Early Spring River Fishing 101

During the lengthening days of March and into April, anglers begin setting their sights on rivers. This is particularly true in some upper Midwestern states, where inland water seasons close for walleyes and other sportfish. This is where select border river waters offer opportunities to catch gamefish before regular openers commence. Check state regulations to monitor, which species are open to harvest before dropping a line.

Another obvious reason to think rivers is because they’re some of first waterways to open up, thanks to the current.

The classic scenario here is when loads of fish, especially riverine species such as walleyes and sauger, stack up below dams. They’re moving up current thanks to natural spawning instincts, but dams block their passage. As legions of anglers know, these are some of the most productive fishing areas.

Water levels fluctuate tremendously in late winter and early spring, thanks to snowmelt and the first liquid precipitation of many months. Higher water alters the current, and experienced river anglers know, which seams or points benefit most from this changes.

Fish Current Breaks
I like to work river current breaks, which are equivalent to structure in a lake. Fish structure such as wingdams, rock piles, clam beds, partially submerged trees, or eddies and pools

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