Darrell Carter

Years of angling has taught me a thing or two about fishing in challenging conditions. Flooded rivers, while daunting to many, offer unique opportunities for those willing to adapt their tactics. In this article we’ll look at a some of my favourite tips and tricks for lure fishing in these wild waters.

Embracing the Challenge of Flooded Rivers

Flooded rivers are not just obstacles; they are opportunities. The key lies in understanding how fish behavior changes under these conditions. As the waters rise and become turbid, fish seek areas that offer both shelter and feeding opportunities. This shift in habitat requires anglers to rethink their approach.

Strategic Positioning

Slack Water Havens: Look for areas where the water is calmer. In these pockets, fish find refuge from the relentless currents and are more likely to feed.

Eddies as Hotspots: Eddies create natural feeding grounds. The reverse flow traps baitfish, making these areas prime spots for predatory fish.

The Depths of Opportunity: Deep pools become sanctuaries for fish during floods. These areas offer relative calm and are excellent for targeting larger specimens.

Natural Ambush Points: Submerged structures, fallen trees, and large rocks are more than obstacles; they are strategic points where predator fish lie in wait.

Keep an eye out for fish favourites: from trees resting underwater to deep underwater caverns and slack areas of water away from the river's main flow.

Lure Selection: My Go-To Choices

In the murky waters of a flooded river, the right lure makes all the difference. I rely on a few key types to ensure success:

Bladed Jigs and Spinners: The vibration and flash of these lures are unmatched for attracting fish in reduced visibility. They create a disturbance that fish can't ignore.

Creature Baits: These lures excel in mimicking the natural prey of predatory fish. Their realistic appearance and movement can be irresistible, even in challenging conditions.

Finesse Worms: Bright colours, such as Coppertreuse, stand out in murky water. These worms draw attention and trigger bites from visually oriented predators.

A variety of lures that all offer an edge while fishing swollen rivers

Gear for the Challenge

Rods: In these conditions, I prefer rods like the Warrior and Terminator. A heavier action rod, around 7-28g, offers the control and power needed to handle larger fish and strong currents.

Leaders and Braid: A durable leader is essential to withstand the harsh conditions of a flooded river. Combined with a sensitive yet strong braid, this setup ensures you feel every bite and can confidently battle fish in challenging conditions.

Fishing in flooded rivers can test the skills of even the most experienced anglers. However, with the right approach and equipment, these conditions can yield remarkable results. Remember, safety is paramount in these conditions, so always respect the power of the water. By adapting your tactics and using the right gear, you can turn the challenge of a flooded river into an exciting and rewarding fishing adventure.

Tight lines!