Wing dams are manmade structures made to deflect current. Not sure why, but we only seem to hear about ’em when someone wins a tourney off of ’em? *cough* Mark Courts *cough*
Here’s how/why river rat Tim Hutchinson picks ’em apart for chunky walleyes in the fall. Full write-up here, few excerpts below:
> “Walleyes spent their summers in the backwaters, feasting on bluegills, shad, crayfish and frogs. In Oct they’re heading out to the main channel, where they use wing dams, rockpiles, riprap — any kind of current break — as they fatten up for winter.
> “On the river, I like a cloudy day with 5-10 mph wind. A wind against the current creates riffles to expose a wing dam’s location. A wind with the current makes it harder to locate the structure.
> “The fish will pull into the inside (shore side) of the wing dams first. As fall progresses, they’ll move out toward the main channel.
> “Active walleyes hold in the trough in front of a wing dam, but the most aggressive fish are on the very top of the structure in 2-4′ of water. The food is there, but the fish are easily spooked.
> “Cast jigs tipped with plastic, such as ringworms, ringers, twister-tails or shad bodies. Anchor upstream of a wing dam and throw to its top. Work the jig into the current, down the wing-dam’s face, and into the trough in front.
> “I also like crankbaits such as Bombers and Rebel Crawdads. On the inside portion of a wing dam, run them 4-6′ down. On the outside portion, run them at 6-10′.
> “Don’t troll…that spooks active fish. Instead, hover upstream of the wing-dam and work back and forth, casting the crankbaits.
> “If walleyes won’t hit plastics or cranks, I’ll break out a 3-way rig with a crawler.
> “I’m not worried about fronts, but dealing with river flow is hard…increased flow can change everything: it takes too much energy for the fish to forage. Under stable water condition, the wing dams are a smorgasbord for active fish.”