were above average.

The DOW survey found there were 112 walleye per hectare while there were 511 yellow per per hectare. The average walleye have been 27 per hectare over the last 20 years while the average yellow perch have been 316 over the past 20 years. A hectare is a metric measure equal to 100 ares or 2.471 acres or 10,000 square meters.

According to the DOW, initial reports from bottom trawl surveys conducted by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry in Ontario waters of the Western Basin showed similar results with walleye catches well above average and strong yellow perch catches. In the upcoming months, Ohio and Ontario bottom trawl data will be combined to estimate the basin-wide hatches of walleye and yellow perch. These estimates will be used in the process to determine jurisdictional quotas.

By Al Smith

Guest Columnist

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

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

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