Ohio's high school/college bass seminar

Wow! No matter what the calendar says, fall is over. Winter has arrived. We’ve had, and are having, record cold temperatures across most of the country. Here in Ohio we’ve set record after record, cold and snow. I’m afraid this is going to end bass fishing for 2014 in the Buckeye State.

I tried to get a bite on one of my favorite ponds this weekend. Nothing. I got so desperate I broke out my bluegill tackle and tried to catch one of them. Nothing. As cold as it was I’m surprised some of the neighbors didn’t call the men in little white coats for me.

I’m guessing it’s even put an end to most of what was happening on Lake Erie. It’ll take a while for the water to get really cold — that’s a big body of water — but the winds from these fronts make it too dangerous to fish.

We always hear that you can’t catch ‘em if they aren’t there. Well, it’s equally true that you can’t catch ‘em if you’re dead.

Anyway, come Saturday I’ll be headed to Florida for most of the winter. Frankly, I like central Ohio. It’s a nice place to live and to do business — until it gets too cold to fish. That’s when it loses much of its charm.

The thing I really want to talk about this week though is our First Annual High School and College Bass Seminar in Ohio. It was organized and put together by The North Coast Black Bass Anglers Association and was held on Nov. 8 here in Columbus. It was free with plenty of good food and drink for all.

There were speakers from various wings of professional bass fishing. Michael Simonton and I represented the Bassmaster Elite Series.

This is one part of the sport of bass fishing that I like the most. We were able to get kids together and talk about bass fishing in an informal, but informative, way. The presentations were somewhat structured but were still flexible enough to allow for plenty of individual questions and answers.

As far as I’m concerned that’s the best way to pass information along. Different anglers have different issues. It’s important to have some sort of schedule, but it’s also important to help the guys and gals solve their individual issues.

Overall, everyone did a really good job. There’s one person that I want to single out, however. That’s Sara Orlando. She’s a fisheries biologist with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. She was one of the most informative and down to earth scientific speakers I’ve ever had the privilege of working with. Extraordinary is not too strong a word to describe her.

Of course, no program of this type would be possible without sponsors. There were too many to individually mention here, but I assure you that every one of them gave it all they had, and not because they were making money at it. (Let’s be honest: High school and college kids don’t have a lot of money to spend.)

I’d like to see more of that kind of thing. It promotes fishing in exactly the right way. Congratulations to all involved.