With the changing of the leaves brings on big fall swings in the height of the Ohio river, 20 ft swings are not out of the norm. Fall can be my most productive time to fish the Ohio River and its tributaries, some people avoid the falling River who doesn’t like fishing a river on the rise but their are a lot opportunities on falling water.
Do you avoid fishing falling water especially when it’s dropping a 10 ft in a day? I did for years, I had to force myself to fish on falling water filled with debris. With the short days the fish know winter is coming and are focused on feeding, it’s all about the bait fish. Those creek mouths and main river points that were so productive just a few days before on the rise have become a no man’s land, the fish are just not where they used to be.
With falling water points and flats start having more and more current, conditions changing so fast that baitfish have a hard time dealing with all those changing conditions. Its fall time and almost everything in the river is putting the feed bags on now, find the bait and you find the predators. Look for places that offer the baitfish protection from predators.
Look for deep cuts or smaller feeder creeks just inside the mouth of a tributary that are protected from the falling waters current. With a deep pool or back eddy water that has structure around it, a example would be a small run off up in a tributary that has eroded a small protected area that is forming a back eady that is deep, throw in some down trees or giant root balls and you have a perfect example. When you find the right set of conditions the bait fish will be held in tight balls or in the root balls even if you don’t see any other game fish on your fishfinder hang out where the bait is they will come back.
Sometimes when you can fish it’s not the most ideal conditions and falling water is one of them finding the bait can lead to some high number days with mixed bags of spots, smallies, white bass, hybrids and some nearby saugs. We can not control what mother nature does but if we follow her patterns long enough we can see how to use all the different weather patterns to help find fish. Happy fall fishing.