My Recent Fishing Adventures

8-4-2015 I decided to try to fish the river, it has dropped down to 14 feet (pool stage for the Ohio where I’m at). Usually when the water is at this level and this time of year it should be full of stripers and catfish. However this seems to be the opposite, I only fished with one rod using bait and lures. I fished for about six hours and had one small hybrid right on a current break and then an hour later a small drum jigging worms right off the bottom. The really cool part of this fishing trip was the Indiana DNR was out electro-fishing right where I was taking samples. It was very cool to see some of the less known species in person.Drum while jigging wormsHybrid on white grubs after rain

8-6-2015 As a strong storm system moved out of the area I choose to go out and try to catch a few bass after work. The lake I was fishing is fairly urban and has a lot of fishing traffic. Since the bass are very smart they get spooked by any loud noises or any lures that put off too much vibrations. My solution to this was to fish a 3 inch fluke. I started off fishing the fluke weightless, but the wind was too strong so I choose to put it on a jig head. The fish were super active and I caught some of the larger fish that I’ve seen in this lake. They all hit on a 3 inch blue pear silver fluke.

0806151937Baby bass state hospital parkIMG_9993     IMG_9994

8-9-2015 Against my better judgement I choose to go bank fishing on the Ohio River again. After netting some gizzard shad I ended up fishing at the plaza on Evansville’s river front. I set up my old zebco slingshot with a salmon egg hook and an bit of shad gut the size of a pea. I stupidly set that down as I cast out my other rods and turned around in time to see a fish pull it into the water and shoot out into the river. I bought the rod as a joke but the rod put up with much more abuse than I ever expected. I set up the other two rods right out in front of the boat launch. I set up one rod with a slip rig about 30 feet off the bank and then set up a my other rod 60 feet out from bank suspened up about 2 feet off the bottom. After about an hour I got a hit on the farthest rod, it was a small 3 pound channel catfish. Unfortunately this was the only fish that hit.

hard work for a tiny catfish hard work for a tiny catfish2

Falling River Catfishing

The fishing conditions were hard this go around: The river was projected to fall 4 feet the day I was out, it was high for this time of year and there were no noticeable schools of bait-fish. But that would never stop me from trying to catch a few fish.

River levels When the water is high and I’m bank fishing I look for a few key characteristics: when the water is flowing fast you will do best finding current brakes where the larger fish will move to in search of a resting place and bait. The fishing spot I choose had this, with the water levels how they are there is an underwater outcropping that goes out 30 feet. This created a huge eddy and was the perfect place to throw in live bait. The first two fish were blue catfish and I caught them on some cut shad that I had in the freezer.

28 inch blue

28 inch blue catfish

19 inch blue

19 inch blue catfish

But I was all out of shad at this point so I went out and caught some bluegill to use as live bait. This produced some wonderful results very quickly. The first strike being this 25 inch flathead catfish. After this I had two gigantic hits but they ran so hard and so quickly that they snapped my line.

25 inch flathead 225 inch flathead  Which leads me to the lesson I learned and something I’m going to have to experiment with. A lot of my rigs use the dropper lopper knot, but recent events have shown that even with very low drag that this knot creates a huge weak point in the line and causes the line to break with way less strain than other knots would cause.

Fishing The Flooded Ohio River

I arrived at the river front at 5 pm to start my fishing adventure. I brought three poles and gizzard shad for bait. Since the river was at 38 feet (as opposed to the normal 24 this time of year) and it was still on the rise I decided to work the bank as close as possible. I set two lines suspended and on line right on the bottom each cast out 5-10 feet. Unfortunately I was unable to find any good structure or any decent current breaks. After about two hours I had my first and only hit and reeled in a small hybrid.Small hybrid 38 ft ohio

While it was nice to catch a fish, the trip was much slower than I expected. I did learn that not as many fish cruise the edges of the bank as I had expected, so until the Ohio drops I’ll be fishing much further out.