PORT CLINTON, Ohio — Gov. Mike DeWine along with his wife Fran headlined a post-pandemic "Governor's Fish Ohio Day," with the Lake Erie shores and islands in Port Clinton being the starting point.
"Oh, we're ready to go," DeWine declared before hitting the water.
3News was there, with Captain Al Smith of What A Catch Charters showing our group the way to the fish and what he's fishing for.
"I'm more interested in convincing the legislature to spend money to maintain the quality of tourism and the quality of the fishing in Lake Erie," Smith said.
Thankfully, he and others appear to be succeeding.
"[In 2019,] the total tourism impact for the eight counties that border Lake Erie in Ohio [was] $16.8 billion, and that supports 130,000 jobs," Larry Fletcher of Ohio's Lake Erie Shores and Islands group told us.
Much of that comes through fishing. The promotion opportunities are there for all, but as they say, it takes two to tango: If charter businesses in other parts of the lake want the exposure, they need to make the investment.
"[We] collaborate a lot together," Rebekah Zimmerman of the Ottawa County Visitors Bureau told us. "We want to work as a unit to bring in tourism."
The fish, the state and local entities are there for all, but charter businesses need to go after the marketing, just like they go after fish.
"If I can talk to the director into doing it ... maybe a Fall Fish Ohio on Lake Erie," DeWine said.
Here that, Cleveland and Lorain? There's a big fish out there, now go get 'em!