It was a great winter fishing season at Indian Lake, top-rated inland lake in the state for ice fishing and second only to Lake Erie. Spring is just around the corner. March 20 is the first day of spring and that means the hottest fishing season of the year in Ohio is just around the corner, with crappie, bluegill, bass, catfish and saugeye biting like crazy at nearby lakes.
So be sure to get your new fishing license so you are not left out in the cold.
You don’t want one of those days when you grab the ol’ fishing pole and hop over to the lake to do a little fishing, but then realize your fishing license has expired.
Well, those days could be over for good now, thanks to a new fishing license offered by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Fishing license changes
For the first time in Ohio, anglers and hunters can purchase a fishing or hunting license for more than one year at a time. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife, multiyear licenses may now be purchased. This new ruling just took effect October 9 of last year.
Ohio residents can choose from a three-year, five-year or 10-year fishing or hunting license. Even a “lifetime” license is now available which will cost an adult $468.00 for fishing or hunting. Lifetime license holders will be issued a hard plastic card. A senior lifetime fishing or hunting license is $84.24 and a youth fishing or hunting license is $430.56.
Lifetime licenses cannot be purchased at license agent locations at this time and must be purchased online or at any of the five ODNR Wildlife District offices. A lifetime license can be purchased for yourself or as a gift and is still valid even if you move out of state.
Single-year licenses are still available also. All single-year and multiyear licenses can be purchased at Wildlife Ohio.gov or at any of the hundreds of retail agents throughout the state.
Here are the costs of the new multi-year and lifetime licenses:
– Adult 3-year fishing or hunting – $54.08
– Adult 5-year fishing or hunting – $90.22
– Adult 10-year fishing or hunting – $180.44
– Senior 3-year fishing or hunting – $28.60
– Senior 5-year fishing or hunting – $47.58
– Senior lifetime fishing or hunting – $84.24
– Youth lifetime fishing or hunting – $430.56
– Adult lifetime fishing or hunting – $468
– Youth 3-year hunting – $28.60
– Youth 5-year hunting – $47.58
– Youth 10-year hunting – $95.16
Spring fishing forecast
Indian Lake is consistently ranked as the top lake in the state for saugeye fishing in both numbers and size with most fish in the 15-19 inch range. Fish the shoreline at Moundwood with small crankbaits or stick baits. Saugeye can be often found in shallow water during Spring and in the low-light hours of early morning. Panfish action is very good at Indian Lake also. Look for bluegill in the shade under docks or next to a submerged structure. Crappie are easy to catch at the lake and can be taken along the shoreline weeds and from along docks and riprap, some as large as 10 to 11 inches.
Kiser Lake has a healthy population of sunfish with good numbers of bluegill and pumpkinseed. Use nightcrawlers and wax worms in vegetated areas and for crappie try minnows. Hybrid striped bass have not been stocked since 2004 but many large individuals reportedly remain. Try using chicken livers on the bottom for both stripers and channel cat. The lake is also known for yellow perch bullheads and carp. Channel catfish are stocked every other year by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Fish and Wildlife.
Ron Brohm is a regular contributor to this newspaper.