Winter Blues: Looking for tips

Discussion in 'OHIO RIVERS TALK' started by Catfish_Rob, Dec 1, 2009.

  1. Catfish_Rob

    Catfish_Rob New Member

    Messages:
    727
    State:
    Cincinnati, OHIO
    Already so I know a lot of you will laugh at this. Not only have I never fished during the winter, but I have never caught a blue cat. This is mainly because I hate being cold and because I do not fish the OHIO river too often. I have been reading a lot about how there are a lot of large blue catfish to be caught during this time of year. A lot of the information contradicts itself. I have heard, "fish where the creeks come in" and I have also heard,"fish the deep holes", also "use small bait." I do not have a boat so the deep holes are out of the question. I am wondering if anyone has tips on the habbits of the blue cats during the winter. I would really like to hook into one this year. I don't really like spending time with my family over the holidays, so if I could be out fishing - it would be perfect. I also do not hunt - I want to talk about fishing haha.

    Catfish_Rob
     
  2. Salmonid

    Salmonid New Member

    Messages:
    1,833
    State:
    SW Ohio
    I am no expert but can tell you that at any time in the winter, Blues can be caught in 25-30 ft of water and from my boating experience, can tell you that many places I have caught winter time blues were well within a cast from the bank so keep looking for a spot where a creek comes in, usually a scour hole just below here, always a good spot, and also look for outside bends, that will be your easiest place to find depth, current and most importantly, a rock bottom.

    I could tell you a few places but then id have to kill ya.....:smile2:
    Nothing like looking at google maps, doing some homework, do a little driving and scouting and then youll be just fine. Just remember that the blues are not real plentiful so you may catch 25 channels in a spot like afore mentioned but then catch a blue, weird but in the winter, they seem to hold in a lot of the same water, especially bigger channels.

    Good luck....
    Salmonid
     

  3. tbull

    tbull New Member

    Messages:
    3,318
    State:
    SW Ohio
    To tell you how to catch blues on the river especially in the winter is a long and drawn out topic, and everybody has their 2 cents on the subject. The bottom line is you have to change your tactics as the river conditions change. From high and fast water, to low and calm water, all usually has to be approached differently, and in itself is its own demon..Creek mouths can produce, but its usually during times of high water and fast current. One thing to keep in mind is that every other species of fish thrive in the same conditions. Its simple really, high water usually pushes bait fish into creeks, marina's, etc...In turn the fish usually follow. But Blues arent like flatheads that tend to haunt the same areas, and not move around as much. In my experience Blues travel in schools, and if your there when they are you can have a blast, other times you cant find them with a stick of dynamite. I tend not to target the deepest holes when the water is crankin, fishing close to the bank in the pockets of slower water seem to be the ticket, as alot of times the bait fish move into those areas.

    In the dead of winter though, when the river is at pool stage, the deeper water is your best target, and just because you dont have a boat does not mean its out of the question. Like Mark said look at some maps, and find the bends in the river. Its the easiest way to find the deeper areas without a boat. When the water temp is in the lower 40's and upper 30's (surface temp I mean), and the river is low, the deeper areas are probably going to be most productive. That being said if we get a warm spell, with lots of warm sunlight, the fish may move to the shallower water where its a little warmer. Hope this helps, I would be happy to take you out but have no sonar, and my Lower Unit is too expensive...LMAO!:smile2:
     
  4. catfisherman369

    catfisherman369 Floyd

    Messages:
    4,944
    State:
    Nashville Il.
    Simple answer >>>>> deep holes
     
  5. CatHunter24

    CatHunter24 New Member

    Messages:
    715
    State:
    Dayton, Ohio
    T BULL pretty much covered it, he knows what he is talking about when it comes to blues. A lot of the bends around the Cincinnati Area drop off relatively quickly, some going down to around 40-50 ft only 50 yds or so off the bank. However, a lot of the access is on private property, so getting permission may be another story. Good luck, and if you want to go out sometime let me know.
     
  6. JBrooks

    JBrooks New Member

    Messages:
    742
    State:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Fishing from the bank is not out of the question. I have a few bank fishing spots on the Ohio River that drop to 50 - 55 feet about 70 feet off of the bank. 20 - 30 feet off of the bank it stays steady at 25 - 35 feet depth.

    Fishing from the bank though I'll personally wait for slower waters so I can fish the deeper holes.
     
  7. Catfish_Rob

    Catfish_Rob New Member

    Messages:
    727
    State:
    Cincinnati, OHIO
    Thanks for the information guys. You really know what you are talking about. I may try to scout out a few spots this week while it is cold.
     
  8. Bomberman

    Bomberman New Member

    Messages:
    703
    State:
    Spring Run, PA
    One other thing...you hear to use smaller bait...but smaller is a relative term. If you're used to catching channels, then go bigger. Remember, the fish you are after (Big Blues) have a huge mouth and a big appetite...they think nothing of sucking down a 1/2 pound of meat. Gear up to handle that kind of bait and weight. You'll need heavy action rods that are at least 8 ft long in order to cast from the bank. If you start catching smaller blues, that is your key to go bigger with the bait. You really can't have a bait that's too big for a 40+ lb fish...even in the winter.

    Good luck...I hope you stick a toad!
     
  9. jcat61

    jcat61 Guest

    And now for that other opinion!! If you get a couple days of warmer weather this winter, don't overlook really shallow water, 10 ft and less!! A couple degrees rise in water temp will trigger some bait activity in shallow areas, and the blues will be right behind them. Down here on the James, a lot of big blues are caught in 2-10ft of water after a brief warm up. I know the Ohio gets colder than the James, but this still may apply up there. Good luck and keep us informed!