Bank fishing at SD river Nov. 2020

Discussion in 'Freshwater Reports' started by Vet4Fishing, Nov 25, 2020.

  1. Vet4Fishing

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    Starting way back into the last week of October, I was not able to hook up with the LMBs down at the river so I switched over to bluegills and a few unexpected surprises. I was catching some bluegills and hooked into a decent sized carp fishing at the pedestrian bridge in Fashion Valley. It was a really good fight since I use a medium spinning rod with 10 lb copolymer line. No pictures available because it was nearing dusk and I was in a hurry. I would guess it weighed some where around 6 lbs. My first thoughts were that that fishing line made quite an impression on me. My mosquito hook got bent but held up.

    The other unexpected a few days later were the 3 catfish I caught down there. I did manage to snap a pic of the larger of the 3. I think this small population has survived because of the isolation from the heavier pressured areas like the Morena Blvd overpass upstream to the Sefton baseball fields. It was really cool to see them and a really nice surprise. Over the last year many people have asked me if there are any catfish down there and just kept telling them no.
    I went down to Morena Blvd on Nov.10th, 2 days after our rain event and found only two mosquito fish in the cattails; no bass, no mullets, no turtles, no frogs, no bluegills; NADA!
    It was like a reset button had been pressed.

    So yesterday was the first time I had been down there in 2 weeks (Morena). The water level has dropped tremendously and much of the duckweed and water lettuce has died off. There are still patches of yellow creeping primrose holding on and the water had that dark, tannic look; still flowing but dark particulates impeding the sunlight. I started out by the YMCA and worked downstream with nothing showing signs of presence except the big schools of mullet and 1 small bass clinging to the shoreline facing into deeper waters. I tried drop-shotting and nightcrawlers but no bites.
    Finally in the afternoon I moved straight up the road to the baseball fields and was rewarded with a small bass. I had to climb out on the large willow tree laying across the river to work an area of relatively lightly pressured waters. I had cast this Berkeley 7" power worm in motor oil with red flake maybe 15Xs before this bass swam out from beneath the heavy cover of the tree's canopy underneath. I couldn't take a picture because of the risk of falling into the water. But I felt that monkey on my back slide off and felt comfortable enough to experiment with some of those baits infrequently utilized in my box. Liking the ribbon tail action of the Berkeley, I put on a Mann's jelly auger tail worm in watermelon with black flakes and a sub-gram bullet split shot and a Spike-it dip of the same size as the weight. The light weight gave this worm a really cool fall and the tail would lay like in the picture on the fall. Then the tail would twitch like a dying creature's final movement; it was like a pumped movement, not an undulation like a Senko or Roboworm. The fish loved it! I caught 2 more bass on this one. Even the bluegills came out from beneath the cover to hit this worm!
    As the river got wider, I switched to a 2.5 gram bullet split shot and dipped the entire tail and lost one but caught one more. With the heavier weight it lost that cool fall movement and behaved more like a ribbon tail worm.
    It felt good to catch bass again even if they were small.

    20201028_141030.jpg 20201125_115314.jpg
     
  2. carpkiller

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    "I had to climb out on the large willow tree laying across the river...."

    Terrific story.

    Besides those bullheads there are also channel cats in the river. Used to see guys pulling stringers of 2 to 3 pound cats out of the areas just upstream from the stadium. And up in Mission Trails, there are spots where baby channel cats still stack up like sardines.....sometimes.
    If I was livin' off the land and camping in the river bottom, I'd be soaking bait every night for the catfish...which might explain why there aren't so many down near Morena.

    Thanks for the report.
     
    #2 carpkiller, Nov 25, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2020
  3. Werfless

    Werfless The Coach ..RIP my friends
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    There are piles of bullheads in the river, one of the biggest ones I have ever caught came out of a certain hole in Santee, at least 4 lb...
     
  4. Vet4Fishing

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    Well it surprised me because I have been fishing Fashion Valley to Morena Blvd for the last 9 or 10 months with nightcrawlers and crickets. I am there almost biweekly and sometimes 3Xs per wk. So the odds are that I statistically SHOULD have come across them sooner. And they were caught BEFORE the rains so they didn't get flooded down but perhaps from the larger ponds near the 163.
     
  5. Werfless

    Werfless The Coach ..RIP my friends
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    Plenty of YBH in the river, I have damn rarely caught any during the day though, they are MUCH more common first and last hour of dark...
     
  6. carpkiller

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    Yep. Sometimes I've soaked nightcrawlers all afternoon and caught everything BUT bullheads...once the sun set they began feeding and jumped on the bait so fast that I couldn't catch anything else. They are tasty, too...
     
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  7. Medicated fisherman

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    They feed hard at night. If you were using a bait like cut chovie and targeting cats you would probably catch more cats. They eat nightcrawlers when they are out actively feeding. During the day you have to target the structure they hunker down in and use some bait that has some smell to it. During the day catfish like shaded ledges, rocks, tules, weed lines,bridges, anything that casts a shadow. My biggest channel came from the santee area but have caught plenty in the mission valley area. The bullhead bite can be non stop at night.
     
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  8. Vet4Fishing

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    Yeah, the urban campers do harvest. I've talked to a few who tell me their fishing reports. That's why I believe that these isolated pods escaped the harvesters like the mad mob that rip up the Morena Blvd area.
     
  9. Vet4Fishing

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    November 30, 2020
    Returned to SD river for some therapy.
    Started out at the Fashion Valley drains where my first LMB fell to a Keitech swimbait. See, it's not too cold for swimbaits!
    Not a big fish but better than going to Murray and getting skunked!
    Then I tried that Mann's Auger tail jelly worm in the back of the pond and got slammed then wrapped like a Christmas present. I threw it right up against the lone palm tree there. Moving forward and onward, I switched to a weighted Zman Crawz and was rewarded with 2 more bass. Experimenting with a little bit of that Spike-it neon glow, I dabbed the tips of the claws which worked for a little while but eventually it broke the elastic material down. So I switched gears for a little panfish feed-n-catch. I caught like 6 or 7 beautiful bluegills before it got dark.
    20201130_124347.jpg 20201130_143858.jpg and that angry fish tied me up quickly with my own 20lb braid.
    20201130_115052.jpg 20201130_115104.jpg
     
  10. sdfriday

    sdfriday Well-Known Member

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    You do better from the shore than I do from my SUP!
     
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  11. carpkiller

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    Nice. Looks like a pure bluegill....correct me if I'm wrong...but the small mouth, solid dark "ear," long, pointed pectoral fin, and overall coloration...
    It don't take Maury Povich to say there's no visible sign of green sunfish dna in the genetics.
     
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