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Would this work?

Mike G

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Having no shame, I copied this from the Berkley website. Which one of you guys is working for them?


Hug the Banks for Spring Smallmouth


"Spring means high water in most areas, due to snowmelt and high annual rainfall. And spring means movement for river bass. A plunge-pool below a dam is a classic wintering site. As water temperatures broach 50?F, smallmouths begin to wander downstream from a dam or upstream from a reservoir, toward spawning areas. Until the water reaches 60?F, most bass are scattered. And, because the water is high, they hug the banks, where current is reduced. Working overhanging grass, reeds, woodcover and eddies right against the bank with a spinnerbait tends to be the odds-on method, because it covers water fast-one of the key principles for finding scattered fish. As the bass begin to concentrate again, switch to plastics presented on weedless jig heads or Texas-rigged. Pitch right up on the bank or into overhanging grass and slip it into the water."


Suggested gear: 7 foot medium spinning rod, 10# superline with leader if water is clear.




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It seems that whenever you get high water on the rivers and streams the Bass hit the eddies and slack water areas formed by this high water. I fished with Norm M. on the Kankakee one day when the water was up into the grass. We caught all our fish by hugging the grass and keeping the bait as close as we could. I believe he caught a 20" Smallie that day while Phil F. and I had to settle for the 16"-18" fish. I guess it was his river.

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I prefer a 7 foot rod when I'm trying to hit those close to the bank pockets from the other side of the river. I like making as long a cast as I can. I cover more water and I reduce the chance a little bit, of spooking the fish by getting too close. When wading, I want to cover as much water as I can with the least amount of movement.

But, it all depends of the river. Smaller tighter flows where the overhanging trees get in the way, and long casts are often not even possible, call for shorter rods.

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I'm with Eric, with the water up you're probably casting under a lot of tree limbs from high banks and such. I like the longer rod because I can sling under the branches, but sometimes, I can't cast.


With the water muddy and current raging, it will be much harder to spook the fish. They are sticking to those banks for survival. Use something loud (heavier jig) or a lure with some vibration like Spinnerbait or Chatterbait parrallel to the bank.


I still use a 6'9" rod because I use it for everything, but this would be the situation where flipping and pitching with a shorter rod are more useful.


All of the high water fish I catch are from 30' or less. Usually, much less.


Making a long cast can mean the fish gets into the main current, which is bad news.

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I've caught more than a few fish in high water next to or very close to the bank. I use a 7 ft rod, in tight quarters being able to pitch or flip a bait is to your advantage. There have been times when simply dropping your lure in the water is sufficient.


Gary ,


It is my river, advance written permission is necessary. ;)

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That's the Internet for ya'.


If we can only get the bass to register on this forum........


High water = increased current speed = concentrations of active bass and forage.


It's one of the best times for big fish IMO. Clear water is for aesthetics, safer wading and topwaters (which I enjoy as well).

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I use a longer rod 7'-10' to allow a little pitch, flip or skip under the canopy that is noew closer to the water surface. I like a co-polymer or florocarbon line or leader.


I've used my 8-10 foot steelhead spinning rod with success in high water conditions.


I will fish flood waters along fence lines, masonry wall and tree lines for smallies near the current edges. Many time from a kayak in floooded fields outside the current.



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