Winter keeps hanging on and here’s one Midwesterner who would love to get a shot at that weather-prognosticating groundhog. Rather than frightening my wife with the idea of a woodchuck casserole, I’ll just dream of the upcoming fishing season.
A bass fishing vacation would be just right. But where to go?
Eric Pickhartz, managing editor at Wide Open Spaces, www.wideopenspaces.com, developed a list of the top 10 states with the best fishing holes.
• Texas came out on top with Falcon Lake, the spot well-read bass anglers have on their bucket list. There are also other famous bass fishing reservoirs, rivers, streams and ponds spread throughout the state, making Texas the leader in the lower 48 states.
• Michigan. While Buckeyes don’t care for that school up north, we must admit that the Wolverine State is a fisherman’s paradise. Surrounded by the Great Lakes and covered with thousands of inland lakes, streams, rivers, ponds and the breathtaking Grand Traverse Bay, Michigan is the only state giving Texas a run for its money.
• Minnesota, the land of 10,000 lakes. Actually, it’s more like 13,000. Lake Minnetonka, the St. Croix River and the Mississippi are the bass hot-spots.
• Wisconsin offers great access with the bays on Lake Michigan and Superior, Sturgeon Bay, and Chequamegon Bay. There’re also plenty of inland lakes and streams.
• Ohio landed on the list thanks to its North Coast. Lake Erie’s shoreline provides some of the best bass fishing on the planet, while the islands are a smallmouth fisherman’s paradise.
• Florida has a huge following of fishermen with Lake Okeechobee, Lake Seminole, Lake Tarpon and the Everglades ranking high on any list.
• Alabama’s Lake Guntersville recently became the favorite bass fishing lake in the country, a body of water that’s become an essential destination. It routinely yields 10-pound largemouths.
• New York may not have the angling reputation, but it offers both quality and diversity. Lake Champlain is easily one of the greatest lakes for any kind of fishing, bass included.
• Georgia is full of big fish, including the current world-record largemouth, a 22-pound, 4-ounce monster. There’s plenty of water and more fishing tournaments than you can count.
• California cheats a bit by importing Florida bass to stock inland lakes, but who cares? Especially considering that 15-20 pound largemouth bass aren’t unusual. San Joaquin Delta and Clear Lake are tops.
Maybe it’s time to pack. It’s warm in Texas and Florida right now, isn’t it?
Along the Way:
Ducks Unlimited, the National Wild Turkey Federation, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the goal of furthering sporting traditions across North America.
“We’re losing 6,000 acres of habitat every day. Hunters fund conservation but now we’re at the point where less than 10 percent of the American population hunts, so the funding source is going away,” said National Wild Turkey Federation CEO George Thornton.
“We know we can’t solve this alone. It’s bigger than one organization.”
“In the face of the most rapid loss of wildlife habitat in modern times, it simply makes sense for our organizations to team up wherever possible,” said Howard Vincent, president and CEO of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever.
“From our local chapters holding youth mentor hunts to state land acquisition projects, our goal is to accomplish more for current and future generations of bird hunters as partners in conservation,” Vincent said.
The goals of the partnership will be achieved through the support of an engaged and growing community of sportsmen and women and other outdoor enthusiasts, including the members and supporters of the partner organizations.
For information, visit www.ducks.org, www.nwtf.org or www.pheasantsforever.org.
• Today-Tomorrow: Tri-State Gun Collectors Show, Allen County Fairgrounds.
• March 8: National Wild Turkey Banquet, Elks Lodge, 320 E. Wyandot St., Upper Sandusky. For tickets: 419-294-4869 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Abrams is a retired wildlife officer supervisor for the state Division of Wildlife in Findlay. He can be reached at P.O. Box 413, Mount Blanchard, OH 45867-0413 or via email at email@example.com.
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