Complete Guide to River or Tailrace Bass Fishing | Nickajack 2019

hey it’s BassQuest welcome back into
their complete guide video today we’regoing to be talking about targeting Big
Finish in Swiftwater now specificallytalking about fish and tail races
fishing below dams and a lot of currentbut this is also going to be applicable
to ledge fishing so a lot of the thingsthat we’re going to talk about today
they’re going to be applicable on theseother videos that we did on the road so
don’t click away if you’re notinterested in getting below the dams
over there we’re gonna do like we do ina lot of these videos we’re gonna start
out do some fish catches we’re gonnawork our way into talking about the
techniques themselves and theneventually we’re gonna get into finally
the match study at the end of the videowe’re gonna break down some key areas
how you can actually find these areas inadvance and catch those fish but without
further ado let’s jump into some fishcatchesrightangry Eddie same fashion so man got
teeth on that one I’m telling youalright
veggie juice three pounderokay sankirtanshe’s nearanother Gooden boys
River fish you know just kind of kind ofcontrolfast-fish
so we kiss it’s a little small for anInstagram picture pretty they’re leaner
right off the bank so pounder this isjust plain old fun right here yepcome on slam slam I wants to stay with
it therethere’s no way that’s going down I’ll be
right there I’ll tell you what a fumblejoin I mean I good oh I mean a meaningand get hold of my handle oh league
begging begging I mean they flood outJohn probably make it drew it’s gotta be
drowngotta be coming up where we can nailed
it dude they’re gonna be in all theselittle cuts and leave that put the pink
nightmare on them get that pinknightmare down there look at the build
on that fish boy getting out water we’regonna drift right down through that
little thing again I mean dude it’sawesome
no no no dude that’s bigger than sixboys ever been a five and a half six
yeah I mean the giant all right hopeyou’re still with me so far hope you
enjoyed those fish catches I try to puta variety of different fish catches from
multiple days multiple techniques inthere so you kind of get the gist of
what I’m talking aboutnow we’re gonna jump into the teaching
part of the video so stay tuned let’shop into it all right first and foremost
here I want to say especially whenyou’re fishing tail raises when you have
a lot of current went over thosefloodgates are open high water I’m a
current can mean dangerous conditions soif you’re not adept or if you haven’t
fished like this a lot in the past youdon’t have a lot of experience you need
all your gear and really good repair youneed a a very reliable outboard need
reliable trolling motors all yourbatteries need to be up to date
everything on your boat needs to befunctioning perfectly this is not a
technique or a style of fishing that youjust you know Unwin ERISA boat hop out
and do this is something that you need atested vessel so you can get out there
and do this safely lifejackets keep themon have a buddy in the boat with you at
all times keep the motor running on thefirst few drifts until you’re very
comfortable with those drifts cuz youcan get in trouble with the trolling
motor and that current can push youunder things or do things to you that
you’re not used to doing so all thingsthat are important now after that little
disclaimer let’s jump into it alrightpoint number two we’re talking about
tail race fishing guys this is qualityfishing you catch big fish all year
round doing this and the reason is whenthat water is coming out of spillways
when it’s coming through turbines itgets oxygenated also a lot of times
they’re pulling water from the lowerpart of the basin above or the reservoir
above where this water is coming out sowhat happens is you got a tight area a
lot of current coming out and it’s waterthat’s coming from deep so what happens
is you have water that’s a very stabletemperature year-round as well in other
words it’s not as affected by cold frontit’s not as affected by really cold
weather really hot weather these fishhave a stable environment and what
happens is the bait and the predatorfish are able to thrive year round in
this environment now point number threeis that I would tell you to get very
acquainted with your home body of waterand what I’m referring to there as the
dam pushes out more water it not onlyraises the amount or increases the
amount of current that’s acting upon thewater below in the tailrace but it will
also raise the water level you can looka lot of times a private flash here the
TVA app for us we can look and see howmuch they’re generating in other words
how much water is flowing there intothat tailrace
and by that I can gauge just on my localknowledge where that water level is
gonna be where the 80 lines currentseams are gonna be that I want to target
those fish in and that really helps mebreak down the body of water before I
even get there so I’m not surprisedpoint number four just like we talked
about in the beginning these techniquesas far as how you fish Swift water they
also apply to howfish other parts of your River so and
use those up on Chickamauga I can usethem on Watts bar I can use them further
down in Nikki Jack work the late widensout and there’s less current impact and
you can visually see it when you’re inthat Swiftwater I think that’s why it
really helps which feeds into our nextpoint so point number five learn how to
visually read the river and one of thebest ways to do this and probably one of
the most helpful things you can do is toget out and fish some small creeks most
of the people around here we have accessto small trout streams little streams
that have smallmouth bass may beKentucky’s spotted bass in them so these
heavy current clear little bodies ofwater you can really see how that water
is acting on different points of coveror structure in the water so maybe
there’s a small bar there you can seehow that currents interacting with their
a cut that’s causing an eddy a bigboulder how the water is moving over and
in the clear water oftentimes you canactually see those fish you can see bait
and how they position in those areas andagain the more you can visualize I feel
like that helps you when you get outtwenty-five foot of water your ledge
fish and you’re trying to understand howthey’re setting up on the ledge where
they should be setting up and thingslike that so all this is gonna work
together to hopefully make us a betterfisherman right point number seven the
fish will stack up so the more currentyou have the smaller the areas that
these fish can comfortably sit that theycan comfortably ambush bait there’s
smaller areas that bait themselves canbe confined into so what’ll happen is
you get piles and piles of fish intothese areas and so when you’re fishing
it leads into the next one point numbereight fish fast cover water finish high
percentage areas and as soon as you getbit if you can’t hold you know if you
get a bite you can’t turn the trollingmotor and just holding that area and
really fish it make sure you drift thatarea again you might have to drift it
multiple times to really get all thegiddy out of the area but some of the
best times I’ve had I’ve been in reallyhigh water really Swift water and
drifting catching a fish off an areagoing right back and doing the same
drift over and over and catchingmultiple big fish off the same spot and
oftentimes it’s a really small spotalright number ten the bass we’re gonna
start at the top and work our way downsome of the baits I really like to use
are big walking baits I feel likesomething that draws a lot of noise
something that I can count to keep inthe same area I think
in that current scene can be reallyeffective walking a popper is another
really good technique buzzbaits or othergood baits that I use for top water when
I’m fishing river systems but I wantsomething that I can cast accurately for
one or make bomb casts with when I’mfishing open water in the rivers and I
need to be able to retrieve that bait ina way that I can kind of keep it in the
strike so in other words around whereverthose fish are gonna because a lot of
times it’s not your full cast unless youcan line up on the spot correctly one of
the other baits that I really enjoyusing on a river system is a jerk bait
so this we’ve got a vision 110 herethat’s all eaten up that I’ve used for
years and years a repellent X wrap orshadow wrap I should say any kind of
floating or suspending jerk bait can beabsolutely wonderful when you’re fishing
in the river and again it’s somethingthat you can keep you know when I throw
that drink bait out there I can get itdown and then I can jerk it in place and
leave it there I can suspend it andleave it and let it drift that’s a lot
of times if you’d like to trap fish alot you know being able to have
something that you like a you know aroad runner or a rooster tail where you
can kind of keep it and let it goparallel to you and move down that
current you can control where it hitswhatever you’re trying to hit is very
important so jerk bait can be fantasticfor that you can throw upstream and work
it directly to whatever you’re trying tocatch that fish off of another bait that
I like to use a little bit lower in thewater column but still relatively
shallow is a square bill and this is aexcite baits square bill here it’s got a
weight transfer system I’m really likingtheir original square and bill right
there it’s got good color is good hooksgood hardware and things like that but
anyway that square bill it stays higherin the water column you can throw it
right around laydowns you not to worryabout getting hung up as much it’s a
it’s a very accurate bait so if you’refishing around man-made structures such
as dogs or pylons or any kind of youknow big metal structures that they put
up there it can be fantastic it alsostays high in the water column so you
can expect to get by it’s actually outfrom the bank in a river system it’s
funny it doesn’t seem like you have todeflect off of things as often as you do
and when you’re fishing the lake itselfso a lot of times what you’ll see me is
when I’m retrieving even the shallowcrankbait back to the boat I’ll stop it
give it a couple pops reel it again giveit a couple pops and that will actually
a lot of times trigger fish that followthis bait out
moving a little bit deeper in the watercolumn I really like to use a swimbait
it can be something like this reallysmall you know something lightweight
really finesse ease you can also gobigger
five six inch 7 inch big bastard stylehollow-body swim baits on a little bit
heavier heads are important as well butagain I don’t really like to fish these
on the bottom I want to get a weightthat I can keep higher in the water
columnI can move relatively quickly that seems
to be the ticket another one is aunderspend so again taking a small chi
textile bait stick it on the back ofthat under spin there this is a hog
farmer I think it’s called the war pig Ireally love this understand that Scott’s
come up with their that’s a great weightnow working our way down a little bit
more one of my favorites and you’ll seeyou probably saw footage of this when we
did fish catches earlier but a smallbody crank bait this is a banded 300 you
know runs maybe 10 feet or so bandit 200similar to a dt 6 which is another great
bait bandit 200 here this thing runs 6feet or so really small body
presentation though seems to be theticket on that and in a medium size bait
like that dt 6 is fantastic as wellhere’s another one for you probably my
all-time favorite is the storm wigglewar and I’ve got it in a couple key
colors here you’ll notice a lot ofbright vibrant colors you know a lot of
times it’s not trying to be the mostnatural thing it’s something that you’re
really buzzing it through there you’removing water to cover in water with that
bait and it’s a reaction bite thatyou’re getting out of those fish a lot
of times these river fish you knowwhat’s that current pushing that bait
through there they don’t have a lot oftime to make a decision on whether they
eat something or not some more oftenthan not if the right kind of profile
gets through there they’ll tag thatthing just to see what it is all right
now working our way all the way to thebottom there’s one that you can’t hardly
beat and that is the G this is an MDCcustom tackle jig just sniper jig here
I like their full size sniper jig butI’m really liking this mini mag flipping
jig right here and I trim it up you knowhe’s got a full sized skirt on there to
begin with but I trimmed this down youcan see heavy hook but small hook very
compact bait and for some reason whenyou get in the river system these
finesse jigs are the money for me Idon’t throw it a full size jig as often
when I’m out in the river and I catchhuge fish on these thing
a little finesse jigs like this it’sjust something about it the fish really
keying on that it looks like a bluegillit looks like a crow and again it’s
something you cover water with it you’removing through there and I target
largemouth with it a lot so when you’refishing these river systems you got
swift water running down but you alsohave these cut-ins and on the cuttings
you have slack water and that’s where alot of times largemouth will like to set
especially if the water is pushed upthey’ll be in the bushes they’ll be in
the lay downs in there you can gothrough with this little jig and really
mop up and catch a big limit oflargemouth even oh it’s you know a body
of water that’s known for smallmouthwill say it that way all right finally I
don’t have one rigged up right now but adrop shot and I’m gonna do a video
separate video talking about extremecurrent fishing with the drops out how
to keep from hanging up because that’sone thing that’s extremely annoying now
that we’re talking about lures that cantechnically hit the bottom you know I
don’t use a football jig when I’mfishing the tail race very often at all
because they’ll get hung up so much it’ssuch a pain and you lose so many of them
that you know if I’m gonna use a jig I’mjust gonna be flipping it don’t use a
shaky head that much down there I dolike to use this lightweight net hegh
that Scott’s got right here and I’ll putthat one of these on here it’s a little
pin tail shad this net head with thatlittle pin tail on there is absolute
money you see he’s got a very uniqueshape to it it’s almost a sled shape and
what happens is you can just pull thatthing along and it’s kind of like one of
those strike ki JIT headsit’ll keep from getting stuck or you can
easily pop it out of a lot of tightspaces that you can’t get a lot of other
lures out of so I can use that I like touse a drop shot with a specific
technique that we’ll talk about laterand that’s pretty much it for my lineup
you know it’s it’s really simple riverfishing five or six seven rods on day
with a few different varieties of baitson them and you just cover water another
one I didn’t show for you here is thatadvantage tackle spinner bait I’m going
to flash a picture up there for you isan absolutely awesome bait has a really
unique vibration to it of more flexiblearm to it it seems like it really gets
those fish keyed in it’s out fished alot of other spinner baits for me
recently so y’all be sure to check thoseout as well to be linked down okay
number eleven really fast we’re gonna goover some of the combos that I like to
use and I think the main thing that youneed to understand when I’m river
fishinggetting under trees I’m getting around
lay downs man-made structure and I’mmoving very quickly so the name of the
game is short accurateso one thing is probably popping into
your head pops into my head immediatelyis I want a shorter rod on average when
I’m fishing down the river everything Iuse is is size down from the line itself
so a lot of times instead of flippingwith 20 pound test or 18 pound test I’m
gonna do it with 15 14 16 pound testline I use that canine 100% fluorocarbon
absolutely awesome stuff when I’mflipping down there but again lose be B
1 B B pro 7 to gear ratio maybe aneighth gear ratio sometimes I’ll break
out one of my super duties are running agear ratio but I like a hundred percent
fluorocarbon I like a shorter rod thisis 7 3 medium heavy action rod fast
action that’s gonna throw my jigs it’sgonna throw a lot of my smaller swim
bait I might even throw some of my topwaters on that typically with my top
bars I’ll use a short frog rod so 7-2frog rod it’s got a little bit more
moderate Bend it’s designed to bethrowing hollow body swim baits and
frogs that’s a perfect rod for thatapplication as always when we’re talking
about fishing the smaller stuff like themid-range crank baits those small body
crank baits and when we’re talking aboutdoing the jerk bait it’s always on the
same combo I use a little 7 foot it’s amedium heavy but it’s a moderate action
rod it’s very moderate – it’s got a lotof tip and it allows me to load up on
those fish I use light line most of thetime 10 to 12 pound test I’m gonna use
down there with my jerk baits and withmy mid-range crank baits like we saw
before my square bill so I go a littlehigher what I’ll do is I’ll go to a
7-foot medium heavy fast action rod andwhat this is it’s just an all-purpose
rod I’ll throw for anywhere from some ofthe shaky heads themselves anywhere with
that 12 to 14 pound test range one of myfavorites is this lose team light right
here it’s a 6 4 to 1 gear ratio Ibelieve but just something I can use a
lot of different techniques on I can usefor my moving techniques you know like
my jerk baits my crank baits I can useit for spinner bait fishing and in a
pinch I can still throw that thing outthere and have enough gear ratio to get
behind the fish on the jig got to have aspin right on to you at all times down
there it’s gonna fish your little netheads it’s going to fish your little
poppers a lot of times I throw on thatspinning rod sometimes a small jerk bait
or a small floating jerk bait throughbut that’s it for combos thanks for
sticking with me to this point now we’refine
we gonna jump into probably my favoritepart in what everyone seems to like the
most that’s the map study so let’s popinto that now welcome to the map study
we’re gonna break down Nicky Jack tailraces you see here we’ve got the dam
gonna zoom in a little bit we’ve got awing wall that comes out we’ve got this
structure they’ve been building forforever for the lock got a bridge here
but we can also look at some of thesecontour lines now some of its
respectives they don’t have all thelittle details on the contours and
things like that but we can see a lot ofthings that are important to us right
off the bat now one of the first thingsand probably one of the most important
things when you’re river fishing as faras a current break is gonna be an eddy
so what creates an eddy now typically itis some kind of main lake structure now
what I’m talking about structure I’mtalking about like right here you can
see there’s a hump this is actually arock pile right here anytime you’ve got
this wing wall where it comes outthere’s a wing wall down here by the dam
itself as well so any time you got aweed wall that current peels out and
goes it gets pushed around that so whathappens you have a current break and
you’ve got an eddy swirl as well withthat water now these are fantastic areas
where you’ve still got moving water butit’s also it’s got psyche water in the
middle of it where these fish can sitthey can sit on the edge of it and kind
of surf it and wait for that bait to getpushed to them now what are we talking
about when we’re talking about slackwater so if we zoom in here say the
currents coming out here’s yourspillways zoom in a little bit there’s
your spillways right here and here’syour turbines over here so you’ve got
your current is coming down through herethere’s very little current that comes
out of his creek or the lock on theupper portion of the screen there so as
that current comes down it’s gonnainteract with this wing wall and then
it’s gonna continue on down and theneventually intersect with the bank down
here somewhere as well so any of thiswater back up in here is gonna be slack
water I’ll have very little current alot of times no current and that’s where
a lot of your lethargic your non activefish will tend to sit or in times when
you’ve got extreme high water extremecurrent that might be where everything
is setting so you really have to knowyour body water like we talked about
beginning understand how different waterlevels affect the movement of the fish
so speak now let’s talk about now let’stalk about current seems a current seem
is any place where something juts out orprotrudes in stops the current or
impedes on the current itself and theseare really important because a lot of
times fish hang outand it could be again like this rock
pile here water as it cascades over thisrock pile what will happen is you’ll
have two areas of slack water a lot ofpeople don’t understand this there’s an
area a bigger area of slack water on theback side of this rock you know where
that currents flowing over the rock soobviously anything can sit in that part
of the current but you know where yourbig and your active fish typically sit
they’re typically on the front side ofthat so you’ve got this rock pile on the
front side of it where that water beginsto act where it has to push over there’s
a sweet spot there where those fish cansit and they don’t even have to do
anything it’s similar to those guys downin Georgia there’s some rivers down
there you’ll see them they’ll be surfingan endless wave that’s what I imagine
those fish are doing on the front sidesof these big boulders these big bridge
pylons and things like that there’s anendless way that they kind of surf
that’s one of the key areas you can findnow another thing when you have a lot of
current coming out of the lake so let’ssay we’re running you know a normal
amount of current what’ll happen isalong these edges so you got these
steeper banks that are coming downthrough here they’ll still be as this
water transitions from the deeper to theshallower on that transition that 45
transition there especially wherethere’s areas that bump out what will
happen is the current will act upon thattransition and actually create like we
talked about before and Eddy where thatwater will actually be pushing against
the current close to the bank and it’llbe pushing with the current as you get
out to the edge of the break whereverthat break is on that River edge there
so if we zoom in here on that breakyou’ll see that that’s where a lot of
times that that mix is and those fishsit on that now as the current there’s
less and less current that mix isfurther and further out and it’s less
powerful and so it doesn’t really affectthe position of the fish but the more
current you have it tightens that seamup so in other words it pushes the slack
water pushes that comfortable water muchmuch closer to the bank and so what
you’ll end up having and it’s a lotstronger too in other words the up
current push so when they’re running awhole lot of current you’ll actually see
items and bait fish getting pushed veryquickly back towards the dam then they
get dumped and back down and they getthis endless cycle and those fish
they’ll sit right on that little sweetspot on that transition current break
right there and they’ll pick those baitoff and so the higher the current is a
lot of times better that particular bikecan be down through there again another
current brake area you know you’relooking at a rock pile here that kind of
area you know currents got to flowthrough that so those can be great areas
to target those big smallmouth bigspotted bass and a lot of times you’d be
surprised how heavy a current thoselargemouth will sit into now we’re
talking about things that are invisiblethese are things that you can look out
ahead of time and kind of know wherefish should be sitting and you even see
these out on the river if the hump kindof comes high up you’ll be able to see
the disturbance on the water and knowthat there’s something under there
creating you know an area that you cantarget those fish in the current on
there but one thing you can’t discountat all is that the man-made things when
you’re coming down through here so thesebridge pilings you know bridge pilings
down here any kind of manmade structuredown to here I think there’s a lot of
docks down through here as you getfurther down and towards Chattanooga
here you get more and more you get thebig island there you got all these
bridges you got all these marina typedogs barge ties and things like that you
can’t discount any of that because itcan be tremendous for holding a lot of
fish so look for the visible things thatyou can see I’m the big lay downs that
come way out into the water where theycreate a current break can be fantastic
you know just a big boulder then whenyou’re going down a do-nothing Bank
maybe there’s just a big boulder rightthere on a transition that could be
fantastic as well river fishing is avery visual thing just like we talked
about before it’s fast paced it’s veryvisual and you cover a ton of water so
you can go down and fish these areasmultiple times throughout a day cuz you
got to think about depending on theamount of current running down through
there you might be pushing down thisthing in three four or five miles an
hour and you’re just controlling yourdrift with that trolling motor so you’re
making fire and really quick accuratecasts with those short rods in there it
can be just fantastic for that but Ihope this map study helps you guys if
you have any more questions feel free toleave them down in the comment section
I’ve got some more videos related tothis coming down the pipe and of course
as we start transitioning in the summerhere we’re gonna start talking about
some of this ledge fishing on the upperlake here how the current affects it but
it’s very similar if you’ve learned thisriver fishing if you learn how to fish
small trout streams and stuff like thatit’s all gonna roll over on just a
little bit bigger scale you know be ableto visualize what
you’re doing over there and so that youcan present that bait right in front of
those fish the way you need to presentit alright guys congratulations you made
it to the end you got to see the awesomefish catches you saw the teaching you
saw the map study now you’re here at theend thank you for watching as always
make sure you like subscribe to thechannel share this video with your
friends I want to get this informationout there I think it’s really good
information that’s good but it’s alsogonna roll over into most your other
tennessee river ledge fishing and othertechniques hope you see the value in
that i’ll catch you on the next episodeas always I hope this week finds you out
on the water and I’ll catch you there

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