I am perplexed by the number of EXCELLENT fishermen who hire me because they are frustrated in finding consistent success on the Mississippi. In just the past few days I’ve had absolutely stellar walleye guys and truly serious bass guys in the boat who have been humbled by the River.
The Old Man humbles me too–on a daily basis. It takes me AT LEAST an hour to figure out where the fish are lurking and what it takes to put bendage in a client’s rod–at least an hour, every single day.
It helps being on the water at least every other day. usually every day–except Saturday or a holiday weekend. Different species require wildly different tactics sometimes. I usually start by fishing the target species where & how i last found them, based on River level, conditions ( like rising/falling, turbidity) wind velocity/ direction, humidity…
None of these critical factors have anything to do with the boat, sophisticated electronics, tackle…
It’s all about the River! Most folks who struggle out there sally forth with a conqueror mindset. Truth is, you’ll NEVER come out ahead of the Old Man. The first hour–or two– is spent going full tilt Zen, trying to get in harmony with all the variables in the natural world.
Then it’s a pyramid thing, matching presentation/location to what the River is trying to tell you. This is when boat position & control have serious impact. Moving just a few feet can have profound impact, factoring in wind, current, mudlines…
Boat control and presentation need to be constantly reassessed. Yesterday’s walleye trip was a prime example. The client wondered why we spot locked over a sand bottom in just 3 fow. Why would walleyes be in such a spot on a partly cloudy summer day??
Short answer is–cuz the food is there. Looking deeper, all the other variables involved in plugging into the River is WHY the food is there. We caught quality fish all morning long. When clouds covered the sun, an oxbow Rat-l-Trap tore ’em up. When the sun beat down, an orange floating jighead/crawler on a seriously modified Lindy rig or hair jig bent those beautiful St. Croix rods.
Not just a hair jig–a hair jig in a specific weight/color combination AND a dose of Liquid Willocat. 10 perfect casts without it, nada. 10 casts with da juice = 2 hook ups.
Tomorrow is a bass trip, the next trip is walleyes on WINGDAMS. There are walleyes in the weeds, walleyes in current breaks with sand bottom, walleyes on the rocks.
Largemouth bass are just completing spawning right now. Smallies have already moved into summer pattern. Smallies will be easier to find cuz they’re more homebodies than wanderers (under these conditions) . Sight fishin for LMB on beds is tough…but there are couple little tricks which enhance odds for ticklin’ a big one.
LMB will be in summer pattern in a few days. When this transition takes place the largies will be travellin’ guys , following the food. They can move MILES overnite.
This is part of the reason it takes me at least an hour every single day. Bottom line: The Miss is perhaps the last true American democracy. The fish get to vote, too!
So there ya go. Will probably only get out a couple hours today. need to do some riggin’, tweakin’ and shuffle stuff around on the ‘honeydew’ list. The Old Man is near the top of the list–but my precious wife, “the Admiral” drives priority behavior every waking moment.
It’s a Biblical thing : Proverbs 32 . Not in every Good Book. But in mine, it reads “See Proverbs 31”. Think I’ll go harass some perch. tight lines.