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New Ohio Bass Fishing Regulations

On March 1st, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife implemented new statewide and specific site bass fishing regulations for the 2013-2014 license year.  The official press release can be viewed at New Ohio Bass Fishing Regulations Now in Effect.
According to the release, these adjustments in regulations were developed by the ODNR Division of Wildlife through an analysis of historical fish surveys, creel surveys and angler-reported tournament results, an evaluation of management options and fisheries objectives as well as extensive angler input through online surveys, creel surveys, open houses and meetings with anglers.
Overall, I find the new regulations to be quite encouraging.  The changes signal to me that the Division of Wildlife is keeping a close watch on our bass populations, and making the necessary adjustments to ensure that Ohio anglers have more opportunities to catch big bass.
I believe that the “Super Slot” is a fantastic regulation because the Division of Wildlife opted to apply it to lakes that historically grow some of Ohio’s heaviest bass – in particular the AEP ReCreation Lands, Tycoon, Wolf Run, and Wingfoot.  The new regulation will not only ensure that these big bass factories continue to produce quality fish, but will increase the chances of seeing trophy fish in the 7, 8 and 9 pound range.
I also think that the “15,2 and 2” regulation makes sense for the lakes it is being applied to.  Acton Lake and Hargus Creek Lake are examples of lakes where the potential for big bass is there, but in recent years has been hindered by an overabundance of small “dink” bass that compete with bigger bass for resources.  Allowing anglers to harvest some of these undersized fish should create more opportunities for bass growth by “thinning the herd”.
And I’m confident that Ohio tournament anglers will be particularly happy about the size limit being reduced from 15″ to 12″ on Caesar Creek Lake.  Caesar Creek is a popular bass lake, and holds some huge fish, but many tournament organizations have shied away from hosting events there because it was so difficult for competitors to boat a limit of fish that met the 15″ minimum.
One change I would liked to have seen is a decrease in daily bag limit on the Ohio River from 6 to 5 bass.  Although the Ohio produces some very good fish, particularly in the spring and late fall, it can be very difficult to catch bass there due to low per-acre populations.
Do you have an opinion on the new regulations that you would like to share?  If so, leave a comment here on the blog, or on the Ohio Bass Blog Facebook page.
There have been some recent additions to Ohio Bass Blog. 
First is the addition of an AEP Reports link to the menu bar.  There has been so much interest in the big fish being caught at the AEP ReCreation Lands that I figured having a page dedicated entirely to it was a good idea.  New content was added today, so be sure to check it out.
Second is that Knox Marine has joined as an official sponsor of Ohio Bass Blog.  Every couple of weeks, Knox will be featuring a new bass boat that is on special in the scroll bar at the top of the blog.  If you click on the boat image, it will link you diretly to the Knox Marine website. Be sure to let them know you saw the here on Ohio Bass Blog.
Finally, I wanted to make everyone aware of a couple of fellow Buckeyes who recently published a book about walleye trolling called Walleye Trolling – Tackle, Techniques and Systems Used by North America’s Best Walleye Tournament Pros and Guides. 
The authors are Ross Robertson of Toledo, and Curt Niedermier, who grew up in Republic.  Both are OSU grads.  Ross is a full-time walleye guide, promoter, tournament angler, TV host of “Local Catch”, and outdoor writer.  Curt is the current Managing Editor of FLW Bass Magazine.  More info about the book is available at bigwaterfishing.com. It’s being sold at a variety of online stores, including bigwaterfishing.com, hightechfishing.com, jannsnetcraft.com, fishusa.com, and sportsmensdirect.com.  It should also be available in big outdoor box stores soon as well.
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