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  1. 25 likes
    Finally got the youngin out last evening. Been trying to sense the oa outing with no luck do to weather! I decided on the blade, she was on her typical night crawler method (still working on patience for the bass). On a main lake point we push up to the bushes and started pitching. About the third cast had one just kill the war eagle. It was a beauty of a black!! She seen it jump and I quote her "dad I need a rod I'm bass fishing!" My heart melted right then. We fished a couple hrs lots of fun. I ended up just watching her fish a swim bait after that. No other way I'd want to spend my time! All day today was "can we go fishing?" So tomorrow rain please hold off we're hitting it early!
  2. 22 likes
    I had promised Mama a good fish for Mother's Day and I failed miserably but I finally redeem myself on Father's Day. She caught it in 15 feet of water on a wobble head with a sweet Beaver. Better late than never
  3. 22 likes
    Enjoyed a relaxing day on the water with top-shelf OAF member and contributor Quillback. We had hoped to get a bit earlier start but encountered a damsel in distress at Seligman, so QB jumped on the flat tire change while I pumped gas and we were off and running in no time. Despite the delay, QB managed a 3.5-pound LM with a topwater on his VERY FIRST CAST, which some including myself consider to be a major no-no. Didn't seem to hurt, though, as he went on to boat a couple more decent fish on the TW and had another three or so come unbuttoned on the way to the boat. We hopscotched an area roughly from Campbell Point to Baxter, finding lots of fish on points. Deep bite was nonexistent for us, as nearly all of our bites came in water 1-15 feet deep. Jig ended up being the top producer, although fish were also landed on a shaky head and spinnerbait. Ended the day at 2 p.m. with 24 total, of which 12 were keeps for a solid .500 batting average. Best five right at 15 pounds.
  4. 21 likes
    Today was a good day for it, and it's variation from Ned's Midwest Finesse. Namely, fishing deeper, a little slower, with a slightly heavier head, and less movement of the bait. Brown fish were worked up out in front of bushes on pea gravel and mixed rock banks. Mostly 7'-15' or so, keeping the boat in 19'-21'. Water temps jumped up toward the middle 80's by afternoon, water had a little less color. Most of our fish were on a 1/8oz head, cut Zinkerz- PBJ, GP goby, and Canada Craw. Also had a few on a jig, finesse and big football, tube, and even a hula grub. Total would have threatened 50. No monsters, maybe 5-6 keepers, just lots of pullers. In the running for the Most Spawned Out Fish... Football jig fish... Ned Rig keeper and a fancy shirt for Champ (it was free, so...) Around 1pm the short man had a flurry of catching as he discovered the classic bikini boat dock pattern. For some reason he became a dedicated line watcher right then.
  5. 21 likes
    At the risk of continued damage to my reputation... Bushes, spindly trees, anything else you can flip at. 5-8' is about right most places, with a few fish roaming outside the bushes. The occasional brown fish will show up full of hatred too. Better in warmer water, better with a little wind. Bait has to be close by. Presentation is pretty casual. Just keep it wet without great concern over precision.
  6. 21 likes
    Fished about 5-6 hours with the short people yesterday and today. Catching them a couple of different ways. Decent flip bite in colored up water, 5'-8' or so. Few on big trees, few in bushes, more on little trees. Unique features are key...cuts, points in bushes, individual trees that break up a line, laydown mixed in, etc. Had seven keepers doing that yesterday. Couple of 3# blacks, even a few brown fish. Still a flip bite today, but they were touchy. Finesse, meaning Ned Rig, was the deal today. In the dirty water they aren't super deep, maybe 15' at the most. Most of those were in front of bushes, or on what should be the old bank. Best today was a 19" brownie W caught on the Ned. Managed the keeper slam today as well. Throwing the 1/8 in the lake, 1/16 in coves. Goby, GP red flake, Canada Craw. Several fish had pieces of craw in them today. Also caught a few on a 1/2 oz FB jig. Fish didn't seem to like the lake backing up today. Or they didn't like the inconsistency at least. Temps have been uniformly 79-80. Some places are "alive", lots of shad, fry, fish, turtles. Others look great but are dead spaces. Presence of bait pretty much points them out.
  7. 19 likes
    Got to a late start, we didn't get on the water until 12;30. We had to eat, at least that is what I was told, ha ha. We managed a few fish trolling cranks in the heat of the day, a few bass, this 18 inch walleye, and this "huge" catfish. We caught the walleye and the catfish as a double, I sure wish he had picked the pole with the walleye on it, anyway he was proud of his fish and we had a great day.
  8. 19 likes
    Went out after things quieted down this morning. Very mild North breeze when I went out that switched to SW by 9: and picked up a bit. Water temp 78/79. Found fish in 14 to 17 feet of water on a flat gravel point. I have caught many bass and walleye on that point over the years. The most effective presentation was to stroll a finesse worm or grub at the target depth and go up one side cross over and go back the other side. 9 12 to 14 inch spots that way before the visitor pictured below arrived. Only one more fish after that before they shut down. It was getting warmish anyway so I came in.
  9. 19 likes
    Remember that episode from Seinfled where George Does the opposite of what he thinks is right and everything works out for him. That was me today. My typical TR day is usually down by the dam throwing ned rig and getting numbers but lacking quallity.Not today, I headed for Mill Creek got there alittle before 6:00. BB, not Bill Babler was putting in with some clients. Said hi and he gave me some advice. Not today I'm doing opposite. Headed out and hit the brush. Threw baby brush hog initially and came up with a few smallies , one measured. Stayed with flipping and it turned on around 9:30. First LM measured 19" lacked in girth though. Hooked another and 2 other big bass chased him to the boat as I pulled him to the surface. I threw back and caught a nice K.Bite seem to die around noon but I a 22 total with 8 keepers 5 best were 13lbs.
  10. 19 likes
    As I've written in a couple of other posts, I've been in a bad slump of losing big fish. I didn't really expect to break the slump today, because I had chosen to float what is my least favorite stretch of upper Big River. I've caught a few big fish in this stretch over the years, but not nearly the number I've gotten in my other stretches. But I'd already floated every other stretch of the river above Washington Park this year, and besides, this is the easiest shuttle for Mary to help me with, especially since she had to do the shuttle before driving to St. Louis. The reason this stretch is my least favorite is because of the habitat. The runs and short pools are mostly shallow, with less cover than in other stretches. There are some long, deep pools, but they don't have a lot of cover, either, and some of them just don't seem to hold a lot of fish. Plus, this stretch more than any other seems to be affected by extensive cattle pasturing along the river, with attendant over-fertilization and weed growth. Also, there are a couple places where the landowner has skimmed all the topsoil off the bottoms along the river, leaving a thin row of trees separated the excavated land from the water. The recent floods have pretty much uprooted those trees, and the river has begun to widen out into the excavated bottoms, shallowing as well. And to top it all off, the upper half of this stretch was dredged for gravel at least 60 years ago, and has never quite recovered. I was on the water by 8 AM, and apparently had the river to myself; no vehicles at either the put-in or the take-out. I caught a 13 inch largemouth in the pool at the put-in, on topwater. But then I fished two or three good pools that usually produce some fish, with nothing to show for it. The river was still a bit higher than normal for this time of year after a 4 foot rise a few days ago, and somewhat murky, visibility about 2.5 feet. It should have been good for my homemade crankbait or a spinnerbait, but neither was working. As I continued downstream, a pattern emerged...largemouths only. The river seemed devoid of smallmouth. I was up to 11 largemouth before I caught the first smallie, and it wasn't much. The largemouths were from 12 to 16 inches, pretty decent fish. I'd tried topwater, spinnerbaits, and buzzbaits, and had switched colors on my crankbait, when I came to a pool that HAD produced some nice fish in the recent past. It was deep for this stretch, narrow, and had a couple log complexes. It always seemed to be a largemouth pool, and I knew the reason why: there was a hidden backwater, connected to the main channel by a very narrow cut, that often harbored those nice largemouth, but they'd come out into the main channel to feed at times. The biggest Ozark stream largemouth I ever caught came from a similar situation on the Meramec. I was between the two log jams, fishing a piece of rooty, steep bank with no visible cover, when I saw the big largemouth come up behind the crankbait and calmly inhale it. It was obviously a heavy fish, and it was STRONG. It drove back for the bank, pulling the solo canoe with it, and then I saw the small log it was trying to reach. I had to really clamp down on it, trying to keep it out of that log. I barely succeeded. Then it powered out to the middle of the river, again towing the canoe. Was I going to lose another big one? Nope. I finally lipped it, realizing it was a really big largemouth for an Ozark stream. I laid it on the paddle blade to take a photo, and noted that it was about two inches past the entire blade. My paddle blade is almost exactly 20 inches long. And, as the photo shows, it was fat and very thick. I'm guessing it was at least 6 pounds, maybe more. So it wasn't a smallmouth. But I've gotten to where I appreciate these outsize river largemouth almost as much as I do the smallies. The day pretty much stayed the same...a fish here and there, mostly largemouth. The smallies never really turned on, though in the second half of the float I did catch a few more, including one rather slender 17 incher. I was bummed out when I passed a private access, and came upon a pile of remains from filleted bass. Some of them were well under 12 inches, and most were smallmouth...and the whole river is now under the 1 fish, 15 inch limit on smallies. The last mile or so, the fishing really got slow...I think I caught one fish. And then I found out one reason why; I came upon a guy in a little homemade jetboat. He had motored up from my take-out, and had already fished that mile I'd just come through. So I pretty much paddled the last half mile to the take-out, since it's usually very poor fishing anyway. It ended up being a below average day for me, with 23 largemouth and 12 smallmouth altogether. But I'd broken my string of lost big fish, finally.
  11. 19 likes
    Well I went to Taney this week on my family vacation and I was a little Leary after the first day when I went out and found a lot of chocolate milk water. I had one bite the first afternoon with one small bass to show for it. The next morning I got up early and started fishing a white spinnerbait around rockaway beach area. Caught one fish the first hour. The water was stained but atleast not choco milk. Then I made a decision that would change my week. I went to a texas rigged brushogg and on the first good cast I made up against some rock boom I landed a 5 lber and after that I landed 4 more big keepers. I had a blast. Called it a day after about 4 hours of fishing. Got up the next morning went to the same spot and fished the same stretch of bank with a brushogg again and after about 20 mins and about 75 yards from where I caught the 5 lber I set the hook on a bigger bass and I landed my PB a 6lb 9 oz. What a turn around from the first outing of the week. I caught plenty of fish in the three days I fished. I love Taney for both Bass and Trout!!
  12. 18 likes
    13 keepers and 3 shorts biggest 21 inches 15 ft of water. Kept 3 for the frying pan
  13. 18 likes
    I went back to the same place in Clifty where I caught one yesterday. Stayed off the bank a bit and threw topwater baits around. Got out early, I was on my spot by 0530. Beautiful morning with a full moon and cool air temp. Started off throwing a Yellow Magic Havana, a 5 inch walk-the-dog type lure for those of you not familiar with it. First cast I had a striper blow up on it 4 times and miss it every time. Threw it back in there, 2 more blow ups on it, again all misses. Threw it again at the same spot, finally got one, but it was a small one by striper standards, about 3 lbs. I released it. Threw the Havana some more, hit kind of a lull, not much activity, only had a few swirls at it, fish just seemed to be a bit shy of that lure. So, I went back to the Yellow Magic popper and the smaller, more finessy lure is what they wanted. Got some tremendous strikes on it. I was throwing it on a medium weight 7 foot crankbait rod, 10 lb. mono, and those fish were in control. Just had to let them pull drag when they wanted, keep pressure on, and eventually they'd wear out. Fortunately no trees in the water for them to wrap up on. Got my three fish limit, I estimate they went 15, 11, and 8 lbs. Kept all of them as once they are worked this hard, survival chances are low in warm water. Wish I could have kept fishing as they were still blowing up, but catch and release was not an option. Did some black bass fishing afterwards, caught some short smallies, one keeper sized meanie, several small spots, all on the C-rig with a craw. Also caught a walleye that was 17.5. Wish he would have made that keeper mark as I was going to be cleaning fish and it would have been good to have a couple of walleye fillets. Water temps were 73-75.
  14. 18 likes
    And she totally schooled me and pretty much everybody else on the boat.
  15. 18 likes
    Wanted to try my hand at night fishing and conditions set up perfect to use the full moon and clear skies to become accustom to operating on the deck at night. Sooooo glad i finally did it! Launched from mutton and started in googer at 730ish on a few secondary points with little success, couple dinks in the bushes. Worked the back end of channel swing in the back of the creek and found a school of whites, but no green ones. Decided to skip the creeks and check channel swings on main river. Good choice. Found a good collection of 14-17 inch LM, plus walleye and cats on both the north and south facing swings on river channel up river from birch branch. Those channel swings seem to always produce bites for me, regardless of time or conditions. Boated about 25, most on 4th oz shaky head with zinkerZ glued on in GP and PBJ, couple on a jig and chatterbait. Most bites were between 6-12ft This beast walleye hit the PBJ. Biggest walleye ive ever caught! And i assume a trophy for all you walleye lovers (Ignore what looks like urine on my leg... i was pretty pumped, but not THAT excited ) I'm hooked, I'll be back next time overnight conditons allow! NH
  16. 17 likes
    Took a 3 day float down a river with some great friends in search of a few fish, a great gravel bar to camp on, and the perfect margarita. I do believe we scored on all three. Two of us blew out of Springburg on Friday morning. Along the way we gathered up friends from both the East and West edges of the state. We met up with the shuttle Goddess and took her, one of her hands, and all three vehicles to the put in. Luckily they didn't take all three vehicles back at that point because just as we were about to push off it was determined that somebody left their rods in their truck. So away a couple of them went to retrieve those. Gave me plenty of time to get everything like I wanted and then we hit the water. Most of this is just a photo dump with a few comments thrown in. There were some 17 to 18 inch fish caught but I wasn't one of the lucky ones. I still had a huge smile on my face most of the time though. It should also be noted that the two biggest fish came on the fly. The fishing wasn't great the whole time but there were moments that it was really on fire and it did not matter what you were throwing. We caught fish on the bottom, in the middle and up on top. From plastics to flies everything worked when they were on. Did I mention amazing gravel bars for camping? Friday night at this camp I stuck a nice fish on a Wiggle Minnow on the fly rod. It was putting a bend deep into the 8 wt. I finally managed to get it out of some current and up over a submerged log. I thought it was game on for big fish awards. I was completely amazed and embarrassed when I saw the size of that fish. It's truly amazing how much of a fight these fish have in them. How about great scenery? Saw a few more stars in the sky than what I usually do in town. A few shooting stars. Possibly a UFO. This has instantly became one of my favorite pictures. It will make it to my office wall. Not many shots get that honor. And then it was over. Lots of beauty and great adventures in our Ozarks. Get out and get you a piece of it. It's worth the memories that will last a lifetime.
  17. 17 likes
    When the lake is up, you sometimes have to roll with the punches. Certainly doesn't feel like TR in June though. We started out yesterday throwing Ned, then switched to flipping pretty quickly. That put a limit of blacks in the boat by 9am. All in various stages of bedding, all in the very back ends of spawn coves. Those places are also alive with bait. 930ish we ran downlake to look at some Ned fish. Found a horde of them, caught them on the 1/8oz, mix of colors on the cut Zinkerz. PBJ, GP red, Deal, etc. Did that until the wind and wakes got to be a bit much. Moved shallower on the same stuff and caught some flipping. Next stop was some main lake brush close to deep water. Flipping again. That added a couple more keepers, including a brown fish, and several shorts. Right before we came in we also caught several on a swing head and action cat out in front of the same bushes. On the flip bite...it seems like they are on different types of wood/bushes in different places, but the same in a given place. Some are pretty darn shallow, less than 2'.
  18. 17 likes
    Not really sure where to post this but here it is. See there is content on canoe and kayak, fishing with fly rods and conventional gear, smallmouth and panfish, streams,wildlife viewing and photography, food etc. so it fits many places. Chief had been wanting to take us on a float on one of his favorite streams. I have not caught but a handful of small mouth and rock bass on the fly and Mrs. BilletHead none of these at all. Chief made the call and tempted us with a float and have fish fry on the river. Promised us that eight to ten inch rare Neosho small mouth were real good fried up . When we got the shuttle figured up I asked where the oil and fry pan was. Oh yea I forgot that. See no one wants to fish with me because they think I am a jerk so I have to fib to them to get fishing partners he said, believe what you want with this remark because most of you have made an opinion on the chief I say! We think he is a pretty nice guy and if you ever get an invite you had better go and have some fun. We started pretty early and floated, watched critters and fished. Mrs. BilletHead caught her firsts of small mouth and rock bass /goggleye. We will share our pictures and Chief can share his if he wants to. Pat gives her permission even if it embarrasses her. Actually she and I did pretty well in our not so speedy and maneuverable yaks. I will narrate as we go on our pictures. The float was quiet at first but as it warmed up the hatch started. Good grief it got crazy and we were told this was nothing. We are not used to this kind of stuff at all. Not only was there a rented canoe hatch but rental kayaks and anything else that could be floated in. Plus a hatch of lawn chairs in the waters edge with some pretty fried/ well done burnt to a crisp well inebriated folks that could cuss up a storm. We laughed pretty hard at times people watching. There were tattoos in places on ladies that are forever burned into my corneas that I may never get out of my mind. I am sure on some of these women at one time they were itty bitty petite tattoos but are now rather large, faded stretched out destroyed artwork. Too much skin exposed on some people. You would round a bend and see on a gravel bar a mini city had been formed. Most in the water taking their weekly bath maybe? All seemed to be having a good time which is what we all wanted to do. Ok here we go with some pictures, Mrs. BilletHead with her first fly caught smallie and rock bass, Her laying out some casts and floating, They we spied an empty kayak and no Mrs. BilletHead A getaway and a retreve, More general floating stuff, Some wildlife, geese and the largest softshell I have ever seen. Big as a trashcan lid, BilletHead even caught one. Doesn't look like it but it did measure sixteen inches. Now Chief caught many fish too but he hid when it came to photo taking We did catch him going after a hung up bait, So this is where I will up him in his own fishing world one time. He was casting over this large jam and he did catch fish there but hung up too. I waited until he got done messing around. Paddled down to the end of this jam and into it from the bottom up to the hot spot. No hang ups for me and three landed in there on the fly and missed three more. It was like looking into and aquarium. I would catch one and have three more try to take the fly from the one I had on the line, way cool I thought. Fun time and fishing trip with another OAF member. Hope to do more. Where are you Chief? Your turn to tell lies about the BilletHead's, BilletHead
  19. 17 likes
    Forgot the best picture. Love this smile!
  20. 16 likes
    Me yesterday. Trolled flicker shads and caught crappie, bass and a 4 lb channel. They're 9, 10 and 11 yrs old. Guess I should have bought their dad a tv back in 05. The boy caught his first fish on his new birthday rod and reel, and it was the channel, told me he thought he was hung up, ha, it was a rodeo, flicker shad is still stuck in the dip net. any how, ducked a t storm, had a great times with the little pit hissers and wore the old gray haired fat man out.
  21. 16 likes
    Fished Monday with Muddy Water, cloudy morning which helped the bite, hard part was finding what banks they were on, when we found them we had some good action, if we didn't find them, we'd get hardly a bite. Steep banks with timber or flooded bushes were the best, just had to pick a bank and fish and hope it was a good one. Fish were right outside the bushes for the most part, but a few were out deep, or followed the bait back to the boat. 1/2 oz jigs were the best bait, Robert got a few on the Ned. We got about 30 total, maybe 1/2 dozen keepers, but no big ones. had one about 3.5 come off at the boat. Today I was by myself, found a good early bite in shallow water off a gravel point, got a half dozen spotted bass dragging the 1/2 oz jig in the shallows. They stopped once the sun got over the hill and things got tough for a while. Water was dead calm, sun was out, not good. Fished some of the banks Robert and had done well on yesterday, not much going on them today. Picked up one every once in a while, but it was slow. Tried c-rigging the depths, not much there either, though I did get a keeper sized largemouth in 25 FOW. Hit one last stretch of bank before going in, bank was getting a lot of waves from the wake boats and that generated a bite, caught 10 in my last hour of fishing, all on the 1/2 oz jig. Finished with 20 bass, 4 keepers, again nothing notable size wise. Got about half my bites swimming the jig. I would cast to the bank, hop it a couple of times, and if no bites, I would swim it back, sometimes I'd pause it on the swim, let it fall and they'd hit it. Or they'd grab it while it was swimming. Using a Strike King Rage Craw as a trailer, good action from the claws. No top water bites. WT around 80, water is a dingy brownish color with a few feet of viz.
  22. 16 likes
    A buddy and I had a good time trolling for crappie yesterday morning. Found a couple 14" slabs mixed in there also!
  23. 16 likes
    A striper bite broke out. Fished with a fellow Bella Vistan this morning, we launched at 0515 and zipped over to the Clifty arm. Started fishing a pojnt and noticed some stripers chasing shad, tossed a Yellow magic popper at them and caught a 10 lber. My buddy threw a Whopper Plopper at them, he had a couple of swirls but didn't hook up. The top water bite did not last long and they were scattered, didn't see any schooling. Caught one more little striper about 3 lbs. and that was it for the striper bite. We then went to bass fishing, found a few decent keeper sized smallies, couple of nice spots, and a dozen dinks. Dragging 1/2 oz War Eagle football jigs with twin tailed trailers was the best technique. Got a couple on topwaters and one Carolina rig smallie. Caught one largemouth that was 14" or so, but never ran across any other largies. Decent water color in Clifty, you can see botoom in about 7 FOW. WT 75. Several striper boats in there pulling balloons. Cold this morning, had to wear the hoodie for a while.
  24. 15 likes
    Other than the day they were born, I couldn't have asked for a better Father's Day. Despite the early rain showers, everyone was in a good mood and I have to say the action certainly helped. All caught trolling in 12-20'. A couple crappie over 13". The walleye measured 23.5"
  25. 15 likes
    A couple of weeks ago I headed up to Wisconsin to meet with some of my amateur road racing racing friends to watch the professional MotoAmerica races at Road America for the weekend. I figured I would get up there a day early, hire a guide with a drift boat and go after some of their Smallmouth waters that I have read about. I arrived Thursday night, woke up early Friday morning for an hour drive further North to meet the guide at the takeout. It was pretty neat showing up with only an out of state fishing license, the guide supplying lunch, and all the gear. I didn't even have to take my own fly rod, tippet or anything of that sort. We started on the water at 9:00 am sharp. My guide rigged the 6 weight with a top water frog, and the 7 weight with an intermediate line with a streamer. I used the streamer set up for the first hour with plenty of success right away, and then switched to the top water 6 weight for the remainder of the day because, let's be honest, the top water bite is second to none! The scenery of this river was beautiful. You will see from the pics that the banks are lined with trees, and there were no signs of any type of erosion or blown out banks, even where there were no trees. The people that own the land up and down the river have done a wonderful job managing their properties and river banks. The river was quite different from the typical Ozark stream I am accustomed to. There was plenty of bulky, chunk rock in the water which is ideal Smallmouth habitat, but the river was not gravel choked like our streams. Instead of the green tinted water we always see, the water almost had a bit of a blackish tint to it when I was looking at it while in the boat, although visibility was probably around 1.5 to 2 feet. The fishing action never slowed down until about 4:30 pm when we were within 10 minutes from the takeout. Certain holes only produced one fish that we had to work hard for, and then others produced multiple fish within several minutes of each other. I was actually quite surprised because there was another guide boat that started before we did in the morning with two guys fishing soft plastics, which can be quite effective after they pound the banks cast after cast with two people. While numbers were great and fun, I have to say I was most impressed with the size and quality of the fish that were caught, and of course released. The smallest fish I caught was 12". Most were 15" to 16", and I had more than a handful of 17" fish pushing the 18" mark. The kicker with this is that the creel limit for this river is 5 bass, 14" or more, and yet it seemed as if fish were never in short supply, despite the regulations and also the pressure that was in front of us. All in all it was a great trip and I look forward to making it back up there sometime in the future. I love fishing here in my own state, but it was a lot of fun to fish somewhere different, and it was also the first time I had a hired guide to manage the boat, line snaps, tying on other flies, etc. Well worth the money for the overall experience, and the pain in my arm and shoulder the next few days reminded me of the great time I had. And yes, I wear a goofy hat, but you would too if you had the pale skin I do that only gets burned!
  26. 15 likes
    We only had 1/2 a day to figure out the new location. Cranked up some spots and this nice walleye, my wife lost a monster walleye, and I tried to lift a 3 pound spot in, just as my wife was saying OH WOW, of course it got off. What a great 1/2 day though. I will be working this new place over for a while, there is plenty of bank to keep us thinking.
  27. 15 likes
    Had a limit with a kicker. As lundone said they were more shallow. 10 to 15 ft. Three the first keeper back. Also had one short. 3 were 17. Big one 24 1/2. And weighed 6 pounds. Probably the fatest one I have ever caught
  28. 15 likes
    Fished the Kimberling City area Saturday and Sunday. The bite was great on Saturday, and not as good on Sunday as far as numbers, but the size was better. Saturday, fished from Little Cow up to Mill Creek. Tried to find the flattest main lake stuff we could. Had the boat in about 25-35. Best bait was the tube, watermelon red. Mainly just dragged it but caught a few hopping it. Also caught a few swimming a keitech on both an under spin and just on a ball head. Fished mainly the middle to bottom of the water column. Caught nearly all smallmouth with a couple spots mixed in. Also caught some fish pitching to trees. Not brush, but shady tree trunks. Bigger fish all came on a Tackle HD Craw pitched to the trees. I survived on the main lake stuff from 6:30am until about 2pm, and it wasn't because of the fish, just got too hard to control the boat. Just a warning... they were really choking the tube down, that sucker was way down nearly all of their gullets. One was gut hooked pretty bad, swam off fine though. Sunday tried the same stuff, but wasn't having near the number of bites as the day before. However the bites I did get were better. Big fish of the day came on a Tackle HD Craw. Again, pitching to flooded trees. Not the brush but regular old tree trunks. Shadow of the tree seemed key. Best one of the day was about 20" off a tree on a brown orange craw. Also stumbled upon a really good night bite near the place we were staying. Caught about 6 with 2 nice keepers in about an hour burning a War Eagle black and red single Colorado blade. Tried slow rolling it... nothing. Burned it near the shoreline, and it got hammered. Brothers caught a few dragging a tube and hd craw also.
  29. 14 likes
    Great time fishing this weekend The bite is great. Morning is the best but they will bite most of the day. Some are still shallow and some are deeper but not that deep. I think most of the LM are still less than 15 ft. Had a great weekend with my brother. We caught LM, SM, K's, whites, and 2 big walleye. We fished Dam to Kimberling. Water temp 82-84. Big girl weighed 6.43. Dad caught a minter white that weighed 3.48 the weekend before.
  30. 14 likes
    I've been reading a lot on the forum but wasn't able to provide anything beneficial as I haven't been down for so long. I got to make it down for a few days and followed BB's suggestions. I primarily fished secondary points on the lower end. I fished a half or 3/4 oz jig pbj or green pumpkin with twin tail grubs or a shake head with chiggers craw. I sat the boat in 25 to 35 fow (depending on how fast the bank dropped off) very slowly I dragged the jig across the bottom (counting rocks as I call it) they were exploding on it. Here are the best two caught. Though I caught mostly keepers. One day I got out at 730ish by 830 ish I caught 20+.
  31. 14 likes
    15 small whites, 1 crappie. 3 short walleye and the nice walleye wore my little one out.
  32. 14 likes
    9 eyes caught in between 6:45 and noon today.. Depths anywhere from 10-18 foot deep on the gravel..6 of 9 were keepers. All ove 17 inches with best 19.5. Rippin rap, snap jigged accounted for the two best. One on a trolling spoon and the rest on trolled chartreuse pearl flicker shads at 2.2mph. Also had a half dozen nice crappie in the mix. And the catfish all 10 or so of them annoyed the living hell out of me. They wacked crankbaits good though. Good luck safe fishing!
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    Lake is divided from above Shell Knob to KC in a tea brown color and from Point 7 to Longcreek and point 15 in the James River to the mouth of the James in a turquoise green. Average temp no matter where I fish has been 75-78. Make No mistake, this water is still stained lake wide. My clients are throwing 1 bait and 1 bait only right now, no matter the lake section I choose. We're tossing a 1/2 oz PBJ Jig with a Yamamoto Cinnamon/Purple twin tail. No need to throw it in the bushes and get hung up. We are catching lots of keeper fish in 12 to 20 feet. In front of the bushes and out the chunk rock main lake and secondary points. I'm mostly throwing it on 12 pound Invesx. 1/2 day early morning trips are catching, really good numbers of quality fish. K's, Smj's and LM. I KNOW Ned will get them but if you want to throw Big Boy Toys, they are Crushing that Jig Combo. Good Luck. I'm still not able to access OAF thru our WIFI
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    A friend and I fished 5 hrs Wed morning and had plenty of wind to help us. We bb on points and in muddy water off wind blown points. Ended up finding that the eyes were very shallow (8 to 10'). Had some bonus fish - 14.5" smallie and some shorter ones and 16 very large bluegill. Also had 6 keeper walleyes.
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    The Holiday Island Rotary Club sponsors a program under which homeowners can pay a small monthly fee, and on all national holidays Rotary comes out and puts up a flag. The proceeds benefit college scholarships for local students. Nancy and I happily participate. Today, the weather gods obviously wanted the flags to straighten up and fly right. The wind was considerably stronger than what the national weather service told me to expect. Fishing alone in my tin boat was a challenge. Water temp was 79 degrees and water color remains green with maybe 3 feet visibility. The fish have moved off the pattern I have fished over the last 10 days. I caught nothing on the edge of the flooded brush. The fish I did find were all short of keeper size and sat in 13 to 17 feet of water on points or humps. I soon tired of fighting the wind and switched to dragging a worm harness for walleye. I caught more short bass and three not quite legal walleye in that same depth range. The only remarkable thing I caught is pictured below.
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    Wife and I walleye fished for about 6 hrs. Had 11 keeper walleye and 1 short.
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    This is what we tried to fight last year... real estate people got the gov't to lift the moritorium so that they could sell more property around the lake. It means you'll see more docks on Table Rock in the coming years. Good thing for land owners, and I guess anglers who like to fish around docks, but not a good thing for people who don't want to see Table Rock become like LOZ. But in saying that, I don't want to sound like I'm totally anti-growth. I just didn't like how they (RE people and the gov't) changed the rule... basically caved to special interests instead of the majority of people. That's how I understand it.
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    I fished Saturday morning until the pleasure craft became annoying. From early to 10:00 AM, the same brush lines on points pattern I mentioned last week continued to produce, although not as many in number. The quality improved. I boated four keepers. Two around three pounds and two barely. The second barely was indistinguishable from the one pictured. I had an additional five too small fish.
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    Curtisce invited the BilletHead for a morning of Stockton fishing. Got launched pretty early near the State Park. Proceeded to hit some places throwing the jig and tiny worm. More recently called the Ned rig . We both caught bass of assorted sizes. Smallmouth, spots and the green stinkin type. The BilletHead got bored with this and put on a small crankbait. Last trip Curtisce had caught some walleye on the Ned pretty shallow and I thought what the heck. I had on the shad rap SR5 size in bluegill. Several casts later I pulled in a walleye. Curt perked up, then I caught another and he really perked up! Thinking they may be a bit deeper I put on a SR7, same color and caught again. Soon Curt put on a flicker shad and caught one. I changed again to a MR7 minnow rap in perch color. It worked too. Cranks caught a few bass also. All said and done we had landed six walleye and numerous bass species. Three walleye went to dinner with the BilletHead. Missed some bites and lost next to the boat. Caught the eyes on the transition from a long sloping bank next to a steep bank. Get this though fellows. They came from four foot deep to eight foot deep. Curt did catch some bass pretty shallow but most of them were deeper that the walleye. There you all go, now get you some . Sorry no photos today, BilletHead
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    I have a unrepentant hippie friend who dances naked when it rains. I do not do that. However, between yesterday and today, I have been caught in the showers twice while trying to fish between waves. Yesterday I lost a maybe walleye keeper at the boat. It came from 9 feet of water. Today I landed the pictured keeper. It hit a worm harness at 25 feet on a ridge top. That was the only bite I had in three hours. Really have them figured out, right? Water temp 77. Water color was lightly dingy green. Based in what I saw at the marina, you bass fishers might want to flip docks.
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    Launched at Shell Knob bridge at 6:00 and headed up to Mill Creek. First hour was slow. Lots of activity chasing shad but was only had a couple of bites on top-water. Worked our way around to the main lake point on the west side of the mouth of Mill Creek and fish were absolutely stacked there. We started off catching them on a War Eagle spinner bait and a jerk bait. That bite transitioned to a shaky head paired with a speed craw or baby brush hog and a Ned as the day went on. These fish were located right on the drop off into the main channel and didn't stray to far from it. If you got to far away from that in either direction you were not getting bit. (Attached is a pic, between the two red lines was the hot spot.) If you were in the right area you could catch fish from the shoreline in 2 foot of water all the way out to 30 foot of water. At times the fish would be higher in the water column and at others they would be on the bottom (Didn't think to get a pic of this). When they were higher you could get bit on spinner bait or small swim bait. When they dropped to the bottom the Ned and shaky head were the bait of choice. These fish were there all day, we left at 4:00pm and pulled off of that point still catching fish. Would not be surprised if these fish are there for a while. They seemed to be feeding on any and everything. Had several that were spitting up shad, several that had craws in there throat and then several that spit up both. One thing I noticed that I thought was interesting was that we never saw a school of shad show up on the graph. Shad were everywhere, you could see them all over the surface and the fish were clearly feeding on them. I assume they just were just scattered and weren't schooled up is why they didn't really show up on the graph. We ended the day with 70+ fish between the three of us. Biggest fish came on the Ned and was 3.75. (She had a rough go, had a tore up gill and several dings on her body) Ended the day with maybe 8 keepers and best 5 was around12 lbs. or so. All of the fish we caught with the exception of maybe 10 or so came off of that point. Not many fish with any size, but, fun catching. Surprisingly, it was a pretty even mix of spots and largemouth. Did have 1 smallie and 1 walleye that hit a spinner bait. Water was 73 at launch and 77 when we left at 4. There was quite a bit of debris in the main channel with a lot of it being very large logs in the morning. When we left the wind had pushed a lot of it to the shoreline. Hopefully I'm not giving away someone's spot. Just trying to pass on some info that could help someone else have as much fun as we did.
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    Spent the past three days fishing 3-4 hours each day mostly early once late afternoon. I've fished Taneycomo for 20 years and never caught a trout on a jig. Granted I've only tried a few times, but I keep seeing these guys doing this one cast and I think well heck that doesn't look too hard! For the record my 10 year old daughter thinks Ryan does the best one cast. Well not only did I catch a brown and rainbow, but also a white, small/mean mouth, spot bass, a sucker, and blue Gil sorry no pic, all on orange and peach brown and black 1/8 ounce jigs. I also saw I think a big paddle fish corpse. Friday: Started out fly fishing, first three fish fly fishing were all brown trout at outlet 1 on San Juan and scud which I thought was highly unusual for this time of year to catch three straight Browns. Only fly fished for 30 minutes and then walked almost to the cable and started throwing brown and peach jig. I never threw my fly rod again the rest of the weekend. First jig fish ever was 17 inch just a tank of a spot that was puking up what looked like shad when I landed him. Then a rainbow, then a white bass, then a smallie and another smallie and another. At one point I caught a fish on five consecutive casts. Just stupid fun. Then something really heavy which turned out to be a big sucker. I would guess 15-20 bows, 4 Brown trout, 6 smallies, 2 spot, 1 white bass, a blue gill and a sucker. Those smallies were just angry mean fish that wanted no part of being caught. They fought like crazy and the quality was amazing most were 14-18 inch range w only a few smaller than 14!! Some of the smallies were prob mean mouths I can't tell. It was an absolute blast not knowing what was going to be in the other end of the line!! Saturday: Less variety but still tons of action 15 rainbows 5 smallies 3 spots! Sunday: This was the day of the smallie caught way more than any other fish!! At least 10 small or mean mouth one spot and 8 rainbows best rainbow was 19 1/2 inches. I swear the hatchery breeds them to stop growing at 19 inches every time I've caught one I think is 20 it's 19-19 1/2!! Anyway fantastic weekend I'm hooked on jig fishing. A few of the pics should have the jigs I used. Happy fishing to everyone keep those lines tight!!
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    I want to really thank Brian Jones for hooking me up with a landowner who has an access in the absolute perfect spot, first of all. Because there's this section of Big River with otherwise very inconvenient access points, making for floats that are either too short or too long. But this private access is right at the end of the "good water", and cuts off about 4 miles of "bad water" off the float. I used it for the first time today. You see, I had volunteered to take this very nice lady from the Nature Conservancy on a river trip. The Nature Conservancy is my favorite conservation organization because they work with landowners on conservation projects instead of attempting to dictate what the landowners should be doing (not that I don't mind passing laws mandating conservation practices, but I realize that getting someone to do the right thing voluntarily usually works better). And also, they put their money where their mouth is, buying and protecting sensitive lands themselves whenever possible. One of their projects in Missouri is a program for overall protection for the entire Meramec Basin. We had originally planned for me to take her on a jetboat run through the part of the Meramec that would have been underwater had the dam been built, which is the most scenic section of the river. But instead, I changed the plan to a canoe trip through some of the sections of Big River that have been most heavily affected by the old lead mine tailings. In other words, instead of showing her arguably the best of the Meramec river system, I was going to show her what is arguably the worst...not really, though, since there are certainly far less attractive sections of lower Big, Bourbeuse, and the Meramec itself. I had my brother run the shuttle, met her in the Walmart parking lot, and put in about 8:30 AM for a ten mile float. I carried three rods, less than my usual five, and seriously planned to finish the float in the reasonably early afternoon, which would mean not doing a lot of really serious fishing. But I should have known that if I have rods in the canoe, and the fish are active at all, some serious fishing WILL be done. I didn't pick up a rod through the first two pools, but I did in the third pool, and caught nothing. Okay...maybe they're not active, maybe this plan would work. Next pool, I caught a nice largemouth. Uh-oh. Then another one, then another one. And then a spotted bass. By this time, the lady, who has never fished and never studied fish, was asking me to help her identify the bass species. I showed her the differences, and from then on she would guess the species whenever I caught a bass, which was regularly. The trip was slowing down. I was fishing harder. It was kind of a weird day. The smallmouths weren't doing anything. I went nearly four miles before I caught the first smallie. But the largemouths were pretty much going nuts. Nice ones, in the 14-16 inch range. Then a bigger one, 17 inches. The spots were a little less active, but I was catching enough of them that it was giving her a good lesson on how to ID them. And it was also a bit strange that nothing much was hitting surface lures. They were mostly hitting my homemade crankbait and spinnerbait. The second half of this float, while not appearing to be any better habitat than the first half, is usually better fishing. We stopped for lunch, and I knew by then that the float was going to take a little longer than I'd planned. She wasn't complaining, or anything, and seemed to really be enjoying things, even enjoying watching me catch fish. But I was beginning to feel a little guilty about fishing so hard. Still, we were engaged in an almost constant discussion of the various ills, and surprisingly good things, about this stretch of river, which was the point of the whole thing...supposedly. Well, I told myself, demonstrating the fishing potential of the river, along with the history of the spotted bass invasion, was part of that, wasn't it? The problem, you see, is that in that second half of the float, the fishing got REALLY good. But, because I was in the back of the canoe, the way the fish were hitting became problematical. They would often follow the lure for a fairly long distance before striking. And from the back of the canoe, your casts are necessarily a bit shorter if you cast straight toward the bank, and if you cast far ahead of the canoe at more of an angle, the lure still has a fairly short distance to travel before it comes too close to the front end of the canoe. So I was having a LOT of fish follow the lure, closing, closing fast...and then see the canoe and turn away. And several of them were big ones, both largemouth and smallmouth, fish that were 18 inches or better. The river was clear, the sun bright, and seeing them was easy. The smallmouths had turned on, the spots were active, and the largemouth continued to hit. I didn't keep track of the fish I caught. Probably around 50 or so, maybe a few more. I caught a hybrid, which threw off her otherwise nearly flawless identification. I passed up some water I should have fished, because it was pretty hot and I figured she was going to wish she was off the river at some point. But I was thinking that, had I been by myself, or with another angler, it could have been a terrific day. I missed a big one. I had another one briefly hooked. I saw at least three more over 18 inches that followed the lure in. And finally, I caught two really nice smallies, one a bit over 18 inches, the other about 17.5. We stopped and hunted up crayfish...there are a couple of species in Big River that are native only to the Meramec river system, and one that is native only to Big River, but we didn't find any of them, because the section of the river most affected by the mine tailings is pretty deficient in crayfish. The tailings have smothered much of the habitat for crayfish. We stopped again and I identified several species of baitfish in the water. I was really enjoying the whole conservation discussion, and showing somebody who really seemed to care all the neat stuff I knew about on the river. I was also in the zone as far as canoe handling, which I've been all year so far...the canoe just seems to magically do what I want it to do, and I can't always say that's so. She never picked up a paddle all day because I told her she wouldn't have to, and I was right. She was a good sport about having get out several times and drag over shallow spots; the river is beginning to get a little low. She didn't complain about the heat (it wasn't that hot, anyway). And she seemed almost as loath to leave the river as I was when we reached the take-out. All in all, a fine day...but I'm still wondering how many fish I could have caught if I was by myself and REALLY seriously fishing!
  44. 13 likes
    Finally got to dust off the new (to me) kayak and take a little spin on the river. Wife took the kids up to visit the inlaws so I had a long afternoon to get out and explore. Never fail to be amazed at how we can have such an awesome resource next to a main artery of the state and there's literally nobody using it much of the time. Sitting there watching a couple kingfishers rattling up and down the river, mature bald eagle cruising by, deer drinking from banks while thousands of cars zip by a few hundred yards away oblivious to what's going on outside their vehicle's windows. Not complaining, I thoroughly enjoyed the serenity and alone time! I can be loaded up and down on the access in minutes so I plan to take as much advantage of it as possible. Only thing that would make it better would be having a friend upriver that would let me dump in there and float down instead of having to get a workout in to float back down all too quickly. Had one small spot hit an inline spinner and come unbuttoned, other than that it was pretty slow, more just getting in tune with the new boat and adjusting to the space limitations. Still a wonderful few hours of having a river to myself, hard to beat. Never been much of a river fisherman so it's going to take some patience to find some success, I'm quite sure I'm not in high % water either but that makes it all the more fun to try and figure out. Threw jigs, spinners, whopper plopper, cranks, swimbait, buzzbait. Mebbe next time!
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    I know this is not a fishing report for Stockton but thought I would share. My Son and I along with my Dad, Brother-In-Law, two of my nephews, and 2 uncles made a trip to Canada last week. This was my sons first Canadian Fishing Trip. We had a great week of fishing and weather. No rain all week, which is my first, I have never had a full week without a rain storm. Anyway we fished primarily for walleye, but did spend sometime fishing for pike as well. We caught more walleye than you could count and majority were 20 inch plus with the 2 biggest of the trip going to my Brother-In-Law who had a 10 pounder and my Son had a 7 pounder (pic attached) as well as a 36 inch pike (we did not have the scale with us when he caught the pike, but the lady running the fishing camp said it would have went 12 to 15 pounds). It was a great week of fishing and spending time with oldest son and my father and other family enjoying the great outdoors. On a side the big walleyes were all released to swim another day as well as the big pike. My son was excited because he was able to register is walleye and pike and received a free spoon and will go into a drawing at the end of the season for prizes.
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    I got out this morning about 2 hours before sun up and was pretty disappointed in my results the first 2 hours. Skunked. I threw a jig and a black spinner. Water temp 79. When the sun got up just enough to see the bushes I threw a Buzzbait and did real well number wise. I probably had close to 30 with 2 keeps that were 16 to 17 inches long. Also had a couple good blowups with no hookups. By 9:00 I was throwing a jig again and caught around 12 more on it - but no keepers on it. Lost 2 keepers at the boat on the Buzzbait. Off the water at 10:45. Stupid people started showing up in groves. Came across these 2 little raccoons that were too hungry to care that I was around. Sure were cute little boogers. Never saw momma coon. You never know what your going to see out here, maybe that's why I love it so much!!!
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    Success! Maiden voyage went off without a hitch. Boat performed flawlessly. Very stable when standing with two of us on the same side, handled chop well and it did 16 gps downwind, 15 upwind with two aboard with the mighty 9.9. Note we were stocked with all of the required high quality safety gear that we could dredge up since my bass boat is down in AR.
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    Since the change in the server our wifi won't let me on OAF. This is from my iPhone. Hope to get it worked out tomorrow. Great fishing now on the Rick so maybe have a report soon Good Luck
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    Man, I must be a total nutjob then because I actually PAY for baits and don't use them.