Before the bonanza of the long-awaited fall fishing frenzy ends, you can be sure that a considerable number of anglers are already preparing for what for many of them is their favorite fishing of the year: the bite of hard water.
Make no mistake, an efficient and versatile ice angler can regularly produce a large number of open-water anglers, with the added benefit that fish caught under the ice are by far more enjoyable than those caught from topwater. warmer
Combine this with the fact that very successful hard water fishing can be done on the cheap, although ice fishing also has an increasingly notable contingent of “technocrats” ostensibly dedicated to making the effort as expensive as possible.
Most big box stores offer little or no experience or available inventory for an endeavor they consider too uncertain in terms of timing or generally not lucrative enough to bother with. This is where the true traditional general-purpose bait shops stand out as even more valuable for quality information and the right equipment than they normally are.
This is especially vital when it comes to ice safety and thickness and other cold-water issues. Northern Ohio offers arguably two of the best examples of this type of service with Mogadore Bait, Tackle & Marine Repair (330-628-9872) and Mark’s Bait & Tackle (330-296-3474) on State Route 14, northeast of Ravenna.
I recently visited both stores and they are loaded with ice machines, ice combos, and other ice fishing essentials. Here are some of the most popular Ohio ice-fishing destinations by species:
1. Mogadore, 2. Mosquito, 3. LaDue, 4. Punderson, 5. Portage Lakes, 6. West Branch, 7. Wingfoot, 8. Walborn, 9. Milton, 10. Berlin
1. Mosquito, 2. West Branch, 3. Berlin, 4. Portage Lakes, 5. Pymatuning, 6. Nimisila, 7. Mogadore, 8. Deer Creek, 9. LaDue, 10. Milton
1. Mogadore, 2. Lake Erie, 3. Milton, 4. Pymatuning, 5. LaDue, 6. Wingfoot, 7. West Branch, 8. Berlin, 9. Portage Lakes, 10. Punderson
1. Erie, 2. West Branch, 3. Mosquito, 4. Milton, 5. Berlin, 6. Pymatuning, 7. LaDue
Our old friend Mark Burkey has announced his retirement contingent on the sale of the shop he has built into something truly special. Mark was one of our initial sponsors when the “Buckeye Angler” TV show went from PBS to commercial television. He has not formally announced the sale of the popular store but those interested can call 330-296-3474 to inquire. He will be greatly missed and we wish him the best.
Jack Kiser is the host of “Buckeye Angler” and Ohio outdoors columnist and editor of “Midwest Outdoors” magazine, as well as a radio and television host for PBS and Fox Sports. You can reach him on the Buckeye Angler Facebook site and the new buckeyeangler.com.