BFL Buckeye Division bassers get to open on Grand Lake


By Al Smith - Guest Columnist



A female yellow warbler sits on her nest along the Goose Trail at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area near Oak Harbor.

A female yellow warbler sits on her nest along the Goose Trail at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area near Oak Harbor.


Al Smith photo

A red morf screech owl sits in a dead part of a tree along the boardwalk at Maumee Bay State Park in Oregon.


Al Smith photo

Several Lima area bass anglers will get an opportunity to open the Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL), presented by T-H Marine, Buckeye Division season on one of their home waters.

The opener will take place on Grand Lake St. Marys on June 26 out of Celina. It had originally been scheduled on the Ohio River last Saturday (May 15) out of Tanner’s Creek in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. But it was postponed due to high water levels.

That rescheduled tourney will be a part of a Buckeye Division doubleheader with the first event held Aug. 14 and the second event held Sunday. Those tourneys will be on the Ohio River out of Tanner’s Creek in Lawrenceburg, Indiana.

* * *

A two-week road trip to Arkansas and Alabama proved successful for Lima area bass angler Kyle Weisenburger.

The Columbus Grove basser qualified for the Toyota Series national championship and jumped 23 places in the Major League Fishing (MLF) Pro Circuit standings.

He qualified for the national championship by placing fourth in the points standings in the Plains Division of the Toyota Series. He wound up 18th with 23 pounds, 10 ounces in the division’s final tourney on Lake Darnanelle in Russellville, Arkansas, during the first week of May.

The Toyota Series Championship presented by A.R.E. will be held Oct. 28-30 on Pickwick Lake in Counce, Tennessee, and is hosted by the Hardin County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The Toyota Series consists of six divisions – Central, Northern, Plains, Southern, Southwestern and Western – each holding three regular-season events, along with the International division. Anglers who fish all three qualifiers in any of the eight divisions and finish in the top 25 qualify for the national championship.

Last week on the Pro Circuit, Weisenburger finished 33rd with 35 pounds, 4 ounces on three five-fish limits on Lake Eufaula in Eufaula, Alabama. That enabled him to jump from 133rd place to 110th in the points standings.

“I was happy with my two weeks on the road. I’ve definitely got some momentum,” he said. The Plains Division treated me well. I kind of shot myself in the foot pretty bad to start the tour (Pro Circuit) season. I’m just trying to fight back as hard as I can. I’ll probably would need two top 10s to make championship.”

The remaining two Pro Circuit tourneys are on the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland, on June 17-20 and the St. Lawrence River in Massena, New York, on July 29-Aug. 1.

* * *

Lima area wild turkey hunters are nowhere nearly as successful this spring as they were a year ago. Harvest numbers have dropped drastically when comparing the three weeks of the 2021 and 2020 seasons.

Area turkey hunters checked in 345 turkeys through May 16 while they checked 502 during the same time period in 2020.

Hunters were more successful in just one local county during the opening three weeks. That was Shelby where 39 turkeys were checked in compared to 38 during 2020’s same time period.

The eight other local counties all showed a decrease from a year ago. Those county numbers with last year’s harvest in parenthesis were: Allen 54 (75), Auglaize 24 (49) Hancock 24 (41), Hardin 72 (90), Logan 78 (106), Mercer 10 (27), Putnam 35 (57), Van Wert 9 (19).

The total harvest of 13,361 represents 23 days of hunting in the south zone and 16 days in the northeast zone, and includes the 1,473 wild turkeys taken during the 2021 youth season.

Hunters harvested 16,013 wild turkeys over the same time period during the 2020 spring hunting season.

Hunting in the south zone is open until Sunday (May 23).

* * *

My wife, Faith, daughter Kristina and I enjoyed a few days last week birding along Lake Erie. The birds were not as plentiful as in past years, but there were good sightings at several places.

Highlights of the trip were seeing a golden winged warbler at Pearson Metro Park and a Blanding’s turtle, an Ohio endangered species, at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area along the Goose Trail. Another good sighting was a red morf screech owl at Maumee Bay State Park.

We were surprised to see scarlet tanagers since many birds had not traveled north yet. We also saw a plethora of Baltimore Orioles and yellow warblers along with a number of different warbler species and other species.

We also had good sightings at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, Meadowbrook Marsh on the Marblehead peninsula, East Harbor State Park and Catawba Island Preserve.

Reptiles and amphibians were quite active the afternoon we spent at Maumee Bay.

https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/05/web1_alsmithmug-3.jpg
A female yellow warbler sits on her nest along the Goose Trail at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area near Oak Harbor.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/05/web1_outdoorplant.jpgA female yellow warbler sits on her nest along the Goose Trail at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area near Oak Harbor. Al Smith photo
A red morf screech owl sits in a dead part of a tree along the boardwalk at Maumee Bay State Park in Oregon.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/05/web1_outdoorowl.jpgA red morf screech owl sits in a dead part of a tree along the boardwalk at Maumee Bay State Park in Oregon. Al Smith photo

By Al Smith

Guest Columnist

Al Smith is a freelance outdoor writer. You may contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @alsmithFL

Al Smith is a freelance outdoor writer. You may contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @alsmithFL

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