The lake was free of ice by February 20 and only a couple of protected channels on the north side were exceptions to the rule. Like 2017, unexpected warm spells put the spring fishing season about three weeks ahead of schedule. February was a wetter than usual month and warm temperatures brought out both the bank and boat fishermen. According to Grand Lake Bait and Tackle, fishermen are hunting fish. Structure in deeper water, both natural and manmade, have been producing some fish. Docks, dock posts, and metal lifts are good places to check. As usual, fishermen are dealing with typical early spring weather conditions where rapid weather fronts can turn fishing off or on in a matter of hours. Fishermen are finding mixed sizes of crappies, which reflects success of different year classes. Since bank fishing spots are at a premium at St. Marys, the popular spots receive constant pressure. Boat fishermen have a definite advantage. Fishermen are using jigs and plastic tails. Some find tandem rigs effective at times. Others are tipping their hooks with waxworms. Although some fishermen prefer smaller baits in colder water, a larger hook is preferred by many because of the size of the fish. A few bluegills of mixed sizes are also being taken.
A few catfishermen have already caught some nice fish. Quality fishing should be evident at the first Cat Master’s Classic tournament which is March 24. The new boat ramp located just west of the Auglaize/Mercer County Road between St. Rt. 219 and the lake was dedicated in 2017 and has gained in popularity ever since.. This is a quality two-ramp facility with a large parking area and provides access to many quality fishing areas on the south side and a quick shot to the main lake.