thoughts on Atwood dinks stink

Discussion in 'Northeast Ohio Fishing Reports' started by mirrocraft mike, Sep 24, 2007.

  1. mirrocraft mike

    mirrocraft mike Now in a Alumacraft

    What's up with Atwood ?? Been catching tons of eyes in the 9 to 13 inches for three years. Every year i think the next will be great .I have had a few good trips couple 20's,few dozen 17/18, and a handfull of 14/15. Those numbers are for three yrs. Not the best for the amount of time spent on the water. Have spoke with a lot of folks and all say the same . Nothing but hammer handles and cigars .
    Just wanted to get others thoughts about Atwood ?
    Need a slot size limit ?
    Need a size limit?
    The folks catching the big ones are tight lipped ?
  2. I honestly believe the problem with Atwood eyes is over harvest.

  3. I'll catch 10 (or more) hammer handles for every keeper. I've had some better luck using larger crankbaits, but I'll still catch a lot of 12" saugeye on a 6" crankbait. Maybe I just need to get some 12" crankbaits.

    I really don't think it is a lack of forage fish. Spend a night on that lake during a full moon (or the 4th of July fireworks) and you'll see more baitfish surfacing than you can imagine. Whether or not those are of the right type and size for saugeyes to grow from 12" to 15", I can't say.

    I have heard that electroshocking has shown some darn big s'eyes in that lake. It could be that Atwood's perpetually turbid water (or some other feature) makes them very difficult to catch. Or their behavior changes radically when they reach one pound in weight.

    Thus far, every attempt at getting a size or slot limit implemented on saugeyes has failed. The state maintains that it is a put-and-take fish, in spite of numerous attempts at petitions. Personally I think if they implement a size limit, they would have to explain why the catch rate (for legal fish) suddenly dropped by over 90%.
  4. mirrocraft mike

    mirrocraft mike Now in a Alumacraft

    I hear ya SD.
    Thats what i'm talking about.I too have heard about the great eleco study and net catches and aggressive stock program.Not to forget the next recorded breaking Eye being brought up .Even if half is true one would think decent fish should dominate the waters . Something is up with this place that i can't understand or figure out .Yes the cranks do produce better fish along with vibee,s in the spring .Not just the numbers one would expect

    I agree with ya on the size limit even if only for a few yrs, Let them grow a little to see if it helps
  5. misfit

    misfit MOD SQUAD

    just a few thoughts.the dnr reports aside,there could be a few reasons for the lack of bigger fish.harvest is one that may have an impact,but i'm not sure how much of a factor it could be.usually the major factor is mother nature.again,i don't fish atwood,but my theories based on info from other lakes/sources can be easily major factor that affects saugeyes is survival in the short period after stocking.there is a small window of opportunity for them to get a "jump start" by feeding on planktod,etc before they grow to the point where they can eat fish,crawfish,etc.
    my understanding of this was gained from people who are charged with the stocking and tracking of the fish.the period mentioned is short(a few weeks)and timing of the bloom needs to coincide with stocking dates to insure the fish have sufficient food to get them to a size at which they can feed on "meat".for various reasons that window is closed or minimal,leading poor survival rate of fingerlings.the state has to stock at a given point and cannot adjust to accomodate mother nature.sometime the bloom may be early or late,and other times not sufficient to support the fingerlings.therefore,many fish are lost prematurely.
    we are experiencing the same conditions at hoover lately,and it is believed that this is one of the major factors.major fluctuations in water levels,losing fish through the dams and other events can also contribute to low quality fish pops in any given year(s).
    i sure don't have the answer to the problem at atwood,but some or all the above scenarios most likely are the culprit.
  6. mirrocraft mike

    mirrocraft mike Now in a Alumacraft

    Thanks Misfit for the information . Good read
    Atwood seems to have excellant numbers of fish at 8 to 13 inches EVERY YEAR. If they are not eating meat by then we got a problem. Maybe I'll troll around some veggies LOL. I have caught all different lenghts during the year.Anywhere from 6in to 13in in NUMBERS Then
    It's like they darn near disappear after that. Early spring I'll find a FEW 17/22 pounding the banks , then NOTTA . Any other thoughts ??
  7. misfit

    misfit MOD SQUAD

    with an abundance of that size in continuous years,then you're right.can't be fingerling survival.someone must be catching the bigger ones and not talking, or way too many are going through the dam.but from what i remember of my one trip to the spillway(years ago),it's so small the fish would be wall to wall there if that were the case:D;)
  8. Interesting posts for sure!!! It never ceases to amaze me about these darn eyes!! For the past 2 years, I've had the same results as Mirro, except I don't have anything over 15". Everything we catch is between 9 and 15. Baitfish in the lake seem to be more than plentiful so I don't think food source could be a problem, and the lake doesn't have lot of places where they can hide, so one would think that an average catch would include at least a few larger ones...

    Here's a thought...I don't know if it applies here, but I've heard this from the DNR about a buddy of mine's lake...In his lake, the bass are very small 11-15 inches for the most part, however, the crappie are very large...10-15 inches on a consistent basis. The DNR says that bass and crappie fight for dominance in a body of water and it appears that in his situation, the crappie have won over. Could it be possible that White Bass and Saugeye fight for dominance, and the white bass have won the battle in shear numbers at atwood, so the saugeye growth is stunted?

    again, not sure if that applies here, or to these particular species, but it would seem that there has to be some identifiable reason why these fish appear to not be growing...?? Just my 2 cents worth...

    Heck, maybe I'm just fishing the wrong spots...Have to do some searching in other areas of the lake to see if I can find a honey hole with :B !!!
  9. misfit

    misfit MOD SQUAD

    there may be a clue in there somewhere.i was under the impression from a previous post it was an ongoing(several years running)that the short fish were abundant,and bigger ones in short supply.if in fact it's been just 2 years,there is a high possibility the survival rate is the problem.the sizes you mention would be 1-2 year old fish.that means good survival of probably 05 and 06 stockings.03 and 04 could have been bad years,leaving you with many fewer fish in the 16-20+ inch fish the past couple years.the good news is you could have a couple good years coming up with good size fish making up a big part of the catch.same thing we went through on hoover.last 2-3 years saw good numbers of 15-20 and up fish,with lots fewer short fish than previous years when we were catching tons of 10-14 we have few short fish this year along with fewer bigger fish from the 03-05 year classes due to very good harvest numbers the past couple years.
  10. mirrocraft mike

    mirrocraft mike Now in a Alumacraft

    You maybe right Wickford.
    There are a lot of cigars and hammer handles but there are ZILLIONS of white bass .Have caught some nice White bass this year, not counting yesterday .

    Misfit I agree .
    I'm sure a lot of folks keep tight lipped . Was talking to a guy at the ramp and walked by his live well. Said he caught a few. He shut it before i could take a peak. I figured keeper of the dinks. I may have been wrong ,Could have have some hogs .
  11. Seaturd

    Seaturd Catcher of Fish

    I quit fishing Atwood about three years ago because of the dink vs. decent ratio. One of the best days we had there me and a buddy went thru 40 plus dinks to get 11 that were over 14". That included several fish in the 18-20 inch range but that day was the exception. Most good days it was a total of 2-5 keepers if we managed to find any good fish at all. Many a day was spent with catching cigars or nothing.
  12. I don't think the white bass would be that much competition for the saugeye. Look at Tappan for example. Just as many white bass as Atwood and people catch nice eyes there all the time. Atwood seems to be a really tough lake to figure out. The DNR gets good sized saugeye in all their samples there. Quite a few do go through the dam because the Tusc. downstream is loaded with them.
  13. i used to live in sherrodsville and fished the lake everyday till i moved back to canton and even now i fish it almost every trip. what i know is in the spring and summer of 1999 i never caught a saugeye under 17" most trips we caught fish in the 17 to 22 inch range with the odd 24"ers thrown in then in 2000 on up to present the quanity's are there but the sizes have diminished drastically
    in my opinion i dont think its fingerling mortality or competition from the white bass, which arent really all that big in here even though ive caught some big ones . i dont think its guys keeping big fish a secret because more people are catching the dinks than anything else. i think maybe there are just too many in there but you would think with the abundance of forage fish there really couldnt be too many of any one species in there. i dont know im no biologist. but maybe we will see a trend in larger sizes in the next season or two. i'll never give up on atwood.
  14. mirrocraft mike

    mirrocraft mike Now in a Alumacraft

    I'm with ya Saugeyesam.
    I think Awood is one of the best ALL SEASON fishing lakes around. I too will never give up on her.Didn't start fishing it hard until 2002 did have better results back then Bigger fish and less dinks. Not to forget theCrappies .That is what started me going to Atwood but soon the eyes took over . I guess I'll say it again.NEXT YEAR has got to be a good one. With all the dinks i set free i'm sure to be rewarded with a eye bigger than a hotdog bun next year.Did you run a tourny there this year ?What you floating in out there I have had to run into you sometime on the water .
  15. couple weeks back ,I watched a guy pull a whole bunch of dinks ,and put them in his live box . I:M sure not the best fisherman ,in ohio but this is one tuff lake for me . mosquito is my lake . but atwood is a lot closer. I think I need to go back to school . on atwood.
  16. misfit

    misfit MOD SQUAD

    where's professor corey when we need him?:D
    my money is still on poor survival rate 3-4 years or so ago coupled with harvest of larger fish during those same years.that's my story and i'm stickin' to least to a good degree.
    from what most are saying,the quantity of small size,low numbers of larger fish has mostly been noticed in the last couple years.if shad pops are as good as they sound,food is not a problem.when food is not a problem,saugeyes will grow at a good rate.
    another problem could be finding the pattern for bigger fish.
    time to think how,where,when you're fishing,and what changes in conditions,etc have occurred in the last few years.maybe part of the answer lies there.
    there has to be some logical reason for this,and it's not that the dinks are remaining dinks(not growing) for several years.that just ain't happenin';)
  17. Corey knows where the big ones are there
  18. Speaking of which, where has Corey been? I see in his profile he hasn't logged in since March...

    I've been chasing the Atwood eyes going on five years now. During that time I've really improved my ability to put fish in the boat, but the whole time the 10 dinks per decent fish rule has applied. I would have thought after releasing dozens and dozens of 12" s'eyes last year would have meant limits of 15"ers this year. Not so!

    My first tactic for them was bottom bouncers with crawler harnesses. I've caught hundreds of dinks on this method but never anything over 14". Since then I've all but abandonded bouncers and now troll big cranks. If I can catch more than one in a spot, I stop and get out the spoons and Vib-E's. Still the dinks persist.
  19. Lewzer

    Lewzer Powderfinger

    My thoughts exactly.
    I fished this lake alot when I first got my boat in 2000-2003. There were some dinks but big fish (>20") were being caught. Days I could catch squat, oldtimers were bringing in respectable limits but wiere very tight with the information.
    I started shadowing a certain old guy just to see where he was fishing.
    I haven't been there in about 3 years but my best fishing during the summer occured was an hour before dawn and right before/after dusk.
    The best months were October-early April on the big hogs.