River Systems And The Spawn

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When the dogwoods begin to bloom, it sends all of us into a tizzy thinking about the giant bass that can be caught when going to spawn. Pre-spawn fish can be caught in many different ways. Most of the time it can be some of the most fun fishing days of the year. In this article we are going to focus on finding these fish on river systems. They pose a bigger challenge when finding spawning fish, because most of the time there are fewer spawning areas, and the biggest factor is current. Obviously a fish can’t fan a bed on an area where current is ripping through the area. There bed would be silted in, and eggs would be gone in a matter of a day. Let us take a look at some examples of prime areas, and how we can approach them to be successful.

First off, lets pull the map out. Your map is the key to finding these areas. Many times you can’t find these areas just by looking at the bank. The bank can give you clues as to what the bottom is comprised of. Which, this is very important. Your bank that would be considered “The Juice” would be some type of hard bottom. Rock, pea gravel, chunk rock, and rip rap are all important to finding pre spawn fish. It is also important that the spawning flat they are going to has a hard bottom as well. When looking for a good pre-spawn point on your map, look for where the topography lines get really close together and spread gradually out to a spawning flat. On a river you need to be looking for areas that don’t have much current on them. These fish cannot spawn in heavy current. You must find a current break. In the following maps you can see the highlighted areas that have the most potential for holding fish.

Catching these fish can be very fun with the techniques that are useful in spring time fishing. In southeast Tennessee a vibrating jig, bandit 200 series crankbait, Alabama Rig, and a spinnerbait are all very effective techniques. If you find them snug up to wood, throwing a flipping jig is never a bad option either. Pair these with your favorite setup, and success will come.
When the water hits 50 degrees, these fish know its time. When that time comes, go to your favorite river. Find a current break at the mouth of a creek, find that last deepest ditch that leads to a spawning flat, and go whack them!

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