Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Another Great Day On The River

Saturday, 11/16, I took another trip the Ohio River. The weather was great, 60 degrees, light winds, and overcast, so I definitely had to take advantage of that. I got on the water around noon and decided to do a bit more exploring this time around. My first stop was a small cove that I had neglected on the previous two trips. This cove turned out to be very shallow, 3ft deep at most, but I still thought it might hold a few fish seeking shelter from the river current. I started out throwing the smallest lure I had tied on in an attempt to get on the board early, a 1.5" white grub on a 1/8oz jig head. 30 minutes went by without a bite before I hooked what I thought was snag. I gave it a couple good tugs to try and pop it free when I noticed this was no snag, it was moving sideways. So the battle began, I had no idea what I had hooked but It felt very heavy without much fight. 30 seconds went by until I surfaced the fish, it was a huge buffalo! Several minutes went by of this fish pulling me around in circles. Finally I was able to get the fish to swim right in my net. I had my GoPro installed for the first trip and realized after netting it that it would have been the perfect time to get a good battle on camera but I was too caught up in the moment and didn't think about it. It wasn't easy, due to the sliminess of these fish, but I eventually got a few pictures. It weighed 11lbs 13oz and measured 27.5". I've only caught a handful of buffalo so this one easily broke my old personal best of 6 or 7lbs.
11lb 13oz 27.5" Buffalo
11lb 13oz 27.5" Buffalo
I did get to try out my GoPro for the hero shot which worked out well.
11lb 13oz 27.5" Buffalo
I had never been so slimed by a fish in my life. Here's a picture of the aftermath.

I continued on fishing the cove for another 15 minutes or so when I got my second bite. I figured it was a small hybrid striper but to my surprise it was a really nice sauger. Yet another fish a rarely get the opportunity to catch. It measured in at 16.5" and in the excitement I forgot to weigh it. I've only caught dinker sauger in the past so it was easily another personal best and also a Fish Ohio trophy of 16"+. Two personal bests in a row, this day couldn't get better.
16.5" Sauger
16.5" Sauger
I stayed in the cove a bit longer with no more bites before heading out into the main river. The river was at 54 degrees. At this point I switched up to a medium size spoon. It didn't take long for me to find out that the hybrids were biting as well. My second hybrid of the day ended up being my biggest of the day at 19.5" and 2lbs 12oz.
2lb 12oz 19.5" Hybrid Striped Bass
I fished various areas that I had never fished before and continued to pick off hybrids on the spoon every 15-30 minutes for the remainder of the day which included two more over 18" with the majority being in the 10-14" range. There was even a white bass and a spotted bass in the mix. The fish definitely weren't schooled up tight but they were biting. I caught equal amounts of fish on a steady reel and jigging the spoon. Some fish were a little bit deeper, some were shallow, most likely wherever they had some bait schooled up. The bite picked up slightly around 5:00pm and slowed down around 6:30pm. By 8:00pm the bite was all but dead. At about 9:00pm I caught my final hybrid of the day which was the third 18"+ of the day. I took the opportunity to see how the GoPro handled a night picture, not so well as it turns out.

By 9:30pm I decided to call it quits as I'd only had one bite in the past hour which was the fish pictured above. I ended up catching 15 hybrids along with the other miscellaneous species for a 5 species day. It's days like these that keep me thirsty for more. Can't wait to get back out there.

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