Monday, March 17, 2014

Snag Fishing

With the warm weather and the break up of the ice, snag fishermen appeared to enjoy the day. Although I've known people who snag fish and have heard them talking, this was the first time I had ever seen people doing so. Judging from their actions, they throw a line with a heavy weight out into the river and with rapid jerks pull their hook in along the bottom hoping to snag some fish. The fishing was good because they had some huge fish laid out on chunks of ice along the river bank.

I watched the man in the gray shirt haul in a fish here that was probably eighteen or twenty-four inches long and it was the runt of the litter. He had to work pretty hard to pull the thing in sideways and almost pulled himself into the river at one point. He was able to dig his boot heels in once he fell into the mud and arrest his slide toward the river.

Father teaching his daughter the finer art of snag fishing. She pulled in several small pan fish while I was standing on the bridge taking photos.

Some of their haul. I'm guessing the largest one is three and a half or four feet long. I'm not a river fish expert so I don't know what kind of fish they are but I do know I probably wouldn't eat one. There are lots of factories and such all along the river from  here until it peters out in northwest Iowa not to mention it being bordered by hundreds of thousands of acres of farm fields many of which the farmers don't practice safe chemical application when raising their crops. I much prefer to get my fish for eating from smaller farm ponds where I know the water quality is good.


Anonymous said...

There are a lot of new spinning lures out these days. The old spinnerbait was replaced with a thing called a flying condom. The for upper or shallower waters you have poppers.
From what I hear those poppers are downright unsporting so enamoured the fish are with them.
Is it that the fish are stranded with the lowering of the flow and are in fact more mud river fish from much further downstream than the stone bed of that one.

Ed said...

Vince - They definitely aren't stranded as the river can be navigated by motorboat if one is careful about reading the river. I'm guessing they are some sort of bottom feeding fish. If I had to guess, I would say Asian Carp.

Ron said...

Man... it would be kind of awesome to hook into one of those huge things and fight it sideways!

I actually bought a tiny fishing rod combo yesterday... micro spincast. When I catch me some sunnies this spring, it's gonna feel like fighting one of those monsters (aside from the part about getting physically pulled into the river :))

Ed said...

Ron - I remember catching a sunnie once sideways and thinking I had a huge catfish on for a time until I got it close to the shore. It is amazing how much resistance there is pulling a fighting fish sideways.

Ed said...
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sage said...

I wonder if they are running upriver to spawn and not interested in eating, hence are not biting?

Leigh said...

Dan doesn't think much of fishing but I love to eat fish!

Ed said...

Sage - If they are running upstream to spawn, they are at the end of the line because 100 yards upstream is a dam with no way to navigate past it short of portaging.

Leigh - I love to fish and eat it too but unfortunately I don't fish much these days. The last time I fished was probably eight years ago. I wouldn't eat the fish out of this river anyway since there are a lot of factories along it upstream.