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2008 Catfishing Action

First trip of this year was April 28th., and the last one was November 5th. The Ohio River was around 27 feet or lower from June till I packed in my gear. With little rain all summer there was almost no current in the river all season long.

I had a number of trips over this year that I was skunked. I did boat a total of only 34 fish this year. 22 channels, 7 blues and 4 flatheads. 1 Sheephead perch.

The biggest Channel was 10 pounds, which is decent for this part of the Ohio River.

Largest bluecat came in at 17 pounds. The flatheads were small, biggest only 3.5 pounds!

The sheephead perch came in at 4.5 pounds.

Finding fresh bait fish was a big problem for me,for the shad were hard to get this year. I did have some frozen skipjack from a trip for them in the spring I did use many different baits. Chicken Liver, shrimp, hot dogs, seasoned steak and french fries. I did catch cats on all those baits. Most of the fish were caught on the thawed cut skipjack.

11-4 I got my lines in the river at 08:35 by Hooters, stayed there for about 50 minutes no bites. Then went down to L& N Bridge ,stayed there for about 20 minutes, no bites so moved down river to the railroad bridge in Covington. Same story there, no bites so decided to head for the Mill Creek. Got set up there around 10:045, at 11:00 boated my 1st. fish of the day. A 9 pound 10 oz. Bluecat, 29.5 inches. That was first fish boated is about 4 trips! Then at 11:20 hooked into a smaller catfish, this one was only 5 pounds 3 oz. 23inches. These fish both swallowed the bait, normally I get the hook in the lip. I had to call it a day and headed home around noon time.

11-5 Joe & I headed straight for the Mill Creek, had our lines in the river by 09:30. Spent nearly 21/2 hours in that area and, not 1 good bite! We agreed to head back to our favorite spot. Hooked my 1st fish fist a small 2 pound channel cat on cut skipjack. A few minutes later Joe put a ¾ pound channel in the boat . He used red hot smokies again for his bait. I was busy weighing his fish when my rod went down hard. This channel was a a a little bigger, 3.5 pounds 23 inches. I did not get anymore bite but Joe had his bait stripped off about every cast. He just was not able to get them hooked. We called it a day around 13:30. With cold weather coming in not sure when we will wet a line again this season.

October 31st. & November 1st. UPDATE: Oct. 31st. went fishing in my boat, got lines in the water at 11:10. Headed to our favorite spot, Joe boated a channel cat of 1.5 pound at 11:50. He got it on a chunk of red hot smokies. Next we checked out the Ky. pier of the L&N Bridge. No luck there so we headed down to the Covington railroad bridge. Same story no bites. We went back up river, marked fish at the Ky. pier of the Central bridge. Just as we anchored the wind started to blow hard up river. We stayed there for about 15 minutes without any bites, then called it a day. Nov. 1st went out on Mike’s boat, met him & Bill around 13:30. They worked the marina for an hour get around 30 shad for bait, before we headed out to the river to fish. Went to the spot they have had some action on their last 2 trips. No wind at all so the big boat stayed set in place rather well. The fresh shad was cut up and did get the cats to feed. I was just a spectator for I did not hook a fish. They boated 11 cats and 2 sheep head perch. There were 6 channels and 5 blues. 3 nice blues 7, 16.1 and 19.5 pounds. Biggest channel was 7 ¾ pounds rest 4-5 pound range. They also lost about 10 other fish. Strange thing was nothing, then double up and one time 3 fish hit at the same time. Have my fingers crossed we can get back out there next Saturday for some more action.

October 10th UPDATE: I got my lines in the river at around 3 p.m. and headed down river. I put 3 rods out and nothing happened. Iwas rewinding my 2nd rod to rebait, notice some weight on the rod. When I got the line up to the surface there was a small flathead on the hook. It was about 1 ound and 14 inches. Sat at that spot for about one more hour without any more action. I was having some problems with my motor so decided just to try going to my favorite spot up river. I got up there and fished for around 45 minutes, no bites there either . I packed it in and headed to the ramp. I was not skunked and did see the Delta Queen going down river. That was an impressive sight. Did get my motor fixed on the 15th so now going out the morning of the 17th. I now have a new digial scale to weigh the BIG ONES again.

October 6th UPDATE: I got my lines in the river at 08:40 down river. Nothing happening, finally hooked a fish at 09:10. A nice bluecat that hit a fillet of thawed skipjack. My digiat sale broke so had to use my spring loaded scale. I read that to be 8.5 with the bag. Since the bag weighed .2 of a pound when the digital scale did work, my cat was 8.3 pounds. It was 28 inches long. Try 2 other spots in the area that marked fish. Just no bites,so headed back up river. settled in at my favorite spot at 11:25. 11;45 caught a tiny .5 pound channel cat of cherry flovored hot dog. That was it for the day. River is still without current but very clear. It was a perfect day weather wise, just not much in the way of action.

SEPT29th & October 02 Update: This past Monday I was fishing down river by myself. The fiddlers were biting. Caught 2 small channel cats, one was 1.5 pounds the other was only 2.8 pounds. Had plenty of bites, just no runs with the bait. Just about the time I wanted to pull the fish dropped the bait. At 10:30 they just stopped biting . Headed back up river and fished my 2nd. spot for about 45 minutes. No bites at all there so called it a day. 10-2 Joe & I headed back down river . Fished the area for 2 hours, not one small bite! Gave up there and headed back up to our favorite spot. Once again no bites there either. Noon time we packed in our stuff and headed home. Just can not figure it out, last week they were biting like crazy. I thought the cooler weather would even make for more action, just did not turn out that way.

Sept 24th. UPDATE Little late getting this update posted, but better late than never. We got the lines in the water around 08:25 on Wednesday the 24th.. Fished down river where I had such good action the on the 17th. We fished for about 2 hours no bites, so worked back up river. The second spot spend about 30 minutes there without any action. The last spot Joe finally broke the ice with a 3 pound channel cat. His red hots kept us from being skunked. That was the ONLY bite of the day. The weather was perfect to on the river so we had a good feeling as we headed home.


Sept 17th. UPDATE: I got the boat in the water at 08:00 headed down river. There was no current at all, tried drift fishing just with boat oars, just did not work out as planned. Went and anchored up at a good spot with deep water. Put my lines out there at 09:25. I got my first fish of the day at 09:50. The channel cat was 2.5 pounds. Then boated another channel at 10:05, it was just a little bigger, 3.1 pounds. Then got a 4.5 sheep head perch on the thawed cut skipjack. I hooked into my biggest cat of this year at 11:05. It was a blue cat, 34 inches, 17 pounds!! I caught 2 more blues, 7.5 that was 27 inches. I was out of skipjack so had to try other baits. The last blue cat hit some chunks of a steak seasoned hot dog! This one was only 3.2 pounds and 21 inches. I headed for the ramp and home around 13:30. This was MY best day of fishing so far this season. Hopefully with the cooler weather things will even get better.

Sept 10th UPDATE:We got our lines in the water at 08:05 at our favorite spot. 08:18 Joe got the 1st bite of the day. I had a fish near the boat but he cleaned off the hook and got away. Had some taps on the Smokies, but moved at 09:20. 2nd stop was at the overlook on the Ohio side above the Big Mac Bridge. The wind was blowing right down river there and really was rocking the boat. We gave up since no bites, headed down river. Next stop we anchored behind the Water Front to try to block the wind. No luck there either, so moved down river a little further. We spent 30 minutes there without a bite. We motored back up to our first spot. Joe finally got the 1st fish of the day a 1 pound channel cat. Joe kept on getting taps and I was getting nothing. I had small skipjacks and strips of seasoned steak, which normally are good baits. I tried his Smokies and started to get hits. I hooked a 3.5 pound 20 inch channel at 13:00 on his Smokies, so now I am a believer. Headed home at 13:30 from a nice time on the water.

September 4th: We got our lines in the river at 07:45 today. the water was clear with no current. We both got hard taps within a few minutes, but did not get a pull. 08:30 found us by the Big Mac bridge. Joe boated the 1st fish at 08:43, this was a baby channel cat. The fish weighed about .5 of a pound. Joe uses only red hot smokies as bait. Then at 09:00 Joe hooked a 1.5 pound channel cat. I was getting bites but never a solid run, on shrimp & cut skipjack. We decided to try the deeper spots so headed down river. 10: 00 found us under the Covington railroad bridge. The wind stated to blow up river. We fished 30 minutes there, no bites at all. We went down to the I-75 Bridge into 45 feet of water, no bites there either. Went back up to our 1st spot at 11:05. Joe kept on getting taps that cleaned off the bait. By now the wind was really rocking the boat. Called it a day and got the boat on the trailer at around 12:15. It was not as hot as we expected, and did get a couple fish in the boat.

August 28th. UPDATE: Joe & I got our lines in the water at 08:10 at our favorite place. The river had some current today for a change. Joe boated a small Channel cat that hit his SMOKIES at 09:13. He had been getting a number of taps on that bait earlier. He got his 2nd channel at 09:28 I hooked into a 5 pound Channel cat that like French fries at 09:50, we started checking out other spots. We marked fish, but no bites. Went back to our first spot and caught 2 more fish. I got a 3.5 pound flathead that took a piece of cut skipjack. While I was measuring out this fish Joe boated a ¾ pound channel. We headed home from the ramp with a satisfying feeling for this trip.

August 25th. UPDATE: Overcast sky and light down river breeze as I launched my boat this morning. I had my lines in the water at 08:30 at my favorite spot. No bites there so I went to the 2nd Ky. pier of the L&N bridge. I got 3 hard bites there in 30 minutes. The fish never ran with the bait so never got a pull on any of the fish. I then went to check out other spots, marked fish at the 5 other places but NO bites. The down river wind got stronger as the time went by, to having white caps. I just gave up and went back to the ramp at 12:30 It was rough getting bounced around in my small boat. I will give it another try this Thursday, hopefully with better results.

August 16-17th UPDATE: I went out on a friend’s boat with 3 other guys this Saturday night. After we got the bait tank full of fresh netted shad, we headed for the Ohio River. We fished for a total of 11 hours, boated a total of 12 fish. There were 11 cats, 1 flathead, 2 blues, the rest were channels. Mike also caught a one 2 pound Sheep head perch. We only fished 4 different spots during the night.The first spot it was hard to hold the boat due to an up river wind and the heavy boat traffic. Mike did hook into his first blue cat of the season. It checked out at 10 pounds, he also boated a 1.5 pound flathead and the perch there. Next stop was up river at Mike’s favorite hole, that also was out of the wind somewhat. We boated a total of 6 cats in 5 hours at that location. I got my BIGGEST catfish of this season, a nice channel cat of 10 pounds. The bites were on the slow side just enough to keep up at that spot. Next 2 spots were back down river to where we started the trip. Mike got his biggest catfish into the boat of the year, another Blue cat! This tipped the scale at 16.2 pounds. I also got another nice channel cat at that spot. This one was 8.5 pounds, better than my biggest of 2 weeks earlier. We did get some photos of the bigger fish before we put them back to grow bigger.

We headed back to the dock at 5 a.m., all of us caught at least one fish during the trip. We had used cut skipjack, live shad, stripes of steak, and cut shad for bait. The fish only hit the cut shad, that night. The size of the fish made up for small number of fish hooked. We had perfect weather to be out on the river, the full moon just added to beauty of being there. My body is just not use to being up all night as when I was a younger guy.

August 12th. I got my lines in the water by Hooters at 07:50 Three rods were baited with 3 different baits. Not one bite by 08:40, so headed up river. 2nd spot was just below the marina at Dayton. Same story there as well. I started working my way back down river. 3 stop was just above Queen City boats. I headed the boat over to the Ohio side to the deeper water. The fish finder just did NOT mark any fish along that bank. I put my lines in at the over look above the Big Mac bridge. I fished there for 30 minutes, nothing there either. I went back to the Ky. side, fished the 2nd pier of the Big Mac bridge. I marked 2 big cats with the fish finder there, however they did NOT bite. I moved back to Hooters to try again, but same results. My last stop of the day was above the Ky. pier of the L&N bridge. I finally packed it in and went back to the ramp around 12:20. I had expected a great day since the river was in such good shape and the weather was perfect the past 4 days. I was flat out skunked today.

August 6th. UPDATE: I launched the boat from the Public landing at 08:00. It took us 20 minutes to get down river to the Mill Creek area. We fish that spot for nearly an hour with just a couple of taps. Moved the boat around to check the river with the fish finder, NOTHING showed up. Turned the boat up river spotted some fish at the Rail road bridge in Ludlow. Fished that area once again just some taps, no hard bites. Checked out 3 more spots, with same results. We boated up to my hot spot at Hooters. We got into some action at long last. I hooked 3 channel cats on cut skipjacks. My smallest was 3.5 pounds, largest was 6.7 pounds. Joe boated a channel cat on cut SMOKIES, it was 1.8 pounds. All this fun happened in just 1 hour a little after noon. Had some bigger fish this trip, hope get even a few more on the next trip out.

August 1st update: launched my boat at 07:30 from the Public Landing. I got my lines in the water below the Mill Creek at 07:50. The water was clear, no current, and a breeze was coming right up the river. 08:10 had a fish on but knot at the hook slipped off! 08:35 put decent channel cat of 5.5 pounds 23 inches long in the boat. I moved the boat down river. I noticed a tap on a pole, but it stopped, so wound it in to check the bait. On the other was a small Flathead cat that swallowed the cut skipjack. He was just over a pound and only 14 inches. I took the boat back to my first spot and had to put out my back anchor for the wind was turning my boat around. 10:40 noticed rod tip bouncing a little, pick it up and when the line tightened set the hook. This was biggest channel cat so far of this season. He was 7.3 pounds and 25 inched long. I did get a couple photos of the fish. Once again the fish had swallowed the hook. I cut the line and got him back in the river. Headed back up river to get out of the wind and find some shade. I anchored under the railroad bridge in Covington for about 30 minutes. Had no action at all so decided to call it a day and headed back to the ramp. Best trip of this poor season, things are getting some better with the river finally settling down. Plan on getting back out sometime next week.

I have a page of all the HOT CATFISHING SPOTS WHERE I have CAUGHT CATFISH out of my BOAT around Downtown Cincinnati over past years. Just send me an e-mail requesting the information. I will send the information back to you via an e-mailattachement!

Email: mail box

July 27th. UPDATE: Just got back home from a family vacation. I hear the river has finally cleared up. It is also down below 27 feet. I can now get to wet a line any day this week. Have to find a way to secure my fish finder's tranducer before I go out. Got my anchor all set. Will let you all know how my next trip works out.

July 17th. UPDATE: Went fishing with a buddy on the 9th. Had to launch on the Licking River. We spotted fish at a few places and tried our luck as we headed for the Ohio River. Did not get any action so went to my favorite spot on the Ohio. The Ohio was running hard and on the muddy side. I got a tap at 10:12, then at 10:30 hooked a baby bluecat, 14 inches long and 1/2 lb. As I was getting it in the boat I noticed the boat was drifting, anchor rope broke!. The back anchor was too light to hold the boat, so we had to head back into the Licking River. When we got there I notice my fishfinder was not working right. Tried a couple of spots but with heat called it a day. When we got the boat on the trailer discover the transducer was torned off the cable somehow! That small catfish cost me around $70. But now have a new anchor & anchor rope. Had a back up fishfinder at home so will be set next time I go out.

July 2nd UPDATE: Went fishing with my brother in his boat left the ramp at 07:15 and went down the Licking to the Ohio River. Head to the Mill Creek area, found a big tow and barges were sitting there. Went down river further to try to spot some fish and get out of the drift that was flowing in the [B]fast current[/B]. It was sort of that way for the whole time we fished. We really never spotted any grouping of fish with the fish finder. We Tried 6 different spots. Only had 1 solid bite with 4 poles in the water in 4 hours of fishing. Cut skipjack was the bait but really no action. Needless to say we were very disappointed with our results for this trip. I hope the River will get down and STAY down for a some time then maybe the cats will start to feed right. Looks like the Ohio will be low enough next week for me to try with my boat again.

June 27th UPDATE: Got my boat in the river around 08:05 . Headed to the Licking River to try get some shad. Threw my net about 3 times came up empty. I went up to my favorite spot to start fishing. Had to depend on my back up baits since I did not net any fresh shad. At 09:20 I hooked a 4.1pound channel cat. It hit the chunks of hot dog flavored with strawberry jello powder. At my second spot as I was re-rigging one pole, the other reel started signing. By the time I got to the rod the fish cleaned off the bait. That bite was also on the flavored hot dog The wind started blowing at a strong level right up the river. This caused my boat to swing too much, so called it a day a little early At least I did not get skunked.

June 17th. UPDATE: The Ohio & Licking Rivers are now settled down. I had a report that the Skipjacks where being caught at the Mouth Of the Licking 2 weeks ago. They also should be showing up at the back end of the showboat at Cincinnati's public Landing. Try early in the morning for there is little boat traffic at that time. they are on the the smaller side averaging less than 10 inches normally.

May 28th. UPDATE: I put the boat in the Ohio River at 07:50. There was a strong down river wind which made the river very choppy. I got my 2 lines in the water at 08:20 just below the Mill Creek. 08:27 I hooked my 1st. catfish of the 2008 season. The channel cat was 23 inches long and weigh 6.4 pounds. It hit some shrimp soaked in vanilla extract. At 08:55 had another strong bite on the shrimp. I pulled back to set the hook but came up empty. Netted some Shad for bait and fish for another hour. Not one bite, so headed back up river. By now the wind really was rocking my small boat. The current seemed to racing hard as well. Just gave up fighting those conditions and headed home at 12 noon. At least I did boat my first catfish of the year.

May 7th. UPDATE: River was up a little bit made getting the boat launched a bit tricky. My buddy & I headed down river, got our lines in the water around 08:40. Saw loads of suspended fish not many cats at all. Tried total of 4 spots not ONE BITE! The wind got very stong with white caps, so headed back to the ramp at 12:30. Hope the catfish are hungry next time.

April 28th. UPDATE: At long last I was able to launch my boat in the Ohio River this morning. I headed right down river to the Mill Creek, I wanted to check out that area for skipjacks or shad. I saw loads of bait fish on the fish finder. However after many throws with my casting net came up empty! Finally got my lines in the water at 09:05, I fished for about 40 minutes. I saw suspended fish all over, but no bites at all so I headed for my 2nd spot. Fish there around 35 minutes no action. Went over to the Ky. side of the river and checked out some areas with my fish finder. I headed up river to fish three of my favorite spots. The wind was blowing up river so it made things difficult turning the boat after I anchored. No luck anywhere today, but the shake down check of boat & trailer worked out. I called it a day at 12:30 and headed home. Hopefully my next trip the cat fish will be in an eating mood.

March 26th. UPDATE: With today's warm sunny weather I was able to get my car's wiring harness for the boat trailer hooked up. I also put non-skid strips in the bottom of my boat. They really help when from falling when I am handling my boat anchors. I also checked out one of the reels I had put new line on over the Winter. It took about 5 cast to get the spool tension set right. The Ohio River is slowly falling, with a little luck may get to wet a line the first week in April.

February 4th. 2008 UPDATE: The other week I got a catalog for the 2008 fishing season. What really caught my eye was the cost of a fishing rod or reel for catfishing. Talk about sticker shock; rods around $100 and reels between $100 and $200!! No way can I afford those prices. If money is tight and you still want decent gear I advise you to consider a couple of buying options. Check out any garage or yard sales in your town. Garage or yard sales can be cheap price wise but normally not a great selection of items to choose from. It also takes stopping at a lot of houses before you may find any fishing gear. In March visit your local flea market. I have purchased two good rods and reel combinations for around $50 each at the flea market. The flea market sometimes also has bobbers, sinkers, even casting net at low cost. If you have the time especially before the fishing season starts, it can be very worthwhile to give it a shot.

I have made up a page about BANK FISHING spots for CATFISHING on the Ohio River. These spots are around the Downtown area AND EAST of Cincinnati Ohio. Included some photos to show some of those locations. So check out BANK FISHING FOR CATFISH In the next few weeks I will get the West side of Cincinnati spots on that page.

webmaster for Cincinnati Catfishing


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