Saturday, July 6, 2013

Scouting Gavins Point Dam

There was information that walleye were being caught in the Missouri River system below Gavins Point Dam.  This is a mere two hour drive from home, so Pam, my wife, and I made the trip up to check things out.  In addition, we also heard that walleye, northern, smallmouth and sauger were being caught below Sioux City by fishing the wing dams. 

The process is to anchor just below the wing dam and away from the current.  Drop a jig just off the current in as much of the still water as possible and jig  just off the current.  Outstanding catches have been made, but as of yet, a suitable boat ramp has not been located.  During the flood of 2011 the ramps were destroyed and there is no information as to whether the corp or the state is going to rebuild them. 

The information obtained was that during the floods of 2011 so much water was released that it washed a lot of the game fish down stream.  This is a good deal for me. Now to find out where and how to get the job done.  The video below shows how much water was being released from Gavins Point dam when the gates were opened.  At least 160.000 cubic feet per second of water was the volume picked up off the net.

The picture below shows the violence of the water being released from the dam at the gates.  I understand the water is taken from the bottom of the lake and released.  Since big fish primarily spend a lot of time in deep dark water, a lot of fish could have been washed out.  That is good.

After lunch in Vermillion we stopped in Yankton just below the dam.  Here we found Captain Norms.  The people could not have been more friendly and helpful.  Bait and tackle along with gas and other necessities can be purchased here.  They also put out a fishing report.  I would recommend giving them a call.  We received great service and there was no charge for the advice. 

Where our bait will catch fish or Die Tryn'

The day could not have been more spectacular with white puffy clouds and light breeze from the south.  The river below the dam was really low and an extension had been built onto the dock to help the fishermen get their boats into the water.  With concrete ramps and tie downs on the dock, you are somewhat out of the current as the main channel is across to the other side.  When the river is up to normal stages, I would rate this boat ramp as excellent. 

Our apologies as we forgot the camera and these pictures were taken with a cell phone.  Onto the river we moved out and up stream to the spillway.  The water level got shallow and was running about four to five feet.  The sign on the right was a warning not to go past the sign when the spillway was open.  There were boats past the sign.  As we got closer to the spillway sign, the depth went way down and we graphed a lot of fish.

Looking down stream, the river almost looks like a lake.  There is drift here, however.

Watching fishermen through the glasses did not show anyone hauling in walleye, but we only stayed in the area about 45 minutes.  The main channel is opposite the red sign. That is where the water is flowing through the generators out into the river.  The current is not swift.
We drifed downstream checking out different areas.  Looking upstream toward the spillway.  Pam had some hits, but I got nothing. 

Information was what we wanted and if we caught a fish, that would be great.  There were a lot of bank fishermen on the east side of the river as it held a lot of sand and small gravel.  The west side showed rip rap, but there was still a fair number of bank fishermen.

We drifted down about two miles and found that the river was an interesting experience.  On our next trip, we will concentrate close to the dam using jigs.  I am tempted to move over to the edge of the current and drop a deep diver down and move forward with the electric.  I saw another boat doing just that, but I failed to see any fish boated. 
RedHead Epic Binoculars - Roof Prism
A friend from Minnesota always keeps a pair of binoculars in the boat.  He always wants to check out the competition if there are other boats in the area.  I do it too.

Besides good boat ramps, there was a fish cleaning station with running water.  The other thing we noticed was the blue green clarity of the water.  The river down by Council Bluffs right now is muddy looking with suspended silt and sand. Running on the river at home is a good way to have your water pumps chewed up by the suspended material.  We plan to come back to this spot and also the next dam up the river at Pixtown, South Dakota.

The Roomba and Scooba Collection at Hammacher

Good hunting, good fishing good luck.  Hank



1 comment:

  1. Dad took us fishing there when we were in the 7th grade!