The Bassholes - It takes one to know one.

Try A River This Summer
on Thursday 24 June 2010

Try A River This Summer


If you go fishing, you want to catch something. Sure it's fun to be outside enjoying the ducks and spending time with your family and friends and being close to water, but when you go fishing, you really want to catch something. In the summer months, rivers can provide consistent fishing action.

Almost wherever you live, there is a river close by. Most of those rivers will be home to some fish. They could be suckers or smallmouth or walleyes or pike or something else. And, during the summer, much of the time those river fish will be hungry and willing to eat your bait. Here's how you can convince those fish to eat the lure on the end of your line.

River fish like to be near something. It could be a rock, it could be a log or logjam, maybe a bridge piling or a dock: Just remember that river fish like to have something to hang out around.

Current is also a very important consideration for fish location. Much of the time fish will be at the edge of the current. Perhaps that's why they like to be near rocks and logs. They break the current. The fish hold just at the edge of the current. When some sort of food goes by in the current, the fish darts out and eats whatever just went by, then they get back in the slack water out of the current.

Lots of baits will catch river fish, but if you're after bass, walleyes, pike, or panfish, it's hard to beat a jig tipped with soft bait. A Power Grub on a Slurp! Jig is about as good as it gets. A Slurpies Swim'n Grub on the same jig is a great choice also. Use three or four inch baits for the bigger fish, one or two inch baits for the panfish.

Lure presentation is important. Keep in mind that river fish that are interested in eating are usually facing upstream. Fish that are facing downstream are usually going somewhere and maybe not so concerned about getting something to eat. Most of the time, not all the time, but most of the time, you'll want to present your bait so it's moving into the fishes face. Usually it works well to cast cross-stream and retrieve the bait so it washes into the suspected fish-holding area.

Many rivers are best fished by wading. Some anglers like to slip into waders or a pair of old tennis shoes and walk around in the river. If you're one of those anglers, keep in mind that it is often most productive to start downstream and work upstream. By doing so, you will be presenting your bait in a downstream manner, and you will be less likely to alert the fish to your presence.

Also if you're wading, keep quiet and don't move quickly. Try to keep a low profile. If you're on the top of the riverbank the fish can see you easily and will spook. Additionally, be aware that your shadow will scare the fish. As much as possible, stay at river level.

Rivers are everywhere, and their residents can be easy to catch all summer long. Make this the summer that you discover how productive river fishing can be.

--Bob Jensen
See 2010 episodes of Bob Jensen's Fishing the Midwest television at: or visit