In the early morning of May 29, 2012, I met my friend Randy at the Cincinnati Public Landing around 6:30 for my first Drift Fishing experience. Once he had the boat in the water, we headed upriver to net some shad for bait. Once we had the bait we went to our first spot to fish; on the Ky. side below the I-275 Bridge. We had our lines in the water at 7:35, with not much current and the water was clear.
We had a total of 6 rods out; 3 on the bow, my 2 on the back, and one off to the side in the back. With the lack of current, Randy had to use the trolling motor to move the boat. We then had 2 snags which forced us to cut the lines and re-tie. Randy had 2 depth finders fired up, one on the bow so he could keep tabs on the change of the river bottom as he adjusted the reels on the 3 front rods. Then at 8 o’clock Randy hooked the first fish of the day, a nice 5.7 pound channel cat. The fresh cut shad had worked just fine.
At 8:30 the dark rain clouds rolled in, with the wind blowing right up the river. We got all our lines in, as the white caps were getting bigger by the minute. We then headed for the Little Miami River to at least get out of the wind. Both of us had rain gear on so rain was not a major problem. The steady rain lasted for around 30 minutes, and then we got back on the Ohio.
Our next spot was on the Ohio side just above Schmidt’s Ramp. We had no luck there, so he powered up and moved down river a little way just across from Dayton Ky. by the big crane. The sun was back out and Randy started getting a bite. At 12:45 Randy boated the second fish of the day, a small 2 pound channel cat. Fifteen minutes later, Randy's rod got hit, this time it was a blue cat of 7.5 pounds! Once again the wind roared so we headed for the Licking River.
The Licking was just dead (no current at all), so the trolling motor had a workout. We fished up above the 12th Street Bridge for around 20 minutes with no luck so headed back to the Ohio. We began drifting again just below the Water Front restaurant on the Ky. side, just a little up river breeze at that time. The boat drifted all the way down to the I-75 Bridge when we decided to call it a day at 3 o’clock. At least Randy did get some fish into the boat.
I headed home with a lot of new knowledge about how to drift fish. It requires a dependable trolling motor and depth finder for starters. You really have to be alert for the changes in depth to reduce the hang up on snags. I have been told that in order to get big blues, drift fishing is the key. It will require me to go out on more trips to feel comfortable with this type of fishing. It does require a lot of skill to handle a boat and all those rods, especially when you have a big catfish hooked!
Submitted by: Norb Wormald,
Dayton Community News