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The Art Of Eliminating Unproductive Water


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I've been thinking about this for a couple of years now and decided just to post it because it came to my mind lately when I took my family to TR for a mini vacation and had no clue what area to fish first. I really wanted to address this subject because this is something we can all learn from. I want to talk about rivers and not lakes...and mainly summertime patterns.

I would like each person to describe how they go about dissecting a new piece of water, or adapt to a known piece of water that has changed over the years.

"Honor is a man's gift to himself" Rob Roy McGregor

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hit the shaded deep holes

Excellent tactic for bass. Trout are a little different though. Trout being very oxygen dependant will move into riffles where the broken white water is introducing oxygen into the stream. In summer when higher water temps mean less oxygen, I look for trout in very skinny, fast broken water first. Then go from there. Great topic

http://thetroutdoorsman.com/

http://www.riveroflifefarm.com/fishing/guides/Rusty_Doughty.html

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The Google Earth is something I admit I haven't gotten good at, so great call F&F. Also the shade you mentioned is what I look for too, especially mid day.

Since I normally fish out of a jet boat its easier to go back and fish an area later in the day if I know there's a big fish there, but I know that's not possible with a canoe. But I usually will look for water that's splitting in 2 different directions usually at the front of a hole. There's normally a couple of fish there and are feeding. It seems to me on average they are smaller fish than the ones at the end of the hole though.

The fish on the end are typically the biggest fish, don't know why but it seems to just work that way. Maybe because the big fish are just lazy. I will usually eliminate the entire middle section of a hole when the hole is large enough to create frog water in the middle (opposite of the winter)

On the Meramec there are so many logs that the logs aren't a premium like they are on the Gasconade. On the Gasconade you can almost bet every big log near or in current will hold a fish, which allows you to eliminate more water..... not so on the Meramec. On the Meramec, you need to be focused on which are the most productive logs, ones near wood or sand...with current or without, or fast or slow current. Logs on rocks with current are a premium no matter where you're at. Also logs across the river from a Rocky bluff, the majority of guys will fish the rocky bluff and never fish the logs across the river. My 2 cents :)

"Honor is a man's gift to himself" Rob Roy McGregor

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You didn’t mention what type of fish your fishing for so that would be the first thing to help determine where to start. Other things that come into play would be time of year, weather conditions, water conditions and your available area to fish. I too fish mostly out of a jet boat so I have the luxury of being able to get away from crowds which is what I normally try to do.

I tend to fish away from boat ramps and other public accesses like campgrounds and developed areas that draw crowds. After that it is just deciding where they should be based on time of year and water conditions.

One other thing I would do is check this website before heading out. If you are planning on heading to a fishing stream located in the Ozarks, this website more than likely has a recent fishing report on it. I also go back a few years on the forums for a particular body of water to see what was working at this time of year in years past. Obviously things change year to year but you can usually find a year similar to the current year by looking back and at least find a starting point.

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Forgot to mention I was referring to bass, sorry. Well, I know this is a complex topic and process, but I named it the "Art" instead of the "Science" so I would attract Al and pick his brain :)

"Honor is a man's gift to himself" Rob Roy McGregor

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