Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Mighty Mississippi

The Mighty Mississippi
By Mike Raetz

The Mississippi River, to most, is a very intimidating body of water.  However, what most don't realize is it can be some of the best fishing around, especially when lakes prove tough.  At your fingertips, you have endless miles of great fishing opportunities and a chance to catch a fish of a lifetime. When fishing a river there are 2 main things to look for that will increase your chances for a wonderful day on the water. First and foremost look for slack water. Slack water is a break in the current where an object blocks the flow and slows down a small area to almost no moving water.  These areas will hold fish looking to ambush prey swimming by, particularly brown bass. The next is structure, IE mats of weeds, rock piles and brush. Rocks are a primary area that draw smallmouth to feed on crayfish and small bugs.

Equipment used on the river is very similar to your tackle you would use on any lake. But for your rod and reel set-up a little more bulk is a good idea. Using braided line is better to keep  line from fraying as that will happen given the debris and rocks prevalent in a river. I like to use 15lb all the way to 65lb braided line but a happy medium is to use 25lb test line. For baits it is really pretty simple and don’t over think it. Any weedless style skirted jig with a craw style trailer or topwater frog will do the trick. The weedless style jigs are going to help you get through the rocks and wood without getting hung up so easily. Topwater frogs or perhaps a popper lure are very popular for pulling over thick sets of lily pads and mats of weeds where these fish will go on the warm days looking for shade. Dark colors are best for crawfish trailers and other finesse baits because the clarity is poor. When using a darker bait, choose one with a glitter flake in the lure will allow the fish to see it from farther away giving you the best chance at a bite.

Take these tips and hit the river for some outstanding fishing!

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