Re: Winter Smallmouth
There aren't any hard and fast rules on what they do in rising water. I always read that they feed heavily on a rise due to the stuff washing into the river. I have NOT found that to be generally true. I have found that, once the water level reaches the top of a small rise, a foot or two, and is murky but not brown muddy, the fishing can be terrific. But it always seemed to me that the fish didn't really know what to do on a rise...sometimes they took advantage of food, and sometimes they didn't. I do know that rises of more than a foot or so relocate the fish, and they will go to places where you wouldn't ordinarily expect them to be. I've found them atop submerged gravel bars on the inside of bends, gravel bars that are normally high and dry, during a five foot rise. I've found them in the slack water just downstream of islands. I've found them at the mouths of small feeder streams that are backed up from a big rise. I've found them in little pockets behind submerged tree trunks. The main thing is, they almost never seem to be in the stronger current during a significant rise, they always go to places that are sheltered from the current. They do this even in the summer, and they certainly do it during winter and early spring rises.