View Full Version : Sauger on the Ohio River 12/15

M R Dux
12-15-2017, 06:10 PM
Justin (Finiman) from the Indiana Forum had been promising me he would let me know when water conditions and the sauger bite were good to go. I havenít sauger fished the big rivers in 25+ years and wasnít very successful then.

Rickie had been chomping at the bit to go so when Justin made the call, I asked if I could bring a straggler. No problem.

We made the 2 hour drive in below freezing temps and then ended up in a riverside corn field when my GPS decided it had a sense of humor. After a couple of rescue calls, we met Justin at the ramp.

We got to the dam as daylight was just breaking. A quick tutorial from Justin got us ready to drop some medium minnows over the side. Rickieís 1st fish came about 10 seconds later. 282975

The action was crazy for the 1st hour. I was honestly afraid we would limit out before we got the chance to soak up all the sights and smells of the Ohio. We had boats all around us but everyone was very considerate. We even shared a conversation with another Crappie.com member who is a long-time visitor to this particular area of the Ohio. 282976282977

The action slowed at our 1st stop so Justin suggested we try a different tactic and area close-by. We visited with the occupants of boats all around us and I never heard a cross word or complaint about you got my spot or youíre too close to my boat. There were times 2 boats were landing fish just a spit distance apart while drifting down the river in a complete raft of boats of all makes and sizes. This was fishing cooperation at its finest. 282978282979

Justinís boat handling was superb and we kept adding to the box. The double minnow rigs worked great. Lots of boats around us were using large jigs with plastics or minnows and stinger hooks. Our boat was putting as many fish in the box as anybody else and just before 1PM we put #30 keeper in the box. One that I had caught earlier was tagged.

It was by far the best day Iíve ever had sauger fishing in winter. Thanks Justin. 282980

Sent from my iPhone using Crappie.com Fishing mobile app (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=87936)

12-15-2017, 06:27 PM
Totally awesome day! Thanks for sharing ! Congrats on 3 man limit

12-15-2017, 06:28 PM
That's a great trip!! Super report and some equally good table fare. Thanks Dux!!

12-15-2017, 06:30 PM
You guys were in my back yard, should have said hello at least

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

12-15-2017, 06:30 PM
Great day. I sure wish we could still fish the wall up at Meldahl dam.

12-15-2017, 06:59 PM
Was a great day with some good friends and even better that the fish cooperated!!!

ET Fish
12-15-2017, 07:04 PM
Great report! That’s some fishing that I hope to learn! My only Sauger have been “accidents”.

12-15-2017, 07:05 PM
Very nice trip indeed! Congrats!

12-15-2017, 07:19 PM
Awesome day on the Ohio!

12-15-2017, 07:19 PM
Great looking sauger. Lots of good eating there. I have to admit that I like sauger and walleye better than crappie. Please don't ban me for that :pray.

12-15-2017, 07:25 PM
OMG what fun this trip was ...!!

Doug sure was the trooper today ... Near walking pneumonia - 5 stitches in one thumb - and slammed the other thumb in the truck door before he picked me up ... Geezsh ...

Thanks Justin for a very memorable day ...


12-15-2017, 07:27 PM
That is a good day. Trips like that make the winter a lot better. In my opinion the sauger/walleye are about the best to eat.

12-15-2017, 07:44 PM
Looks like a good time,nice catch!

Cane Pole
12-15-2017, 08:01 PM
Large time......

12-15-2017, 08:02 PM
Great pictures and sounds like great fellowship too

Sent from my iPad using Crappie.com

12-15-2017, 08:02 PM
Toothy critters are next in line to the crappie for me. Nice post!

Sent from my Z983 using Tapatalk

12-15-2017, 09:12 PM
Great post M R Dux. Thanks for the pics. Way to tough it out. Funny how pain lessens when the fish are biting. Glad y'all had a great trip.

12-15-2017, 10:14 PM
Nice catch and 3 limits to boot. Awsome fellowship with friends to what a way to spend the day

12-15-2017, 11:13 PM
Nice post, MrDux.

12-16-2017, 05:44 AM
Wow....what a great trip....i had been wondering what you guys were up to....it had gotten mighty quiet over on the KY board.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Crappie.com Fishing mobile app (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=87936)

12-16-2017, 05:56 AM
Great trip, thanks for sharing.

12-16-2017, 06:40 AM
Great post, I have been wanting to learn sauger fishing. Glad you all had a big time.

Sent from my iPhone using Crappie.com

12-16-2017, 07:31 AM
Sounds like it was a good time, thanks for the pictures and enjoy your fish dinner

Erin Brewer
12-16-2017, 08:09 AM
That looks like a sure nuff fun fishing trip!

Sent from my iPhone using Crappie.com

12-16-2017, 09:21 AM
That's awesome

M R Dux
12-16-2017, 09:25 AM
OMG what fun this trip was ...!!

Doug sure was the trooper today ... Near walking pneumonia - 5 stitches in one thumb - and slammed the other thumb in the truck door before he picked me up ... Geezsh ...

Thanks Justin for a very memorable day ...


This week was one for the books---the books that need to be in the garbage. There is some sort of breathing/sinus bug going around and my wife and I have both got it. I've coughed till my ribs are sore to the touch. Thursday night I was coughing so bad I ended up in the recliner in the living room with a cat in my lap for the 2 hours I was able to sleep. My wife needed sleep worse than I did. I was up before the 3 AM alarm went off. I had to pick up a couple of rods at my son's house and when I opened the truck door, the wind blew it back mashing the crap out of my right thumb nail. Might as well have matching sore thumbs!

Having guided waterfowlers for over 20 years and now fishing clients, it's easy to lose the excitement of the hunt/fishing like I had as a young adult. I had a conversation with a client a few years ago that put it into perspective. He said he had been so excited about our hunt that he barely slept for a couple of nights prior to the hunt. That made me realize that a trip like that is probably the highlight of that young man's hunting season but it was just another day at the office for me. Then and there I swore I would never again treat any client trip as "another day at the office". Each should be worthy of my maximum effort. There's nothing I can do about results much of the time. Some days the birds don't fly or the fish bite. I will never be guilty of putting out minimum effort, regardless of how bad conditions are, unlikeable clients who I have zero in common with, or just days I'd rather be at the shop.

That said, I was truly excited for days about the chance to fish with Justin with Rickie along. Let me tell you about my first meeting with Justin; he and a friend had booked a crankbait trip with me in September. This was in the time frame I had just noticed my boat was leaking and had started the repair process on the old hull while the new Excel was being built. I had taken the boat back to the factory but when I picked it up, both the factory folks and I had failed to make sure it was running before I trailered it the 5 1/2 hours home. When I turned the key----crickets!!! Dead as a hammer. Bill at Big River Marine spent 3 hours on the phone with me but we couldn't make it run. I cancelled a trip a day later and gave the clients their deposit back. My trolling motor was working fine so when I met Justin and Kenny at the dock at Sportsman's Resort, it told them the trip was on me since I couldn't take them anywhere but near the marina in Jonathan Creek. If they wanted to cancel then and there, I had their deposit ready to hand back to them. They had traveled down and stayed at Sportsman's and I felt terrible about my situation. They decided to go ahead with the trip but I could see they were disappointed.

We trolled out toward the mouth of Jonathan and I showed them how, why, where, when, you name it about what I knew about pulling cranks. They caught on quickly and we started putting fish in the box. Kenny hooked and Justin landed a 60 pound Bighead Carp that we spent what seemed like 10 minutes following around the bay. While the carp may have been the highlight of the trip, we ended up with a respectful number of decent crappie in the box. They both seemed excited about the trip and insisted on paying me my normal fee.

Justin and I talked at length that day about sauger fishing and I left no doubt I would love to come up to Hoosier land and fish the Ohio with him when he said the word. We also kept in touch about crappie fishing and pretty often he would send me a text question about pulling cranks or longlining jigs. He has been able to take what he picked up on our crappie trip and some suggestions from me and has been doing very well on crappie in his area. He's also keeping Mitch at PICO Lures busy painting cranks.

SO. My excitement about our sauger trip just reinforced some things for me. First, my efforts on my client trips can go a long way to helping others become better fishermen and that in turn means folks like PICO, Southern Crappie Rods, Shakespeare Reels, etc, etc get new customers for the products the clients used on my boat. Secondly, other than a couple of clients, I feel I meet the clients as business customers but gain them as new friends and that in itself makes what I do worthwhile.

Justin will be coming back down as soon as my longline/planer board bite cranks up so he can learn some new tricks and some more tackle companies can gain a new customer. I'm excited to be able to fish with him again. Life is good.

Javelin 180
12-16-2017, 10:17 AM
What a great post looks like y'all had a great time congratulations

12-16-2017, 11:10 AM
Congrats buddies. Glad you made it there and back. Better let rickie do the filleting big guy. 😳😂

12-16-2017, 01:58 PM
That was just a fun and great story to read. Enjoy the eating! Thanks for sharing.

12-16-2017, 01:59 PM
Congrats buddies. Glad you made it there and back. Better let rickie do the filleting big guy. ����

He wouldn't let me ...

I was left with de-rib-boning ...


12-16-2017, 06:03 PM
Congrats on a great trip!

12-16-2017, 08:18 PM
Thanks guys for posting. Sounds like everyone had a great time.

M R Dux
12-16-2017, 08:21 PM
I couldnít resist folks. They tasted as good as they look. Plenty more where those came from. 283090

Sent from my iPhone using Crappie.com Fishing mobile app (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=87936)

12-16-2017, 09:06 PM
Congrats on an awesome trip. Nothing better on a cold, blustery day!!

12-17-2017, 05:33 PM
Great trip

Sent from my iPhone using Crappie.com