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Toledo angler Norman Drzewiecki figured out just the right activity for his two young daughters on Mother's Day - he took them fishing.
Mind you, the man is not crazy. He did not overlook his spouse, Kathy, on the honored occasion. She was off visiting her mother, Marita Head.
"They did their thing for the day, and I thought it was a perfect opportunity to get the girls out for a day on the water. They were pretty excited."
Wise father that he is, he went with an old reliable - a pond and targeting bluegills with live bait fished under bobbers. In an equally wise move, he made sure his daughters, Lauren, 8, and Samatha, who recently turned 4 and was on her first angling outing, wore life jackets around the pond.
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"We have spent the last few weeks practicing casting in our South Toledo backyard.They have both gotten fairly accurate with it. We gathered up our tackle, to include Samantha's Barbie pole, and headed to the W.W. Knight Preserve in Wood County."
They picked up some bait, including waxworms and small red or "leaf" worms, plus some Berkley PowerBait waxworm imitations.
"I have found that this small impoundment is very kid-friendly. Initially the afternoon wasn't too productive. However, after a few moves along the grassy bank we found a honey hole. Using slip bobbers and leaf worms my wonderful daughters went to work catching some nice bluegills. They were deep. I had the slip bobbers set for six to eight feet.
"The excitement in my youngest one's voice as she yelled, 'I got one, I got one, Daddy' was priceless. That little pink Barbie pole was nearly doubled over. My oldest rooted her on as she pulled a nice 10-inch panfish.
"Lauren hooked into one after another keeper bluegill. We kept eight fish total, all of which made it to the frying pan that evening. The whole ride home they couldn't stop talking about the day's fishing action. We even made a special stop to Grandma's and Grandpa's house [Marita and Robert Head] to show off their catch.
"As for myself, I am still beaming. I have fished northwest Ohio and Lake Erie since I was a kid catching all sorts and sizes of fish, including some Fish Ohios. Yesterday has to be best fishing day ever for me personally."
His young anglers are on fire.
"They were beside themselves," Drzewiecki said. "Here it's Wednesday and they're saying, 'When are we going next?'•"
In other fishing news, white bass continue to make news on the Maumee and Sandusky rivers, with the run peaking at Fremont and the Maumee's needing a warming trend to provide daily excellence that has been only spotty over the last couple of weeks.
Walleye remain in both streams as well. Gary Lowry at Maumee Tackle reminds anglers that rivers to the dams, like Lake Erie, is closed to possession of smallmouth and largemouth bass until the end of June to protect spawning stocks.
Bernie Whitt at Anglers Supply in Fremont said white bass are being taken along fishable stretches, but large female fish are being taken behind the old sugar processing plant there, and some walleye are being taken near Walsh Park.
Walleye fishing is spotty along western Lake Erie's south shore, said Rick Ferguson at Al Szuch Live Bait in Jerusalem Township, though both jigs and minnows and Weapons with nightcrawlers are catching fish. He suggests trying 21-to-22-foot depths, or shallower anywhere from Maumee Bay to Davis-Besse.
John Jokinen at Jann's Netcraft added that many customers are reporting good walleye catches, including limits, using worm harnesses in just 14 feet from Crane Creek to Turtle Creek.
The Ohio Division of Wildlife at Sandusky said good fishing was found north of North Bass Island, south of Starve Island to Kelleys Island, north of Kelleys Island, and north of Kelleys Island Shoal.
Trollers were catching fish on crankbaits, worm harnesses fished with inline weights or bottom bouncers, and also on spoons fished with Dipsy Divers or Jet Divers.
Yellow perch fishing has been best off of Ballast Island and around Kelleys Island.
The best smallmouth bass fishing reports have come from the north bay of Kelleys Island, but remember that is a catch-and-release option only during spawning season.
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