At age seven, the author began fishing with their dad and grandfather on the Collins and Rocky rivers and the upper Caney Fork river. They learned to control their boat using an easy arm paddle and long pole. Fishing on rivers requires knowing where fish are holding, navigating logs and ledges, and keeping the boat in control. Taking turns fishing is essential for success.
Fishing Rivers - Boat Position is Key
I took to river life at age seven. That was back in the mid sixties when all county roads were 2 lane Dirt roads everywhere, and paved ramps were few. I began fishing with dad and grandpa on the Collins and Rocky river. We would also fish the upper end of the Caney fork river. Bass fishing during this time period was amazing! Our boat (made from two 1940 Ford car hoods), never had a motor on it. An easy arm paddle and a long pole was all that was needed. And we covered a lot of water.
Dad and Grandpa were serious when it came to their fishing. Noise would be kept down, like NONE. The net would stay clear of obstruction, and if you were in charge of boat control you better have your A game on! Pops taught me how to keep a boat where it needed to be in any given situation. Mostly using an easy arm paddle or a long bamboo pole we could hold our boat in current. If only two of us were fishing, one would fish a few minutes while the other would hold the boat in position. In calm flows both could fish, using the easy arm paddle to make adjustments.
Knowing where fish are holding in any given spot on a river is important. For example, many fish are not on the banks but in the middle of the river. Logs and ledges are prime locations that can be overlooked. Knowing where these spots are and correct boat position is key. If you float over a good looking submerged log without knowing it's there, log that spot in your memory and return later. Approach these little honey holes from down stream and let your lure come over the log. Keep the boat far enough away from the target as not to spook the fish. Multiple fish can be taken from these spots. Deep weed beds are also prime areas. If current is heavy, an anchor may be needed.
Remember to mark submerged logs in deep sections of the river and fish them multiple times. Odds are you will hook up with a musky. But keeping the boat under control is the key way to make it all happen. Take turns fishing if that's what it takes to keep you on the spot!
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