Ticket to a hot bite during a dog-days lull: moving water

Normally, fishing for pike on our lake is easy, which is why we do it. Not so much last week when I took one of my daughters out to throw some swimming jigs toward shore. We spent two hours and, aside from a couple of lackluster swipes, hadn’t raised an aggressive fish.

I was approaching panic mode when I asked Jo if she wanted to try bobber fishing. I had some crawlers in the boat and figured we might scrounge a consolation prize in the river because recent rains had ramped up the mid-summer current.

When we slipped into the fastest part of the river, I flipped her bobber into an eddy behind a fallen tree, and it immediately shot under. It soon became clear that there was a school of sunfish staring upriver and waiting for food to drift past their noses. I don’t know how many big sunfish Jo caught, but it was a lot.

Mixed in with the sunnies were some bonus rock bass and perch, and for an hour or so it was a bite-on-every-cast situation. Eventually the action cooled, but we were running real low on bait anyway.

Those current-dwelling sunfish made our day, and it was a good reminder of how different it can be fishing still water versus moving water. Fish in the current always are burning calories and tend to have less time to analyze food when an opportunity presents itself. That’s good news if you’re looking to catch them.

If a lull in the action stumps you this summer, consider heading to inlets, outlets, or anywhere that the water is moving. You might locate fish less finicky than their slack-water cousins.

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