JACK WOLLITZ Many anglers toughing out the cold and ice
The ice remains solid and a few good walleyes are being pulled up at Mosquito and other local reservoirs, but many anglers are content to huddle up and wait out this toughest of winters.
And while a few folks are traveling north to check out the steelhead in Lake Erie's tributary streams, the weather continues to make those jaunts dicey propositions.
To pass the time until the weather breaks and the fishing is more enjoyable, lots of local anglers chose to surf the web in search of bits and pieces of useful information.
The computer age has made it very easy for fishermen to keep up with the latest news and gossip about their favorite sport. Web search engines quickly sort out a large variety of interesting sites. Anglers browsing for reading materials can go on line and type in their favorite species and in seconds receive links to more sites than they can scan in one sitting without going numb.
Bass fishing fans
One of my favorite sites is BassFan.com. Its name clearly identifies its audience - fans of the sport of bass fishing, particularly the big-time professional tours.
Written and edited by veteran bass writer Jay Kumar, BassFan.com features stories about the top anglers' daily performances in each round of the Citgo BASSMASTER Tour and FLW Tour, the major leagues of competitive bass fishing. He also covers the latest news about sponsor deals and the issues relating to the growth of professional bass fishing.
The site is a good place for anybody interested in bass fishing - from tournament angler to hobbiest. Features on productive tips and tactics are posted a couple of times a week and a full archive of past features is easily accessible.
Also worth checking out are two major fishing organizations' sites: Bassmaster.com and FLWOutdoors.com.
Bassmaster.com is the official site of B.A.S.S./ESPN. It's home to a large assortment of features, schedules, statistics, photo galleries and everything one might expect in the pages of BASSMASTER Magazine.
The site just recently launched a web-based angler information system. To check it, go to bassmaster.com and click on the area aptly labeled "Check it out: Our new searchable angler data base."
You will find information about all B.A.S.S. events by angler, state, year and fishery. It's amazingly complete and very flexible.
Local bass anglers
For instance, type "Easton" or "Bowman" in the search field for anglers' last names and you will instantly see a screen of information about the BASSMASTER tournament exploits of Bob Easton of Hubbard and Bob Bowman of Austintown.
The FLW Outdoors site also is loaded with material. Plus it includes a lot of useful walleye information due to the fact the pro RCL Tour is owned and operated by FLW Outdoors.
All three sites are very good places to wile away a few hours waiting for the snow and ice to melt.
We all were saddened last weekend by the horrible break-up of space shuttle Columbia. Anglers' ears may have paid particular attention when it was reported that debris fell into Toledo Bend Reservoir.
Pro bass angler Roger Bacon was among those who reported pieces of Columbia hitting the lake.
A news release from B.A.S.S. reported Bacon heard an unusual sound while squirrel hunting near the shores of Toledo Bend followed by a large splash in the water about 50 feet from his perch. He alerted local law enforcement officials, according to the news release.