Unless you are fishing in remote Alaska, the amount of traffic on a Lower 48 river is going to increase dramatically Friday through Sunday.
That intensified fishing pressure will often make the action tougher than it is during the week.
But fishing on weekends is a necessary evil for anybody in the 9-5 crowd as they’re often the only time you can get out. So, rather than getting all worked about the increased angling and boating pressure, guys like me have had to learn to completely change our game plans on the busy days to stay successful. In fact, you can actually use the extra traffic to your advantage!
So, here are some concepts to file away in the back of the ol’ noggin for the next time you find yourself in a crowd out on the creek.
When salmon get pounded by boats and gear, they eventually give up their preferred holding water in favor for something a little less hectic.
Pay attention to what’s going on…take note of where the boats are fishing and where they are running. Keep an eye on where guys are casting. Often, you can narrow down where the fish have moved when the bite shuts off by looking for spots that are opposite to these.
That’s the time to seek out and try some of the funky spots that you normally wouldn’t fish.
Of course, you will probably lose some gear in those areas but no guts, no glory!
The Fast & The Furious
Check the fast water at the heads of holes…when they get beaten up, salmon often move out of the meat of a hole and seek refuge in the heavy, choppy stuff.
The Late Show
Weekend anglers are often the most eager of the beavers. Cooped up all week in the office, you can bet they’ll be out early. After playing bumper boats for several hours, many folks will pack it in early if the bite’s off.
If you can swing it, some of the best crowded day fishing occurs in the afternoon and into the evening — simply because the river gets quiet again and the fish come out of hiding.
I have had many, many good days by waiting out the weekend traffic and starting later. Not a bad deal, either…sleep in, have a nice breakfast, miss the traffic jam at the boat ramp and catch some fish too!
Well, that should help you get on your way to doing better the next time you go out on the weekend. Good luck out there!