Early Season Highwater Action!

Discussion in 'OHIO RIVERS TALK' started by catfishrollo, Jan 10, 2008.

  1. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    Here's a little twist some of you may enjoy. As winter days seem to get alittle shorter, and most of us are feeling the effects of little fishing over the past months. Here is something you may want to try, I think you will like it.. Late winter and early spring usually mean lots of rain and snow, high water conditions seem to drag on for weeks on end, leaving us wondering how long before the river is fit to fish. I started pursuing early season fish a few years back alittle differently than i usually would. The river had been raging for ever, too dangerous to be on even in a big boat, trees, timber, etc. made it miserable. So i got the idea, after a couple of warmer days, to drag out the waders and go fish the flooded safer areas to be in. I started fishing flooded cornfields, simply with one of my cat rods, a slip-float, small hook with the old tub of chicken liver... Pretty basic stuff.. I would wade out just far enough to get my bait out close to where the river bank and field would meet.. BAM!!! unbelievable action.... As fast as i could cast out into the light moving current that was moving my float to the shallow edges of the field, tons of channel cats, were working the banks of the slightly warmer water feeding on all the insects and worms the water was bringing out of the banks.. After fishing that field, i eventually in days to come would try other areas, my uncle has a cabin on the river. I would go catch them out of his flooded yard! Pretty cool stuff, to cast over by his river bank swing and catch fish after fish. I think this was early to mid February when i started this tactic. However, since then I have caught them even earlier, which brings me to believe, that simple sunlight is enough to draw alot of these fish into feeding areas. By the first week of March that year I started my flathead pursuit in the same fashion nearly, trying livebaits instead of livers. I can say this was a little more difficult, than the channel cat fishing, but after trying fields, and my uncles yard a few times with no luck...I moved to to another area.. I went to try the feeder creeks that i would normally seine minnows out of. These creeks were simple streams barely knee deep in low water conditions. They now held six or eight feet of water. I soon found these flatheads would move in there to feed out of the fast pushing current into these slack areas. I took a buddy of mine after explaining what I had found, and the next two days we landed one over 25 pounds, and another almost 30. We also caught a fewer smaller ones during the daytime hours. After that I have found other productive areas for flats in high water conditions, such as, any eddy areas, or big current break after a along current push on a straight river section for a few hundred yrds. So, when the water gets high and has that depressing look to it, don't get down and out...Go try one of these methods in your area. I bet you will be suprised what you can catch by simply doing alittle exploring....goodluck....rollo
     
  2. joadb

    joadb Member

    Messages:
    286
    State:
    Clinton, Ohio,
    good tip.i have a spot up here on the tusk river that floods every spring.the fish gather in huge numbers in the submerged timber,grass and to be honest-garbage(tires and other unsightly objects).its not unusual to catch pike,crappie,bass,bowfin and cats with out having to change spots.
     

  3. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    I would like to add, when i use the slip-float rig.. i only use a couple or three splitshots, i try to set the depth so its a foot or less off bottom. i like how the current drags the rig and you can make small drifts this way. I have bottom fished and caught them also in these flooded areas, but the float is more versatile and i personally like the action of the float going under.. the flats, i fish a 3-way on bottom close to the banks in the creeks, usually not fishing too far from the mouth of the creek to the river. i don't think these flats will travel real far up these narrow banked creeks.. atleast they don't seem to...rollo
     
  4. katkiller77

    katkiller77 New Member

    Messages:
    1,549
    State:
    dayton ohio
    very good tip. we usually go to the low dam near west carrolton when the water get up we fish the off channel to the left a grass bed that gets flooded just enough current to make it interesting. wow using night crawlers casting with 3 oz egg sinker with a swivel about 15 inches with a no8 trebel hook wow/. near the grassbed wow,water thats usually 3 to 5 deep is around 6 to 8 wow the channel action is sweet. I got 5 in two hours largest was 4 pounds and a nice surprise i thought it was a big sweet channel turned out to be a 3 lb lagremouth very happy good day.
     
  5. x smokin joe

    x smokin joe Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,123
    State:
    Monclova,
    Name:
    Joe
    That's a trick an old guy taught me years ago. I have 1 spot where we have to pay $1 to drive back the guys lane and in high water can get them out of the woods in water 1-4 feet deep.
     
  6. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    i believe it. its kinda funny where these fish will go to eat. i have a blast, even if alot are them 2 pound size channels, people look at you like look at that idiot fishing in a field! lol

    i fish a wooded area as well.. gotta watch them roots and vines though...rollo
     
  7. tbull

    tbull New Member

    Messages:
    3,318
    State:
    SW Ohio
    Nice post Rollo some good info there, just goes to show sometimes you just can't be lazy...:smile2: Sometimes those cats may be in the weirdest places...:eek:oooh::eek:oooh:
     
  8. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    yes, they are.... the muskingum is coming up hard!!! i dunno about where you guys are, but we got a bunch of rain.. i was actually hopeing the river would stay half way decent till the weekend so i could go try them flats out myself.... i enjoy being at home during the winter with my daughter, but it limits my fishing till the weekends...lol... rollo
     
  9. tbull

    tbull New Member

    Messages:
    3,318
    State:
    SW Ohio
    Alot of places down here picked up 3 inches of rain today they are saying, look out ohio I think there is gonna be quite a bunch of flooding going on..:crazy:
     
  10. prostreetS10

    prostreetS10 New Member

    Messages:
    898
    State:
    ohio
    Good info Rollo I got a place thats flooded right now. Never would have even though about fishing it now. Either way will never hurt to try.
     
  11. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    funny that i put this up yesterday, i was looking to going out for the flats this weekend finally ...we have had high water for a month, and it was finally getting to where i could go....looks like i will be hitting the fields soon with the livers! lol....rollo
     
  12. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    bringing this back up for anyone that may have extreme cabin fever, that may want to get out here in the next few days. with the recent 2-3 in. of rain, these conditions should be prime for busting some fish, in the shallower warmer water!!! rollo
     
  13. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    Here is a picture of a prime highwater spot to target early in the year. As the water rises into small feeder creeks and slack areas, alot of these fish seek areas not only to feed, but to hold. This pic. shows a section of river with a creek coming in. It's a few hundred yards below a slight long bend. The problem is the bend is so slight, the channel stays along it, not kicking out into the main river like alot of times. This is the first area along this bend for the fish to get out of the current on the channel side. Yes, alot of fish will hold in the less current associated with the opposite side of the river, but this spot is a more of a quality spot in spring. These fish have been sometimes held up for months in the wintering areas, spring rains bring warming temps. which means more active fish! These fish will use the high water, and river channel as an easy means to to travel and feed.. This is why this spot will be a better area to hold more fish...rollo
     
  14. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    sorry, hang loose there... i will see why these aren't uploading ...rollo
     
  15. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    lets try this...rollo
     

    Attached Files:

  16. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    As you can tell the main river channel current is carrying strong along the bank, the creek is an area for them to hold and feed on other staging fish.. rollo
     
  17. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    Here is one more picture from the last post explaining the slight long bend and the small creek.. The next picture is a slightly different scenario. Here the river channel comes from the right side and comes hard through the middle of the river to the bank the picture was taken from. What happens here is, as the channel hits the bank and leaves. The current continues onto a sandbar that is usually out of the water. As this area floods, it also creates a harporing area from the long stretch of river current, and also a good area for fish to feed easily in warmer, shallower water on worms and insects.. The river wasn't quite high enough today for the pictures of the flooded corn fields I target. I will try to post them if the water gets high enough. Hopefully this gives some of you that have been asking me more on what I look for...goodluck..rollo
     

    Attached Files:

  18. tbull

    tbull New Member

    Messages:
    3,318
    State:
    SW Ohio
    Thanks for the pics Rollo some good info there..:wink:
     
  19. MR, whiskers

    MR, whiskers New Member

    Messages:
    13
    State:
    ohio
    Thanks for that great piece of info . I also start fishing early ,as soon as the feeder creeks start pushing muddy water into the lake . you are correct with out a doubt fish after fish.:big_smile: DEAN
     
  20. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    likesaid, feeder creeks are really prime early in the year. i think the slighty warmer water draws fish to them, and the low current allows the fish to stage there..thanks for the posts...rollo