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My alarm clock wakes my wife with a start.
"Your not going fishing are you, it's freezing out there"?
I tell her that this is prime fishing weather.
"You need therapy for this fishing addiction" she replies.
As I'm pulling up my nylon pants, I reply, "this is my therapy"!
She gives me a tired and exasperated look, then pulls her pillow over head....
I grab a cup of coffee, eat a leftover biscuit from Sundays breakfast and hit the road.
I have left later this morning than usual as I have zero interest in standing in the cold, dark morning air with chilly fingers and nose if the fish are not biting as they haven't been of late.
I cannot seem to figure out why the stripers have vanished from a once very productive spot.
The spot that I fish for them is virtually unknown to others. It is for this reason that I so enjoy going out of my way to get to it. In other words, if you weren't told about it as I was by an old timer that can no longer get to it to fish, you would never know it existed.
I met "Old Russ" one outing while I was wading the river. I got to a point in my day then when it was more time economical to walk the road back to my rig in lieu of the river.
Russ saw me walking with my fishing gear and motioned me over to his front porch.
"You comin or going young man"?

"Going, my day of fishing is done"

"You got time to listen to an old man rattle about this river? Ya might learn something if'n you ain't careful"

I figured I had the time to stand and talk fishing with him so I made my way to his haggard little house and stopped just short if his front porch.

Old Russ started off by telling me that the river is best known for its smallmouth fishing and he told me that he could tell by my fishing rigs that I had been trying for them.

"Secret is though son, this river is ripe with stripers! I used to catch them and bring em home and cook them up. They are a find table fish!"

He openly passed on some tactics he employed and then he told me to sit down on the porch so he could be candid without bring too loud about it.
He gave me two stretches of river and told me what to throw in each and then what was the best time of year to fish for them.
When I asked him why he was giving away "his best spots" he replied, " sh!t boy, I ain't able to get out and do it any more but you kinda remind me of when I was younger and you know how to listen". He then yells over his shoulder into the front door saying, " I wish more folks knew how to listen"!
Seconds later, an old woman came to the door, mumbled something and closed the door.
Russ was dumbfounded that I don't keep the stripers I catch but claimed that, " I guess to each his own"
I thanked the old man for his insight, bid him fairly well and walked back down his broken sidewalk to the road that led to my rig.
The next outing I went to both spots. One has produced well, while the other has never produced a fish but rivers change and I fear that's what happened to the unproductive hole.
So I have named the better of the two "Russ's Run"
Russ's Run has been a bit of a mystery for me of late. Right when I thought the thing should be catching fire, I have been skunked my last three outings.....
This morning was no different.
I wasted no more time than needed there either.
I double timed it back to my rig and drove myself up to a smallie hole that sounded just like the kind of place that OSG described in his latest informative posting.
At this small riffle with a long run, there is a dead yet standing tree on the opposite bank about a hundred yards downstream. It is not unusual to find a bald eagle there early in the morning. As I walked the narrow stretch of land to the riffle I noticed that there was no eagle. Unfazed by this, I took the black and blue buzzbait from my lure keeper and cast to the slack water on the opposite bank. Half way back to me, I looked to the dead tree again and to my delight saw the big bald eagle light in the tree!
I retrieved my lure, stood there a second in the brand new light of the morning and watched her preen her feathers high above the river.
I picked my next target and cast. It was a long cast and the moment the lure splashed down, it was buzzing back to me. I turned again in mid retrieve to admire the eagle.
Now, I'd love to tell you that I witnessed the next few seconds, the buzzer getting engulfed by the bass that inhaled it. I'd love to say that the bass jumped from the water and swan dived down onto my bait but the fact of the matter is, I wasn't paying attention. As I was still stuck in a one cup of coffee daze, looking at said eagle, I heard a "splorsh" and then silence!
My head snapped back around and all there was was a swirl where my buzz bait had been stopped! I yanked back hard and to my delight, the bass yanked too!
The waters in the WWR are very clear and what I saw next was enough to excite any seasons veteran. A big bass digging in shallow water trying to take my bait from me.
She never jumped, never head shook, just fought and dug!
As she approached the bank ( I hadn't even stepped into the water yet!) she was zig zagging all over the place! She got hung up in the grass momentarily but I got her out and stepped into the warm river water and scooped her up!
This girl was a friggin football and she had the broadest tail of any smallie I've taken this year! This girl was built for fighting!!!
I got her to my bag, laid her next to my pole to measure because I left my tape in the rig and got a few pics with her and quickly released her.
ImageUploadedByOhub Campfire1380018605.635238.jpg
A fine 18 inch slaunch!
Another shot: ImageUploadedByOhub Campfire1380018638.354560.jpg
After I released her, I looked up as if to get approval from my master feathered angler friend but only to find her gone.
I continued to throw the buzzbait but only hooked up with a few shorty's.
After I fished the hole thoroughly, I decided to head upstream. It was slooow going with short bass peppered here and there. I changed baits again and tied on my faithful Manns Baby 1 Minus in the silver shad pattern.
The stretch I was about to walk was wide and shallow, no deeper than 3 feet but mostly knee deep. My plan was to walk the shallows, chunking and winding. Three quarters of the way along, I made a long cast. (guys, these little baits cast like rockets!) somewhere in mid river, my plastic plug gets hammered and immediately I've got drag peeling! I soon discover that a feisty 17" white bass (I believe she was a white anyway) has pounced and is running. I love the fight in those skinny fish ! ImageUploadedByOhub Campfire1380018686.895351.jpg
Upstream a bit further, I was made aware of something kicking up a fuss in the tall weeds. A young 6 point buck in full velvet bounced down the bank and froze. It had no idea I was standing in the river only 20 or do yards from him.
Something up in the woods, possibly a larger buck snorted and the young buck bounded off never to be seen by me again.

Further upstream in a newly designed section from the winter floods, I tie into the last of my decent fish. A rambunctious 13" smallie mowed down the shallow running crank in a small drop at the end if the riffle.
ImageUploadedByOhub Campfire1380018713.064827.jpg
After this bass, I landed a few more short fish. I saw another angler which kind if surprised me as it was early on a Monday morning. He never looked in my direction, never really made eye contact but as I fished my way upstream, he turned on his heels and headed back upstream. I lost site ov him and never saw where he headed.
After this I decided to head back.
The day was perfect, big blue skies, low temps, near no humidity and a big bass on a buzzbait first thing!
I'm still not giving up on Russ's Run. I haven't seen the old timer on his porch the couple of times I've walked past. I hope he's doing well.
ImageUploadedByOhub Campfire1380018746.458219.jpg



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We far too often do not take advantage of the wisdom of the wonderful people around us though they may not be our age their older age has brought them many years of knowledge we've yet to gain. Today's technology and social media everybody wants to tell their story but no one wants to pause from these things in our busy life to listen. We should not lose knowledge from our past generations but build on what they have built.

Great post.


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We far too often do not take advantage of the wisdom of the wonderful people around us though they may not be our age their older age has brought them many years of knowledge we've yet to gain. Today's technology and social media everybody wants to tell their story but no one wants to pause from these things in our busy life to listen. We should not lose knowledge from our past generations but build on what they have built.

Great post.


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I know what you mean. Co-Angler is pretty old and he has trouble finding people that will listen to him :)

A fine read and fine fishes my friend.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Great story and nice fish! Do you use a baitcaster in the rivers majority of the time? I've really been wanting to do it but always figure the day I do it they'll be biting on some smaller lure I can't throw


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I do most often but there are some occasions when I really need a spinning rod. Windy days and yes, light weight presentations are the times.
I always carry two rods regardless. One is the spinning combo!
Convert to a bait caster, you'll love it!


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HouseTackle
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When did Hulk Hogan start fishing in Southwest Ohio?!?

:p


 

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Discussion Starter #13
When did Hulk Hogan start fishing in Southwest Ohio?!?

:p
I got to the river and realized my hats were all at home. I just shaved my (1) hair and I didn't want to freeze my dome. I knew somebody would crack wise! Shoulda knowed it be you Mouse
 

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HouseTackle
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I got to the river and realized my hats were all at home. I just shaved my (1) hair and I didn't want to freeze my dome. I knew somebody would crack wise! Shoulda knowed it be you Mouse
I found another photo from your trip:
 

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Hahaha- Every time I fish with him and ask for advice, he says "Say your prayers and eat your vitamins brother". I always convey to him that I don't think this will help me catch fish. He then responds with something like "Whatcha gonna do when Co-Angler runs wild on you?" At this point, I get very confused. You should have seen the massive leg drop he did on that 19.75" smallie...
 

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I saw a guy beach his yak, climb the nearest logjam and rip his life vest off while screaming. Musta been him.
 

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Hahaha- Every time I fish with him and ask for advice, he says "Say your prayers and eat your vitamins brother". I always convey to him that I don't think this will help me catch fish. He then responds with something like "Whatcha gonna do when Co-Angler runs wild on you?" At this point, I get very confused. You should have seen the massive leg drop he did on that 19.75" smallie...
Yep, I've heard of fish whispering but I hear CoAngler always screams at the fish, “Whatcha gonna do when Hulkamania destroys you?” It just doesn’t help his hook-up ratio at all

I couldn't resist, this is almost as good as Chuck Norris jokes. ;)
 
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