High Water "Blues"

Discussion in 'LOCAL MISSOURI TALK' started by RIVER-RAT, Oct 5, 2005.

  1. RIVER-RAT

    RIVER-RAT New Member

    Messages:
    3,128
    State:
    MO / MT
    Was out on the Missouri River today and noticed the water level had gone up 3-4 feet. There was alot of debris in the river today as well. Now, is just me, or do the fish get lock-jaw when the conditions are like this? I have been fishing the MO all summer long and it seems that every time I went out in these conditions, I never get a fish or a bite for that matter. Even my little "honeyholes" don't produce. Am I better off turning around and parking the boat when I see the river like this, or is there something I'm doing wrong?

    The day wasn't a complete skunker, while catching shad with my throw net, I netted a spoonbill!! He was in about 3-4 of water and right up on the shore. First one I've ever caught or even seen alive! So that was pretty cool!!

    Any suggestions or helpful hints?
     
  2. TIM HAGAN

    TIM HAGAN New Member

    Messages:
    1,236
    State:
    Walkersvil
    can't help with your river but i fish the potomac river in maryland and when the water is coming up i fish the banks . here it same like the cats hit the bank lines feedingon washins along the banks . i do very well from 2 to 10 feet from the banks.may try it there to my honeyholes will stop untill the water starts falling again.
     

  3. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

    Messages:
    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO
    Hey Rat, I never do any good when the river comes up quite a bit in a short period of time either. I primarily fish the Mississippi, and it seems the same is true. I have much better luck with low water conditions. I'll usually wait about 3-5 days after the water has come up to let things stabilize, and the bite usually picks back up. I would much rather be out there in low water though. Just my 2$ worth, I'm sure somone out there can catch fish in high water, its just not me. :mad:
     
  4. RIVER-RAT

    RIVER-RAT New Member

    Messages:
    3,128
    State:
    MO / MT
    Thanks for the advice Tim, was down near the boat ramps today, unfortunately I was working and not fishing, and spoke to several fellas that were coming off the river with several nice fish. They said that since the river was high, they were fishing the shallows above the wing dykes. They had caught two nice flatheads, 25lbs & 18lbs, and 5 other fish in the 3-5 pound range, all in about 3-5 feet of water. Next time I'm on the water in those conditions I'll remember this.
     
  5. TIM HAGAN

    TIM HAGAN New Member

    Messages:
    1,236
    State:
    Walkersvil
    It work , back when i was young we farmed around a river here . And my job everyday was to bring the cows in . So i would walk along the river to run them in. Everytime after or even doing good rain i would see fish moving along the banks. when i really got in to fishing i remembered that . So when in rains and the river starts coming up i head for the banks . I does great until the water starts to fall then for like two days or so bites seem to be slow. Think they just got full all them worms and things.
    i like to set up alot 4 or 5 feet off the bank put a big bobber ona let the bait float as far as i can see. do that 3 or 4 times then if no fish move on down the river some more an set up again. i have had many big blue over 20 lbs had a 44lb one time. hook a big cat like that with say 100 yards of like out is a ball getting him in. try it next time and see i love to fish that way with chicken hearts but sounds like i'm the only one who use hearts for bait.
    big fish eat small bait too guys i have had many blue over 20 lbs on 1 little chicken heart on a 3/0 hook.
     
  6. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    An old guide once told me that high water was like the opening of a new Walmart superstore.Everybody left their old familiar places and headed for the new store.Fish aren't much different I guess.When the water comes up it usually catches lots of things unaware,things which catfish eat.There is all of a sudden lots of new territory just smelling of groceries.The fish just move up into the shallow water right on the banks and feed on targets of opportunity.Bass are famous for this like when the water is up in the spring and they move right into the flooded trees along the shore.The fish are there ,they are just in a new place.When the water drops they drop back to your familiar places and honey holes.
     
  7. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

    Messages:
    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO
    Nice Post Jim. Sounds very reasonable too. Next time I'm out on those high water conditions, I think I'm going to tear myself off of those dyke tips and try some shallow rip rap banks and such. High water would certainly open new feeding opportunities. I've always noticed that carp really root around in the grass when the rivers up, with some schools upward of 20-30 fish. I guess I never put 2 and 2 together and figured that the whiskers did the same thing. Thx for the info.