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How to Rig a Flatfish Lure for the River

by Larry Anderson
Flatfish lures can be used to catch a wide variety of river-dwelling fish.

Flatfish lures can be used to catch a wide variety of river-dwelling fish.

Fishermen have used flatfish lures for decades. The lures are shaped like a banana and have a flat, leading edge that causes them to dive and wobble when retrieved. Anglers cast them and troll them. The flatfish lure will catch a wide variety of fish, including crappie, largemouth and smallmouth bass, northern pike, trout and walleye.

Select the equipment you plan to use. A spinning rod and reel combination is best if you plan on casting, while a baitcasting combination is better if you plan on trolling. Use the lightest monofilament line you can -- down to about 6-pound test. If you are fishing in an area with a lot of snags -- or where you expect to catch large fish -- use heavier line of up to 20-pound test. The lure will dive deeper and perform more naturally on lighter line.

Tie the line to the snap at the front of the lure. The best knot to use is a Palomar knot.

Cast the lure and retrieve it around cover or structure. Reel in the lure slowly; this will give it the widest wobble in the ater

Troll the flatfish behind the boat along drop-offs and other areas where you expect fish to be congregated. Some of the best places in rivers to troll are around wing dams. Let out 50 yards of line and troll at one or two mph. This will ensure the flatfish swims with a wide wobble.

Experiment with line size and boat speed if you want the lure to run deeper. The combination of a thin-diameter fishing line -- and a slow-moving boat -- will allow the lure to run as deep as possible.

Items you will need

  • Flatfish lure
  • Fishing rod and reel
  • Fishing line

About the Author

Larry Anderson has been a freelance writer since 2000. He has covered a wide variety of topics, from golf and baseball to hunting and fishing. His work has appeared in numerous print and online publications, including "Fargo Forum" newspaper. Anderson holds a Bachelor of Arts in print journalism from Concordia College.

Photo Credits

  • River image by Ð'и'‚алий from Fotolia.com