Ohio River cats in December

Discussion in 'OHIO RIVERS TALK' started by CincyCat, Dec 15, 2007.

  1. CincyCat

    CincyCat New Member

    Messages:
    60
    State:
    Ohio
    I just found and signed up for this site and am so far impressed with all the great info I've read so far.

    I have a boat I keep in a marina all year near Cincinnati, and while the boat has been winterized till spring I have been dropping lines off the back for the last few weeks and have been going pretty good considering I can't change location.

    This week alone I caught 2 channels at 6 lbs each and 4 bluecats at 8, 10, 13 and 18 lbs. Four of the came Tuesday when it was 65 degrees and the others were Thursday. As another thread mentioned the river has been coming up and was at around 40 ft this past week.

    All cats were caught on shad (4"-6") I caught with cast net thrown from the docks.

    I don't have current in my marina so I use a one oz. sinker with a leader and 17lb test on ambassador 6500.

    Two or 3 weeks ago I couldn't catch a cat for anything but caught at least a dozen sauger with the same cat rigs. Now they seem gone again. I've never seen that happen before and I've had my boat there for 4 years.
     
  2. e'villeman

    e'villeman New Member

    Messages:
    222
    State:
    Evansville, Indiana
    Well from what i have observed is with the river swollen so much there are alot of slack waters available and alot of the cats are cruising the shorelines for baits washed down from the banks
     

  3. tomflatcat

    tomflatcat New Member

    Messages:
    384
    State:
    Hampstead, NC
    Welcome to the BOC. You'll find lots of great information here.
     
  4. Ruger 454

    Ruger 454 Member

    Messages:
    174
    State:
    LaGrange Kentucky
    Welcome to the BOC,lots of great info here.
     
  5. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    welcome to the site, a great place to meet good people and talk about them kitty cats....rollo
     
  6. jason454ci

    jason454ci Active Member

    Messages:
    1,307
    State:
    Zanesville, Ohi
    Welcome to the site!! Always good to see another new member from Ohio. Thanks for the report also, we like to here them for sure.
     
  7. tbull

    tbull New Member

    Messages:
    3,318
    State:
    SW Ohio
    Welcome to the BOC, if there is one thing I have learned about cats on the river its I havent learned much...LOL We have been on and off fish like clock work, it seems like you have to find them somewhere and keep chasing them. I am sure the fact that you caught shad off the docks, and those bluecats is because the shad were there . The blues follow the bait most of the time. Next year dont winterize that boat and get out there and chase those hawgs down, instead of waiting for them to come to you...Good luck to ya and welcome again, you will love it here.:wink:
     
  8. CincyCat

    CincyCat New Member

    Messages:
    60
    State:
    Ohio
    Thanks for the welcomes and I hope to give more reports in the near future. And I always welcome advice.

    As was stated, there's ton of shad in my marina so I'm sure thats why the cats are there.....that and the lack of current.

    I'll be back................
     
  9. s_man

    s_man New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    Welcome Griff, with all that shad in the marina you might want to put out a couple live ones too. One on bottom and one on a float. You may be missing suspended fish, and/or larger fish wanting live bait lol. Just a thought, congrats on the catches.
     
  10. CincyCat

    CincyCat New Member

    Messages:
    60
    State:
    Ohio
    I like the idea of putting a live shad under a float. I will try it. Thanks for the advice.

    I plan to drop some lines Tuesday and/or Wednesday (12/18 - 12/19) and with the river at 48' and starting to fall, I wonder what I will find. Where will the cats be in this condition? Shore? Bottom? Suspended?

    I will try to net some shad but have frozen shad ready if I can't catch any.
     
  11. tbull

    tbull New Member

    Messages:
    3,318
    State:
    SW Ohio
    I would say bottom or suspended off the bottom, I am sure that water temp in that Marina has a taken a severe fall in the past couple of days.
     
  12. s_man

    s_man New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    You will find them where there is less current than the main stem of the river. This usually means close to the bank. It could also be behind some type of obstruction, like a sunken barge, or a demolished dam, a big log jam, If you see a series of humps on your depth finder, fish the troughs in between, The faster current will go over the humps, leaving the bottom with little current, and any food or dead fish will slowly fall out of the faster water overhead.
     
  13. CincyCat

    CincyCat New Member

    Messages:
    60
    State:
    Ohio
    Update: I went to my boat yesterday afternoon to drop some lines and had mixed results. The river was at 46' (26' normal summer pool) and slowly falling. The water under my boat was 28'.

    The marina I have my winterized boat in is cut back into the hillside so I don't have current to deal with and obviously can't move the boat so I have one spot to fish from, but it normally produces results.

    I caught 3 dozen or so shad on my second cast net throw, up to 7" which we used on all four poles. Three poles were bottom rigs with 1' leader and 1 oz. weight. One pole I suspended the bait off the bottom for a couple hours with no results.

    Bottom line is my buddy caught one bluecat at 14.5 lbs and we missed 6-7 decent runs. 3 of those times after a good run and a firm hook set, we brought back in the big shad with the hook burried into the side after the hook was hooked thru the back below the dorsal fin with J-hooks Size 2/0. Have you guys seen this before? I switched over to bigger hooks, but I'm not sure what the problem was. The only thing I can think it could be is when the cat gets the bait in it's mouth and starts crunching/turning the shad to go down head first, the hook gets pushed farther thru and turned, then when I pull the point burries into the shad instead of the cats mouth.

    I'm thinking about trying bigger hooks and circle hooks...??? Suggestions?
     
  14. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    a 2/0 hook is way to small for fishing pretty much anything besides liver maybe. i use gamukatsu j-style hooks mostly 7-10/0 in size. if i was fishing cut shad or a whole shad at that, i would probably have an 8/0 hook on. these fish are not finicky and will stay with the bait usually.. you can either hook the shad through the bottom lip up through a nostril, or if you are hooking under the dorsel and still hooking back into the bait, you may be hooking it too deep in the back, or sometimes i will move the hook towards the head region just in front of where the dorsel begins... i really think the hooksize you were using is the biggest problem though...goodluck...rollo
     
  15. CincyCat

    CincyCat New Member

    Messages:
    60
    State:
    Ohio
    Thanks Rollo, I'll go get some of what you recommended and try it Friday and/or Saturday as the temps are going to be near 50 degrees and I should get plenty of boat time.

    The other thing I've noticed is when I see my line moving left or right and no line is pulled out of my reel I tend to catch these fish everytime, but when I have a fish pull a few feet of line out with my reel (Abu 6500) disengaged and the clicker on, I tend to have a lot of these stop and drop the bait.

    I've thought about keeping the reel engaged and loosening the drag a bit and using circle hooks so they hook themselves. I can't help but think they are feeling a slight pressure from the clicker....or feeling/hearing it....and dropping the bait.

    Thoughts anyone?
     
  16. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    i don't tightline and rarely use circles, but the loanwizard and a few others do.. i use clicker/freespool. however, i mainly flathead fish and am not familiar with blues yet.. as for the fish, i know when when water temps. cool that flatheads don't move much when taking your bait and that left to right movement is what you have to be aware of to catch them sometimes.. blues as far as i know are a cool water fish though, and their activities in cold water should differ greatly than the flats i fish. But, they could be semi-inactive fish that are mouthing the baits not sure if they want to feed or not. my suggestion is if they are picking baits up and dropping them when they feel any tension at all, then tightlining is probably not the best way to target them.. but i will let the blue cat men chime in on that one... stay at em' you'll get em figured out!!!:wink: rollo
     
  17. Hardware

    Hardware New Member

    Messages:
    8
    State:
    Liberty Township Ohio
    Well, keep us informed. Also, Welcome. I fish the area around Middletown Ohio, and the area 100 miles around it...LOL:eek:oooh:
     
  18. tbull

    tbull New Member

    Messages:
    3,318
    State:
    SW Ohio
    I agree with Rollo 100% with the hook size, I use size 8 Gama circles and I still am not happy with them, I can't find any bigger except for online, and being as impatient as I am, I haven't ordered any. For blues your size 2 is way too small for cut bait in my opinion, I would use nothing less than a #6, and #8 is even better, I am trying to get ahold of some #10 circles, I love circles on the river, but they aren't for everyone and thats cool too, different strokes for different foaks..The blues are a cool water fish to a point, but are taken all through the year. As the water tempature drops, you get a little bit of both, some serious clicker runs, and some tappers here and there. Last time out my buddy got some little taps for a while and finally ended up with a #26 lb blue. You guys seem to be doing fine, just keep that hook point exposed on your bait, ie:......bigger hooks.:wink:
     
  19. tbull

    tbull New Member

    Messages:
    3,318
    State:
    SW Ohio
    I forgot to answer part of your question, tight llining is fine for blues, I think your main problem with them running and dropping the bait was your hook size. Some people tight line blues, I like the clicker, I guess the adrenaline rush when you get that screaming reel just adds to the experience for me. But I know a bunch of big time blue guys use circles and lock them down. Honestly if you just change that hook size I dont think you will see to much of a difference either tightlined or on the clicker. Just remember dont set the hook on circles, not trying to insult your intelegince, but i didn't know that at first either and learned the hard way. Good luck bud.:big_smile:
     
  20. jason454ci

    jason454ci Active Member

    Messages:
    1,307
    State:
    Zanesville, Ohi
    Definitely up size your hooks. If you do try the circles make absolutely sure that your bait does not close the gap in the hook. For blues I would go no smaller then an 8/0. I prefer Gamakatsu octopus circles. I tighten the drag down when using them. From my experience the hook up rate seems greater by letting the fish load the rod right off the bat. But you will want to experiment with different ways to see which works best for you personally. At any rate have fun and keep the reports coming.