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Ohio River Dam Fishing

Updated on July 29, 2012

Ohio River Bank Fishing Below Markland Dam

Ohio River Dam Fishing

by Robb Hoff

July 29, 2012

Most of the fishing I've done over the years around Ohio River navigation dams has been limited to Meldahl Dam and Markland Dam between Maysville and Warsaw, Kentucky.

During many outings by both boat and bank, I've caught my share of the wealth of fish that the Ohio River has to offer, many of them courtesy of the states that border the river through their stocking programs of hybrid and other fish species.

Over the past couple years, I've limited by fishing below the Markland Dam to one-to-two hour jaunts with my son Adam.

Today we found the water below the dam considerably different than we saw just over a week ago after heavy rain came through the region just a few days ago. Most of the dam gates were running wide open and the turbulence and outflow has increased the water level by several feet from the last time we were there.

As a result, the water was considerably fast and filled with sediment, making bank fishing more of an experience of the surroundings than a fishing trip where the goal was to catch fish.

In fact, the only fish caught was a snagged threadfin shad about an inch smaller than the threadfin shad jig I was using, but even that provided for an interesting teaching moment to share with my son as I explained how this type of shad was a primary bait for many of the fish that lurked in the murk, such as man-made fish like the striped/white bass hybrid and the natural freshwater bass species like the largemouth, smallmouth and Kentucky bass.

No fish to fight today, but there's always the next time out, and we both will be ready when we do run into a river school of fish busting through a shad mass as the summer starts to take the turn toward fall here in the Ohio River Valley.


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    • Robb Hoff profile image

      Robb Hoff 5 years ago from Cincinnati, Ohio

      Yep on both counts. Soon as I get some time next week I believe I'm going to switch things up a bit and teach my son how to fish with Wheaties and cream-style corn dough balls for carp and catfish just like my Dad taught me when I was about his age.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 5 years ago from United States

      Good hub and always wonderful to take your boy or girl out with you. This will always be a meaningful part of each's life and may lead them to share with their own children in the future. I have tried fishing at dams in the past and caught a few really nice fish. The water is so oxygenated it draws more fish in deeper water found there and draws fish like a magnet and big ones seem to prefer the deepest locations. Thanks for sharing.