Outdoors: Hot water means no fish … or fishermen

Warmer temperatures called fishing enthusiasts to the shimmering Eastwood Lake waters at Eastwood MetroPark. MARSHALL GORBY / STAFF
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Warmer temperatures called fishing enthusiasts to the shimmering Eastwood Lake waters at Eastwood MetroPark. MARSHALL GORBY / STAFF

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard friends say: “It’s too hot to fish!” You know, the fish feel the same way.

That’s right. Most of the lakes around here shut down when the real heat (80s and 90s) rolls in.

“We’re up around 82 right now and the only species people are catching are catfish. Of course, people fish all night for catfish,” said Gene Marciniak, long time bait dealer on Indian Lake.

That was a couple of days ago. With this latest heat wave, who knows how high the water temperature will go.

“Typically fish will hang out around the thermocline (where warm water meets a layer of cold water),” said Marty Lundquist, biologist for the Ohio Division of Wildlife. “They are more comfortable.”

Also, cold water holds more dissolved oxygen than warm water. So if you were a crappie or bass, where would you want to be?

Lundquist said fish feed much more efficiently in cold water.

One has to wonder if we are having the kind of temperatures we have been experiencing in June-July, what will August bring?

And I wonder how the fishing will be. But that is a moot point since nobody will be fishing.

July boating: Did you know the Fourth of July weekend brings out the most boaters of any weekend in the year? And more boats mean more accidents. BoatUS says the leading cause of accidents is driver inattention. Go out on your boat and have fun. But make sure when the boat is moving your attention is locked into safety for you and your passengers. Driving a boat is just as important as driving a car.

If you are the driver, lay off the booze. Alcohol and boating are a disaster waiting to happen. And it goes without saying every soul on boat should wear a lifejacket.

Record fish: There are two new Ohio fishing records, set in recent days. One is a green sunfish, weighing 1.2 pounds, caught by 9-year-old SueAnn Newswanger of Shiloh. She caught it from a Richland County farm pond on May 13. The old record was 0.99 pounds.

The second record fish came by bowfishing. On May 21, Josh Bowmar of Westerville shot a 43-pound Buffalo Sucker at Hoover Reservoir in Delaware County. The old record was 40.8 pounds.

All record fish are identified and weighed by qualified biologists at the Ohio Division of Wildlife and then certified by the Outdoor Writers of Ohio record fish committee.

Hunters teaching hunters: The Ohio Division of Wildlife is looking for volunteers to teach hunter education in a classroom setting. If you are an experienced hunter, this is a chance to help get more young hunters in the field and to pay it forward. Workshops for individuals interested in becoming a volunteer hunter/trapper education instructor in Ohio are offered at five locations across the state each year. Individuals must complete a volunteer instructor training workshop to become a certified instructor. Participants must be at least 18 years of age and have successfully completed a hunter education course. Call 1-800-WILDLIFE (945-3543) for additional information.

Big impact: According to BoatUS, quoting a report from the Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis, the economic impact of the outdoor industry is now greater than agriculture or petroleum. The BEA report noted that the outdoor recreation industry includes boating, fishing, RVing, hunting, camping, hiking, bicycling and supporting activities.

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