Ohio Game Fishing banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
198 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The fire alarm went off at work, and before leaving I took a moment to pack up the laptop, the lunch bag, the coffee mug, and when I hit the parking lot I kept on going. After an hour and a half of maddening traffic, I was in the parking lot near my favorite spot on the LMR. I dumped the work clothes in the back seat, pulled on some trunks and wading shoes, and after a 3/4 mile hike up the bike trail in some heavy, dense heat, I was sweating, but thigh deep in the cool river, trying out a new topwater with a little propellor behind it. The bass were all curiosity about the bizarre little lure, and they rose up out of the brush and logjams in the clear water to check it out, but the strikes were coming up short. Lots of action, like a good dozen topwater strikes at least, but no hook-ups. (A few hits were from overly ambitious bluegills, but whatever. I don't mind.) Finally, hooked a spot--a full six inches, but an impressive leaper nonetheless. I let this little cutie go unharmed, then hooked a smallie, next cast. A breathtaking 5 incher! Clean and healthy, pugnacious, a champion leaper, just, you know...needs to grow up some. I got my hand around it, since my thumb wouldn't actually fit in its mouth, and it turned and flexed and finned the #@$%# out of my middle and ring fingers with that row of needles along its back. Holy moly, that really hurt! I haven't done anything that stupid since I was ten and learned that same lesson from a bluegill in a farm pond. I unhooked this little smallie carefully, gave him a respectful nod--one good turn deserves another, I guess; I did arrange for a hook in his mouth, after all--and sent him back home to put some weight on.
Then some clouds rolled up, rain threatened though it didn't fall, and the surface bite took a dive. It was so over. I tried some curly grubs, a couple different colors, which the fish just laughed at. Tried a long thin Rapala and then a jointed one--nothing. Went to my personal standby, a #3 Mepps Comet, and caught a sauger at the tail of a riffle, just off the current. Maybe 13", and a milquetoast, even for a sauger, the wimpiest fish that swims. This one gave up immediately and I hauled it in thinking maybe it was a piece of driftwood, or a t-shirt or something, but no, it was an honest-to-goodness live fish. They're beautiful, cool-looking critters though, and I took a second to admire the toothy scowl, the rows of spots along the sharp back spines, the gold and black mottling. Turned it loose and it swam off, and I don't think this fish ever even got mad at me. It was a phlegmatic little beast indeed.
I moved on up to a stretch that used to be prime, but it's getting shallower. I caught a massive drum in this spot a couple years ago, about 35" or so, to date the largest fish I've ever caught in fresh water. There are two holes left in this stretch, and back in July I hooked a monster, probably a flathead that never panicked, just slowly taught me a lesson about what a big flathead is capable of, then moved on. This stretch tonight offered nothing and I moved on past. The river is changing, like rivers will do, and upstream is where all the fish have moved to. The bass had hung it up, though. Got a couple rock bass, which you can count on from this one place even on the slowest, dullest, sunniest blue-sky day. Just upstream from the rock bass haunt are these bays in the water willows, just off the current, each about 3 feet deep, and normally you can hit them one at a time and get a smallie out of each one, but like I said, the smallies had now gone to bed. Nothing here. Hooked into another rock bass at the top of this stretch, but it got away just as I was reaching for it. Doesn't count.
Next pool up--the fish were biting! Hooked into something respectable and strong that I never saw. It felt like a catfish, except it spit the hook, which catfish don't often do. They've got those fleshy mouths just made to hold a fishhook solid. This one got off, but I was getting strikes on my Mepps spinner here--it was getting dark, and the bite was obviously coming back on. Finally hooked a 14" channel cat, which gave a very respectable showing of itself. But when I brought it to hand, the lure, with all five hooks, was buried way down deep in its throat. If this fish was bigger, I might have tried working the lure out backwards past its gills, which I've managed to do carefully in the past, but this fish was toast already. I took it to the bank, gave it a word of thanks, and killed it with a rock. Then I tore the lure from the dead fish's mouth, left him on the bank for later, and headed back into the water. It was getting dark, but the bite was now really active again. A nice smallie hooked up, jumped, and spit. A second one, same thing, a bit smaller, then another of the dinkies, which put on an impressive aerial display for a 5-incher, but it got off too. Something else was biting as well: mosquitoes! For the first time ever this year, I've been getting bothered in midstream by the darned things, and with the light fading, the mosquitoes were on the attack. With no repellent in the backpack, and the light now gone, it was time to go. One more ceremonial last cast--and fish on! It was a nice drum, about 17". It was hooked on the outside of its mouth, which was lucky for it, because with it now almost dark, and me without a flashlight, this one would have ended up keeping company with the catfish on the bank over there if it had swallowed the hook. It didn't and I released it unharmed. With the mosquitoes having a feast, it was time to go. I collected the catfish and waded back downstream a half mile through the water, taking my time (the bugs backed off), enjoying the soft night, with a few late fireflies left, a deer snorting and wheezing at me, very perturbed, from the bank, a barred owl off in the distance telling the world something at the top of its lungs that I couldn't understand. Slowly wading downstream to the takeout point, in the still, quiet dark, as content as I could possibly be.
When I got home, I cleaned the catfish and fried him up, just dredged it in a little flour seasoned only with salt and pepper, then fried it in half olive oil, half butter, and goodness gracious, people, was that fish ever tasty! I love the Little Miami.
 

·
Eat Em Up Charters
Joined
·
3,606 Posts
Great read! What you wrote about is everything I love about fishing and being out in nature (minus the mosquitos haha) Its amazing what so many people miss out on by not going out and fishing or being out on the river or in the woods. Sounds like you had a great night and congrats on the fish.
 

·
Annyong!
Joined
·
1,461 Posts
Great report Z. I hadn't thought of pulling the fire alarm to go fishing, good idea. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Can someone tell me if it is safe to eat alum creek fish, I catch and want to eat them. But I get mixed stories. How about a pay lame near Columbus? No of any anybody? Signed hungry for my catch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
198 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Can someone tell me if it is safe to eat alum creek fish, I catch and want to eat them. But I get mixed stories. How about a pay lame near Columbus? No of any anybody? Signed hungry for my catch.
You can check this website: http://www.epa.state.oh.us/dsw/fishadvisory/sampledwaters.aspx

It looks like Alum Creek hasn't been sampled since 1997. There weren't any warnings then, but if there has been any development in the watershed, you're probably safe with some but don't overdo it. The main problem in lots of places is with the buildup of mercury in the fish, since they're mainly predators and mercury never leaves their bodies once they take it in.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top