For more than two decades I have been river fishing for all manners of freshwater fish, from rainbow trout to smallmouth bass and in my time on the river I have learned some tips and techniques that have helped me catch fish consistently in rivers all across the Untied Sates. In this article I will outline 5 of these tips for river fishing so that you can add them to your repertoire and begin catching more fish than you ever though possible.
Before we begin, I think it’s important to point out what I consider to be river fishing. To me, the term “river fishing” has always meant standing in the river that you are fishing, in other words wading in the river that you are fishing, so wading and river fishing go hand in hand as far as I am concerned and the following tips are obviously best suited for fishing in this manner.
Wear A Fishing Vest – Rather than investing in a tackle box, instead spend that money on a fishing vest. A fishing vest is literally a tackle box that you wear on your back and is a “must” for river fishermen. This way all of your gear, terminal tackle, and bait are within easy reach at all times, which makes you a much more efficient and effective angler.
Drift Fishing is an Effective Technique – When river fishing you want to utilize a technique known as “drift fishing” which simply means allowing your bait or lure to drift naturally with the current of the river that you are fishing. Drift fishing is an incredibly effective river fishing technique that should be employed by anyone who is river fishing while wading.
Have An Effective Bait Carrier – One of the best baits that can be used while drift fishing are live worms and having an effective way to carry and access said worms on the river is of the utmost importance. This is where an effective bait carrier comes in to play. If you fish with worms, one of the best tips for river fishing that you will ever get is to use a bait bag. By keeping your live worms in a bait bag your bait is literally “at your fingertips” at all times, making baiting up and re-baiting a breeze.
Be Mindful Of Your Shadow – You need to be mindful of your shadow when wading in the river that you are fishing because there are few things that will “spook” a fish like a shadow that is out of place and/or moving. Fish are very conscious of their surroundings and when something is “out of the ordinary” they tend to get “spooked” and when a fish is spooked it will tend not to bite.
Be Mindful Of The Moon – The phase that the moon is in has an incredible impact of the activity level of fish, therefore you want to pay attention to the phase of the moon so that you can be on the river at the most favorable times. For example, fishing will tend to be much better when the moon is full at night as opposed to in its waning crescent. Be mindful of what phase the moon is in and plan your fishing trips accordingly if at all possible.
The aforementioned tips have been helping me catch fish while fishing in rivers for many years and I am confident that they will do the same for you. Add one or all of them to your river fishing repertoire sooner rather than later and you will almost immediately start catching more fish.