how to fish the dikes?

Discussion in 'Blue Catfishing' started by poopdeck [patrick], Sep 22, 2005.

  1. poopdeck [patrick]

    poopdeck [patrick] New Member

    Messages:
    1,215
    State:
    ofallon il
    I fish the mississippi close to st louis. I have a lot of experience fishing the bank for the flat heads. How ever we recently got a boat and its a whole lot different. We have been out at least 10 times but havn/t caught anything at all. I have been reading in here about the dikes and it/s a little confusing. Most people say fish above the dikes. How far above the dikes? Are all dikes the same?Do flatheads also live in the holes by the dikes? I wanna catch some of these monster blues I been reading about. I would appreciate any help you guys can give me on how to fish a big river from a boat especially concerning the dikes
     
  2. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Patrick, if you are already able to pick good flathead spots from the bank, you can fish those same spots from a boat, plus similar spots that are beyond casting distance from the bank. At this point, I wouldn't be too concerned about trying to find totally new types of honeyholes in totally different parts of the river; just apply what you already know to expand the area you fished before you got the boat.
    One thing that I found interesting about flatheads on the Arkansas River in central Arkansas is that I've never caught one over a couple of pounds on a jug that was free floating in the current. I have caught several on jugs that got hung up on the bottom and were no longer moving with the current. That makes me think that flatheads like to watch the bait for a while before they eat it, rather than quickly grab it as it goes by.
     

  3. bearcat

    bearcat Member

    Messages:
    925
    State:
    Nokomis, Illinois
    Hey Patrick. I have been out on the miss river a couple of times in the last couple of years. The fish in my profile was caught above ST Louis. It weighted 51 lbs.

    When fishing wing dams you will have to check each wing dam. Be carefull though. They can be dangerous. Ecspecially if they are under water. Drive threw them and check for logs or debris, IE structure, with your depth finder. When you find one with the most structure stop and fish it. Anchor up stream in a position so that you can cast your bait to the edge of the scour hole and the structure. Sometimes if the scour hole is big you may want to fish the head of the hole fiurst then move to fish the structure. Try and not let your bait drift after it hits bottom. It will snag and not get it back.
    Hope this helps. Try the outside of the big bends in the river. They are good also. I got my fish in the main channel on a big bend in the river.
     
  4. poopdeck [patrick]

    poopdeck [patrick] New Member

    Messages:
    1,215
    State:
    ofallon il
    Thanks bearcatand Jerry, I think I been fishing the wrong end of the dike I guess the hole is down river at the tip of the dike and I am sopposed to fish a little up stream of the hole?One more thing when we talk about the tip of the dike they mean the tip under water not the tip out of the water?
     
  5. catwacker

    catwacker New Member

    Messages:
    202
    State:
    illinois
    hey patrick, i do 99% of my fishing on the miss. i'm no expert, but one of the first places i look for on a wingdam is a ledge that runs parallel to the bank. first i go out to the deep end, staying above the dam about 30 to 50 yrds.then i head straight towards the bank. maintain your distance from the dam, and watch the depth finder . i am looking for a ledge, a quick rise from about22 ft up to8ft . i anchor right on the ledge and cast to the deeper water, letting my shad drift right up against the ledge. i have to use at least a 2 oz no-roll sinker as current is strong up here, 3 oz in some places. if i don;t connect i move upstream about 50 yrds, staying on the ledge. best fishing right now is daylite to about 11 am, and 7 to 11pm. i have always heard fish rest below the dam and feed above it . don't know, but i always fish above. if you don't find a ledge, i would start at the deep end of the dam,50to 75yrds upstream and work my way to the bank. some wingdams are full of fish, some hold nothing. probably depends on current- how deep the scour holes are. gotta stop, my fingers tired good luck!!!
     
  6. bearcat

    bearcat Member

    Messages:
    925
    State:
    Nokomis, Illinois
    The end of the dike I am talking about will be out in the river. Sometimes nder water sometimes not. Just depends on the amount of water in the river.

    Hey Patrick If you have a depth finder you can see the scour hole as you motor threw the hole. It will generally drop a few feet to a bunch of feet just depends. Postion the boat so you can be fishing the up stream side of the scour hole.
     
  7. poopdeck [patrick]

    poopdeck [patrick] New Member

    Messages:
    1,215
    State:
    ofallon il
    This is why i am here, that is some great advice.For years I been hereing about the big blues on the dikes.I could never get to them.I/m kinna old so I been bank fishing for 20 years.I almost always target flatheads but when the rivers gets way up theres a real good place to catch blues and I have caught several 30 and 40 pounders but I have always wanted to fish the dikes.I can see I been doing a lot wrong so were gonna try them dikes this week end like you guys said
     
  8. dudlbugr

    dudlbugr New Member

    Messages:
    176
    State:
    Cleveland, AL
    Patrick,

    Everything above is sound advice for fishing around the dikes. One good method for fishing the scour holes, is to drift them. This works best with only 1 rod out per boat, but can be done with more. You just have more to tangle them up with. The way we do it down here in Ole Miss is: pull into the hole behind the dyke. Look at it, and wherever the most amount of either foam or trash is, ease the boat into that, and try to stop in the foam or trash. Bait your hook, and put enough weight on to get to the bottom, preferably straight down. Hang the bait off of the boat, and release the reel. When you feel the weight hit the bottom, engage the reel. Every couple of seconds, pick the bait off the bottom, and let it back down. You may have to drop some more line; you may have to reel back up. As you're doing this, however, the boat is going to be moving. If you spend long enough there, you may do several big circles in the hole. Try to keep the bait right under the boat. Not possible, really, but try. You're gonna get hung up. You're gonna lose some weights, and some whole rigs. That's just part of fishing the MS river.
    Another method we've found productive is fishing the seam around the dyke.
    Look at where the dyke runs into the river (where the rocks end), and there will be a spot where the water is running paralell to the dyke, or at an angle to the dike, but flowing into the main flow of water going past the dyke. This water is what people mean when they talk about an eddy. There will be a seam or line where the eddy water meets the main flow water. Usually, depending of water depth, there will be a ledge very near this seam. It may be further out than the seam; it may be further in. The best way we've found to anchor is to go straight up into the eddy water a good ways; even if you get to where the water is flowing straight at the dyke, it is okay, so long as you have enough rope to reach the boat to casting distance of the seam. Drop anchor, and back directly towards the end of the dyke, so as to settle in the eddy water flowing paralell to the dyke, or with the flow anyway, and have your stern facing the tip of the dike, or the confluence of the eddy and the seam. Spread your baits along the seam. Often, fish will be lying down in holes in the ledge, just eating whatever comes by. I have learned that, to effectively scatter the bait around the ledge, you need to cast into the main flow, and let it drop from there. If you cast into the eddy water, they'll all end up in the same place.
    I'm a new comer to fishing above the dykes, and feel that I have enough sense to not anchor somewhere that I'm uncomfortable with, but I am beginning to fish above the dykes some.
    For mentoring om seam fishing, send Coach or Bigriver a private message; they have near 'bout perfected it. Coach is the one that showed me how to do it, and has taught me a lot of valuable info with regards to fishing the old Man.

    Good luck, and, when you find something that works, please let us know!
     
  9. highwayman582004

    highwayman582004 New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Dudlbugr. thanks.-youve gave my a lot to think about on fishing above the dikes. I know very little about river fishing but im trying to learn. Ive fished large lakes all my life and normally do ok. But........ im not so sure about the safty aspect of fishing above the dikes. Thanks for the imformation
     
  10. dudlbugr

    dudlbugr New Member

    Messages:
    176
    State:
    Cleveland, AL
    Highwayman,

    Shane Williams (Turtle1173) was the first person I heard of of fishing above the dikes, and he has caught some big fish doing just that. Since then, I've heard of others doing it, but have been skeptical. Last spring, Gofish and I went up to Memphis and fished with several of the Memphis boys. Matt Bingham (Bigriver) put us on a spot that was above a rock dike, kind of. It was more of an L-Dike. He had caught a few fish there, and invited us to anchor nearby. We fished for a couple of hours with no luck, and then Joe caught a 58 pounder. That got me to thinking, and looking around here for a similar setup. The safest thing about that setup was that, if we washed off anchor, we would have swept right past the dike. I found a similar setup near home, and checked it several times by putting my motor in neutral and sweeping right past the end of the dike, but ready to change course if necessary. I've fished it several times since (biggest fish I've caught was 12 lbs, but broke off on 2 more; 1 of which was shaking his head something fierce!), and have washed off anchor a few times. Everytime, I go right past the end of the dike.

    Good luck, and think safely!
     
  11. highwayman582004

    highwayman582004 New Member

    Messages:
    13
    dudlbugr. Thanks for the imformation. Im planing a trip to the old miss next month just a little ways down river from memphis [close to tunica] if the fish are not biting i may try my luck in the casinos lol. Ill let you know how it goes above the dikes. thanks again