It has been several years since Pool 9 has been at such a low level as we head into the Memorial Day weekend. fishing has been great for almost a month already–and getting better every day!
Water temps on Friday had warmed back up from the low 50’s after Mother’s Day to the mid 50’s and beyond. By Friday afternoon I found some panfish-crazy conditions in 66 degree water. Fish were perch and ‘gills. Water was this warm cuz it was dark bottom, on the West side of the River, clear water and <4′ deep. Earlier in the day I was in another running slough where water was only 55 degrees. male crappies were in the wood–4-5′ down over 10′. bigger females were suspended about 10′ down over 18-21 fow. makes you wanna go hmmmm.
It is Sunday morning. Imbedded front will bring gentle rain all day. Had to postpone this afternoon’s trip for a couple weeks. Even though the fish are already wet, those who want to learn more about fishn’ the River don’t need to grow gills to understand them!
River level projection for the next 10 days call for totally stable conditions. Water temps will continue to warm. Suspect those female crappies will follow the males into even shallower water by this time next week. With so much less flooded timber to hide in, they should be easy to find. Of course, the gills and perch will be shallow, too. Today’s rain will also bring the morels, which have been pretty much hiding so far.
Stable, low pool levels will also make gamefish easier to find–and catch. Walleyes have been on the wings…but their high-water orientation is different than when we are approaching normal summer pool levels.
Even though we are still on the high side of normal pool levels, siltation from prolonged high water has created a “new normal”. You want to use extreme caution trying to run anywhere beyond the designated channel. The River is ALWAYS changing–and there are some surprising and PROFOUND changes where bassholes running willy nilly cracking the whip on 250 horses will go from 60 to zero in about a boat length next weekend.
heavy boat traffic is why I now charge a premium for working on Saturdays: $1000/4 hrs. for up to 2 anglers. The same rate applies for holiday weekends, but I supply red rubber noses and orange fright wigs in addition to terminal tackle, and advise clients they need to bring their own popcorn and peanuts.
After a lifetime of fishing the Miss–the past 20 of which mostly exploring Pool 9– I’ve concluded that fishin’ here is like a pendulum. For the past two years consistent success has been tough. Over the past few weeks fishin’ has become LOL easy–with the exception of hazards to navigation.
During the week I’m out there pretty much every day. Still have some openings during the week. So far, Saturdays are WIDE OPEN. Time for church on-line now. With the exception of holiday weekends, still booking trips on Sunday afternoons. Best time to be on the River, as NASCAR on the water has pretty much gone home.