Summertime and the fishin’ is silty

Summertime and the fishin’ is silty

USACE predictions call for pool 9 below Genoa to ramin stable @ about 621′ for the next 10 days. We are already close to last year’s perpetual low level…and summer doesn’t even officially arrive until next week.

When spring flooding subsided it left another layer of silt in already silfted in backwaters. This incredibly rich soil is conducive to aquatic plant growth, making completely weedless presentations necessary in many backwater and quiet areas in running sloughs.

Hazardous navigation beyond the channel is pegging out near the extreme. Cuts between the mainstem and Minnesota slough like Sand slough (Dead man’s Cut) are mere inches deep in some places creating essentially a game of bass boat mumblety peg–going 60 to 0 in essentially 20′!

next week the high school national world championship bass tourney will be fishing out of LaCrosse on pools 7,8 & 9. Over 400 boats from all over the USA.

This massive field of bass boats coupled with inherent challenges of fishing the daunting Mississippi have combined into an intimidating scenario for all the young guns.

Several have sought advice and guidance. I have told all of them “Fish against the fish…the fish are your only competitor!” In this scenario the River is the balance point. Work with the River and odds tip in your favor. Work against her and the bass have a bigger edge.

At current River pool levels the mainstem and significant running sloughs are the best –and safest–bet for hooking up. Boat in the backwaters at your own peril. Should you opt to go there, go prepared.

I keep a navy anchor, 150 feet of towline and a come-along in the boat at all times when the Miss is running low and sleepy. I also carry plenty of water, MRE’s and BUG JUICE along with other safety items.

There is true potential in getting stuck and spending the night on the river if you don’t know where you’re going, and a genuine potential for bewilderment even if you’re out there almost every day.

The walleye bite has been good until 8 a.m. and between 7:30 and dark on rocky structures. Midway you can catch ’em ‘slidin sand” with a 1/8 oz jighead and a half-crawler working just beyond the channel along the 9-13′ contour.

Crappies are suspended in deadfalls about halfway deep in the water column where there is at least 10 fow around the snag. Bluegills are here too, just a little closer to the bottom. Bluegills are starting to show up on TOP of some wingdams. Perch in coontail weed in 1-6 fow.

Channel cats are most active in 7-13 fow in running sloughs above deadlfalls with a moderate current and hard bottom. Dipbait is the best way to catch ’em.

Like many River Rats I make my own stuff–Capn Ted’s Catfish Candy. I make just one 6 gallon batch a year for personal use. Some ingredients are truly proprietary–like a pint of my own blood collected over the winter before undergoing gut surgery. Shad flies and willocat are also part of the potion which has a cheese base and soybean oil to achieve acceptable consistency.

A limited supply is available at Willie’s Bait Shop in new Albin. Phone # 563.544.4223.

The old Trading post in blackhawk County Park has reopened under new management. Had biscuits & gravy there this morning. Darn good!

Be careful out there!

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