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Lakes vs. Rivers


Jeff Nevenner
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Guest rich mc

both have interesting aspects and go thru hot times to fish them. lakes and ponds havebeen hit hard this spring mostly due to high water. for me i depends on the time i have and how close i am to them.i am looking forward to the ISA rock river trip in a few weeks. fishing a larger river is a treat and a challenge . the smallies have not been effected as much as the flatheads , carp and some walleye. i feel real bad for the catfish anglers that have been dealt a serious blow. rich

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I have grown to prefer fishing rivers as long as the relative visibility is good.

 

Why? River fishing tends to be more consistant. Fish as less effected by cold fronts. Fish are also in more predictable areas once you learn how to read the water. Lake fish can be here today and gone tomorrow and patterning fish can be tough. Patterns can change daily sometimes hourly. I also think river fish fight harder. They spend their lives battling current which makes them stronger and can use the current for a fighting advantage.

 

For me, there is also something soothing and relaxing about the sound of water flowing through a set of rapids. Rivers also are a better way to get away from the crowds and get closer to nature.

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Lakes

 

Advantages

1. Easier boat control

2. Not effected by heavy rains.

3. Able to fish longer without getting tired from the comfort of a boat.

 

Disadvantage

1. Summer time, when the water heats up, sends fish deeper making them more difficult to locate.

2. Not many fishable smallmouth lakes in Northern Illinois.

3. Usually requires a boat

 

Rivers

 

Advantages

 

1. Good smallie rivers close to home.

2. Fishing gets better in summer, fish can't go deep.

3. (See Paul's post above)

 

Disadvantages

 

1. Heavy rains can makes rivers unfishable or limit safe wading.

2. Moving around on rivers is more difficult. Hard to move up stream in a water craft, hard to control boat in current, wading in deep, fast, rocky water

can be dangerous.

 

 

Both lakes and rivers have their advantages and disadvantages. If you have the time and a boat, fishing lakes can expand your options. A couple of weeks ago, when the rivers here were almost unfishable, I went to a Minnesota Lake where I caught a few hundred bass, numbers I could never have gotten if I'd stayed home. For the rest of the summer, fishing in that same lake would not be able to produce the size or numbers I could get if I stuck to rivers.

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:rolleyes: personnaly i chose rivers. Ive been a river rat for more than twenty years. I personally feel i can read rivers better. I feel i can fish any river and find fish. I am not as good at reading lakes. I lived on the fox for years& learned to read rivers then. now i live on the rock & what i learned early still applies. went out on the rock today. see smallmouth report coming soon. I ve fished shabbona for 10 years, every time the rivers get to high. Usually takes a day or two to figure out shabbona or other lakes i fish. thankfully i have a friend who is good at lake fishing (real good at lake michigan) lake michigan smallies :P wow could get better than lake erie!
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Rivers. Since the cleanup that followed the Environmental Protection Act, they became new less pressured resources in Illinois especially around Chicago. Be grateful. They were not good in dad's days.

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I enjoy both still and moving water fishing with the edge going to the latter.When I've had enuf of moving water on foot it's refreshing to fish quiet stillwater sitting in a comfortable floatube.The beauty of fishing is the great variety it offers-moving water,stillwater,saltwater flats.Everything from bluegill to billfish.With such a varied offering I don't understand why anyone would restrict himself to just 1 species etc.

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I enjoy both still and moving water fishing with the edge going to the latter.When I've had enuf of moving water on foot it's refreshing to fish quiet stillwater sitting in a comfortable floatube.The beauty of fishing is the great variety it offers-moving water,stillwater,saltwater flats.Everything from bluegill to billfish.With such a varied offering I don't understand why anyone would restrict himself to just 1 species etc.

Well said, Ron.

I've fished more open water than moving water so far this year, so it was kind of strange stepping into the river over the weekend.

The beauty was unmatched, however.

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