Yes, large mouth bass live in large rivers as well as lakes. In fact, if you enjoy bass fishing then you may love river bass fishing. While there are many similarities, there are also several differences. River bass are not affected by weather conditions as dramatically as pond or lake bass. Also, river bass are typically more aggressive feeders due to the amount of energy expended swimming in a current. When it comes to lures, both are attracted to several similar soft plastic baits.
Jig and Pig
A jig and pig is rigged by attaching a split soft plastic tail to a jig head hook. This is a classic bass bait that also proves to be effective on river bass. Because of the way the jig and pig is rigged with a weed guard, the bait can move around the structure of a river without hang ups or snags. When dealing with river current, this is a very desirable feature. Getting into structure along a river bank or on the bottom is essential as this is often where big bass wait to race out and strike at their next meal. Heavy mono filament lines are essential here. Don't be afraid to get up into the 30-pound test and heavier range.
Plastic Jerk Bait
Plastic jerk baits are often a good choice to have set up on a secondary rod as a follow up. In other words, when a river bass strikes and misses, or you miss the set, throw the plastic jerk bait to the same spot. This will often times result in a strike. A great way to rig the plastic jerk bait for river fishing is to use a shank weighted wide gap hook. Apply a little white nail polish, or other color to match the bait, to help camouflage the weight. Throwing the lure on heavy mono filament is good, throwing the lure on braid may even be better. Allow the jerk bait to work with the current of the river and twitch it as you go.
Fishing soft plastics is like getting that hamburger fixed your way. First of all, there are so many soft plastics from which to choose. From worms to creatures and toads, there is a bait to imitate just about everything a bass likes to eat.Then there are the many options available when rigging a soft plastic. The Carolina and Texas are two very popular rigs for river fishing as they allow the bait to get down to where bass hold but, due to the way they are rigged, are not highly prone to snagging. Fish either rig on 18 pound test or higher and allow the bait to work along structure on the bottom and along the banks.
Article Written By Keith Dooley
Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.