If we have an open winter, there’s going to be a good chance to fish below the Missouri river dams. Team Outdoorsmen Productions member Larry Myhre with a big female he caught and released below Ft. Randal dam.
With the unusually warm weather we’re having, in November, and early December, boaters now have an opportunity to find some excellent fishing below the dams.
This fall, many species of fish, including walleye, sauger and smallmouth are located below the dams that stopped their migration below the dams.
The fish moved up in the fall in preparation next spring’s spawn, they will be stopped from going any farther upstream, stacked up below the dams on the Missouri River.
This is when a jig and a minnow work very well and since the water temperature is cold, so is the metabolism of the fish.
You’ll find the fish doing a lot of messing around with your bait, and simply holding on to it.
The fish will grab onto the minnow’ tail, avoiding the hook, spitting the bait out when they come to the surface.
The is the time of the year when stinger hooks really work well, with the jig hook through the minnow’s head and a stinger hook in the tail, and when those short biting fish will end up with the hook in their mouth.
In some locations, the fish are trying on to put on the pound, where a bigger bait can work best, this is when using a Chub works best, you’ll need to be patient, as with this larger bait, it may take some time for the fish to ingest the Chub.
Another bait that works this time of the year is a light-weight live bait rig.
In order to use this, you’ll need good boat control, so you’re fishing it vertically.
A slip sinker or Lindy type walking sinker with a plain hook works well with this rig, and it’s not a bad idea, once you feel the fish take the bait, allowing it to tale the plain hook and bait in and not feel any resistance, and most likely to inhale the bait.
No matter what bait you’re using you’ll want to release line or bring your rod back towards the fish, wait a couple of seconds or so before setting the hook, allowing the live bait hook and bait to be pulled into the fish’s mouth.
A lot of fish you catch may be the more aggressive males, but there’s always the opportunity to take one of those bigger fish, those that are waiting for the spawn, those heavier females, that are full of eggs.
If you do and don’t want to mount it, take several pictures of you with the fish for your bragging board and release it, as the eggs once fertilized will be the walleyes of tomorrow.
If we’re lucky and have some mild winter temperatures, we may be able to fish open waters throughout the winter.