March 1 is important date for Ohio hunters, anglers
Note to self: Don’t get caught without a fishing license, and don’t forget how to count, as in one-two-three-four.
This time each year I have to engage in the aforementioned mental reminder because March 1 is a key date for hunters and anglers, for importantly is it the beginning of the Ohio license-year. Time to renew.
So I just hop online on my laptop, credit card handy, and get the job done in a few minutes. I buy my annual fishing license and, since spring turkey season is just around the corner, I also buy my annual general hunting license and spring gobbler permit, and my Ohio waterfowl stamp, taking care to fill out the required Harvest Information Program or HIP registration, to get it out of the way. Then I print it all out, trim the tags down to size, fold them up, and put them in their respective, wallet-size, plastic folders. Done. All set till I buy a deer permit in the late summer.
The act of license and permit-buying jogs the memory, too, that March 1 is the effective date for the reduced spring creel limit for Lake Erie walleye, four a day. That limit includes the lake and Maumee and Sandusky rivers, the latter being focal points for fishing the popular walleye spawning runs, and the lakeshore being a focus for jig fishing and trolling over near-shore western basin reefs.
Along with the reduced creel, remember that the minimum keeper size for Erie ‘eyes is 15 inches. I usually mark the length on my fishing coat-sleeve so my eye does not deceive me in case I do not have a measuring stick or tape handy for a possibly “short” fish.
Taking note of the spring walleye creel reduction is particularly important because of the strong ice buildup and subsequent ice fishing season this winter. It looks as though we’ll be dunking minnow in “hardwater” well into March, if the long-range weather forecast is any indication.