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Carolina-rigging has been the favored fall tactic of pro anglers for probing reservoir structure. Some call the technique 'power fishing with finesse' because you use stout tackle, but the action of the lure is subtle and tempting to fish. Use your sonar unit to find stumps, weedbeds, or other cover along creek channels or offshore islands.
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.
Staging bass move toward the bank as spawn-time approaches. When reservoir flats have warmed into the upper 50oF range, look for bass among flooded stumps, brushpiles, and along the inside corners of points within feeder creeks.
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.
As lakes warm in the spring, largemouth bass move into shallow cover in coves, canals, and harbors. They seek warming water offered by these spots that also provide plentiful baitfish. Bass are eager to feed, but not yet aggressive in the cool water.
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.
Flash lures are one of the most popular jigging lures for ice fishing. Potential jigging sequences are limited only by your imagination and your interpretation of how fish are reacting. Yet, just as no secret lures exist, neither does a secret jigging sequence.