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Hats off to you Snake anglers/map cards?
#1
I've hit a couple places so far, Idaho is my project this year as Utah is a big suck hole right now. The impoundments have been very good to me but I am way too skeered to fish moving water!!! I learned tonight that I'm not ready for that. I will get there but I'm solo this trip and I know my limits.
I have an older West Navionics card but the Insight mapping is much better than that. I was wondering if you guys could tell me if the new map cards are updated or if the Snake is forgotten about. I ask because Navionics and Utah is just about worthless besides the Gorge and Powell. My own journeys get updated as I go and I can use Insight mapping but that's another story. I don't have to worry about sand bars and or gravel bars, etc.
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#2
Welcome to Idaho! I mostly a river rat. When I first started to fish the snake all that was available was just a regular garmin stuff no detail. I have land ownership maps to keep me off private islands.
I use inflatable pontoons and mostly do floats. I do have a pontoon that is rated for a gas motor and use it a lot to go up rivers then float back down. I have traveled hundreds of miles of the snake river.

I have to ask what is it that spooks you the most about river fishing? also what part of the river do you plan to fish? And for what Species?
What boat are you using?

The snake river is always changing. Gravel bars move with high water. Current changes with flow levels. Rocks show up or disappear with flow levels. One thing I do is watch river flow levels. I fish the river and make a notation about the flow and when. Some ares are so shallow that you can only run that area with high water. Some areas are so deep and slow that a afternoon breeze can keep me from completing my trip in a timely manner. Logs show up and disappear over night. Then you have the moss.

I don't use much when it comes to tech and navigation. I use a GPS to see where I am. I mark dangerous places with it and try not to rely too much on it. When I run a new area on the river I go to GOOGLE earth and scout it a lot. I go back in time and try to get different river levels to see if there is stuff there to worry about. I mark areas that look like rapids and fast water and put that in the GPS.

Give us some info on your issues.
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#3
You are spot on too be skeered of that river..... many of boat's have cracked hulls or tore up motors because gravel and rocks are not forgiving when you hit them, don't pay attention too anyone who has not ran a boat on this river! I have, i'm on my 4th boat, I can tell you the perfect boat for this river, a semi-v sled with a tunnel hull and a 150ish outboard jet, easy too lift with power trim too clean moss/rocks - it will run in 3" of water float in about 5" of water - if you don't know the river than I would putt along, there are places you can run a prop but usually not very long stretches, i've ran the river from haggerman all the way too Hells Canyon Dam - and I can tell you there is no safe place too run a prop without knowing the river.

The best advice I can give depending on what type of boat you have is too put in and always go up river, that way you can always get back too the ramp if you crack your hull or mess your motor up, also carry 2-6' long 2x4's and use these too get your boat "unstuck" when you put it on a gravel bar, slide them under the back of the boat and lift up, moves your boat a couple inches at a time, works great especially when your by yourself... been there.... I even used a pedestal 1 time cuz I too my 2x4's out, I don't suggest this as it dents your boat hull.

Than next is too be able too "read" the river, where the channel goes, the easiest way too figure that out is too get out and look at a river with someone that knows. I pretty much taught myself over the last 15 years of living here. If its not windy ripples are bad, stay away, means shallow rocks/gravel - you want fast water with "boil's" - but don't be confused once the weeds start growing they make the water look like they have boils when the weeds go back and fourth under the water, spring is the best time too learn a river. Also you have too be aware of the CFS that river is running/how high. This can make a huge difference in getting into a spot in the spring and not being able too get there in the summer/fall when the flows are lower.

If you ever get over by Homedale, Idaho, PM me and i'll drive you down too the river and give you a quick lesson, most of it will be trial and error, Good luck!
Matt
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#4
After reading your post, it just reminds me even more to just stay on CJ Strike. Even there, I have learned a few areas that one must avoid. I wish it wasn't so shallow from Loveridge Bridge downstream through that first large bay. Seeing 3' depth as I am on plane is not a comfortable feeling. I just hope that there are no rocks in that area.
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#5
I have not found any rocks in that area all the times I run threw that section.... but I guess there could always be a first.[Wink] as long as you are in the "channel".
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#6
[quote lowe-185]

I have not found any rocks in that area all the times I run threw that section.... but I guess there could always be a first.[Wink] as long as you are in the "channel".

[/quote]

Finding the "channel" in that area is no easy task.[frown]
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#7
Go to the pump station and head toward center of bridge. And vise versa. No excepts. At one point you can reach out a touch the grass.
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#8
Which pump station, the first one down stream from the bridge (that one can see the light on when it is dark)?
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#9
[quote kentofnsl]After reading your post, it just reminds me even more to just stay on CJ Strike. Even there, I have learned a few areas that one must avoid. I wish it wasn't so shallow from Loveridge Bridge downstream through that first large bay. Seeing 3' depth as I am on plane is not a comfortable feeling. I just hope that there are no rocks in that area.[/quote]

3'?!!!!! Shoot for us south fork jet guys that's a 6 lane highway! Been quite a few times after runoff has moved bars that you'll be in a side channel that the week before was 6-10' deep and all of the sudden it's 1' deep or less, that puckers a operator up in a hurry!

To the OP what areas are you looking at? There are some that are more friendly than others for power boats. As has been said, props usually are no Bueno, need to be running a jet setup, and the shallower the boat's draw the better. Got just over 1000k hours running a sportjon from heise up to the dam and it's never the same, every time the water level changes the hazards change also. The advice to learn to read water is paramount. I prefer to run right at dusk as the sheen on the water at the end of the day really makes the surface water currents pop and easier to see. Just remember to respect it, and when driving you're driving and not site seeing that's usually what gets folks in trouble. Too much looking at the scenery and not enough focus on where you're putting the sled at in the channel.
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#10
[quote Bmarsh]

3'?!!!!! Shoot for us south fork jet guys that's a 6 lane highway!

[/quote]

To us prop guys it is more like a deer trail.[Wink] I can live with 3', but worry that 3' might suddenly go to 1 or 2'.
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#11
I've been looking at Milner and Massacre Rocks. I definitely don't have the 'right' boat for what I saw at Milner. Viper Coral 202 with a (this is what skeered me) a new 225 Pro XS/Torquemaster Gen 2 lower unit. It's a bass boat hull with a fish n ski cap on it. I have been in 2' of water when fishing but usually chasing bed fish. Never been stuck...yet. I ended up going to Walcott and chasing smallies. I'm after bass. Big, little, fat, rats, dinks, donkeys, pigs, swamp monsters, rock dwellers, etc.
I've mapped out a couple of the reservoirs and Google Earth has been my friend. I'll use the go back in time option a little more now, good advice.
Thank you to all those that have given me help. I've tried not to blow up your board with a bunch of questions and bug you but seeing is believing, that river is no joke. Talked to a guy in a dark colored Skeeter on Milner. Pretty cool dude. I was fishing from the shore and landed a couple smallies when I saw him come in.
I think I'll stick to the bigger reservoirs for now and maybe bum a ride for the river.
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#12
I'll take ya for a ride. Bass or sturgeon?
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#13
I've never caught a sturgeon before. I don't know anything about them but I'd like to check that off the list. I have family in town for the next month so I'll be MIA for all of June
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#14
Actually finding that channel is pretty easy. as in earlier post middle bridge. look west and find the road/power going up hill and stay in line. once you get to pump house on left side bend in south little more. channel runs about 16 to 25 foot from pump house on into strike. I was told years ago by sheriff and F&G when using maps of Snake the county lines they have in place or pretty good also.
BUT anyone who runs a Jetboat. KNOWS a GOOD PUCKER in 2 foot of water at 35 MPH keeps the blood flowing.
Swan down to Guffy is another fun run.
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#15
Thanks I will give that a try when I am up there in a few days.
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#16
[quote sturgeon8r]
BUT anyone who runs a Jetboat. KNOWS a GOOD PUCKER in 2 foot of water at 35 MPH keeps the blood flowing.
Swan down to Guffy is another fun run.[/quote]

I'm pretty new to jetboats. Only had one on the river 1 time so far. Should be happening a lot more in the near future, though. :-)

Had to get out and push mine off a sand/gravel bar last time we were out..........
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#17
Milner from the Dam to the interstate is no big deal above the interstate you better have done your homework.

Massacre is pretty easy but I have not run it in low water always been there in late summer.
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#18
[quote sturgeon8r]

Actually finding that channel is pretty easy. as in earlier post middle bridge. look west and find the road/power going up hill and stay in line. once you get to pump house on left side bend in south little more... [/quote]

Thank you this was very helpful last week. We came back with the wind blowing, one afternoon, and it helped having a good idea where to navigate.
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