The Buckeye Division of the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) gets underway May 11 at Grand Lake St. Marys out of Celina and a number of Limaland bass anglers are expected to compete.
Takeoff is at 6:30 a.m. with the weigh-in scheduled for 3 p.m. at the West Bank Ramp, located at U.S. 127 and Monroe Road.
The last time a Buckeye Division tourney was held on St. Marys was in May of 2017. Possible tactics like are working a jig along rocky banks in a mid-late creek or flipping soft plastic baits to woody structure or bedding fish on seawalls. Another method will be casting crankbaits along those walls.
It remains to be see how the abundant rainfall in recent weeks will affect anglers’ tactics.
Other Buckeye Division tourneys will be held on the Ohio River out of Tanners Creek in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, on June 8 and Aug. 17. The other tourneys are July 29 on Indian Lake out of Lakeview and Sept. 21-22 on Mosquito Lake in Cortland.
The 2019 BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. 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. The 2019 BFL All-American will be held May 30-June 1 at the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland, and is hosted by the Charles County Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism and the Commissioners of Charles County. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.
* * *
Lima area bass pro Kyle Weisenburger used a good second day on Lake Chickamauga in Dayton, Tennessee, to move into 20th place and qualify to fish the third day of the FLW Tour event today.
Weisenburger had a five-bass limit that weighed 18 pounds, 6 ounces Friday and to go along with a first day five-bass limit that weighed 14 pounds, 14 ounces, he vaulted into 20th. He has to move into the top 10 to qualify to fish the final day of the tourney Sunday.
* * *
As they did on opening day, Lima area hunters fared better than their counterparts statewide during the first of the wild turkey hunting season in the south zone.
Despite rainy and muddy conditions, local anglers checked 229 wild turkeys during the opening week this year compared to 226 during the same period a year ago. Statewide, hunters checked 8,867 during the first week this year compared to 10,436 during the same period a year ago. Local hunters checked in 91 turkeys on opening day compared to 63 checked in on the opener in 2018.
The harvest was up in 4 local counties and down in 4 of them and even in one. Figures for opening day check-ins with last year’s results in parenthesis were: Allen 30 (31), Auglaize 17 (18), Hancock 16 (14), Hardin 44 (39), Logan 53 (59), Mercer11 (11), Putnam 29 (27), Shelby 23 (18) and Van Wert 6 (9).
Remember that hunting hours have changed to 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset until the season closes May 19.
* * *
The Lake La Su An Wildlife Area will be open Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday for fishing May 3-Aug. 2. Fishing will be permitted from sunrise to sunset during this open season on what the Ohio Division of Wildlife (DOW) considers one of the best bluegill fishing waters in the state.
Beside the designated days, fisheries biologists have set special fishing regulations for this year at the area.
Sunfish bag limits for 2019 will be 15 fish daily, with no more than 5 fish being 8 inches or larger. Largemouth bass will have an 18-inch minimum length limit, with a 5 fish daily bag limit and channel catfish will have a 2 fish daily bag limit. Daily bag limits will be posted and are in effect area wide.
That means there is no double bagging on the area. Only 1 bag limit will be allowed each day regardless of how many lakes an angler fishes. All statewide fishing regulations apply to the area’s lakes, except when superseded by the special regulations mentioned above. Anglers are also reminded that no fish may be used as bait on the area. All vehicles must park in a designated parking space.
According to a DOW press release, these regulations have been designed by its fisheries biologists to continue the tradition of quality bluegill fishing on the La Su An area lakes by continuing to regulate the amount of fishing pressure without the need for anglers to obtain a reservation. The DOW accomplishes this by limiting the number of days the lakes are open to fishing, limiting the number of bluegill that anglers can take home each day, and limiting the number of anglers that fish the area at one time (i.e., limited number of parking spaces).
The La Su An Wildlife Area will be closed to fishing at all other times, except for Lake Wood Duck which will remain open year-round.
* * *
Michigan’s 2019 Summer Free Fishing Weekend will be held June 8-9. As part of these weekends, all fishing license fees are waived for two days with residents and out-of-state visitors invited to enjoy fishing on inland and Great Lakes’ waters for all species of fish during their respective open seasons. All other regulations still apply during that time.
Michigan is home to more than 3,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, 11,000 inland lakes, and tens of thousands of miles of rivers and streams.
* * *
Fun fish facts: Fish don’t blink because they do not have eyelids (except for sharks) and so they may not close their eyes to sleep like we do, but they have periods of rest that’s like our sleep.
A salmon’s ability to smell is far better than the smelling sense of a dog. They use this smelling superpower to find their way back to their home stream when it’s time for them to reproduce.
Al Smith is a freelance outdoor writer. You may contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @alsmithFL