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Monday, May 28, 2018

Early morning giant...

With the forecast calling for blazing hot temps and some chores to do around the house I was up and out right at daylight for a quickie trip before the day really got started. Last year I lost a really big fish, one of those fish that haunts you. This morning I was back at that spot. A big bend in the river covered in concrete rubble. In one place a little point of concrete juts out and the whole force of the river seemingly pours over it in a raging torrent. Just the kind of place I'd think a big fish would hide on a hot day. I fished a paddle swim on a 3/8 ounce jighead. Yep, 3/8 ounce that's really heavy for a stream which tells you how fast the water was as the jig still getting swept downstream pretty rapidly. Whap! And the line began screaming off the reel. I'm thinking wow, I've never hooked a hybrid way up here before. I'm fiddling with the drag looking at the reel. When I heard the fish jump. JUMP?!? OH, lord it's a smallmouth! More drag peeling and then she jumped again. Yep it really is a smallmouth!
Then twice more. Okay, stop it already!! But the fish stayed buttoned up and I landed her without too much drama. Probably as big a fish as I've ever caught here in southern Ohio. But I have to confess, I'd run out with just a rod and some paddleswims and jigheads in a ziplock baggie and nothing else. No tape measure. So I can't say for sure just how big she was. Which, I guess really doesn't matter, she was big enough and in great shape, fought like a demon and jumped four times. The perfect fish.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

first campout of the year

Finally! I made it to my camping spot with about an hour of daylight left. A beautiful big rock bar with a couple good smallmouth and hybrid riffles at the top end and a nice big slow eddy at the bottom for some night time action. Camp didn't take long, a small tarp hung boy scout tent fashion between two trees and the rain fly off my buddy Dan's tent that he was pitching spread out underneath for a ground cloth. Then before I did anything else I went down to the slack water and threw in some groundbait to chum up some fish for nighttime. I was pretty proud of my chum. A couple cups of ground venison burger, some dog food, a can of corn and some oats and breadcrumbs all dumped in a bucket. On top of this I'd poured some cooking oil and dumped in a cup each of corn meal and flour. All this was stirred well and sat overnight to blend, soften, and soak up the oil. The idea was the big chunks would lay on the bottom as chum while the flour and cornmeal would disperse in the water spreading scent and also attracting minnows. I then baited one rod with a baitrunner reel and cast this out while I gathered some firewood as dark rapidly approached. I was rigged up with a slipsinker, bead, swivel, and a baitholder hook. I baited up with a nightcrawler and then hooked a PVA bag full of chum on the hook also and cast this out. If you are not familiar with PVA bags they dissolve after about thirty seconds in the water so your bait is lying there with a nice little pile of chum all around it. Dirt cheap too, you can buy like 50 of them for just a couple bucks on Amazon. By the time I'd gathered firewood and arranged camp a bit a channelcat had taken the worm. Dinner! I cleaned the fish, sprinkled on salt, pepper, and some cajun spice then wrapped it in foil. After the fire had burned down to some nice coals I raked some aside and baked the catfish on these for about ten minutes. I don't know if it was the setting or what but I thought it was wonderful.
A swell calm night with the occasional carp or catfish to liven things up till I finally reeled in and climbed under my shelter. I wake up at five thirty every morning for work so I was up and at em at daylight even with just a couple hours sleep. I fished Vic's triple wing buzzbait right below the riffle catching a few nice smallmouth as the sky just started to brighten. The smallmouth in the photo hit with not more than a rod's length of line out which will make sure you are awake. Later as things brightened more I put on the paddletail swimbait I've been catching hybrids on lately and moved right up to the fast water of the riffle catching a few smaller smallmouth and two swell hybrids. I sat on a big rock and had a big muffin for breakfast and then began to break down camp and head home for a nap. What a great trip, if you haven't spent the night by the river watching the fire listening the water you just don't know what you are missing...

Thursday, May 24, 2018

spare time...

quickie trip right after work for an hour. Caught a hybrid and lost one in some super fast water. Looking forward to the long weekend!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

well earned fish

So things started out really slow. Two and a half hours in and I had a 6 inch smallmouth and a 10 inch largemouth. I decided it was time for a major move so I pulled out and headed for another spot on another stream. Halfway there and I'm thinking yeah I gotta go... I found this little park with a one hole privy. I jump out of the truck and run inside. Now in the wild I've seen wolves, rattlesnakes, copperheads, alligators, had numerous bear encounters. Nothing, nothing was one tenth as scary as the big spider inside the toilet. INSIDE the toilet!!! I may never sit down to a nice relaxing dump again. Ever. A fishing spider I think which is the largest spider we have here in Ohio. INSIDE the toilet! I grabbed some toilet paper and headed for the woods.
And then back on the river I experience the agony of Da Feet. That is I have a very big Hybrid striper come off right at my feet. I'm thinking Okay maybe this isn't your day. But then a few casts later blam! a big smallmouth nails my ribeye swimbait and rockets skyward three times. This time I manage to land her and everything is alright with the world. Well almost, I'm still a little traumatized by the toilet experience....

Monday, May 21, 2018


whew, it got hot this evening. I should have checked the forecast before work this morning and dressed for the weather, so I only fished an hour or so. Still lucked into a half dozen smallies on a clear with gold flake grub fished in some very fast water.

Saturday, May 19, 2018


Out early to sneak in a little fishing before everyone wakes up. Which I guess I did do as I walked right up in the middle of a homeless camp. Guy and a girl were sacked out on a blanket on the rocks under the bridge. They had an old grill, a suitcase, some wet clothes strung up on a rope, a small fire and not much else it looked like. Didn't look like fun. Later, on the way out, they were awake and listening to him talk to her you could hear the mental issues, drugs, booze or whatever in his voice. Pretty sad.
On a brighter note there were some nice hybrids also up and at em early chasing bait literally right up on the bank. I caught a good one just as I was raising the lure out of the water. That gets exciting. On a quarter ounce jighead and a three inch clear with gold glitter grub on a little gravel bank just off of some very fast water.

Friday, May 18, 2018


A bit of fishing before work turned up this awesome saugeye on a Vic Coomer paddletail swimbait fished slow across a waist deep riffle at about 430 in the morning.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Caught quite a few stripey fish the last two days. Paddletail swimbait on 1/4 and 3/8 ounce jigheads in very fast water. seemed to me the faster the water the better your chances of catching them....

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Photo dump from walking around this week

bluegills, bugs, and beds

It just doesn't get much better than big gills on the bed, a fly rod, a pretty day, and all of summer stretching out before you....

Friday, May 11, 2018

Two carp a clooping

The other day while smallmouth fishing I noticed a strong hatch of mayflies coming off. Hoping this was a several day event I was back on the river this evening with flyrod in hand after some carp. Traveling somewhat backwards in the year I headed towards a spot I fish as a wintering hole for smallies. The hole has a big very slowly revolving eddy that kinda traps all the detritus floating down the river. Sure enough there were a few carp in there clooping gunk and bugs off the surface every now and then. Wow they were spooky, the first cast put down every fish for ten minutes. Time I used to add about two feet to my leader. My fly was a very small white marabou muddler unweighted with most of the leader but not the fly treated with floatant so it just sort of hung right at the surface looking I guess like another clump of gunk. I only managed to land a couple fish but had an interesting, kinda frustrating but fun trip doing things a bit differently tonight.