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For a couple weeks now when fishing alone I have been using "gasp" live bait quite a bit. I've never been a lure fishing snob but I do usually lure fish ninety percent of the time. We have a little program we do at Little Miami Inc's trail center in Loveland where we catch critters out of the river using either a seine, cast net, or minnow trap. Then after everybody gets a good look at whats in the river we release everything back into the river. Well this was so much fun I decided to do it in my fishing for a week or two just to see how it went. Of course we had record cold so I froze my butt off wading, then up and muddy water but all in all I did pretty good. I caught a dozen small smallmouths, a small carp, maybe thirty nice channel cats and half a dozen flatheads including one fish ohio one in four or five trips. Ive also been amazed at all the cool little critters Ive seined out of the Great and Little Miami's. From flatworms to hellgrammites, crayfish, dragonfly larvae, caddisfly larvae, and dozens of kinds of little fish from darters to shiners. (Lots of golden browns with a bit of orange in most of the darters BTW tube and grub fishers) One day I ran into Deltaoscar and his son while out with the seine. We rigged his son up with a hook and a splitshot up the line 8 or 9 inches and put on a minnow. He proceded to land two shovelheads and two channel cats all by himself in an hour. That's him you see with some fish in the pics. I also found that while catching that much bait (and assorted other critters) every trip was a great learning experience it was a heck of a lot of work and some times it took longer to catch bait than it did to catch something on it. With just like with every other kind of fishing, presentation is the key. I found one of the most effective ways to catch channels was with just a light wire hook and nothing else. I'd wade and flip the unweighted hook with a shiner on it up into a riffle or run and let it sweep back down. The Shovels liked a bigger bait anchored in big bend pools with enough weight to keep it from moving and hanging up. I'll probably work a bit more bait into my fishing in the future just because frankly its fun...















 

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great report stinky! and awesome job to you Deltaoscar on takin your boy fishing!......good stuff
 

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I think it is cool that you found your own bait in the river and were successful in using it! Good job!
 

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Awesome report! I will be referring back to these pics next time I go to tie some flies.

thats a nice flat head ya got there!

I was up in the loveland area the other day and decided to stop in and say hey and talk fishin' with you but the place was locked and you were nowhere to be found.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I was up in the loveland area the other day and decided to stop in and say hey and talk fishin' with you but the place was locked and you were nowhere to be found.
I'm usually there on sundays
 

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So What I've gathered is if I want to have a better chance of catching a flathead then catch some minnows while in the river and the next deeper pool we wade, flip a minnow in an let him sit in hopes a flathead will eat him! OSG when you guys were using the live bait was it ever much of a wait or were fish finding your bait and just gobbling it up right away?


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Nothing wrong with what you're doing there OSG. I sometimes use live bait as well. For example, my friend's catalpa tree was full of worms about a week ago and I gathered a ton of them and froze them. I also frequently cast net shad and use them. My favorite flathead bait is small blue gill. Helgrammites are like candy for smallmouth. The list goes on.

Inserting yourself into the ecosystem by catching natural forage and parlaying that into bigger fish is an act of reverence. In a world full of over marketed artificial baits and gimmicks it's nice to get back to the basics every now and then. It really makes you think about what fish you're catching and why you're catching them at that location.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So What I've gathered is if I want to have a better chance of catching a flathead then catch some minnows while in the river and the next deeper pool we wade, flip a minnow in an let him sit in hopes a flathead will eat him! OSG when you guys were using the live bait was it ever much of a wait or were fish finding your bait and just gobbling it up right away?


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If i am channel fishing i expect action or i move. If im fishing for a big shovel in the right spot, it might take the whole trip to get one bite.
 

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What species of darter do you catch? I have a rainbow darter in my aquarium and she is doing great, the only problem is trying to get it to eat non-live baits.
 

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Annyong!
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The boy really enjoyed catching those catfish, thanks for hooking us up with the minnows. I have never had him use live bait, but after that I may start buying some worms or minnows for him to use.
 

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Slayin' and filletin'
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Another great report and pics to go with it.
 

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Nice report. I have had fun doing the same thing. Sometimes seeing what was in the river was ALMOST as fun as getting a big fish. I can definitely see why a wooly bugger in black or olive does so well.
 

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What species of darter do you catch? I have a rainbow darter in my aquarium and she is doing great, the only problem is trying to get it to eat non-live baits.
Rainbow and greenside darters for sure plus several I'm not 100 percent sure on the ID. The rainbow darters are gorgeous. Lots of golden and brown ones with colored specs. They are such pretty fish.
 

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That's cool!! Who really knows how many species of darters there are; there are at least 20 species on the ODNR website. Some of them look so much alike that if I had them in my hand I might not be able to tell the difference. They’re some really neat looking fish. It’s good to see what’s down there and what your target is eating, heck it’s good just to satisfy curiosity. I’m not a lure snob either but there’s only so much stuff I can carry while wading.

What species of darter do you catch? I have a rainbow darter in my aquarium and she is doing great, the only problem is trying to get it to eat non-live baits.
I’ve been thinking of assembling a riffle species tank…got higher priorities at the moment but I’ll eventually get to it.
 

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That's cool!! Who really knows how many species of darters there are; there are at least 20 species on the ODNR website. Some of them look so much alike that if I had them in my hand I might not be able to tell the difference. They’re some really neat looking fish. It’s good to see what’s down there and what your target is eating, heck it’s good just to satisfy curiosity. I’m not a lure snob either but there’s only so much stuff I can carry while wading.


I’ve been thinking of assembling a riffle species tank…got higher priorities at the moment but I’ll eventually get to it.
I have a 180 gallon planted tank that I am gradually getting into shape, but I am also considering a riffle tank, because darters are really gorgeous fish. I have also come to learn that they are quite intelligent. My darter is always watching for me. The darter is always right next to me when I am vacuuming the bottom of the aquarium. She tries to swim through the glass when I get near the aquarium and I am 100% sure that she will be taking food directly from my hand. All of the members of the sunfish family show such intelligence, but there are many species, such as catfish, that never demonstrate such awareness/intelligence. I think I will have to learn to raise white worms or some other live food if I hope to keep my darter/s fed through the winter.
 

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I found this you tube that really shows the difference in the way darters move and how they prop themselves up on those pectoral fins and just act and look different than most minnows

 

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Sorry for hi-jacking the thread

I think I will have to learn to raise white worms or some other live food if I hope to keep my darter/s fed through the winter.
That’s something that I need to figure out before I get too involved. I’ve had various aquariums before but really a native species, particularly a riffle species tank is what I’m interested in. Like I said earlier, this isn’t quite at the top of my priority list.
I read through this website every once in a while.

http://www.nanfa.org/
 
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