The Emsworth Pool is the first pool of the River. It begins at the 0 mile marker at “The Point” in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where the River is formed by the confluence of the Allegheny and the Monongahela Rivers.
The upper pools are much narrower and the current faster than the lower pools. Having said that, anglers should think about fishing them in a somewhat different manner. Current is always a factor in river systems but it is much more of a factor in the upper pools of the Ohio River than in the middle and lower pools.
The primary species in the upper pools are smallmouth, walleye, sauger, white bass, stripers, hybrids, catfish, and an occasional musky.
The upper pools of the River have numerous water discharges, both hot and cold. These discharges create current, oxygen, baitfish, and either warm water or cool water. Due to these factors they will hold nearly every species of fish in the area. Always fish them if you are in the area.
This pool has a reputation as a fine flathead fishery. There is a lot of bank fishing for them on this pool.
The following points are listed primarily for reference and to help you get started on the pool. As always, finding a local angler who is willing to share information with you is the best way to start.
The Point (Mile 0)
Located in Pittsburgh, it is in a very heavily urbanized area. Try the barges—stationary are best but sometimes the fish will hold on moored barges if they have been sitting for awhile. Always be careful and watchful when fishing barges—just a little movement can create a lot of damage if you are in the way.
Also, in this area, there are a variety of rocky areas located around man-made, stationary objects – fish them!
This area, in plain English is downtown Pittsburgh, and as such there are a number of places to launch a boat. Check locally for recommendations.
Brunot Island (Mile 1.7)
The head of the island is rocky and has several steep drops. It will hold fish at times. This is a good place to start.
Neville & Davis Islands (Mile 5): There is some riprap and rock in this area.
Emsworth Dam (Mile 6.2)
There is some isolated rock and riprap in the area just above the dam. Fish it—when fish have limited structure available to them they use what is available.