We’re in the middle of the July 4 weekend–the halfway point of summer. But for the past five days the River has been saying we’re a little closer to fall than that.
Heavy, heavy eelgrass hs been coming down the River mainstem since Wednesday. On 4 of the past 5 mornings there has been heavy fog across the valley. Both of these conditions are what you would expect in mid-August. Not the 4th of July. maybe this weather trend will pass. The next week or so will be interesting.
River pool is at typical summer level, with zero significant rise or fall forecast for the next 10 days It’s still about a foot above low pool–when wingdam rocks start poking up. Being able to read the water is much more important than keeping eyes glued to electronics. About 95 % of fishin’ happens beyond the channel markers. Experience teaches the wisdom of returning to the channel at a 90 degree angle from where you were fishin’. Anything less might result in a trip to the prop shop.
With ever increasing siltation in the pool sandbars are where they never used to be just beyond the channel–especially on the downstream end of islands. Sometimes for up to several hundred yards.
I try to teach clients the difference between deep water riffles and sandbar shoal riffles–once again, something even the best electronics won’t show you at 50 mph!
The deepwater side of a sandbar shoal can hold a PILE of walleyes and smallmouth. Conventional wisdom says the marble-eyes shouldn’t be in < 4 fow on a sunny day. Not all miss River wallys got this memo.
With weed growth at summer peak bluegills and perch are hanging in 4-6 fow. Crappies are suspended in this depth and a little deeper under American water lotus cover and < 4′ down in wood where the deadfall has at least 10 fow under it. Crappies also suspend over sand just beyond the channel. Those folks with LiveTarget/LiveScope have an advantage in finding these fish. Since i don’t have this technology seeing little feeding dimples on the surface is how I have to locate these fish. A Blakemore RoadRunner “buffet rig” is locked and loaded to confirm the dimples are crappies. then it is usually ‘leave the livewell open’ time.
Walleyes are pretty much a sure thing if you have willocats. For those who don’t the #BillLewislures MR-6 in ghost craw has been a killer. Fish will also hit a Bomber 6A in root beer pattern. I doctor some of ’em with purple glitter nail polish across the back. I call this the Caitlin pattern. I do the same thing with that new #Northlandtackle Rumble Shiner. Since this lure has a longer profile I call it Lea pattern. The Lea pattern Rumble shiner tracks a little deeper. Great for fishing the deep water riffle end of a wingdam–if the weeds don’t get in the way.
SMB fishing has been spectacular with Chug Bugs & PopR’s from first light until sunrise on quiet mornings. ..not exactly fish-a-minute action. Only because those red-eyed demons don’t give up for at least five minutes.
Morning fog can put a crimp in fishing topwater on mainstem rocks for safety reasons. Use EXTREME caution when navigating in the fog!
My guide business is off at least 50% this summer. I’m blaming Putin’s dumb brother, Brandon. Have multiple openings if you wanna fish over the next couple months. I always fish hard. Put at least 110% into my work. BUT I’m also an old guy. Don’t give a **it if i work or not. When guiding i seldom pick up a rod unless its to teach a technique or prove we’re over fish. So if i’m not guiding I get to fish until I’m sick of fishing–pretty much every day. 4 hrs. or 20-25 fish is usually enough.
Might go to the boat ramp the next couple days with a sweet tea just to watch the clown act. But the fish don’t have to worry about this ol’ dawg til Tuesday morning.
Stay safe out there!