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New Chat Guest Scheduled!!!

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by ShakeDown, Jun 2, 2004.

  1. ShakeDown

    ShakeDown OGF Staff Staff Member Admin


    [size=-1]Our next guest chat will be with Joe Cornwall, Vice President of the Ohio Smallmouth Alliance. Joe Cornwall was born and raised on the South Shore of Massachusetts where he started fishing in both fresh and salt water at the age of four with his grandfather. Joe took up fly fishing by age 12 and never looked back. [/size]
    [size=-1]A Charter Member of the Cape Cod chapter of Trout Unlimited, Joe is an active member today with the Mad River chapter of Trout Unlimited, the Federation of Fly Fishers, The Buckeye Fly Fishers and the International Game Fish Association. Joe is an active conservationist and amateur naturalist. He serves as the Vice President of The Ohio Smallmouth Alliance, where he also edits the Ohio Smallmouth News newsletter and serves as webmaster for TOSA’s Internet efforts. [/size]

    [size=-1]A sales and marketing professional by trade, Joe makes his home in Deer Park, Ohio. His first book “Fly Fishing the Flatlands, A Midwest Moving Water Adventure” is near completion and Joe is working to make the leap from corporate drone to successful entrepreneur this year. You can read some of Joe’s articles on fly fishing and fly tying in the Country Anglin’ Outdoor Guide (, on the Buckeye United Fly Fisher’s web site ( and on the TOSA web site ( While Joe’s heart belongs to smallmouth bass, he can be found fishing for everything from bowfin to bluegill and trout to carp wherever there is water and opportunity.[/size]

    [size=-1]Come join Joe and fellow OGF members for a live chat session on Wednesday, June 23rd at 8:30pm![/size]
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2015
  2. catking

    catking Banned

    I've talked with Joe on several occasions at boat shows, BassProshops, etc. Nice guys and passionate to fishin. Cann't wait for this chat !!! DA KING !!!

  3. Lewis


    Thanks for setting this up Catking and Shake!
  4. catking

    catking Banned

    Thanks Lew ;) I believe this will be a very good chat. You know how Shake and captnroger handle these things ;) Lookin forward to it..... :)
  5. Fishman

    Fishman Catch bait???

    Sounds good, I'll try and be there!
  6. catking

    catking Banned

    Remember members, mark this on the calendar, it's a chat you wont want to miss. Thanks............... CATKING
  7. ShakeDown

    ShakeDown OGF Staff Staff Member Admin

    This Weds Folks!!!!
  8. Should be a VERY informative chat. I'll be there for sure.

  9. catking

    catking Banned

    Just a friendly reminder guys and gals !!! Get your smallie questions ready for Joe !!! THE CATKING !!! :)
  10. catking

    catking Banned

    Just another reminder all !!! Hey, the 20th member that signs in tonight gets a free evening hauling DA KING !!! around in YOUR boat........ :D See you all there tonight............ C.K. :cool:
  11. ShakeDown

    ShakeDown OGF Staff Staff Member Admin

    5 mins!! See you all in chat!
  12. catking

    catking Banned

    It was a very informative chat. I enjoyed it. Thanks to cornmuse for his time ;) it answered a few questions we all had. CATKING :)
  13. ShakeDown

    ShakeDown OGF Staff Staff Member Admin

    Totally. Thanks a ton Joe. It was extremely informative, and enjoyable.

    We'll be posting the chat transcript soon, and in the meantime if you would like more information on Joe and The Ohio Smallmouth Alliance, you can look them up at http//

    Thanks OGF members for your participation!
  14. It was a lot of fun. I wrote out in some more detail the answers to some of the interview questions. Here they are:

    1. Joe, can you please tell us what TOSA is, and give us some background on how and why the organization was formed.

    TOSA – The Ohio Smallmouth Alliance – was formed in 1993. It was a labor of love started by a fellow named Jeffrey Andrews who is still an active member with TOSA. The Ohio Smallmouth Alliance was created to give a voice to the anglers who pursued the smallmouth bass on both the flowing and still waters of Ohio. As you probably know, the cold water fishes are promoted by Trout Unlimited, Ducks by Ducks Unlimited, and Pheasants by Pheasants Unlimited. It just seemed wrong that there was no organization whose purpose was to promote and protect the natural warm water environment where the majority of fishermen practice their sport. The Ohio Smallmouth Alliance was created as one of a number of state alliances whose charter and primary function is to look after the warm water environment.

    2. What is your role within TOSA

    I am the current Vice President of the organization on a state level, and I serve as the President of the Miami Valley chapter of the alliance. In addition to providing assistance to the President, Mr. Brad Maurer, I also hold the position of Newsletter Editor and Web Master. The TOSA newsletter is the Ohio Smallmouth News and it is published on a bi-monthly basis. Members automatically get a subscription to the newsletter with their paid membership. It’s a good newsletter, if I do say so myself. It typically runs to 16 pages and features columns on smallmouth bass fishing techniques, destinations, and conservation issues of importance to the Ohio angler.

    The Ohio Smallmouth Alliance web page is located at At one time we had a web page which was part of a national alliance effort, but last year TOSA decided to create a completely independent web presence. We approached a company in Minnesota – Skyvision – and asked them if they would donate server space and some consulting advice for this effort. I know the guys at Skyvision and they are all great outdoorsmen- fishermen and hunters. I have fished and hunted with the principles of that company for many years. They graciously agreed and the rest you can see at the URL above.

    3. How is the overall populations of smallmouth bass doing in the southwest section of Ohio? In particular, the scenic Little Miami River?

    There are 29, 113 miles of rivers in Ohio not including the Ohio River. Most of the flowing waters with sufficient flow harbor smallmouth bass populations. Nearly 40,000 years ago the smallmouth bass evolved in these very waters. It is a true native of Ohio and it is one tough customer. Once upon a time the Ohio River was shallow, full of riffles and rocks. I understand the smallmouth bass spawn in the spring used to turn the river bottom bronze!

    While the fishery isn’t what it used to be 100 years ago, it is spectacular in its own right. The smallmouth bass is doing very well in our waters – better each year since the 1973 Clean Water Act began to get pollution out of our flows. We still have a long, long way to go. Every day it gets a little bit better.

    Because of the efforts of groups like the Izaak Walton League, Little Miami Incorporated, and The Nature Conservancy, the Little Miami watershed has made a spectacular come back. Smallmouth bass are doing particularly well on that river from Milford north.

    4. Where do the small river smallmouth typically spawn?

    Smallmouth Bass spawn in shallow, protected areas with gravel bottoms which are out of the main current flow. Spawn typically occurs when the water first stabilizes with a minimum temperature above 60 degrees, which is early May in this part of the state. In northern areas of Ohio it is about two weeks later. This is weather dependent, of course.

    It is important to realize that the ODNR just implemented regulations on Lake Erie to prevent taking smallmouth bass while they are on the beds during the spawn. While those regulations don’t extend to the river environments, this is one example of a change TOSA is working for. It is very important to release all bass caught prior to and during the spawn – a single large female of three or four pounds may account for 20% of the effective spawn in a small stream like the upper sections of the Little Miami or feeder tributaries like Seven Mile, Twin Creek, Todd’s Fork, etc…

    5. Are farming chemicals affecting smallmouth bass in the streams throughout Ohio?

    Absolutely! Farm run-off is part of a much larger problem called non-point-source pollution. The fertilizers and chemicals used in agriculture, along with oils, grease and chemicals used on roads and in residential lawns all wash into the rivers. These bring extra nitrogen and nutrients which cause a green algae bloom. This excess algae can kill macro-invertibrates such as mayfly nymphs, stonefly nymphs, caddis flies, scuds and other food sources for baitfish and crayfish. An excess of nutrients is often heralded by a huge increase in the number of sow bugs – also called pill bugs. These look superficially like scuds but live under rocks in the water and look just like the “pill bugs” in your garden. They eat the same thing – microscopic bacteria.

    In extreme conditions this excess nutrient can cause a severe dip in oxygen levels, absolutely killing a stream. If I recall correctly, the Wabash River is an example of the damage that agriculture run-off can do. It’s nearly dead in some spots.

    When baitfish and microinvertibrates die, there isn’t enough food for immature smallmouth, so you get a decline in the spawning population. Plus the adult population is needlessly stressed. The whole environment suffers.

    This is a critical component of the problems TOSA is working against. We have to educate farmers, developers, and our elected politicians about the damage which can be done through carelessness. Dead rivers aren’t a good source of revenue for the state!

    6. What bait/lures would you rate as the best for smallmouth bass in these streams?

    I am mostly a fly fisherman so I’ll answer from that point of view first. In the Great Miami and Little Miami basins I wouldn’t leave my house without a fly called a foxee redd clouser minnow. This is a very simple pattern to tie and in the water it is a fine imitation of a crayfish, a Johnny darter, a bluntnose minnow, or a stoneroller minnow. All of these animals end up in the jaws of a smallmouth, so it is a flexible imitation that fishes well on the bottom or at mid depths. For top water action on a fly there is nothing like a traditional deer hair bug. I tie one called a “Simple Shad” which is a great imitation of a gizzard shad or even a shiner – smallies go nuts for it under the right conditions.

    If I were to take my spinning rod on the creek with me I’d have to have some pumpkin or olive tubes in my kit – about 2” to 3” long. Also I’d like a Senko in a shad coloration. Add to that a couple Rapala floating minnows and a Buckeye Baits Buzzbait and I’d feel comfortable fishing anywhere.

    7. What would you rate as the top 3 streams in ohio for smallmouth?

    Well I haven’t fished the whole state. As I said earlier, there are more than 29,000 miles of river in the state. In Southwest Ohio, where I live, I’d have to say the Stillwater is the most likely to give up good quantities of good sized fish. The Hocking River and Ohio Brush Creek are no slouches either.

    The upper reaches of the Great Miami are the best if you’re looking for BIG smallmouth bass.

    I love to fish the section of the Little Miami between Corwin Road/Oregonia and Morrow. It can be mighty productive when the water levels cooperate.

    My favorite is Twin Creek which has 30 miles or so of the highest rated water quality in the state. It is fast, clear and productive. It is also very susceptible to harvest, so please practice catch and release on these stream fish.

    8. On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the inland smallmouth fishery in Ohio today to 20 years ago, with 20 years ago being a 5.

    Well, saying the 20 years ago was a 5 and 10 is outstanding, I think you are giving too much credit to our streams of 20 years ago. The Miami Basin and the Ohio River watershed have improved in quality, for the most part, over the last two decades. If 20 years ago was a 5, we are at a 7 to an 8 now on some of the streams. Certain productive stretches of water could hit a 9 or even 9.5. I have had days on rivers in Ohio that needed to make no excuses when compared to world class fisheries such as the Flat River in Michigan and the Ottertail River in Minnesota.

    9. You currently write for a few publications around the state and country. How long have you been writing?

    I’ve been putting pen to paper all my life . Writing is something that just happens. I’ve been writing for publication since 1996, when I started writing for a stereo magazine called Ultimate Audio. I wrote about music, audio gear, stuff like that. I started writing about outdoors issues about 18 months ago and I have been writing two columns for Country Anglin’ Outdoor Guide since January of this year. I am now a member of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio and working hard to get a bit of recognition in that arena. It’s a tough business to break into and an even tougher business to try and make a living off of.

    It’s a labor of love. Mostly I write for the TOSA newsletter, the TOSA Web Page, the Buckeye United Fly Fishers Web page, and a few other internet resources.

    I wrote a book on fly fishing rivers and streams for warmwater fish species. Its called Fly Fishing The Flatlands and its currently under consideration by Countryman Press. It might get published there, if not I’ll self publish. I thinks it’s a good text – it took me six months of writing 10 to 15 hours per week to put it together. With a non-fiction piece its all about fact checking and research.
    10. If someone was interested in getting their work published, what suggestions do you have for them to get started.

    Go into it with the idea that the only reward getting published brings is the opportunity to write something else. It’s about teaching and sharing. Don’t try it as a business venture, you’ll loose your shirt. More importantly, you’ll lose your passion for the sport. That almost happened to me with music – it got to where it wasn’t fun to listen anymore. I hope to be a bit more careful with my writing about fly fishing – I have close to four decades of experience on the water and I’d like to keep my love for this sport alive!
  15. I wish I could have been there for the chat but couldn't make it! Will there be a full transcript available?
  16. captnroger

    captnroger OGF Webmaster

    Here's the transcript!

    Attached Files: