Weisenburger nearly makes tourney cut


Kyle Weisenburger continued his FLW Tour improvement Friday on Cherokee Lake in Jefferson City, Tennessee, but needed another “quality” bass and came up short of qualifying for Day 3 of the tourney.

The Lima area bass angler was 36th through two days of the event, missing the cutoff of the top 30 to fish Day 3 on Saturday. He followed a first day weight of 15 pounds, 13 ounces on a five-bass limit with a five-bass limit that weighed 13 pounds and 6 ounces Friday. He was 8 ounces out of 30th place.

He qualified for Day 3 in the last event on Grand Lake, Oklahoma, and wound up 20th after leading the event on opening day. The top 10 after Day 3 fish on the final day of a FLW Tour tourney.

“I had a good week. I caught a lot of fish and made good decisions on the water,” Weisenburger said. “Today (Friday), I had two quality fish. I just needed one more. The weights were really close together.”

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As expected, the Ohio Wildlife Council last week approved Ohio’s 2019-20 hunting season dates and bag limits.

The main change came when the council approved an increase in the bag limit for walleye in Lake Erie and the Maumee River in March 2020.

Deer bag limits remain the same for all counties. The statewide bag limit remains at six deer, only one of which may be antlered, and a hunter cannot exceed a county bag limit.

Other highlights were:

• Hunters can transport a white-tailed deer or wild turkey to a residence or temporary lodging without a tag being attached to the animal, if the permit is properly filled out and the hunter remains with the animal.

• The name of the antlerless deer permit was changed to deer management permit.

• Hunters who harvest a deer within a disease surveillance area (DSA) are required to deliver the head to an inspection station only during the seven-day gun season, rather than all firearm seasons.

• Brant and pintail daily bag limits were reduced to one.

• Youth hunting seasons are open to hunters age 17 or younger. This provides for more uniform and consistent regulations for all youth hunting seasons.

• The walleye bag limit will increase from four fish to six fish daily from March 1 to April 30 in Lake Erie, excluding the Sandusky River, when Ohio’s total allowable catch exceeds three million fish. In the Sandusky River, the four fish daily bag limit remains in place.

• Non-resident anglers under the age of 16 are exempted from obtaining a nonresident Lake Erie fishing permit.

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If you’d liked to try fishing or have a friend who would like to wet a line, May 4-5 should be a good opportunity to do so since on those days Ohio residents 16 years old or older are not required to obtain a fishing license to fish in the state’s public waters.

Ohio State Parks is also offering a camping discount during Ohio’s Free Fishing Days. Visitors can receive a 20 percent discount on campsites May 3-4 by using the promotion code 19ANGLER. Make a reservation by going to ohiostateparks.reserveamerica.com or calling 866-OHIOPARKS (866-644-6727).

The sales of fishing licenses, along with the Sport Fish Restoration program, continue to fund the Division of Wildlife’s fish management operations. No state tax dollars are used for these activities. These are user-pay, user-benefit programs.

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If you fish or boat in Michigan, you should know some recent changes in Michigan’s Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act geared toward preventing the spread of invasive species and supporting natural resources stewardship efforts for the future.

In addition to the existing law requiring all aquatic plants be removed from boats and trailers before launching, the changes require the following, prior to transporting any watercraft over land:

Remove all drain plugs from bilges, ballast tanks and live wells.

Drain all water from any live wells and bilges.

Ensure the watercraft, trailer and any conveyance (vehicle) used to transport the watercraft or trailer are free of aquatic organisms, including plants.

This means after trailering boats and before getting on the road, boaters must pull plugs, drain water and remove plants and debris from all watercraft, trailers and other conveyances.

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In the span of 40 years, the number of nesting bald eagle has increased phenomenally in Ohio. In 1979 there were only four nesting pairs of these huge raptors in the Buckeye state. During the 2018 nesting season, Ohio Division of Wildlife (DOW) biologists estimate there were 286 eagle nests in the state, with mature eagles raising approximately 445 young eaglets. Expect more this year.

This all occurred when the bald eagle was put on the endangered species list and the use of DDT was banned. The birds have made such a rebound, they were removed from the federal list in 2007 and the Ohio list in 2012.

This past week on a short jaunt along Lake Erie, I spotted three bald eagles flying with two soaring into their nests. Spread wings with a white head and white tail feathers still is a sight to see. I keep an eye on a pair of nests along the Maumee River in Defiance County.

This is a fantastic time to view eagles before trees fully bloom. The best area to see them is along Lake Erie unless you know of nests in your locale. Excellent viewing opportunities can be found at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, Pickerel Creek Wildlife Area, Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, Mosquito Creek Wildlife Area and Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area — all along Lake Erie’s western basin.

Female bald eagles in Ohio typically lay one to three eggs sometime in mid-February or late March. Eggs are incubated by both parents for about 35 days, and the young eagles leave the nest about three months later, usually before the Fourth of July.

Although bald eagles are no longer endangered, they are still protected under the federal Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. It is illegal to disturb bald eagles. The Ohio DOW reminds people that when viewing these majestic birds, remember to respect the animal’s space and stay at least 100 yards away from the animal or nest. Disturbing bald eagles at the nest site could led the pair to abandon the eggs.

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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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