Thursday, May 2, 2013

Thursday Tips: Swing Low

For river fishing, I usually like to allow the current to aid my presentation by casting or pitching an offering upstream of a likely fishing-holding spot and letting the river bring the bait past boulders or branches to fishing lying in ambush position. That's true whether I'm casting a micro jig in a trout stream or pitching a tube in a bass river.

The biggest exception to this basic presentation comes when a fairly strong current sweeps over boulders or ledges in the middle of a river and fish seem to be scattered in the current. In such cases I'll commonly cast straight across the river and let the flow carry my lure downstream against a tight line so that the lure swings out into the river as it travels downstream until it ends up straight downstream.

If fish are active, I like a wide-wobbling crankbait for swinging in the current, and my No. 1 pick for trout and smallmouth streams is a Rebel Wee Crawfish or Teeny Wee Craw. If the fish are a little less active, I'll often opt for a Road Runner Marabou Pro 2.0. With the Road Runner, I'll initially allow it to drift on a free line so that it can sink a bit. Then I'll close the bail to cause it to sweep out into the current and either just hold it still or add subtle rod tip twitches.

The swing seems to attract a different group of fish than the more traditional drift, and on the days it works best, I often don't catch much the other way. Some days the fish don't want a swinging lure at all, but it always is worth a try when you are fishing in current.

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