Falling Water Question?

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by Arkie55, May 24, 2006.

  1. Arkie55

    Arkie55 New Member

    Messages:
    669
    State:
    Mississippi
    The river I fish the most if falling at a rate of just over a half foot a day. This morning the level in my area was right at 9'. By the weekend it's going to be between 6 and 7'. My question is this, in falling water conditions, where do the fish position themselves in relation to cover? I don't have any problems locating fish when the river is low and stable but the last two trips I made in falling water conditions has been pretty dismal. One reason could be that in both cases, I changed areas because of the higher water I could get into some places I thought would hold fish. I think another possible reason for the poor results could be (and probably is):confused2: because I don't really understand how the fish is reacting to the falling water. I guess I'm a little confused and a lot uneducated about falling water and loacting cats. Help me if you can please.:sad2:

    PS:
    I will be off for a long weekend and I plan to fishing SOMEWHERE so I need some help quick!!!!!:lol:
     
  2. shortshank

    shortshank New Member

    Messages:
    389
    State:
    Oregon
    I don't know for sure how the catfish know when a river is retreating back into it's banks, but they know. I've walked fields after the river has gone back in, and in the low spots where pools stand I've only found carp, and maybe a few bullheads. I suggest you hit the deep holes and around any feeder/supply tributarys where clear water is dumping in. The bite may be off after the river has been up awhile but you can bet not all got full. Hit all your usual spots too, wing dams, brush piles, ledges that have a sharp drop off. You'll find em just keep pounding!
    Don
     

  3. treddinwater

    treddinwater Active Member

    Messages:
    1,123
    State:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Usually the cats will start to stack up in deeper holes when they water is falling, they will gradually move to their low water locations as the water drops.
     
  4. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    I have always heard the bite is off when the water is falling, so maybe they are there, just not biting.
     
  5. Cattoo

    Cattoo New Member

    Messages:
    603
    State:
    caneyville,ky.
    this is not based on fact but i believe they move down river to deeper water also. i do know that when the river is rising they will go hard upstream so it stands to reason that when it is falling they move back out.
     
  6. river scum

    river scum New Member

    Messages:
    3,474
    State:
    hooterville indiana
    i wish i knew the answer too arkie. over the years i just dont fish falling water. i do remember one occation we cleaned up as the river dropped out from beneath the boat. we were fishing the edge of a flat in a res. they started to drop the river alot faster than usuall(i mean a foot an hour!). we started getting channel cats as fast as it hit the water and big ones too. the water got so low we had to get off before we got stuck! as the water lowered it created a senereo similar to riseing water in a way that the food was sucked rite off the flats into the river. thats the only memory i have of a good bite on a drop.

    my advise is to hit a lake for some bass fishing :eek:oooh: lol
     
  7. turtle1173

    turtle1173 New Member

    Messages:
    611
    State:
    Mayfield, KY
    Terry, all waterways are not created equal. On the Mississippi, I always do better on a falling river. Last year just about all of my big ones came with the water dropping. My profile pic (this year) was caught when the water dropped 2 feet one day. I prefer a slow fall on the Mississippi and I know I'm not alone in my opinion of that.

    I have talked to guys who prefer a rising river on the Ohio and that seems to be most people's opinion in most waterways but it doesn't hold true where I fish.

    I believe why I have done worse, as well as others, during rising water is because the fish are either right on the shore or they are up the tributaries. I have esp. noticed that this year. Usually those are NOT the areas we fish on the Big River but I'm trying to experiment more with different areas.

    The fish are very much in tune with their surroundings. They know when there is the slightest increase in current or when there is the slightest reduction. After all they are being hit with water constantly. They react accordingly. This year, if the water has been going up AT ALL, the fish have not been in the more "traditional" areas.

    When the water rises, the current is increasing. The fish are going to be seeking shelter not only from increased current but also the debris that inevitably follows. They don't want to be slapped in the face with an onslaught of junk. So they will go behind dikes, up against the shore in slacker current, or up tributaries. The baitfish move, the cats follow. Tributaries offer both shelter and food.

    When the water falls, the current decreases. The fish come out of the tributaries and out from the shore. The debris clears up and they aren't being pelted with leaves. This is a great time to fish the front side of dikes. There's reduced current on the face of the dikes and where do you think the food going downstream is going to hit first?? Also, the fish move to the front of the holes and feed. Life is good :big_smile:

    Anyway, that's my take on it.
     
  8. Arkie55

    Arkie55 New Member

    Messages:
    669
    State:
    Mississippi
    Shane,
    That's a logical explination. I had not thougth about the debries coming down river during a rise. I do know how other game fish react to falling water and they normally go deeper. I should have realized from fishing the St. Francis during high water that the fish do indeed hit the banks and even the flooded timber. I appreciate your reply and all the others as well.