Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
RumRiverRat

Excessive Crawdads shutting down the bite?

10 posts in this topic

I have noticed for the last week that the SMB bite on the Rum River has slowed, I have noticed an extremely large amount of small 1/2" to 3/4" crawdads.

The bottom seems to be covered with them.

The last 3 times I have fished from St Francis going north, I have really had to work for the fish.

My money spots that would hold several fish seem devoid of fish or contain fish that are not biting.

I did manage to land a 34" Pike on Tuesday evening.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Abundant crawdads might be keeping them well fed. How are the water levels? I would think all the rain in the last week would have the water up and moving faster. River fish are always repositioning with changing current. Maybe the smallies have moved in response to rising water...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Theres lots of factors at play this time of year, water temp, water droppin and rising, available forage.

The biggest factors in a natural river are temp and current imho, both of these have probably changed drastically in the last couple weeks. With the temps rising from recent warm spell and the water dropping from no rain (before the last 2 days) The fish you were on probably moved. They were probably in the fastest water they could find, the best areas for me are shallow fast riffles with deeper water nearby. I don't know the Rum at all in those areas but thats what I would look for. Usually at the tail end of a riffle there is a deeper pool, the fish stack in these areas while at rest because of the oxygenated cooler water, then move into the riffle to feed using boulders and piles as current breaks.

How ever now that its cooled down and we have gotten some rain the fish will have moved again. river fish are constantly on the move, "spots" usually only produce when the conditions are right, you have to be able to adapt to the current conditions you are facing otherwise it will be a feast famine cycle. If I was to go out tomorrow I would look for areas that have water coming in, either from man made culverts or natural creeks flowing in. That fresh water is dumping all sorts of food in right now for the baitfish and they concentrate in these areas, bringing the bigger fish in. I've had unbelievable days fishing this pattern after a heavy rain, its especially good when its been dry for awhile!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Superduty,

The water is rising steadily, we have gotten 7 inches of rain in the last 36 hours according to my rain gauge.

The only spot that has produce fish every time I have been on the water is a deep hole in a bend in the river, there are some large rocks on the bottom that seem to be where the fish stack up behind.

I tried the usual shadraps and other crank baits on Tuesday with no sucess. I tried 1/8 oz jigs with 4 inch craws, 6" power worms and 4" inch power grubs and came up empty.

I have caught 20 plus bass out of this hole in the last 4 weeks.

I am stumped, may have to expand the search area.

I do realize that "Spots" on a river change, I have had days where fish were spread out at random and all the matter was retrieving a shad rap as fast as possible.

Even with the SMB bite slowing down, I catch enough Pike to keep thing interesting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very good post riverrat! I enjoyed it. Makes me want to try some river fishing again if it weren't for that scum line... I guess I do have a flat bottom though smile

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a similar experience in northern Wisconsin a few years ago. I was fishing a river that the bottom actually looked like it was moving under you because of the amount of small crawfish that had hatched. I tried wading it with sandals and cut my feet up by crunching the little guys underfoot.

Anyways, I tried to match the hatch with artificials and could not catch a single fish on any thing that resembled crawfish colors(or anything else for that matter). The only thing I could catch were a few small northerns. I finally decided I had had enough so I switched to live bait and was fishing big chubs figuring I'd at least catch some pike. I ended up

pounding huge smallies(averaged over 18") three different times fishing there like that. So I basically went opposite of the hatch fishing large baitfish when small crawfish were the present forage...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not positive that the smallies even go after the tiny craws, there is not much there as far as protein and everything else, I think they attract the smaller bait fish that feed on them and thats what the smallies are feeding on. I am not positive on this but river fish have to have a certain amount of energy they can get from there food and if its not there they are not going to expend the energy to chase and then process the food if it results in a net loss.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very good post riverrat! I enjoyed it. Makes me want to try some river fishing again if it weren't for that scum line... I guess I do have a flat bottom though smile

They make soap for that grin and if you keep your boat out of the eddies the line is not that bad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that's true to an extent, but there isn't a meal that's much easier to get for a smallie than a nice crawdad. If a bass can get a bunch of them in a short amount of time, I'd imagine it would make up a good % of their forage.

I am not positive that the smallies even go after the tiny craws, there is not much there as far as protein and everything else, I think they attract the smaller bait fish that feed on them and thats what the smallies are feeding on. I am not positive on this but river fish have to have a certain amount of energy they can get from there food and if its not there they are not going to expend the energy to chase and then process the food if it results in a net loss.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thats my point, have you ever watched the little ones? They move awful quick and are really small, I don't think a smallie could catch that many... well enough to make it worthwhile

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Posts

    • It is summer bacon season, plus they have gotten trendy on their own.  
    • Fletcher must really like these guys that are small and quick.  I don't understand why they are trying so hard to keep the team intact.  They haven't made it past the 2nd round for the 5-6 years.  We've had this discussion before, but at what point do you say this just isn't working as is?   They have to move good players to get good players.  
    • I look at it like cast iron....numerous cookings give 'em a perfect seasoning. Gotta leave some residue on IMO.
    • No butcher buddy? They can order one for ya....be advised they have taken a huge leap in prices. Ask a butcher about that. Mine (who's also a good friend) said it's the highest he's ever seen 'em at right now.
    • jhust find a locker plant that smokes their own bellies and buy one from them.
    • I have seen it in Costco quite often.  Didn't look last time.    Or call around, often the meat markets will special order if desired.   Seems it was in the 3 buck a pound area if I remember right.     I don't know how far from a Costco you are, but they are a good place to buy meat.   Sams Club might work also. 
    • Pretty hard to tell. Is this on a TWSP, County or State road? You will need to get a permit from them and build it to their standards if approved. Will you need a culvert? Probably will unless you locate it at a highpoint. Will you have to remove any trees? How much fill is needed? is the ditch deep or shallow? How long do you want it? Hopefully you are not impacting any wetlands... It use to be simple, but now it is much more complicated. Could get spendy...
    • Since my smoker is new for now I throw them in the big wash sinks in the basement with some Dawn and hot water to soak. Then rinse them with more hot water. I'm sure in time once they get more "purplefloyd seasoned". I'll rub them a bit with a grill brush and hit them with a garden hose! 
    • Hello from the NW Angle of Lake of the Woods!

      Here in Minnesota, water temps are in the low to mid 60’s and the Walleyes keep rollin’ in! Wind blown shorelines are giving up walleyes via leeches and crank-baits right along the weed line. Crawlers on a gold and/or orange spinner are producing fish out of the mud between 22 and 26 feet. Jigging has been tough this week with the strong winds, but the Mayflies have finally tapered off!!
       
      Up on the Canadian side, bottom bouncing has been filling the live wells outside of monument bay between 24-28 feet.  Jigging near Skeet and Kennedy Islands have seen nice sized walleye and numerous perch. Great smallmouth action can currently be had in Tranquil channel and the mouth of Johnston passage. Muskie fishing is still sporadic with high 40” class fish being caught from shallow bottom bays or just outside of them. 

      Fish of the Week:
      49" and 46" Muskie
      40" Pike
      At least 10 Walleye over 25" 

      We hope to see you soon! Sunset Lodge
    • Anyone know where I can find it?  Checked a couple grocery stores and even a butcher and nobody has it?  Also what's a decent price if I do find any? 
  • Our Sponsors