Time on the Water
A bad situation on pool 9 has taken a turn for the worse over the past couple days, as heavy rains in the Twin Cities and point north have arrived, bringing the annual floating hayfield of grass on the back of a rising river.
Right now the pool is stabilized at the ‘action stage’, which menas about 95% of the 30,000 acres is a Reese’s cup without the peanut butter filling . That’s OK.
If you know where to find that 5% of fishable water you can still have a ball. The 5% will jump to 8% in a couple of days if local rainfall doesn’t become a factor. Ever-changing mudlines will develop over the next few days. A little frogging around is required to find water with at least 18″ visibility. But once found, fish will cooperate even under cold front conditions.
Frogging around yesterday only produced about a dozen bass for me and a couple of really good hooks, but one fat largie was an honest 5 lbs. and a scrappy SMB measured up at 18″–with every possible negative condition except for gale force winds and lightning part of the equation.
We found several places where there was plenty of ‘acceptable’ water with at least 18″ of visibility. The last place we fished you could see a Rat-L-Trap or spinnerbait coming through the water at least 50′ from the boat at the end of a long cast.
It is now 18 hours later. This patch of gin-clear water has no doubt moved. After decades on this water I have a pretty good hunch where to find it. My guide book is pretty much open for the rest of the month. That’s OK too. This has been an awful year working as a Mississippi river guide. But I’m still gonna go fishin’ and will almost always catch a few, even if it’s just for fun…and there’s no place on god’s green earth I would rather be.
The best part is, you seldom see more than a couple of boats-even on a weekend. At least boats cruising where the fish are!
The Bible says ‘iron sharpens iron’. Ol’ Man River may be liquid, but it’s tougher than any man. It’s tougher to catch a 10 pound ‘eye here than out on Erie or up on Green Bay–so when you wrestle a good fish out of the River it means much, much more.
Time on the water is much more important than just about anything else when you’re out there on the Big River. A sophisticated electronic box with 200 GPS waypoints is of little value when the fish that prompted a waypoint are already swimming far, far away.
It is now 8 a.m. I have not been fishing since yesterday. Time to git out there and se what the river has to say this morning.