Ohio bass tournaments are seeing a heyday.
When you think of bass fishing tournaments, I bet the first states that come to mind are located in the southern reaches of the country.
Alabama or Florida are probably a couple of the ones that pop into your head. However, bass fishing tournaments are thriving in Ohio’s small reservoirs spread around the state.
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In fact, from the spring through the fall, there are tournaments on almost every Ohio reservoir every weekend, as reported inan article on Cleveland.com. Alum Creek, a reservoir in Delaware, Ohio, has the interesting distinction of having the most bass tournaments per acre of water of any lake in the country.
The misconception that tournament bass fishing isn’t thriving in the Buckeye State has a lot to do with the idea that bass fishing in Ohio is not as good as the fishing in more southern states. However, that simply is not the case.
Although the bass may be smaller on average than their southern cousins, there are still some truly big lunkers in Ohio waters, and the quality of the fishing is higher than many people, generally those who don’t live in Ohio, think it is.
“The bass fishing around here is a whole lot better than you might think,” said Ravenna’s Rory Franks, 44, who runs a trio of bass tournament circuits and popular open events, in the Cleveland.com article. “We have tournaments where it takes five bass weighing at least 20 pounds, or more, to win. In our 15th season we just broke the tournament record at Mogadore Reservoir on April 12 when Steve McClung and John Shriver weighed 21.69 pounds.”
Those total weights are on par with what it takes to win tournaments in any part of the country.
One of the best things about these tournaments held on smaller reservoirs is that the barrier of entry is much lower than some of the bigger tournaments, which almost always require fully-equipped (and very expensive) bass boats. There are several tournament trails in Ohio that allow anglers to compete without all of the extravagance.
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There are two tournament trails in Ohio in which only small, electric-powered boats are welcome on the water during the competitions. Not only do these regulations make the tournaments friendlier for weekend anglers and those who do not own larger boats to compete in, but they also often lead to better fishing due to the lower amount of disturbance in the water.
Every bass angler should try to participate in a tournament at least once. Not only do they put your own skills up against the best competition, but they also foster a competitive camaraderie that can only be found at tournaments.
For some upcoming Ohio bass tournament dates and information, click here.
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Have you ever fished in a bass tournament on an Ohio reservoir? Let us know how it went in the comments section below.