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Old February 22, 2020, 01:45   #1
KoKodog
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river fishing

OK, so we have been getting ready for warmer weather to go to the river in search of larger catfish
& carp, no plans on keeping and eating them just looking for a good fish fight

I have not been river fishing in some time and there are needed changes in my terminal tackle ……. line & hooks mostly

my buddy has been using braided line w/ good results and I will be switching over to braid too, the river has all kinds of crap buried from flooding over at least the last 100 years

now braided line has certain issues that get ugly real quick, mostly cutting flesh to the bone if you are not careful, so 80# test is not to be taken lightly

superior hooks are a must if you really want to land trophy fish, so Gamakatsu Octopus circle hooks are my top choice, mechanically sharpened and chemically honed they stick to everything, yes your fingers too

snelling the circle hooks right to the line is the way to go, so I made hook/line pullers/knot testers out of 5/8” Acetal (Delrin), cut a notch to allow 2/0 & 5/0 hooks, wrapped the rods w/ friction tape to help grab the slippery braided line and put them on a lanyard of 300# test mono w/ crimped loops so you can simply drape the pullers over neck & shoulders so they are always w/in reach







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Old February 22, 2020, 11:04   #2
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[QUOTE=KoKodog;4844445] no plans on keeping and eating them just looking for a good fish fight]QUOTE]

I saw a "Fish fight" while on R&R in the Philippines once. Dangest thing ever!
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Old February 22, 2020, 12:45   #3
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Out here the carp are called squaw fish and the state used to pay you to catch them in certain water bodies. There are places in the snake river you can see schools of squaw fish so big that you can't count them. Water is black with them.Some guys use a bow to harvest them.

My brother fishes the Snake river for catfish and they are huge. Batter them in a beer batter and deep fried it's a meal for a king. He doesn't throw the body away, uses the body for crab bait in his crab rings. Seals won't steal the bait out of your crab rings when you use catfish carcasses.

We have big fish out here.
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Old February 22, 2020, 13:35   #4
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back in the 70's 80's I worked w/ a guy that did a lot of bowfishing for carp in the spring when they would make their spawning run, they would fill two 55 gallon drums with carp and when they got back to the boat launch they had all kinds of help to unload

he only kept the roe and had a recipe for something close to crab cakes that he liked, he gave away the carp after he took the roe and sometimes fights would break out over the free fish
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Old February 22, 2020, 13:37   #5
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Now post a few pics with some lunkers OP!
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Old February 22, 2020, 13:45   #6
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Interesting info about your tackle.
Here's the sort of river fishing I'm familiar with:

https://www.falfiles.com/forums/show...ighlight=river
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Old February 22, 2020, 15:27   #7
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well the river here is the Susquehanna River and the stretch in our area can be a mile wide and a foot deep in the summer

there are places that always have deep holes where the rock has been carved out by the current, I have seen guys wet wading in ankle deep to knee deep water and take a extra step and their hat is floating because there is a 14 foot deep hole there

up at Millersburg you have the ferry wall that gets pushed up every year so the historic ferry can run thru the summer, my buddy Jim the pig farmer often does side work for his uncle and he has been out on the river w/ a CAT 30 ton track hoe and the guy from DEP tells him if he can put it up to build the wall go for it and he has put car sized rock into the wall, there is always someone fishing the ferry wall

there is the inflatable fabric dam farther up river at Sunbury, again always someone fishing there

lots of rock formations on the river between the mountains where the river carved thru and that is Musky territory if you have the patience

once you get down river to Harrisburg it really opens up and the Dock Street Dam backs up water to the Rockville Bridge

most places on the river hold decent levels of nice sized smallmouth bass, I have caught some up to 24" long and released them to fight another day

I only fish from the bank, never had a boat for the river and it really is unforgiving if you screw up, lots of lives have been lost to the river as it changes daily
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Old February 22, 2020, 17:49   #8
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I only fish from the bank, never had a boat for the river and it really is unforgiving if you screw up, lots of lives have been lost to the river as it changes daily
We were never afraid of the river; we respected it and took precautions as needed I guess. I remember having to wear one of the orange "life vests" as times in the boat while on the river as a kid. I can't recall any real close calls in the boat. Mostly it was just fun and adventure for a kid like me.
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Old February 22, 2020, 20:39   #9
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We were never afraid of the river; we respected it and took precautions as needed I guess. I remember having to wear one of the orange "life vests" as times in the boat while on the river as a kid. I can't recall any real close calls in the boat. Mostly it was just fun and adventure for a kid like me.

not so much a fear of the river but more of a very healthy respect for it

I have seen it well above flood stage numerous times

first time was June 1972, Hurricane Agnes showed up and kicked serious ass

river crested at Harrisburg @ 32.5 feet and thats 15 feet above flood stage, 19 inches of rain fell over 5 days

but the river does hold promise for some decent size fish, one friend had caught a 30" channel catfish
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Old February 22, 2020, 23:05   #10
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Bow fishing carp on the river is "da bomb" bro. Try it once and you'll be hooked.
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Old February 22, 2020, 23:07   #11
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Bow fishing carp on the river is "da bomb" bro. Try it once and you'll be hooked.
Heh, heh...he said "hooked". I saw what you did Mike!
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Old February 23, 2020, 00:56   #12
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Did ya'll know that carp were purposely introduced from Europe as a food and game fish? They're one of the first invasive species brought in by settlers.
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Old February 23, 2020, 09:40   #13
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Did ya'll know that carp were purposely introduced from Europe as a food and game fish? They're one of the first invasive species brought in by settlers.
Seems like I've heard that before, thanks for the reminder easttex. My Dad and his fishing pals once came home from a long weekend fishing trip with nothing but a big load of carp (crap?). The catfish just hadn't been biting so they brought home what they did catch. One of Dad's co-workers at ALCOA had a "recipe" or technique for cooking carp in a pressure cooker and the result was supposed to be like canned salmon, or tuna. Nope. As I recall, that was some nasty shit and practically inedible.
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Old February 24, 2020, 11:53   #14
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When I traveled with my work it cost too much to drive home every weekend so I would go fishing at what ever lake,river or stream had fish in it. When the family came to visit my wife brought a friend for the daughter to have along to give us privacy.

What fun it was dressing up a line and getting it in the water for the kids to catch their fish. Some places I never got to fish myself as the kids kept me busy with all their fish. At the end of the day we would take the cleaned fish and put a slice of butter and a wedge of lemon in the belly of it then cook it over a BBQ. Wrapped in tinfoil the skin stuck to it and so the meat of the fish was easy to seperate from the bones.

When I was on my own I did dangerous stupid shit when fishing but it was fun and exciting compared to the hard grueling work. I love fishing.
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Old February 24, 2020, 12:21   #15
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Well there is carp and then there is "carp" as in "Buffalo carp".

The regular carp we called grass or Asian carp growing up. I think it was introduced to feed on hydrillia(sp). Don't know the history of "Buffalo Carp", commonly just called "buffalo fish" down in Louisiana.

The only thing.....well maybe not the "only" thing is that Buffalo carp when cut up right and battered and deep fried would push any other fish off the table!

That is damn good fried fish!
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Old February 24, 2020, 12:43   #16
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I was thinking back on one of many fishing adventures I went on and it was the river from Minamto Wallowa in North east Oregon. Beautiful fast water with big big fish that put up a good fight. River followed the road for 16 miles so it was easy to move spot to spot and my friend that worked with me had a bet on biggest fish.

So we hit a good spot and the wedding ring spinners with a worm on the hook was like a gun shooting them. Partner had one one that took some time to reel in on his little trout pole and just as soon as he pulled it out of the water to brag he caught the biggest fish it gave two flops and fell of the hook.

Along the river we came across a dead man who drown and floated to an island in the river. Found out later that he was in his 80s and wanted one last fishing trip before he checked out. He got his wish.
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Old February 24, 2020, 12:50   #17
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Along the river we came across a dead man who drown and floated to an island in the river. Found out later that he was in his 80s and wanted one last fishing trip before he checked out. He got his wish.
A true hardcore fisherman! He went out the way he probably wanted.

Not many years after my Dad passed, my Uncle Elzy, his brother-in-law and fishing buddy, told me that after Dad started having heart trouble and was told to take it easier, he had told Elzy that he would rather die from climbing that river bank than sitting in a recliner at home. He loved to fish too. But he died at home, not fishing.
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Old February 24, 2020, 13:49   #18
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I can't forget that old skinny man laying on that island looking face up toward god. In prime fishing area with fresh water rushing past. A beautiful sunny day in a perfect spot in the world. Most of us will never go out that way, god must have really loved him.

That constant drone of running water against the riverbank. The sun dancing like fire mesmerizing you as you watch it shimmer or rush past you. The freshness and clarity of the water as it cleans everything it touches. Heck I don't even need to catch anything to love fishing but it really adds to the prize, yep its winning a prize to be out fishing.
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Old February 27, 2020, 22:46   #19
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so my buddy was bitching that last year he ripped the bait out of the mouth of so many fish and he lost them, said he had to wait and wait and let the fish run, so a comparison was in order .......

#2 octopus red & 2/0 octopus circle I can see why the circle is better for a set line & the regular octopus is better for on a rod & reel

I have used the regular octopus hooks for years, snelled onto the main line and with a long tag end about a foot long to crimp split shot to, never had a problem setting the hook on any size fish

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Old February 28, 2020, 10:53   #20
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Could not find the placard I had in mind, so this one will have to do

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Old February 28, 2020, 19:59   #21
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I caught these minnows last September

I got 3 that day. * feet, 7 feet and a 5 footer. All were released as they are protected.





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Old February 29, 2020, 00:11   #22
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I've already been to the dark side, took this guy on the Alagnak River on a 7 weight fly rod and a Clouser minnow

48" length, 28" girth & tail fanned out to 12"


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Old February 29, 2020, 20:18   #23
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Old March 04, 2020, 09:40   #24
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Ok, so My buddy stopped by on Sunday and I got to talk w/ him at length about him pulling bait out of the fishes mouths



It seems he was using cut bait (he filleted a carp) but he described huge chunks that he was using for big catfish, even a 5/0 hook was hidden deep & that’s why he lost so many fish



He knocked the scales off of it before he filleted but left the skin on so it would stay hooked



I told him the chunks need to be at least half the size or smaller and he needs to salt the fillets to toughen them up, he said he froze the extra and it’s ok letting it thaw at least overnight but turns total mush if you immerse the bag in warm water to speed up thawing



Anyone salt cut bait to toughen it up? I told him not to use regular table salt but I have Himalayan mineral salt (pink) and it should do much better
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Old March 05, 2020, 08:09   #25
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Ok, so My buddy stopped by on Sunday and I got to talk w/ him at length about him pulling bait out of the fishes mouths



It seems he was using cut bait (he filleted a carp) but he described huge chunks that he was using for big catfish, even a 5/0 hook was hidden deep & that’s why he lost so many fish



He knocked the scales off of it before he filleted but left the skin on so it would stay hooked



I told him the chunks need to be at least half the size or smaller and he needs to salt the fillets to toughen them up, he said he froze the extra and it’s ok letting it thaw at least overnight but turns total mush if you immerse the bag in warm water to speed up thawing



Anyone salt cut bait to toughen it up? I told him not to use regular table salt but I have Himalayan mineral salt (pink) and it should do much better
Table salt, Kosher salt, pink salt...doesn't make a difference in this application, IMHO.

Fresh is better, salt before you freeze. Even fresh shad you're gonna keep for 12+ hours is better salted.

5/0 isn't a huge hook for catfish - targeting blues, channel or flathead?
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Old March 05, 2020, 12:31   #26
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mostly channel catfish is what we will find

plenty of carp too, know guys that treat them like freshwater bonefish on the fly rod in the summer, they tail just like bonefish

tiger musky hold well in the river here, fish commission began stocking them decades ago as a control measure for panfish overpopulation and there are huge tiger musky when you can tie into one 48" to 60"

shad do turn up on occasion, fish commission ran a restart program for years, I have not caught any but guys tell me they fight damn well

there is excellent smallmouth bass fishing here too, special zones and harvest rules, but I release all my fish as a rule
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Old March 05, 2020, 13:41   #27
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I got 3 that day. * feet, 7 feet and a 5 footer. All were released as they are protected.





auggiedoggie, what kind of fish are those? Some kind of catfish?
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Old March 05, 2020, 16:48   #28
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Texgunner, those are sturgeon, as a species they are about 200 Million years old

there are numerous (27 ??) sub-species and can be found in many rivers across North America

Beluga found in Asia can reach 2500 pounds but over harvesting for the roe (eggs for Caviar) has decimated the numbers to near extinction

there are great lakes runs of sturgeon and I am sure they are protected most places here on the North American continent

some places you can fish for them but are not allowed to remove them from the water, similar to the rules for giant groper fish in Florida
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Old March 05, 2020, 17:14   #29
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Me, my next door neighbor, and sometimes 1 or 2 other friends catfish the Ohio frequently through the summer. Usually back the boat in the water just as the sky starts to gray (5-ish) and call it quits around 9 am to beat the heat. Back home, fish cleaned, everything put away before lunch time!

Here is a 22# blue cat a buddy caught a couple years ago in his 18' War Eagle, which may become my War Eagle this summer. I actually hope he does not sell as I want him to keep fishing, but he has mentioned selling it several times over the past year. I don't really care if he keeps it or I buy it, I just want him to keep fishing. We do have an agreement that no one can own it but me or him if he does sell it



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Old March 05, 2020, 17:53   #30
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Texgunner, those are sturgeon, as a species they are about 200 Million years old

there are numerous (27 ??) sub-species and can be found in many rivers across North America

Beluga found in Asia can reach 2500 pounds but over harvesting for the roe (eggs for Caviar) has decimated the numbers to near extinction

there are great lakes runs of sturgeon and I am sure they are protected most places here on the North American continent

some places you can fish for them but are not allowed to remove them from the water, similar to the rules for giant groper fish in Florida
You know, I thought that was a sturgeon but having only seen one in a big aquarium in Dallas years ago, I wasn't sure. Seems like the one on display there had come from the Mississippi River. Thanks for the clarification Koko.
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Old March 05, 2020, 21:40   #31
KoKodog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texgunner View Post
You know, I thought that was a sturgeon but having only seen one in a big aquarium in Dallas years ago, I wasn't sure. Seems like the one on display there had come from the Mississippi River. Thanks for the clarification Koko.

first time I ever saw one in person was at the NY state hatchery at Atmar where they do salmon coming up the salmon river from Pulaski and the sturgeon was only 6" long, a far cry from how big they can get coming up the rivers from Lake Ontario
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Old March 17, 2020, 14:11   #32
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getting everything together to soon go fishing ......

not sure if I will see a lot of others fishing by the river with this isolation crap going on, might be crowded or might be no one in sight, we will see .......
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Far better it is to dare mighty things,
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that know neither victory, nor defeat.
Teddy Roosvelt

Pray for peace, but prepare for war.
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Old March 31, 2020, 12:21   #33
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found a damn good hack to snell a hook and keep from having a length of line laid over the top of the snell



__________________
Far better it is to dare mighty things,
than to take refuge with those timid spirits
that know neither victory, nor defeat.
Teddy Roosvelt

Pray for peace, but prepare for war.
Winston Churchill
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Old April 07, 2020, 17:03   #34
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the red spray can straw is a bit small in inside diameter so I purchased a 12” x 1/8” brass tube from Amazon, scored around w/ a file & snapped it at 6”, filed burrs and flagged both tubes w/ neon green Gaffers tape to easily find





__________________
Far better it is to dare mighty things,
than to take refuge with those timid spirits
that know neither victory, nor defeat.
Teddy Roosvelt

Pray for peace, but prepare for war.
Winston Churchill
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