Tips for those hot slow fishing months on the ohio river banks

Discussion in 'Catfishing Library' started by Desode, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. Desode

    Desode New Member

    Hey guys, I know that things have been slow for a lot of us on the Ohio river over the last month or so. Now I'm no fishing guru by any means, but I figured that I would post some tips and ideas that have helped me get through this slow time and still catch some fish. Now I ain't catching a ton of cats but when its slow, like it has been this last month, 3 or 4 fish a evening is better than nothing.

    I mostly fish from the bank on the ohio river so that makes it even harder during slow times like this. Here are some tips and ideas to try out, and maybe they will bring you some success also.

    1. Take one day out of the month and plan a scouting trip for some new spots. It's easy to get discouraged when your fishing 1 or 2 spots that are your favorite holes and your getting skunked week after week. Not only is scouting new spots fun but you can find yourself learning new or forgotten fishing tactics that you will have to use for a new spot. This may also help bring up new action at those favorite old holes. One great free way to plan your afternoon scout is to use Google earth to scout from the eye in the sky (satellite) before you even leave your house. Its a great way to look for old locks and and sand bars, streams going into the river and bends with small coves that create swirl spots. The great thing about google earth is you can also see all the roads to get as close as possible to these new spots you want to check out. It also lets you mark these spots on google earth with a thumb tack icon and a name that spot feature, example "fishing hole 1" ect . You can then keep a memo on that location so you know what is at that area, and what you have caught there at different times and conditions.

    Next, go find those new spots, but remember to respect the landowners, I'd say that most of the time when I find a spot with private property signs blocking the way, I just take the time to ask permission, and the landowner is very kind. I have also learned some great tips and local fishing info, plus got to go on the land. The worst thing that can happen is they say no. When you get to that new spot make sure to have one rod setup with a bobber. Why? Because #1 you don't know what snags are out there yet. And #2 you want to see what the current is doing so you can find swirl spots and things like that. Make multiple casts at different lengths out into the river and see where that bobber flows to and comes to a stop. Remember that's where the food flows also. I have found and caught fish when nothing seemed like it was biting by using these currents that I learned with a bobber. Remember those big Flatheads love to lay in wait with the current bringing them food.

    2. Mix up your bait selection. This goes without saying but , instead of taking a bunch of one or two baits take a little of each and if you don't get a bite in 20 minutes then try something else. I know for me I have had days over the last month when the fish have been super picky, to the point where I would finally put on a the right bait and catch a couple of fish or get some bites for a hour then nothing at all. I'd then put on another bait and cast it in the same spot and get action again. Now I mostly mix it up like this in the slow times on at least one pole. If you have had steady success on another bait in that area, keep using that on your other pole and don't be afraid to let it soak for the whole evening. I have also had good luck combining baits during slow times. Blood bait does work, if you have some in your tackle box that you never use, try combining it with live bait , this can make a difference at times, by making a good sent trail to your live bait. I have had good success with Berkley blood bait in combination with shiners. Another thing is if your using large live bait don't forget to make it bleed some. I use bluegills and small saugeye a lot, and sometimes putting some slices in their sides before tossing them out can make a difference. If your blessed and catch a little bullhead by all means use him as bait! snip those wiskers off and make him bleed a little then toss him out there. Flatheads love those little guys and I have had them actually swim to a flathead on many occasions. Its like they think that the flathead will save them! In his eyes dinner is being delivered to the front door! If you have some worms that have had to much sun and are just about to start falling apart don't through them out just yet. Put them all on a big hook and toss them out there. Yeah you heard me right put them all on there.Let them dangle if thats what it takes to get a mess of worm on that big hook. You may notice some faint tiny bites at first. This is a good sign that little bait fish are checking it out, and that draws the attention of something bigger that wants what the little guys are nibbling on. I have caught some nice fish at the end of the day on worms that were just on the verge of falling apart.

    3. Drifting your bait. I know most people drift bait when on boats but I have had good luck doing this on the bank when nothing else would work. This last week I found a current swirl at one of my spots that I never even noticed was there because I didn't do my scouting all the way. I had been there for 3 hrs with not even a single bite, then I put some cut bait on and just let it drift into that swirl and BAM! 6 lb cat . I honestly think that some times there are fish that could have food 10 feet from them but just don't want to move to get it, however if you drift it naturally past them in the current they will hit it.

    4. When the water is really hot like it has been here over the last month or so, try hitting some spots where there is water flowing into the river or go to a lock. I find that when the water is in the 80's they are where there is more oxygen being made or their in a deep hole not moving around much waiting for the bait to come to them, even more so than normal. It seems to me that the best spots for me this last month have been where both of these elements combine. An example is one spot that I have where there is a water pumping station, that has a stream coming into the river on the right side of a sand bar. If you stand on the end of sand bar right out from the front of it there is a 30 ft drop off. I swear when the water hit 78 to 80 they left my 3 other spots right up the river and moved to that one. They do that every year when the water gets hot like it is now.

    5. Structure. Well we all hate getting snags, but take that snag anger and let it turn into great knowledge of where there is structure with fish laying on it in that area. I have even gone as far as putting just a sinker on by itself to find snags and how big they are. I know people that won't fish where they get snags and let me tell you this, I have caught a lot of fish off of those snags that they hate. I have done so well on snags, that when I'm fishing a new spot and someone near by says "man don't fish over there you'll get a nothing but snags!" I go right there and know I'm going to catch fish. Remember the fish are going to be on the side of the structure that dosen't have current slamming into it. You may even try drifting the bait past the side of the snag. Structure is very important when catfishing and even more so when it comes to flatheads. Those Fresh water freight trains love laying on structre with current going right past them.

    Well those are 5 things that I feel have helped me catch catfish over the last month when none of my friends have been catching anything. I'm sure a lot of you guys already know this stuff but maybe it will remind you of a technique that you haven't used in a while. I hope that maybe it can help some of you guys out there. One thing I have learned is it pays to put in the time to know everything you can about the spot your fishing. If anyone else has any other tips feel free to add them to this thread. Thanks for your time and consideration and best of LUCK!

    Sincerely, Matt AKA DESODE

    Moderator's Note: If you'd like to leave a comment for Matt about his great advice, please click on the link below. Thanks