We had some pretty typical fall weather for a couple of days here in Northwest Ohio. It rained and we had temps in the high 60's/low 70's. I really wanted to get out today because I had a good hunch that the fish would be pretty active because the cold rain helped raise the river and cool it down as well, providing some good-quality oxygenated water. I grabbed the trusty 8 weight and went out to the Auglaize River to see if my hunch paid off. I noticed right off the bat that the shiners and shad were very active, which was a good sign! I shared the river today with a very nice gentleman who was very informative and very friendly. It sure makes fishing much more fun when you're sharing the river with nice folks. I noticed that there were fish busting the minnows just like striped bass, but my brain didn't compute what they were at first. Of course I didn't happen to have any "minnow-like" flies with me. I only had my Mud Bugs because I was after carp and catfish. I made a couple of casts with a peacock black Mud Bug and immediately caught two freshwater drum. However, these were not the fish actively attacking the minnows. After a few more casts, and a few more fly changes, I started getting hits on my UV black Mud Bug. I landed the first fish after two more casts and discovered the mystery fish. They were crappie! Lots of crappie! I started catching them right and left and the old fly rod was keeping pace with the gentleman using a spinning rod. I lost count after catching 30 of them. Many were nice sized as well. (7-11 inch range.) I also did manage to hook a carp, but he spit out the hook and I was a little disappointed. I also had the biggest channel catfish I've ever seen on the end of my line, but he spit the hook as well. I swear his head was as big as my arm.
All in all, it was a very good day. I don't believe I've ever caught that many crappie before in my life. I wish I would have brought my 6 weight this time though because an 8 weight is a bit overkill for crappie.
I'll leave you with some pictures from the day.
|Auglaize River freshwater drum|
|Typical Auglaize River crappie|
|I'm still a little stumped over this one. I'm not quite sure how I was able to snag a shad.|