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Jack Kiser's Portage Outdoors: New Ohio bass fishing regulations now in effect

Published: March 8, 2013 4:00 AM

New statewide and specific site bass-fishing regulations are now in effect for the 2013-14 license year, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

Statewide, a new 12-inch minimum length limit has been implemented by the ODNR Division of Wildlife on all public waters for largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass where there are no other special regulations. The daily limit of five fish per day remains in effect for black bass, singly or in combination.

Some reservoirs that previously had special regulations were changed to the new statewide 12-inch length limit. The 12- to 15-inch slot-length limit was removed from Timber Ridge Lake, and 15-inch minimum length limits were removed from: Caesar Creek Lake (Warren, Clinton and Greene counties), Kenton Lake (Gallia County), Lake Milton, including the Mahoning River connecting Berlin Lake and Lake Milton (Mahoning County), Lake Vesuvius (Lawrence County), Monroe Lake (Monroe County), Monroeville Reservoir (Huron County), Pike Lake (Pike County) and Sippo Lake (Stark County).

Two new regulations have been incorporated to increase the size and number of bass. These special regulations include a reduced number of largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass that anglers may keep per day and split daily limits, where anglers may only keep a specified number of fish of a certain length.

The first regulation is a special 15-inch length limit with a four fish split-daily limit. Anglers may keep two fish under 15 inches and two fish 15 inches or larger, for four fish per day. The split-daily limit allows limited harvest of bass less than 15 inches to promote growth of bass to larger sizes. This regulation is referred to as a "15, 2-and-2." It is in effect at these reservoirs:

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Acton Lake (Preble and Butler counties), Findley Lake (Lorain County), Hargus Lake (Pickaway County), Highlandtown Lake (Columbiana County), Lake Snowden (Athens County), New Lyme Lake (Ashtabula County), Paint Creek Lake (Highland and Ross counties), Salt Fork Lake (Guernsey County), Silver Creek Lake (Summit County) and Upper Sandusky No. 2 (Wyandot County).

The second split-daily limit is referred to as a "Super Slot," a 14 to 20-inch slot-length limit intended to increase the chance of catching trophy bass. Anglers may keep two fish under 14 inches and one fish 20 inches or larger, for three fish per day. However, anglers are not allowed to keep any fish in the protected slot. This regulation will be limited to the following waters:

All American Electric Power (AEP) ponds and reservoirs, including AEP ReCreation Lands, Conesville Coal Lands and Avondale Wildlife Area, with all ponds and reservoirs included in each daily limit per angler (Coshocton, Guernsey, Muskingum, Morgan, Noble and Perry counties), Belmont Lake (Belmont County), Guilford Lake (Columbiana County), Killdeer Plains Reservoir (Wyandot County), Kiser Lake (Champaign County), Long Lake (Summit County), Oxbow Lake (Defiance County), Spencer Lake (Medina County), St. Joseph Wildlife Area ponds (Williams County), Tycoon Lake (Gallia County), Wingfoot Lake (Portage County) and Wolf Run Lake (Noble County).

These adjustments in regulations were developed by the ODNR Division of Wildlife through an analysis of historical fish surveys, creel surveys and angler-reported tournament results, an evaluation of management options and fisheries objectives as well as extensive angler input through online surveys, creel surveys, open houses and meetings with sportsmen and women.

Ohio has other special regulations for black bass at a number of waters around the state that remain in effect. These include traditional 14-inch, 15-inch and 18-inch minimum length limits, and 12-15 inch slot length limits, all with five fish daily limits on Lake Erie and inland waters, and six fish daily limits on the Ohio River. Visit wildohio.com for more information.

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One fairly new area business for both fishermen and recreational boaters to keep an eye on is "The Boat Doc" on S.R. 261 -- just off the Tallmadge Circle. Owner and Tallmadge High School alum Dave Robinson has only been in business for barely five years and his reputation is already such that he now does much of the work for some notable area boat dealers themselves. He recently helped us out with our "Buckeye Angler" staff boat, and I was impressed to say the least, understanding quickly his explosion in popularity in such a relatively short time. The shop also specializes in fiberglass, gelcoat and trailer repairs as well as general boat repairs.

Their phone number is 330-608-9179 , and you can also access their www.theboat-doc.com web site.

Tell 'em I sent ya.


Jack Kiser is the host of TV's "Buckeye Angler" and Ohio Editor of "Midwest Outdoors" magazine. You may reach him at the Facebook site for either, as well as that of "The Hunting & Fishing Show."

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