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  • Writer's pictureBernie Thompson

Mississippi River Adventures

I had the pleasure to spend a week fishing over on pool 8 and 9 of the Mississippi River last week! Fellow guide and fishing buddy Rick Writz ( pictured ) and I were challenged with some extremely tough conditions but managed to put together some nice catches after some struggling, head scratching and searching!

We were faced with very high and rising water levels. Cold, nasty weather, and water temperatures dropped 10 degrees the week prior to the trip. We started the trip with a 48 degree surface water temperature. The water wasn't too cold for a good bass bite, but the sudden temperature drop and rising water seemed to put the fish in a funk or moved them to locations we hadn't found. Pool 9 peaked at 13.5 feet at the end of our trip. Normal pool level is 9 foot, although we commonly see levels around 10 feet. In October of 2017 we made a trip to Pool 9 and had 12 foot levels. We learned a lot and did very well last year and hoped this would be a similar situation. Unfortunately the areas and patterns from last year did not produce the same results..........that's fishing!

We did find a couple of areas holding some active smallmouth bass on main channel points and current seams. Slow presentations with a Zoom Super Fluke or Texas rigged craw tempted a handful of beautiful fish! We typically find Largemouth Bass holding in some of these same areas in the fall but they didn't seem to be there. The active fish we were finding were in less than 5 feet of water. Deeper water wasn't producing at all.

On day three we struck gold, finding decent numbers of Largemouth bass holding in dead flooded timber and brush in 2 to 4 feet of water. Flooded green weeds and pads on the edge made for an ideal situation. There was very little current I this area. Last year the Largemouth were schooled up heavily in areas with lots of current in flooded cuts in green standing timber. Almost the exact opposite now, in similar conditions and same time of the year. We ended up with some good consistent catches in one big area and continued to search for another

"pot of gold". The mighty Mississippi once again humbled me, provided some good fishing and awed me with her beauty. Another great trip, and I'm thankful for that!

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