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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Fowler Toad

snake Well we decided that after spending the winter with us that it was time to grant Scooter the garter snake his freedom. Scooter doubled in size over the winter eating pinkie mice but never really tamed down and was comfortable in his 20 gal aquarium. So while out fishing the Little Miami I found a toad hopping along on a rock bar. I dumped out a little plastic tupperware bowl I carry some things in my fishing pack with and he was homeward bound. Brenda put about three inches of dirt in the bottom of the aquarium, assorted plastc plants and big piece of bark for him to hid under. She also buried two plastic bowls nested inside each other to the rim in the dirt and filled them with water. The reason to have two nested is so its easy just to lift up the top one to change the water without disturbing the whole tank. So far Toad has instantly started eating crickets and hopping around, he seems much more comfortable than Scooter ever was. Today Brenda put a half dozen little feeder fish in his bowl it will be enteresting to see if he can catch them. Toad is a Fowler Toad, a bit less common than the Eastern American Toad which is Ohio's other species of true toad. When handled roughly Fowler's toads feign death and plays "possum." They may lay on its back with legs curved upward and may remain motionless for several seconds until the threat has passed. Toads have enlarged glands (called the paratoid glands) on the side of the neck, one behind each eye. These glands secrete a viscous toxin that gets smeared in the mouth of any would-be predator, inflaming the mouth and throat and causing nausea so it's important to take care to wash your hands after handling a toad, and to avoid touching the mouth or eyes until having done so. Other than that Toad is proving to be an active and enteresting guy to watch. Scooter we took to Fallsville Wildlife Area and released in the tall grass next to a pond. Plenty of food and tall grass to hide from hawks and other predators in. I set Scooter down in the grass and he coiled up before taking off. I bent down and nudged him a bit and BAM he bit me, then took off thru the grass... toad

Monday, May 28, 2012

The early bird gets the worm

With todays forcast closer to a typical august day rather than may I decide to get an early start on the days fishing. My goal for the day is to see if the smallies are biting yet on the Little Miami but first a pit stop at Caesar Creek lake to wait for daylight. Rigging my ultralight spinning rod with a light egg sinker, swivel, and hook, I bait up with nightcrawler in hopes of just catching anything. Right away I have a bite. It's a white bass, a bit of a surprise fishing on the bottom. S5030118 Soon another run and I'm into a bigger fish. It's a nice carp, quite the battle on six pound test line. S5030119 A few minutes later, another then another, all just about the same size. S5030122 S5030124 As the sky brightens in the east, it's off to the Little Miami. S5030125 Almost right away a nice smallmouth nails my grub then hurtles skyward throwing the hook. A dandy fish too, better than any I ended up catching the rest of the morning. But average sized smallies hit regularly. Not fast and furious but ofton enough that I feel I'm catching fish rather than just fishing. S5030130 I fish downstream to a bit of a secret spot I know. Here if you wade the river there is a steep bank that backs up to an abandoned gravel pit. The whole side of the pit facing the river has steep clifflike banks but I know a secret. In one spot a small gulley cuts down to the pit and if your carefull you can get down to the water. Ive never seen a trace of another person finding my little gulley,no footprints, no trash, no path. Here a shelf with a gravel bottom you can wade extends for about seventy yards of knee to waist deep water surrounded by very deep water. The water is perfectly clear and you can see the bottom in water over your head so the ultralight is perfect for here. For about an hour action is fast and furious most small largemouth with the rare smallmouth mixed in. But I do catch a couple fairly nice sized bass before the heat shuts down the fishing and I head for home. S5030136 S5030135 S5030134

Friday, May 25, 2012


goldfish Was fishing my favorite hole in the Little Miami River for catfish when this guy hit a nightcrawler. He's not a koi, we used to have a pond with koi in it and he's not that. Body was just like a big carp but he was bright orange with black spots. Did a little google search and I guess goldfish can live over fifty years and in the right conditions never quit growing. Wikipedia says: "Goldfish can hybridize with certain other species of carp. Within three breeding generations, the vast majority of the hybrid spawn revert to their natural olive color." So then i tried to find photos of goldfish type fish bigger than this one and really didn't find alot.So untill somebody shows me proof I'm claiming the unofficial state record goldfish! Caught him right at dawn and in the dim light he looked wierd a big orange glow down in the water on the end of my line. I'd love to know how old this fish is. Not sure if I should have or not but I turned the fish loose so if your around the LMR keep an eye out for goldzilla. HMM, wonder if there is a fish ohio pin for goldfish I need one more species for that master angler pin... I did end up catching a big cat by the way, S5030005

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dark Skies

With the dark damp skies this morning I snuck out before work to a local gravel pit. Caught several smallish bass on a four inch senko type clear metalflake worm. Up in a small shallow bay lined about halfway with cattails I could see several swirls of bass chasing something in the shallows as I fished up that way. There were several large bullfrog tadpoles at each place I stopped to cast so I changed to a bigger ribbon tailed worm fish unweighted and caught this guy on about the fourth cast up into the shallows. Sigh...then off to %#$% work. P1060405

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Caught seven last night in the little miami in a big eddy below a riffle on livebait, about half on small bullheads and about half on nightcrawlers. Had a run on a bullhead that was 8 or 9 inches long that dropped it before I got to the rod. Plus three small channelcats on shrimp, two saugeye and two smallmouth and a crappie on a grub and a quillback sucker around 4 pounds on worms. Built a big fire, cleaned one of the channels, sprinkled on a bit of pepper and cajun seasoning, wrapped it in foil and baked it on the fire while I fished...pretty good night on the old river. S5030016 S5030013 S5030010 S5030004 S5030002 S5030027 S5030035 S5030038 S5030048

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A big largemouth

P1060433 bigmouth 2 bigmouth One of the nice things about visiting my parents is that right on the way is a wildlife area that has one of the best ponds I know of. You have to walk a ways to get to it and that keeps the pressure down. It's amazing to me how no matter how good the fishing is people just will not walk out of sight of the truck to fish. They might drive 500 miles but walk twenty minutes? No way. Today with all the drizzle and dark skies I knew I'd have to stop at the pond on the way home. Sure enough the bass hammered a spinnerbait fished shallow. All small fish but they were hitting ofton. Then I threw past a small cattail covered point. A big wake rose up behind the spinnerbait following for a few feet as a big fish hammered it. Then she jumped three times giving me a heart attack each time. Last year it seemed like every big bass I hooked threw the hook. She came up again shaking her head and I was already thinking I was going to lose her. Finally after what seemed like an eternity I lipped her and could breath again. I snapped a few photos and released her getting back in the truck just in time to hear Joey Votto hit a grand slam to win the game....a pretty good day all around.

Bull Bluegills

P1060429 To me one of the most enjoyable things about spring is chasing bedding bluegills with a flyrod. You go to fish the pond one day and there they are, those round saucers dug into one corner that says non stop action. This is also one of those few times a year I'll keep a mess of fish to eat too for there's no better eating than a plate of fried gills and potatoes... P1060431 P1060422 P1060432

Horseshoe Falls

S5030130 Well I led my first walk for Little Miami Inc. this weekend. I was a bit nervous but everything went well. We started at the Flat Fork picnic area at Caesar Creek State Park and took a beautiful trail to horseshoe falls. Horseshoe falls is the lovely waterfall you see on all the literature you see for the state park and on the front page of their website. It's a great little hike and I recomend it highly. S5030104 S5030107 S5030109 S5030119 S5030120 S5030121a S5030124 S5030126 S5030127 S5030132 S5030134

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Once in a while...the fishing really is great

dragonflies I guess it's really a case of just pay enough dues and fish enough hours and you'll hit it just right. Went out friday to THE LAKE WHOSE NAME CANNOT BE SPOKEN (southern ohio, that's all I'm saying about where..) and thought about turning back. You could just hear a solid rumbling of thunder in the distance. But it just barely missed me, sliding by just to the north. Lots of wind, flashes of lightening a few miles away, but no big storm but you had the feeling you were going to get absolutely hammered any momment. And the darker and windier it got the more the bass hit. Three times I caught a fish on five consecutive casts and if a fish missed my spinnerbait another would slam it before I got it back to the bank. And this went on for three hours, I dunno seventy five fish?, a hundred? I lost track. I'm not claiming it was due to any super tactics, just chuck it out and wind it back. No big giant bass either just one right after another... The funny thing is, the day before I caught zip in two hours of hard fishing. I guess that's why you have to throw it out there, you never know whats gonna happen.