Beneath the placid surface there are fish ready to do battle. The gladiator below will present a challenge. It begins when a bobber disappears beneath the surface only to reappear for a second or two. Then it dives and the fight is on.
In total, the Wabash River is 416 miles of free flowing water with no dams. There are old broken dams, rocks and riffle areas that offer excellent fishing for catfish. The section between Illinois and Indiana is about an hour from home. It can be accessed from either the Illinois or Indiana side ramps. The river is one of the best untapped catfish resources around here. It contains blue, flathead and channel catfish.
The water can be drifted in search of holes and other structure. Baits such as chicken livers, worms, etc. are allowed to drift into the holes from upstream. Many areas can be waded. Then one casts into the wooded areas of the water.
The old dam at Mt. Carmel, in Wabash County, is one good section of shallow water containing catfish. The river has a number of old dams. They once harnessed the power of the Wabash River. Today, the Wabash is the longest undammed river east of the Mississippi.
The wide bottomlands along the Wabash River are peaceful and fall away to the gently rolling hills in the distance. The landscape was shaped by the Wisconsin glacial episode of nearly 22,000 years ago formed this beautiful landscape.
Another good location is near Mauine, Illinois in White County. There is a railroad bridge about 2 miles south of town with three islands. Channel catfish like the shallow water as it dips into a hole.
At New Haven, in Gallatin County, there is a boat ramp at Route 141. The water just above the boat ramp is good for channel catfish. Downstream, there is an old dam equally as productive.
The population of flathead and channel catfish over 3 pounds continues through out the river. Blue cats in the lower 50 miles of the river are in good numbers and trophy flathead or blue catfish over 50 pounds have been caught.
The peace and tranquility of the valley of the Wabash River is deceptive. Catfish may just change ones thinking about that scene.