In Praise of Backwaters

When hitting the river it's crucial to give the backwaters a thorough look

River fishing tends to be challenging as the conditions always seem to be changing. It is either a frustration or a passion, depending on whether you're typically a lake fisherman or a 'river rat'.

The backwaters often hold fish that are getting out of the current for one of a few reasons, and can be your best bet at times. These slack water basins offer cover that is used for protection or ambushing depending on the fish. Either way, they are worth targeting and will often give you clues as to what's going on in the river system at any given time. 

Inlets are another form of backwater that can be red hot during spawning times, or for fish that may be looking for cooler water. Paying special attention to these will usually pay off when you're running and gunning. Pitching up shallow will give you a quick read on these fish and are generally worth marking with a waypoint for future reference. 

So if you're new to a river remember to give the backwaters a thorough look. They are often a good bet when the main current isn't filling your livewell.

North American Fisherman Top Stories