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AN ALTERNATIVE OPTION FOR A NO ICE WINTER

Updated: Apr 28, 2023

So many anglers find themselves in a dilemma come the winter months. They , for whatever reason, are not big fans of ice fishing-even if there is a supply of ongoing safe ice. In most winters, like this one , safely fishable hardwater is intermittent at best. This remains an ongoing source of frustration for even the most avid ice anglers.


For these reasons I would like to offer an alternative option that has been an ongoing source of adventure, action, and often surprising productivity over the years.


I 've long enjoyed the cabin fever cure of mid-winter warm water discharge fishing. My historic favorite of these excursions is taking Ohio St. Rt. 11 down the eastern border of the state to the Lou Holtz Freeway exit to East Liverpool. I like to use the " downtown " ramp on the right as you enter the city. Another launching option is the nearby Weirton Bridge over to West Virginia west along the river to the Kennedy ramp, nearby the popular casino. This particular casino is a fun stopover before or after your fishing .


A bright sunshine winter scene. Taken from Broadway Wharf from the East Liverpool OH side, of WV and across the Ohio River.

An initial course of action that has become a tradition for me is to head upriver a couple of miles to Beaver Creek , which is a rural gem stocked with trout, mostly browns. Bring along some in-line spinners...


Little Beaver Creek near Lisbon, Ohio

Still, the main source of fun is downstream on the West Virginia side where you'll see a creek or two entering the main river. Check your water temperature to gauge variances. Among the species you are able to encounter are stripers, wipers ( white bass/striper hybrids ), sauger, saugeye, small and the occasional largemouth bass , and catfish. Bring along several spinning rods of ultra-light to medium-light action . Among the lures to consider would be the aforementioned in-line spinners, like Panther Martins, Roostertails, and Mepps , flukes and other soft jerkbaits, lipless crankbaits, and the occasional tube bait. Cruising shorelines on either side of this New Cumberland Pool will reveal a number of similar discharges.


Newell Bridge at East Liverpool, Ohio

Remember in winter season to always fish with a partner or two and exhibit greater overall caution than you might at other times of the year.


An added treat is regularly stopping afterwards in the town of Lisbon to partake of one of their absolute "killer" restaurants.


Quit complaining and get out and enjoy fishing action that you may have wrongly believed was months away.

***

Jack Kiser is the host of " Buckeye Angler " and longtime Outdoors Columnist for the Record-Courier and " Midwest Outdoors " magazine , as well as TV and radio host for PBS and Fox Sports. You may reach him at the Buckeye Angler Facebook site or the new buckeyeangler.com.


(picture) : the author with an Ohio River winter saugeye.

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