Ohio River Trip

Discussion in 'ILLINOIS RIVERS TALK' started by Jbuck, Jul 19, 2019.

  1. Grago

    Grago Member

    Messages:
    30
    State:
    Ky
    Name:
    Gary
    You ever fish there at smithland, i have some friends that do, one of them went yesterday, he caught 16 channels and smaller blues, he just stays on the outside of the main current, some guys catch some big cats there drifting, i also had a good friend drown there a few years ago, i have talked to several very experienced drift fisherman, they say it is one of the most dangerous dams they have ever fished, just the name alone almost scares me, but there are a lot of good cats caught there.
     
  2. jumpmaster

    jumpmaster Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    545
    State:
    ohio
    Name:
    david
    what makes smithland more dangerous than the other dams on the ohio? I have never fished it, so just wondering.
     

  3. Grago

    Grago Member

    Messages:
    30
    State:
    Ky
    Name:
    Gary
    Im not so sure, i dont fish it either, i have friends that do, im sure there are guys on here that can explain it, my understanding has places, with rock that are very shallow, im not sure. https://www.kentuckynewera.com/article_98fb3567-784c-58f3-8ef4-bab6b51b2c14.html Again this man was one of my good friends, dad and i knew him as well, didnt know the guy with him, they said he got caught in a water release and boat didnt start, again just hear say, all i know for a fact is him and a friend were fishing close to the dam, something happened and they both drown
     
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  4. Jbuck

    Jbuck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,871
    State:
    il
    Name:
    Jay
    No, never fished it but have locked through it several times. I would guess the folks advising it's a dangerous location to fish have their reasons to feel that way but I didn't see anything that I thought would make it more dangerous than the next one up river.
     
  5. Jbuck

    Jbuck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,871
    State:
    il
    Name:
    Jay
    We are fishing 25 to 35 ft.
     
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  6. Jbuck

    Jbuck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,871
    State:
    il
    Name:
    Jay
    On the water pre dawn this morning, one of the banks I scouted yesterday for drifting first thing today had a dredging operation going on out from it this morning so we motored up to another spot we drift often. Two dragging, two suspended, frozen Skip for bait. After about 150 yards one of the dragging rigs started peeling off drag, I thought I had snagged bottom as it was just a constant rod bend, when I plucked the rod from the holder I noticed the line was cutting through the water towards the middle of the river. When I started to reel it became obvious I had a fish and this fish was pulling the boat. Got it landed after a lengthy fight. It was a Blue and it only weighed 35lbs. but it was by far the strongest and hardest fighting fish I have ever caught. Took almost twice as long as my PB of 62lbs. to land. Only fish of the day. Back home resting up to head back down next Wed. -Sat.

    Will try to get the wife to add pictures when she gets out of the garden.
     
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  7. Grago

    Grago Member

    Messages:
    30
    State:
    Ky
    Name:
    Gary
    Congratulation , on your blue, i had a friend down there today as well, they dont drift was just fishing on the outside of the current i guess, he said they only caught 13 very small channels , he said gar was driving them crazy , i know nothing of the place just hear say, i know there are some nice fish caught there,
     
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  8. twaskom

    twaskom Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Messages:
    10,164
    State:
    Indiana
    Name:
    Tom

    Good for you Jay. You were due. It is amazing how strong some fish seem compared to their size. This hard fighters are impressive.
     
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  9. typer181

    typer181 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,024
    State:
    Indy
    Name:
    Eric
    Right on Jay sounds like a nice fish and well deserved! Some days it's quality over quantity.
     
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  10. Jbuck

    Jbuck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,871
    State:
    il
    Name:
    Jay
    Pound for pound this had to be the hardest fighting fish in the Smithland pool.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 11, 2020
  11. twaskom

    twaskom Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Messages:
    10,164
    State:
    Indiana
    Name:
    Tom
    Nice Blue Jay. Nice Boat too.
     
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  12. Jbuck

    Jbuck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,871
    State:
    il
    Name:
    Jay
  13. Brackish*Water

    Brackish*Water Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,318
    State:
    Texas
    Name:
    Wesley
    wow nice fish....

    only? :eek1: a 35 pounder?!?

    :tongue1:
     
  14. Jbuck

    Jbuck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,871
    State:
    il
    Name:
    Jay
    That is what my cheap WM scales indicated. He fought way above his weight class though.
     
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  15. typer181

    typer181 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,024
    State:
    Indy
    Name:
    Eric
    Did he look like he was spawning recently?
     
  16. Jbuck

    Jbuck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,871
    State:
    il
    Name:
    Jay
    Not really, his tail wasn't roughed up and no scars on his sides.
     
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  17. jumpmaster

    jumpmaster Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    545
    State:
    ohio
    Name:
    david
    you were due, congrats.
     
  18. Jbuck

    Jbuck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,871
    State:
    il
    Name:
    Jay
    We are not catching fish this year, the wife and I fished Sat. and today getting on the water around 5:30am and fishing till around 10:30am. Yesterday we did manage to get an 11 and 17 lb blue in the boat, today skunked. The two we did catch was by suspended drifting in 50-60 ft. of water with frozen Skip as bait. The area I fish has very little water that deep which is suitable for drifting and I don't like to fish the same spot day after day. Our river neighbors are struggling also, one positive seems to be channels are easy to come by using Sonny's but are running small.
    Will be heading back Wed. through Sun. hoping for one of those 5 nice blues in 5 hrs. days.
     
  19. typer181

    typer181 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,024
    State:
    Indy
    Name:
    Eric
    Sorry to hear about the slow bite Jay. When the current gets nonexistent the fish really seem to spread out. We fished up from you last weekend and actually got lucky that the river came up a foot on Saturday. Caught a good number of 8 to 10lbers that day. There was just a hint of current, but we still had to run the trolling motor on the lowest setting and head downstream to cover any ground and to maintain distance from the shore. We suspended the whole time, but constantly adjusted the depth of our baits to keep them in the strike zone. That area we were fishing was 30-40fow and mainly shale bottom, and there's a mussel bed all through there.
    Have you had any luck locating mussel beds in your stretch? Wherever I have found one there seems to be good fishing.
    By the way, hope you can make it to the Indiana gathering next month! There's a couple of beds in that area.
     
  20. Jbuck

    Jbuck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,871
    State:
    il
    Name:
    Jay
    Due to other obligations we didn't get to the river camp until Friday evening, woke Sat. to a fog but could still see the Ky. bank tree line so launched right at daylight. About 5 minutes later heaver fog moved in making it hard to see even the nav. lights on the front of the boat. Hugging the IL. bank and traveling about 3 mph. in about 20 minutes we made it to a spot suitable for drifting with no danger of getting into the shipping channel. We did not get a single take down, the fog lifted enough to see across the river about 9:00 so we motored down to a spot we caught fish last weekend, drifted an hour with one take down, judging from the bite marks I suspect Gar. We called it a day and admitted being skunked.
    Our rooftop AC was working but didn't seem to be putting out enough cold air so today I climbed on top of the camper and gave the coil and condenser a good cleaning, I really thought I did that last year but judging from all the "yuck" I got out of it must have been year before last. Really helped. Headed home but hoping to head back Wed-Sat and really hoping the bite is on, we are struggling this year.
     
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