Water Heights ~ River Fishing

Discussion in 'OHIO RIVERS TALK' started by RetiredToFish, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. RetiredToFish

    RetiredToFish New Member

    Messages:
    1,186
    State:
    Newark, Ohio
    I would like to get a discussion going as to fishing any of the major river systems in Ohio or surrounding states. What are your favorite conditions for fishing your river, i.e., rising water, high water, receeding water, low water or a constant pool. Also tell if you can, why you favor your chosen favorite conditions and are there any things you look for specifically during those conditions.

    This should be interesting to everyone and maybe even enlightening to some of us with little experience fishing these major water courses. .... Garry-
     
  2. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    Well, I mostly fish the Muskingum River. I fish many different conditions including high and low water stages. My feeling is every season has an ideal water stage that I like. Too bad, I can't snap my finger to make these happen. For example, early spring.. such as pre-spawn, with warming temps. breaking into the low to mid 60's. I like highwater. This may sound crazy, but alot of these fish are starting there pre-spawn feed and movements. I think spring highwater really moves these fish around. I like to target slack water areas, small creeks or streams, or even inside bends where some of these slack areas occur. The highwater has these fish moving and often staging for short periods of time in these areas to rest or feed, before moving again. I have caught some big stringers this way. Now, after spawn I like a river stage that is slightly above what someone might consider low. Then I can start to target these summer spots, such as logjams, large rip-rap or other obstructions that are often associated with the river channel. If we get a real hot dry spell come july-august.. I like another big flood to cool river temps. and get some of these fish to bite better in the so called "dog days".. And of course fall-time and winter, when these fish start moving to hole up for their winter, I like a low river stage. So, I guess there are many different stages high, med, low... i don't mind them as long as i can chose when they are gonna happen.:wink: rollo
     

  3. RetiredToFish

    RetiredToFish New Member

    Messages:
    1,186
    State:
    Newark, Ohio
    Great post Rollo .... That is what I am looking for ... garry-
     
  4. catfishcrazy256

    catfishcrazy256 New Member

    Messages:
    2,648
    State:
    Indiana
    for drifting i like pool stage or just above , fo anchor fishing i like 2 or 3 ft. above pool and rising slow
     
  5. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    My favorite conditions ae drout conditions..Extremly low water levels in the river I fish In the late summer and fall produce more fish for me...I think it concentrates the fish in smaller areas and makes catching multiple flatheads easier...Things I look for is a riffle or whats left of one dropping into a deep hole.

    Now spring time I prefer high water, the higher the better and I usually fish slack water areas.
     
  6. chubbahead

    chubbahead Member

    Messages:
    332
    State:
    Ohio
    If I'm channel fishing, no matter what season, I prefer high water. I can almost always locate the channels when the water is up and muddy. Muddy water really gets the channels active. Catfish have a huge advantage targeting baitfish in the muddy water. They rely mostly on smell and vibrations, while the baitfish rely on being able to see in the water. Easy prey for the catfish.

    For Flatties, I'm still kind of figuring it out in the rivers. I don't mind the river to be up, but there seems to be a point where it can be too high and I don't catch them. Muddy water definately helps the spawning in the spring though. The babies turn into prey for baitfish, and during the muddy water, the baitfish can't see like I spoke of above. Spring rains are a good thing. Flatheads will hold eggs along time until it rains, and sometimes miss there spawn during drought conditions.

    I don't like low water for flatheads in the summer. This is kind of selfish though. When the water is low and the oxygen is low, it seems a lot of the flatties head towards the low head damns where oxygen is abundant. I don't like to fish crowded areas though, so I always stay away from the low head damns and I think my fishing suffers because of it.

    During fall, I prefer low water. I mostly fish deep holes and they are usually currenty. If the water is even a little high, I have trouble keeping my weight and bait down without drifting into snags. So low is good for me in the fall.
     
  7. dinkbuster1

    dinkbuster1 New Member

    Messages:
    2,272
    State:
    Ohio
    i agree with both Flathunter and Chubbahead. for flatties i like low water, not drought conditions but normal pool and if the river is slightly rising. for channels i like it on the rise and muddy. however i do not like it when the river gets to the "blown out" stage, it seems then even the channels are more worried about staying out of current than eating.
     
  8. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    this is a great topic to discuss. i think alot has to do with the river system and how the fish react, along with the methods to catch them. I can see where a smaller river system could be more difficult to catch them. Or even a river that I fish, with certain sections that are more straight and consistent. I rely on alot of bends and turns, and other things to create these special areas to fish. I have to say after fishing the entire system, every section is different, and has to be approached differently. The things and conditions I may like on the area(s) i fish, I probably wouldn't like every one of them! This is why it is soo important to scout your river in the different seasons, and see all sections you plan on fishing.. And even then, you probably aren't prepared enough for mother natures ways!! lol..rollo