Do You Really Know Your Fishery? And Does It Matter?

Discussion in 'LOCAL OHIO TALK' started by catfishrollo, Dec 4, 2008.

  1. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    It makes me laugh to hear the comments from others year after year, mostly by non catfishermen, about how easy it is to catch catfish. Many of them say things such as," Go throw a piece of meat out anywhere, and they will bite." " They eat all the time!" I usually just grin, and say, "Oh Yeah.." Agreeing to listen more. But, down deep I know from chasing trophy fish, it isn't that easy! And even have days where small fish are hard to come by especially the ellusive flatheads. I have spent many hours over the years not only fishing, but spending my time up and down the river throughout the year trying to gain an edge on these fish. Maps only give you an area to look at, but seeing the area, and learning it throughout all water level stages is essential! I mainly fish a small/ medium sized river compared to large fisheries such as the Ohio, or Mississippi. But, im sure my thinkings as a local goes the same for them as well. Mother nature changes the banks and structures of these systems all the time. I have seen decent sized scour holes turn to outside bend sandbars over the years. I have also learned how a single washed down tree, laying in the right section of the river, can lead to an almost favorite spot for a year or two, until it is carried out by the high waters again. My point is anyone, who pursues trophy fish will tell you, that you have to spend your time burning gas out looking for the "changes". Yes, alot of my scouting is done on my way to a destination to fish. But, it is never bad to get your fishing buddy in the boat, and putt up and down the banks looking for new things not only on the graph, but in person on non fishing days. I think many that try to scout on a trip are too concerned about the fishing they anticipate and drive by and miss small things that can make to be productive areas. Small changes can make a big change when it comes to fish being there or not. I really like to look for surface changes more than anything, especially when looking below fast riffle areas or any other area associated with the river channel. Sunken timber seems to appear every year in new places. Surface timber can also make for good new locations for cats, but it seems to me that floating timber isn't always as good as the timber that runs deeper. These changes can occur at any time of the year. Obviously, strong weather patterns have more of an infuence than a steady system. This is why I like to get out any time I can. It may be the dead of winter, but you need to see whats going on, and get a plan for when its time to chase after them. I have a 30 mile section of river that I mainly fish, and I know like the back of my head. But, I know it from not just fishing it, but from scouting it. I tell people all the time about how there used to be a logjam there, or a rock point there. They almost looked amazed by looking at it then. Not all systems may change like others or as often year to year, but anytime you get to go see it, its an advantage to you. So does it matter much to know it like im saying? All I can say is, spend alittle more time in the slower fishing season if you have one looking for the smaller details to hold fish, and see if it doesn't increase your catching in the future.... goodluck...rollo
     
  2. ohio hilljack

    ohio hilljack New Member

    Messages:
    943
    State:
    ohio
    Great advice . I am most definitely guilty of not paying enough attention to the why and when's of catfishing. That said I do know the small sections of the rivers and their structures that I fish. The journals and such that you guys keep are probably a little further than I want to go, but I learned to pay attention to structure years ago.
     

  3. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    good looking avatar bro.. thats a nice deer!! rollo
     
  4. ohio hilljack

    ohio hilljack New Member

    Messages:
    943
    State:
    ohio
    Thank you sir. I hunted a much bigger one thru bow season but with the cinny thing I figured I better get one on the ground and do some fishing..
     
  5. arkrivercatman

    arkrivercatman New Member

    Messages:
    4,472
    State:
    KS
    Well said Rollo. And very true. I see my river 12 months out of the year, whether I am fishin or not. I have seen big logjams dwindle away after time and I have seen new ones form. It pays to scout. Thats one thing that separates me from most peolple in my area.
     
  6. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    I can honestly say that I dont know my fishery.

    I know where the flatheads are for just a couple months out of the year, after that I cant find them at all.

    If I knew my fishery I would know where the flats would be year round.

    But I am a bank fisherman, so I do have a handicap:smile2:
     
  7. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    I might add that I had one of my favorite holes filled in by a flood a few years ago...And I mean completly filled in with sand...water that was once 30 feet deep was nothing but a huge sandbar, I was really bummed for awhile.
     
  8. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    Also I have seen people flathead fishing in spots that I knew they would never catch one...this same group of people fished this one location a couple years back many times and never caught a flat.

    They was fishing a typical river "run" only about 2 feet deep with no structure, and the nearest hole was several hundred yds away.

    I talked to them many times thru the year and they were getting more depressed by the minute.

    I could have told them of a better place to fish, but they were clear to me that they were meet hunters, so I offered no advice:smile2:
     
  9. Mickey

    Mickey New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,592
    State:
    Illinois
    Jack thanks for sharing some good insight on fishing . I agree. A few years ago when I fished tournaments I spent many hours on lakes and rivers and I used the scouting time to eliminate areas that I felt the fish would not be during that time of season and under those conditions. It made a big difference on the days of the tournament. Just another way to look at fishing. Nature is changing things all the time and you can stay on top of the fishing game by taking time to scout.
     
  10. ec43146

    ec43146 New Member

    Messages:
    272
    State:
    Ohio
    I scouted the lake where I used to live and knew it fairly well. Since moving I haven't had a chance to scout as much as I'd like. It definately makes a difference knowing the water you fish.
     
  11. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    I can understand what you are saying. I'm a tourney guy, and you have to use the scouting as a process of elimination.. However, I see how seasonal movements of the baitfish play a huge rule along with the changing water temps also.. I have some pretty good flathead spots for most of the year on the rivers and lakes, but when it changes, it changes!!! And sometimes changes more than you want it too!! lol.. thats the fun of it though, rollo
     
  12. ohio hilljack

    ohio hilljack New Member

    Messages:
    943
    State:
    ohio
    Think of how boring it would be if it all stayed the same,and all you got done was throwing the same huge catfish back into the same holes allllllll dayyyy long. wouldn't that be terrible.:smile2::smile2:
     
  13. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    My thing is everyone knows most obvious spots and holes. It's not hard to see a deep hole or a big eddy.. It makes me laugh to see everyone leave a tourney sign in and race to the same stretch to see others already there.. Places I look for are places you are gonna get a cat or two then move.. They aren't the big areas to hold numbers of big fish as most would bank on to win a tourney. But, If they produce a quality fish or two, then I move to hit another... And most importantly, these spots aren't getting fished as hard either. The average fisherman wants to set up on obvious places that everyone can consider as being good places for fish... These places hold fish, and often good fish for them reasons.. But put alot of pressure in them spots, by mid to late summer it makes them very hard to fish, and produce when you need them too.. I like to stay away from the next guy or boat... always have..... rollo
     
  14. jerryb

    jerryb New Member

    Messages:
    551
    State:
    Ohio
    I do a lot of driving for my job, so I take every chance I get to check out places that I know of and possibly find new places to scope a little more.. in fact, this past week I found some spots further up river than I normally go... even if they don't pan out, it's worth the scenery...
     
  15. lendog

    lendog New Member

    Messages:
    2,141
    State:
    berks, PA
    over the winter since the flatheads shut down i'll do alot of live maping lookin for new spots and doin some scouting on foot to check those spots, that will give me several locations come spring
     
  16. catfish kenny

    catfish kenny New Member

    Messages:
    6,064
    State:
    Iowa
    Rollo I hate it when yer right(LOL) Not realy ...reps to ya ...good info and pionts here ya gotta pay yer dues! hey....I can just throw some meat on the hook and show you(LOL)by golley i WILL CATCH ME A KITTEY(lol)YES SIR !(lol):roll_eyes:
     
  17. zmany2k

    zmany2k New Member

    Messages:
    271
    State:
    APG, MD
    I knew my local fisheries in Germany VERY well. I knew the hidden overhangs, faster current shallows, fast or slow deeps, and a lot of the holes in the lakes i fished.

    Now I get to start relearning the changed waters that i've returned to.:big_smile: They're like brand new rivers to me now.
     
  18. ec43146

    ec43146 New Member

    Messages:
    272
    State:
    Ohio
    what makes it interesting is they can change yearly:eek:oooh: