River Bass Fishing – Tips for catching Bass in rivers

There are also some general fishing principles that need to be adjusted when fishing in a river.

You need to scale down the size of bait you use when fishing rivers. Small lures that can be inhaled by a panfish are often the best baits to use when fishing rivers. Fish in rivers are much more active than those in lakes. They will eat much more often on much smaller morsels.

You can and should use heavier line. I advise using the heaviest line you can cast for distance. If you have braided line, use it. Since visibility is low you do not need to be as concerned with fish seeing your line. Strength and ability to withstand abrasions are now your prime concerns when selecting a line.

You need to alter your speed in rivers and allow the current to work for you. Before you fish think about what you are doing. Understand that both species of bass are looking for something that seems natural. A small fish speeding upstream against a strong current is not a natural offering. It is a much better approach to retrieve your lure downstream very slowly, allowing the current to do most of the work for you. Another excellent approach would be to retrieve the bait upstream but do it very slowly. Small fish fight strong currents very slowly, your presentation needs to resemble this.

In rivers you need to select baits that are highly visible. Rivers generally have very murky water. This combines with the agitation created by the movement of the water make visibility a high concern for the fisherman. Colors such as white, chartreuse and many of the florescent light shades work best.

In rivers your sense of awareness needs to be keen. As we discussed before rocks, especially large ones are a great locator of Smallmouth Bass. The problem is these rocks are rarely visible, they rarely extend over the surface of the water. You need to read your surroundings. Submerged rocks are located by looking for distinct water patterns on the surface. As you gain experience fishing rivers you will be amazed at how much you can deduce from the signals the water gives you.

As you become more experienced you will find much more equipment that makes the experience more enjoyable and productive.  For the boat fisherman a depth finder is a very valuable piece of equipment.  In addition to showing you at items where fish are it also tells you the depth of the water and any structure you need to know about. By concentrating on your depth finder you will learn a great deal about fishing.  More than you can learn by reading books.

This is certainly enough equipment to get any fisherman started.  As a fisherman becomes experienced you will find there are many more items to enhance your endeavors.

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Dan Eggertsen is a fellow bass fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on bass fishing since 2004.

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