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MIKE*A

1st Annual FTF Outing to "Ohio Powerlands"

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I know it's early, but if your like me, your calendars fill up quick. I spoke to Will a couple weeks ago and was looking at 3 or 4 different weekends to choose from and it's amazing how quickly 3 of those 4 filled with other things......Anyway.....

 

The Ohio Powerlands (actually called AEP Recreation lands now) is app. 30,000 acres of reclaimed strip mines located in South/central Ohio, due south of Zanesville off I-70. There are literally over 300 lakes/ponds to fish at. Some small enough to cast across and others big enough for canoes/kayaks. The fishing is primarily panfish and largemouth bass. There are a number of campgrounds to stay at. All are free! that time of the year, there are never crowds! There are wells for water and latrines. I would recommend tent camping or maybe a small popup. The campgrounds are very clean. You do have to have an ohio fishing license as well as a recreation land permit(these are free) I will post a couple links at the bottom for more information. I would recommend mailing away for the permit as they will send you a current map of the area showing all the campgrounds and big lakes with your permit. From year to year, new lakes/ponds become accessible and occassionally some areas get closed. I will get out this spring and scout it out and give people updates such as what campgrounds we will be at. I generally take a bellyboat, I have in the past taken my mountain bike and gone off exploring down some of the old logging/mining roads which are closed to vehicles....I've found some beautiful ponds back in there! there is a very large beaver population down there and from year to year it's not unusual to find some old ponds drained and new ones formed. Last year, "Walkers Cay Chronicles" filmed an episode in the area at a place called "The Wilds" (see link) I won't go into details about the wilds, just to say that it isn't open to fishing without a permit and big bucks! I believe a fly shop in columbus has exclusive guide rights to it.....but who needs that when literally on the other side of the fence is 300 more free ponds and lakes available to be fished w/out the fear of being trampled by a herd of Rhinos......Anyway, here are the links:

 

www.thewilds.org

www.dnr.state.oh.us

www.aep.com/environmental/stewardship/recland/default.htm

www.madriveroutfitters.com (the flyshop that guides there...they have photos on their website of the wilds w/Flip Pallot

 

think about it!

 

Mike

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Additional info.:

 

Unlike most Ohio ponds/lakes which have poor visibility, many of these are spring fed and crystal clear........I generally fish w/a floating line as there is a lot of vege3tation due to the clear water. the top water action is great early morning/evening.....that time of the year, damsel/dragon flies all over the place.....quite common to see LM bass launching themselves into the air after these. In fact I actually had a bass hit one of my flies on a cast while it was still 2' above the water! Needless to say I missed it as i was caught totally off guard. Even during the heat of the day, I find plenty of action drifting across the lake and casting around some of the springs or shaded areas(it's easy to find the springs when you are drifting around in a belly boat). A lot of the smaller ponds are situated in meadows with tall grass and that time of the summer, the grasshoppers are decent sized and quite prolific.......

 

Mike

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I've been fishing AEP, Avondale and Conesville for a long, long time. Some of the best bluegill fishing I've ever experienced. This is where I took my 12.5" long, 16" girth prize four years ago. I put her back in, I wonder how big she is now? Definitely a state record!

 

I'll be there.

 

Joe C.

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That is a monster!!! Just about everytime I have been there, i have gotten into some big 'gills.........but nothing quite that big! Just curious Joe, did you get that at one of the easy access lakes or did you have to do some hoofin' to get it?

 

Mike

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Are there special regulations for these lakes and ponds. Like catch and release, artifcials only, slot limits, or anything like that?

 

Just curious if they try to keep it a high quality fishery.

 

thanks

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No special reg.s..........just the standard ODNR rules/reg.s/limits.........

It's kind of unique in that the ODNR patrols there as well as some private "rangers" employed by AEP.

 

Mike

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Mike,

 

I just printed of the maps of the property. Is there a place that you are looking at for a 'base camp'? This is getting dangerous. I'm starting to get as excited for this trip as I do for Late Summer Kings on the Pere Marquette.

 

 

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Yeah, for some reason campsite "K" comes to mind, but don't hold me to that.....I'll have to go home and check my old maps.........I have several editions w/notes scribbled all over them. I am going to get over there in the next month or so for a recon and I'll have a better idea then.......who knows, there may be some new areas opened up.......Cornmuse, feel free to throw in your $.02

 

Mike

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QUOTE (Mr. Jingles @ Mar 14 2005, 08:35 PM)
Ohio, that's like, 6 hours from Massachusetts? rolleyes.gif I wish.

Cheers

Mr. Jingles

No, it's a lot longer than that, trust me dry.gif

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