Outdoor hobbies can help fulfill your resolutions

I’ve read that the most popular New Year’s resolutions revolve around losing some unwanted weight. I’m not certain that it’s true, but I’m pretty sure I know what the failure rate of that pledge ends up being.
Well, I’ve made the decision that I will not fall into that trap “¦ again. Sure, I’ll try to avoid too many french fries and Ballreich’s chips, but I’m going to try and make some real changes this year.
I believe there are far more pressing issues I must address.
First off, I’ve got an unfinished fly rod just sitting in a corner and another that needs some work. I feel compelled to rectify this injustice and prevent the rods from accidentally finding their way into a garage sale.
After all, fisheries biologists around the country have been working hard to provide me with the opportunity, and I shouldn’t disappoint them.
Then there’s my neglect at maintaining my archery skills. The famous Fred Bear started a company in Michigan that brought this sport into the mainstream. Today, it’s a talent that can be used to collect venison and is a regular Olympic skill. Seems to me that this could come in handy.
There are also a few books I should probably re-read. They’re sitting on my bookshelves, but I haven’t picked them up in quite a few years. Robert Ruark’s “Old Man and the Boy,” Aldo Leopold’s “Sand County Almanac” and about everything by Pat McManus and Gene Hill. Never read them? Join me “¦ you won’t be disappointed. I think I’ll start with “Never Sniff a Gift Fish” by Pat.
There’s still that weight thing. I suppose a little extra activity would burn a few calories. Maybe I should consider more long walks with my little Cocker Spaniel. You know, those strolls still count if it’s in a field and I’m carrying a shotgun. That should even count as an upper-body workout.
Then there is the issue of not being able to walk the dog all year, at least not while carrying that shotgun. Seems I remember that most game departments do have things called “seasons” and I’m not one that would flaunt those rules. So, streamside strolls and wading trips while waving a rod around should be a great substitute workout.
Then there is the barbecue and smoker that I enjoy so much. Oh, and I just discovered the CanCooker. Better plan on more walking trips.
Finally, there are the fountain pens. They’re a bit of a throwback, but no computer can draft a note that is so personalized. I believe that it’s time to get back to keeping a regular field journal. That way, I can journey backward in time and relive these resolutions’ moments.
“The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes.” — G.K. Chesterton
“Rancid was poor. He didn’t seem to know that he was poor, however, and I never had the heart to tell him, because he was the happiest person I’d ever met.” — Patrick F. McManus
Along the way
A new record lake trout has been certified by the Outdoor Writers of Ohio State Record Fish Committee.
The fish was a real heavyweight, tipping the scale at 26.63 pounds, knocking out its competition by nearly 6¼ pounds. The new record was landed by James Beres, of Lorain, while fishing in Lake Erie.
Beres was trolling offshore of the city of Lorain on Dec. 1 when the fish grabbed his JT Custom Crankbait, and the fight was on. After boating the fish, he knew he had something special. It’s not every day that you catch a lake trout in Ohio, especially one that measures 38 inches long and sports a 25½-inch girth.
His catch replaces the previous state-record lake trout, which was caught in Lake Erie by Tom Harbison on April 20, 2000, weighing 20.40 pounds and measuring 34 inches long.
Ohio’s state-record fish are certified by the Outdoor Writers of Ohio State Record Fish Committee with assistance from Division of Wildlife fisheries biologists. Fisheries biologist Matt Faust from the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s Sandusky Fisheries Research Station confirmed the identification of Beres’ catch as a lake trout.
Ohio’s record fish are determined on the basis of weight only. What are some other records waiting to be bested? Here are just a few popular fish and the details of their catch. Maybe you can be the next lucky angler to land in the record books.
Walleye: 16.19 pounds, 33 inches caught from Lake Erie on November 23, 1999.
Muskellunge: 55.13 pounds, 50¼ inches caught from Piedmont Lake on April 12, 1972.
Carp: 50 pounds, 40 inches caught from Paint Creek on May 24, 1967.
Channel catfish: 37.65 pounds, 41½ inches caught from LaDue Reservoir on Aug. 15, 1992.
Yellow perch: 2.86 pounds, 15¾ inches caught from Lake Erie on April 18, 2016.
Largemouth bass: 13.13 pounds, 251/16 inches caught from a farm pond on May 26, 1976.
Bluegill: 3.28 pounds, 12¾ inches caught from Salt Fork Reservoir on April 28, 1990.
A complete list of Ohio’s state record fish can be found at: www.outdoorwritersofohio.org.
Step outside
• Thursday and Friday: Trap and skeet, open to the public, 5 p.m., UCOA, 6943 Marion Township 243, Findlay.
• Jan. 12: “Growing Up WILD” workshop, 9 a.m. to noon, Johnny Appleseed Metro Park District, 2355 Ada Road, Lima. Workshop is free, but pre-registration is required. Contact: Beth Theisen at 419-223-1025.
• Jan. 23: Venison preparation and canning seminar, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Coon Creek Hunt Club, 1589 Ohio 510, Vickery. Free, but pre-registration is required by Jan. 19, space is limited. Contact: Andrea Altman at 419-429-8321 or andrea.altman@dnr.state.oh.us.
• Jan. 25 and 26: Fifty-eighth Ohio Fish and Wildlife Conference, Friday conference topics include: chronic wasting disease; landscape genetics; Virginia rails; habitat restoration; and wildlife technology, like camera surveys, environmental DNA and drones. It will be at Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, 2201 Fred Taylor Drive, Columbus, www.ofwma.com.
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 45867-0413 or via email at jimsfieldnotes@aol.com.



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