| ||The Midwest is blessed with all sorts of fishing
opportunities. Lakes, rivers, ponds, and reservoirs can be
found close-by wherever you live. Simply put, you donít need
to drive far to go fishing.|
Rivers can provide some outstanding fishing action throughout the
summer. Actually, rivers can be good year Ďround, especially
the larger rivers. However, in the summer, small, medium, and
large rivers can provide anglers with action from a wide variety of
Sometimes, in the heat of the summer, lakes can get tough to
fish. The fish in rivers however, just keep eating.
Rivers have current, so fish in rivers are constantly expending
energy. To sustain their energy, they need to eat more
often. Because river fish are almost always fighting the
current, they become stronger than their lake-dwelling
cousins. They also usually donít grow as fast, although there
are still plenty of big fish to be found in most rivers.
Because of the current, itís a good idea to remember that most of the
time a fish that wants to eat will be facing upstream.
Therefore, it works well to present your bait so it is working
downstream or cross current. By doing so, the fish will be
able to see it better. Also, any wounded minnow or bug or
crawdad will be moving downstream, so this is a very natural
There are times when working upstream is better. This is most
noticeable when trolling crankbaits. Troll crankbaits
upstream, going faster as the water warms.
A jig and soft bait combination is perhaps the best set-up for catching
fish in rivers. In the summer, a Thumper Jig tipped with a
three inch SwimíN Grub is a killer. Thumper Jigs have a small
blade that attracts a wide variety of fish, and the Power Grub adds
size and color. Pretty much any gamefish that swims in
Midwest rivers will eat the Thumper/SwimíN Grub combo.
You donít need to have a boat to fish rivers, although a boat certainly
provides access to areas that the shore angler doesnít have.
Nonetheless, anyone that wants to go fishing can catch river fish.
If youíre a shore angler, look for areas that have deeper water near
by. In small rivers, deep water might be only four or five
feet deep. Concentrate your efforts on cover near deep
water. Walleyes, bass, pike, muskies, trout, pretty much any
river predator will hang out around logs, rocks, docks and anything
else that provides refuge just waiting for something to eat to go by.
Rivers are abundant throughout the Midwest. Their inhabitants
are willing eaters and strong fighters. That should be enough
to encourage anyone who wants to go fishing to try a river this summer.
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