Many anglers overlook river bass fishing as a viable option for catching fish. But with the intricate rivers and streams systems that we have in this country, there is a lot of opportunity for catching fish in these areas. And with most of the bass fisherman focusing on lakes, ponds, and pits, the chances to catch older, larger bass in rivers increases. I know that thinking about a “bass fishing river” has a certain fairy tale sound to it, but you really can do well in some river systems.
What to Look for to Find River Bass
When dams are built along river systems, often you’ll find areas of backwaters, which are shallow areas that have been flooded, and may connect lakes and river systems together. These shallow areas are usually warm, and have lots of underwater timber, grass and other cover that promote bass populations.
Bass spawning will occur in the shallow backwaters (maybe in waters that are 1 to 3 feet deep) during the spring months, and after the spawn, many bass will retreat to deeper areas of the backwaters, or will go into the nearby cuts. But if the water level is maintained, bass will stay in these areas through the summer.
If you can find a power plant, or other manufacturing facility along the riverside that perhaps uses the river water to cool machinery, you may have hit the jackpot. Especially if the surrounding water is cooler, bass will congregate very near the dump off point for the plant, where the water is warm.
Tips for River Bass Fishing
Now that you have some ideas of where the fish will be, work them with the appropriate lures. For the shallow backwater areas during the spawn, work topwater plugs or buzzbaits. If you are in a cut, or a drop off point, consider using a crankbait or worm to get down to where the fish are.
Here’s the key. Look for the break points, or where the change occurs between the bottom structure or cover. For example, if you are in a cut, look for a sandbar or a break in the current, and fish right along that point. If you are fishing cover areas, work your bait in between and as close as you can to the cover, as the bass will normally be hiding under the cover, waiting for bait fish to come by, so they can ambush them.
If you are stream bass fishing, look for current changes, and deep holes in the stream. Again, fish the edge of the change in current, and fish the edges of the deep holes, as the bass will use the points to ambush their food. So that’s a basic look at stream and river bass fishing, so let me know how you do! Leave me a comment at the bottom of this page…