Ohio River Info

Discussion in 'LOCAL PENNSYLVANIA TALK' started by WhiskerWacker, Jun 1, 2008.

  1. WhiskerWacker

    WhiskerWacker Active Member

    Messages:
    754
    State:
    Pa
    I have lived here in Pittsburgh my whole life. I have been fishing catfish for more than ten years here on the Ohio and surrounding rivers. The year for flatheads for me seems to start up around the first day of trout which was the second saturday in april. This year my first flathead was caught on april 21, he measured 40" and 30# I was channel cat fishing with small cut bait, as soon as I set the hook I knew this was no channel catfish. Not a bad start to the year. I ended up losing about 3 other fish that night right around the same size. Since then I found a new spot above the Emsworth dam, it is a deep hole with concrete walls sticking out into the river. Off to the down river side of that is a nice sized log jam in about 7 feet of water all the way to the shore. I managed to catch 6 fish over 40" in the matter of a couple days the biggest being 43" and 36# I also caught an average of 25 flats per day ranging from 17" to 30" and a few in the 30's. One day I caught a 40" and a 41" five minutes apart. ALL ON CUTBAIT. The fish would not eat a live fish no matter what I tried they fish were all on cutbait. Just this last week the fish have moved out of that deep hole and out onto the flat way out in the river, my fish numbers dropped dramatically. Also the sive of the average fish I catch has also dropped to about 25" compared to around 32". I have switch one of my rods over to live bait with sometimes better results. I have also moved from the wintering holes were I have crushed fish in the last month. I have tried closer to the cover thinkink the might be looking for the spawning sites, with no luck. I have also tried to go to the dams, fish in close and out deep, also with not much luck. About a week ago I caught a female that was spitting eggs out, I thought this was strange. It seems early for the spawn. I also caught a male that was spitting milk, I again said it is too early for the spawn. The water temp is still in the 60's where I fish. I just can not seem to locate the big boys this time of year. I hear that they get close to the cover and the males may not eat for up to 8 weeks while they nest spawn and protect fry. I just think maybe the fish are just too busy making nests. But you figure you may still catch the occasional big female, but let me tell you I fish 5 days a week from 4pm to 2 am and I am still having trouble. Like I said I started out with a bang, and know that I can catch them in the summer and early fall, but this time of year makes me question my skills as an angler... Am I just looking in the wrong spots or the fish just hard to catch this time of year. Let me know how you are doing?
     
  2. Naack

    Naack New Member

    Messages:
    442
    State:
    Irwin PA
    Nick it has been real tough on the 3 rivers thus far just look at the east vs west thread us west boys are strugling.... it seems you have to be at the right spot at the right time or ya get the big skunk or a bunch of small flats .. i fished 9 hours last night i didnt catch a thing intil my 8th hour in and then i banged a 26lber and a 33 lber so for me it seems the more on the water the better chances i get just gotta be patient this year :wink: Just stick with it the fishing will pick up!
     

  3. WhiskerWacker

    WhiskerWacker Active Member

    Messages:
    754
    State:
    Pa
    A 26 and a 33 two nice fish, congrats,what type of stucture were you fishing? I fish mon-fri every night from 4pm-230am, because I have heard that old saying "you need to put the hours in to catch the hogs" I just try to always be one step ahead of there movements so I can catch them while the are magrating it seems to be the best nights, a few nights in a row at one spot and then nothing. Until I move up river, it seems as if that is the best bite for me. This time of year still stumps me... I cannot tell where the big ones are the last week or so. My last big flat was 5-23 and was 43" 36# and then a week of 1 or 2 small fish a night just does'nt cut it, it is still fun even if I don't catch em but its definatley better when you hook up to a trophy beast ya know?
     
  4. brother hilljack

    brother hilljack New Member

    Messages:
    7,305
    State:
    Shelbyville, TN
    Good luck fishing
     
  5. WhiskerWacker

    WhiskerWacker Active Member

    Messages:
    754
    State:
    Pa
    Went out again this evening, I moved up river about a half mile from the hole where I was catching them last week. The fish did move up I got alot of nice hits but only landed about 6 channel cats. The biggest was about 28". They all ate cut bait. I suspect the fish that were hitting were mostly channels but I think a few were flatheads too. I was having trouble with setting the hook cause the fish were eating shallow "in about 2 feet of water on the back side of a feeder creek. The fish would hit and break the water and I would miss em. No flats but still fun fishin.
     
  6. Naack

    Naack New Member

    Messages:
    442
    State:
    Irwin PA
    Funny ya should ask... the water was high and i started fishing my 2 shallow submerged logs with live and cut bait and Nothing..... fished all around them for most part of my trip til i got fustrated then i took a cut bait 5 oz of weight and whiped it as far as i could to hit the Main channel in the river and thats where i found them ... no structure just the main channel ... realy suprized me cause i had to cast 30 to 45 feet up streem cause my weight would drift that far before it hit the bottom :crazy:
     
  7. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    Nick,

    Here is my formula for monster cats.

    Time on the water+patience+confidence= reward!

    As you can see, most of the guys who are coming up with the big fish put in their time on the water. As Shawn stated earlier, it took him a 9 hour wait in order for a big fish to decide to eat. Most PA catmen here put in 15 to 25 hours per week.

    Be on the water alot and you will catch fish. Fish on holidays and weekends only and you might get lucky and get one.
     
  8. WhiskerWacker

    WhiskerWacker Active Member

    Messages:
    754
    State:
    Pa
    I for sure put in the time, I fish mon -fri 4:3opm-2:30am that is 10 hours a day- 5 days a week is 50 hrs a week. Catfishing is a second job for me I go every night rain or shine. I sometimes get out on the weekend too, but I have my son on the weekends and he is still a little young to take to the river, in a few years! We go and catch panfish at the local pond and he seems to really enjoy fishing so maybe I have a bait buddy. Last night I was hitting channels on shallow flats, but I hooked a large fish 25+ prob a flatty he set the water on fire jumping in the shallows. It was alot of fun I forgot how much fun channel cats can be, I got spoiled by the big flats of mid April I really don't target channels. Since the flathead bite slowed in my area for me I plan on going after channels again tonight down river of the Mckees Rocks bridge. I caught some small blue gill on the way home from work. I will post my success or failure tonight or tomarrow. I like the recipe for success Blacky Thanks
     
  9. Naack

    Naack New Member

    Messages:
    442
    State:
    Irwin PA
    Nick make sure ya switch up shallow to deeper water and back... live bait to cut bait ... large bait to small ....keep changing up to find what they want latly its been Small Cut bait working for me along with some small live bait.. im talking around 3 to 5 inch blue gills they were hitting larger baits a few weeks ago but seldom right now it seems
     
  10. WhiskerWacker

    WhiskerWacker Active Member

    Messages:
    754
    State:
    Pa
    I went out again last night like every night. I was targeting channels because of my resent slump with the flatties, I did fairly well on small live bluegill and on small cutbait. I caught one flathead only about 20" and about a dozen decent channel cats. Most of my fish were way out ont the deeper side of the shallow water flat that I like to fish below the Mckees rocks bridge. No channels that look like Shawns MONSTER! Congrats! but I still landed 2 that were 32" and 3 that were 30 so there is potentail for a big boy, only in my wildest dreams can I even imagine a 30+ channel cat. wow!
     
  11. WhiskerWacker

    WhiskerWacker Active Member

    Messages:
    754
    State:
    Pa
    I went out again this mon I got the day off work cause of the rain. I was slamming channel cats again on small cut white bass, Before and during the rain but as soon as the rain stopped so did the bite. The fish were WAY out there today, which is the opposite of what I was thinking. I thought they would come up into the feeder creek to feed after the rain. I tried in close and did'nt even get a hit. Like Naack said the fish seem to be doing the opposite this year for some reason. They are hard to figure out.
     
  12. Naack

    Naack New Member

    Messages:
    442
    State:
    Irwin PA
    Well it looks like it may be time to target Channels... their just as fun to catch :smile2:
     
  13. WhiskerWacker

    WhiskerWacker Active Member

    Messages:
    754
    State:
    Pa
    Last night was unbelievable, I fished the same spot I have been pulling channel cats out for days, the FLATHEADS ARE BACK, for some reason the big boys made a special guest appearance last night, I was slamming flats and channels I must have caught 40 fish including 5 20-24# flats a 31# flat and 15#,12# channels along with a 26 " walleye on cutbait. Just the other day at the same spot I caught a 18" largemouth on cutbait too. A few weeks ago I caught 2 23" saugers on cutbait, also a 25" striper on cutbait, what is with all these gamefish on cutbait is the baitfish population low or something? Has anyone seen any shad yet this year? I have been hitting herring up at the dams between 12-15" AWSOME BAIT! The fish still seem to be taking cutbait small and large fished extremely close to submerged timber or drop offs they stick near the cover until very late at night, 3:00 am or so and then they seemed to move and I had trouble locating them in close or out deep, who knows? I lost a few large fish as well, On two of my rods I was only using 5/0 gammas, cause I was fishing for channels mostly until I hooked a flatty, but like you said channels can be alot of fun. I am going out again tonight and hopefully get some points for the west, I just started with the E vs W comp, my first point was a 31#er, If I knew about it sooner I would have added at least 10+ points for the west, hopefully I can help us out tonight!
     
  14. WhiskerWacker

    WhiskerWacker Active Member

    Messages:
    754
    State:
    Pa
    I got skunked Friday night. I got a few decent hits but, the water came back up they closed the dam some. The fishing above the dam only seems to be good when the water is low. When the water comes up I don't know what happens to the fish, but I do get more hits way out deep. I may get to go out tonight it depends on if my sons mom works tonight, my son and I are going bluegill fishing today up the pond so it will be easy to catch bait. I will have to check the weather pattern as well, it seems like I catch more big fish a few days before a big rain, so at these times I up my bait size, to keep the smaller fish off of my bait. Istill cacth smaller fish on big bait but it lessens the chances.
     
  15. socex

    socex New Member

    Messages:
    102
    State:
    Industry, Pennsylvania
    hit the ohio river last night, started with one of my favorite holes with no luck for about 2 hours. moved out into deeper water (40 foot) and started nailing them. nothing over 20 pounds, but was getting lots of fish and action. i'm going out Saturday night and hopefully I can log some points for the west
     
  16. zeboman

    zeboman New Member

    Messages:
    2,883
    State:
    Pennsylvan
    Good luck Jason I`ll be on the Mon sunday trying to do the same.
     
  17. Bigcat tinyboat

    Bigcat tinyboat New Member

    Messages:
    14
    State:
    Pennsylvania

    Mine came deep as well last night, same thing lot of action not many huge ones but still fun. Cut drum was getting killed! Far as I could cast 3 oz of lead. 20-30 feet nothing shallower. Had the boat out early and spotted a lot of structure and it seemed most fish were hitting right at the drop offs.
     
  18. WhiskerWacker

    WhiskerWacker Active Member

    Messages:
    754
    State:
    Pa
    I think with the recent hot weather that the spawn is eminent. For the last week I have been catching fewer and fewer flatheads, I try in close, out deep, cut/ live bait and only catch smaller fish. This seems to happen every year about this time. Ussually I switch one of my rods over to a smaller bait targeting channels but leave one larger bait just in case. I am going out tonight in search of flatty and hopefully grab a point or two.
     
  19. River dog

    River dog New Member

    Messages:
    75
    State:
    Pennsylvania
    Hey Nick sounds like you are doing pretty well.I also fish the Ohio near weirton WV. and the flatheads are hard to predict. sounds like you are putting in the time! that hawg is just around the corner!!
     
  20. WhiskerWacker

    WhiskerWacker Active Member

    Messages:
    754
    State:
    Pa
    I got off work early today, cause of the weather so I caught some gills and hit Dashields dam. I was fishing right where th ewater comes over the dam in the fast moving water. I managed to do pretty good, caught about 10 flats nothing big only about 32" but it was still a good time. I may get out again tonight I'm not sure. I seen all kinds of gar and big drum. I also caught a 30 inch drum in the heavy current, I was surprised he fought pretty good, overall I would rate the day at about a 7, not bad for the fish spawning.