I got out to fish the Ohio River 37 times in 2010. I fished with Joe, my brother and a couple other guys when I did not fish alone. Two of the trips were at night with the other guys for my boat does not have lights. This was not a great year for fishing; for most of the folks wetting a line on the Ohio River. We had a very hot and dry summer, no current and high water temperature. I believe this really kept the fish from feeding as they had in past years. My biggest catfish was a 26 pound blue cat. My biggest channel cat was only 10 pounds.
My fishing pal Joe biggest catfish was a channel cat of 7.5 pounds. We also had to use a number of different baits since the Shad were not to be found most of the season.
is the break down of fish Joe & I boated.
Me 7 blue cats 1 flathead 29 channel cats 1 carp
Joe 8 channel cats 3 Suckers
is the way the different baits worked for us.
Cut Skipjack 4 Shad 11 Chicken breast 8 Steak strips 2
Beef liver 3 Chicken liver 2 Cut Sucker 1 SMOKIES 14
I am hoping 2011 the Ohio River will have some current and the Shad are back so I can use them for bait. Tight Lines to all!
11-22 Update: I netted some Shad at the Public Landing at 08:30. I got a good 3 dozen nice size shad so had plenty of fresh bait. I went back to the ramp at 10:45 to meet Joe. There was a very strong wind blowing up river, so we headed straight for Hooters. I got the boat above and towards the inside so the barge would block some of the wind. At 11:55 Joe hooked into a decent Channel cat. It was 22 inches and 4.5 pounds. Joe said he got it on his favorite bait, the big red smokies. Stayed there till around 13:30 started checking out spots below there.
No fish at the L&N bridge piers. Dropped anchor just above the BB river boat docks. Joe had a bite but missed it around 14:00. Joe did hook another Channel cat at 14:15. This one was a little bigger. This fish came in at 5 pounds and 24 inches. Once again the Smokie did the trick for Joe. I never even got a tap on the Shad or beef liver. I even tried the Smokie without any action. We called it a day and crossed over to the ramp at 15:15. Good thing the temperature was so warm for the wind was really blowing white caps all the time. I just do NOT understand why the fish did not even touch the Shad. That is why we have back up baits to put on our hooks.
I am putting the boat up for the year. I may fish from the bank if there are some warm days the rest of November.
Nov.8,9 &11th. UPDATE I got out in my boat 3 times this week since the weather was so great. I spent a good number of hours hitting my favorite spots; however I was skunked on every trip. I went to hooters each day and never even got a tap! I had fresh Shad on Nov 11th. that I netted at the ramp. I did get a 1 bite on the shad, I think it was a Garr. Used all the different baits I had as back up baits just NO action at all! I just can NOT understand where the fish went or why they are not feeding. There is now some current in the river and Clearwater. I had believed the cats would be feeding to fatten up for the winter. It just does not seem to be the case this Fall. Not the way to end a fishing season.
Nov 1st. UPDATE I went directly to the Mill Creek and had my lines in the water at 10:55. Hook a very nice size Channel Cat on my bobber rig at 11:20. This fish was 25 inches and topped out at 7 pounds 10 ounces. This hit the thawed Shad, no bites on the other baits I had in the water. 11:50 my outside dead line got hit hard. I pulled back and set the hook on a nice size fish. This was a Blue Cat that gave a good fight in the 45 feet deep water. This fish also hit the Shad; it was 28 inches and weighed 10 pounds. 13:00 moved to just out from the water sewer sign; no bites there so packed it in at 14:00 and headed for the ramp and home. Tight lines to all.
Oct27 UPDATE I netted 5 shad at the Public Landing, launched my boat and headed for the Licking River. Did not even try to cast for the Shad just not that many there. I put my lines in the river by the Ky. pier of the Covington railroad bridge at 09:20. No bites so left for the Mill Creek area.
The mouth of the Mill Creek was just loaded with shad. I threw my net once and had the bottom of a large bucket cover with shad! With this bait I went to the barge tie up area. I marked fish so anchored and got my 3 lines in the water. Three different baits chicken liver, fresh shad and beef steak strip. 15 minutes later I switched to chicken breast, seasoned hot dog and shad. Not even a tap; then the wind started blowing up river. I gave up there and headed for Hooters.
Lines in at Hooters at 10:55; had to put out back anchor to keep boat from swinging around with the wind. I tried Shad, chicken breast and the seasoned hot dogs. I did get a bite on three small shad as bait, that was it! The wind was making white caps now so without any action called it a day at 1145.
UPDATE I got set up at the Water Front restaurant at 08:45. I fished there for
about 30 minutes, no bites so headed up river. I marked fish by the Ky. piers
of the Central Bridge. Try that spot for about 40 minutes, not even a tap. I
then went to Hooters and fished there the rest of the trip.
I just got light taps on my bobber rig they kept cleaning off the smokie or chicken nuggets. I was about ready to call it a day when I hooked a channel cat. This fish was only 18.5 inches and just over 2 pounds. The fish hit a thawed out shad. I cast my last shad right after I got the fish back in the water. It got a hard bite but it cleaned off the bait. Then 20 minutes later my bobber rig went down and stayed down. This Channel cat was a little bigger. 20 inches and 2.75 pound, it liked a piece of smokie. At 12:10 the last fish of the day hit other rod. This was the biggest of the day, a 3.25 pound and 21 inches Channel cat. The Smokie did the trick for that fish as well. I called it a day and headed for the ramp at 12:30.
It was a
very slow start, but ended up with some action for a change.
10-20 I anchored my boat by the barge mooring at the Mill creek at 08:50. I had a bite that ran my outside rod onto a snag. 09:05 boat first fish of the morning. The Channel cat was 6.5 pounds and 25 inches long. That fish hit a piece of chicken liver that was suspended off the bottom. 09:25 a smaller channel was in the boat. This fish was 20.5 inches and 3.5 pounds. Shad was the bait on my bobber rig. 09:40 bobber went under again with shad as bait. This Channel was 22 inches and 4 pounds. 10:00 Channel hit bobber with my last shad as bait. This Channel was 21 inches and 3pound 6 ounces. I started using beef liver as bait on the bobber rig and the channel took it as well. This cat was 24 inches and 6 pounds.
10:08 bobber went down again this fish was the biggest of the day. The channel was 8 pounds and 25 inches long. As I was getting the last 2 fish ready for a picture the bobber went down again. This time the fish ran onto the outside line and got hung up in the snag as well. I never did see the fish. I had to cut the line on the rod hoping to free the line with the fish but it was still hung up somehow. I then had to cut the fish off, as I looked up river saw a tow stopping at the railroad bridge. I was not sure where it was going but decided better start up the boat and move out until it went by. The tow came in and tied right at the barge mooring I had been working. So I head up to Hooters to finish the day. The wind started blowing up river shortly after I got my lines in the water. No bites so I called it a day at 12:15 and headed home. That was the best day of action I had ALL season!
10-22 08:40 back down to the Mill Creek got my 3 rods out. Perfect condition no wind the boat was set up just great. The problem was the fish I marked had lock jaw. I did NOT even get a tap for over 2hours. I then headed up to my favorite spot Hooters. I spent 1 hour there and same story no action at all. I packed it in, skunked for this trip, not even a tap!!
October 8th-15th UPDATE Three trips in the past 7 days, only 5 fish for me on those outings. Joe caught 2 more channel cats on the 1st trip. His biggest was 3 pounds my biggest of the week was 3 ¾ pounds 20 inch channel. That fish hit my bobber rig that had seasoned raw steak as bait.
The 2nd & 3rd trips I was by myself. The 2 trip started at the Mill Creek area had 2 bites on beef liver and that was it for over an hour so headed back up river. I caught a 9 inch channel cat on seasoned smokie at the Center Bridge. I did get 2.5 pound channel at Hooters also on the smokie.
tried fishing had a lot of trouble holding my boat with the strong wind. I did
catch a 2 .3 pound 18. inch channel cat on thawed Shad at Hooters. Called it a
day at 10:45 the wind was just too much for me to fight any longer.
The fish still are tapping more than biting or really smashing the bait.
UPDATE!! During my last 3 trips on the Ohio River I have boated only 2 catfish. Two of the trips were down to the Mill Creek area. On my 1st trip 9-23 I only had very light taps on a variety of baits. When I was winding in a line to re-bait is when I noticed I had a baby blue cat on my hook. This fish was only about 6 inches and about a ¼ of a pound at best. That was it for there and Hooters on that day.
The 2nd trip 9-25 in my brother’s boat at the Mill Creek was a little better. My brother did boat a 5 pound channel cat on a piece of shad. I was skunked, once again only light taps not real bites over 4 hours of fishing.
My last trip on Oct. 1st. was done up river above the public ramp to Hooters. I did use the fish finder to look over the bridge piers on the Ky. side. I just went to Hooters to get my lines in the water. I finally caught a channel cat at 10:45 on a couple of small thawed shad. This was on my bobber rig. Thefish was only 20 inches and was 2 pounds 12 ounces. I once again only had taps instead of regular bites on the other baits. I gave it up at 11:30 for the strong down river wind was bouncing my baot too much.
I do not know if it is the long spell of no current and high water temperature that has the catfish no feeding right. I do know that when I was netting Shad at the Fredrick’s landing there were 2 baby perch and 1 baby channel cat in the net. I suspect there was a late 2nd. spawn in September. This hot spell may have messed the regular spawn cycle forf many of the fish. Hopefully with the cooler temperature and some rain up river the fish will finally start the Fall feed to fatten up for the Winter.
9-21 Trying out my 9.9 motor that I got back last week on this trip. I did net a small sucker at the Public Landing ramp but no luck with Shad in the mouth of the Licking River. I got my lines in the water at the Ky. pier of the central Bridge at 08:45. I notice a hard tap on the rod with the cut Sucker, the fish just kept tapping it hard but never ran with it. When I started bringing it in there was a small flathead that swallowed the bait. This fish was only 1 pound and 4 ounces and 14 inches long. I had a couple of other bites that seemed to be Garrs hitting the chicken breast.
I then headed up to Hooters at 09:55 wind was shifting to up river breeze and no current. I had a tap on my outside rod as I was holding it my bobber rig got hammered. I grabbed it and pulled back knew I had a decent fish. When I got it near the boat realized it was going to be tricky netting it and holding the rod at the same time. I was relieved when the catfish got in the dip net and I had it in the boat. This Bluecat was 12 pound and 29.5 inches long. He just nailed the Smokie, but that was only bite on it all day.
I did get taps on the chicken beast and beef liver but no hard bites the rest to the day. I called it a day at 11:45 and headed for the ramp. The Motor worked o.k. so will head for the Mill Creek on my next trip, hopefully the fish will start feeding down there.
9-13 I met my brother at his boat and we headed out at 07:00. Tried to fish by the Mill Creek however; there was a tow boat working barges at that time. We went down river from there looking for fish. Had to settle on the Ky. side but the strong up river wind kept turning the boat in circles. Went back up to 472.8 marker to fish, had better luck there for I caught 2 small channel cats. 1 was 3.5 pounds on smokies and a 2 pounder on beef liver. Then head back up into the Licking no luck at that spot so called it a day 12:30.
tried to net some shad at the ramp ,once again no luck. I went down to the
472.8 marker to start the day. Had lines in the water at 08:30; down river wind
did not move the boat too much. No bites; so moved up river to the barge tie
offs. I did not get any action there so headed up to Hooters to fish.
10:30 got my rods set at Hooters, 10:48 hooked the only fish of the day. It was a small 2 pound 4 ounce channel cat that took my smokie on a bobber rig. I had 1 other bite on the dead line that was baited with beef liver. I called it a day at 12 noon and headed back home.
Still can not figure out why the fish are NOT biting! Thought they would hit anything cast into the river, for we have not had any rain for over 3 weeks?
September 7th UPDATE I tried to net some Shad at the Public Ramp but came up empty again. Joe helped me get the boat in the river and had our lines in the water by 08:15. We were above the Big Mac Bridge by the Ky. Pier. There was NO current in the river and the up river wind moved the boat around.
We headed down to Hooters at 09:00, our favorite spot. Joe hooked a small 2 pound sucker at 09:45 this fished like the piece of chicken breast. Nothing was hitting until 11:20 when Joe boated his 2nd small Sucker. This one was also 2 pounds and took the chicken breast. I finally had my bobber go under at 11:30 and hooked a reasonable fish. This was 4.5 pound channel cat 21 inches long. This fish liked my offering of 2 pieces of Big Red Smokies.
The wind was now kicking up some small white caps on the river. We decided to call it a day and left for home from the ramp at 12 noon. The bites were very few but we did not get skunked. The fish were too small to take any photos this trip.
8-23 I netted 2 gizzard shad at the ramp before we got the boat in the river. Headed up river and did not mark any fish so headed for the Ky. side just below Joe’s Crab Shack. Put our lines in the water at 08:30. No bites so head down to Hooters was set up at 09:05. 09:20 Joe hooked a small 1.5 pound channel cat. It hit Joe’s favorite bait a red hot smokie. 10:30 I boated a channel cat the same size as Joe’s also on a piece of smokie.
10:45 my bobber went under and stayed under. I set the hook and know it was a nice fish. When I got it netted and in the boat found it was a channel cat. This fish was 10 pounds and 29.5 inches. Once again Smokie did the trick. Took a couple photos and back into the river to fight another day.
Joe finished off the day with hooking into a 5.75 pound Sucker, this one like chicken breast. Never even got a tap on the 2 pieces of the shad I netted at the ramp. It was a good day weather wise on the river today. We left the ramp with smiles on our faces at 12:00.
18th UPDATE I tried to get some Shad at the ramp with my casting net, no luck.
I got the motor started and headed down river. Marked fish in a hole just below
the Suspension Bridge so stopped to fish.
07:55 had my 3 lines in the water, 30 minutes later no bites. I then wanted to go down to the Mill Creek to fish. My motor did NOT start!! Put my lines back in the river while I tried to figure out the problem. I took the cover off and sprayed so carburetor into the choke area. It finally fired up after 3 such sprays.
I cancelled out going down river, headed to Hooters instead. 09:15 got set up above there. 09:20 got a tap on my smokies. 09:40 hooked a small channel cat on a piece of thawed Shad. This fish was 1.5 pounds and 16 inches. I had one hard Garr run and that was it for the day.
10:45 I was pulling away from the ramp heading for home. It is very frustrating not being able to depend on the motor to work as it should.
August 2nd.Update I meet my friend and his brother at his pontoon boat; we headed down river around 8 P.M. My friend headed the boat for the Mill Creek to net some shad for bait. They were a little hard to get, did net around 14 in around 30 minutes. We anchored up just below the Mill Creek and got our lines in the river about 9:30.
At 10:10 my reel just started singing, pulled back and knew I had a nice fish. In the darkness it was hard to see where my line was, finally got a flash light on the water. It was then I realize this fish was heading under the boat. It took some effort to get it to the side of the boat so it could be netted. My friend got the fish in the net and then the line broke.
Bluecat weighted 17.5 pounds and was 34 inches long. That fish took my garlic
scented chicken breast instead of the fresh shad on all the other rods.
We headed back up to the marina around 11 since no more bites. It was a nice night to out on the river, marked a lot of fish they just had lock jaw.
July24-25 UPDATE I met Mike & Bill for an overnight fishing trip at 8:30 this past Saturday night. They worked a casting net for shad; in the marina for some time to get fresh bait. It was around 11:45 when we got our lines in the river; no bites. We stopped at a couple places that normally provided some action but, no luck that night.
At 4:45 Mike finally broke the ice with a small flathead lest than a pound. I finally fell asleep but was awakened by the sound of my clicker running like crazy. I grabbed the rod and pulled back, knew at once I had a nice fish at the other end. I took my time and Mike was able to put the net on it. The Blue Cat was my 2nd largest ever, 26 pounds and 37 inches long. The fish hit my chunks of garlic seasoned chicken breast at 5:30 in the morning. That was all the action for me on this trip. Bill boated 2 nice blue, one was 18 pounds the other was 18 pounds plus2 channel cats both around 5 pounds. Mike caught 2 more channel cats, a 6 pounder and a 4 pounder.
The action of those fish happened for Bill between 6-7; Mikes all hit after 8 to 8:30. The wind started blowing up river and just kept turning the boat round, twisting our lies so we finally just packed it in around 11:00. We did get some fish but it did take a lot of effort to keep the boat in place with the wind and river conditions. Hope it cools down so I can fish in the daytime sometime soon.
July 7th. UPDATE I met Joe at 07:00 to beat the heat. Tried to net some shad at the ramp; no luck so had to depend on ourback up baits. Started fishing at the Ky. pier of the Central Bridge. Gave up after 30 minutes; then headed up river. Scanned the water with the fish finder just did not mark any cats. We decided to head for Hooters our favorite spot.
Joe’s rod got hit and he was excited for it was a decent fish. The Channel Cat
was 7.5 pounds and26 inches. The fish took Joe’s favorite bait chunks of RED
HOT SMOKIE. My rod took off at 09:40; hooked a small 3.2 Channel. This one was
21 inches, it like my garlic seasoned chicken breast.
09:50 Joe hooked another nice Channel this on was 6.1 pounds and 23.5 inches. That fish also liked the Smokie. Last fish was hooked around 10:15 by me. This was another small Channel cat only2.4 pounds and 19 inches. This fish also like the chicken breast I was using.
We did much better than expected considering how hot it has been and little current. All the fish hit hard none of the tap, tap stuff. Got back to the ramp at 11:00 due the heat and headed home with a smile on our faces.
6-25 &30 UPDATES 6-25 I went catfishing on a friends pontoon boat. We fished about 5 different spots. He had his fish finder checking several miles of the river. Neasrly all those miles were empty of fish! I catch one small channel cat at our last fishing stop. The guy was only 2 pounds but at least were not skunked.
6-30 Joe & I started fishing from my boat at 08:20 just below Joe’s Crab Shack. Used fillets from the shad I netted at the ramp. No bites at all after 30 minutes so we left. Next place was Hooters. 10:10 I finally hooked a fish. It was a decent fish from how hard the rod was bending. It was a sucker 6.75 pounds and 23 inches. That fish hit a small piece of skinless chicken thigh. 12:00 headed for the ramp and home. We had a perfect day to on the river even if the fish were not active.
6-22 UPDATE: I got to the Public Landing at 07:00, netted 1 gizzard shad. I got my lines in the river by Hooters at 07:30. I hooked a 3 pound 19 inch Channel cat at 08:00. This fish was caught on a piece of the shad I netted at the ramp. 08:25 I boated a Channel cat that was 19.5 inches. It weighed only 2.5 pounds; old cut shad was the bait it took. I had a decent fish on that hit a red hot smokie but it got me hung up on a sang.
I then moved up river, just as I got the lines in I noticed the storm clouds starting to roll in from the North. I then got the motor running and headed for cover under the Big Mac Bridge. I stayed there about 30 minutes until the sky cleared.
Back over to Hooters where I stayed the rest of the morning. I was get bites on chicken liver but no get a hook up. I finally did hook a fish with the chicken liver; it turned out to be a 5.5 pound 21 inch carp. That fish really put up a fight not easy to handle the dip net and rod at the same time.
Headed home from the ramp at 11:30 before the heat go too bad. Nice day of some action for once and no motor problems
6-04-10 I netted 6 nice Gizzard Shad at the ramp before I got the boat in the river. Set up at the 1st spot at 08:05. The river had risen and current was running hard. We went up into the Licking River to get out of the current. I boat a small channel cat at 08:55. It liked the cut skipjack I had used. We tehn headed back down the ohio River to find spots out of the cuent. The 2nd spot we found was just getting ready to drop the anchor when the motor died! I worked at getting it started for 15 minutes no luck. That killed the fishing for now getting back to the ramp became the important matter. We did luck out for a guy going up river did tow us all way to the ramp. There was no way we could have rowed back against the current. I now have the motor at a repair shop to get fixed so it will be dependable in the future.
6-02-10 First time on the river in 6 weeks. Started out just fine for I netted a nice size Mooneye for fresh bait. Went down river to the Mill Creek. Fished for about 25 minutes no bites. Move down river a couple 100 feet and set up again. The the dark clouds rolled in and the wind really kicked up. Decided beat to head back to the ramp. That is when my anchor rope broke and I loss a good anchor. From then on things just never got right. Finally gave up at 11:15. Not even ONE bite for the trip. Hopefully next time out will be a better time.
put the boat in the river from the Cincinnati Public landing at 08:00. First
stop was the Ky. piers of the Central Bridge. Marked fish got lines in the
water at 08:10. We stayed till 08:50, no bites so we headed up river. We
dropped our anchor by Joe’s Crab Shack, stayed from 08:55 till 09:45.
Hit our favorite spot Hooter’s next. 10:25 Joe finally got a hard tap and hooked the fish. He thought it was a small one at first. When he got it near the boat we realize it was a decent fish. Good thing we used the net for the hook was just hanging by a thread on the skin by the fish’s whisker. The Channel cat was 5 pounds 11 ounces and 24 inches long. This cat hit a piece of cut skipjack after picture taking it was returned to the river to fight another day. Joe got another tap at 10:45 but the fish did not come back to the bait.
We fished over by the breakers at the Serpentine Wall, but no bites so we called it a day. I headed home from the ramp at 12:15. At least we did get 1 fish in the boat, still can not figure why so few bites.
4-16-10 UPDATE I met Dan at the Cincinnati Public landing at 08:00. We checked out the area by the Serpentine Wall, the Brakers and a couple of the piers of the L&N Bridge with the fish finder. No fish showed up but we started fishing by the Ky. pier. Put our lines in the water at 08:25.
NO bites so headed up to Hooters at 09:00. My outside rod got hammered at 09:25. When I pulled back knew at once this was a nice size fish. I took my time wearing it down to get it into the boat. This was a Blue cat measured out at 29 inches and 12 pounds. It hit a piece of cut skip jack. That was our only bite there so went up to above the Chart House at 10:30. 10:55 notice a hard tap on the outside rod with wind bouncing the boat had to wait to get a good feel of the fish. He was on there when I pulled back. This was a smaller fish, a channel cat of 2 pounds 2 ounces and 18inches. The wind kept on getting stronger and no more bites so we called it a day.
Boat was on the trailer and heading home by 12:15. I must THANK the guys at the Public Landing that gave me the bag of Skipjack and Shad for bait. Finally got the first fish of this SEASON!!
4-13-10 I threw my casting net at the Public Landing’s ramp to get some Shad, but no luck. Got the boat in the river at 08:05, and the motor kicked over just fine! Put our fishing lines in the water by Hooters 08:20. We tried 4 different spots for 4 hours without one bite! Used the different baits that caught cats last season and had 4 poles in the boat just no action. There is still a lot of current but river is clearing up. The weather was cool at the start but great by around 11 o’clock. Well at least we did not have any problem with the motor today.
4-7-10 On April 5th I launched out of Fredrick’s Landing on the Licking River for a shakedown trip. I was tested out the 9.9 outboard I got over the winter. I also was checking the jury rig set up for my fish finder transducer. I was impressed by how the motor started right off every time I fired it up. And my transducer did not come off even at the faster speed from last year.
I checked the river forecast and it said the Ohio would be below 28 ft. on the 7th; Icalled my fishing buddy for our first trip of this season. Got to the Public Landing and the Ohio was about 29 ft feet! Tthe current was very strong and the wind was blowing white caps. We did put the boat in the river anyway but my motor was not working right! It would start but die whenever I gave it more than a little gas. Fought that for about 20 minutes then got the boat back up on the trailer.
I went back home to get my old 6 hp motor and try it again. Once again got the boat in the water and the motor finally kicked in, Ran up to Hooters tried but the current and wind was just too much. We decided to head back and call it a day. That is when this motor started acting up start the run then whenever I slowed down it die! Got near the ramp the folks running the Ducks were sitting in the ramp training thier new people. I had dropped off my buddy and he was trying to get my trailer to the ramp so we could load up. When the Duck cleared the ramp my motor quit and this time would not start up. Had to row it into the ramp and with the rope was able to get it on the trailer.
We were both beat by this time and relieved this trip was OVER! I now have to try to figure out what is wrong the 9.9 motor!
3-22-10 Repair shop put a whole new transom on the back of my boat. I now have to put anew bracket for mounting the outboard motor. Getting my boat repair done, welding support bracket to handle the 9.9 motor. The rive rwill still be up for some time so have time to get this done.before I should get my launching permit for Fredrick’s Landing on the Licking River so I can fish whenever the Ohio is above 28 ft.
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