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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a really dumb question. When I was down below Mel Price last summer, I didn't see anybody drifting it. When the water is down (or normal) there was very little current compared to what I'm used to on the MO. Would putting the trolling motor out, setting baits about 3' above the bottom, and using GPS to set up a trolling grid just pound the snot out of fish there?

I've only been there once, but with the number of big fish that come out of that spot, the relative "smoothness" of the bottom, and the lack of current would trolling it not be a perfect scenario for covering lots of water and catching lots of big fish? Again, only been there once, but as soon as I got there that popped into my head.
 

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You'll find a very rocky bottom for the first five to six hundred feet (I'm guessing) below the dam with LARGE boulders and snag city. Average pool here is roughly 35 ft deep. Then at one point almost all the way across the river it drops to 50 ft or so with a muddy bottom. I see a few folks drifting the channel edge downriver but I haven't tried drifting here yet. It's worth a shot. At times though the current is pretty swift right below the dam then it slackens considerably further downstream.

There are lots of anchors and lead that are deposited into the water right below the dam, never to be seen again.:wink: Bring a spare anchor, learned that the hard way.
 

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Branden, come on over, you’re the next contestant for drifting below Alton. Have tried several different drifting techniques in the normal currant there, around 4.3 mph and up … Did catch one fish doing a freeflow drift under high fast water conditions (6.5 mph). Many failures, lots of lost line and sinkers, let’s just say a lot of trial and error… found out I learned more from the errors.:confused2: Those large boulders that Darryl referred to abound to make it an awesome fishery:big_smile:, but... :angry: They just love to eat newly spooled power pro line and sinkers from wanna be drifters trying to keep their line about 3 feet from bottom. Dude, these are the rocks that have anchors for appetizers :crazy: … The smooth area you were referring to out in the middle starting around the distance Darryl gave then down river from there. I did see one day there with a 2.6 mph currant, that was the slowest I saw which would be workable for drifting with a trolling motor. I’m gonna try using a drag chain along with the trolling motor this summer, sometimes stirring the bottom can provoke feeding, it will definitely be tried and tested this year. I enjoy trying new or different techniques on the river. So tell your wife there gonna be some new experiments tried over in St. Louie :cool2: and we just have to find out what works and what doesn’t. Either way it’s a win win situation, we learn from success and failure, personally I would like find at what point of currant speed such a technique becomes an effective tool to be used. Finally found this old thread, check it out on river drifting.
http://www.catfish1.com/forums/showthread.php?p=761433#post761433
 

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Brandon if you want to learn how to drift below Melvin Price try to make it over for the May 10th tournament at least to the weigh-in and i'll introduce you to a team from Springfield Il. that i consider 1 of the best at bottom bouncing below in that strech of the river. I do know that they don't try it directly below the dam its just to much work, from the power plant down to the mouth of the Missouri is a much more manageble area. If you want his phone # just PM me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the info - I don't make it over that way much but when I do I might try and talk one of you guys into a tackle-losing contest:smile2:

Micheal, I figured it'd been tried, but didn't realize the bottom was that bad. I know it's all rip-rap, but I didn't realize all the boulders were there. Not sure what your schedule is, but I'm game for stocking up on hooks, sinkers, and line and giving it a whirl one long weekend:wink: I don't have a trolling motor for mine and don't plan on getting one since on the MO I don't have the shekels to buy one big enough to drift with, but surely there's a sinker-over-bait rig that would minimize snags while keeping the bait reasonably close to the bottom.

Part of it is my inexperience on the big river as well - it's so much wider that the current doesn't seem as fast as the MO since I'm not close enough to the bank to watch it fly by like I can here at home:smile2:
 

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how we fish below truman if the is little or no current a trollin motor dont work. It seems like the bites are far and few between w. motor. Seems like current is the olny way.

I think in this case Aaron they are talking about using the trolling motor to SLOW DOWN the drift. There is always current n the rivers.
 

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My experience fishing below Mel Price has been a snagged line about 50% or more of my casts. :smile2: I can imagine boulders the size of small buses down there. Oh, and I have 2 anchors convienently stored down there so far. And PLENTY of sinkers!
 

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I got to agree with Mike on this one. Then again, I can't ever remember disagreeing with anything he has said.
I tried drifting many times, there. Not one fish to show for it. Finally, I give up an go back to anchoring. I have noticed that most of my fish are not found up as close to the dam as is legal, but further downstream a few hundred yards. Not sure why, but then most of my fish come from dumb luck anyway. My best trip there was last August when I caught 4 fish in the 20-32 lb range, in about 1 1/5 hours. Not my biggest fish caught there, but the most decent fish in short amount of time. I did find out later that they were caught illegally (for shame). I was using LIVE asian carp. According to the rule book, no asian carp can be released alive and should one have gotten off the hook accidentally, it would have been considered a violation.:wink:
 

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Just curious. Has anyone drift fishing that area tried a real long, skinny sinker, say something like a piece of rebar 18"-24" long? I've been thinking about rigging something like that for drifting below the dams here on the Arkansas River; I use a much smaller version of that for weights on my freefloating juglines, and they hang up a lot less often than when I use regular sinkers.
 

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One of the most important thing about drifting is to try to keep your line perfectly vertical and your weight just barely ticking the bottom.The slower the drift the better no faster than 1 1/2 mhr on a GPS. Try using a bottom bouncer like they use for walleye it will go over most of that stuff.I have never really took the time to really learn this but I have talked to alot of guys about it and got some info.Maybe this might help some of you or give you an idea let me know if it works.:0a23:GOOD DRIFTING ALL!!!!
 

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Just curious. Has anyone drift fishing that area tried a real long, skinny sinker, say something like a piece of rebar 18"-24" long? I've been thinking about rigging something like that for drifting below the dams here on the Arkansas River; I use a much smaller version of that for weights on my freefloating juglines, and they hang up a lot less often than when I use regular sinkers.
Use 6 to 9 inches of chain instead... of sinkers.
 

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Seems to me when the flows get really low behind the dam (July-Aug) the fishing can be pretty poor there. Drifting might be good to cover more ground and easiest then, but if the fish aren't there it won't help much. If you figure some techniques out let us know, the art of drifting for cats is something I'm very curious about.
 
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