Big Rig for river fishing

Anglers are naturally attracted to rivers. However, it’s not the soft babbling sound of water flowing gently downstream or the loud crashing sound of white water rushing around rocks as it flows quickly through rapids. Rivers seduce anglers by visions of catching big fish in secluded moving water.

Rivers present several different issues for anglers floating downstream fishing. Of course, current is the major factor when it comes to fishing. Too fast a current and safety becomes more important than catching a fish. Not enough current means an angler will have to carry or drag their kayak from pool to pool.

Other issues are presentation of lures, tackle and rod storage, paddling techniques, anchoring and casting from a sitting position just to name a few. The introduction of specially designed fishing kayaks has addressed most of these issues. One of the leaders in designing and construction is Jackson Kayak with a plethora of different fishing kayaks for every fishing situation or body of water.

BASSMASTER Elite Series professional angler Brandon Coulter is just one of many anglers taking up the sport of fishing from a kayak. Coulter’s favorite place to fish is in East Tennessee Rivers. “Nolichucky River, French Broad River, Holston River and all these rivers flowing together form the Tennessee River are where I like to fish,” said Coulter.

Coulter fishes from a Jackson Kayak Big Rig ( when fishing rivers. “I have a Jackson Kayak Big Rig for one reason. I’m 6’2” and like to stand up it’s just my nature when fishing even out of my kayak. So for me the Big Rig is the most stable kayak available with a thirty-eight inch width that allows me to stand up and fish along with a JK Retractable Casting Brace. For a big guy like me it’s the best fishing kayak I could find,” said Coulter.

Jackson Kayak Big Rig features the new Charcoal Gray Elite Seat 2.0 with 3D mesh fabric in addition to more storage capabilities. The seat elevates Coulter up high allowing him to see into the water and make more efficient casts.

Big Rig also features JK retractable casting brace, rod trough and rod tip protector, Power-Pole Micro Anchor ready/drag chain chute, Therm-a-Rest Lumbar Support, Yakattack Gear Tracks, RAM rod holders, tackle management and Plano boxes, 32-ounce Nalgene/central beverage holder, heavy duty seat attachment buckle, rear tankwell and rod holders, hull storage, removable skid plate, adjustable foot pegs, ergonomic handles, The Fish Grip, Line Cutterz, SealLine Seat Pouch and a two-layer standing pad.

When fishing rivers, Coulter likes to have his wife drop his vehicle at the takeout location and be driven up to where he will put in and float downstream to the vehicle. “It takes about four or five hours to float down and really fish the river,” said Coulter.

Not surprising, Coulter is often times fishing with a Whooper Plopper when smallmouth fishing in rivers. “I don’t know what it is about smallmouth bass, but they hate it. That’s good when it comes to fish because you want a lure that a bass wants to kill or eat. I know, I have been throwing it a bunch up in rivers and catching smallmouth,” said Coulter.

Other lures Coulter fishes when fishing rivers is a shad shaped worm on a shaky head jig in the eddies. Coulter also likes fishing a Keitech. “A Keitech will catch every smallmouth that lives in the river,” said Coulter.

Seduced by the smallmouth, Coulter loves fishing out of his big kayak in rivers. The wider width of his kayak makes for a super stable platform when sitting down or standing up. It’s just him, the river and smallmouth.

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Fishing Report from TPWD (Dec. 1)

GOOD. Water stained; 62 degrees; 3.30 feet low. Bass are relating to points and main lake brush piles using jigging spoons and crankbaits. Crappie continue to migrate into the river, with catches in the brushpiles using whitehead jigs or minnows. Catfish continue to move into shallow water and into the creeks. Report by Lynn Atkinson, Reel Um N Guide Service.

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