Ol’ Man River’s Green New Deal
The River is running at new normal level low summer pool level right now with water clarity exceptional. Usually by late summer normal pool rocks on many wingdams and closing dams are exposed. Not so this year.
Generally low River levels have exacerbated the annual arrival of a sea of eelgrass working its way downstream.
Weeds are a major factor in catching fish in the fall because they impact presentation. Weeds tend to be heaviest along current seams–which is also where fish like to hide. Hard to catch fish if you can’t get to ’em. Best thing to do is go fishin’ where there are fewer weeds! Usually you can get away from most weeds by moving to the other side of the River.
if you can’t get away from them, streamline the presentation. A lure with a single treble snags fewer weeds than the average crankbait. A jig or other single hook snags fewer still.
If you absolutely must fish where weeds are a factor trying pegging a small split shot about 18″ up the line, or go with a barrel swivel. Both will intercept weeds.
I fish braid about 90% of the time for all species. One exception is the double whammy of very clear water and lotsa weeds. A barrel swivel with a floro leader is pretty much standard for everything but pike between now and late October when water temps fall into the mid-40s pushing walleyes deeper and the weed parade tends to subside a little.
With an abundance of forage in the system panfish remain the most dependable targets, with flathead cat starting to go on the crew at the leading edge of deeper holes.
Great grandpa’s observation that “mud cat” are most active during daylight hours during the full moon period (happening now) and the next one which begins Sept. 29 still rings true today.