An Ohio record longnose gar taken by bowfishing has been certified by the Outdoor Writers of Ohio, the state's official keeper of fish records.
The fish, which looks like a cross between a northern pike and an alligator, weighed 19.21 pounds, more than four pounds above the old record. It was shot by Zachary Jared, of Akron, at Turkeyfoot Lake in Summit County on May 12 while he was bowfishing at night. The record gar is 53.1 inches long with a 20.47-inch girth.
The catch replaces a longnose gar that was shot in the Little Miami River by Jake Kerstetter in 2008. It weighed 14.72 pounds and measured 50 1/2 inches long.
Ohio Division of Wildlife fisheries biologists Phil Hillman and Curt Wagner at Wildlife District Three identified Jared's kill. The division cooperates closely with OWO on the record fish program.
For more information on the state record fish program contact Fred Snyder, chairman, OWO state record fish committee, 754 Co. Rd. 126, Fremont, OH 43420, dial 419-332-0777, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. A complete list of fish records is available online at outdoorwritersofohio.org.
In other fishing news, area anglers are finding some nice fish despite the mid-summer heat.
Charles "Nathan" Hounshell, of Toledo, became the second angler in a couple of weeks to report the catch of a huge flathead catfish from the Maumee River. His was a 46-pounder that stretched out to 44 inches.
Hounshell was fishing Monday night near Grand Rapids, using shad for bait, when the big cat decided to eat, according to his girlfriend, Angela Petit. Two weeks ago Dondi "DJ" Sturm caught and released a monster 63-pounder from the same area.
Then there is Lance Izsak, who lives near Swan Creek in South Toledo and who is landing a surprising creel of species from Swan Creek. He sent a photograph of a 21-inch steelhead trout, taken on Father's Day, and an 18-inch northern pike, taken July 3. He also is catching largemouth bass in the 8-to-12-inch range, yellow perch, and rock bass.
These are high-quality fish and it says something about the general quality of the water in the creek, its periodic urban-pollution ills aside. "I go almost every day," said Izsak. He favors casting an orange Rooster Tail spinner with nickel blade, and frequents the stretch below the Highland Park Dam.
"I know many people were worried when there was a big fish kill -- I think it was last year -- but I am proud to say Swan Creek is alive and well," said the fisherman, who typically releases his catches. "Fishing has been great this year at the creek."
Walleye action is decent but scattered widely, from the Toledo Ship Channel-West Sister Island area east to A-Can and B-can, and off Crane Creek, according to area bait shops.
"The fish are pretty active," said Rick Ferguson at Al Szuch Live Bait. He said that trollers are using spoons, worm harnesses, and crankbaits, and drift-and-cast anglers are favoring mayfly rigs with gold blades.
Yellow perch action also is very good and widespread, Ferguson said. But be prepared to do some size-sorting.
The fourth annual kids' big fish contest is set for tomorrow 10 a.m. to noon at Mary Jane Thurston State Park, State Rt. 65 west of Grand Rapids.
Meet in the day-use area of the park to register. Age categories are ages 3-6, 7-11, and 12-15. Bring your own tackle if possible. Only a limited number of rods and reels are available to borrow, first come, first served. For other details call naturalist Natalie Miller at 419-832-7662.
The annual traditional shoot and swap meet of the Mudjaw Bowmen is set for July 30 and 31 at the club grounds at 6240 Benore Road.
The course will include 15 hand-painted animal targets and 15 3-D targets. Compound-bow users are welcome to shoot, but no scores will be considered. Lunch and beverages will be available.
The swap meet is for archery/sports items and is set for 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. each day. Bring a tent and tables to set up on the grass area, or set up inside the club building or on the outside Pavilion. Reserve space by email at email@example.com and include name and contact information. There is no fee for Mudjaw members, but a $10 fee for nonmembers for the swap meet.
Contact Steve Pollick at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6068