email
 Home  |  GL Blog  |  Forum  |  News  |  Tournament News  |  Conservation  |  Join  |  Youth  |  Site Map  |  Search  |  Contact Us  |  About Us  |  Advertise  |  Online Shopping  |  Donate to this site reluctant


Great Lakes Bass Fishing Forum  - extensive bass fishing home page specializing in Great Lakes, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, Pennsylvania, New York and Ontario bass fishing techniques, news, issues, conservation, bass fishing reports, bass biology, tournament strategy, bass fishing lure and fishing tackle, bass fishing forum and fishing message board, logistics, weather and safety, and product information.

        Great Lakes Bass Fishing Forum

              Your Great Lakes and Michigan Online
               Bass Fishing and Tournament Community.

Advanced search  
Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: 2007 Fort Madison Regional; Locking Information  (Read 2615 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Jighead

  • aka Doug Cummings
  • Fingerling
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 96
  • View Gallery
    • Fine Line Fishing Guide Service
2007 Fort Madison Regional; Locking Information
« on: September 17, 2007, 09:50:56 PM »

Hey Guys,

Qualified again this year...yipeee!!!  I'm actually looking forward to it.  I actually like this type of largemouth fishing. :o

Last year I didn't lock up or down from pool 19, but this year I plan on it.  I've read the instructions from the COE on locking through the dams, but I'm looking for practical experience from those that have done it.  ???

Any tips on how to do it, or how not to do it?  Thanks in advance guys. ;)

Slipkey

Re: 2007 Fort Madison Regional; Locking Information
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2007, 11:01:20 AM »

Jighead,

I'm not fishing the regional, but I used to fish the Mississippi River often.  Here's a few  notes on locking:

1) When entering/leaving the lock be sure to observe the no wake, no smoking, no fishing signs outside the lock, and engine rules.  The lockmaster has complete control over whether you get to go through and I've seen guys booted out of the lock because they spent too much time fishing outside the lock and then came into the lock throwing a wake.   Turn your engine off as soon as the line as dropped by the tender and keep it off until you see the gates in front of you begin to open after the cycle is complete.  Observe the no wake rules exiting as well, even if other boats push it a bit.  If the lockmaster is in a bad mood remembers those boats that threw a wake exiting the lock, at best they will get an earful and at worst he can boot them from the lock on the return trip.

2) Idle slowly to the front of the lock and pull against the wall.  A lock tender will throw a line down to you.  This goes without saying but don't tie that line to your boat -hold it.  The walls of most locks are concrete with metal expansion joints.  If you think you need fenders, bring them along.  Some lockmasters don't mind boats rafting together at the front of the lock, but some will insist that there are boats all along the wall before they allow boats to raft.

3)  Commercial Traffic takes priority on the Mississippi River so if a barge shows up at the same time as private vessels wishing to lock through, the barge gets to go first.  Some commercial captains are cool and will tell the lockmaster to let you go first, but not always so plan your times accordingly.  Barges can take up to an hour to lock through.  I don't have the website link any more but the Corps of Engineers maintains a schedule of all daily barge traffic for each pool on their website.  A VHF radio is a handy thing to have along to communicate with the lockmaster. 

Hope that helps,

Jon
Logged

Jighead

  • aka Doug Cummings
  • Fingerling
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 96
  • View Gallery
    • Fine Line Fishing Guide Service
Re: 2007 Fort Madison Regional; Locking Information
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2007, 02:42:10 PM »

Thanks for your response slipkey.  Yes that all helps.  I still have a few questions:

Do you need to call ahead or pull a signal cord to request locking?

Do they signal to me in any way as I approach that it's o.k. to enter?The procedures I found from the COE site describes some traffic signals and audible signals.  Am I looking for those lights to tell me it's o.k. to enter or not?  Or do I wait for a horn to tell me it's o.k. to enter? 

These questions might seem a little silly, and maybe I'm making this out to be harder than it really is.  But the whole locking thing just makes me nervous which is why I never tried it before.  And I'm about tired of the darned things keeping me away from possibly better fishing.

Slipkey

Re: 2007 Fort Madison Regional; Locking Information
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2007, 03:56:59 PM »

Jighead,

There are green and red lights to starboard inside outside both sides of the lock that will tell you when to enter and a horn sounds when it is safe to enter and exit as well.   

Generally, it's not necessary to do anything as Mississippi River locks are in use constantly and are manned 24 hours. There is usually a small craft signal cord placed on the side of the lock entrance that you can use if you wish, but chances are the lockmaster knows you're there before you get to the signal.  They also monitor VHF Channels 13 and 14.  The lock operators sit in a tower that is high enough to see vessels on both sides of the lock so if they have the lock open at one end and a bunch of boats pull up on they other side, they will usually close up if there are no vessels coming and cycle over to accept the boats waiting. 

Here's another good reference which also includes links to maps of the pools you'll be fishing and contains the horn signals and light interpretations:

Iowa DNR Miss. River Boating Guide

No worries and your questions aren't silly at all.  The first time I locked through was a bit nerve-wracking as well. :)
Logged

rufus

Re: 2007 Fort Madison Regional; Locking Information
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2007, 06:43:29 AM »

Make sure you have the phone number of the lockmaster. Last year in practice they did not see us and I had to call after an hour. You will just need to pull into the lock and grab the rope. The whole process takes 20-25 minutes. I would recommend going through in practice. Once you have done it there will be no tension. If you find fish up or down make sure you have a grip on your time. You may have to lock back in three hours early just to beat the barge traffic. It is quite heavy this time of year and will cost you a bunch if you have fish. Will see you over there and God Bless!
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
 

Advertisements


Visit Other Features of GreatLakesBass.com using the links below
 


Site Home | News | Bass Forum | Bass Tips | Articles | My Confidence Products | Tournaments

GL Blog | Weather | Fishing Pictures | Building Bass Boats | Conservation/Legislation | Bass Biology

Advertise | Site Sponsors | GreatLakesBass.com Store | Online Shopping

Site Map | Contact Us | Search | About Us | Links | Link to Us | Resources | Privacy Policy | Disclosure Policy
Stop Spam Harvesters, Join Project Honey Pot

VigLink badge