The cold reality of this time of year

I’m starting to sense finiteness about the 2013 fishing season, and it’s making me a bit uneasy.

Those who put a premium on maximizing the days and hours we spend in doing our most favorite things have an ability to immerse themselves in anticipating and living in those moments. I am a card-carrying member of that group, and fishing, of course, is my immersion.

For nine of the 12 months, I can swim up to my nose in fishing. But come October, the reality of the season’s end erodes my ability to stay positive about the upcoming fishing trips. That’s because, of course, there are too few to buoy my joy.

By November, they’re done — and in December, there are none. My fishing year is finite and these three months make it so.

In January, the days start getting longer and thoughts turn to gearing up for the upcoming season. February is busy with getting all of my tackle ready (and it seems to multiply every year), while March is the countdown to my personal opening day.

So it’s Oct. 19, but all is not lost. I’m fishing today down on the Ohio River, where I expect the smallmouth fishing will give me a huge reason to wish the season wasn’t drawing to a close.

My plan is to fill the boat with smallies today and maybe squeeze in another trip or two before I have to shut it down and store the boat for winter. I truly do need some memory-making days to carry me through the next three months.

Once the boat is stowed, I’ll fish on foot, but the days I spend casting from the front deck are more diversion than immersion. I go all in hook, line and sinker in planning for and enjoying my fishing trips aboard the BassCat, while the forays for crappies and other species are things I do to pass the time until I can get out again on the boat.

The lull in my action will give me time to fix some of the things that need fixing. It also gives me lots of time to recharge my batteries — figuratively, of course, since the 12 volts aboard the boat surely don’t take three months to get stoked.

I guess it’s a good thing that the big break is coming. I can use the downtime productively and it will give me all the more reason to hit it again full force next spring.

But in the meantime, I’m going to max out on fishing time these next few weeks.

One thing’s for sure: A 4-pound smallmouth bass this morning would go a long way to easing my anxiety about the impending layoff.

Perch limits reduced

To bring consistency to perch bag limits across the state, the Ohio Wildlife Council passed a reduction of the daily limit from 40 to 30 on inland waters. The new limit is consistent with the Lake Erie daily limit, and set to minimize confusion among anglers.

In addition, the Ohio Wildlife Council also approved use of 10-horsepower outboards on Highlandtown Lake in Columbiana County.

Those who wish to participate in discussions about rules and regulations may wish to attend the next Ohio Wildlife Council meeting. It’s Jan. 8, 2014. People who want to provide comments should preregister at least two days prior to the meeting by calling 614-265-6304.

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