Friday, April 25, 2014

4/24/2014 Jigging the creek round 2

My focus lately has been largemouth bass fishing. After several trips in the past week, I have yet to find any quality largemouth. I've fished some lakes and ponds with only average 10-14" largemouth to show. For baits I've been switching between shallow crankbaits, jigs, and wobblehead worms. The crankbaits and wobblehead's have by far been the most productive while the jig has been struggling. Water temps on the lakes have been in the low 60's and wind blown sides have been more productive.

Thursday after work I decided to give the largemouth a break and head back to the creek to see if the smallmouth were still biting. They were hitting jig well last trip so that's what I intended to use. After two hours of tossing the jig it appeared the smallmouth bite had died. I managed to catch one small spotted bass in those two hours. I was thinking maybe the smallmouth had started spawning.

Near the end of my trip after the sun had set I was tossing the jig in some deeper slow moving water when I got a huge bite. First thought, huge smallmouth. After only seconds I knew that wasn't the case. This fish was giving me some serious head shakes and was sticking to the bottom. I was fairly certain I had hooked into a flathead catfish in the 5-10lb range. This fish was ripping out a very tight drag on my Abu Garcia Revo S. A minute later and I had the fish surfaced near the bank. It wasn't a flathead, not even a catfish at all. It was a very hard fighting freshwater drum. Seconds later I had the drum bank side. It went 6lbs 3oz and 23.5". Good enough for my second Fish Ohio trophy (22" for drum) of the year.
Freshwater Drum on Jig
6lb 3oz 23.5" Freshwater Drum
Soon after it was dark and I called it quits.

For those of you not familiar with the Fish Ohio program you can read about it here.

Achieving 4 Fish Ohio catches of different species earns you master angler status. This has been a goal for me every year for the past several years. I've done pretty well, earning the master angler pin every year since 2010.

Upon submitting my drum and crappie from earlier in the year I found that ODNR had completely redone the Fish Ohio web page with several improvments.

1. You can now query all Fish Ohio submissions since 2009 by location or species. This was very interesting to look up all trophy submissions on some of my favorite fishing waters
2. It now keeps track of all your submissions so you can go back and look at your own submissions easily.
3. You can now upload a picture of your catch which is added to your certificate which is a very nice touch.

So any Ohio angler not already participating in the Fish Ohio program, I highly recommend it. It's as easy as logging in and submitting your qualifying catch. At the end of the year they send you a unique pin for that year. As mentioned before, if you catch 4 different species of Fish Ohio qualifying fish, they also mail you a master angler pin which is just a golden version of the Fish Ohio pin that says master angler. Until next time.

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