HELP!?!? Bank Fishing A River

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by patrickgd, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. patrickgd

    patrickgd New Member

    Messages:
    809
    State:
    Memphis TN
    For about the past month and a half I have been fishing in various locations along the Mississippi River from the bank. First off with the river being as high as it has lately (30-40ft.) the finding of spots has been very difficult. The spots I've found have mostly been around boat ramps and are very steep rocky banks. And with the current as swift as it is this makes getting hung up seem inevitable. I've tried many ways to eliminate the getting hung up thing but to no avail. I've tried casting out far, upstream, downstream, used various weights from 2 to 8 oz., I've stood up and held reel up high and reeled fast on the retrieve, I've reeled in slow. Nothing I've tried seems to do any good. I normally will tie up 5 or 6, 3-way swivel weight & hook rigs and use them pretty fast during a couple of hours fishing. Out of the past 6 or 7 outtings I've caught fish only on 2 occasions. It seems like when I use lite weight I blow into a snag and when I use heavier ones I hang up while reeling in more. I located one sand bar but it was only about 15 feet of standing room (10 when a barge comes by) and the place is really snaky, I felt like I was in Vietnam :smile2: not to mention it's like 60 miles from my house. Anyway I love fishing and want the opportunity to catch a big one and the River seems to be my only option around these parts besides other smaller rivers which are just as bad if not worse. I love the challenge it has put me to. So anyone who has any experience to offer I am all ears. I refuse to give up. Can't get any worse right? Not gonna stop 5 minutes before the miracle happens. :big_smile:
     
  2. kscathunter

    kscathunter New Member

    Messages:
    2,367
    State:
    Louisburg,
    snags happen you can try some super heavy line might help with the retrieve. calmer water always helps too. sorry cant help more without fishing were you fish. the river i fish was pretty high last time i fished it and i was getting hung up in the thick weeds and loosing tackle so you might just have to deal with it till it goes back down.
     

  3. patrickgd

    patrickgd New Member

    Messages:
    809
    State:
    Memphis TN
    Yeah I suppose thats pretty much what I've been doing, dealing with it and hangin in there (no punn intended) :smile2:. I was just thinkin maybe there is ways to learn the river, read the surface swirls and stuff, perhaps know where to place a bait, how and so on. Being stuck on the bank I have no idea what the bottom looks like as far as depth and what not. Hell there may not be a way to tell things like that by just looking at the river running by. Anyway no hurt in askin.

    Thanks in advance to all who might have something to offer.
     
  4. patrickgd

    patrickgd New Member

    Messages:
    809
    State:
    Memphis TN
    Also I've switched lines a few times. Kinda had to seein as how I've been losing so much. I started out with some 25 lb. mono then switched too 50lb. mono. The 50 lb. was just way too bulky for my reels and I could'nt get a descent cast. So I just switched to some 100 lb. braid (20 lb. diameter) this casts excellent and actually is able to pull thru allot of snags just on sheer toughness. So yeah thats where I'm at as far as line goes.
     
  5. Katmandeux

    Katmandeux New Member

    Messages:
    1,618
    State:
    Checotah, Oklahoma
    Patrick, you're doing just fine...there's no substitute for time on the river, and paying attention. In time, it will all start to come together, and the big picture will emerge.

    It's called tuition.:wink:
     
  6. Netmanjack

    Netmanjack New Member

    Messages:
    3,734
    State:
    Ohio
    Trust your bait. The best way not to snag up is catch a fish. One place I fish on the Ohio river is snag city, but the big ones are in there. Leave your bait alone for an hour or more. You wont have to retie as often. :wink:
     
  7. alton

    alton New Member

    Messages:
    1,045
    State:
    Illinois
    Brother, I feel your pain. I also fish the Mississippi around a dam in Alton, Illinois. Sounds like we have the same problems. Right now this area is a real mess and will take awhile to get back to normal. Snagging is part of the deal when fishing the currents. I usually hope the sinker is what is getting snagged and not the hook. If the sinker is wedged in the rocks or debris the bait is still free and the fish will find it. I tie the sinker on with a light mono so it will break off when I reel in and hopefully only give up a sinker. It takes time to find good bank fishing spots because you need to see the area when the water is really low. I have fished in spots I thought were good only to see a few months later when the water is way down that I was only fishing in a few feet of water 100 yards out. I prefer bait casters because I can get a very good feel for how deep the water is as the weight is falling to the bottom. I can't get the same feel with a spinning gear. I use Abu 6500 and 7000 Pro Rockets on 12' rods. 65# power pro on the 6500 and 80# on the 7000. I usually use 4-6oz flat bank sinkers. 40 or 50# mono leaders and 12 or 15# mono for the sinker which is usually attach to a sinker slide. I would also recommend using strong rod holders. When a 40 or 50# blue hits your line and it is not secure, it will be gone. Probably the toughest part of fishing the river is you know if your not fishing the current your not fishing. You can find slack and calm water and catch 2-5lb cats all day, but that is not what your after. Good luck.
     
  8. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    Patrick,

    Fishing any big river especially big ones like the Mississippi can and will be tough. Of corse with a big river, the fish are more spread out. I see it as trying to find a needl in a haystack.

    In Philadelphia, there are 2 rivers that are accessible. The Delaware which is comparable to the Mississippi in size and the much smaller Schuylkill that is about 100 yards wide. I stick to the smaller river because they are not spread out.

    My suggestion is fishing large rivers like the Mississippi will require a boat. Try to find or stick with the smaller rivers if you are fishing from the bank. Very logical concept. Understand?
     
  9. PDR

    PDR New Member

    Messages:
    10
    State:
    Mississippi
    Patrick
    Here is another $.02 worth. I have had better luck using a flat sliding sinker on the mail line, bead between sinker and trilene knot on a large swivel then very short leader ( 4-5 inch max) to a 4/0 wide gap Kahle hook. Make sure the hook point is inline, not offset.
    Then like you said, reel fast. Hope it helps some. I really hate sending good U.S. money to China but their weights are the cheapest and I use alot of them in a week of hard fishing.
    Best of luck.

    Phil
    AIRBORNE
     
  10. KC Jayhawk 78

    KC Jayhawk 78 New Member

    Messages:
    3,236
    State:
    Kansas City, Ks
    Patrick, Im a river bank fisherman here in Kansas City. I find the same problems you come across. The only thing I can do , is find someone with a boat, and offer up some gas money. Usually that will do the trick. If your willing to top off a guys truck , you can usually get out on his boat for an all nighter. Just check your Tennessee rooms, find out who's going out on the river regularly , and send them a PM ,the guys on this site are pretty good guys , and if you offer up some cash for gas, theyll be more than happy to let you tag along. Those 8 ounce sinkers will usually hold from behind a boat, fishing with the current running from the side while your on the bank, doesnt really wanna hold. Ive fished with 16 oz. of weight in the current from the bank and more times than not it wont hold in the heavy current. Good luck. :big_smile:
     
  11. OhioRiverCatfisher

    OhioRiverCatfisher New Member

    Messages:
    284
    State:
    West Virginia
    I sometimes do away with any leader in fast current. Use a no roll sinker, bead and then the hook. Seems to give me less snags in some situations but in the Ohio River snags are just a way of life...
     
  12. jagdoctor1

    jagdoctor1 New Member

    Messages:
    708
    State:
    CA/AZ
    I fish the current on the colorado river which is smaller and slower but sounds like the same challenge on a different scale. Here's what I can offer you.
    Use the snags. Use a three way setup with the weights on a lighter line than the hook and mainline so this can snap off. Make the leader to the weights longer than normal say 18+inches. Cast out and emmediatly take the slack out of your line so you can keep a tight line until that sinker hits bottom. Now when it does it may move some and then get snagged. Leave it there. Your bait is 18+ inches above the bottom so the fish can find it and when you get a hit set the hook and snap that snagged weight off.
    Key here is to find a good bait you can count on staying on the hook so you can leave it out there until you get a hit.

    Another way is to use a float and put it into any eddies you can find and let it twirl around in the eddie.
    Hope i've helped at least some, have a good one.
     
  13. Shreveport Mike

    Shreveport Mike New Member

    Messages:
    104
    State:
    louisiana
    I bank fish all the time, in very strong current just below a dam, and it's all rocks. When the river is high, it gets frustrating! You definitely need the strong braided line. I also use a 15 foot rod. One reason for the long rod, is to keep the rod tip straight up while my weight is sinking, and try and land my sinker on top of a rock. Once it settles on top of the rock, (and you can feel it with some practice,) don't move it. Don't crank your reel a little, or anything like that, just stick your rod handle in between some rocks and stand back and watch it. So it is a good idea to have a place picked out, as to where you are going to set you rod down, before you even make the cast. I make sure that my sinker doesn't hang too far below my bait also, because I have had fish hooked, and because my sinker was hanging too low, the sinker snagged up, causing me to lose the fish.
     
  14. Shreveport Mike

    Shreveport Mike New Member

    Messages:
    104
    State:
    louisiana
    Also, I usually use a 3 ounce sinker. If the river is real high, I might use a 4 ounce.
     
  15. patrickgd

    patrickgd New Member

    Messages:
    809
    State:
    Memphis TN
    Thanks again to all who have posted. The snagging and getting hung up situation has lessened some, I've found the weight tied to a week lb. line very helpful but the challenge I've now been facing is finding the dang fish. I don't know where the fish are but they are not where I've been fishing. I've learned that catching fish is like a recipe. All ingedients of the recipe must be there and if not the recipe don't work. First part of the recipe is of course finding the fish, second having a bait that they want to eat in place when they are hungry, if your fortunate enough to get these parts in place then you better be ready in the tackle department. So like I said before finding the fish for me is what seems to be the biggest challenge right now and being on the bank compounds this problem because it's just not feesible to move a mile or 2 up river ever 30 minutes. Anyway I'm pretty much living by the philosophy of just keep plugging away and eventually sooner or later my day will come.
     
  16. jagdoctor1

    jagdoctor1 New Member

    Messages:
    708
    State:
    CA/AZ
    Yes it will.... That's all you can do is keep at it.
     
  17. Dreadnaught

    Dreadnaught New Member

    Messages:
    5,444
    State:
    Henderson,Ky
    When Bank Fishing on a River You Should Look For:
    1. Outside Bends: the current creates scour holes along the bank and somtimes "undercuts" which will hold allot of fish.
    2. Log Jams: These types of structures hold allot of fish of different types.
    3. Back Sides of Points: Behind most points there are eddies, these eddies hold catfish because the baitfish stay in them to get away from the current.

    All of these places are found withing 100' of the bank of any river. Long casts are not neccesary to reach these spots at all!!! I did this for years before I got a boat and it always worked for me!!!