Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Warm sun plus falling rivers = (Steelhead fishing!)

Oh, boy, the weather can't get any better for steelhead fishing. With temperature to steadily rise to the upper 70s by Thursday anglers won't have any excuse to remain indoors.

That is especially true since Northeast Ohio streams are receding from Sunday's and Monday morning's rainfall.

Of course, the fishing pressure will no doubt become excessive starting Good Friday when many people have off and into the weekend when almost certainly the stream's will experience a huge crush of anglers.

But I called for the annual Steelhead Fishing Camp - hosted by Lake Metroparks and the Lake County Visitors Bureau - for a week later than usual. That was a good move, me thinks.

Many are the same cast of characters you've read about in previous columns; outdoors writers like Tom Cross of Adams County, Paul Liikala of Cuyahoga Falls, and Steve Pollick of the Blade in Toledo. Others are less well mentioned by me including free-lancer Ottie Snyder, Mike Mainheart and Bill Kiel.

I've tapped volunteer Jon Ondo of Painesville to help guide Snyder who's nenver caught an Ohio river-run steelhead. Jon will no doubt lead Snyder into fish.

And if I were to look into a crystal ball I would say we'll be fishing the smaller tributaries on Wednesday with the larger rivers on Thursday.

I'll keep you posted.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Friday, March 26, 2010

Lake Erie walleye quotas strong (Same daily bag limit)

Lake Erie walleye fishermen will be able to fill their coolers this summer with the same number of fish they could keep last year.

And Lake Erie yellow perch anglers in the Western Basin will have an opportunity to creel five more fish starting May 1.

The Lake Erie Committee of the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission concluded meetings Thursday and has allocated 2.2 million walleye for all waters of Lake Erie, down slightly from last year’s quota of 2.45 million fish.

“While this number represents a conservative number, it still results in a quota for Ohio that does not reduce our daily bag limit over what it has been recently,” said Ray Petering, the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s fisheries executive administrator, on Friday.

“Consequently, the bag limit on walleye will remain at six fish from May 1, 2010 to Feb. 28, 2011 and four walleye during March and April of next year.”

As far as yellow perch is concerned, Ohio’s yellow perch quota is 5.25 million pounds of fish, down only slightly.

Thus, all Ohio Lake Erie sport anglers will be able to keep 30 fish per day, effective beginning May 1. Last year those perch anglers west of Huron could keep only 25 yellow perch per day, a condition that still applies to the Western Basin but only prior to May 1, says Randy Miller, the agency’s assistant chief.

“What has us concerned is that we know the walleye population is down so what will determine where we’ll go will depend on this year’s sport harvest and the 2010 hatch. That will determine our position in 2011,” Miller said also.

Painesville Township licensed charter captain Ron Johnson said that had the state cut the daily bag limit to five fish his business would have survived. But the industry’s fear is that much more restrictive bag limits will come if the lake’s walleye population doesn’t grow, Johnson says.

“We should have at least cut it back to five walleye per day and have the Canadians cut their quota, too. If we don’t get a hatch this year we’re going to get hammered next year. We’re catching walleye faster than they can be replenished, given current levels,” said Johnson.

“I actually think they should have lowered the limit a couple of years ago.”
Charter captain Jim Schonauer said he is surprised that the daily bag limit will remain the same and wasn’t reduced.

“So I don’t know what to think about the walleye. You sort of have mixed emotions, though I expect the decision will still make a lot of other charter captains and fishermen happy,” he said.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Good-bye Marlin plant, P-A's deer kill takes a nosedive (Weekend musings)

Gone after 140 years is the Marlin Firearms Company's New Haven, Conn. plant. It will close by next year. Lost as well are the plant's 256 employees.

However, it would appear that Marlin firearms will still be made at a yet-to-be-announced location. Marlin is owned by the Freedom Group Family of Companies and whose keystone is Remington Arms.

In other hunting-related news, the Pennsylvania Game Commission reports that deer hunters there killed an estimated 308,920 animals, of which 108,330 were antlered. But don't be impressed with the numbers. The total deer kill is the lowest it's been in 23 years.

However, in the zones where crossbows were permitted, the total archery harvest in them grew by 13 percent with the horizontally held tools accounting for 30 percent of the take - up from 15 percent.

Lastly, the Columbus-based U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance has built an Internet site whereby sportsmen can receive and access information about pending anti-hunting and anti-fishing matters.

Other usable data includes information about various state hunting regulations, where to find a shooting range, and tips on fishing and hunting.

Users of "Sentry Program" can access the site for free and requires only a minimal amount of information. Visit the Alliance's program web site at www.usssportsmen.org/BeASentry.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Steelhead on the run (cold fish, though)

Boy, talk about a long wait. For the past couple of months I've been waiting for the return of steelhead trout into the rivers stocked with them by the Ohio Division of Wildlife.

And just like a large number of other trout anglers I've seen very little in the way of a crush of fish. All the while I couldn't see any fish and couldn't locate any redds, which are the hollowed-out depressions the steelhead trout make during their spawning ritual.

To say it's been a frustrating to-date steelhead-fishing season is an understatement. I know that sounds like a cliche but it is true. The fall run of steelhead was almost nonexistent while the so-far run of spring fish hasn't been worth a hoot, either.

Today, however, may prove to be the turning point.

I snatched almost two hours in the late morning until just after noon and fished a small tributary.

The first set of rapids/runs had maybe 20 to 25 spawning trout. It's a little more tricky to fish this stretch when the landowner is home and I didn't want to be a pest. So I headed upstream to another creek section and located another pod of around 15 to 20 spawning trout.

Over the next roughly two hours I hit these fish pretty hard, tossing a whole quiver of hand-tied flies. Woolly buggers, sucker spawns, Otter eggs, something that looks like a green weenie but isn't, Clowser minnows and an egg pattern made from yarn rounded out the arsenal.

Black was the better color though green led to the catching of a couple of fish. The woolly bugger topped them all but a green-colored Otter egg and the green weenie but isn't snared the attention of trout, too.

By the time I was cold and damp from the lowering temperature and steady rain I had landed six steelhead. In the process, though, I lost nearly a dozen flies that became snagged on fishes' tails. I also lost an entire leader and two other 10-pound tippet sections.

Worse, two boxes of flies were left back home, each lure container nesting flies that I wanted to try out.

Some people would think such an outing would be expensive, having surrendered so much leader material and so many flies. Truth is, however, that is the price one pays for sight fishing redding steelhead. If you want to catch fish in clear, very shallow water you better expect to pay a hefty price in terminal tackle.

Nevertheless, I got my "steelhead fix" in for the day. Friday is going to be too nasty to fish with the added difficulty of possibly high and muddy water because of today's rain showers. And I rarely fish for steelhead on the weekends, the foot traffic from other anglers along the creeks, streams and rivers often being excessive.

So I'll steal a few more hours next week for another angling outing. And I hope that my wife, Bev, will find the time to join me.

Afterall, I'm cautiously optimistic that the spring steelhead run has begun with enough fish to at least keep an outing interesting. Late is better than not at all and I'm hoping that the best is still yet to come.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cindy Ford motors out of the Geauga Park District (and rides for the stars)

For the past five year Cindy Ford has been the face of the Geauga Park District, serving as that agency's public relations spokeswoman.

But after March 31, Ford - A West Sider - will take up residence in Atlanta. There she will become the external communications writer for the Points of Light Institute, which was founded in 1990 in response to President George H.W. Bush's inaugural address where he invoked the vision of a "thousand points of light."

This Institute honors those folks who are making a difference in their communities. Today the Institute provides research, analysis, tools and training to support the creation and management of volunteer programs, Ford says.

Overseen are the Institute's HandsOn Network, Mission Fish, and The Civic Incubator.

The HandsOn Network alone delivered in 2008 approximately 30 million hours of volunteer service valued at $615 million.

Ford said her duties will include speech writing for the Institute's CEO, Michelle Nun who is the daughter of retired Georgia Senator Sam Nun along with the usual PR package of press releases, web copy and marketing material.

I wish Cindy well. She'll do just fine, too.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Grand River bald eagles stopping traffic (an arresting development)

Grand River Village's police chief Barry D. Dodd is hoping that southbound Route 44 drivers will keep their eyes on the road and not on the nesting pair of American bald eagles.

The eagles have expanded on a redtail hawk nest at the edge of the Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve and just north of Olive Street and south of the entrance to Headlands Beach State Park.

This so-close eagle nest has seen a somewhat steady stream of peeping toms who pull off Route 44 for a view of the nest/eagles.

Which is illegal, and thus of concern to Dodd.

"It hasn't been much of a traffic problem yet but I think that's because of the weather," Dodd said.

Dodd fears that once the weather improves more people will want to pull off and try to snatch a glimpse of the eagles and their nest.

With luck, however, perhaps the greening of the nest and surrounding trees will shield the structure and thereby discourage illegal pull-offs, Dodd said.

"That's my hope. The birds will get their privacy and we won't have to deal with the traffic problem," Dodd said.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Monday, March 22, 2010

Fishing derby time (Painesville's catch of the day)

The city of Painesville's Recreation Department is hosting its first-ever steelhead fishing derby, the contest running through April 30.

Rules are pretty simple and straight-forward. Acceptance of catch must come from the waters of the Grand River between the St. Clair Street bridge south to the Route 84 bridge. That's a lot of fishable water, however, and includes some of the stream's best sections.

Anglers are allowed to submit up to two fish daily. At the conclusion of the derby the angler with the three longest fish will be declared the winner. The top prize will be a $100 gift certificate to KMD Tackle, a $50 gift certificate to KMD Tackle for second place, and a $25 gift certificate to KMD Tackle for third place.

The entry fee is $10.

The two check-in stations include the city's water pollution control plant,1170 North State St. from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday; and KMD Tackle, 263 Liberty St.

Tournament rules are available at www.painesville.com while further information and to register is available by calling the recreation department at 440-392-5912.

Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sure sign of spring (Crowded steelhead streams)

I am, (am not), looking forward to steelhead fishing the next two days.

Sure the weather on Friday is going to be unbelievably gorgeous. Too nice, maybe. The streams from the Vermilion River to Conneaut Creek will be packed on Friday and jammed to the point of closure on Saturday.

But the water - with the exception of the still-angry Grand River - is expected to be good to marginally fair. For the smaller tributaries like Paine Creek and Mill Creek the water clarity will probably be too clear while their flows having tempered considerably the past few days to expect decent fly presentation.

Even a sweet little piece of water I have access to was getting too low today. Worse, in about 2 1/2 hours I saw only 15 fish and half that number of other anglers. Okay, so I caught two trout but usually this time of year steelhead in abundance are on their redds. With history as a guide, I should have done much, much better.

Not today as there weren't even any redds for the few fish to float over. It seems that the poor stream fishing that began last fall has extended itself to not-quite-spring.

For my planned expedition on Friday I am heading to the Ashtabula River at Indian Park in Ashtabula. There's some elbow room there though fishing friend Paul Liikala said that by 7:30 a.m. today there were a dozen vehicles already in the parking lot.

That's discouraging, even though Paul and his fishing buddy for the day - Bill Kiel - together still managed to land about 20 trout. They had to find a hole and anchor themselves so no one else could claim the spot. That's never fun.

But later this afternoon I had another friend visit the stream; he immediately turning around in the parking lot when he saw how many other anglers were fishing. That's the downside to trout fishing Friday.

On the upside is the expected beautiful weather with a high in the low to mid 60s and mostly sunny skies. How can anyone complain about fishing in their shirtsleeves with a late winter/early spring sun filtering through the air?

That, plus the opportunity to fish for steelhead with the excuse that it's also a scouting mission. While I rarely trout fish on a Saturday I have promised Sen. George V. Voinovich that that I'd guide him on a local river, making I'm back in plenty of time to attend the Lake Metroparks' Steelheader's Ball.

My bet is that I'll trek to the Chagrin River on Saturday and try to convince my wife to rise and shine really, really early and stake out a hole for the Senator and me. Oh, for sure I will let Beverly fish, too.

My guess is that the crowds will begin to thin out over the next several weeks as other fishing opportunities arise. And if the stream fishing continues to be poor or even fair at best then even fewer anglers will try their hand.

I'll keep you posted on how we do.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Falcons on the fly (Eastlake and Lorain, too)

Peregrine falcon courtship has begun with the long-standing nest structure at FirstEnergy's Eastlake coal-fired power plant seeing at least fly-by activity.

What isn't known is whether Starbright (band number 19 over E), and Jerry (band number 47 over K) are the courtship participants. It is this couple that has regularly nested at the Eastlake site.

The reason for the pair possibly NOT being Starbright and Jerry is because falcon pairs often vie for the use of nesting sites with new pairs sometimes claiming squatters' rights.

And while at least one nesting pair of falcons in the state has produced eggs, that activity won't happen at the Eastlake plant until later this month or even early April. The reason is because the Eastlake plant is situated along the still-cold Lake Erie which slows the courtship/nesting process a little, says Damon Greer, assistant wildlife management supervisor for the Ohio Division of Wildlife's Northeast Ohio office in Akron.

Currently, there are 25 known nesting pairs of falcons in Ohio along with a handful of single birds looking for a mate, Greer said.

As for falcon activity around Lorain, birds have been observed here but the Wildlife Division has yet to see a nest anywhere, Greer said also.

"We have 'extra' birds that we often don't get details on," Greer said.

At known nesting sites various Wildlife Division staff members and volunteers keep their eyes and binoculars handy and in use as the spotters attempt to identify individual falcons, Greer said.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

'Tis the season (Watching, waiting)

March is the mud-growing season where the gooey produce clings to boots and lathers the dogs' coats with a layer that will cake and dry.

That is, after Jenny Lynn's and Berry's paw prints march across the home's hardwood floor. If not cleaned up quickly this dried mud will turn to dust, thereby clogging the furnace's filter and making my wife, Bev, and me sneeze.

Still, this is an interesting time of year and my trip into Ashtabula County yesterday was accommodating. I needed to check on the taps inserted into various sugar and silver maple trees in order to see if there was enough sap for collection. There wasn't, however, and due in exclusive measure to the recent warm weather that stopped (temporarily I hope) the pumping of sap.

The dogs frolicked and got themselves thoroughly muddy, even on the run through The Club's dog-training area. (You might want to look at next week's outdoors as it relates to dog training, by the way.)

In any event, this was a scouting mission. Not only did I want to see if the sap was flowing but if the turkeys were active in the now-exposed corn fields. Even more importantly I needed to see if the smaller streams were becoming fishable for steelhead.

The Grand River was not,though, and by the way the stream was flowing, I figured it wouldn't in my lifetime. The Grand was running wild. It will take some time before this river drops enough and clears enough to permit good trout fishing.

However, Big Creek at Helen Hazen Wyman Park should be ready for fishing by Wednesday while its tributary - Kellogg Creek - will probably be fishable by later today.

I saw an angler each at the mouth of Kellogg Creek where it entered Big Creek and upstream underneath the Rt. 86 bridge. However, I thought they'd be better off fishing for whales in a bathtub since both streams yesterday were still too high and too muddy to expect much in the way of good steelhead fishing.

But times they are changing and before we know it the latter days in March are going to be blessed with good enough weather and decent enough stream conditions to offer anglers an excellent excuse to be out.

Of course, these streams are also going to experience a crush from anglers with pent-up demand to get started. That's price Northeast Ohio pays for a world-class steelhead fisheries.

Just be careful out there. The river edges are still pretty muddy.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Friday, March 12, 2010

Maple syrup making a sweet hobby (Still expensive, though)

With expected wild and wicked winds, falling temperatures and a lot rain you'll probably find me holed up in the house, tying some flies; getting the last of lures ready for the (I hope) up-coming steelhead-fishing season.

Of course, I'll likely put aside the tying vice and materials and (at the very least) "supervise" the boiling of maple sap into that golden elixir called maple syrup.

You see, for the past three years my wife, Bev, and me have operated our own backyard sugar bush. Actually, it's been more Bev than me. I'll take some credit since I usually pilot our 4x4 out to the two places in Ashtabula County where we have tapped into sugar and silver maple trees. And I've run the errands necessary to keep the operation afloat.

Into a few larger trees goes two 5/16-inch plastic taps while the smaller ones get one tap each. They are connected to Home Depot 5-gallon plastic buckets via blue-colored 5/16-inch diameter tubing.

On Thursday we collected more than 30 gallons of sap, about what we gathered up a few days earlier but more than what was furnished by Mother Nature when we first drilled the holes into the tree bark and guts a couple of weeks ago.

Boiling will begin this evening and finish up Saturday afternoon. We figure we'll transform the sap into three quarts or so of syrup. It takes about 45 gallons - give or take five gallons - to yield one gallon of syrup.

It's not a money-making operation to be sure. As expensive as store-bought maple syrup is, our backyard still is even more expensive to operate.

It's done for a couple of reasons. First, Bev gets a thrill out of the labor-intensive operation. It's something that consumes her evenings and weekend afternoons for a couple of weeks in late winter when the sap is flowing up the trees.

And I get to firm up a dozen or so pint-size decorative containers of syrup which are stored until Christmas. Then they are presented to people who allow me to steelhead fish on their property or else hunt their land.

Our backyard sugar bush is a real Rube Goldberg affair, too. The evaporator consists of shim cinder blocks that surround the boilers. At one time these boilers were deep-fat fryers which Bev modified.

The evaporator pans that nestle on top of the boilers are actually stainless steel roasting pans. The fuel source comes from two large tanks of propane, which in our case makes a lot more sense than trying to build a wood-fueled fire.

Over it all is a 10-foot-by-10-foot awning top that helps keep out the elements to which can be added plastic tarp sides.

Yes, it's kind of on the ugly side but none of the neighbors have complained. Seeing as how we have a rather large summer veggie garden in the backyard along with some really strange goings on, a sugar bush hardly pricks their interest, much less their complaints.

There is no question the process is time-consuming. Boiling down the sap until it evaporates the water and leaves the sugary syrup can take up to eight hours. That is, if you're trying to process enough to recover a gallon of syrup.

Then there is the job of filling containers - and these can be very expensive. Especially the decorative glass bottles. But even the attractive and familiar plastic jugs cost a bundle. All of them, by the way, are bought at Richard's Maple Products in Chardon, the area's go-to destination for back-yard distillers.

How much syrup we'll make before the boiling ends will depend upon the weather. Ideally you want cold nights and mild days to get the trees pumping the sap. These past warm nights and even warmer days have slowed the trickle of sap to dribbles or even nothing at all.

Still, we've made about two gallons of syrup so far and we'll probably add three additional quarts by late Saturday afternoon.

I suspect that when all is said done our "Silver Maple Farms" (as I've humorously named our operation) will see a crop of four to five gallons. That is a record production. Much of that will be given away to friends and families though Bev and me assure ourselves we'll keep a stash of two or three quarts.

After all, we want to share in the sweet reward of our labors. Or Bev's labors as the case really is.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Jump-starting fishing season (Kellogg Creek does snap, crackle or pop)

By the time I wound my way back to the Helen Hazen Wyman Park parking lot I was ready for the sports drink. Mostly I was happy to slide out of the hip waders and rest my aching back.

One day after the third series of injections in the spine I had decided to take on Kellogg Creek in Concord Township. It wasn't a mistake though the steroids hadn't done much good in relieving the severe back pain.

No matter. This was Tuesday and my first trip in search of migrating steelhead trout. That the Grand and Chagrin rivers were blown out with ice- and snow-melt was not a surprise. That the lower Big Creek also was spoiled by dingy and high water was.

But not wanting to waste a perfectly fine, sunny and warming weekday I instead decided to hike up Kellogg Creek from the park to around where George's Dinner Bell restaurant once stood high above on the shale bluffs.

The creek winds and snakes through a narrow valley, carved by the undulations of the land forms. It growls over gravel riffles and groans through fairly deep pools.

Though the water's visibility was not so hot I still could see the bottom in a number of places. That condition wouldn't last too long, though, as the water continued to cloud over from the grit and dirt washed by the melting snow. And the adjacent woods still had a lot of that material left, too.

My real problem was - in the nearly two hour exploration of the creek - I came across only two trout: a buck and a hen together on a redd. And no matter what I tossed their way they turned a blind eye to my hand-tied flies. Eventually they spooked and moved further upstream.

Still, it was an interesting hike. It's been years since I last visited the creek in search of steelhead. Even so, the stream's twists, turns, riffles and other attributes were pretty much the same as I remembered them.

And I was thankful that Lake Metroparks has picked up the parcel that fits comfortably between the agency's Helen Hazen Wyman Park and its Greenway Corridor.

The agency even has paid for site work needed to construct a connector trail between the two trail heads. In fact, I came upon a pair of surveyors laying out the necessary measurements needed to build the trail.

Such a trail will ease access to the creek's watershed, though I do have some regrets. As it stands now the creek is quiet with little human contact save for the seasonal penetration by steelhead anglers.

The last thing trout anglers want is an audience that sees just where the better steelhead fishing holes are located. But it's worked well enough on parks system holdings along both the Chagrin and Grand rivers that my complaint can be muted.

No question, however, Kellogg Creek is a sweet little gem of a steelhead stream. One that served me well Tuesday for the kick-off to this spring's trout-fishing season, in spite of the fact that I saw only two fish and didn't catch either one of them.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Monday, March 8, 2010

Semi-automatic revolver an oxymoron (Answer may surprise you)

Fellow reporter Jason Lea asked last Friday about a "semi-automatic revolver," a beast I said that didn't exist.

For all my shooting life I had been told (and assumed) that a weapon of that type was an oxymoron of terms.

But - thanks to Google and the National Rifle Association's Firearms Museum curator - I found that my long-held notion was wrong. Totally wrong, in fact.

Back around World War I in England just such a weapon was created, using the Webley revolver with its top beak-open action as the base handgun. It was called the Webley-Fosbery, named after the Brit who created the so-called "automatic revolver." It was made from 1901 to 1915 before the more modern-day semi-auto handguns took over.

The Webley-Fosbery fired the .455 Webley cartridge, similar in size though not power with the .45 ACP cartridge. The Webley-Fosbery also was chambered for the .38 ACP round.

It was recoil operated piece and proved popular with English officers even though it was never officially adopted by the military.

But imagine my surprise when I found out that a more modern and cool-looking automatic revolver was made much more recently. It was called the Mateba Autorevolver (A Google search will come up with all sorts of neat information about the weapon).

This was an Italian handgun and chambered for either the .357 Magnum, the .44 magnum and very powerful and lethal .454 Cashell.

The pistol weighed nearly 3 pounds and was made from 1997 to 2005. Its cost was around $1,000.

But so rare is this piece that not only doesn't the NRA Firearms Museum have a representative, the curator there also hadn't even heard of it, if that is imaginable.

In any event, the Google-initiated sites on the weapon are extremely fascinating and are worth exploring if you are into weaponry, especially the weird and rare kind.

And now I can shelve a long-held misconception. I guess I'll never say never when it comes to firearms and the strange designs that people come up with.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Friday, March 5, 2010

Friday filings (A bit of this and a bit of that)

You can expect that Southwick Associates will always come up with interesting statistics regarding hunting, fishing and shooting.

In it latest release, Southwick notes that more than 500,000 United States hunters went afield outside this country over the past three years. By far - and not surprisingly - the big go-to destination was Canada where 47 percent of this country's international hunters went.

Africa saw 23 percent, Mexico saw 9 percent, South America saw 7.6 percent, and Europe and Australia each saw 5.5 percent.

Over the past three years these American hunters contributed $3.6 BILLION in new economic injections, Southwick said.

And Southwick has judged that of the total number of hunters and shooters, 6.9 percent were age 18 to 24, 31.3 percent were age 25 to 44, 47.9 percent were age 45 to 64, and 13.8 percent were age 65 and older.

Obviously this demographic group is made up largely of members from the Baby Boom Generation with a dismally small fraction of the younger set. That doesn't speak well of the future of hunting and shooting.

On a different note, nearly 26 percent of the nation's hunters and target shooters belong to a conservation group - something that needs improving on, as well.

Also, Southwick has found out, hunters and anglers by a huge margin trust state fish and wildlife agencies over any other source. Fully 54.4 percent of anglers and 50.7 percent of hunters said they trusted state fish and game agencies the most.

Fish and game non-profit groups scored well also.

Alas, print and video media didn't fare very well. Got to see improvement there too because there's no way else to go but up.

- Jeffrey L. Frsichkorn

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Gun show alert (Change of venue)

The same folks who bring together the Berea Gun Show and the Akron Gun Show were planning on hosting a similar event in Garfield Heights.

However, they've switched venues. Now this weekend's gun show will be held at the new Great Lakes Expo Center, 1200 Babbitt Road, Euclid. This is the same place that most recently hosted the annual Cleveland Outdoors Show.

Hours and days for the show are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday.

Admission is ^ with free parking.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Trout for the catching (Punderson to get fish)

The Ohio Division of Wildlife again is saddling up in preparation for stocking 45 Ohio lakes and ponds with catchable rainbow trout.

In all, 80,700 fish will be stocked. Among those places that will receive fish is 100-acre Punderson Lake, situated inside the depths of Punderson State Park in Geauga County's Newbury Township.

Here, about 2,500 rainbow will be stocked on April 17. A youth-only fishing segment is scheduled for 9 a.m. to noon that day though adults can have at it once this kiddie session is completed.

Other Northeast Ohio lakes to be stocked with trout include Forest Hill Pond on March 25, Shadow Lake on April 1 and Westlake Recreation Center, also on April 1. All three lakes are in Cuyahoga County.

Remember that a new 2010-2011 fishing license is required. Also, the daily creel limit on trout taken from inland waters is five fish.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

Monday, March 1, 2010

What's hot, what's not (Hunting and fishing gear)

From Southwick Associates, which track all things hunting, fishing and shooting as noted at its site, and that of the Outdoor Wire.

These are the brands and products anglers, hunters and target shooters preferred most in 2009. This list has been compiled from the 44,734 internet-based surveys completed by hunters and target shooters who volunteered to participate last year in HunterSurvey.com and TargetshootingSurvey.com polls and 34,185 internet-based surveys completed by anglers.

In 2009, top brands included:

Shooting & Hunting

• Top rifle brand: Remington (16.5% of all purchases)
• Top shotgun brand: Remington (22% of all purchases)
• Top muzzleloader brand: Thompson Center (29.5% of all purchases)
• Top handgun brand: Sturm Ruger (16.6% of all purchases)
• Top scope for firearms: Bushnell (17.3% of all purchases)
• Top rifle ammunition brand: Remington (28.8% of all purchases)
• Top shotgun ammunition brand: Winchester (32.0% of all purchases)
• Top handgun ammunition brand: Winchester (22.0% of all purchases)
• Top blackpowder brand: Pyrodex (351.5% of all purchases)
• Top balls, bullets, or shot brand: Hornady (26.2% of all purchases)
• Top bow brand: BowTech (14.8% of all purchases)
• Top arrow brand: Easton (30.3% of all purchases)
• Top fletching brand: Bohning (30.3% of all purchases)
• Top broadhead brand: Muzzy (25.3% of all purchases)
• Top archery target brand: The Block (22.3% of all purchases)
• Top decoy brand: Flambeau (15.7% of all purchases)
• Top game call brand: Primos (34.8% of all purchases)
• Top reloading bullet brand: Hornady (30.2% of all purchases)
• Top reloading primer brand: CCI (36.0% of all purchases)
• Top reloading powder brand: Hodgdon (36.5% of all purchases)
• Top binocular brand: Bushnell (19.5% of all purchases)
• Top holster brand: Uncle Mikes (21.4% of all purchases)
• Top knife brand: Buck (16.7% of all purchases)
• Top scent or scent covering brand: Scent-A-Way (24.5% of all purchases)
• Top shooting target brand: Shoot-N-C (38.9% of all purchases)
• Top clay brand: White Flyer (34.3% of all purchases)

Other interesting facts from the HunterSurvey 2009 annual report: The busiest month for purchasing for hunting was November, for Target Shooting was June, and for self-defense was February.


the top brands:

• Top rod brand: Shakespeare Ugly Stik (16.4% of all purchases)
• Top reel brand: Shimano (23.0% of all purchases)
• Top rod and reel combo brand: Shakespeare (25.7% of all purchases)
• Top fishing line producer: Pure Fishing's Berkley line (Trilene, Fireline, Big Game, Vanish) (42.6% of all purchases)
• Top hard bait brand: Rapala (30.6% of all purchases)
• Top soft bait brand: Zoom (16.8% of all purchases)
• Top spinner bait brand: Strike King (16.6% of all purchases)
• Top hook brand: Eagle Claw (34.5% of all purchases)
• Top sinker brand: Bullet Weight (19.0% of all purchases)
• Top fly rod brand: Sage (16.7% of all purchases)
• Top fly reels brand: Orvis (11.1% of all purchases)
• Top fly combo brand: St. Croix (18.0% of all purchases)
• Top fly line brand: Scientific Angler (28.8% of all purchases)
• Top fly brand: Orvis and Cabelas tied (11.0% of all purchases, each)
• Top fly leader brand: Rio (28.4% of all purchases)
• Top fly tying material brand: White River (60.5% of all purchases)
• Top fish finder or sonar brand: Humminbird (42.9% of all purchases)
• Top tackle box brand: Plano (55.8% of all purchases)
• Top landing net brand: Frabill (20.2% of all purchases)
• Top fishing knife brand: Rapala (22.6% of all purchases)

* 48% of all fishing tackle purchases involve terminal tackle (hooks, sinkers, swivels, etc.)

* Largemouth bass remain the number one targeted species of freshwater fish, with nearly 60% of fishing activity targeting largemouth bass.

* Saltwater anglers were more varied, with 25% of trips targeting any fish that bites, followed by striped bass (23%), flounder (21%), red drum (20%) and seatrout (20%). Please note these refer to species targeted on trips and not the number of fish actually caught.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn