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cjam93

Understanding channel swings

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Hey guys so I am working on my understanding of channel swings. In different videos it is explained differently and I am unsure exactly what I am looking for when fishing channel swings. So my understanding is the channel swing is where the channel comes in close the bank and then goes away from it. So I have seen some people say that what you are usually looking to fish is the part where it is the closest to the bank creating the steepest drop. Other people say what you are fishing is the area of the bank that is less steep where the channel swing first comes towards or first goes away from the bank, these areas almost create a triangular shape if that makes sense. Which is it or is it both and you just need to fish both until you figure out which the bass are using at that specific time?

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Surprising that no one has a  comment as to which is best.  My guess is that you may have answered your question with your last sentence. 

There are many different factors that effect where the fish will be at a specific time.  

I searched this forum for "channel swings" and there are maybe more than a thousand "comments" regarding this topic.  Personally, the lake that I fish the most, I catch more fish on the inner part of the swing, the shallower part.  I normally do fish both parts.

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You guys are both right, lots of variables in this question.  Super cold or hot months, go to the centers.  Moderate water temps or if fish are really feeding, go towards the ends.  Early or late in the day, ends.  I use these basics to start and let the fish tell you.  Use a search bait to find them, then hopefully narrow it down and milk the spot.  Great thing about swings is once you find them, it can often be a pattern you can take all over the lake and recreate.

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Channels swings are a natural affect of river meandering so the terrian has a big impact on the river flow before the reservior was dammed. Only man made channels run straight. Visualize the river going through the valley floor, in fact a topo map will clearly define the river bends.

River channel bends are inside and outside. Inside bends are where the current flow hits the channel wall, outside bends are the opposite where the current is flowing away from the inside bend. Inside bends have steeper walls and undercuts, outside bends are more slopping. Lake points often are formed around the outside bends.

Where will the bass be located? Location depends of the terrian, depth, structure elements, cover, wind direction and prey. 

Tom

 

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 Are you talking about old creek channels in a man-made impoundment or slow-moving, often stagnant backwater type creeks? I have no exp. with the former, but can speak to the later. A couple of creeks attached to my home lake that I fish a lot in the spring have really old channel swings....they are subtle, but they are fish magnets. There is little to NO current in these creeks most of the time, but they offer water, often just a few feet deeper closer to the bank than the rest of the creek, which is fairly shallow, silted in and flat. If there's cover in these swings, it's a money spot. Fish will stack up in these swings in the cooler water period when they first move into the creek. Once rapid warming of the water and spawning begins, or grass begins to grow on the shallow flatter parts of the creek, the swings become less productive as the fish spread out on the shallower flatter parts to spawn or seek heavier thicker cover growing on them, although there's always a few still hanging around in them. If these creeks were bigger and deeper, that would be the place to look for summer bass too. Unfortunately in my case, once they are finished spawning, the VAST majority of the fish leave and go back out to the lake. The few big fish I have caught in there in the summer, often come from those areas.

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In my area I almost only get to fish man-made impoundments or reservoirs.. I didnt think to specify, but what you said makes a lot of sense and is a good bit of help thank you!
 

Thanks to everyone that commented, it helped clear things up for me

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A "swing" is a turn, or meander, in a stream or creek. It's due to harder substrate causing the stream to "bounce off" and turn. It could be a rocky outcrop, tree roots, a clay deposit, ... . The reason there is often a drop-off there, if its not badly silted in, is because that hard substrate usually gets eroded by the stream current colliding against it, and may even be undercut. There is also often more mature vegetation on such a spot, like trees or shrubs, bc the stream could not sweep them away. If you want to understand channel bends, go walk a stream. ;)

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I find more success where the bends transitions to a 2 to 1 slope. (maybe thats just in my head) but I feel like at a 1:1, they tend to be suspended and not as excited and ready to bite, but when they are at the 2:1 slopes they are there for ambush reasons. And 3:1 or more is ok, but I feel the bass don't stay compared to the 2:1 area there cuz the depth isnt helping them as much to ambush.....no science with that answer, just how I feel. good luck. 

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I'm pretty sure a channel swing is where the channel swings, what are we trying to figure out?

Bass and other fish will use contours to travel, stage or reside. a channel, submerged stream, trench or any other such feature is just another contour. How and when fish use it depends on a bunch of different factors. 

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I always fish the outside bends...... And the inside turns....... And of course right in the middle ........ And some places in-between ...... Sorry I'm no help and all jacked up on caffeine 

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2 hours ago, TnRiver46 said:

I always fish the outside bends...... And the inside turns....... And of course right in the middle ........ And some places in-between ...... Sorry I'm no help and all jacked up on caffeine 

Even on Wednesdays?.... :) 

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1 minute ago, BassWhole! said:

Even on Wednesdays?.... :) 

Only Wednesdays that start at midnight.

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I fish the entire area where a channel swings close to a bank, unless it's a straight bluff wall. I might crank down it then but focus on the ends more. I really prefer fishing the cuts/pockets that run out to a channel. Find a brushpile on that...and well then things can get real or I'll lose a few jigs and cuss...then move...lol

 

I don't really target any deep channel swings away from the bank. Those are 30+ feet here unless you're in the back of a creek arm.

 

 

 

 

 

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