Big fish will suspend in these seams with their bodies positioned in calmer water and their heads facing upstream at an angle into the main current. Bass fishing in current can be very fruitful but it poses unique challenges. I know a lot of bass anglers love braid but in rivers where snags abound, I recommend using monofilament which has very good abrasion resistance. Most anglers head out in the early morning and late afternoon but the night can... Ice Fishing Holes: Diameter, Distance, Patterns, Target Fish. You need to move right onto the edge of the current and fish. The river’s current carries and deposits so much debris and wood that your hooks are going to find these items inevitably. You’ll be able to feel very small but important transitions in bottom composition whether it’s a shell bed, a change in rock size or a fallen tree that has been washed against a steep bank. If you’re relying solely on your rod tip to detect bites, you won’t catch as many fish. Once I started casting up-current, I started catching a bunch of fish. section: | slug: how-to-finesse-more-bass-in-strong-current | route: article_single | This allows them to hang out and relax in slack water, waiting for an easy meal to pass by. You may catch a few fish doing this that otherwise may be spooked off when you park your boat over them. In a bend, water will flow very fast around the outside edge of the bend but remain relatively calm on the inner part of the bend. Get into the flow. Seams & eddies will hold most fish. At one point during his family s ordeal, Joel promised his daughter that he would write a book in her honor. This is obvious to many fishermen so I feel lazy for including it. Keep the index finger of your rod-hand—whichever hand you hold the rod with—on your tight fishing line any time you’re not reeling. To mimic crayfish, go with a deep red, brown, or black color. Will Salmon Bite at Night? My main takeaway was the “3 Level Rule” of current fishing, which helps you choose the most productive areas of any river or stream based on the water movement. In current, it’s important to first motor well upstream of your intended final location. After making a long cast up-current, I’d have about six seconds to present my worm before the current washed it to the back of my boat. Instead of losing your cool, cinching down your drag and trying to break your line, relax—you can probably get it back. Bass are opportunistic feeders and make a concerted effort to use as little energy as possible when feeding—just like one of us sitting close to a restaurant buffet. This is by far the most important shortcut of … FreshwaterFishingAdvice is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. 31. Check out the complete article I wrote discussing Power-Poles for shallow water anchoring. P.S. Bass will target baitfish, cra… sounds like your at anchor, have you tried drifting your spot? Big rivers can be vast with very limited areas where all fish are concentrated. They are being updated often and typically are a safe guideline to follow. This past weekend I fished a tournament on my home lake that forced me to “fish the moment” and venture outside of my comfort zone. At least is my experience and the experience of many fishermen. These river fish spend their whole lives constantly battling current and hunting in tougher conditions. Fish will often stack on the downstream side of pillars. To learn how more about fishing rivers and streams without a boat, I wrote a comprehensive article on. Now drop an anchor at the front of the boat and cinch the rope tight. Many anglers make the mistake of parking their boat right on the seam but that could be a mistake. Spillways and weirs can be great spots for trout, catfish, and bass and provide both deep water and current breaks. In large rivers, this area would be the white-capping rapids. For this reason, they will often position themselves on the down-current side of a piece of cover such as a tree, stump or rock pile and face into the current. Don’t Be Afraid To Anchor. You won’t be able to cast as far but with mono, you are far less likely to lose fish you hook. To learn which baits to use, check out my recommended gear lists for carp, bluegill, crappie, yellow perch, and northern pike. I think this is how live bait and flies should be fished. Once a big fish bites, you may need to ditch the anchor and chase it. It may look like you’re dragging a Carolina rig but you’ll have a much better feel of what’s going on down there. I switched to a VMC Rugby Jig and Buckeye Pro Model Spot Remover and noticed an immediate improvement. The surface of water also reflects sunlight preventing us from seeing clearly what lies beneath the surface. If the current is especially heavy, don’t be afraid to put your rod tip right above the water’s surface. This leads to a major problem that results in a significant decrease in sensitivity—line bow. Snags are going to happen before and after a hook-up so you’ll just have to accept and do your best to pull fish in quickly before they wrap themselves up in something. Carp will find plenty of food to eat here as the current deposits everything in this location. Simply pinch 1 to … It’s easy to stereotype certain fish and assume you know how they’ll behave in a river based off what you think they do in a lake. The key to fishing current lies with understanding basic hydrodynamic theory. Fish face into the current. Believe it or not, most river fish are stronger pound-for-pound than fish of the same species and size in lakes. Let me know down in the comments! Check out this video of Jonathan Newton catching a big smallmouth in a tailrace area. Discover the best time of day to catch bass, trout, catfish, panfish, walleye, carp, and many more depending on the season, moon phases, and weather. Attach your anchor to your boat with a clip or carabiner. Also, use heavier weights to keep your bait stuck to the bottom. For a complete breakdown of mono vs. braid vs. fluorocarbon fishing lines, check out the article I wrote on this topic. If you are fishing with live or cut bait, cast your bait as close to the seam as possible and let it drift along. This is usually found dead center in the river. Finally, wax worms, maggots, nightcrawlers, and sand shrimp work just about anywhere. As I said, sandbars can shift quickly and trees can be washed into new places not previously identified. It’s tempting to think of them as huge, slick areas of water, but they’re often very subtle and difficult to see from the surface. Most resident fish do their best to conserve as much energy as possible while simultaneously positioning themselves in locations where the current can pass food by. For better bait placement and casting distance, consider using a drift rig. When the current bows your line to the side, your ability to detect bites will be greatly hindered. We all check the tides before we go fishing so we all invest in the theory. When you’re breaking down an area with current, try not to overcomplicate things. Most fishing magnets are so small that many fishers may feel like they can’t … If they aren’t right there with an open mouth, they will miss the chance to feed. In navigable rivers, pick up at least one river navigation map. Catfish, bass, and pike will often lie in wait on these steep dropoffs where the water can go from mere inches down to 6-10 feet in depth very fast. If you are passing these locations by, you could be missing out. Please read the article I wrote on this topic which dives into the pros and cons of both approaches and how you can maximize your success. With a single anchor, your boat will not remain steady and could sway and twist as the current pushes against the boat. Then, using sufficient power to hold the vessel almost, if not entirely, stationary; then drop anchor. Smaller fish will often be in the outer eddies but big fish prefer the food and protection given by being in the middle of the stream. Strong current can be tricky to handle and catch fish in. Some maps will show depths, the location of the main current, and surrounding topography whereas another map will show the presence of a flooded field with stumps, vegetation, and boulders. Moving upstream is generally safer and less likely to spook the fish. By keeping a steady foot on your trolling motor, you can make small adjustments and avoid being washed backwards by the current. Couple a strong fish with a strong current and battling big river fish is an intense experience. Instead, position your boat in the current assuming it’s not too strong and cast a few times into the eddy and reel it through the seam. After the tournament, I made this list of simple, yet very helpful lessons I’ve learned about fishing strong current in hopes it would help you as well. ... "Main lake points and humps are obvious choices because they'll likely be in strong current areas … Fish here for summer and winter fish like bass, catfish, and trout. Now tighten the back anchor rope tight and your boat should be locked in tight and be as steady as could be. Big fish tend to hover in the center of the stream right along the main channel. Smaller fish tend to focus more on the side eddies with slightly shallower water off to the side. A low rod tip will also help you keep contact with the bottom. If you are cruising along and you see something that looks different than what your river marker is telling, be very cautious. Want to Know the Best Time of Day to Fish? Otherwise use 1/2 jigs in strong current or in the deep. Tube baits work really well for bass, walleye, pike, and crappie among other species in river systems. I would recommend two for rivers as one may not be steady enough. Most fish don’t want to swim against the current all day. This way you can let the current put proper action your lure and you could simply guide the lure with your rod tip into the main channel where the strike zone is. We use these sinkers in shallow water applications, fishing for redfish, flounder, or even mangrove snapper. Five tips to improve your surf fishing. But it’s also very important to consider your boat positioning and control. In muddier water you can use much brighter colors like orange and pinks. In order to locate smallmouth bass and effectively catch them, you must first understand current and its intricacies. Water will move faster along the outside of the bend and slower on the inside turn. River markers are reliable safety measures placed on the river for boating safety. As long as your hook doesn’t penetrate into the cover, you should be good to go. Many bites will actually occur in the eddy. The next time you bass fish in current, keep these tips in mind. If he were fishing in a lake under these conditions, he would’ve been lucky to get 1 or 2 bites all morning. Small baitfish love these sites and bigger fish like striped bass and catfish will be hunting here. And we all love lure shopping. Make your gear and mindset is up to the task. If you are going to fish in rivers, particularly near the bottom, you need to accept snags are going to happen. The first thing that you should consider when the current keep pushing your bait is to increase your casting weight. Focus through baits across the channel and reeling the bait through the seam and into the eddy. They can also display potential hazards in the water you otherwise would not see. If you are ever in doubt, slow way down or come to a complete stop and inspect the depth of the water in front of you. Fishing. At the heads of sloughs and islands (the upstream part), you’ll often find sandy points or spits of raised bottom that jut out. Fishing in strong current and deep water takes a different approach than typically used in smaller waters. Even with the right jighead, rod angle, casting angle and presentation, you can fully expect some snags. Bass, catfish, pike, sturgeon, walleye all love these locations. Water can flow pretty quick through canals and there doesn’t seem like any obvious current breaks exist for fish to escape the current onslaught. Current eddies aren’t always as obvious as one would think. These are excellent locations to toss live bait, cut bait, or spinners. You could keep swapping back and forth until the bite stops altogether or you simply tire of catching fish. Cast your baits at 45-degree angles up and downstream slowly reeling your lures through the main current and across the seam. Many canal fish will hang out in this inner calm zone. Most books and videos will recommend casting upstream since fish will be facing upstream and as your bait drifts or is reeled through the current, fish will view it naturally. Like all things there is never any substitute for experience, but there are a few simple things you can look into to improve your surf fishing. No matter the casting angle or the speed at which I worked the jighead, I couldn’t keep my bait in the strike zone long enough—until I made an important realization. So fish will want to hangout where the water isn’t constantly flowing, and this … Don’t fish with braid for river carp. Simply drop the anchor at the rear of the boat and keep some slack. Combining the two is a great way to enjoy a day on the river. Take for example smallmouth bass and largemouth bass. This is just scratching the surface on this important and somewhat controversial debate. Then re-position your boat on the other seam and fish that. But you need to get your bait very close to the wood. ... River Trout Fishing Tips. Fishing tackle gets expensive, so I can certainly understand the frustration. In fact, you want to increase the heaviness of the weights you use. Fish will associate tightly to islands depending on the speed of the current. Catfish, carp, and bass really like calmer sloughs off the main river. Sure some small fish may occasionally be caught from shore but big fish will be riding that river current seam tight. You can also use it to find fish in lakes, oceans, and while ice fishing.Â. If your line under tension rubs against a rock or snag, it will snap almost assuredly. The riffles of rivers tend to be where water is shallow and the current is strong. Backwater sloughs and eddies can be great places to fish. Find the main channel running through a slough. I discuss this greater detail in tip #24 but for live bait, cut bait, and fly fishing, cast upstream and allow the current to naturally carry your bait to fish facing upstream. Eddies, boulders, logs, river bends, and islands are obvious choices where fish will rest while being in a position to feed. I do not think you should fish lures this way. Even though this is great for people who love to fish, it is not always good for the fish because food isn’t always available. Instead, use monofilament which will resist abrasions a lot better. Or have any other suggestions for getting lures down to the bottom in deep water and strong current? Throughout my guiding career, teaching new anglers how to detect bites is, by far, the most difficult aspect. They build up immense strength unmatched by lazy-water fish. I would strongly advise you not use Carolina rig-type set-ups as these have many components to them that lend themselves to snagging. This river anchor available on Amazon is a great example of what I’m talking about.Â. They can be very hard to locate when the current is very weak. There are countless lure types that work well in river settings but one I want you to consider are plastic tubes. Look for any current break you can find. Most fishermen who spend most of their ... 2. Canals can be tricky to locate fish in. Like we just discussed, casting into the current makes a lot of sense because of a bass’ preference to position itself facing into the current. Tube baits work really well for bass, walleye, pike, and crappie among other species in river systems. Most fishermen who spend most of their times on lakes look for the usual important factors like cover, water temperature, storms, water-depth, and season to pattern fish. BOTTOM BOUNCING One of the more common river fishing tips is that of using a Carolina Rig to bottom bounce a live bait (such as a crawfish or minnow) or soft plastic bait along with the current. This is something I think you really should do. A great castable fish finder can be an awesome tool for locating fish and fishable spots from the bank, boat, or through the ice at night or during the day. When fishing strong current, find current breaks and the defined seam and fish these as tight as you can. Crayfish and baitfish like shad, minnows, chubs, shiners, suckers, smelt, and speckled dace abound in just about every river and stream system. When fishing small rivers and streams, locate the main current. You can often visually see seams on the surface of the water. The fishing weight is the main factor that dictates your stability in the surf zone. The current will dictate fish location and activity level. How to Finesse More Bass in Strong Current Avoid round jigheads. At the heads of sloughs and islands (the upstream part), you’ll often find sandy points or spits of raised bottom that jut out. Attack the bank as you pepper the sides of the river or stream with casts. The results in very shallow water on the inside and much deeper water on the outside of the bend. Shad, suckers, and minnows can be presented to fish using whites, grays, silvers, blues, and blacks. Don’t fish here. No one map contains all the information, not eve your GPS map. Have a small buoy float on standby. This is because bait coming down the current is passing by much slower and many food items will actually be deposited in the calm eddies outside the main channel. ... Due to the larger diameter the line tends to catch more of the wave impact as well as the wash of the current under the water. Instead, consider using a football-shaped head or some sort of head with a flat surface. In the fall, baitfish move in shallow so bigger fish like catfish and bass follow them. This site is owned and operated by Eric Matechak. In fact in really colored waters you probably have no other choice but to use really bright artificial colors. If you are fishing a 1/2 ounce jig in a lake, you’ll want to go with a 1/4 ounce jig. Fish associate with the current year-round but they are also affected by seasonal changes. When fishing for carp, cast your bait in the slack water eddies off the main current channel. Even though by every measure known to lake fishermen, the conditions were poor for bass fishing, there had been a heavy rain the week before which stirred up sediment and algae in the water. Water from currents running both sides of an island will converge on the backside. One more spot that will hold fish is canal bends. The point where the stream’s main channel and the river’s main channel converge is prime feeding for big fish. When fishing with lures, I recommend casting from 12 o’clock (straight across the stream) to about 45-degrees downstream. This not only applies to current fishing, but all types of finesse fishing with spinning gear. Bass, trout, and crappie like to hang very tight to wood in the water. Once a big fish bites, you may need to ditch the anchor and chase it. During the spring, fish move into shallower water for a period of time to spawn. Check out my article on, If you are fishing in shallow water under 10 feet, you could also employ a Power-Pole shallow water anchoring system if your boat can accommodate one. Most ice fishermen don't put a ton of thought towards the diameter of their holes, how much distance is between each, their pattern, or what depth of water they position over. Whenever I made a cast down-current, I had a hard time controlling my boat speed and I’d wind up on top of it. When fishing rips from the shore, it is best to start casting where the rip meets the shore. Check out my article on upstream vs. downstream fishing to learn the proper way. In all rivers, you might see banks of gravel or pebbles breaking the surface of the river throughout the riffle. Shift to neutral, use a controlled drift down current powering up when necessary; apply proper scope, secure the rode to the bow cleat and allow the anchor to set. As we all know, sandbars can shift and appear in new locations in a matter of days. Pretty much any bait that works in lakes will also work in rivers and streams. Even if it doesn't look like that's what they're doing, … As bait gets pushed along by the current, fish will lunge into the main current to grab the bait before it moves further downstream. Good luck. These are merely general rules and fish can and will break these occasionally. I grew up fishing for anything that swims but really cut my teeth fishing for trout, chain pickerel, bass, and bullheads in my teenage years. They’re very easy to execute and if you can slow down, think things through and develop a deliberate approach, you’ll be able to use the current to your advantage this year. During these two days of fishing, I not only caught a new personal-best spotted bass, but I also learned a lot about targeting bass in situations with current. Tips for surf fishing strong currents Increase the casting weight. When there’s no clearly defined current and almost no water flow, fish behave almost like they would in a lake or pond. link to Will Salmon Bite at Night? Seams are fish magnets. I didn’t break any world records Saturday, but my partner and I had a very strong showing. However, as Elite Series pro and defending Classic champion Skeet Reese points out, current can oftentimes be a bass fisherman's best friend. To perform this maneuver in rivers with medium+ current, you are going to want two quality 20-pound river anchors. Check out the. The buoy will remain in place attached to the anchor. To learn how more about fishing rivers and streams without a boat, I wrote a comprehensive article on bank fishing you should check out. Eddies form off to the side of seams and are often swirling pockets of slower, usually deepish water. Islands are a great place to fish, especially small islands on a river. Big fish will often hang around the tips of these points facing into the current from the calmer water. This is just scratching the surface on this important and somewhat controversial debate.

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