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5-17-04 Cowan Lake Report

Discussion in 'Southwest Ohio Fishing Reports' started by Fish-N-Fool, May 18, 2004.

  1. Hit the water @ 9 am, zipped over to the first cove in sight. Began catching crappie right away - caught about 15 all under 8'' so I decided to move. Got up in a cove with some good cover/wood. Caught 20 or so crappie (6-7'') on small tubes and 2 lm bass 12''. This was the pattern for the day - I caught crappie everywhere, but only 2 > 9''. I tried fishing deeper thinking the larger females had moved into deep water, but still I caught only throwbacks. I did manage to catch 5 channel cats on crawlers/minnows while fishing deeper water and 3 nice gills in the 8'' range. Around 3 or so :confused: , the storm blew in & ran us off the lake. A great day to be out & we caught a lot of fish! :)
     
  2. Sounds like you had a good time Fish-N-Fool. I have always liked lake cowan but it seems like all the big crappie may have been caught last year :mad: . Glad you had a good time, fishinfool :D
     

  3. traphunter

    traphunter Guest

    I agree. I seen an HUGE amount of big crappies taken from Cowan last year. :mad: LAst year the average crappie we caught was about 11 inches , this year its about 6 inches! :eek: I hope all the people that took them out of the lake last year are proud of themselves. I seen a guy last year that said he had around 200 crappies over 10 inches. I looked in his boat and he wasn't lying! SHAME SHAME :confused: :mad: :eek:
     
  4. Bassnpro1

    Bassnpro1 OSU outdoorsman

    I know that the lake was hit hard last year. But certainly EVERY big fish wasn't caught, and I haven't heard of ANY being caught this year that are large. I am just wondering where they went. I know alot of them aren't there this year, but you would think that a few scattered ones would show up that are bigger.
     
  5. catking

    catking Banned

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    This is why we need LIMITS on smaller lakes in Ohio. They now have a 6 channel cat limit on lakes under 700, like Cowan. This is new this season. Why stop at cats?? The way the slabs were hitting last year, and the amount taken, it would not surprise me if they are mostly gone. You can see from end to end on this lake, they better wise up.Won't take much to destroy ot. I can remember 5 years or so, you could almost have the lake to yourself. Words out about Cowan.. CATKING
     
  6. Nightprowler

    Nightprowler Crappie Hunter

    Hey Friends
    I also notice in the very early spring that the crappie were much smaller than the ones from last year on Cowan. I contacted the ODNR and asked if they electro-shocked the lake and if any results were available. They responded by saying that "crappie size go in cycles". They also told me that the Ohio State University has been studing this and still have no conclusion as of why, yet (which I found very interesting). I also asked what might be my best bet for a few keeper Crappie around the Cinn-Day area. They advised me to try Ceasers Creek, Paint Creek, Deleware or East Fork. I tried Ceasers one late evening and caught 3, all 10"+. I keep hearing that limits is the answer...but if they run if CYCLES.....well, who knows.
     
  7. I have heard of the cycles for walleyes on Lake Erie as well. It might have something to do with conditions at the spawning time, or spawning periods abnormally overlapping between species. Anyway, the 'eyes had a fantastic spawn a few years back and some of the OGF Lake erie reports forecast that 2006 is going to be very good. Small and plentiful for now.
    The small ones have been so plentyful at Cowan, it could be due to a great spawn season just a few years ago. I wouldn't be surprised if they will be competing for food. Almost all here are reporting big numbers of these 6-7 inchers. They must have pushed the big ones out to open water.
     
  8. Amen to that. I wonder why the ODNR put special regs on bass in Lake Erie but made no changes to the rest of the state? If anything the spawn is far more delicate and disruptable on our creeks, rivers and smaller stillwaters than it is on the giant Lake Erie. Even with a species prone to overpopulation like crappie and bluegill it is important to release the fittest spawning stock unharmed and to avoid mortality by excessive handling and deep hooking a fish.

    Once saw a few guys catching sauger one after the other below the spillway at Mohican park. They stepped on the fish, ripped out the hook, and threw the carcass back into the water. About two dozen of the saugeye floated past me before I had to say something. I nearly got into a fist-fight over it.
     
  9. OhioAngler

    OhioAngler Snag Master

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    There was a lot of work done on the docks at Cowan this past year. The lake was dropped way down for a good period of time to take care of them - took a while for the lake to fill up. Also, at the east end of the lake, they dredged out at least half of the lily pads. Could these things have anything to do with the problem?
     
  10. I am a big fan of size and creel limits on ALL lakes. I know Cowan is a small lake, but I have fished several lakes where the results support limits. EF had a 16" limit on hybrids stripers that was recently dropped to 15", and the average size is over the limit now, where before you would catch mostly smaller ones. Given they are a non-reproducing fish, but the size limit worked to improve the overall fishing for them. Kentucky and Tennesse have a 10" limit on crappie pretty much everywhere, and you rarely catch anything smaller them 9"-10". Ceasars Creek's limit has seemed to pay off for crappie as well. I would think a combination of a size and creel limit would help on smaller lakes. Maybe even some sort of slot limit like many lakes have on bass? Don't get me wrong, I love to keep some slabs for the skillet, but you have to be smart about it. Keeping every crappie you catch, especially on smaller waters, can only lead to destroying the fishery. I fish mostly East Fork for crappie, and would be in favor of a size limit on crappie. As far as size going in cycles, I could see that. If a certain year class fish has a few harsh winters or dry summers to contend with, they would probably grow at a slower rate. If there were some ssort of limit on the fish taken from the particular lake, though, then there would be more good fish left from other year classes to balance out the average. Right? :confused:
     
  11. If a guy has fished cowan four times a year for 33 years, and he hasn't seen any overall trend for the better or worse, then what would a change in limits benefit? I'll admit, there are good years and there are bad years. But really, I have noticed no trend whatsoever over that 30 year period. That would mean that things are in balance, wouldn't it?
    Any other veterans seeing a problem there?
     
  12. are primarily impacted by available forage. If the forage is there, the little guys will grow to good size fish and in shorter time frames. In that regard I support size limits. I also believe that year class populations are mostly affected by spawning conditions. For instance, if the lake level flucuates greatly during the spawn, the crappie will leave the beds and females will absosrb the eggs. I'll wager that this year's class will be huge. I think that size limits should not be set where forage for the species that inhabit the given water is limited. I'll have to leave the determination of that to the bioligists because I don't know how to measure that parameter. Sure, there are other conditions that affect size and/or numbers (like availability of adequate spawning sites, kind and number of predators, competing species for the forage etc.) but I believe forage is the number one limiting, or enhancing, condition.
     
  13. Everybody we saw on the lake released nearly all the fish. We saw a few different boats catching crappie just as fast as we were, and they threw them all back too. So, I'd think next year would be great crappie fishing since that lake is full of 6-8 inchers. Only time will tell - I know I'll be out there next year to find out! :)

    By the way - anybody else catching sumo gills out of Cowan??? We hit it again on Sunday 5/23 and caught 16 real nice gills.