Bass season abruptly ends for six area anglers

Al Smith - Guest Columnist

The bass fishing season came to an abrupt end for six Limaland anglers on the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League tour last week in regional competition of Chesapeake Bay.

They all competed in regional tournament action, which was cut short by a day when high winds canceled the second day of competition. Thus, the tourney became a two-day event.

Findlay’s John Lane, who qualified late for the regional, had the highest local finish when he placed 17th in the co-angler division. He had a two-day total weight of 13 pounds, 12 ounces and caught 7 fish.

Cody Seeger, of Bellefontaine, finished highest among the local pros. He weighed in 20 pounds, 6 ounces on nine fish and placed 26th.

The other area bassers finished in the middle of the pack. Kyle Weisenburger, of Ottawa, was 52nd after catching 7 fish that weighed 14 pounds, 13 ounces. Dick Shaffer, of Rockford, caught 9 bass that weighed 14 pounds, 5 pounces and finished 55th. Jay Ellis, of Celina, was 59th after catching 6 bass that weighed 13 pounds, 11 ounces. Greg Burwell of North Baltimore, was 72nd with 5 bass that weighed 11 pounds, 11 ounces. Co angler Ron Weisenberger was 112th with 1 bass that weighed 1 pounds, 14 ounces.

While six of those are finished with the BFL circuit for the year, Ellis along with Wilson Burton, of Findlay, and co-angler Mike Kokoska, also for Findlay, have been competing in Kentucky and Barkley lakes regional out of Gilbertsville, Kentucky, this week.

The tourney began Thursday and runs through Saturday and features local competitors from the Hoosier and Michigan divisions. Ellis qualified through the Hoosier Division while Burton and Koskosa qualified via the Michigan Division.

The top six boaters and co-anglers at each regional advance to the 2019 BFL All-American, which will take place May 30-June 1 on the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland.

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The Allen County Sportsmen and Farmers Association, located at 1001 South Kemp Road, will hold a turkey shoot Sunday with prizes being turkeys and chickens. The shoot begins at noon. with breakfast starting at 10:30 a.m.

Jason Beck, of the Ohio Division of Wildlife, will be featured during the club’s monthly meeting Thursday. He will discuss the current bald eagle population and status in Ohio.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. For further information, call club president Bill Stratton at 419-236-9082.

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There are an abundance and diverse opportunities to enjoy outdoor endeavors in the state and Ohioans are taking advantage of them, according to Ohio’s 2018 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP). The plan is available at according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

This plan, which is completed every five years, covers more than the traditional outdoor thought of fishing, hunting, hiking, camping and trapping. It provides up-to-date information on statewide outdoor recreation priorities and current recreation trends in the state.

According to the ODNR, the SCORP is a reference document for state officials for allocating federal and state grants among projects proposed by public outdoor recreation providers, such as park districts, cities, counties, villages and townships around the state.

Following are some noteworthy highlights from the 2018 SCORP:

• The top three wildlife activities for Ohioans are wildlife viewing, nature photography and bird watching.

Interest in camping is growing nationally, with those age 18 to 34 accounting for nearly half of all new campers.

Interest in fishing continued to grow nationally, with 44 percent of new anglers being between 6- and 17-years-old and 46 percent being female. However, fishing participation in Ohio dropped slightly.

• Interest in hunting and shooting sports also dipped slightly in Ohio.

• Trails are highly popular with Ohioans, with 90 percent walking or hiking a trail a few times a year and approximately a third walking or hiking a trail monthly.

• Bicycling on paved trails remains popular in Ohio with 55 percent of households doing so at least a few times a year.

• Interest in paddleboarding and stand-up paddleboarding grew from 4 percent to 10 percent in Ohio from 2013 to 2018, which is consistent with national trends.

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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