Cooler weather, bass still hot

It wont be long before we are all longing for the warm weather and days with more light.  Even on the north coast of Ohio where the colder weather months reward us with Steelhead fishing and excellent ice fishing opportunities, I still find myself wanting to hold on to every day of ‘T-shirt weather’.  I’ve done an excellent job getting out fishing lately, but only one notable fish worthy of sharing.

CWF09272015lmbAfter countless Bluegill, a good Largemouth Bass

Certain water I fish has an abundance of Bluegill and Pumpkinseed, so much so that it is hard to catch anything else.  If you are persistent and patient, at times you can be rewarded with some nice fish.  This was the case recently when a solid Largemouth Bass showed the panfish who was boss, and beat everyone else to the fly.  Maybe one day I will get good enough to figure out some flies the panfish ignore and only trigger the bass, but for now I enjoy the work of catching everything and the excitement when a fish like this is landed.  My 4 year old son has been joining me and catching plenty of bass on bait, so the bass truly are still very active.  I hope it stays this way for awhile!

CWF09302015bullA surprise bullhead on an olive Woolly Bugger

Anyone who fishes regularly knows what you expect to catch and what decides to bite can be surprising.  This recently proved true for me when a bullhead decided to take my fly.  For whatever reason, even when bottom fishing with bait, I just don’t encounter bullhead often so it was cool to see something different.

Rocky River & Lake Erie from the kayak

CWF09172015Although the nights are starting to get cold, we are still having many very hot days on Ohio’s north coast.  I recently made the most out of one of those days by taking the kayak over to the Cleveland Metroparks and launching out of Emerald Necklace Marina.

I started my day of fishing right at the ramp and was rewarded with a 12″ Largemouth Bass on an inline spinner on the first cast.  This was my first bass from the Rocky River and I had only heard of Smallmouth being caught there, so it was a bit of a surprise.  I decided I would work my way north, fishing as I headed towards Lake Erie.  As easy as the first fish came, I would catch nothing else on my journey to the ‘big pond’.  Out in the lake, the fishing picked up and I caught several Channel Catfish and Freshwater Drum.  I was running a bottom bouncer/worm harness on one rod and casting a tube jig on the other.  I made a few lure changes and was disappointed that I missed a nice strike on a tandem of two Gulp! Minnows.  Maybe another drum, but I hate not knowing.

After getting my fill of the lake, I returned to the river and hooked up with a few more catfish and stumbled upon a new pattern.  I found a spot that I was catching Bluegill on every cast, with a few being worthy of table-fare, if I were keeping.  I will be curious if the spot holds up next trip.

As I headed in, I spotted another fisherman in a well rigged kayak and struck up some conversation.  It turns out it was someone from the CLE Kayak Anglers group I belong to on Facebook, Rusty Butchko.  Rusty knows the river well and was kind enough to share a few tips.  A visit to the Facebook page the next day, revealed that Rusty caught a very nice sized Walleye that evening, too cool!

The Good River

I love rivers.  I often find myself standing in one or on the shore of one.  My mind often drifts into the past, half expecting to see a canoe with native people come around the bend going about their daily work.  As reality sets back in, I embrace the scenery, the wildlife, and a peace comes over me.  I have a deep appreciation that the water still flows present day.  While I may not be fishing to sustain my very existence by the meat I hope to catch, the river provides a salve to my soul and a nourishment I get nowhere else.  To me, that is a ‘good river’, and it is a spiritual connection.

Some time ago, I was fortunate to stumble upon a retailer named “Good River”, who can be found at  I had no idea how well they would capture the way I feel about rivers, outdoors, nostalgia, and Ohio, in a hat(s).  I literally love everything about the company and what they sell.  Great people selling a great product.  In my mind, they operate out of an old Victorian era factory, beside a river that could be in anyone’s hometown.  For me, it is the Sandusky River in Tiffin, Ohio.

Before I completely fade into thoughts of walking around the Heritage Festival in the early 1980’s, I better get right down to the business of why this post was initially inked.  The fine folks at Good River decided to gift me with a custom CWF trucker style baseball cap.  Easily, one of the coolest things to happen since having my website/blog!  I suppose the gift was for supporting them by sporting one of their hats (a de-stressed Ohio fish hat) in so many of my photos, but to me, I am just appreciative to them for making something I love to put on that captures my fishing and Ohio pride.

I love these two photos, my new hat & a picturesque shot of me fly fishing

After getting the new hat, I went down to the Rocky River with it, took some photos and created a new banner for the CWF Facebook Page.  I couldn’t resist getting a little bit of fishing in, but I found no takers.  I’ll blame that on the previous night’s rain, but it could have been that I was distracted taking my cap off to admire it every few minutes.  I rarely go on the record to promote something, but I will say without reservation to go check out the Good River website, I’m willing to bet you will find your new favorite hat.


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