Ohio River

Discussion in 'PENNSYLVANIA RIVERS TALK' started by upsmanrichie, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. upsmanrichie

    upsmanrichie Guest

    I have been fishing the Ohio since I was about 6 Yrs. old. It has always been one of the most productive catfish areas in the Western Pa. Please tell us of your experiences fishing this river.
  2. bigpapa15206

    bigpapa15206 Guest

    what are some goods spots on the ohio near pittsburgh. When i was driving across the mckees rocks bridge i saw water discharging into the river from that "plant" or whatever it is. Is that water clean or warm?

  3. Wally

    Wally New Member

    IF it was from the North Side of the bridge...That was ALCOSAN!!
    Allegheny County Sanitation!!! The waste water people.
    Warm... :) yes!! Clean... :sad: ??????

    Try down river at the Emsworth Dam or Sewickley Bridge!!
    Just don't eat the fish!
    PA EPA and the fish and Game comish. reported HIGH levels of Mercury in ALL fish in the Ohio. You should NOT consume more than 1 fish per month!!
  4. bigpapa15206

    bigpapa15206 Guest

    i dont eat any fish out of the river.
  5. Wally

    Wally New Member

    See... I told 'ya SO !!!

    Fishing: California (Pa.) University survey nets huge flathead in Ohio River's back channel
    Sunday, September 11, 2005

    By Deborah Weisberg

    Though anglers have come within a whisker of breaking the state flathead catfish record, scientists have it beat by almost 6 1/2 pounds.

    On May 9, California (Pa.) University biologist David Argent and his team pulled a 50-pound, 45-inch flathead from the Ohio River's back channel at Neville Island as he surveyed for paddlefish. The flathead had been gill-netted. Had it been caught with a hook and line, it would have shattered the existing state record of 43 pounds, 9 ounces set 19 years ago at the Allegheny River's Highland Park Dam.

    "We got lucky," said Argent, who had set the gill net where paddlefish were expected to congregate and never thought he'd land the largest flathead local rivers have been known to yield.

    "We were pretty excited. When we get a fish like that, we jump around the boat like idiots."

    Getting the fish out of the net and into the water, unharmed, was no easy feat. "It's exciting but scary because they're big powerful fish," Argent said. "They tend to roll a lot and you have to be careful not to tangle them again. It took two of us about 15 minutes to work him out of the net."

    Aside from some marks from the gillnet, which is made of monofilament, the flathead was unblemished and showed no evidence of having been hooked. "There were no lesions, no hook marks, which is something we often see with smaller fish," Argent said.

    The flathead was captured overnight in a 25-foot drop-off around Neville Island below the Emsworth Dam.

    "From what I know of the back channel, it was in one of the deeper holes," Argent said. "We found flatheads 20 and 25 pounds in the net, too. The flatheads dominated."

    Cleaner water in recent decades has spurred the preponderance of big cats, said Argent, and this summer's hot weather may have caused them to move around more, not just here but in other parts of the state. There are so many catfish in the Susquehanna River that biologists are concerned about their impact on other species.

    "They've been showing up in our surveys more this year than in the past," said Argent, who also netted a 35 pounder below the Harmarville lock and dam on the Allegheny this spring, a 40 pounder on the Beaver River last month, and his "fair share of 20 pounders" on all three rivers.

    Anglers, too, report catching more flatheads, even when they're not being targeted. Dan DeSimone, 10, caught a 30 pounder with a 23-inch girth on the Monongahela River while fishing for walleye and bass with his father, Dan Sr., one afternoon this spring. Ron Cornell of Somerset was trolling for walleye with a Husky Jerk bait on the Allegheny River near New Kensington in May when he boated a 40.5-inch, 28-pound flathead. The fish's head measured 22 inches around, he said. And Jeff Malatak of Thornburg landed a 41-inch, 37-pound flathead with 26-inch girth on a bluegill in the Ohio River's back channel.

    As for flathead specialists, Mark Smith of Jefferson Hills has caught some of the biggest. He often fishes in West Elizabeth -- a local hotspot -- landing at least one around 40 pounds every summer on creek chubs he catches in Peters and Mingo creeks. Smith and others believe a new state record will be set any day.

    "I'm surprised it hasn't already happened," said Aaron Vaccari of Tackle Unlimited in Elizabeth, who has heard about a 50 pounder said to prowl around the Braddock lock and dam. "I believe there are 70 pounders in there and they've even been hooked, although you'd never know it. Without the right equipment, even with a 50 pounder, you'd think you're snagged. I've had many catfish on that broke 60-pound test like it was nothing."

    Vaccari's biggest flathead is a 54-incher he landed on the Ohio River in the state of Ohio. He fishes with ultra heavy tackle. "I've had guys look at me like I'm crazy when they see what I take to the river. They'll say, 'Where you headed, to the ocean?'" Vaccari said. "Every bit of my line is 60- and 80-pound test and I fish a 50-pound class rod. I use 7.0 hooks."

    Because catfish have no scales, "aging" them requires extracting a portion of their pectoral spine, which typically requires euthanasia, and Argent wanted to return the 50 pounder to the water, unharmed. But he estimates its age at 20 years or more.

    Besides genetics, big catfish live a long time by being river smart, using structure -- old wood and metal objects at the bottom of the river -- to locate baitfish and to hide, although Argent said new studies indicate that catfish move around more than previously thought. They tend to feed more at night on a variety of species. Argent said he has seen redhorse suckers in the stomach contents flatheads have regurgitated in his survey boat. Suckers are Vaccari's bait of choice.

    "I like them better than bluegills because they last longer and stay livelier longer," he said. "Although guys fish with bluegills and creek chubs. The best are what you catch in the creeks."

    "You'll hear about flatheads hitting chipped ham or chicken liver," said Vaccari, "but it isn't typical. There's a lot of dead bait in the river, which gets cut up by boats and the locks. But flatheads like live bait. They want to swim it."

    Catfish have poor vision but locate food through the taste buds, or sensory cells, on their skin and barbels -- the whisker-like appendages on their chins. They are native to the Mississippi Drainage and are an ancient species.

    "You can go weeks without a run, but the best thing about catfishing is, when you get a bite, they take off, they're gone," Vaccari said. "The best months are April and May, before the spawn. But you can fish for them all year."
  6. Gone fishin 4 kittys

    Gone fishin 4 kittys New Member

    Pittsburgh, PA
    Theres some sweet spots up further on the Ohio... I just got back from sharpsburgh dam and I saw a guy take a sucker home. I almost puked it was so nasty.