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During summer, bass hold in woody snags at the edge of islands and side channels of larger rivers, where they feed on shad that swim by in the current. To lure them out, cast a jig upstream and toward the bank, then work it back through the logs and trees with a swimming retrieve. Experiment with a steady retrieve much like a spinnerbait or a hopping action that sometimes triggers extra bites.
I am a power fisherman. Power fishing is a broad term used to describe using reaction style lures to cover vast amounts of water. Included in this power fishing style, my favorite way to catch bass is skip pitching and swimming a jig. Skip pitching involves using a conventional reel and getting a jig to skip far back under cover. Swimming a jig involves slowly pumping a jig at various depths horizontally through the water column.
Walking baits, poppers, propeller baits and minnowbaits twitched on top shine on rivers during the summer months. Much of the habitat is shallow and snaggy, and topwaters keep you fishing without hang-ups. Topwaters have magic appeal for river smallmouths in warm water, too. Work them, then pause and let the current carry them over another likely spot.
Stream trout feed more selectively than many gamefish. Whatever big trout are feeding on, whether it's insect larvae or minnows, it's important to use a presentation that looks and moves like the real thing.
Nighttime can be one of the best times to target big browns in tailrace fisheries of the South. Big browns are less spooky at night, moving out of heavy cover into areas easily approached and fished.
Tailraces below reservoirs can provide some of the best fishing for lots of big trout. Big browns migrate upstream and concentrate below dams during their annual spawning run.
Spring means high water in most areas, due to snowmelt and high annual rainfall. And spring means movement for river bass. A plunge-pool below a dam is a classic wintering site. As water temperatures broach 50oF, smallmouths begin to wander downstream from a dam or upstream from a reservoir, toward spawning areas.
Tracking studies have verified that river largemouths make major spring migrations from wintering areas to shallow backwaters. Though miles may separate these habitat zones, fish unerringly arrive once ice has departed.
Spring-run steelhead can be difficult to catch in rivers when flows run high and dirty. In high water, steelhead tend to hold longer in areas of reduced current such as the inside turn on a bend, the slow side of a long run, a shallow flat out of the main flow, or any other type of current break.
River currents prevent these waters from freezing when flatwater impoundments are ice-covered. With careful presentations, river largemouth can be caught. First, look for areas with minimal current where bass move for the winter. The upper ends of backwaters or dug-out ponds and harbors off the main river are prime locations.