Jump to content
OzarkAnglers.Com Forum
Sign in to follow this  
Johnsfolly

Finally Fishing in 2019

Recommended Posts

During the winter I always look to coldwater fishing to start the year off right. In Missouri that usually meant a run down to the Current, Eleven Point, Little Piney rivers or even hit the C&R at Bennett's or Montauk. Even the urban trout program would be an outlet to be catching something and after Feb 1 would mean a few fresh fish dinners. Living in Columbia that would mean any where from 100 to 180 miles one way just to get to fish. Even with the drive I would most likely get into a bunch of active fish, mostly trout, but also sculpin, shadow bass, pickerel, rock bass, and others that live in those cooler waters all year round. Here in Maryland I have the same thought process. Look for cold water action, either ice fishing or trout stream or river fishing. I don't know if this is a typical year, but it has been warm (40's) throughout the winter thus far. So there are no safe ice fishing opportunities yet. Through Jan so far there has been at least one heavy rain event every week of the month. Mostly they have occurred on Friday or Saturday, which blows out the trout streams. So I have been watching You Tube videos from the Gunpowder river, a tailwater river that I fished last year on one of my early trips out to MD before we moved here (it rained then as well). I hadn't fished by the dam, instead fished at a lower access and caught a couple of stream bred brown trout on that trip.

I also dug into the fishing regulations and found that in MD artificial baits do include soft plastic baits that are unsecented. the guys in the You Tube videos were using small crappie jigs and catching browns. The Gunpowder is a C&R river in it's upper stretches up to the dam. So this week the rain came on Thurs and pushed the gage height on the Gunpowder up by 4 feet, but it was dropping just as fast. Yesterday I packed my gear and went up there to fish. As i pulled in at 7:30 (its 100 miles from my house), the sun was coming up and there was fog lifting off of the river below the dam. There was one other car at the top of the dam. I got my gear together and rigged a tandem bait rig with a pearl bobby garland shad on a 1/32 oz jig head and a green pumpkin slider with a chartreuse paddle tail also on a 1/32 oz jig head and headed down the 220 steps to the observation level and then down the steep bank to the river below the dam.

 

20190127_075149.jpg

20190127_084251.jpg

Water was still running about a12 to 18 inches higher than normal. The area that you can fish this pool is not very big and two guys were already there. So I started fishing closer to the tail end of the pool. I could see a few rock piles and structure out ahead of me and made several casts with the crappie tandem rig. No bites, but I found quite a bit of unseen structure that I got hung into. I ended up breaking off the tandem rig when I got into a fallen tree top. I switched to a 1/8 oz silver Johnson slimfisher spoon. With the water flow I put a split shot about 12 inches above the spoon. That still didn't get me deep enough. I put on another about 4 inches closer to the bait and cast out into an eddy near the other bank. It didn't take long and I had my first fish of the day and year on the line, a feisty brown trout.

20190127_084144.jpg

Not very big by Missouri standards, but an average sized brown for this river. I put on another split shot and cast into that same eddy and caught another brown. The guys next to me had not caught a fish all morning on the plastic worms and crappie jigs, They got bites, but no fish. After my second brown the one guy put on a spoon as well. As I was landing my third brown trout out of that eddy (again after I put on another split shot) I saw them heading back up the hill to the cars. I moved into their spot closer to the deeper water by the dam. I switched reels to my 6# nanofil reel and a small floating jerkbait. Nothing. I made the switch to one of Duane's (@duckydoty) rainbow trout jerkbaits (the bottom one from the photo). I made several casts and then got hung in old fishing line.

20180902_122626.jpg

The line cut me off and I was heartbroken. I did switch back to the 4# Pline reel and put back on the spoon. I caught three more browns, including this one which was the last fish of the day.

20190127_094921.jpg

I had a bittersweet trip. Happy to have finally caught some fish, but bummed about losing one of Duane's baits. Then the precarious hike climb back to the observation level and the 220 steps to the car. I will definitely be back to this river more often in the upcoming weeks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice job buddy!  Thats a bummer about the jerkbait, but I know a guy who makes those! :)  Water looks fast and dark, will be interesting to see it once it settles down.  Looks like you found a cool place and caught some fish, cant go wrong with that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is also a species of sculpin common to this river that I have not caught yet. So you know that will bring me back here as much if not more so than catching more trout. I have seen one 30 inch brown caught from this river by one of the guys that works for me. Not as fat as @JestersHK Taneycomo giant. May have only been 15+ lbs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's pretty cool,  it's interesting to hear of places where breeding populations of trout have established themselves.  Pretty neat to hear there are some bigguns in there too.  

There's some pretty realistic soft plastic sculpin swimbaits out there, don't know if they'd work for trout, but you'd think they would.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Quillback said:

There's some pretty realistic soft plastic sculpin swimbaits out there, don't know if they'd work for trout, but you'd think they would.

QB I'm sure that they would be effective in this river. I have to find some of the bigger an deeper pools along it's length and fish those for the bigger browns. As SIO3 mentioned that pool by the dam seems to have it's share of old lines, brush and rocks. I will have to fish through that maze of hang ups to fish it effectively.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Man if they have sea monsters in there too I will def have to try and make it out there.  John once you get the lay of the land you should try fishing the other half of the day LOL! Have headlamps, will travel, just sayin :)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.