The Ohio River is at its best fishable condition right now with a reading of 17 feet in front of Portsmouth. That’s summer pool depth. The river doesn’t get much lower than that, provided there’s not an extended drought from Pittsburgh along the 380-mile stretch from there down to here.
Fishermen casting the tailwaters of the Greenup Dam from the concrete pier and the riprap below the end of the pier on the Ohio side should be experiencing some good catches.
November and early December is the time for the sauger runs in the tailwaters. Anglers also catch hybrids, catfish and occasionally some nice walleye, a cousin of the sauger.
And a few smallmouth bass are caught from time to time.
The hybrid is a man-induced cross between the white bass and the striped bass. They generally run about two pounds, although now and then an 8-pounder will be reeled in.
I can recall some great action on 16- and 17-inch sauger by casting from the shoreline just downstream from the end of the pier. The best lure was a 1/4th_ounce lead-headed jig adorned with a plastic white or yellow curly-tailed grub.
The best time was just at dusk or even after dark by the illumination of the lights topping the couple of power poles in the area.
Fishermen became frustrated 20 years ago when they were denied access to the fishing pier, extending downstream from the hydroelectric plant built on the Ohio side of the dam. The pier was closed to the public on Oct. 5, 2011, because of terrorist threats to the power plant at Greenup.
The city of Hamilton, Ohio, which owns and operates the plant and depends on it for a goodly amount of its electricity, closed the pier in the wake of the terrorist attack that brought down the Twin Towers in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001 costing more than 2,000 lives.
Local fishermen were upset, to say the least, that their favorite fishing spot had been closed for more than a year.
In May of 2002, city officials met with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and wildlife officials from Ohio and Kentucky about reopening the fishing pier.
The city agreed to reopen the pier for fishing, as well as removing the gate at the parking lot on top of the hill.
But the city wanted a buffer zone on the upper end of the pier. Eventually a fence was erected across the pier that would prevent anyone from going within about 25 feet of the concrete wall of the power plant.
Kentucky deer hunters are getting the job done in the necessary thinning of the state’s white-tailed deer population. The 16-day gun season opened Nov. 13, and through the first six days the statewide kill stood at 78,368.
Surprisingly, perhaps, 61 percent of that total were bucks.
In northeastern Kentucky, Carter County led with a harvest number of 743. Lewis County was a close second with 730.
The Greenup County kill was 596, followed by Lawrence with 554 and Boyd with 345.
Sixty-five percent of the Boyd harvest was males. Greenup and Lawrence also reported about 64 percent were bucks.
By weapon on the statewide kill of 78,368, results show 53,723 have been taken by modern firearms, 11,596 by bow and arrow, 7,777 by crossbow and 4,272 by muzzleloaders.
Reach G. SAM PIATT at [email protected] or (606) 932-3619