September is a good time to bump on the Mississippi River. B’n’M pro staff anglers Michael Haney and Rodney Crimm do it often, but will adjust their strategy when they find a concentration of fish.
“We spool the reels with 65 to 80 pound braided line,” informed Crimm. “We like a reel with a faster retrieve so that when we decide to bring our baits back in we can do it quickly and get back to fishing again.”
The mainline is tied to a three-way crane swivel with the 20-pound leader line tied to the bottom with a loop on the end to add the sinker. The hook line is 80 pound mono with a chain swivel tied inline about half way to the hook.
Cannon ball sinkers appropriate to the current are used. The loop on the end of the leader allows them to easily change the size of sinker as needed. The chain swivel is very important to keep the bait more stable and line twist to a minimum in the current.
“There are times when we are bumping that we find a hole with a concentration of fish in it,” explained Haney. “Rather than bump through the hole we position the boat above the hole and spot-lock.”
“From the spot-locked position we walk our baits back to the hole,” added Crimm. “It is the same effect as bumping but you don’t drift through and leave the fish. Once the bait is walked back the right distance, you can set the rod in the Driftmaster Rod Holder and wait for the fish to bite.”
Editor’s Note: All of the terminal tackle described above is available from Flathead Fever Tackle. They feature online sales so they are always open.