One aspect of fishing that every angler will encounter is fishing in current. Whether you’re on a lake or a river, learning to fish in the current is a crucial skill, and is one that each fisherman needs to hone. Keep reading to learn more about how fish relate to the water’s current and how you can better fish it.
Bass don’t tend to hold in the current, as they prefer calmer waters. They will, however, hold near current, because it acts like a large conveyor belt that brings food, oxygen and even cooler water temperatures them directly. For this reason, bass will position themselves close enough to the current to where the occasional burst of speed is all that is needed to fill their bellies. Most of the time, the fish will be positioned facing directly facing the current because they know that the vast majority of the food will be coming downstream.
One of the biggest keys to catching bass in current is locating current breaks—structure or cover that acts as a barrier to current. This includes objects such as wing dams, trees, stumps, boulders, docks, holes and anything else that you can find. These create an area for the bass to lie in wait without fighting the pressure from the flowing water, and this area is where you’ll want your bait to pass by.
Once you find a current break, the area behind it will be your primary target most often. However, if a current break is large enough, the water hitting the front can create an area without current. When this happens, bass will commonly hold in these spots if they are large enough, so targeting these slack water feeding zones when you find them will yield great results.
Boat control in current waters can be a real pain when you’re not used to it, because the current is constantly trying to force the boat downstream. The best way to counter this is to fish with your boat facing into the current. While this requires more power from the trolling motor, it will make for less stress overall. Besides boat positioning, another tool for battling the current is called a drift sock, which is a device that acts like a parachute, only it’s under water. Drift socks catch water and help slow the speed of the boat as it’s pushed along the current. Properly positioning a drift sock will greatly increase the level of control an angler has over the boat when fishing in current.
The current can be intimidating at first, but after a bit of practice, fishing in it will be a piece of cake. Mastering the art of boat control, locating current breaks, and lure positioning will produce tons of fish. Keep the tips outlined above in mind when you find yourself in a bit of current and you’ll have great results!