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Monday, October 15, 2018


So I found this out in Pike County Ohio during this weeks bowhunt. The top of the hole is about five feet across and it tapers down to about a foot at the waterline. I guess it was probably seven feet down to the water from where I stood at the edge of the hole. I'll admit I was pretty nervous standing on the edge filming. It was maybe a 100 feet from a small stream that had three or four inches of water in it that fed into a larger creek about a mile up from it's confluence with the Scioto River. There seemed to be a lot more water in this hole than in the creek that's for sure. There was no houses or anything within a mile of it. pretty scarey I thought.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

the last few days in fishing...

It was supposed to be a hunting trip with a bit of fishing. I don't know at what temperature hunting quits being fun but I do know the upper 80's is definitely way past that point. So it ended up being a little bit of scouting and stand placement with a whole lot of fishing. In the past week I've had a bad streak of smallmouth coming off, losing three big fish. I don't think I'd lost three big fish all year and it was in my head a bit. This fish hammered my curly shad and I set the hook several times before she hurtled skyward. It was obvious on the jump she wasn't just a Fish Ohio but probably would have qualified under the older harder rules. I have to admit after the first jump I stuck the rod tip underwater every time she even hinted at jumping. I usually never do that loving to watch them jump but I wanted this fish badly. After a few blistering runs she actually came to hand without any drama.
The biggest hybrid hammered a topwater right after daylight peeling line off in a long run that felt like it would never end. In the first scenery photo after the fish pics you can see where a clear stream runs into a big muddy river. The difference between the clear water and the muddy water was just about the biggest I've ever seen. Every fishing spot gets a name. And this spot will always be The Meeting of Waters, named after the spot where the Rio Negro meets the Amazon in Brazil. Right where the clear water plows into the muddy water and makes a hard right turn downstream was where I caught every hybrid and the occasional nice white bass on topwaters and curly shads. After making the hard right turn the clear water ran downstream without mixing with the muddy water for at least a quarter mile. Unfortunately I couldn't find a safe place to wade across and fish more of it tho I occasionally could see fish blowing up knocking shiners into the air. It ended up being a pretty lousy hunting trip but a pretty great fishing trip...

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Wham! bam! thank ya Ma'am...

After receiving texts from my buddy Frank holding several fish it was just too much. I had to run down to the river if only for an hour. Pretty glad I did. She jumped completely out of the water three times. Then she finally came up to jump right on the bank and I slid her right out on the gravel. Quick pic and thirty seconds later she was back on her way.
On a brown Coomer three inch grub in shallow fast water.

Friday, September 28, 2018

What just happened????

Not sure what happened with this photo. There was actually a pretty distinctive bridge in the background but somehow it ended up looking like this....
Did a bit of deer scouting and stopped for a bit. On the first riffle up a smaller, slightly clearer stream from a larger stream that was an absolute muddy mess. On a curly shad on a 1/4 ounce jig head. What a pulling machine, thought for a bit it was a shovelhead or a pure striper. Fished the place to death for two more hours without a bite but I'm happy just the same.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

old age...

I guess it's true what they say about getting old, It's only been a little while and I already can't remember where I caught her at :)

Monday, September 24, 2018

rainy monday

Did some fishing in the rain this evening. The river rose about five inches while I was fishing so I imagine things are going to look different tomorrow. Tonight's fish were shallow. Shockingly shallow. The best fish of the night hit in a tiny pocket of maybe foot deep water smack dab in the middle of ankle deep very fast water. Everything I caught was in about a foot of fast water. On some probably thirty year old Vic Coomer grubs my dad had stuck in his old tackle box.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

more hybrid action

It really is amazing how hard these things pull, especially like this morning when they are doing it in a fast moving riffle. On a curly shad on a 1/4 ounce jighead right after daylight.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Good days and bad days...

I've taken a few short trips the last three days so I thought I'd lump them all together in one fishing report. First trip was pretty much a bust, new spot, less than an hour, one ten inch bass, nuff said. The next day was pretty action packed though all the fish were small. A few bass and about 15 white bass and little hybrids where a creek mouth entered the river. The two biggest fish of the day were probably a couple skipjack that hammered a grub and then did what skipjacks do which is do cartwheels in the air. What a shame these things don't get to weigh ten pounds. Then today, (the autumnal equinox BTW) a couple decent hybrids on a curly shad on the next riffle up from where I caught all the little fish the day before.

Monday, September 17, 2018

a couple more stripes

A pair of stripey things today lying just outside the main current on a lower but still muddy river. Pearl with a black back curly shad on a 1/4 ounce jighead

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Ya pays your dues and ya takes your chances....

So a couple years ago we moved 20 minutes or south. Now my circle of "home water" that is comfortably reachable in the evenings from my house now includes some prime hybrid streams along with the typical smallmouth water I'm used to. It's been a bit of a learning curve. The main thing that took a bit of getting used to hybrid fishing is that you can seemingly be in the right place at the right time throwing the right bait and still catch nothing. My smallmouth are homebodies. Big ones are hard to come by but thru a combination of past experience, a bit of knowledge and avoiding overfished locations you can sometimes "know" you are at least fishing over nice smallmouth. But the hybrids you hooked yesterday might be a mile away chasing bait today or even out of your creek entirely. Or the opposite might just as easily be true. You might fish a good looking riffle for an hour catching nothing when all of a sudden the fish show up. These fish are true nomads. It takes a bit of faith and zen like patience and possibly a bit of masochism. The last few days have been pretty typical. The first day, striper genius Rob Orr and I went on an expedition to find some clear water running into our up and muddy rivers. What we found was a head high jungle of weeds and briars to wade and machete thru only to find we had to wade out thigh deep in flooded grass to even be able to cast at all. A few small stripey fish came to hand but the big guys were obviously somewhere else. A pretty serious paying your dues type day. The next morning found me catching one tiny hybrid (or was it a white bass? I didn't check) and a few ten inch largemouth. But on the bright side an eagle flew low overhead and an osprey flew by repeatedly. Then today fishing one of the spots Rob and I hacked our way into a few days prior this stud of a hybrid just absolutely crushed my swimbait.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

high water fish!

So yeah the river is like a bit under four feet higher than the last time I fished it and an absolute mess. But it is at least not up in the trees any more. So I was arrowhead hunting in a little creek yesterday and it was perfectly clear. Six inches deep but perfectly clear. Hmmm... so I know this one creek that has some clear water and hits the river in the back of a long narrow channel that seems to be half river and half creek. I mean the creek is mostly knee deep and twenty feet across but this is waist to shoulder deep and barely moving. But it's a terrible walk and a long shot. But hey it is fishing. And moving water at that. I'll do almost anything to fish moving verses still water. Well I soon discovered a snag with my plan. The path that follows the stream is still under water so I ended up busting thru head high weeds. But sometimes I think the fishing spirits reward effort or at least look out for crazy people because it was worth it. Where creek met bay was about twenty feet of off colored but fishable water and about ten feet of clear water all about waist deep. I fished a Vic Coomer paddletail, silvery glitter with a black back and never had to change. One small largie, three small hybrids, a hybrid about 20 inches long, a hybrid about the twin to the one in the photo that I lost, and the dandy in the photo. In about 45 minutes of standing in one spot casting where the clear met muddy. Even if things are a mess they still gotta eat...

Tuesday, September 11, 2018