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Unfortunately no one has all the time in the world to do as they please. Work, honey-do’s and the like always seem to clog our calendars, making it tough to sometimes find time to get on the water. I found myself in this situation recently. Instead of being on the river 24/7 I was piled high with work and honey-do’s. So instead of sulking because I couldn’t do a full float on the river, I decided to make the most of the time I had.

I only had a few hours, but it was enough time to slip my Jackson Kayak Cruise into the river and paddle upstream to small section of the river where I knew I could catch some fish. Although I was fishing the river, I decided to take the Cruise because it’s 12 feet long and still maneuverable enough for the river. Being 12 feet means the Cruise paddles faster, making it easier and quicker to paddle upriver. I didn’t have all day so I needed to get where I was going, and get there quick.

In the picture below you can also see the custom kayak lean bar I made for the Cruise. You can read more about that in this post here: JK Cruise Lean Bar.

JK Cruise

Once I got to the section I concentrated on the push water above the runs and the deeper pools after the runs. The water tends to be deeper in these spots and in early spring river fish stack up in these areas as they start feeding heavily to get their bodies ready for the spawn. That means small areas, but big fish!

I tied on a chatterbait tipped with a small paddle tail minnow since the water was a little stained from all the recent rain. The chatterbait puts out heavy vibrations as it is reeled in, making it easier for fish to find it in stained water. The paddle tail gives the chatterbait a larger profile, enticing even the biggest fish. Plus, the paddle tail also puts out heavy vibrations, making the chatterbait/paddle tail combination killer in stained water.

chatterbait shoal bass

I ended up fishing for a couple hours before it got too dark and even caught a few fish. Nothing big, but I was on the river after all, enjoying life. It’s not always about those epic adventures, or those big fish, sometimes an hour or two here and there is all it takes! Try “Cruising Upriver” next time you’re short on time!

Shoal Bass

Get out there!

Sean Brodie