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Was fishing in the day better than today

Discussion in 'Northeast Ohio Fishing Reports' started by Agent47, Jul 23, 2007.

  1. Agent47

    Agent47 Trying to pull it in!!!!

    I had a discussion go south on me this past weekend while discussing fishing years ago verse fishing today. Primarily the conversation started with the subject that lakes back in the day were not fished anywhere near as much as in recent years and overflowed with monster sized fish and a huge populas.{ So you know im reffering to MANY years ago}. After the introduction of artificial baits and numourous fisherman and women hitting the same lakes as the population grew in a community many things changed. My point is the fisherperson today has to be GOOD. If the point made to me that the lakes dont have all the huge amounts of fish as they do and fish now see artificial baits on a constant basis then the fish that are in there probably are pretty nature savy. Granted the fisherperson back in the early century that hit the lake first then introduced the first artificial bait probably did have a stringer full but I dont think to much has changed. I also mentioned that artificial baits have MAJORLY changed as the years gone by..any comments on this ??
  2. My thought on this is that nowadays there are far more folks that fish for sport and sport only than way back. I doubt that the people back then had the time to spend on the water just catching fish to throw them back. Nor did they have the financial means to justify it. Therefore a lot of the folks simply went fishing to put food on the table for the family. I would guess that smaller bodies of water with a lot of shoreline got hit pretty hard with harvests but I imagine the the larger bodies of water did not have much pressure on them at all what you go back far enough to exclude the use of larger boats and motors.

    So I would say that you probably would have seen some bodies of water that suffered somewhat due to large harvests but others probably remained unaffected completely. In that respect it would be similar to today's situation. The biggest difference is that today that control is better maintained by creel limits whereas a lot of other factors contributed to the control back then.

  3. misfit

    misfit MOD SQUAD

    i'm not sure there's much overall difference.though the general population has grown as well as numbers of fishers,the opportunities have also grown.especially compared to the period mentioned (turn of the century).
    at that time there were very few "lakes" in ohio and many parts of the country.the vast majority of our lakes are manmade and weren't constructed(completed) till the middle of the century.other than natural lakes,most of which are in the north,streams/rivers were the mainstay.
    by nature,manmade lake generally deteriorate over time,and are usually most productive in their early years.but with advancements in and continuing management,many still provide great fishing opportunities.i believe the streams and rivers have been more negatively impacted by progress,but many are still productive.again,many have even improved through management practices.
  4. That is a good point about the lakes not being around. I had not even thought about when they originated and as Rick mentioned probably the largest majority of the man-made lakes originated sometime within the last century.
  5. misfit

    misfit MOD SQUAD

    construction on most of the flood control lakes in ohio and other states was begun in the 1930's.besides flood control,many were a way to put people to work after the depression.some were halted during WWII and completed after the war.many water supply reservoirs were probably built in the 50's.
  6. the management has improved greatly over the past many years. Biologists have found species which thrive better in certain lakes/rivers, etc. There are many more fisherman on the water than before, but there are now stocking programs and management practices which are catered to each individual body of water. Plus, as misfit said, there are more lakes. As our population continues to sprawl, we must have drinking water farther and farther from big cities. This leads to impoundments, most of which are public owned and are also managed for fishing. As more people fish and buy licenses, more money is available for stocking programs, research, etc. (Getting into how all of our license money is spent is another story)

    I think what has suffered more so are some of the "drivable" natural lakes in Canada. Some of these lakes were booming with big fish which have a very slow growth rate due to the short summer (growing season). Many of these fish were harvested by fisherman after a certain lake became a popular fishing destination and several lodges were established on them. The slow growth rate and minimal stocking seriously impacted many of those fisheries.
  7. vkutsch

    vkutsch You scratched my anchor!

    Also, there was no control over the watershed and many rivers were completly polluted. The recovery of many rivers over the last 25-50 years is increadible, and the management of resources is much better.
  8. freyedknot

    freyedknot useless poster

    sure was on erie. perch by the buckets ,right from the breakwall. plus blue pike , and all the white bass you want from the power plants like avon. now a shore fisherman has a tuff time getting a meal.
  9. Erterbass

    Erterbass Ohio Angler

    I've read reports recently that the number of people fishing has been dropping at the rate of 5 to 6% per year since around the early '90s.

    Could be that as fewer people fish and the management practices improve the fishing could be getting better!

  10. Ah jeez where to start. Fishermen as a rule are born optimists. Older fishermen ( this would include me ) have a tendency to remember the good trips as opposed to the bad. Hence the good old days. With the exception of Lake Erie I think todays populations of fish are better. Differences that make it harder are 1. Increased boat traffic both fishing and pleasure boaters. 2. Increased fishing pressure and better equipped and educated at that. 3. Thats why ice fishing is leaping in popularity but even that is starting to get crowded also. 4. Ohio has always been tough due to fast changing weather conditions.

    So whats a dyed in the wool angler supposed to do. You evolve and change your tactics. For instance I used to always still fish with an anchor. I now prefer pull fishing or spider rigging. Depth and speed contol are the primary tools to produce fish. This way I am not at the complete mercy of the wind on any given day. Also I do not have to worry about some boat wake blowing me out of my honey hole. As most of you already know once you find the fish its important to stay on them. Just as important knowing when to move on , for example boat traffic has spooked the fish out of your postion. Wind direction can suddenly change everything also.

    One last piece of advice do not get married to one style of fishing. Try different techniques and approaches. What was killing them last week might not work at all today. I firmly believe the fishing is better now than in the good ole days but you have to work harder to enjoy success.