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Published: Friday, 7/28/2006

Not just fish stories: Carp, sunfish, muskie all set records in Ohio

Enough people catch enough fish, and sooner or later you see record catches.

Which is precisely the case this summer in Ohio with the certification of two records, warmouth sunfish and bow-and-arrow-bagged carp, to go with an earlier certification of a tiger muskie. Here are some details from the Outdoor Writers of Ohio, the state's record-keepers who work in conjunction with the Ohio Division of Wildlife:

Jake Kerstetter, left, of Springboro, Ohio, and Gary Fogle of Canal Fulton, Ohio, hold Kerstetter's carp taken with bow and arrow at Port Clinton. The 43-inch carp weighed 40.25 pounds. Jake Kerstetter, left, of Springboro, Ohio, and Gary Fogle of Canal Fulton, Ohio, hold Kerstetter's carp taken with bow and arrow at Port Clinton. The 43-inch carp weighed 40.25 pounds.
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Jake Kerstetter, of Springboro, Ohio, was prowling the Lake Erie shoreline near Port Clinton in Ottawa County at 1 a.m. - yes, one ayem - on June 17 in search of big carp to shoot with his bow-and-arrow fishing rig.

A behemoth of a carp wallowed past and he arrowed it, later to find out that the 43-inch fish, weighing 40.25 pounds, is the biggest ever recognized for archery tackle in Ohio. His record replaces Dennis Derheimer's 39-pounder taken in 1981.

The monster carp was confirmed by state fish biologist Glenn Trueb, of Wildlife District 5 in southwest Ohio.

On the evening of May 6, William Reed, of Kingsville, Ohio, was fishing a flathead minnow at LaDue Reservoir in Geauga County in northeast Ohio when a warmouth sunfish took the bait.

The whopper of a panfish weighed 1.19 pounds and was 10 1/2-inches long. It trumped Rich Campitelli's 1994 record farmpond warmouth of 1 pound.

Tim Bader, a fisheries biologist at the state's Fairport Research Station, identified the catch.

William Reed, of Kingsville, holds his record 1.19-pound warmouth sunfish taken on a flathead minnow in LaDue Reservoir in Geauga County. The panfish measured 10.5 inches and beat the previous largest warmouth sunfish which weighed an even one pound. William Reed, of Kingsville, holds his record 1.19-pound warmouth sunfish taken on a flathead minnow in LaDue Reservoir in Geauga County. The panfish measured 10.5 inches and beat the previous largest warmouth sunfish which weighed an even one pound.
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The warmouth and the bow-bagged carp make three record Ohio fish certified this year. Earlier the OWO certified a 31.64-pound tiger muskie stretching 47 inches, taken by Matt Amedeo, of Akron, on April 28 at Turkeyfoot Lake, one of the Portage Lakes near Akron.

Anglers should note that the OWO/Division of Wildlife record fish program is not the same as the division's Fish Ohio awards program.

Fish Ohio grants certificates and pins for making notable-size catches in any of 19 species. In other words, the fish entered are big specimens for their species but not necessarily records. Fish Ohio details are available on-line at www.ohiodnr.com, or in any digest of 2006-2007 Ohio Fishing Regulations, available free wherever licenses are sold, or by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE.

Record fish applications and information are available on-line at www.outdoorwritersofohio.org. Or contact Tom Cross, OWO record fish chairman, 1497 Cross Rd., Winchester, OH 45697, or call him at 937-386-2752.

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Lake Erie report - Walleye action remains as hot as the weather, which is somewhat unusual for late July/early August though no one is complaining.

"Lake Erie is still the big story," said Larry Goedde, fish management supervisor for Ohio Wildlife District 2. "By far it is the hottest catch and hottest bite right now."

On Sunday Tim Ayer and buddies went out with Don "Buffalo" Lowther and they took limits by 10 a.m. They fished 11 miles out, east of the Bass Islands and just south of the Canadian line. They used the standard "Weapon" of the year, 3/4-ounce mayfly rigs with gold hammered blades.

"Nice average - two 26-inch fish, too," Ayer said.

Several days earlier, John "Trapper" Hageman, at Put-in-Bay, trolled up a limit of 17 to 19-inch fish in 34 minutes on an after-work run between Ballast Island and Middle Island - in water that was almost 80 degrees.

Rick Catley at Rickard's Bait on Catawba Island said the shop's best reports were coming from one to two miles west of Green Island and east of C-Can on the Ohio side, and on the north side of Wagon Wheel Reef on the Ontario side and between Middle Island and Gull Island Shoal straddling the border.

Rick Ferguson at Al Szuch Live Bait on Corduroy Road said that west end waters from 19 to 21 feet and deeper all are producing fish, again with mayfly rigs - "Weapons" - with gold or copper blades. "Even the people that can't catch fish are catching fish."

Dan Baker at Butch and Denny's on Corduroy Road said some anglers also are doing well on weight-forward spinners. In jest, he added: "I don't know if these walleyes are ever going to go away." It's a high-class problem, as the late Erie legend, Jim Fofrich Sr., used to say.

Dave Ray at Edgewater Bait in Point Place said that Michigan-siders were doing very well with quick limits off Bolles Harbor in the E-Buoy area, though they were sorting lots of sheepshead. Two customers were doing well on walleye early in the morning drifting and casting in 14 feet of water off Little Cedar Point.

Yellow perch action has been excellent, averaging eight to nine inches, along the Toledo Ship Channel from Grassy island "all the way out," Ray said, adding that the Toledo Water Intake was another likely site.

Rickard's noted good perch activity northeast of Ballast Island and northeast and southeast of Kelleys Island.

Contact Steve Pollick at:

spollick@theblade.com

or 419-724-6068.



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