Rainy Day on the Riverby: Rob Piorkowski
I headed over to Riverside Sports, bought some bait and headed back to the river. By this time, conditions were tough. It was raining steadily with a slight wind, and I was wet and fishless. Rains had increased the current turbidity, and the feeding pattern had changed. Under these conditions, I knew that fishing should be great.
Once I found a good looking pool, I moved all around and fished at different angles. I kept casting to the pool until I found the retrieve that started to produce some action. Counts of 0-4 seconds produced nothing. Counts of 5-6 seconds produced hits, and counts greater than 6 were usually conducive to snags. Basic technique was quarter casting out and letting my jig drift down current. Most of my action occurred during a slow retrieve. Hits were predominately soft taps so at first snags resembled fish. Near the dam, the best method was to cast into the boil, count to 5 or 6, and then slowly retrieve your bait. This pattern got the bait directly to the strike zone, and produced a hit almost every cast. (Depending on water flows, vary the timing to get the best sink rate for your area). I also think the condition of the bait effects the fishing. To benefit your catching, keep using fresh bait, and ensure that it's hooked properly. At least for smallmouth and walleye, it seems to help keep a straight bait alignment. (On the otherside, I have purposely rigged bait to twist out of control when fishing for trout). Stinger hooks would've caught the short biters, but of course those were in a new package in my trunk. Stinger hooks either hand tied or purchased can greatly increase your catch.
Finally after feeding almost all of my bait to the fish, I hooked a nice smallmouth. The fish headed straight downstream, and wanted nothing to do with me. After a short fight, I grabbed the fish, removed the hook and admired my rainy day catch. For several hours of work, I had a lot of hits and caught one 14-inch smallmouth. Just as I released the smallmouth, lightening started booming overhead. I had been fishing in a downpour, but lightening added a new twist. Unlucky for me, the lightening started and I hastily got out of the water. Besides, I only had one nightcrawler left for the smallies lunch. Lucky for the fish, I had discovered their feeding pattern but was forced to exit the water.
I remember the loud booming lightening, and frantically wading back to shore. On the bank, I looked back at my hotspot and tried to envision it remaining the same until next time. The rain had washed away all traces of my fishing. The area looked as if no one had tossed a line, or hooked a fish. I remember driving home that day thinking about the feeding pattern I had discovered. With a little more time, I could've caught a ton of fish. But because of the lightening, I new I'd have to make a return trip to test out my new fishing pattern. Another excuse to go fishing.
Added: Fri Oct 03 2008
Last Modified: Thu May 14 2009