On Easter morning water temp in the river mainstem was hovering around 40 degrees. 72 hours later it jumped into the mid-50s. Most walleyes got ‘er done.
With Easter now 6 days behind us the marble-eyes are sliding back downstream a little higher in the water column. Males are like teenage boys after the prom. They wanna go for pizza and beer. Females just dropped a third of their body weight. They want an in-your-face presentation several feet off the bottom.
Snowmelt is causing the River to rise steadily. If you check the USACE flow chart at https;//water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=arx&gage=genw3 the rise is an incline plane at about a 45 degree upward angle, moving from “action stage” almost up to the ‘moderate flood” level.
These two factors–sharply rising River levels and water temperatures –are changing fish location literally by the hour, BUT one common denominator is a key to finding them: fish the lazy side of current seams in an increasingly angry River.
Once you find active fish they will likely be in a tight little pod. Come back after lunch and the pod has probably moved on. Talkin’ walleyes here. The AIM tourney is happening today on Pool 9, so I’m not keen on spilling the beans–even though the catch and release on site format is good.
I think most of the larger walleyes are spawned out. Yesterday I was fun fishin’ with my first mate , Mike Yauk. We had a spawned out ‘eye which weighed about 10 lbs.that hit a Rayburn Red MR-6 crank, casting and retrieving on the quiet side of a current seam. this bait tracks down about 8 feet. She was the 3rd spawned out female to be tussled with and freed since the year’s most important day for Christians..
Current seams and warmer water have been key in bass location over the past week as well, with presentation also a factor. Mike me were on a “fishin’ mission” to boat 50 gamefish yesterday. We accomplished this mission in 2 hrs., 46 mins–a catch rate of one gamefish every 3.26 minutes. About 90 % of this catch was quality bass. Most basshit B-Fish-N Pulse R’s in sassafras pattern on a 1/8 oz Draggin jighead or Z-Man Ned rigged TRD.
With the aforementioned conditions these fish have now moved on, looking for warmer water with visibility of at least 18″.. ..essentially upstream end of backwaters which load from downstream. If water is coming through flooded trees from upstream you won’t find any fish there.
It takes me at least an hour to figure out the fish every single day. during flood conditions finding fish can take twice that long. That’s fishin’ on perhaps the most challenging –sometimes rewarding–riverine system in the USA.
Mike just posted a hilarious video of me on social media, saying when i was born i tried to reel in my umbilical cord & Chuck Norris is my co-angler. Start believing you are master of the River and She will humble your quickly and severely. That’s why I love her so!
Stay safe out there! Watch for dunnage when running under power. Wear your PFD & kill switch. tight lines.