Author Topic: Low Water Tactics- river ponds  (Read 3640 times)

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Offline FM

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Low Water Tactics- river ponds
« on: September 16, 2014, 07:42:14 PM »
I was fishing around an island this morning and was reminded of a little discovery I made about 15 years ago when the water was particularly low like it is right now. It's no earth shaking thing but something for the waders to keep in the back of their minds and watch for. When the water levels drop very low the nature of the river changes greatly. Places that were too deep and swift to fish are now sometimes the best places to fish as they are holding some pockets of deeper water and best of all there is some current stirring it up and keeping it oxygenated. Around islands in my experience this is amplified and becomes a physical pattern. When the water is high it scours out channels and holes in the gravel as it rushes past the island. As the water drops we can wade out to these islands and fish the channels along the sides of them and get some nice smallies, channel cats and walleyes too. One problem is that the boaters and all the waders can get to them also. They get pressured the fish are taken, or become hard to catch. Given enough pressure they may abandon the spot.

So that's the set up, this is the point. The structure around these islands features lots of little, "ponds", my term for them. They are temporary and will be gone as soon and the river rises. But for now, the prop boats can't reach them, and the jet boats blow right thru them because they can get to the best places and don't waste their time on these little treasures. I will get some pictures next time I'm out. The ponds can hold some nice fish and numbers of fish too. They are usually located right on the down stream side of an exposed gravel bar. I have seen ponds stacked up going down a run that running low on water. The high water gouges gravel and pushes it up into a low pile then runs over it and repeats itself, making a series of ponds. I have found them around islands all over the north branch where there is a free stone bottom. Today I was fishing w/o much success and was on my way back to my SUV when I realized I was walking past a spot that might prove my old pond theory so I stopped and tried it. I caught over 12 smallies out of and area the size of a big swimming pool. None of them were giants but after spending an hour fishless in the "prime water" it was good to have some action.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2014, 10:11:11 PM by FM »

Offline Jigginjohnson

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Re: Low Water Tactics- river ponds
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2014, 09:55:57 PM »
Great point FM. Those little "ponds" hold some of the the best fish in the very low water months. I watched a friend of mine catch a 24" SMB in one of the ponds you speak of in extreme low water conditions. -JJ
CPR unless its a tasty walleye!!!