closing Dam Frenzy

closing Dam Frenzy

As the River continues to drop and clear, closing dams are tremendous places to find numbers of active fish. Closing dams run parallel to the main channel. Purpose is to keep water in main channel rather than following nature’s course downstream through a running slough.

Closing dams are not perfect. Every one has a couple of anomalies like a mis-placed rock pile or low spot which are fish magnets. The backside of closing dams off of the main channel have little anomalies like sand bars, eddies and current chutes which also attract fish.

The key is bait. Find bait and fish won’t be far away. This morning i got on the water at 1st light, planning on catching a mess of SMB to fed my fishing addiction.

I started by spot-locking on the backside of the closing dam where current causes depth along the shore behind the closing dam rocks. A short distance away the bottom comes up to form a sandbar. The perfect ambush spot!

After 5 casts with a topwater failed to produce I switched to a #Zman ned rig w/ finesse TRD and a few drops of Liquid Willowcat. 14-incher on the 1st cast–and 6 of the next 8 casts fishing a current seam at the leading edge of the hole behind the wingdam.

Then a school of white bass showed up, herding river shiners to a point where they could be ambushed. Caught several pump/snapping the Ned off the bottom on my #StCroixrods 7′ panfish series ultralight. Fish weren’t huge, 9-11″.

Rigged a 1/16 oz. white RoadRunner with a 1″ Kalin fliptail on my Croix NINE FOOT panfish series rod, while the water boiled with whiteys. It takes about 5 mins. of pure joy to whup a WB on a 9′ ultralight panfish rod. By the time this fish was at boatside, the whiteys had skulked back downstream to plan their next attack. Picked up the Ned rig and popped several more SMB and a short walleye.

Then the surface started raining shiners again with WB in hot pursuit. Quit counting @ 25 fish…but had to catch one more. This turned in to about 10 more. Started counting again. At 23 fish a 16″ SMB slurped in the Roadrunner. Takes awhile to bring a critter like that to boatside on a 9′ buggy whip.

Kalin fliptail came off in the melee. This and special pain in both shoulders told me this was enough fun for one morning.

Got off the water @ 9 a.m. Pretty sure the WB @ SMB will be chewing there for awhile. July & Aug. produce closing dam action like this on a regular basis if the river level is right. Time of day can play a role in fish activity. But if the bait is there, you can bet predators will be close by, too.

My passion for fishing knows no bounds. Catching fish until you’re tired of catching fish isn’t an easy benchmark to achieve. But I’m there now. Just heard the Admiral fire up the lawnmower. 10 a.m. Might have to go help her after my nap. Or not.

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