Ten years ago Toledoan Brent McGlone held the state bowfishing record for suckers - for about a month.
Now he holds it again and it looks as though it will be awhile before it is beaten.
On May 18 while searching riffles for spawning fish near Weir Rapids in the Maumee River above Waterville, he shot a greater redhorse sucker 31 1/2-inches long weighing 11.21 pounds. That far outweighs the 7.36-pound bowfishing record taken by Mike Stumph of Columbus in 1997 on Big Walnut Creek.
Toledoan Brent McGlone used a bow and arrow to take this record redhose sucker from the Maumee River near Waterville.
Stumph's fish a decade ago quickly replaced McGlone's earlier 1997 record of 6.36 pounds. "I shot my current record fish 10 years to the day that Mike [Stumph] shot his. Weird coincidence."
"I've been after a record fish for about 10 years," said McGlone this week on the heels of an announcement by the Outdoor Writers of Ohio, the state's official record keepers, that his arrowed sucker was a winner.
Mike Wilkerson, an Ohio Division of Wildlife biologist at District 2 in Findlay, confirmed it. The division works closely with OWO on the record program, which is not the same as the Fish Ohio award program, which recognizes big fish within a species but not necessarily records.
"I made sure I got a big one this time," said McGlone. "It's the only bowfishing record that is bigger than a hook-and-line record for the same species." Indeed, the state hook-and-line record for suckers is 9.25 pounds set in 1977.
McGlone had another moment in the spotlight in May of 2000. While jig-fishing for walleye and white bass he made the front page of The Blade, photo and all, with an unprecedented catch of a 61-inch Great Lakes sturgeon weighing more than 40 pounds. Until his catch, the rare and state-endangered lake sturgeon was unknown in modern times in the Maumee River.
McGlone, 31, said he took a nice buck last fall, then a nice turkey this spring. "It's pretty much my life," he said of fishing and hunting.
"I bowhunt deer from September to February - religiously, even in single digits - turkey hunt, shoot competitive 3-D archery tournaments, and occasionally some small game.
"I spend most of the year on the river - too much time probably, from the walleye run, to bowfishing, to white bass, smallmouth, and of course the big flatheads, my favorite. I have one [flathead] so far this year over 30 pounds.
"I think the amount of time I put into the sport is why I am successful in my goals. I also shoot on Lake Erie and Sandusky Bay for big carp. I shot a carp last week that was 32 pounds on Erie. I have shot a few gar over 10 pounds locally, and a 33-pound buffalo from East Harbor rounds out my area bowfishing highlights."
He works fulltime and is a full-time nursing student at Owens Community College, so his time afield is precious and limited.
"Over the course of the years I've got them figured out," he said of bowfishing for big suckers. He works certain riffles near Weir Rapids during spawning time, sight-fishing the beds. He uses a 45-pound recurve bow with a Muzzy spincast bowfishing reel.
It took, he noted, "many long hours and long miles learning the river, and I can't count how many 'dunkings' in surprise holes."
Up to now in search of a record, he said, "I have had several close calls - two fish right at 7.25 pounds, several at 7 pounds, and one I caught on rod and reel that was 8.5 pounds. This fish is pretty close to the maximun size for the species as well."
His bowfishing buddy, Jake Kerstetter, of Springboro, Ohio, arrowed the state bowfishing record carp along the western Lake Erie shoreline a year ago. It weighed 40.25 pounds, McGlone had been fishing with Kerstetter but had to break off - the evening that Kerstetter went on to take the monster carp.
Oregon taxidermist Mark Lodzinski is doing a special mount of the fish for McGlone.
The 25th Toledo Police Walleye Tournament, held last Saturday, was a true fisherman's event, a tough day for catching with the 22 boats and 86 angler-participants whose entries were topped by a team skippered by Duane Poole.
Poole, Brent Kohlman, and Randy Hayes turned in a winning entry of five fish weighing 20.66 pounds to best the field. Their catch included a tourney topper of 8.66 pounds.
"The fishermen woke up to boats covered with mayflies," said official police reporter Jim Dec. "Our end of the lake was covered with slicks of new and dead mayflies - not a good sign if you are looking for hungry walleyes."
Poole took his first fish in Brest Bay in Michigan waters north of Monroe, Dec said. Most boats fished sites typical for this time of year - between West Sister and Middle Sister islands. Mayfly rigs with nightcrawlers were the preferred weapon, though some boats trolled with spoons with good success.
Poole's crew happened into a school of big fish, Dec said. Typical of tournaments. Poole told Dec that they had three of their best fish on at the same time.
Other top finishers included the boats of skipper Todd Reed, with Gary Vincent, Bob Teneyck, and Brian Huff, second, 18.66 pounds; skipper John Stewart with Mike Stewart, Dave Durant, and Brian Gaylord, third, 16.66 pounds; skipper Bill Wauford, with Brian Lewandowski, Pete Swartz, and Louie Espinosa, fourth, 16.28 pounds, and skipper Ed Palinski with Lou Borucki and Rick Reed, fifth, 15.84 pounds.
Largest sheepshead boated went to the crew of skipper Paul Byersmith, a retired patrolman and now king of the shepherds, at 8.9 pounds.
Teams included Toledo policemen and Lucas County sheriff's deputies. Sponsors included Dick's Sporting Goods, Toledo Police Command Officers Association, Toledo Police Patrolman's Association, Sheriff James Telb, and Erie IGA.
P.S. - Had Yours Truly not been somewhere off the New Jersey coast on a sailboat dodging thunderstorms at the time, he might have helped the Byersmith crew catch something aside from sheep. This is a great event - a friendly kind of pick-up game, not a blood tournament. It is the best kind and our lawmen deserve a tip of the hat for showing us how.