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river fishing, help me!!!

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I took my boat onto the river for the first time. Had no idea were to go or start. We came up with this, run our 5 hp motor and its little gas tank until its empty. Next drift down and use the electric motor and anchor to get into position. Where do i fish? Which laydowns are the best? How do i work lures in the current? I managed 2 smallies and missed a few more in a sweet looking spot. First i pointed it out and we headed over there, a rock pile going into the water. I pulled one out pitching into it. Then i got some nasty line twist and a tangle my next cast. We were drifting, and my lure was draging. (crawtube) I was trying to untangle my knot when i felt a tap and didnt know what to do. I set the hook and began pulling in line with my hands! I couldnt keep up with the fish and lost it, but it picked me up again and i pulled it out, this time with my reel. All of my strikes from then was when the boat was drifiting, and i was "trolling" or dragging my lure on the bottom. Is there a better way to fish a river? i know there has to be!

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Fish the current.

Fish the wood.

Fish the pads, if any.

Try a buzzbait in the AM parallel to the shore or pads.

Use smaller size lures.

Always sent your lures.  Crawfish sents are very good.

Change baits to find out what they want to eat.

Don't fall out of the boat!

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How 'bout being prepared?

Bring some gas...

Spool up some fresh line...

Okay, now this is how it works:

Drift with the current, only using your trolling motor to position the boat 20-30 yards off the bank and keeping it straight. Cast to within four or five yards of the shore and fish up stream at no more than a forty-five degree angle, NEVER downstream. If you find a pool or some very interesting structure, anchor down. Position yourself so that you can cast upstream and drift your bait into, over or around your target. River bass always face upstream.

If you are fishing for smallmouth, focus on STRUCTURE, not cover. Smallmouth are attracted to rocks, humps, pools and current breaks. Fish in front of and on the outside of eddies, smallmouth are never in slack water if there is an option.

Live minnows are the best bait. If you are fishing artificials here are a couple of suggestions: If the current is slow, the Fat Ika is king. Otherwise, 3 1/2" tubes fished with an inserted jig head. C-rigged or split shot lizards are another option. Grubs and Hula Grubs might be the ticket.

In low light, Spooks, Sammys and jerk baits will slay them. I like Pointers, Rogues, Husky Jerks and X-raps.

Good luck!

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i have a few extra questions for u

what river whats the average depth

what are u looking to catch

small mouth bass = current

large mouth bass = slack water

i live next to and fish the missippi river  

i would try to get a map of ur river

u want to look for river bends,rockpiles, channel breaks,wing dams u should find small mouth on all these

large mouth bass are more lazy so any where with less current

id try backwater off the main channel stump fields, grass, wood, entrances to creeks

i hope this helps

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Current breaks are what you need to key on. When the river is up the majority of the fish will hold in and around current breaks along the shoreline. You're boat will be drifting fast so fish each break you pass by with spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, cranks and jigs. If you have a good trolling motor you can position your boat right next to the shoreline and troll upstream. That way you can fish each eddy with better precision. Have your partner stand up front with you while you do it.

When the river is at normal or low flow the fish will be scattered everywhere. They still will relate to current breaks but they will cruise around anywhere they want. Midriver current breaks become very important now. Soft plastic jerkbaits and tubes will get them in that situation. Position your boat out in the middle of the river if thats where alot of the current breaks are. River fish are all to eager to hit a wide variety of lures so I won't go into all the choices that work on my rivers.

One last thing...Don't ignore the rapids. Fish will relate to these either on the upstream or downstream side. Have your partner hold you in place with the gas motor and work the falls all the way from one end to the other(do the same for him). Good Luck!                 Craw

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