After a short phone call with one of the more valuable members of this board, (Thanks to you!) my crew and I headed for the Muskingum River Saturday night. As with any new adventure, our expectations were rather limited. We weren't really going out there to load the boat with new personal bests for all of us....but more or less the mission was homework. It was my first time on this river since the Fall of 2002.....but, I was duckhunting at that point and wasn't really concerned with the fishing capabilities of that river. Lesson #1) This ain't your daddy's creek! Having grown up on the Scioto River, we have never really traveled anywhere else to fish.....and we were rather naive about this river. Let me tell you....this river was FAST and STRONG. No problems, we had the right boats with enough power to make it work. I don't think I would want to be caught out there with anything less than a 50hp. We took 2 boats for safety reasons.....the new Lund handles perfectly on a moving body of water. We finally got the boats anchored with a little bit of time. This leads to lesson #2. Lesson #2) I met some fine folks at my first ever sinker making gathering. (Thanks to all of those who showed me the ropes!) I am new to fishing for flatheads and was SHOCKED at the size of the weights....8 OZ's???? Are you kidding me? I'll just take a couple of those 3 oz weights, I will never need anything that big! WRONG! 3 oz weights just don't cut it on this body of water. We couldn't keep the baits positioned where we wanted them. We tried to position the baits upstream of a log jam or hidden structure only to watch the baits get swept directly behind the boat. Hmmmm, this isn't going to work. Pick up anchors and keep looking for an eddy...which, by the way, are few and far between on that river....especially when it's swollen. Finally found some calmer water behind an extrusion in the river. OK, now we are finally set for the night. Where we parked our boats was behind an underwater island. There was one live tree that was poking thru the water. We did some searching and found a 30 yard radius of 2 foot water. Downstream of this, it quickly dropped to a 12 foot flat with some submerged structure. We thought we found the right spot....slow water with underwater structure...with a fast current on the outside bringing in the food source. I knew it was the right spot on my first cast. When my bait hit the water, around 15 shad spooked and surfaced. This is going to be a good night I thought to myself. Our weights finally held where we wanted them. Lesson #3) The right Equipment is only a small fraction to the equation of ones success. We had the right equipment (besides the weights..haha) we had the right rods, reels, baits, boats, rod holders etc. We had frozen shad, fresh shad, live gills etc. But, all of that doesn't matter unless you have you the right technique...which we didn't have. I don't know if it's rigging or what. Maybe I'm reading into this too much.... I don't know. I read some other reports that the low barametric system that moved thru was the cause, but I still feel there is something more to this equation that I can't figure out....it's not as easy as casting your rod and cracking a beer. These are the things that I still have to learn....and it will take time and effort to learn them. Outcome: We had one good run in our boat. Bait was dropped. The other boat had 3 runs. 1 hook up with a broke line on a small live gill. The fish surfaced and jumped out of the water. They weren't exactly sure what happened or what it was. But, speculation leads us to believe it was a huge small mouth (5 pounds or more) or a striper. (Are there stripers on that river?) We didn't land anything, but it was a success in our minds as we learned from the expierence....which is the reason we went in the first place. Happy fishing!