First Panfish Cup Tournament – A Winter Affair


Many anglers circled Saturday, March 16 as the start of spring fishing season with the first Panfish Cup Tournament at Miami Whitewater Forest Lake. Mother Nature quickly reminded us all that winter isn’t quite over yet. A chilly temperature in the low 40’s teamed with a rumbling thunderstorm before daylight.

Despite nasty weather, six teams braved the conditions to try their luck in the tournament. They were not only dealt poor weather, but they had to figure out how to catch crappie and bluegill in 40 degree water, colored more than usual.

Justin Bresner of Okeana and Chris Heller of Cincinnati won the tournament with 14.42 pounds of panfish. Frank Yates and DJ Huegel of Cincinnati finished second with 10.8 pounds. Chris Hagerden of Mason and Curtis Meece of Cincinnati rounded out the top three places with 10.42 pounds.

March 16 2013

Bresner and Heller won trophies, $84.00 in prize certificates and a $25.00 Bass Pro Shops gift card. Second and third place finishers were also awarded trophies and prize certificates. The next Panfish Cup Tournament will be at Miami Whitewater Forest Lake on March 30. Entry fees are $40.00 per team, which includes the boat rental.

Another 400 pounds of trout were stocked into Lake Isabella last Friday. Fishermen were having luck with Berkley Trout bait over the weekend. Lake Isabella Boathouse is fully stocked with a very large variety of trout baits. Check with the employees to learn what is working best day to day. Another 700 pounds will be stocked over the next two weeks.

Today is the first day of spring! Some of the best fishing of the entire year will happen over the next month. Dust off your fishing gear and head to the park lakes. All of our boathouses are fully stocked with the newest lures on the market and live bait. Lake Isabella is open every day. Miami Whitewater Forest and Winton Woods Boathouses are open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday until April, and then they will be open every day. Sharon Woods Boathouse will open daily beginning April 1.

Neal Ramsey, District Recreation Manager