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Island life is heating up

Melissa Topey • Apr 20, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Warmer weather is here, teasing that summer is on its way and the islands are kicking it off, albeit with a little construction.

“We had a fabulous weekend. It was the first full weekend we ran and it panned out weather-wise,” Julene Market, spokeswoman for Miller Boat Line.

Its first full weekend just happened to coincide with the season openings of the Round House, Mr. Eds and Frosty’s. The ferries were transporting large steady numbers of people to the islands all weekend. Normally the Miller Boat Line would have ran weeks earlier, but ice kept their boats frozen in the company docks.

The start of summer is considered to have arrived when the Round House opens in what has come to be known as Whiskey Light celebration, when the flip of a switch turns on the “Whiskey” sign in the window.

After the cold and long winter people were anxious to get on the water and to the island. And not just to drink, a lot of people were eager to open up their cottages for the summer, even to tackle their lawns while the warm weather held out. “You could tell people were ready” Market said.

Hotel owners and island officials were ready for the ferries to run as well. Projects were delayed because there were no boats running to bring over supplies.

“We hauled over all the cribs needed for the downtown docks,” Market said. “They are definitely underway” Cribs are supporting columns for piers.

Downtown public docks are closed because of construction. Those supplies needed to arrive so crews could meet deadlines, said Doug Knauer, village administrator of Put-in-Bay.

Construction companies are going full-tilt, working as many hours as possible to meet deadlines. “You have those big six to eight weeks starting in July where we are busiest. We have to have it done and cleaned by then,” Knauer said.

The public launch ramp off Bay View Avenue is closed because of downtown dock construction.

“It will be closed for another three weeks hopefully and then the ramps will be open,” Knauer said.

Village officials plan for C Dock, the larger of the public boat docks, to open by Memorial Day weekend, a busy time. A Dock will be open closer to the end of June, Knauer said.

Public launch ramps that are open include the Put-in-Bay Yacht Club, Bay View Avenue and the South Bass Island Park.

On the water

Fish are spawning, and that means the sport and commercial fishermen are out in force to lure in the big one.

The fishing is fine, if you can get out to the water. “Fishing has been very good except for this weekend when we had a lot of wind,” said Gino Barna, law enforcement supervisor for Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

The area had the best winter ice fishing Barna had seen in his 30 years with the agency. Late ice slowed down the spring jigg fishing west of Davis-Besse, but it has been good since.

“People have done very well. They are catching huge walleye” Barna said.

In the Sandusky Bay, commercial fishermen have been catching buffalo, goldfish (a member of the carp) and catfish.

Fishermen using nets along the Cedar Point Causeway are catching white bass and white perch, Barna said. “Fishermen are coming in heavy right now,” Knauer said.

Hotel reservations are looking good, especially on weekends, but spaces are still available, he said.


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