This Lurking River Structure Is Stacked With Fish (Video)

Angler finds hefty catfish beneath the logs

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There could be fish lying in wait just about anywhere on the river. That can be good and tricky when deciding where to focus your casts. One thing to remember is fish love structure. This is something Spencer Bauer proves in this video by hauling some hefty catfish from beneath piles of dead trees.

The Lurking River Structure Stacked With Fish

Dead trees in the river, often called snags or strainers, provide some of the most elaborate structures for fish to utilize in fresh, moving water.

The tree trunk, branches, and roots lying in the river create a reef-like habitat. Here, fish can wait in milder current as the water moving downstream is deflected by the log and wraps throughout and around. Fish can hide from both predators and prey and wait for their next meal to come passing by.

Anglers working a river will do well targeting the edge of these snags and strainers, as Bauer does in his video. The goal—to entice fish lurking around the structure to be drawn out and take the bait. In the video, Bauer uses chunks of gizzard shad on a hook with a rattle above and lands some good-looking catfish.

Keep a safe distance from trees in the river, which pose a dangerous hazard.
Snags are great to fish but also pose a dangerous hazard. Keep a safe distance and have an exit route away from them. Image: Spencer – River Certified / YouTube

Safety Considerations When Fishing Around Snags

Trees in the river are called snags and strainers for a reason. Strainers are a great place to target fish but are also dangerous if you get too close. Water moving downstream collides with the submerged trees, and like a treble hook, the tree can easily grab hold of an object and not let it go in the strong current. Similarly, root systems and branches act like a pasta strainer. Water passes through, but objects do not.

Whether you are fishing around dead trees in the river or just traveling through, it is crucial for your safety to give yourself space from the submerged and partially submerged trees. And to be sure you are in a position where you feel able to paddle away from strainers in the current river conditions.


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  1. This is awesome! I always struggle a bit in “target rich environments” where you have to select WHAT to cast to. There just never seems to be enough time… but I guess that’s a great excuse to go again, soon!


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