Put-in-Bay water sport activities and fishing
It’s been a tough late winter and spring, and summer so far has been little better.
Most of us have followed orders and stayed home, but books and tv can keep us occupied only so far, and somewhere as the days flow by, we get a tremendous urge to get outside, breathe fresh air, and do something different. When that day comes and you just have to get your kids away from their computers and smart phones, and lose a bit of that prison pallor, where do you go to be reasonably safe from crowds, and that miserable virus? Here are some possible answers, and farm ponds are just one.
I’ve mentioned these before, and they’re great places to go and spend an afternoon or day if you have a friend or relative who owns one well off the road. Gather up some necessities, head for that pond, and when you get there, spread a blanket, unload a box and a cooler, and start with a little fishing. The kids will love it, and catching a dozen or so bluegills should be no trick at all. Then clean the fish and with landowner permission build a little fire near the water.
Next step, relax, enjoy that fresh air and passing wild creatures, while the fish fry and the kids roast hot dogs on a long stick.
You can eat at leisure, dousing the hot dogs on their buns with mustard and condiments, have desert with s’mores, then take it easy or maybe walk around the pond looking for frogs and muskrat holes, or the splayed, sharp nailed tracks of snapping turtles. Hard to go wrong on a farm pond, and you’re almost sure to see no one else at all.
For more sophisticated entertainment I can highly recommend the Bass Islands, particularly South Bass and Kelleys Island. These are beautiful, picturesque, rugged and rocky islands lying well off the Lake Erie shoreline, and they’re worth seeing. You can reach South Bass via Miller’s Ferry (millerferry.com) from the tip of Catawba Island. It can be a little crowded in the summer, even now, so one choice is to immediately hire a golf cart or bicycles very near the ferry dock, and go exploring, traveling the little roads and back country, and avoiding the downtown area which will have a lot of people most times.
Another good choice is to head directly for the Put-in-Bay Watercraft Rentals.
They’ll rent you jet skis, kayaks, or stand up paddle boats, and you can splash around the Put-in-Bay harbor to hearts content. Another choice is to hire a fishing charter. There are two, Freshwatercharters.com, and the Putinbaycharterfishingservice.com. Hiring a charter boat can be expensive, but you’ll likely do it only once this year.
Yet another choice would be to bring your own kayak or canoe up on the ferry, and paddle along one of five scenic routes on the Lake Erie Water Trails. These will take you into some really picturesque country around South Bass, Middle Bass, even North Bass, and elsewhere, places where you can pull ashore and have a picnic among rocky shorelines, tall timber, and surprising isolation. You can get maps at the Lake Erie Shores & Islands Welcome Center (800-441-1271) along SR 53 just off the Route 2 highway. If you plan to paddle from one island to another, make sure the weather report is favorable. You wouldn’t want to canoe or kayak the Big Lake in a thunderstorm. You can rent a kayak here at 419-285-7544 by reservation only, or roam in a rented golf cart or bicycles. A beautiful place. Is there more? Sure. Ohio has 212 miles of scenic rivers that you can find by Googling up Ohio Scenic Rivers to canoe or kayak, and dozens of state parks with hiking trails in plenty. No reason to stay home and lots of good places to go. There are still many weeks for a trip. Why waste them?