Slow and finicky Ohio River Sauger on New Year’s Eve

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!


About rickroehm

Since 1988 I’ve been writing and doing service for the Lord. It all began in 1987 after a personal walk began with the Lord. This personal walk with the Lord I speak of turned into extensive Bible studies and later evolved into blogging in early 2000. At present I write, author, and publish several different sites on the Internet. My Blogs contain a vast library of Theological writings, teaching videos, and preaching audios that currently go around the globe for the cause of Christ. I write at Christian Blessings on Wordpress, Holy Hubert Lindsey Group on Facebook, Churches on Trial at Google, publish You Tube videos, record sermons at, etc. I also pastor a Church called the Upper Room in Williamsburg, Ohio . My secular Blog called Southwestern Ohio Fishing on Wordpress is where I write about experiences with my son and fishing partner Chad where we together enjoy Mother Nature’s beauty mixed with Father God’s creation. At Southwestern Ohio Fishing Blog I also publish favorite recipes for those who enjoy eating and cooking as much as this writer does. Thanks for sharing your time and life with this writer at the Blogs. Here's more access to my ministry and fishing Blog if you'd care to check them out further. Bible Truth Christian Blessings Holy Hubert Group Facebook Churches on Trial Hubert Lindsey YouTube videos The Upper Room Southwestern Ohio Fishing Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate it! God Bless!
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4 Responses to Slow and finicky Ohio River Sauger on New Year’s Eve

  1. Nathan says:

    We saw you there (tracker bass boat)–a big skunk for us. Enjoy your blog, thanks for the helpful information.

  2. Jim says:

    Rick, Sorry I missed you at Meldahl friday. I pulled out at 11:00 am just as the wind kicked up. I saw 4 sauger caught between 9 and 11 am. All on a pink(hot orange?) jig tipped with a minnow at the end of the lockwall. I didn’t get a bite in three hours. Send me a pm the next time you go. I’d like to meet you in person. This is a great site for local info. Thanks

  3. Ed says:

    Any info on fishing the warm water discharge area around Beckjord???

    • rickroehm says:

      Beckjord can be awesome especially, if the discharge water is hot. It pulls in the baitfish and the other fish follow. Watch for skipjacks. When skipjacks are there and active, other fish will be close. Catfishermen love this spot year round! Lots of snags, but can reap dividends a certain times. Striper, Sauger, Drum, and Catfish. Lots of current. I’ve never done good when the water isn’t hot. Good Luck and keep us posted. Be safe.

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