When most people think of getting fish from fast water rivers and having to read the water, they think of Trout. This is a very overlooked warm water spot. There is a place I fish every year that has very fast water most of the time and just plain fast the rest of it. I fish this area for Walleye, Smallmouth and Pike. This river dumps into a very large, slow and deep river so the fish up in these fast waters do not actually have to be there. By far the most common fish I catch there is Walleye. I have never caught a small one there. In fact the smallest I have ever caught there was a 22 1/2 inch fish. Most of them run over 25 inches. If you asked 100 Walleye fishermen if they thought there was a single Walleye there you would most likely get 100 "No, not a chance." Generally speaking there are never more than 3 or 4 fish in a spot like this, but all will be big. That goes for the other odd species you hook in there to. I hooked a 42" Northern in it a couple of weeks ago. The type of spot I am talking about here is where you have a fast river dumping into a deeper slow water river or lake. I don't mean in the slow water or the lake either. I mean up in the fast water. If you look at where the rocks are they create dead water spots and spots where the water runs back up the river. Pretend you are looking for big Trout. They use the same kind of spots.
In this first picture you can see the water pretty well behind me. Notice that it is far from calm and slow. This is about the smallest Walleye I ever get in a spot like this. It's a 23 inch fish.
This is a much more common size fish. When I hooked it, she ran down stream in the fast water and pulled a pile of line. You have to do some planning on where to land fish in a spot like this.
Every once in a while you get something other than Walleye in there, and most of the time they are big as well. This kind of spot seems to hold the bigger fish in the area. I'm willing to bet that when smaller fish move in they are either eaten or chased out. Our Sauger are a small strain here so if you get a 19" fish it is as big as you will likely ever catch. This was a surprise fish I got the other day and it was 17".
So if you have waters like this where you are, don't hesitate to experiment up in the fast water. Not just the bottom of the rapids but up in them also. You may be overlooking the best place for the biggest fish in the area if you don't.