Ohio’s Brush Creek is one of the premier tributaries along the Ohio River in the Meldahl Pool. It is located in Adams County, Ohio, one of the more rural areas of the state. Most area anglers are familiar with Brush Creek’s reputation for trophy smallmouth in the upper stretches of the creek. More experienced anglers are aware of its potential as a largemouth sanctuary. Over the years I have taken stripers, hybrids, white bass, and channel cats (one on a Jitterbug), as well.
The creek is located at mile #388.2. This places it about 18 miles upstream from Maysville. There is, however, an excellent marina/ramp in the creek itself less than a quarter mile from the mouth at the Ohio River. This marina is staffed with fulltime caretakers and sports an excellent concrete launch ramp. It can be accessed from U.S. 52 in Ohio, near Rome. When it closes in the fall you can purchase a key for access.
Approaching the creek from the River on the downstream side you will encounter an island. It is almost directly across from the mouth of the creek. Along the Kentucky bank of the Ohio River, across from the island, is a long stretch of stumps and standing timber.
There are a variety of lures that produce in this area. Buzzbaits and shallow crankbaits work well early and late in the day. At other times a jig and pig combo is a good choice. Black/blue is the favorite color for the jig and pig while chartreuse and shad colors are preferred for hard baits.
To your left, on the Kentucky side of the island, there is an area of timber with a huge collection of drift. This area ranges in depth from just a foot or so to 20 feet. The same lure choices will suffice in this area. It does, however, remain in the sun from just after sunrise until just before dark; a definite disadvantage during the warm weather months.
On the downstream side of the island, the tail, there is a long, easy sloping point that looks as if it should hold fish during periods of low light and high feeding activity. I have had little success in this area, however. The upstream point of the island is similar to the downstream point with the exception that it is much longer and much shallower. It also holds large drift and can be dangerous. When navigating either end of the island cut a wide birth.
As you enter the creek from the river you will encounter a point on your right (upstream). This point has a moderate slope and extends into the main river. There are several stumps on this point and it will frequently produce keeper bass. Good lure choices are shallow crankbaits and plastics.
The creek itself has endless possibilities – it is navigable for miles. It runs generally north and south with many twists and turns. As a result it offers both shade and sun along its banks regardless of the time of day or season of the year. The entire length of the creek, both sides, is lined with stumps, stickups, rock, sand, and a few docks.
Water depth runs from 1 foot or so on to 5 feet before plunging to the channel, which averages 15 to 20 feet in depth. There are several pools with depths of 25 feet and at least one that is 45 feet deep.
Almost any lure in your tackle box will produce in Brush creek. If you want to fish topwater: have at it. The miles of shallow wood will permit it. If, on the other hand you like plastics you can pitch and flip to your hearts desire. Want to fish farther out? Try a Carolina Rig, or a deep diving crankbait, on the outside or inside edge of the bends. Spinner baits are also an excellent choice if worked carefully through the wood.
Ohio Brush Creek: An excellent place to fish, boat, and enjoy the outdoors!