High water techniques

You thought of something you do (or did) that's UBER cool and you want to share!
Post Reply
Scott Cress
Posts: 245
Joined: April 12th, 2011, 6:34 am
Location: Los Cumberlos

High water techniques

Post by Scott Cress » April 9th, 2012, 10:16 pm

Good topic to revisit...seems like more the norm for me the last couple years. I used to really hate high water but have learned to better adapt with 2 techniques.

High water usually means 5-6 mph current and no sight of shoals or typical off bank structure.

I've experimented with just about everything but have the best luck either tying off to a tree or slipping. Like all other tactics the details seem to matter. If the water has color I like to find the right tree or anchor point and fish bait straight down. Usually 8-24 oz of weight and usually in 4-8 foot of water. The slip 3 way rig seems to work best. Just tie an 18-24 inch dropper to a snap swivel and snap on line above leader and bead. I think this gives bait for freedom but still keeps em in control. 1 rod near each corner of boat if possible. I'll drift out a float if possible too but have better luck on the "down" rods. "Anchoring" doesn't work well for me in clear water. That's when I slip. Nose the boat into the current and use the troller to slow down and steer. It's best to have one guy work each planer board by letting out line etc to get bait close to structure. You can tick bottom with a down rod too. Again free lines and floats haven't worked as well for me. Boat control is poor which is why it's best to man each rod. Snags still suck but if you act fast you can keep from being spooled.

Give em a try next time during heavy generation. :D

User avatar
Michael Hogue
Posts: 273
Joined: April 12th, 2011, 11:54 am
Location: Knoxville, TN

Re: High water techniques

Post by Michael Hogue » April 9th, 2012, 11:11 pm

Nice description! I've tried the slipping technique recently when the current is ripping through. I have definitely had some luck but I get frustrated with it real quick because I can't seem to cover much water while still keeping enough tension on the lines to keep my baits close to the banks. I've anchored up and let the current take my boards back as well. Its way less work but I get bored pretty quick just sitting in one spot.

Another thing I have found that seems to work ok on high generation days is pulling the banks opposite big bends in the river. Logic dictates that water will flow in one direction until it meets resistance. So if you're pointed downstream and the river bends hard right, then I typically find that its safe to assume the left bank will be deeper and have swifter current than the right bank. If the river is wide enough, you just might be able to pull the right bank despite the fast water. Vice versa if the river bends left.

John Yancey
Posts: 287
Joined: March 30th, 2011, 9:07 am
Location: Marietta

Re: High water techniques

Post by John Yancey » April 10th, 2012, 10:51 am

I did the slipping technique Saturday on the Etowah above Allatoona. Only the second time I fished that area so I do not have any go to spots. I put out a planer off each side and two float rigs out back and slipped down until I got a hit or found a deep hole. Then I would power back to top of the whole and anchor and fish it more thoroughly. Most bites came in the middle of the river for me on the float rigs. The planers on the banks would get hit by green fish hiding in the rocks and trees.

The water was not high, but it was a good way for me to search and find fish. Did Ok, I think 8 fish total, with 3 species caught. Hybrid, white, and spotted bass.

User avatar
Shawn McNew
Posts: 7433
Joined: March 26th, 2011, 8:30 pm
Location: Lake Allatoona

Re: High water techniques

Post by Shawn McNew » April 10th, 2012, 3:23 pm

Scott, you are talking about a special thing when there's 5+ mph of current. You can't really anchor unless you find an eddy, you can't pull boards. Best thing to do is what you're talking about, tie to a branch and fish one spot that you hope the fish swim by. With that much current, they will almost always be up against the banks if there's nothing to break the current out in the river. Drifting and pitching the bank can be deadly during high water, but you'll get a lot of snags if it's got woody banks. Hard fishing, but it can be good.
Image

User avatar
John DiFederico
Posts: 240
Joined: April 1st, 2011, 6:47 pm
Location: Lakeside Ca

Re: High water techniques

Post by John DiFederico » April 10th, 2012, 5:42 pm

Scott I'd say the last 4 years where you live has had some tough springtime fishing with all that flow. I am with Shawn on pitching baits in fast water had some of my best luck last year when they were spilling 12,000 plus. For me the best spots were at the end of shoals,laydowns and inside turns.

But think of some of the good things that fast water brings like last years almost for sure successful spawn. I'm looking forward to some pictures of a big one soon.
John DiFederico
The Roving Angler.

Scott Cress
Posts: 245
Joined: April 12th, 2011, 6:34 am
Location: Los Cumberlos

Re: High water techniques

Post by Scott Cress » April 10th, 2012, 7:32 pm

Good point John - I have seen evidence of successful spawn. We never got a break it seemed last year but had some good days anyway. It's about time for you to migrate East - ill let you hold the camera! :D. Actually I think you pitched me to shame in the same stretch about the same time last year so maybe I should hold the camera 8-)

Shawn you're right it's very dangerous to be out when the water is that fast. If you hang your rear end up you're sunk in a blink. I don't mess with snags to much - just hope the planer pops.

Btw - anyone see what the big retail stores want for an offshore planer now?!? :|

User avatar
Dustin Pate
Posts: 1124
Joined: March 30th, 2011, 11:29 am
Location: West Point Lake

Re: High water techniques

Post by Dustin Pate » April 10th, 2012, 10:16 pm

When we get high water I will be anchored behind current breaks. It is best to know where these items/breaks are in low water because they will still cut current in high water. These items may be sharp bends, sandbars, rock, trees, etc. Tackle consists of carolina/bottom rigs with differing weights based on current cast out of the back..anywhere from 4 to 6 rods and I'll put them close to the bank. Due to high water causing muddy or dingy conditions bait is usually cut shad.

I used to hate fishing these conditions but really learned a good deal just last year when we had extended high water. The river was running 5-6 ft higher than normal and we were still catching great numbers of fish.

User avatar
Mike Maddalena
Posts: 166
Joined: March 30th, 2011, 11:32 am
Location: Cumming, GA or a Lake Near YOU!
Contact:

Re: High water techniques

Post by Mike Maddalena » April 25th, 2012, 12:48 pm

GREAT POST GUYS!

Post Reply

Return to “Tips, Tricks and Techniques”