Dams are among the most overlooked fishing places. The normal combination of baitfish, current, eddies, rocky cover, and high dissolved oxygen levels make the dams attractive to the majority of gamefish. Dams do act as an end of the road for the fish which often move upstream to spawn. This means that the fish end up being concentrated in the tailwaters.
If you do not visit dams after wearing your fishing shirt, you should consider incorporating dams into your favorite fishing spots’ list. As long as you are familiar with dam fishing, reeling in a catch should be possible. In this article, will focus on making fishing dams easier for you.
The Fish Species to Expect in Dams
If you intend to go dam fishing, understanding the fish species to expect is always a good idea. The fish species in dams vary widely depending on the region and the river and dam character.
However, when fishing dams, you will have a high chance of heading home with white bass, stripers, saugers, spotted bass, walleye, or smallmouth bass inside your fishing cooler. It is also possible to land crappies, sunfish, and largemouth bass in the slack-water areas.
Top Dam Fishing Techniques
1. Large Swimbaits
In the majority of the cases, dams feature currents. To increase your chances of landing a fish once you cast your spinning rod, you have to use a lure heavy enough to pull through the current.
It is crucial that you match your baits with the live bait available in the dam where you will be fishing. If you determine that the fish will be going after live minnows and shad, you can increase your chances of catching bass and other fish species by using large swimbaits which look exactly like the live shad and minnows.
2. Use Crankbaits
On top of being easy to throw, crankbaits cover a lot of ground and fish do love them. When fishing dams for the bass fish, a bass crankbait capable of diving to approximately 4 to 8 feet should help you land the target fish.
To succeed at getting the target fish to bite, you should focus on locating the shallow water rocks. Considering that dams do feature a tone of rocks, this shouldn’t be too hard for you. As mentioned earlier on, matching the live bait in the fishing spot will make it possible for you to convince the target fish that your crankbait is actually something it can eat.
3. Topwater Lures
Using topwater lures can help you take home a wide variety of fish species occupying dams. However, it is worth noting that there is an ideal time for fishing topwater lures.
Topwater lures produce the best results during the late evenings and early mornings when the fish are feeding. During the feeding times, you should be able to see the fish exploding on the water surface.
You should start by throwing a topwater bait or a popper. You should try to throw the topwater lure across the entire dam bank length and across the dam face.
While you should be cautious of the areas which could snag you, this does not necessarily mean that you have to avoid them, considering that they offer perfect cover to the target fish. You should focus on presenting your topwater lures in areas featuring ledges, walls, rock faces, and sunken trees to increase your odds of handling bass or a different fish species.
4. Jig Head and Soft Plastic
Along the bottom of the majority of dams, a transition point exists, where the currents from the dam will meet the lake below. At this point, the majority of predator fish, including smallmouth bass and striper, sit as they wait for the baitfish riding the current.
To fish at the point where the current transitions into the lake, you should use a jig head and soft plastic. For example, you can cast a craw across the area and then work it back very slowly while enticing any predator fish that is lying down waiting for the baitfish.
Craws offer much better results due to the fact that the rocky bottom is an ideal habitat for the crawfish. This means that the craw will look very similar to live bait.
5. Live Bait
If you are worried that you will have a hard time locating baitfish to use during your dam fishing trip, you shouldn’t. As we had mentioned earlier on, dams do feature a large number of bait fishes. Simply throwing your cast net into the dam should help you land enough baitfish to use when fishing dams.
After landing enough baitfish, you will need to focus on floating them down the current. To achieve this, you will simply need to use a bottom rig, ½-ounce weight featuring a swivel attached to the hook and leader.
This set up should allow the rig to bounce off the dam bottom with the water current. This is an ideal way of presenting your live bait in front of the largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and stripers.
Observe Safety When Fishing Dams
When dam fishing, it is crucial that you avoid ignoring your safety. Conditions and currents can change pretty quickly. This can be dangerous.
While focusing on landing as much fish as you possibly can, do not forget to pay attention to the signs. Also, be aware of the requirements for fishing in a specific dam. If a lifejacket is necessary for you to fish in a particular dam, be sure to wear the life jacket.
Globo Surf Overview
Fishing dams could help you land a wide range of gamefish varieties with ease. Dams do not just offer protection to the majority of gamefish, they also offer food, considering that they are generally filled with bait fish.
The key to reeling in a catch when dam fishing is using lures which resemble the live bait in the dam. If you are using a lure that does not look anything like what the target fish is used to eating, the fish will not bite.