Naturally, these levels take time to learn. But one shortcut I can give you gleaned from years of fishing oxbows is that the most productive are usually the ones that you barely squeak through a foot or two of water. It makes sense if you think about it. The shallower the water around the oxbow, the higher the banks were around it at low water. The higher the sides, the longer the oxbow remains clear, because the longer it takes for floodwaters to raise and spill over the top. I’ll be honest: sometimes finding your way into the best oxbows requires a chainsaw, winch, big running start with the gas motor, or a push pole, but the payout can be so worth the effort, especially if you’re the first boat that’s been back there in years.