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Ohio River Fishing About To Change

Updated on August 31, 2012
My son fishes better than he takes photographs, but the Ohio River hybrid striped bass continue to gorge on threadfin shad.
My son fishes better than he takes photographs, but the Ohio River hybrid striped bass continue to gorge on threadfin shad.
Nothing quite like a berserk smallmouth bass to liven things up on the Ohio River.
Nothing quite like a berserk smallmouth bass to liven things up on the Ohio River.
A picture can speak a thousand words, but this one actually shows the 100th fish Adam caught during a four-hour outing in the Ohio River.
A picture can speak a thousand words, but this one actually shows the 100th fish Adam caught during a four-hour outing in the Ohio River.

Ohio River Fishing

by Robb Hoff

August 30, 2012

The Ohio River pools levels have been about as low as they can go, but rain arriving into the Ohio River region from the remnants of Tropical Storm Isaac may change that quickly.

Low pools mean some areas -- like those below dams -- can be a lot easier to fish from shore with better results because the casting distance to deeper water decreases substantially. Drought conditions also slacken water below dams that are otherwise churning significant water outflows and that makes sight fishing much easier.

The arrival of heavy rain could cause an absolute wash for fishing conditions on the Ohio River for a few days, so all the more reason to get the lines in the water before the rain hits.

My son Adam and I fished for about four hours Friday with the clouds starting to roll in during the late morning hours. He caught a couple large grizzard shad on a two-inch grub early, indicating the presence of larger hybrid striped bass should be near.

Unfortunately, there were no big ones for us, but Adam still has a ball basically catching a fish on every other cast. He caught 100 fish total and with the exception of the shad, a couple small smallmouth bass and a small largemouth, all the fish were hybrid striped bass.

The larger shad Adam caught earlier kept me focusing on larger hybrids and possibly even some stripers. I increased the size of the Rapala Shad Rap I was using from a SR5 to SR7, hoping the bigger bait would deter smaller fish and entice larger ones by matching the size of larger shad present.

The bigger bait did land one really nice smallmouth, measuring 13 inches and probably weighing about a1-1/2 pounds. Like most smallmouths, it fought like the end of the world was near, and every second of the fight was trademark smallmouth with some size.

Hopefully the rain won't upset the river balance too much and thwart the fishing for too long. But even just being out there catching fish, watching an osprey dive bomb just downriver from us and enjoying the sight of Great Blue Herons cruising just above the river surface a stone's throw away is another collection of moments in time that will be buried like a treasure in its own right in the river of our time together as my son and I both grow older.

Only from now on, I've been advised that I have to call my son 100-fish Adam instead of 50-fish. It's a name I'll most gladly bestow upon him, now that he's earned it.



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