On the last Saturday in April, the Portsmouth Jaycees sponsor the annual Portsmouth Trout Derby.
It’s been canceled the past two years because of COVID-19.
But his year the trout were ready, and so were the fishermen.
At least John Vinson Euton and his fishing buddy, Charlie Jones, were there on Saturday ready in check them out in their kayaks.
Can a fisherman find success trolling from a kayak for those big rainbow trout the Ohio Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources stocked into Turkey Creek Lake late Friday night before that last Saturday in April.
The answer is an unequivocal yes.
You take a few strong pulls on the paddle right down the middle of the lake.
Then, when you see that rod tip go down, you place the paddle across the bow of the craft, grab the rod and reel from between your legs, and start reeling in a dancing, diving, leaping rainbow.
They were kept busy, Charlie using a small Rapala and John Vinson trolling a small, in-line spinner.
They shared some fish with anglers – especially the older ones who were unable to move around much – who were fishing from riprap on the dam.
John Vinson kept four of the larger fish, the ones over a foot long, for his son, Aaron, who enjoys trout fixed in the oven or in the skillet.
They went back on Monday, after the official Derby was over, and even though it was windy and rainy, they caught more and bigger trout than they had on Saturday.
I’ve written a couple of times about Marcus McCleese of Olive Hill, Ky., catching that better-than-31-pound muskie on Kinniconick Creek after breaking the February ice to launch his john boat.
The catch was 50 years ago, and I had never gotten to speak with the protagonist, leaving me to wonder if Marcus was still alive and well in Olive Hill.
Last week Marcus called me.
We – or I should say he – talked for an hour-and-a-half.
Yes, I had the details right on his big catch.
And then we went on to fish from the Lake of the Woods area in Canada, a thousand miles north of Olive Hill, to Honduras — two thousand miles southwest of Olive Hill.
In between time he found time to preach the Gospel in churches locally and all across the United States.
Marcus is still very active, and he said he’s ready to fish Kinni for muskie anytime I can find time to go.
OHIO TURKEY COUNT
Ohio wild turkey hunters harvested 7,551 birds during the 2022 spring hunting season as of Sunday, May 1.
This total includes results from the two-day youth season April 9-10, the first nine days of the south zone since the April 23 season opener, and the first two days of hunting in the northeast zone, which opened April 30.
Hunters have harvested an average of 10,759 birds during the same time during the three preceding years (2019 to 2021). Hunters checked 9,745 birds during the same time in the spring of 2021. The statewide limit is one bearded turkey per hunter.
Spring in Ohio also means fishing. The Buckeye state has 124,000 acres of inland water, 7,000 miles of streams, 2.25 million acres of Lake Erie water, and 481 miles of the Ohio River.
At $25 for a resident one-year license, fishing is a cost-effective and accessible outdoor recreational activity. Youth under the age of 16 can fish for free, and all Ohio residents can fish without purchasing a license during Free Fishing Days on June 18-19. All size and daily limits apply during these two days.
Reach G SAM PIATT at [email protected] or (606) 932-3619.