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Todd2

Rivers vs Lakes

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I mostly fish highland type reservoirs here in KY, but I'm only 30 mins from the Ohio river and had never fished it until last month. I struck out the first time...went out again yesterday and managed only one decent smallie and had two catfish get off at the boat..lol..thats it.

How do you guys fish stained rivers? I tried all of the things I'd read....stuck with the rocky banks ignoring the miles of mud. I fished the outside bends (rocky) but I'm wondering if I should've spent more time on the inside bends where the sand bars were. Any tips for boat control?

The section I fished had no docks and the smallie came off some shallow wood. 

Thanks for any help, I felt like I was fishing in foreign lands..lol

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The number 1 difference between lakes and rivers is current. It takes a lot of energy for a fish to swim in current, especially in a big river like the Ohio so they do not spend a lot of time trying to fight the current. What they do, is to hide out in spots just out of the current. Wing dams, in big rivers, rocks and wood will deflect the current causing break lines and eddies. Drift your bait on the edge of the break line, and the fish will find you. As for boat control, either anchor, or position you boat in an eddy. If you have a strong trolling motor and the current isn't too strong, you can point the nose of the boat into the current and match your motor speed to the speed of the current. There is quite a bit more to learn about fishing rivers but for just starting out, if you can identify and fish nothing but break lines, you'll do very well.

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Thanks Scott...I probably fished too much open water. The smallie and two cats were off wood. No wingdams in the stretch I fished but did fish the backside of an old abandoned concrete ramp that was overgrown. There aren't a lot of visible objects along this stretch like my lakes....I guess the stuff just gets washed on down the river unlike a lake. I'm sure plenty of rocks below the surface. I'm going to head north next time and maybe look at Google maps to see if I can find more of those types of current breaks....thanks.

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Just like they say about lakes, in a river, 10 percent of the water holds 90 percent of the fish. The problem with that is you might have to cover 9 miles of river before you find the one mile that holds bass. The good news is that once you find productive spots, they tend to always hold fish. Until a big flood changes everything and you have to learn the river all over again.

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Another thing you might try that I have had success  on . When fishing rocky banks in current use a small heavy spinnerbait , or anything that sinks may work , rattlletrap et al.

 Cast up stream on the rocky banks in deeper water allowing the lure to sink and  hit bottom . A soon as it touches down pop it up and retrieve just fast enough to feel the blades and keep it hugging the bottom . I have caught fish on the Mississippi river this way using H&H spinners , Rocket Shads  and large Beetle Spins .. They use to make a large Beetle Spin , dont know why they quit .

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