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Lakesider News

Dave Kintner teaches the basics in Fishing 101

By Kevin Greer
Lakeside Communications Manager

Dave Kintner appreciates that there are many instructional programs for kids in Lakeside. However, he felt something was missing.

Kintner has been fishing off the Dock for 26 years and noticed many times when the youngsters weren’t having much luck. That gave him an idea. He met with Lakeside Director of Education John Mann about starting a free class geared toward teaching kids the basics of fishing. Mann was all in, and Fishing 101 turned into a successful first season last summer.

 “We have all kinds of activities here and people teach everything imaginable,” Kintner said. “That Dock has been down there for 151 years and people have been fishing down there that long, so I thought maybe we should switch gears and try something different and teach kids how to fish.”

Now retired, Kintner has more time fish to teach kids. He sold his pest control business four years ago and spends the entire summer in Lakeside with his wife, Diane, who also fishes. They live in Granville, Ohio, in the offseason.

Sessions run from May 24-Aug. 31 on Fridays and Saturdays from 8-10 a.m. for kids ages 12 and under. Kintner calls it a “simple lab” and allows young anglers to borrow his equipment and bait if they don’t have any. They start off with 2-foot pier poles and then bait tiny hooks with live or artificial worms. The initial goal is to catch gobies, then use them as bait on larger poles to catch sheepshead and other fish. Kintner uses garlic spray on the gobies to attract the sheepshead.

“The nice thing is when people show up, they have 101 questions,” Kintner said. “We walk them through, hand them a pole and I say, ‘Let’s go fishing.’ The kids have a lot of fun. We don’t keep anything, but we do catch fish.”

Gobies are invasive, so they are not thrown back into the lake. If the group catches more gobies than needed, they are fed to the seagulls. Gobies are from the Middle East and accidentally made their way to Lake Erie hitching a ride on cargo ships. They end up in the ballast, which is heavy material used especially to make a ship steady on oceans. The ballast is no longer needed after leaving ocean waters, so the gobies are flushed out and end up in the Great Lakes. They vary in size from just 1-3 inches, but the problem is they feed on almost anything, including walleye, bluegill and bass eggs.

“They’re invasive, but it’s not like they’re completely detrimental,” Kintner said. “The Great Lakes have evolved and now game fish, like walleye and bass, will actually eat gobies, so they’re part of the food chain.”

Kintner says the Dock is one of the most unique places to fish in Ohio because it stretches 619 feet in length. The water is roughly 9 feet deep by the flagpole, where Fishing 101 is held, compared to around 3 feet at the shoreline. The ability to cast a line from the far end of the Dock into water depth of 12-14 feet makes for a better opportunity to catch larger fish. It’s one of the most popular fishing spots on the Dock, but nobody complains when Kintner’s group is there.

“We can kind of hog the area for a couple of hours,” Kintner said. “They understand it’s a class and they can join us. Some adults who do a lot of fishing come and help.”

Kintner says he has received a lot of positive feedback last season. When the weather cooperates, as many as 20 people, including adults, participate in the program. The best advice he gives to new anglers is to be patient and have a fun competition with friends or family to see who reels in the most or biggest fish. He says there isn’t a better place to do that than on the Dock.

“The scenery and weather down there can be just absolutely gorgeous,” Kintner said. “It’s a wonderful place to hang out, and I got to meet a lot of nice people.”


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