Horsin’ Around on a Stable River

Horsin’ Around on a Stable River

Pool 9 is a couple of feet up into the ‘action’ stage right now, which means some of the upper pool access points on the west side require knee boots. High water crested about 2 pm. last Thursday. Level is stable now, with a slight fall beginning in about a week.

To my mind, all habitat parameters–including level–are pretty much perfect. Water temp is 61-66. Clarity is excellent off of the main channel and good in the channel itself.

Crappies & gills are shallow getting ready to spawn. A lot of perch are shallow, too. Bass are within one week of spawning. Walleyes & pike are i the middle of the mix, aggressively seeking an easy meal.

In a nutshell: if you’re fishing more than 10 feet deep you aren’t fishing where the hungry fish are!

The past four days I’ve only turned on the electronics to check water temp. Don’t need electronics when probing shoreline/visible structure & mudlines. I like finding fish with a Rat-l-Trap: the quintessential search bait. With water so clear in areas that have loaded from downstream on a rising River, my go-to colors are Royal shad & Looosiana tiger.

Keeping the rod tip high with a ‘burning’ retrieve most of the weeds hid by high water can be avoided. If weeds still are an issue I’ll switch to a ZMan jackhammer chatterbait with a 3″ paddletail swimbait. I true multi-species killer! Once fish are located and ‘educated’ with the search bait slowing down and throwing a Ned rig or senko usually provides action until you feel like movin’ on.

Zman offers an unlimited number of plastic options. My fall-back is the TRD in purple sparkle. This is quickly changing , with Zman’s goby pattern baits (especially goby bryant) on a football head.

The goby is real close to a willowcat, a hot profile for SMB and walleyes.  Regardless of the plastic being thrown, “da juice” a.k.a. Liquid Willowcat, is part of the presentation.

In my final year of guiding, I’m working a max of 3 days weekly. Also, Saturday rates are now on a par with the holiday weekend rate; $10,000/4 hrs/2 anglers max.

Rate includes cheddar or pepperjack sandwich on artisan bread w/trimmed crust and ice cold bottled water from a single source spring located in Gary, Indiana.

As of right now I have about 6 open days each month through October. If not guiding, I will probably be fishing. I won’t promise you’ll catch fish, but i WILL promise you’ll get out of the boat a better angler than when the trip started.

I am truly blessed in being able to spend a lifetime fishing my beloved Mississippi. She still teaches me every single day .

Thanks for reading this blog. The fact that you’re doing so–instead of actually fishing–may reveal a need for personal priority adjustment. just sayin’.

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