Fishing rivers when the water is high.

Discussion in 'WEST VIRGINIA RIVER TALK' started by catfish_clayton, Mar 17, 2007.

  1. catfish_clayton

    catfish_clayton New Member

    Catania, Italy,
    I seem to have real good luck fishing a river at or near flod stage. When the waters like this I usualy fish in an area with alot of cover somewhere out of the heavy current. I was just wondering what other peoples opinons are about fishing high water.
  2. Catcaller

    Catcaller New Member

    I too like to fish flood stage current when the Neosho river here in Se Kansas is rolling 3/4 bank full or better.

    We anchor above a series of holes littered with rockpiles in the main channel right above a large riffle.

    The blues will concentrate in those holes and lie in wait for dinner to wash downstream to them....eating anything that lands within the backwash created by a current break such as a large rock or rockpile.

    Most times these fish can afford to be selective...only eating what literally bounces off their nose...thus conserving energy in the strong current.

    And believe me...the blues I typically catch during these times are VERY well fed.

    My confidence bait for this situation is a live black perch hooked behind the dorsal fin with a 7/0 Gamakatsu Octopus Circle...with a 50-80 lb steel leader attached to a heavy duty Spro or Sampo high tensile ball bearing barrel swivel. (The steel leader helps prevent the inevitable line fray that results from the blue cats vise like jaws lined with line busting teeth....and don't under-estimate the importance of a high quality ball bearing barrel swivel either. It not only more effectively prevents line twist...but also won't snap under the sometimes extreme conditions during high water)

    My reel of choice is either/or an Ambassadeur Record 61 HC or a Daiwa Millionairre 253 (Both have superb carbon matrix drags)...strung with 65 lb Power Pro....mounted on an 11' medium action e-glass Predator European live bait rod.

    The long rod is for the method we use to present our baits.
    The 11' medium action rod acts as a shock absorber for the zero stretch braid line...and allows for us to move more line in a single sweep.

    The latter is important because we use as little weight as possible....which may still be up to a 2 or 3 ounce No-Roll sinker such as a disc or a pyramid sinker.

    We'll just drop our Carolina rigged perch into the water over the side of the boat....and allow the current to sweep our offering downstream into the holes we are anchored above....feeding out line in free-spool mode....yet not allowing too much line out...which can result in a loop of line so large that you'll not feel the sometimes subtle bite of a cat that simply inhales your bait and does not give you the typical "run"...instead staying put and waiting for the next morsel to slide on bite and get too close to the business end of the insatiable appetite a gluttonous blue cat possesses.

    The best way to describe the proper amount of line to let out as you "walk" your rig downstream is to maintain loose contact. Make the sinker wash dowstream by letting out some slack...and then stop the spool with your thumb...allowing the sinker to catch up as it bounces along the bottom with the current.

    When you feel your bait settle into a hole...or lodge behind a reel down to the point that there is just a little bit of slack in your line...and wait for the vibrations your live perch is creating in the current to attract the predator.

    The No-Roll sinker you're using now switches roles. It's no longer the vehicle that's taking your bait downstream along the bottom.

    Instead it's now doing what it's designed stay in place without readily washing downstream.'s important to use as little weight as possible...but it's also as equally important to use enough so it can stay in place when you need it to.

    If you wait for while with no bite....simply reel up the remaining slack...and raise your rod tip.

    This will pull your rig out of the hole or from behind the current break you're settled in.

    If you become hung up...which is a common occurence when using this method...simply let out some line and shake the rod tip violently with the slack still out.

    This works a high percentage of the time and frees you up.

    Keep repeating this...letting line out until you either find a fish....or run out of line. I'll sometimes have 100 yards or better out at a time.

    Practice makes perfect...and it is difficult to learn...but this method will pay dividends after you master it.