Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ohio River, 12/8/2012

Saturday Amanda and I decided to brave the rain and head back out to the Ohio River. The weekend before Rylan, Amanda, and I took the boat out and fished for an hour before Rylan came down with an illness and we decided to leave. Disappointed at the early departure, we planned another trip for the river this weekend.

Friday night Amanda and I got a half-dozen frozen skipjack off of our friend Nathan Dailey and prepared the boat before we went to bed. We got up at 6:30am, hooked the boat up, and departed for the Ohio River. We put the boat in at Aberdeen, Ohio around 8:30am. The river temperature was in the lower 50's and was running a foot higher than normal pool. We immediately drove the boat 3 miles upstream to the Dayton Power and Light hotwater discharge so we could avoid getting a shut out. Our plans were to catch a few quick hybrid striped bass just to say we caught something and then we planned to head out into the river to find some deep holes and target blue catfish. However we didn't quite get that far.

We anchored upstream of the first warm-water discharge and quickly caught a few hybrid stripers. We also got into a few small channel cats, the largest of which went just over 4 pounds. The rain continued to fall until 11am, at that time we decided to pull anchor and head out to the mouth of the discharge at the Ohio River to see if we could find some larger fish. On our way back we marked a hole created by a small feeder creek, which happened to have structure located in the core of it. We anchored 30 feet upstream and began tossing cut skipjack on the front side of the structure. Amanda took the left and I took the right. As soon as my second rod was set in the rod holder, my first rod went down. I quickly landed, un-hooked, and released the 3 pound channel cat. At this point Amanda's rod nearest to me had loaded, which looked to be significantly larger than my previous fish. I quickly got the net and locked the handle in place. I then followed her line across the water, waiting to see whether or not she had a nice hybrid striped bass or a decent cat. It surfaced 8-10 feet from the boat and to my surprise she had hooked a decent channel cat. I started inching the net toward the channel as she tried to guide it into the net. As I got half of the fish over the front rim of the net the hook popped out. At this point Amanda began screaming, "Get it, Get it." I quickly dropped the net, leaned further over the side of the boat, and to my surprise the fish had found its way into the bottom of the net. Something that doesn't happen very frequently, many fish have been lost inches away from the net. However this time luck was on our side.
11lb. 15oz Channel Cat Side View

11lb. 15oz. Channel Cat Top View

11lb. 15oz Channel Cat Release
The channel cat went 11 pounds and 15 ounces.
As we released her channel cat my only rod in the water had loaded, a few seconds later I boated another small channel. In literally less than 2 minutes we had boated almost 20 pounds of channel cats. We didn't waste much time getting our poles back into the water, and for good reason too. The bite was far from over. For the next 30 minutes we pulled in a fish nearly every 3 minutes. At one point I had both of my rods load less than 5 seconds apart, I chose the rod that looked like it had the largest fish on the other end and reeled it in first......not allowing Amanda a chance to ask if I wanted her to get the other I quickly brought the first fish to the net and began bringing the second one in.
2lb. 15oz Hybrid Striper, and a 6lb 12oz Channel Cat.
Of course neither of my fish were as large as Amanda's channel cat, but I was glad to have them. The Hybrid Striped Bass went 2lbs 15oz and the Channel went 6lbs 12oz. I also took the opportunity to do one of our first release pictures of a two different species at once. It didn't turn out the best, but it was worth a shot.
2lb. 15oz Hybrid Striper, and  6lb 12oz Channel Cat Dual Release
At this point we had ran through almost all of our bait, 6 skipjack, so we decided to tie on sabiki rigs and head out into the river and catch a few more skippies. We quickly landed 7 skipjack and went back up the creek. With light fading quick we managed a few more small channel cats, and a couple 2 pound hybrid stripers. All in all we had another successful trip, and we gave the crappie out at Rocky Fork Lake a little well needed break. Hopefully I can talk Amanda into fishing the river for blue cats next weekend, maybe without all the rain.

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