JACK WOLLITZ Weather and the art of fishing

The bass hadn't heard the weather report last Sunday, because they should've been hunkered down and hugging the bottom.
Instead, the largemouths at Mosquito Creek Reservoir were flashing and dashing in the shallows. Several chased down my spinnerbait and a few more readily gobbled the 6-inch plastic lizard I was tossing into the cover.
In just two and a half hours of fishing, I boated six keepers, proving again what a good lake Mosquito can be for springtime bass fishing.
I didn't hit the water until 11:30 a.m. and was off the lake by 2 p.m. The fish were biting so well that a full eight hours on the lake might have worn blisters on my fingers.
Now, about that weather report. I decided the forecast might be wrong Sunday morning as I looked at the bright sky and fleecy clouds. And I was wrong.
The wind was blustery during the few hours I was on the water, but the spots on the lee side of the lake were certainly fishable.
Noticed a rumble
Then I noticed a rumble to the west and saw a decidedly darker shade of gray loom up over the horizon. Time to get back to the ramp.
I made it in time to tie down the boat, but rain and hailstones pelted my truck at 70 mph as I watched from the safety of the driver's seat. At one point, however, I started to think the howling wind was going to overturn my rig.
It was then that I thanked my judgment in getting to the ramp rather than deciding to ride out the storm in a safe harbor.
The lesson is this: Err on the side of caution and get off the water when the weather threatens. Even if the fish are biting like crazy.
Charitable fishing
Fundraising events are held in numerous sports -- including fishing -- for the benefit of good causes. Two of this area's biggest community-support events are fast approaching.
The first is the Gander Mountain Charity Walleye Tournament presented by Western Reserve Walleye Association May 11 at Mosquito Creek Reservoir.
The event is organized to benefit Northeast Ohio Adoption Service. Teams will be permitted to bring five walleyes, each measuring at least 14 inches, to the scales.
Contact Jim Breedlove in Girard, (330) 530-3909, for information.
Bass anglers, meanwhile, are looking forward to the third annual Youngstown-Mahoning Valley Bass Classic. The pro-am event is set for July 13 at Evans Lake.
Organized by Consumers Ohio Water, this year's tournament also is sponsored by BFI, Astro Shapes and Zebco, the rod and reel company.
There is still time for anglers to enter. Amateurs pay a donation to the United Way and are paired up with local competitive anglers in fully rigged tournament style bass boats.
The event is a good opportunity for business and professional people to contribute to the community and perhaps provide a spot in the event for deserving employees or to entertain customers.
For information, phone Jennifer Johnson at Consumers Ohio Water, (330) 726-8151 ext. 550.

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