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SteveD

Cat Tip of the Day: Preparing for High Water

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I posted this idea last year but I thought this might be a good time to share the idea again with the current low water situation being an excellent opportunity to put this tip to work. The trouble we have during high water is getting a good picture in our mind of what the catfish holding structure looks like in any given spot. Most of our good spots are drowned out and there seems to be too much current streaming through our best spots. What I have found is the fish are still there but they are relating to structure we probably have not given much thought to before. I've tried to photo catalog my catfish spots during low water so that when I have high to moderate water during the prespawn period I have a good idea of what the structure looks like when it is covered by high, dirty water. I got the idea after watching golf one weekend on TV. I was watching Tiger Woods prepare for a difficult shot from out of the rough and his caddy pulls this small book out of his back pocket and it is a diagram of the hole with distances to the green and specific obstacles to avoid. I thought to myself that would be a good technique for my catfish spots. During the low water period last summer I went out scouting with my digital camera and took digital photos of my preferred high water spots paying attention to well anchored logjams and root wads that were high and dry at that time but should be covered during high water. Now when I approach those spots I pull out my cat fishing spot photo album and think through how I want to fish that spot. I try to think like a hungry prespawn catfish and picture in my mind how he would set up on that spot. Right now the St Croix River is at 675.6' which is normal elevation and perfect for low water scouting. The Minnesota River and Mississippi River are as low as you will ever find them and now would be a good time to catalog all your best spots. You would be amazed at how much this helps you read the water during high to moderate water elevation. To give you an idea attached is a picture of one spot - picture this under 6' of water.

1Aug058.jpg

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That’s a great tip no matter the level Steve. This is especially true on the MN where the level can change go from a trickle to flood stage in a couple of weeks. Rest assured that it will be always be higher than the current level at some point in the year.

I try to keep a mental catalog and it helps being out there every night, but even then it is very tough to remember specific snags, rocks etc.

It’s is just amazing too how a slight change in the water level will turn on and off different spots. I know 2 particular spots that we probably pulled close to 100 fish out of last spring, and this year, maybe 20 at the most.

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yea when its low I pay speacail attention to certain features of sand bars and am always thinking that if the water goes up that would be perfect spots and so on great tip Steve

I do have to say there is a couple words that I never thought I'd hear associated with catfishing thou Tiger Woods laugh

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