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UPDATE 7-15-2013 If you are needing a CATFISHING guide for the Ohio River in the Cincinnati area here is the guy to contact. Dale Broughton has been a guide on this section of the Ohio River for many years. He knows where the holes that the big cats hang out like the back of his hand.He will work hard to get you some rod bending catfish action. Here is the info to schedule a trip at DALE'S GUIDE SERVICE
I attended a seminar by a local professional catfish guide Dale Broughton back in 2006. This guide works the Ohio River about 15 miles above and below Cincinnati. His information relates to catfishing on bigger rivers such as the Ohio is still valid today
The fishing spot he takes his clients fishing depends on the amount of current in the river. The pool stage for the Ohio at Cincinnati is 26.6 feet. According to him when the river is in pool than catfishing is very poor. He prefers the river to be in the 27 to 28 feet range with some current for the best fishing action. Once the river gets above 30 feet then the current is too strong for good fishing.
When there is some current he prefers to bait with fresh cut bait. The current allows the scent trail to spread all over to the catfish. In low or no Current conditions he uses live bait. The vibrations of the live bait will be pickup by the catfish in quite waters. Skipjacks are the bait fish he prefers for they have a very oily body that produces a excellent scent trail. The big problem is locating the skipjacks to use as bait. Normally you just have to fish for the skipjacks and load up a small cooler. Then get home and bag them for a freezer. Shad are much easier to locate and to catch for a fishing trip. Once a school is spotted just throw out your casting net. He normally makes a couple casts and has his large live well loaded for his client’s trip.
He uses a simple rig of, main line 30 pound mono, 2-4 ounces of sinker, tied to a mono leader of 50 pound test. He prefers a 6/0 to 8/0 octopus circle style hooks. He has FLAT sinker which are great, however they are hard to come by around here.
According to him the catfish will be found in 30 feet or deeper holes, the Garr and other fish usually do not stay in water that deep. Flatheads are home bodies; hang tight to structure such as sunken barges, boulders, and sunken trees. Blue cats like cooler water, stronger current and will suspend.
The action for cats picks up when the water temperature is in the 68-70 degree range. The day time temperatures are much higher in the summer around here. During the summer months, the local pleasure boats forces you to fish at night or early morning around downtown Cincinnati.
He does watch his depth finder for any big changes on the river bottom. To him any sudden change in depth is what he will check out. He really does not depend on marking fish. Since he has spent so many hours on this section of the Ohio River he already knows nearly all the honey holes. He does suggest only checking out the area of the river between New Richmond and North Bend Ohio. Along that stretch of river pay special attention to outside bends of the river. If there is a local heavy rain, check the storm sewers that flow into the river. That stuff washing into the river sets off a dinner bell response to catfish, and they put on the feed bag.
Hopefully, these nuggets of information from a professional catfish guide will put more and bigger catfish at the other end of your line this season.
Tight line to ALL and lots of action.
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