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TRENTON, Mich. — An adjustment he made because of the presence of a bloom of algae likely made the difference for pro angler Jared Rhode of Port Clinton, who changed his approach and won the recent Walmart Bass Fishing League Michigan Division event.
Rhode made the decision to leave the Detroit River starting point for the tournament and make an extended trip to familiar territory — the Lake Erie islands — and pursue big bass there.
“I had to fish more shallow than I typically do,” Rhode said. “I like to fish deep water, but a recent algae bloom had the water real dingy. I made a 50-mile run into Lake Erie and fished the islands near the Ohio and Canada border.”
Shunning the crowd and other boats, Rhode focused his efforts on a variety of isolated rock piles that he had some familiarity with, and he bounced back and forth between them throughout his day of fishing.
“I’m a school teacher, and I fish Lake Erie every day in the summer,” Rhode said. “I decided to run further than anyone else and go all the way to the border and fish, because I knew that it wouldn’t be as pressured. And I had some areas up there that I had checked in practice. It was beautiful weather out there. It was flat calm, and I could have taken a canoe there.”
Rhode said he probably landed around 40 keepers during the event, employing drop-shot techniques using the minnow and goby versions of Berkley Gulp! soft baits.
Rhode also has a second place finish in the 2011 Bass Pro Shops Northern Open on Lake Erie to his credit.
PERCH SEMINAR II: A big response to the recent perch-fishing seminar held at Jann’s Netcraft and hosted by John Hageman has prompted the fishing tackle outlet on Briarfield Boulevard in Maumee to schedule a second clinic for Wednesday, Sept. 11 from 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Hageman is a veteran of decades on the lake. He recently retired from the Ohio Sea Grant after serving as research facility manager at Stone Lab, located on Gibraltar Island, in Put-in-Bay harbor, just off South Bass Island.
Hageman first visited there as a high-schooler, then spent most of the next quarter century working there as a student at Ohio State, then as a biologist. He also served as a Lake Erie ice guide for many winters, so Hageman brings the perspective of both scientist and angler to the table.
He will speak about proper tackle selection, the best locations to fish, and share his expertise on proven techniques used to locate perch, attracting fish, ideal baits, and effective anchoring. The session is free, but registration is recommended because seating is limited. Register for the perch-fishing seminar by stopping in at the showroom, or by calling the showroom at 419-868-8288 and pressing option No. 1.
HORNET NESTS: Local entomologist Russell Lamp is still looking for large nests of bald-faced hornets.
These gray, paper lantern-like creations are usually found hanging from tree branches. Lamp collects nests that are at least as large as a basketball, relatively simple to reach, and have not been sprayed. He cleans and sorts the hornets, then ships them to several pharmaceutical companies across the country, where the hornets are used to make vaccine.
Lamp does not charge to remove nests that are located in northwest Ohio and nearby in southeast Michigan. Call Lamp at 419-836-3710.
DECOY CONTEST: The Maumee Bay Carvers will hold their 31st Annual Waterfowl Decoy Contest on Sept. 21 at the Check-In Station at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area. The check-in period begins at 8 a.m., with judging following. After a potluck lunch at 1 p.m., the awards start at 2 p.m.
Rules and other information may be obtained at Maumee Bay Carvers Web site: maumeebaycarvers.com or by emailing at: email@example.com or calling 419-874-3671.
YOUTH WORKSHOP: There will be a youth waterfowl hunting workshop at the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge on Sept. 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
The sessions will cover waterfowl identification, firearm and boating safety and regulations, and wetland conservation. There will be information on how to create a duck blind, set up decoys, and clean and cook waterfowl. Participants from age 7-14 must be accompanied by an adult. Registration information is available at www.fws.gov/refuge/ottawa or by calling 419-898-0014.
CARS FOR CRITTERS: Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge will host “Cars for Critters” on Sept. 29 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cars featuring animal-name models, such as Roadrunners and Thunderbirds, will be featured, and after viewing the cars visitors can tour the marsh, learn about wetland conservation and see a live raptor exhibit.
BLACK SWAMP EVENT: The Black Swamp Conservancy will present “Downhome” — a celebration of local music, food, and brews fundraiser on Sept. 28 from 1 p.m. to sunset. With indoor barn space available, the event will take place rain or shine. Tickets must be purchased ahead of time, and can be done so by calling the conservancy at 419-872-5263 or contacting Sarah via email at firstname.lastname@example.org at the conservancy office.
TURKEY MAP CORRECTION: Ohio fall turkey hunters should be aware that Erie and Pickaway counties are incorrectly shown as “Open” in the Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations 2013-2014 brochure. The map on Page 15 incorrectly shows Erie and Pickaway counties as being open to fall turkey hunting. Hunters should instead refer to the “Open Counties” section on Page 14 as it correctly lists the 56 counties that are open to hunting this season.
Contact Blade outdoors editor Matt Markey at: email@example.com or 419-724-6068.