Last week was the 43rd Annual Governor’s Fish Ohio Day and, like any proper state resident, I did my civic duty and got out on a Lake Erie fishing boat with hundreds of others. Here’s my all in, fish out of water take on the fun.
Fish Ohio Day – A Fish Out of Water Goes All In
Heading to the “Walleye Capital of the World” is pretty common for this lady. I’ve been to Sandusky, Ohio more times than I can count, have collected beach glass on its gorgeous, sandy beaches, and have gotten thrills of a lifetime at Cedar Point. But only once have I ever been on a proper vessel and it was General Patton’s When and If right after a massive storm went through the area – just a tad rocky.
For me, this was a day I wasn’t going to miss. Along with Mr. Locke, I packed my motion sickness pills and Sea Bands in my bag and hit the road from my neck of the woods to learn about the fun that the Governor’s Fish Ohio Day provides. This year, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and his missus, along with plenty of additional Ohio government officials, were on board with the rest of us to showcase the 150th anniversary of the Ohio Division of Wildlife. Celebrating the conservation efforts, since the initiation of H2Ohio in 2019, more than 140 wetland projects have been completed.
Fish Ohio Day: World-Class Walleye Fishing
When I write world-class walleye fishing, it’s literally that. Compliments of strong walleye hatches, Lake Erie has become the place to fish for it. And after reading that 3 in 5 people are likely to try fishing to support their mental health, and 80% of female anglers are satisfied with their lives, I was all in. Fishing not only provides food, it can be very relaxing and mind clearing, something that we all need these days.
A voluntary certification course for fishing guides and crew members working on Lake Erie, it helps to promote the fishing industry and sustainable angling while still using conservation-oriented best practices.
The program came from the requests of Lake Erie fishing guides and will distinguish their businesses, something I’m on board with. My and Mr. Locke’s fishing guide for the day, USGC Captain David Slavensky on his boat the For Weasels Too, offers up to eight-hour guided fishing tours of the lake and he was highly knowledgeable. Not only did he bait my line hooks, he helped net in the walleye and unhook the fish.
Additionally, David knew several spots where the fish are known to bite, so we spent our five hours visiting roughly the same amount of spots. As for me, compliments of the captain and his skill at teaching one how to fish, I caught two walleye that were within range, aka keepers, and a sheepshead fish with ungodly-like human teeth that I happily sent back to the water.
Fish Ohio Day: I Once Caught a Fish This Big
While my two walleye weren’t the biggest of the day’s catch (with 20 fishing boats and roughly100 participants), I was happy to be among those that did catch some that were keepable. Additionally, after spending half a day on the lake, I’d honestly do it again next year because of the camaraderie and fun between we fishermen and fisherwomen.
Mr. Locke also did well on our excursion: he caught a few “smalls” that were sent back to the lake for next year and one walleye that was in-size. And he, too, has a very pleasant experience both on the fishing boat and off.
Where to Stay in Port Clinton, OH
If you’re looking for lodging with a laidback vibe and only steps away from the beach, Beachfront Motel & Resort will, undoubtedly, be right up your street. Mr. Locke and I spent two nights there and loved the location and proximity to Lake Erie. Additionally, our guest room on the second floor was decorated adorably in a sand and surf theme.
I do have to mention, though: the front office closes at 6pm, so if you want ice you’ll need to grab it beforehand. Also, the rooms aren’t soundproof, so if there’s a party outside, you’ll definitely hear it. I pack earplugs whenever I travel and they came in super handy.