Saturday, July 16, 2011

Why fishing the Tuscarawas River ROCKS!

I must say I enjoy taking my bass boat out to the lake and fish for bass. However, I find this to be a lot of work to load up the boat, hook it up, drive twenty minutes to the lake, put it in the water, troll around, waste gas, hopefully catch a bass or two that are usually between 1-2 pounds, take the boat out of the water, drive twenty minutes home, and then unload the boat….. Man, what a lot of work! So taking a nice hike down the river side, enjoying the landscape and vegetation, and knowing there are some huge monster Northern Pike in there seems to me to be such a better deal.
I have spent the last few years fishing the Tuscarawas River from Canal Fulton to Dover Ohio (which is probably a hundred mile stretch) and have caught some awesome fish! The small mouth bass and the pike are defiantly in there and man do they fight. There are several other types of fish in the river that I don’t really fish for like, rock bass, catfish, and some gigantic carp. Sometimes I will take my kids to the river and they catch rock bass using night crawlers. I have just taken up fly fishing and am getting ready to go on an adventure to catch a huge carp on a fly rod. Don’t worry I will be sure to post on this in the future.

Fishing the river is defiantly different than fishing a lake from a boat. Just understanding the current and the clarity of the water is a major aspect of river fishing. The river changes so frequently. Large trees are always being moved down the river after storms coming through. This is good because it is always creating new environments and hiding places for the fish to find food. I see a lot of people sitting down at the river fishing with live bait. That’s cool if that’s your thing; however I enjoy throwing lures, spinners, and crank baits. If you want to catch the big ones learn to throw lures. You may spend an hour casting over and over, but let me tell you when these monsters hit your lure…. You’ll think it’s worth it.

Huge small mouth catch

This was an exciting catch. I caught this small mouth in the Tuscarawas River outside of Canal Fulton, Ohio at Butter bridge rd. The river was moving rather swiftly due to a few good days of rain. This also made the water pretty murky. I would say the water clarity was about a 3 on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being crystal clear. On days like these I find it important to use black fishing lures, and the nosier the better. The black lure and the contrast of the water make it easier for the fish to see than a bright color lure when the water is murky. I usually use 8lb test line. I can still cast this line rather far and I feel secure it won’t break when landing these hogs. It was also pretty hot out, around 85 degrees and there was no wind.

When fishing the river I fish from the shore line. I cast both up the current, down, and across. Most times fish will face the current waiting for food to flow down the river. Fish like to hide behind rocks, logs, weeds, and whatever else can break the force of the current so they don’t have to use up so much energy fighting the current.
I casted downstream right behind a tree stump and reeled past the stump and that’s when this nice small mouth hit! It came right up out of the water made a sweet splash then dove straight to the bottom. It put up a nice fight, thrashing around and frantic to get away. After landing the fish I was pretty sure this was one old bass. tI first of all probably weighed 4 pounds and its scales were pretty faded. As you can see it had a nasty bloody lesion or cut on its tail, and it had a few scratches and scars on its body. This fish was a warrior that’s for sure. I was happy to release him and hoped he would survive many more days. I enjoy releasing large fish in the hopes of possibly catching them again. J

Friday, July 15, 2011

Learning to Fly Fish

I had an awesome opportunity to learn to fly fish several weeks ago. I met a guy that is an avid fly fisherman, and also a tremendous trainer in many aspects. I wasn’t really interested at first, but I love to fish and figured it might be worth checking out.
He goes by the nickname “Cheezy”, which is very fitting. J He had all of the fly fishing gear I needed and spent an entire morning teaching me how to work this different kind of rig. I don’t want to bore you with the details so let’s get to the good stuff.
                We were fishing in the Tuscarawas River for small mouth bass. It was around 9:30 am some morning in June. The water was nice and calm and about a 6 clarity. After a few hours of throwing some crazy casts I started to get the hang of controlling where the fly would land. I threw a wooly bugger fly upstream and let it slowly ride the current over top of a submerged log…. Then “Bam!” a good size small mouth bass hit the fly hard.

 Wow! Landing a good size small mouth bass on a fly rod is an awesome experience! It is very different from a regular spinning outfit. What a rush and what a great way to instantly get me hooked on fly fishing.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Northern Pike Monster in the Tusc

I have been fishing in the Tuscarawas River right in Massillon for a year or two now. I have just started to figure out the best way to catch Northern Pike there. I just caught this monster last week on a black $.99 spinning lure from Wal-Mart.

The river was a little low and the current was hardly moving. The water clarity was about a 4 on a scale of 1-10… 10 being awesomely clear.  It was over cast, humid, and it rained earlier in the day. So some water was running into the river from the spill way. I caught the Pike right off the current of the spill way. It was a nice fight. Light tackle with 8lb test line. I released it back into the murky depths to fight another day!