Waiting for the Edges
Flooding is the new normal on pool 9. In 2019 the only two months with near “normal” levels were March & August. This year we went from ice out to flood in 36 hrs. with essentially no late ice bite.
So here we are two full months after ice out still well into the ‘action’ stage. Pool 9 is the only pool on the Upper Miss where the ‘action’ stage is directly related to River access instead of gates going back in the water at dams.
Last year I whined enough to NOAA and the Corps of Engineers to change this definition, arguing the number of folks who travel great distances to fish this pool ere frustrated cuz they would get here and most–if not all–ramps were tough to access without hippers.
The new magic number for River access on this pool is now just over 625 at Genoa. Access is possible on the Army Rd. at New Albin just a couple tenths higher than the posted number which designates the lower edge of ‘action’ stage. We are now at 630.8–or close–with dam gates going back in the water at 631.
The number to watch for on this pool is 627. When the river drops to 627 there will be more hard edges as areas start loading from the bottom with little or no water pushing downstream through the trees, also bringing more areas where visibility is >2′. This is KEY for finding active fish!
Fish want to bite, but predators are having difficulty pinning prey against a hard edge for easy ambush. Sure, there are hard edges like the dam tailwaters and rip-rapped railroad beds. There are also softer edges like current seams where predators can pin prey with little effort. This includes predators with fishin’ poles.
Where there are no edges a predator will find just one or two fish. Muskies are not the only species which can claim to be the ‘fish of 10K casts until stage 627 at Genoa.
The gov’t puts out a comprehensive chart on the website https://water.weather.gov/ahps2hydrograph.php?wfo=arx&gage=genw3
On this site you can find not only the projected levels on pool 9, but essentially ever water where there is gage reference in the USA !
This also includes long term probability projections, which are usually pretty close. These projections tell me we’ll probably see 627 here in another week, and drop down to 625 by June. But all these numbers are subject to change with a gullywasher upstream.
Until we see 627, keep your line in the water with a search bait like a spinnerbait or Rat-L-Trap in obnoxious colors with a little flo orange/green/blue. The ‘oxbow’ pattern ‘Trap is perfect.
I haven’t had a paid guide trip on pool 9 for almost 6 months. Still go fishin’ here just about every day. Catching fish, but most days its a lot more work than the classic definition of fun.
Look for another blog when there if Facebook notification by me. Until then, be patient! God is in control!