Lima area angler Weisenburger in ‘attack mode’

Kyle Weisenburger is in an “attack mode” as he prepares for the final regular season bass tourney on the FLW Tour.

The Lima area bass angler needs to finish among the top 40 in the season’s points standings to qualify for the tour’s championship event. He’s on target for that when the tourney begins Thursday on Lake Champlain out of Plattsburgh, New York. The tourney concludes Sunday (June 30). Weisenburger sits 33rd in the points standings, so a good finish is crucial in this event.

“I want to have a successful event there to cap off the regular season. If I do my job there, then the cup will fall into place,” he said as he readies for his first experience of fishing the huge lake.

Champlain is known for good smallmouth and largemouth fishing, although smallmouth have dominated early events the past two years.

“This is one of the most pivotal tournaments in my career as it is my first tangible opportunity to qualify for the FLW Cup and hopefully catapult my career to the next level,” he said.

“I feel that I am fishing really well right now and fishing with a lot of confidence. With that said, Champlain does keep me on my toes as weights are always very strong and a slip up just one day and you are at the bottom of the pack,” Weisenburger added.

He plans to focus his first two practice days more at the central or northern part of the lake. If he has to, he will explore an area way at the south end of lake.

“It is a big gamble making a 60-80 mile run one way on a lake that can get extremely rough quick. With sitting in 33rd, making that risky gamble isn’t what I’m hoping I have to do,” Weisenburger said. “This tournament likely will be a sight fishing event and finding quality over quantity will be key. In my mind, I feel that I need at least 17-18 pounds each day to be in the mix.”

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Persistence was a key for a pair of Lima area state wildlife officers in citing an angler for possessing undersized fish and another person for littering.

Shelby County Wildlife Officer Tim Rourke put his best efforts to work when he handed out a summons for possession of undersized crappie at Lake Loramie.

Several complaints from anglers concerning the individual fishing keeping undersized crappie had been received, but Rourke had a tough finding the man. According to the Ohio Division of Wildlife (DOW) Rourke eventually located the man fishing underneath a bridge. The wildlife officer checked the man for a fishing license and also discovered he had no fish in his bucket.

Rourke then conducted surveillance on the fisherman’s vehicle. Less than five minutes elapsed before the suspect confirmed Rourke’s suspicions when he walked to his vehicle, removed a cooler from the bed of his truck and carried it over to the water’s edge. The angler dumped the contents of the cooler into the lake as Rourke approached him. In his hurry to rid himself of the illegal fish, the violator didn’t quite get the fish into the water. Rourke retrieved four fish and measured them. He found two of the fish were under the required length of 9 inches. The suspect received a summons and paid a fine of $155.

In the other incident, Mercer County Wildlife Officer Brad Buening while patrolling in Van Wert County came across a trash pile that had been dumped along the road. The area is often used as an illegal dumping site and discarded trash is a frequent problem.

Buening located some items which helped him identify a suspect. With that information he was able to narrow his search to a nearby residence. Buening drove to the residence and spoke to the person who resided there. It was determined after speaking with the man that he had dumped the items a few days before.

The wildlife officer addressed the violation with the man. Littering carries a maximum penalty of $500 fine with a possibility of 60 days in jail in Ohio.

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A family fun day will be held July 5 at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, located at 13229 West Ohio 2, Oak Harbor.

Activities will include a bird banding demonstration, fishing and archery at the Sportsmen’s Migratory Bird Center.

Volunteers from the Green Creek Wildlife Society will be banding Nestlings from the purple martin colony will be banded by volunteers from the Green Creek Wildlife Society at 11 a.m. People cannot only learn about purple martins, but also how to be a purple martin landlord and how citizen science has helped this species to prosper.

Archery and fishing will be available from noon to 3 p.m. Archery will be supervised by DOW staff. All necessary equipment will be provided.

Fishing will take place in the pond around the Sportsmen’s Migratory Bird Center. Loaner poles and bait will be provided; however, anglers are welcome to bring their own fishing equipment. Fish caught may be kept within the guidelines set by the Ohio fishing regulations.

Anglers are welcome to fish the Sportsmen’s Migratory Bird Center throughout the summer with their own fishing equipment sunrise to sunset.

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Registration for the 6th annual Ohio Women’s Outdoor Adventures weekend began last week. The annual event, which will be held Sept. 13-15 at Mohican State Park, blends boating, fishing and outdoor skills with numerous nature and conservation activities.

The program focuses on the basics of outdoor sports skills, giving women a chance to try activities they’ve never tried before. This year’s program features stand up paddling, kayaking, power boating, fly fishing, jug fishing, shoreline fishing, gun safety and shooting, archery, backyard wildlife, hiking, nature photography and more. A complete listing of sessions and registration details may be viewed at

The event is open to all women aged 16 and older (minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian). The cost is $320 per person and includes lodging, five meals, transportation between venues and evening activities.

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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