Mississippi River Fishing Techniques

Discussion in 'IOWA RIVERS TALK' started by YoMoma, Jun 1, 2009.

  1. YoMoma

    YoMoma New Member

    Messages:
    12
    State:
    Iowa
    I live in Iowa an fish pools 16 and 17 on the Mississippi River. I am kinda new to river fishing for cat as I am mostly a panfisherman on Iowa lakes and ponds. I do have a boat to get to the hard to reach areas.
    I was wondering what are your techniques for catching channel catfish or any other for that matter in these pools?
    Mine pretty much is park myself above a wingdam and fish around that, which did alright last summer and fall, only catching catfish barely big enuf to keep. Using worms and stinkbait for bait.
    Fished the river just last weekend and only caught 1 keeper from the river fishing a wingdam.
    What other way of catching catfish should I be trying this year?
    Do I need to look for stucture near the shorelines?
    Do I need to fish below islands where currents meet and fish between them?
    Do I need to find shallow island shoreline to fish?
     
  2. justwannano

    justwannano Active Member

    Messages:
    1,003
    State:
    SE Iowa
    Hi Larry.
    Welcome to the BOC.
    I kinda like wing dams myself.
    I gotta admit though. I haven't figured it all out.
    If you can make it I suggest you try to attend the gathering at Keokuk this summer.
    Last years gathering (the first one) was pretty good even though conditions were awful because of the flooding. This year ought to be great.
    Where could you learn more about catfishing? Heck you might even get Kenny to talk about fishing LMAO.
    Hope to see you there
    have a good 1
    just
     

  3. YoMoma

    YoMoma New Member

    Messages:
    12
    State:
    Iowa
    Got any information on this gathering? A posting or a website? Any way to get tips is good in my book.
     
  4. catfish kenny

    catfish kenny New Member

    Messages:
    6,064
    State:
    Iowa
    Larry its posted in the river section ...southeast Iowa powerhouse river bash it will be held at hubinger landing august 1-2 wer havin a fry swapmeet and fish off bring yer best gear and we might be fishing some bomb conditions ...ya need shad and you will slaughter em its bout the best bait we been hitting it hard this is the first night I havnt been out in a week ya need anything pm me and we will get ya squared way...Bob called it last yr was rough its gonna be alot better this yr ya come I will get ya some bait and piont ya to the river ya can hit them everywhere round here its good fishing hope to see ya TIGHT LINES!
     
  5. catfish kenny

    catfish kenny New Member

    Messages:
    6,064
    State:
    Iowa
    By the way I fergot WELCOME ABOARD nice to have another homeboy / bro on here ...we got some good people round hey by the way The Bridge Brothers are having a gathering the last weekend in July ...its gonna be good too...ya can count on it I will be there that weeken and turn roun come home and have ours Oh yeah(LOL)
     
  6. YoMoma

    YoMoma New Member

    Messages:
    12
    State:
    Iowa
    Been to Keokuk once. Wife and I stayed in a beautiful B&B there. We did go down to the river a time or two. Right there by the bridge, just below the dam there was some grassy area along with an old paddlewheel onshore.
    Is this where it is being held? Not sure if I saw a boat launch there.
     
  7. catfish kenny

    catfish kenny New Member

    Messages:
    6,064
    State:
    Iowa
    ok you was bout ohh maybe two three blocks away it was just down the way.if you was under the bridge drive the rd to the docs ya went to fer but ya wont miss it ther is hotels camping hook ups wiil cost tents free..we'd love to have ya tent camping will be free
     
  8. FLATHEAD STEVE

    FLATHEAD STEVE New Member

    Messages:
    1,772
    State:
    DESMOINES IOWA
    Welcome to the BOC Larry!
     
  9. IA Flatcatter

    IA Flatcatter New Member

    Messages:
    122
    State:
    SE IA. on the skunk river
    Larry,
    If you are wanting to learn all about catching Mr. Wiskers you are at the right place! Welcome to the B.O.C.
    Another Larry :cool2:
     
  10. catfish kenny

    catfish kenny New Member

    Messages:
    6,064
    State:
    Iowa
    Yeah Larry and Steve are some good fishers:cool2:
     
  11. Longjohn119

    Longjohn119 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,200
    State:
    Iowa
    I've fish 16 and 17 (especially 16) quite a bit. Tell me were you mainly put in at and I could probably tell you a couple of spots to try

    You have to take the time of year into consideration too, right now they are about to spawn. Since they are cavity spawners look for cavities to fish, look for riprap, the larger the pieces the better and flooded stumpfields on the downstream side of islands

    When it gets to mid-July and post spawn then I start hitting the wingdams and deep, fast water side channels

    I use mainly shad (Which is still scarce here) and live sunfish although during spawn I'll sometime use a leech under a slip bobber (Or a shad fillet). I only use stinkbaits at the places where I catch a lot of junk fish (gar, drum, dogfish) and only after I catch several or if someone I'm with is using it and having better luck than me but generally my average weights are over double with shad over stinkbaits
     
  12. YoMoma

    YoMoma New Member

    Messages:
    12
    State:
    Iowa
    Last year I fished pool 17 for the most part. Mostly a few wingdams. Got pretty much fiddlers and a few pan sized catfish. This yearfished pool 16 twice, a thursday morning and the following saturday afternoon to dusk. No rain has fallen between those dates.
    A friend showed me a couple of spots thursday morning. We put in at Fairport Landing. We went downriver. He says to park just off of the channel and cast towards the channel. We did good thursday morning. Got 16 keepers. A couple pan sized but most were 1 to 3 pounders. We caught them in 2 spots. One was above the dam about 2/3 to a mile above. Parked in 4 foot of water and casted towards the channel. Another was near a green bouy a little farther upriver. Again, parked near the bouy and casted towards the channel where the depth dropped off near the channel. Those 2 places are where we netted our 16 catfish. We used stink bait, worms and chicken liver. All did well.
    2 days later after no rain in between, my wife and I tried the same spots in the evening. Only got 3 keepers.
    This time of year I know that fishing the rip rap is good. We had very little luck that way, contrary to what my bro did this last week. But seems to me this one day that fishing the area that was dropoffs between the channel and shallows seemed to work. At least the morning time worked that way.
    Havent used any live bait or shad pieces yet. Waiting till I buy some better gear so I`d be ready for the bigger ones.
    Havent tried the tail end of islands yet. I`ve heard they can be productive.
    Any other ideas where they might be?
     
  13. Iablue

    Iablue New Member

    Messages:
    91
    State:
    IOWA
    Larry, if you put in at Fairport and went down river, then you passed a good area. Right across and down just a bit from that county campground is a cut between two large islands. I have fished that for several years and always come back happy. This cut comes out to the east into the main channel and is at the deepest 13-14ft. A lot of log structure, etc, which seems to hold the nice channels and smaller flats. Good luck and keep searching this site, cause you will get some valuable information.
     
  14. YoMoma

    YoMoma New Member

    Messages:
    12
    State:
    Iowa
    I`ve cut through that area a few times in the last week. I wondered how the area would be for trot lines attached to some of the logs, but never thought of pole fishing it.
    Whats the best way to fish it? Fish near the logs? Fish in the 13 to 14 foot "channel"? How deep is it next to the logs? I may need to anchor near them just to stay out of the way of other boaters passing through.
     
  15. Longjohn119

    Longjohn119 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,200
    State:
    Iowa
    Iablue is pointing you in the right direction, it looks to be the same spot I was going to suggest. There is a wingdam between those two islands and a fairly deep hole. I've also had good luck one the backside of that hole, you should see shad stacked up on that rising slope. Just down from that you'll find some stumpfields that have been very productive during the spawn (Most of June)

    If you go to the Rock Island District Corps of Engineers website you can download a PDF version of the Upper Mississippi Navigation Maps. http://www.mvr.usace.army.mil/ On the left side menu under Navigation Resources you'll find a link. You can download sections if you are on a dialup or if you have high speed you can downlaod the entire thing, it weighs in at 62Mb .... Look on Map 59, mile marker 465 and you'll see the cut with the wingdam and just down from that you'll see the stumpfields marked

    Another good spot is at the top of map 59, mile marker 467. You'll see a 'complex' wingdam (Or is it a wingdam complex?) just above Vellie Chute. I haven't fished there in 2 or 3 years but I've caught some nice Flatheads all around that complex wingdam over the last 25 years

    About halfway between these two spots on the Iowa side you have the creek that goes through Wildcat Den. Fishing around the mouth and even a little ways up the creek (Before the railroad tracks) can also be a good spot. It's especially been a good spot for ditty poles at night when the cats come up that creek
     
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  16. barnold

    barnold Active Member

    Messages:
    402
    State:
    Illinois
    LongJohn, Thanks for posting that USGS site. I downloaded some maps that I had been looking for.:big_smile:
     
  17. tmbragg67

    tmbragg67 New Member

    Messages:
    24
    State:
    Iowa
    Hi Larry. Welcome. My buddy and I started fishing the Mississippi about 11 years ago. We spent 2 or 3 years totally overwhelmed - where do you start in 20 miles of river and all the backwaters? We finally decided to focus on the 1st 2-3 miles downstream of our dam (L&D 12) and learn that stretch of river. The key for us was learning the territory inside and out. We didn't do a lot of catching the first 2 years while we were learning, but we've consistently caught fish ever since - regardless of river and weather conditions.

    It turns out that good walleye spots are also good cat spots - the faces of wingdams with about 3' of water going over them, current seams, eddies, holes and ledges, stumps in current, etc. We used stink bait for a while and caught good numbers but not much for size. We started using shrimp (tail on shrimp from the grocery store) and our average size jumped a bunch. Last year we averaged 5 lb per fish. The fiddlers don't seem to mess with the shrimp - you figure about 2 lb minimum when you get a bite. There's no "peck, peck" bite for the most part - the fish grab and go (use rod holders!). Other type of fish generally leave the shrimp alone, too. We catch a few sheephead (big ones!) and the occasional sturgeon. The added bonus is you don't get stink bait splattered all over your boat - nice if you use it for pleasure boating too.

    Here's the bait cycle I use: Cut bait in shallow, low current backwater lakes in early spring (up to about 60-65 deg water temp in our area), shrimp in pre-spawn (65-70) in current around breaks, just about anything under a bobber along rip-rap during spawn (70-75 deg) and shrimp again after spawn. When I'm looking for big fish, I put live 8-10" chubs or eating size bluegills on the bottom, especially this time of year when the flatheads are getting ready to spawn.

    Hope this helps some. Good luck.
     
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