Avid bank and boat anglers alike have long known that dam tailraces are excellent fishing spots. Wired2fish staffers McKeon “Keys” Roberts and Kyle Peterson take us on an intriguing underwater tour of a dam spillway (tailrace area), showing why angler efforts are well-spent. The camera reveals a wide variety of life ranging from popular gamefish and rough fish species, baitfish, aquatic invertebrates, and even reptiles looking to get in on the action.
If you like fishing or are interested in getting into it, chances are you’re not too far from a dam that offers quality fishing opportunities. So why are these excellent places to fish? Aside from the obvious obstruction that stops or limits upstream fish migration (thus concentrating fish), the waters in tailraces are often cool, well-oxygenated, and loaded with fish-holding structure and cover (think rip rap, natural rock, and various manmade structures).
Dams usually congregate a mix of fish species so they’re excellent places to become a well-rounded multi-species angler, and most often, don’t require a boat to be successful. In fact, shore fishing is sometimes the best method for targeting fish stacked in specific spots such as current seams and eddies. Grab a rod, some tackle, and head to a river near you. It just might provide some of the best fishing around.