published May 28, 2009 by Ben Adams

Strategies for River Fishermen by Guide Shane Goodner

Arkansas River FishingHaving been a devout river angler for over 40 years, I have been shown — and found for myself — some basic fundamentals that every fishermen should plan a trip around. The first of which is always wade or pilot your boat upstream instead of down. The vast majority of fish in a river or stream are positioned into the current. Approaching fish from behind, undetected, and presenting a bait in the direction they are looking is a much better plan than moving into them and doing the same while they have you spotted and on full alert.

This is an important point that sounds obvious, but it is very often overlooked by fishermen both pro and novice alike. A river system has key areas that hold the biggest numbers of fish (not to mention the largest) and approaching these places in the wrong manner will ruin any chance you have of surprising the fish and catching them. For example, in most river systems, the fish are either at one end or the other in a stretch of water – usually the beginning of a shoal or the end. By the time you float a boat downstream into these places and stop to fish, you have alerted every fish in the vicinity that you are there. Furthermore, you also ruin the next hole by flying through a shoal in preparation to cast and scare these fish in every direction.

Using this reverse approach allows you to effectively fish all of these key areas and turn a bad day into a very good one.

Shane Goodner is a professional fishing guide specializing in catching trout in Central Arkansas. To book a trip with Shane, visit Catch ’em All Guide

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Ben Adams

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