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Old 01-01-2017, 04:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Happy New Years

Happy new year all you river runners. As for me nothing changes on New Year's Day like the U2 song. Still pulling toothy walleye lip like the year before. Broke off a four jigs for 3 fish(2 for me 1 for the boy)all 14-16 inches. Quarter ounce jig with bright plastic used 2 3/4 inch twisters To help with the light bite. Had to drag or at least hop the bottom or they wanted nothing to do with it. All hits were on the rise after bottom contact.
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Old 01-01-2017, 06:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default had an excellent day today myself

river is dropping, about 1/2 again it's normal flow, maybe couple inches visibility near shore in slack areas , water temps mid 30's . weatherwise, fairly nice, fished without gloves on but had them on while walking . sun felt good on the old bones .

First place I hit was an inflow and the point bar downstream . I worked a weighted keeper hook with a Eire Darter around and got nothing . I went back to point A and switched to a rattlebait worked slow and steady just off bottom . the walleyes loved it, the smallmouth ignored it . Walleye up toward the creekmouth, along the front, side and back of the point bar .

Next up , fished a pipeline crossing of the river. I stuck with the rattlebait, same deal walleye ate it, smallmouth ignored it. Again , slow steady retrieve just of bottom. Most productive spot was a deeper hole [well for this river] upstream of the pipeline. I worked thru with jig/plastic, jig/pig , hard jerkbait and a crankbait all ignored by smallmouth and walleye .

Next up drove a bit, hiked a bit more[ got well beyond forked stick country] to get to a good winter spot for this flow rate . There is enough water to put enough depth in the key areas . If the river gets lower , you can pretty much write it off in winter . It is a series of slack spots featuring soft bottoms off shore transitioning to cobblestone with some larger rock a bit off shore . There is one significant rock point coming off shore and out into the flow to set up a riffle . One small inflow that runs clear due to being feed further up from farm field drain tiles. There are two springs coming out a bit up from the riverbank where the land slopes a bit sharper than elsewhere. Both these springs run down to the river . A series of downed trees laying in the water as well as woody debris on the bottom . A few spots where the current undercut some roots of standing trees. The best part is no signs of other fisherman, only the tracks of beaver, raccoons, deer, and geese were seen in the damper, softer soils . In short the kind of place , I go to by myself . Bogart , maybe, but you have to have places like this in your back pocket to go when you really need to catch some fish .

I went to the 1/0 weighted keeper with an Eire Darter as I figured the bass weren't chasing at all. I used a drag, stop for about a 10 count and repeat . I also tossed the combo upstream of the trees laying in the water and let it sweep under the wood/debris piles . I dabbled it in amongst those spots as best I could reach. I did the same at the undercut roots.

The smallmouth were laying out on the soft bottom transition , at the sweet spot at the upstream side of eddies and on the inside seams of eddies . I never got one sweeping under wood or roots or dabbling, that turned out to be rock bass country. I was kind of puzzled by that, figured the bass would be there but they rock bass were all very nice sized. Maybe the bass just preferred to be out in the sunshine, who knows . With the rock bass, I soon figured out either they hit as soon as it got under the debris/wood or it got ignored . Once that became apparent I just pulled the rig back out if it didn't get bite right away, cut down on losing jigs back in the wood . I also got three huge carp with the jig/darter, all three swallowed it . All three double digits in weight, I found out I am not in as good of shape as I thought. Those fish took it out of me, I had to take a break and sit down on a log .

I moved to a couple spots I knew elsewhere where there was wood in the water or undercut roots . I went with the same program, same results, rock bass that either took it first thing or it was ignored. Last spot I went to was a winter spot that also has spawning habitat so there is usually some smallmouth there . I stuck with the drag/pause with the weighted keeper, one smallmouth and called it a day.

8 smallmouth, the three carp, 11 walleye and 11 rock bass , what a day for January

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Old 01-02-2017, 06:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Nice fish but you're upside down.

Crappie bite was good yesterday afternoon. Got out today in the rain and there was 2" of water on the ice, a good freeze is needed.
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Old 01-03-2017, 10:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm always backwards and upside down. I haven't ventured out since the day after Christmas.(and I wasn't very comfortable with the ice then).Your a brave man. Once the river opened she beckoned and I backburnered the hard water.
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Old 01-03-2017, 08:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'll always choose open water in the river over hard water .
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Old 01-04-2017, 01:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The ice season is much more limited, I take advantage of it while it's here. I also find the vertical presentation a bit more of a challenge. I'm hoping the slough will reopen over the weekend.
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Old 01-14-2017, 09:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Any river action? I met a friend at Brandos for for a cold one and fished a jackal tn70(crayfish)off the hydro plant awning. Got one walleye of about 14 inches and a drum. Nobody was down there and I had to very carefully hoist both fish up the wall.
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Old 01-16-2017, 04:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Between the iced over river in the recent cold snap and some skunk trips , I just haven't felt that groove . Today was the day it took a turn for the better.

The gauge is still broke from the ice and the battery on my thermometer chose today to crap out, minor details . The river is up and out of it's banks at spots and definitely muddy and cold . Mudlines at creekmouths as the creeks are less muddy than the river . Air temps 30ish , overcast, slight breeze . I wore gloves while walking about but fished without them .

Today was a tour of inflows, shoreline related slack/slow spots and shoreline related eddies. No wading strictly from shore . Govt. Mule [ Telstar Sessions ] was cranked on the drive from spot to spot , just felt like that kind of day .

3 smallmouth bass , average sized all on 1/0 weighted keeper hook with a 4 inch 'pede . 1 off a hump in slow water, 1 from the sweetspot from the head off an eddy and 1 off some rip rap by a boat launch . All three fish hit real light, felt mush when I started dragging the lure again after long pauses . Also got 1 drum smallish in size, off the same rig off the outside seam of the same eddy I got the smallmouth in . Bottom content in the slow area was mostly cobble with some larger rock . The bottom of the eddy was a mix of cobble, soft dark , sand and waterwillow stubble . The smallmouth was on the tip of a waterwillow stubble point that caused the eddy . The drum was on cobble .

1 pike on a spoon in a eddy behind a riprap point, bottom cobble to soft muck/sand . Pike was at the base of the riprap on the transition from hard to soft bottom . It popped the spoon hard as it was dropping . Thanks to using tieable wire , I landed it . Decent size but nothing to really brag on .

5 walleye , all at inflows with cobble to larger rock bottoms . 3 on 1/8 oz darter head jig with jig spinner and swimbait with a slow steady retrieve just above bottom inside the seam of the faster river flow. All three of them grabbed it after it made contact with a rock or hump . 2 walleye on a rapala jointed floating minnow , slow retrieve against the current on creek/river seam . I just felt the vibration stop and set the hook, never really felt a hit . Best guess is they took it and swam towards me . Walleyes small to medium sized

5 crappie in slower water between the outside seam and the shore, suspended in water column. 1/16 oz ball head jig with jig spinner and sassy shad, two to three count drop, then slow steady retrieve . same general area I got the smallmouth on the hump . Crappies good sized.


I saw a lot of water fowl , a handful of hawks and one small flock of turkeys . Spooked one deer out in the woods, squirrels were active, I saw beaver and coon tracks in softer bottom along the shore but never saw the critters themselves . Only meet one other guy out fishing, a bunch of folks out riding bikes, walking and jogging the paths. Some very nice spandex out on the paths
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Old 01-16-2017, 07:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Way to get after em crum. I've been in a slump lately. Just haven't had much motivation to fish. Fished New Year's Day and at the dam once. Weather has been less than ideal but I've had my opportunities and just felt too blah to fish. These slumps usually don't last to long though. Pike will be making spawning migrations up the creeks if the water stays high and the temperatures get to where they forecasted them. Always fun catching 30 inch fish out of creeks that resemble road ditches.
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