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Question for the guru's!

Discussion in 'Ohio River Fishing Reports' started by rockbass, Jul 12, 2004.

  1. rockbass

    rockbass Banned

    Hey guys,

    I am new to boat fishing in a way. I am young and somewhat dumb you could say. (only 23) I just purchased my first boat other than the jon boat I had. it is a 12 foot v bottom with 10 horse motor. you know, I just purchased my first home this past winter and all that. I am starting out in the real world after renting since I graduated high school. So naturally, I do not have the cash flow to buy a bigger/better boat such as Doc and Larry's that I have seen at the Cripple Creek outings. My question is, would my boat be safe to use in the Ohio??? I would like to fish for bass and cats. Though it would be a while for me to scout the area for good cat spots. I mean I am a Ohio River virgin. I want to fish it, but am not sure if my boat can handle it. I have heard bits about barges and stuff and wondered how bad it is. Any info you guys can give me is great. I know you guys will help me out.

    Oh yeah, I am a fisherman. Practice catch and release and don't leave trash behind. What I am getting at is you don't have to worry about me screwing up the water way that you guys are so familiar with. Thanks ahead of time! :)
  2. mrfishohio

    mrfishohio Recovering Fishaholic

    I would not recomend a 12' boat on the Ohio. You could get by most of the time in it, but sometimes it's not going to be enough. You could stay in creeks & backwaters like Eagle Creek & be fine. On a windy day & lots of traffic & a barge, you might get into trouble on the big water. If the wind blows up or down a good stretch, then it can be treacherous, big waves, maybe not like Erie, but sometimes everyone has to come off the water. I've seen them 3-4' and it was scary. :eek:

  3. what part of the ohio river do u want to fish
  4. Doctor

    Doctor CJ Cat Attack Pack


    I wouldn't recomend a 12 footer handling the river but you maybe able to just above the Pike Island dam, very little boat traffic in that area and the barges are slowing down as they approach the locks, you would really have to watch it, mainly you have to watch the barge wash, we don't get rocked much on that pool but if the mixture of wind and barges were to come into affect it could be hazardous.

    Very few creeks in that area that you could duck into if it gets hairy, but only you would know how your boat would handle it, being a first time boater I would suggest that you stick to some lakes and such till you get the feel of your boat and how it handles on the water, my old boat was 16 foot and Larry's is 16 foot and they handle the water with no problem.

    I have seen some 10 footers out there that you wouldn't catch me in but those guys seem to handle it well. Experience and time on the water is your best teacher.......Doc
  5. UFM82

    UFM82 The one others want to be

    I have seen 12 footers with good high sides and some that look like a canoe. You could very easily fish "the Ohio" if you use your head. Tributaries, backwaters, etc. would all be fair game in a boat that size. I wouldn't venture out on the main with a small boat like that simply due to visibility, especially after dark. You're just too small. I could see getting run over by a pleasure boater in a boat that small.

    Even the mouths of the tribs would be OK and they can be hot spots. Just pay attention to what is around you and be careful. The current is the big equalizer on the river and can't be played with. Even a 1 mph current can cause problems if you get into trouble.

    Be careful and attentive and you should be OK. Don't overload the boat and keep your life saving gear either on or very handy.


    Been on big water in a Crawdad- it was fun, but a little scary.
  6. mrfishohio

    mrfishohio Recovering Fishaholic

    I used to have a deep-V 14' Lowe line boat. It was rock solid, i used to fish Brookville with it alot...20HP Merc. On a real busy day (Sunday) it gets roclking out there. The problem with the small boat is I would ride the waves vs. cutting the waves. So I had to run just over idle speed & get rocked hard the whole time. Took it on the river & fished saugers in the locks too. I also had a 12' (shallow-V)with a 10 hp and stayed in CC most of the time. Compared to the 14', it's a world of difference.
    Take Doc's advice....get some experiance boating before you venture into treacherous water.
    The Ohio River is something like Lake Erie, just depends where you are and the conditions for what is safe and what is not safe.
  7. You have been given some very sound advice from obviously experienced folks.
    Pay special attention to the warnings. A 12 footer is easy to tip and rivers are
    treacherous bastards with hidden dangers.
  8. rockbass

    rockbass Banned

    Thanks a lot guys I would fish near Steubenville. That would be the closest place as far as I know for me. Also being that I am not familiar with the Ohio, that is the only place I know of without searching.

    I was on it one other time in the area. I can't remember the name of the ramp though. I was in a 12 foot boat that time.

    When I say I am new to boating, I mean I am new to owning my own boat. I have fished out of boats since I was younger.

    The day when I was on the Ohio, it was nice and calm and no barges. So from that experience, I would be safe. I know that is not always the case. That is why I asked the experts :eek:

    Another question for you guys: If I am on the Ohio, do I need to have a West Virginia liscense to fish on the that side of the river? or in the tribs on that side?
  9. Procraftboats21

    Procraftboats21 Original OGF Member

    OH and W.V have an agreement where you dont need a W.V license to fish the W.V side of the river. I'm not sure about tribs though.
  10. in the tribs you need a wv licence out in the river you don't
    i believe they use the pool level mark for where the river ends and a trib starts
  11. bassman23

    bassman23 Da Fishpimp

    You can fish West Virginia tribs up to the first dam. From the ODNR's fishing regs page:

    Ohio and West Virginia will honor the other state’s fishing licenses along their common borders on the mainstem of the Ohio River, including its banks and embayments and tributaries to the first dam or riffle. This agreement applies to Ohio and West Virginia residents only.