yes all of those fish are released alive back into the river and in a lot of cases in lots better shape then when they were caught. most of the guys that fish in that series have livewells that are 100 gal or more. i m sure doc wouldnt mind showing off his livewell, its more like a swimming pool than a livewell!! the pics you see with the fish in the totes are how they are brought to the scales. the fish go straight from a livewell to the totes and back to the river. same as any other weigh in except that you cant fit 200# of fish in a plastice bag!
There DuraCats tournament fish for the most part, some of them are members that have caught huge fish and sent me the pictures, just wanted people to see some of the outstanding fish that are being pulled from the Ohio River this year.
All these fish are CPR 100%, they are not out of the water for very long, most go from the livewell to the scales to the river in less than 5 min. time, the bigger ones go from the livewells to the scales then a few quick pictures then back into the livewells to keep the stress at a minuimum to them.
Most of us have years of experience at keeping these big fish in great shape, our livewells are very sophisticated with air systems and even O2 systems to help these fish out, these fish go ballistic when you pull them out of the livewells as they don't like leaving there temporary homes, we have never lost a fish even in the hot weather months, most of us want our grandchildren and our grandchildrens children to be fishing for these Monsters after we are gone so keeping them alive and in great shape is a number 1 priority for most of us..................Doc
Thanks for sharing Doc! Seems that all these fish are caught aways downriver from the Cinci area (upper portions of Markland pool). Is that coincidence or is the fishing better the further south you go?
Not sure I know the river seems to be very different down south than up here, lots of wood, both visual and submerged, holes seem to be deeper, and there are humps everywhere along with Islands, they are all over the place, the river has a lot more turns and bends so the current does pick up faster in that area. Blues are more prevalent than the Flatheads, but it seems when you get a good fish on it's a pig, I hear a lot of the guys talking about the 70#ers in that area, also there are a lot more grain barges in those areas down there as a lot of our fish will spit up corn and soybeans, all in all I really like the areas, and there is very little boating traffic, a ton of barges but very few pleasure boaters..............Doc
Thanks for the info, I hope I didn't ruffle your feathers, I wasn't trying to. Have those big blues been common for many years or perhaps it is a sign of the water getting cleaner? It is great to hear how much trouble you guys go to to protect the fishery. The anti-hunting/fishing/trapping people should take note of that!!
You ain't going to ruffle this old dogs feathers, the Blues well they have been around a long time just people are really starting to target them more and more, plus the catch and release has made a big difference, fisherman are feeding them bigger baits,they don't have to work hard for a meal my background was more of Flathead chaser but Lynn and I have been fishing the tournament series for about 5 years and normally we target Blues, I'm still learning the habits of river Blues, Flatheads I got about 20 years of experience Robby Robinson really helped me out when I first started chasing them talk to him you can learn a bunch about Flathead habits, I'm just now starting to learn the habits of the Big Blue cats but I can always learn more good talking to ya, hope you do well on the Ohio................Doc
Thanks for the feedback. I"m sure glad you said you thought it had to do with the nature of the river in that area and not the skills of a certain fisherman in this section of the river . I'm sure on any given day, with the right conditions, a skilled catter can find big fish on any section of the river, you and Lynn have certainly proved that over the years. However the conditions you describe farther south of the cinci area sound like they lend themselves to concentrating and growing bigger fish.
The other thing that you mentioned that I think benefits the entire fishery is the C&R ethic that seems so prevelant amoung river catfisherman. Someone said it and I have to agree " a big fish is to valuable a resource to be caught only once".