My friend, Terry Arcaro and I went to Meldahl Dam (December 31, 2010) looking for some Mid-Winter Sauger action. We had 5 dozen large minnows. When we pulled into the parking lot around 11:00am there were probably 25 empty boat trailers. The River was nice and clear, stable at around 27 feet in Cincinnati, with a strong South wind. The boat ramp was fairly clean (a little muddy) but not too bad. So we launched and headed for the lock entrance.We fished some various spots with no luck at all so we headed over to the wall where most of the boats were congregated. We fished there for a few hours and caught only a few Saugers. Out of all the boats and fisherman present, there were only few Saugers being caught. The water temperature was 36 degrees.
To catch Sauger under these conditions (when you did get bit) the stinger hook was a necessary tool. The few Saugers that were biting were merely “nipping the tails” of the minnow which makes it very difficult to get a hook in these little toothy critters. We missed and lost several Saugers because they just were not taking the bait aggressively. There was no spoon or blade action this trip, nor did we get to bring a mess of fish home.
Terry did make an excellent Turkey sandwich (with mild banana peppers) and a nice pot of “hot” coffee. We enjoyed the 60 degree air on the last day of December 2010, and appreciated the day, just to get out and Sauger fish in Mid-Winter.
One thing I noticed while fishing (on New Year’s Eve) was that there were many injured shad (half alive) floating upside down, everywhere. These shad were approx. 5 inches long and appeared to be very easy meals for these hard to catch and finicky Sauger. After all, two of these nice easy to catch, 5 inch shad would fill the stomach any Sauger for several hours. Please note… bigger food, less feeding, more gaps between the Sauger feeding intervals, and 36 degree water temperature. Simply put, “Sauger feed less often when their meals are bigger and the water is colder”.
Terry and I didn’t fish till dark because the Sauger weren’t biting. So, we enjoyed the nice ride home on the sunny New Year’s Eve. We noticed a big red tail Hawk perched on the power line gallantly watching over one of the fields. We discussed the Hawk. We appreciated the day and enjoyed life. We are looking forward to brighter days in the New Year of 2011.
Thanks for stopping Southwestern Ohio Fishing and please enjoy life while fishing in Ohio. Be careful with Mother Nature and don’t forget about Father God. Have a blessed 2011!