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Low_Budget_Hooker

RW-river question.

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I'm not very familiar with river fishing.  I can imagine some of it like finding the eddy's and the slough's but I know the rivers you fish are of larger scale than what I am thinking.

In a yo-zuri reply, you said...

Another important factor in river fishing is the ability to break your line when you want to.

I was wondering when,where or why would this be appropriate.  Is it to save gear possibly?  Or when you are just plain dead snagged or are there other reasons.

Thanks

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Number one, it is difficult, inconvenient and often dangerous to retrive hang-ups in current, especially if you are fishing more than two guys. Second, since I fish live bait there is little economic incentive to make the effort. Stiper fishing is done here in very turbulant water and we often have boat traffic, a few other striper fishermen, drifting catfish guys and barges. Depending upon the circumstances and the exact location of the hang, it is usually impossible to move above the rocks. Fishing fifty to seventy-five yards of line on a drift makes a quick break-off important. The key is the right rod and reel matched up with fishing line that striper can't break, but you can.

Smallmouth fishing is not nearly the hair raising adventure that striper fishing is, but fishing ridges in swift current creates serious boating issues. Currents push you out and pulls you in, sometimes at the same time! Although the river banks tend to drop off dramatically, the other side of the coin is that they rise just as fast. My partner runs the trolling motor to control the drift of the boat and he is on that motor 50% of the time. The economics do not justify making any attempt to recover a hook, even the relatively expensive Gamakatsu Octopus Circle Hooks we use. Here again, we fish line that we can break, but with the way we have our equipment set up, smallmouth can't.

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My little smallmouth rivers here in the Ozarks aren't as hair raising as the striper fishing on those river systems can be, but the White under Bull Shoals is similar. And even if it is a 8$ jerkbait, safety of the boat and occupants is priority.

Amazing how people sometimes have no respect for water, but having all 8 units come on line is the ultimate crash course in hydrodynamics!

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Guest ouachitabassangler

I fished the Arkansas River almost exclusively for 6 years and definitely came to the conclusion it's better to break or cut a line than to risk your life over a fish or a lure or trying to get a cast to a tough to get to spot. During high flow anything can happen and probably will if you don't know it could happen. The saddest trajedy I was around was a lone family man in his 40s apparently going after a snagged lure along the river's edge during fairly high flow. We think he stopped paying atention to his boat drift, concentrating on bait recovery. His boat drifted under a large willow that had a catfish limb line, which caught the back of his PFD. The boat kept drifting, the angler went in the river, and the line pulled him under even with plenty of PFD strapped on. No knife was found in a pocket. I learned from just a couple of scuba lessons to always keep a sharp knife in easy reach ON YOUR PERSON. At the first sign of possible trouble let it go. Snapping a rod doesn't count in my book. If that's the only risk I'll take it.

Jim

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