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Fishing Low water


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Fishing low water

 

icon_post_target.gifby Phil F on Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:42 am

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Here's a diagram of a pool in low water. There's lots of room on the sand/gravel bar to stand and cast and also in the riffles. If for example you can cast 60 feet and the river is now only 30 feet wide you can pick up some extra fish by simple standing 30 feet back from the edge of the water at spot B on the sand bar. You'll feel a little silly being so far back from the waters edge our natural tendency is to set up in spot A. What I've found is that the deepest water in low water conditions is closer to the gravel/sand bar then you think. When you walk right up to the rivers edge in low clear water the big fish swim away and are now on alert. I will often work a whole pool from thirty feet back throwing a topwater plug, fluke, buzz bait, spinnerbait walking down or upsteam. Put enough line on your reel, spray your line and rod guides with silicon spray ( from the automotive section at Walmart) to increase casting distance. Go with heavier lures 3/8 ounce as opposed to 1/4. Use a rod with a little stiffer action. All these things will make it easier to throw long.

This long distance approach is especially important when you're working down river. After you've made your initial pass you can work a little closer to the waters edge from a downstream position. Fish when there's a chop on the water or low light conditions and you'll do even better.

The other casting position involves working a lift area at the bottom of a pool. Again most people like to stand right where the pool ends position A so they can hit the deeper water or even cast to the riffle at the beginning of the pool. Quit often the biggest most aggressive fish are in the shallow area marked C and A where our average fisherman like to stand. Fish can hang back here and feed on minnows and crawfish as they are washed by. Check these areas out with top water and minnow baits. The fish are only back on the lift for one reason to eat. If they're there they'll hit,the biggest challenge is to get far enough below them to cast so as not to spook them. Start in position B and work upstream to C then A. Go to lures that run deeper as the water gets deeper. One last tip fishing this week I caught two of the biggest fish out of one foot of water in low light conditions. There were some nice fish in the main pool but the big guys had moved shallow to feed. I just had to cast into what looked like ridiculously shallow water before I walked upstream. You're already there cast before you walk any closer.

Phil

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Very good Phil.

 

If I may, I'd like to add a technique that I used often. It is called "Low & Slow".

 

Basically, it is getting down low, slowly crawling/crepping low into a casting position, staying low, and cast from a kneeling position. Pay your homage to the river gods and they will reward you.

 

Trout fishmen do it all the times. We smallmouth fishmen should practice it too.

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Tom

Good addition. I use to do this a lot on a small creek I fished also helps to make it easier to cast when the trees are low. A couple times fly rodding I felt like I was casting down a narrow hallway on my knees, but it was the only way to do it.

Thanks

Phil

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Guest Don R

Very nice diagram Phil.

 

I've hit the area in the photo below three times. First time I kinda stumbled upon it and just figured that I had spooked anything in the pool. This 15' X 10' chest deep pool has current, an eddy, timber, gravel and chunk rock. I noticed several minnows hanging just below the transition area from ankle deep to waste deep water. I knew it had to hold bass. The second time I fished it I just waded kinda close to it and tried plastics to no avail.

 

But then I remembered your illustration. And I knew the water had good clarity. Time for the Torpedo. Stand back 30', cast, pop, wait and fish on! Thanks Phil. It's not that I'd never done that before but sometimes we all need reminders. Third time was a charm.

 

1216auc.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Nice write up...I fish allot of small creeks in Mid-Mo. Most are very clear, and they are very low this year. I usually approach by wading upstream and my lure of choice is a walk the dog plug presented on a long upstream cast. I use a spinning rod and braid with a leader to gain extra distance...Usually a Sammy 100, Gunfish 95, or Cultiva Zip n' Ziggy, but the new Strike King WTD plug is showing promise..If WTD is not working (rarely isnt) I'll try burning a small buzzbait or spinnerbait in current, or a fluke in slower water... Cast up and work it back fast. Dont cast on top of fish but nearby and keep it moving...Shade, depth, rock, wood, and bank transitions can all hold fish..I pick them off with plastics on your way back downstream. Good luck.

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