The river has been running so high for so long that the summer pool level pool 9 is at now seems a little unusual. There are many truly significant changes beyond the channel, with sandbars and mud flats where we’ve never seen them before–or far larger and shallower than they used to be at normal summer pool.
90+ days of flood stage this year has created ideal conditions for aquatic plant growth. Many backwaters which have been semi-navigable at summer pool are essentially floating salads of dubious dept–great if you like froggin’ for bass.
Crappies are just beginning to transition from weeds to wood. Still catching fish in the lily pads and sandgrass edges in as little as 2 f.o.w. –but they are also starting to suspend several feet down tight to deepwater wood.
Bluegills are all over the place–and no place. Once you find ’em it takes awhile to frog around a driftpile or weededge to find the spot-on-the-spot where you’ll find bite a minute action.
Perch are hanging in 18″-7 f.o.w., tucked in the elodea (coontail), also relating to clam beds. I like to use my new St. Croix 9′ panfish rod to drop a Teddy Skunk Perchantor in openings in the elodea, and a seven-footer with a little Northland jigging spoon over the clam beds. The clam bed bite is classic perchin’ –they come and go. Stick around for an hour and they’ll be back to feed again.
The walleye bite has ben mostly around main channel rocks and a few select areas in the deeper running sloughs. Trolling is still possible, but weeds are starting to become an issue. Water temp is still in the low 70’s, but it won’t take long to drop below 60 when all the sandgrass in all the backwaters upstream will turn things into a linear floating hayfield as the more-abundant-than-ever weeds start to die
With low water, time of day is now a factor in finding active walleyes. Favorite weapons are still the Bill Lewis MR-6 in threadfin shad pattern and Rat-L-Trap in oxbow–especially during lower light periods over the rocks or coming off of sandbars into deeper water.
Haven’t blogged in awhile cuz I’ve been on the river pretty much every day, often all day, for a solid month now. have the day off. think I’ll go fishin’