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 Mallard Lake, Swanton OH 8/15 Fishing Report 
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Outdoor Addict!

Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:44 pm
Posts: 104
Location: Toledo, OH, USA
Gender: Male
What Rivers do you fish?: SE Rivers
What Bodies of Water do you fish?: Ohio and Michigan coasts of Lake Erie, Maumee River in Ohio, Turtle Creek in Ohio, Raisin River in Michigan
I went to Mallard Lake inside Oak Openings Metropark in Swanton, OH this morning. Mallard Lake is a small lake that Swan Creek travels in and out of while traveling through the park. Its a place I've only fished a few times previously so I'm still getting a feel of the place. I've got a lot better feel of the place after today :D
I got there at 9AM, a couple hours later then I would've like but that's what happens when you don't wake up to your alarm. I started off with my heavy action rod using a nightcrawler off the bottom and my sturdy red light/medium pole with a bobber and a crawler about a foot underneath that.
Here's where I combine my two previous paragraphs into this: What I meant by still feeling the place out. I knew there's some bluegills and channel catfish but I've only ever seen smaller fish caught. I knew I was going to get bites-I've never gotten skunked there yet. I've also seen a big ol' carp there the last time I was there as well as a good sized snapping turtle the first time I fished there. So my game plan was to see what was biting along the corner of the lake as well as in the middle and see what was biting. If I was able to get a hold of a really small bluegill I was going to try that as bait on the heavy action pole like I had previously. The couple of previous times I tried it I did have hits but came up shore on landing something. That changed today.
Within a few minutes I had a couple bites on both poles and by 9:30AM I caught my first fish-on my heavy action pole it was an 8" channel cat. Tugged on the line pretty decent. About 15 minutes after that I caught a 5" channel cat under my bobber as well as another catfish under that bobber about 10 minutes later. Little did I know that basically set the theme for the rest of the day.
After catching a few bluegills cast in the same corner of the lake I finally got a hold of little bluegill I'd say was about 3" long. Perfect for my "MonsterQuest" experiment.
It was about noon when I slit its stomach and put it on my heavy action pole while I tried for bluegills some more in that corner. It took about 15 minutes or so before I got my first hits on it. But....I came up empty. I cast it out roughly the same spot in the middle of the lake. I'd say about another 10-15 minutes come and go and once again a couple taps but nothing.
After I cast again a woman with her four kids come by to have lunch at a picnic table near me. They were minding themselves. I was minding myself. The the fit hit the shan! A little bit before 1PM I got another hit on the bluegill rig, and this time the third time was the charm. As soon as I set the hook I knew I had something really good on my line and the family at the picnic table got up to watch this much like hockey fans do when a couple goons drop the gloves. It turned out to be one of the bigger channel cats I've caught this year. Even on the heavy action rod I could feel every ounce of the fight and my net to get 'er in. The kids and a couple people down the shore line had a field day with that catch. Each wanted to pick it up and/or touch it. I measured it out at 24" and weighed it at 6 lbs.
After that catch and the circus that followed it tired me out pretty good. I really didn't feel like cleaning fish today so I took a picture and gave it to a guy and his son who came by to see the catch. He did offer to clean it for me but I told him to go ahead and keep it. The mother and the kids hung out for a few minutes to kind of take in what just happened-which was one of the biggest fish the young kids had seen caught.
About 20 minutes later the family decided to do a walk around the lake, and after a quick breather I caught a couple more bluegills under my bobber. One of those was about the same size as the gill I used on the big cat earlier so I cut its stomach and threw it on my heavy action pole again.
About a half hour later the kids and mother came back to see what else was new. A few minutes later I got a hit on my bluegill rig. Another hit later and I set the hook and it was Round 2. One of the boys was next to the net and asked if he could net it for me, which I gladly let him. This was another catfish-another good sized one but not as big as the previous one. This one measured out at 20 1/2" inches and a couple pounds.
After the kids again wanted to touch and hold it (and the mother too LOL) I gave it to the same father and son that I gave the first one too. Then the kids wanted in on the action. I let the youngster that helped me net the catfish use my ultralight and we both gave bluegills a try using waxworms. We both had a few bites but the little guy and his family had to go. About 2:30 it was just me again.
When they left I put a nightcrawler on my medium action pole and fished that off the bottom but it never got any bites. I did catch a few more small bluegills but nothing too noteworthy-not big keeper size but not so small to use as bait again. I decided to call it a day about 5PM. All in all I'm estimating that I caught about 15 bluegills and five channel cats.
It was a pretty nice day if you ask me. Weather was nice. Almost no wind and the occasional breeze. Current wasn't anything to write home about. For the most part it looked like glass that I was fishing in. It was mostly sunny and highs eventually got into the 70s.
Now that I've proven to the people that were there that yes-there is big fish in there-I need another challenge with the place. I like going there. I suppose I need to find more big catfish and see if I can't find a largemouth bass or two using the bluegill method. I was able to visually see a couple bass but they didn't seem to be really big but fish can look smaller sometimes in the water from a distance. As I mentioned before, I have seen a big carp in there. I suppose I could also try and find those as well as big snapping turtles. I'm always up for catching something big and unexpected.


Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:53 pm
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