I chickened out on Red River today

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by RayJ, May 26, 2020.

  1. RayJ

    RayJ Member

    Messages:
    28
    State:
    Texas
    Name:
    Ray Johnson
    I have been planning to try Red River for flatheads. I finally went today and put my boat in and the swift current making my boat sway and just having to throttle fairly high just to move, made me change my mind. I turned right around and loaded up. That was a chore in the current. Almost couldn’t do it.
    So, now the questions. I was concerned that anchoring could be dangerous in such a swift current. Is that a concern I should have? Also, I saw debris floating down river, that worried me. And, with the river being so swift, there was no way I would be able to keep a bait on bottom.
    I know others fish in swift rivers so it can be done safely. I was alone and had never boated in current like that. We got a lot of rain yesterday and the river was way up from last week when I drove down to the ramp to look at it. I saw two other truck and trailers there so it certainly wasn’t impossible. I just didn’t feel comfortable doing it. Any tips on fishing and anchoring in a rising river is appreciated. Thanks.
     
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  2. RayJ

    RayJ Member

    Messages:
    28
    State:
    Texas
    Name:
    Ray Johnson
    I think my boat is adequate in size, 17/56 Weldbilt with a 70hp Yamaha. I’m going to try it again after the river drops a little. It’s raining now , so that might be a while.
    I’ve been fishing below Wright Patman spillway on Sulphur River with the gates wide open and the Red River was 3 times or more as swift. I’ve been anchoring right up as close to the gates as possible and I’m perfectly comfortable. I guess I might just need to try it again to feel more comfortable with it. I used to duck hunt on Red River in high school but don’t recall ever being on it while it was that high.
     

  3. twaskom

    twaskom Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    9,349
    State:
    Indiana
    Name:
    Tom
    To error on the safe side is the right way to do it Ray. I have driven 2-1/2 hours once and two hours a second time to just turn around and head home. High water in a river is not forgiving.

    Good call.
     
  4. SteveMcK

    SteveMcK Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    864
    State:
    MS
    Name:
    Steve
    I agree with Tom. If ever you are in water that you may feel is over your experience level or comfort level stop. Learning from experience is sometimes costly!
     
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  5. RayJ

    RayJ Member

    Messages:
    28
    State:
    Texas
    Name:
    Ray Johnson
    If I was more experienced on swift rivers then I might have gone ahead and fished. Also, being by myself played a part too. I’m 56 years old and have boated and fished all my life but never on a river that swift. And it wasn’t overflowing it’s banks but I just wasn’t comfortable. I need to do more research on rivers. I’m sure bigger rivers like the Mississippi have more current than the Red. I need to research this a little more. I’m ordinarily not an overly cautious guy but I’m glad I turned around this time. I’ve heard that river current is nothing to play with. Now, I know exactly what they mean.
     
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  6. Thunder head

    Thunder head Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    531
    State:
    Georgia
    Name:
    Steven
    I dont have much experince with real heavy current. I have picked up a few things along the way.

    If there is lots of debris in the water. You have to keep an eye out up stream. A floating tree could get hung up on your anchor line / boat and sink you. Keep a knife handy to cut the anchor rope. Or keep a float tied to the end of the line and throw it all over board.

    You have to be careful when throwing out your anchor in strong current. It could sweep under the boat tangle in your motor. It can flip you around and drag you down by the stern.

    Im sure some of the river guys could give you more tips.
     
  7. 1gr8bldr

    1gr8bldr Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    285
    State:
    north carolina
    Name:
    Marty
    Current, strong current, has many considerations. I have seen so many, whom, I knew right from the start, that they did not have the experience needed to be in strong current. I can't tell you how many times I have seen a truck back a boat down into a cross current to far and it pick up and get washed down to a 45 degree angle. Makes for a sketchy redo having to pull back up with the trailer now tracking across the rock riprap they put along the sides for erosion. I find that once the water gets out of the banks, fishing is not very good. The fish scatter into the slacker over the bank water. I used to love to fish a flood, mainly because I knew exactly where I was going to. There was an underwater cliff perpendicular to the flow. Cast in behind it and a 1oz would hold. Yet miss the spot and a 4 oz would ski on the top. Always the biggest fish there.
     
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  8. philly35

    philly35 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    305
    State:
    iowa
    Name:
    Philip
    I’m not a fan of extremely swift current either. The mighty mo here by Sioux City is one example. I put in there once, and it was way too fast for me.
     
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  9. MrBushHog

    MrBushHog Member

    Messages:
    68
    State:
    Missouri
    Name:
    Greg
    I just hit 57 a couple weeks ago. Grew up fishing the Missouri River with my Grampa.

    Learned way back then that you have to be careful out there. If you're not comfortable doing something you probably shouldn't be doing it.

    If there's a bunch of deadwood floating down the river I'm going to think real hard about fishing somewhere else, and if I do go out I doggone sure won't throw the anchor in a spot where the river could float a tree into the line.

    I watch the gauges like a hawk when I'm getting ready to hit the MO. I fish the middle section of it in Missouri, so I'm looking at the JC gauge to know what it's doing here, and I'm looking at every gauge upstream all the way to Gavins Point Dam in Nebraska so I know what's coming. Learn to read the river gauges and translate the level/flow numbers to what the river looks like when you're on it. That will save you some wasted trips.

    You've got plenty of boat for the river, so no need to worry about that.
     
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