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Showing most liked content on 05/31/2017 in all areas

  1. 10 points
    Terrierman

    Bluegill

    We put somewhere around a hundred nice bluegill in the boat today. Slow start but it got better about 4:00. Found them close to the bottom in 12 to 20 feet of water where there was shade and around docks. Crickets and a piece of night crawler. Long Creek around Big Cedar but it should work anywhere. I'll be tired of cleaning fish by the time that job is done.
  2. 10 points
    Stein

    Trout boat under construction

    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.
  3. 6 points
    Ketchup

    Hank Parker

    Seen Hank was at the Lews store yesterday. He in town to fish with a disabled youth and to film his show. Have really admired Hank for over 25 years, and to see he is still doing these things for kids is great. Look for him on the water today and tomorrow.
  4. 5 points
    Pat Magee

    Morning Bites

    I was lucky enough to get the okay from my wife to go fishing on Friday morning, late Thursday evening. Usually I have to have my trips kind of planned out in advance, as is the nature of having a toddler running around. Without realizing it at the time, the lack of time to stress out about what to bring was actually a blessing. I quickly threw my go-to WTD lures, cranks, and plastics in a easy to carry tackle box and swapped out the spool on my stradic for some 6# CX Premium. I knew that the morning would be cold but I wanted to get as much time as I could on the water so I headed out early and was on the water by 5:30. Sun was coming up but still had some clouds to break through before it would hit me. Water temp was a ball-shriveling 61 but I jumped in and started wading downstream anyway. It only took me about 10 minutes to get a bite on the WTD lure but it shook me off after about 15 feet and a short fight. This is about the only thing I hate about wade fishing, not having the ability to quickly throw a follow up with another rod/reel/lure. I couldn't get another bite out of the next two stretches and usually I would give up on TW but I was determined to stick with it for a bit longer. Thankfully I did because I caught three decent smallmouth and one spot out of one small little stretch. Nothing worth bragging about but since I was darn near turning blue from being so darn cold, it at least warmed me up for a bit. The sun finally started to poke through the clouds and I switched over to my confidence bait (Super Fluke). I for some reason or another, always seems to do well on this particular stream when I am throwing a " Red Magic" fluke, sadly I can't seem to find this color anymore and I am down to the last bag. As usual, they didn't disappoint. I typically just dead drift them or work them like a jerk-bait and every single bite came on the descent that morning. They didn't seem to care for it when it was moving at all. I caught another 6 or so from various spots and I even tangled with a gar for a bit. I saw it about 15 feet away from me but I could only see that it was a fish. I couldn't see the profile really well because I was in some deeper water. Anyway, I bounced the Fluke right on top of his head and he gave a quick reaction bite and I got to fight it for a bit before he broke my line off. I was actually kind of relieved since I felt a little vulnerable with that toothy SOB running around me while I am nipple deep in stained water. The creek seemed healthy but wasn't giving me much size so I decided to split after catching 16 fish (11 smallmouth, 2 sunfish, and 3 spots). I am looking forward to getting the kayak out of the garage in the next couple of weeks to chase some bigger fish in bigger water. Gasconade, Current, Black, and Meramec are next on the list for some day floats. If anyone is interested it joining, shoot me a PM.
  5. 5 points
    176champion

    Hank Parker

    Yep he is fishing with a disabled group called fish 4 tales, JP Sellers heads up this Organization. They have special equiped boat with automated fishing gear, they push one button and it cast the reel and push another button and it retrieves the lure each unit cost around 2500 bucks. The TOC( tournament of champions for champion boat owners and basscat owners) that is in October benefits this charity, last year we raised 2500 for fish 4 tails by having a silent auction of products donated to the tournament. I m signed up again this year to go out of Port of Kimberling City October 7 2017 October 6 is the boat show and catfish dinner and silent auction. http://fish4tales.com/
  6. 5 points
    MoCarp

    FISH

    Bass and walleyes can be scattered this time of year, water rising and falling can exacerbate trying to find fish, as a rule secondary points with the wind blowing in fish are turned on more...east wind usually has a negative effect on the fishing...When fishing is tough go light..spinning gear 6lbs line green mono, 1/8 jigs tipped with a minnow or 1/3 of a crawler. if you want smallies and walleyes, the 3rd of the lake near the dam is your best bet, largemouth, crappies the middle section, Crappie like to suspend near bluff banks around brush fish with the wind and it makes it easier to feel light bites, if the wind is ripping fish can be so shallow their backs can be out of the water, stick baits on spinning gear 8lbs test can be wild for big white bass and walleyes...for bigger largemouth/walleyes try half a sluggo/fluke like bait on a 1/4oz quality realistic jighead hopped around ledge rocks.... putting your rod tip into the water can help with bite detection in wind... in closing learn new spots every time you fish, keep a fishing log and you will see different patterns for time of year and weather...
  7. 4 points
    trythisonemv

    5/30 nymph day

    Made it down to the creek around four yesterday and was pleasantly surprised by the amount of flow. Nice and fast but clear in the runs green in the pools. Threw nymphs including frenchie and bhprince. Caught eight in about three hours. Had to get it deep in the pools to get bit. Also tried a barely legal in some deeper runs and had some gnarley attacks but no hook ups. May try a smaller version next time.
  8. 4 points
    MoCarp

    Bluegill

    any big ones? I have caught some dandy ones from Table rock, a blast on UL gear......and yeah you will be tired of cleaning fish ... Bluegill fillets with a side of shrimp sause is hard to beat..as a note boiled crawfish tails are good as well Home Made Shrimp sause 1 cup catsup. 1 -2 tablespoon horseradish (to your taste)( more = hotter) 1 tablespoon lemon juice. 1⁄2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce. 1⁄4 teaspoon salt. 1 dash black pepper.
  9. 4 points
    Well I finally got the Mrs. out for some of this fry action. I used the repaired one I took a chip out of last week and she used a pretty pink and purple one:). We will concentrate on her as I had a great time just watching her have a good time. We caught many, many of those stinkin green fish. I had one that went a little over four pounds. We took a few pictures to share with you all. most of the fish came from close to the bank in eight inches or less to a foot of water. Maybe a couple in a couple of foot. Started off slow, kind of a easterly wind but when it changed to the southwest it really turned on. Last time I was there you had to really strip it for a take. Today some hits happened before the first strip when the fry was at rest. Hope this brings you all a smile as it did us. Pat with her pink shirt, pink fly line and pink and purple fry. Grins all morning. Pat's little fry in action, And then casting and fish, BilletHeads had a nice morning
  10. 3 points
    shrapnel

    LOZ Pig

    My sons new PB. Fishing was just insane all weekend.
  11. 3 points
    Terrierman

    Bluegill

    Probably Saturday. We've got crappie and a few walleye and white bass too. Actually kind of enjoyed it - the no time pressure helps and so did the new knife. Set up a nice high table in the shade, got out the hose and went to town. Honest to gosh about halfway through I took a break and put the knife in the freezer.
  12. 3 points
    snagged in outlet 3

    Bluegill

    You got time. When's the fish fry?
  13. 3 points
    Lets wrap this up, Epoxy and tail now. 30 minute epoxy. I prefer Devcon two ton. Pretty much easy to find. A note when buying it. Make sure it is fresh ,by this I mean clear. I have found on the shelf in places some that is cloudy on one side. This one I have pictured is starting to turn on the right side. Not transparent but translucent. You should be able to read through the epoxy sides. This one is not too bad and since we will have a pretty thin layer it will be ok. Just look for a clear side by side tube. Squirt some out. A couple nickel or so sized puddles and mix well. Ready to brush now, Get yourself an el cheapo paint brush. One time use and throw away type. Start brushing the epoxy on your fry. I start from the tail end and go towards the front then front to back to blend the epoxy together. A nice coating covering the fry well. Keep the epoxy out of the eye. You will thank me for this. You don't want to drill the epoxy out of the hook eye. I know ! Place the fry on the drying wheel. The drying wheel is the largest expense. I bought this one a few years back on sale. Cannot remember how much it cost but it was on sale. Combination rod turner drying wheel. I have seen guys make their own. I believe the guys on the forum doing the painting and finishing of the wart lures made one. Go so something or make your fry tails and wait until they are dry. Don't touch them and leave fingerprints. I judge dryness by the epoxy on my mixing paper. Another note. You can mix enough epoxy to do a couple at a time if you are quick. For your first one do only one. There are other ways to keep your epoxy viable longer but I don't mess with that. I am not a human C&C machine and not a mass producer. One at a time for me. Tails now, You can tail them anyway you want. Rubber, feathers, just flash, buck tail or synthetic material. Here we will use some flash and synthetic like EP fibers. Chuck up a hook. Some type of straight eye with that eye big enough to go over your wire extension. Near the eye start your thread and make a bump. Coat the bump if you wish. I did with some UV epoxy, Put on some flash in front of bump. The bump will act as a dam and keep the tail material from comin off the hook, Get some synthetic material and tie it in too, I use a long bunch and trim to length when done. I also UV when finished tying up. Pull the tailing material up and out of the way, Take some cutters and clip off behind the thread dam, Put blade on and tail and take your needle nosed tool and carefully close the eye. Remember prop optional. They wont sputter but will catch fish, You are done. Go fish ! The bunch we did during the tutorial awaiting tails, Thanks for following along and if you have any questions or input speak up to help others, BilletHead
  14. 3 points
    Champ188

    Red fin and spook last Friday Big M

    I'm confused. If you ran up from Eagle Rock, you were going toward Holiday Island, not Big M. For you guys struggling to get a Fin to run right, there are steps you can take to help immensely. Use the search feature within this TR forum and you'll find them.
  15. 2 points
    fowlthing

    Red fin and spook last Friday Big M

    Caught 54 Friday on red fin and big spook mostly. Also some on underspin and a grass jig. Fin was hard for me to keep making the wake... so had to hold rod high and shake. 8 keepers, 4 whites, 3 smallies and the rest K's mostly.Almost all were 13-15 inches... and fat. Fished from 2 until dark. Long casts worked best... and had one double on the spook.
  16. 2 points
    Decided to head down to a favorite clear water river on Sat trying to get in a multispecies trip before the rains blew out the river, AGAIN . I have been wanting to fish this river on several occasions to catch the darters in their spawning coloration, but with all the rains that just hasn't happened this year. So with Livie in tow we headed south with a variety of rod set-ups in mind. My goal was to help my daughter catch some new species, particularly some new darters and minnows. I know that there are at least three darters species and two of those, the rainbow and greenside darter, she has never seen nor caught before. Also this river has a bunch of smallmouth, largemouth, and rock bass. Livie got excited, because she caught a longear sunfish off one the many beds she could see from the bank on her first cast with the jig and float set-up we use for sunfish in the ponds and lakes we have fished this year. Spawning longears are one of the prettiest fish in the stream and she wanted to catch a nice spawning male. She did end up catching this real nice one. I had on a 1/32 oz tube jig with a white/chartreuse slider body and caught the first smallmouth of the day, a feisty 10" fish. I handed Livie that rod to fish for a smallmouth while I picked up the ultralite that we were using for the microfishing. On her second cast Livie hung up the jig, once she got it unsnagged her first northern rock bass hit the bait. She did eventually get a smallmouth on the line with the jig, but due to her injured thumb lost it before I could get a photo. I was fishing a #14 hook with a small piece of worm and caught a small hornyhead chub and a few bleeding shiners while Live fished the jig. We headed upstream and were fishing under the bridge when the first of the rains came in. We only got a 5 to 8 minute shower at first. There was a large pile of trees under the bridge that had some deep water on the bank side. Livie got onto the blowdown to retrieve my line (switched out the white/chartreuse for a grn pumpkin/chartreuse tail slider body) and we both caught a bunch of green sunfish in the tangle of limbs in front of her in the photo. There were also several species of minnows where the current came into this hole. We both caught blacksided topminnows, but both missed hooking one fo the three or four brook silverside minnows swimming in that hole. The #20 hooks were too large and I fought to not put on the #26 hooks I had in my tackle bag figuring that we would fish this on the way back to the car. Livie was not able to hook one of the bleeding shiners, but caught her very first Ozark minnow out of school of 15 to 20 fish. I actually did not catch one from that school and had to find another school just a little bit further upstream before I landed an Ozark minnow. At that time Livie was trying to catch a water snake that had a large tadpole in its mouth. She never did catch that snake, but had several chances. When I got into these shallows, the darters forced my hand to switch to the #26 hooks. I only caught orangethroat darters, but LIvie was able to catch her first rainbow darter and a couple of bleeding shiners Then the rain set on us again and we both heard sirens. So that ended our trip. We never did get up to the spots where I have caught greenside darters in the past and didn't fish under the bridge again as we were headed back to the car. After we left, we drove through a pretty bad storm with lots of rain and high wind gusts. The river actually rose 3 feet by Sat evening. So it's going to have to be by the weekend before it may clear up enough to sight fish this spot again. That's without any additional rains, but there is more in the forecast. Livied ended up with at least 9 different species and one sunfish that I need to get verification as a possible orangespotted sunfish. I caught 12 different species. All in all a great day and a successful multispecies trip.
  17. 2 points
    gitnby

    Red fin and spook last Friday Big M

    The best way to get a redfin to run right is to tie on a Whopper Plopper!
  18. 2 points
    Like tornadoes floods are a natural event on a horrific scale. My heart Goes out the those who lost life and property. These situations bring up many questions and a few comments, I guess I'll play the devils advocate. Please except my apology if anyone is offended. What role do the local authorities play in clearly defining possible flood areas? What role can they play when any swale or low area can become a river? Forget the COE, their flood plain designations are useless when year after year levels rise to heights never seen. Isn't well past the time when public officials need to put as much effort into educating and warning drivers to not drive through water to the same level they warn the public of tornadoes? What responsibilities do property owners have to pay for the damages or to clean up the debris that their property caused? If I built a home overlooking a public road would I be responsible if my poorly located home tumbled down on the road? If I build a home over looking a river would I be responsible when my poorly located home tumbled into the river? Why don't we accept wise zoning and construct standards that would surely minimize property damage? Why don't those who advocate for minimum government intrusion into our lives also advocate for the tax payers who are footing the bills for clean up?
  19. 2 points
    Gavin

    Gasconade newbie - best place?

    Depends on the type of experience you want...If you mind a ton of boat traffic stay above the B. Piney confluence at Jerome. Plenty of good water above and below, but if you need a rental boat I'd look to Boiliing Springs Resort in Dixon, or Gasconade Hills further upriver near Hazelgreen. Good water way above Hazelgreen too...Lots of rock bass if you want some fish to eat, toss the smallmouth back.
  20. 2 points
    Mitch f

    Gasconade newbie - best place?

    Are you strictly catch and release?
  21. 2 points
    Lance34

    Got a hall pass

    Been hit or miss for me the past several weeks. I haven't really been much. Rigged in chocolate syrup over a month ago after the flood and caught 5 little keepers and a few shorts Tried cranking, long lining with a friend the week after. Caught several shorts and a muddy water striper. That was pretty much the highlight of that trip Sunday was the first time in a couple weeks that I've gone. Got a hall pass to go after church so took it. Started over deep water along the channel with nothing but, a ton of shorts. Moved shallow and that's where I found them. On a spawning flat that was once pushing daises over a month ago. Rigged along flooded bushes, grass and that under growth stuff. Wish I had my doodle socking rod in the boat. Would of put all the crap up and had a time I think. Turned out to be fun short afternoon and great to be on the water. God bless and be safe out there. Backer down the fish will still be there when you get there. Tons of debris from what I could see on shore from the end of Hwy 264 all the way around past Hickory Creek cut through, to that right bend towards Piney.
  22. 2 points
    KCRIVERRAT

    ATTENTION FLOATERS!

    I used to always pick up trash but my mom never approved of 'em...
  23. 1 point
    Dan the fisherman

    Greetings from islamorada

    I just got in today. So I have no fishing pics...... yet! Lol. They will be a lot to come but here's just a few of us chilling for the day.
  24. 1 point
    Quillback

    Kayak demo day

    Kayak Demo Day - June 3 Ozark Mountain Trading Company will host Kayak Demo Day on Lake Avalon on Saturday, June 3, 2017. The host will bring an array of kayaks (over 200) for use and display. Over 200 on display. The event will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is open to Non-Members. This is in Bella Vista. Sounds like a good opportunity to check out some yaks. I am not associated with OMTC in any way, just passing this on.
  25. 1 point
    Ham

    Bluegill

    Maybe a little
  26. 1 point
    MoCarp

    Bluegill

    Chasing big panfish has been a hobby of mine, if you want monsters find waters full of small bass, seems they keep the populations down, I have read yellow perch waters have the same effect.....A bug zapper on a pond or lake dock makes a trophy gill zone I keep a few....... but I toss back those huge ones 11 inches or so.........I have a pound and a 1/2 one mounted.......I bet with the yellow perch getting common in Bull shoals a gill trip there might be worthy...never tried 'giling in BS...any one ever try?
  27. 1 point
    snagged in outlet 3

    Bluegill

    Thanks! Same kiddo actually works as a camp counselor near there in Wartburg IL during the summer.
  28. 1 point
    Greasy B

    Bluegill

    That area has been on my long list for years. Now you have me all excited, wish I had more time off.
  29. 1 point
    Not all the way to the lake... Me and Duane drifted close to them last evening and didn't see them. But we weren't looking for vehicles, we were looking for fish. DD actually threw his crank abit at the eddie formed by the rocks below the mouth and drug it out... I'm surprised he didn't snag one. I'm going up there as soon as I can and look around. I bet there's more than 4 in there. And yes, the car people should pay to have them removed.
  30. 1 point
    slabstacker

    Grass at Fellows

    The grass you are seeing in south arm is hydrilla. It started getting thick in there a few years back and seems like it is going to take the back half of that cove over. There are places that are close to 20 feet of water and that stuff is growing from the bottom all the way to the surface. It is in several places on the lake. Good news is I have found it to be loaded with fish. I don't know about bass but the crappie are in it thick as are walleyes. You just have to find the edges of it that is were I have been doing well just letting a roadrunner with a minnow on it free fall down the deeper edges. I would imagine a top water would be good for bass that way you can cover water or do like bassfisher said and flip your way through it.
  31. 1 point
    Flysmallie

    Fellows lake night rules

    You are welcome. Sure wish they would let us stay a little longer than sunset in a boat.
  32. 1 point
    crappie_adams83

    Fellows lake night rules

    That's what me and my fishing buddy thought as well thanks fly smallie
  33. 1 point
    Champ188

    Kimberling City 5/27-5/28

    I'm with Dave. Pretty meanmouth. Love those vertical bars on it.
  34. 1 point
    Is that really possible?
  35. 1 point
    jdmidwest

    A problem serpent

    Cool, you found a mated pair. Keep eyes out for all of the little green tailed babies that should show up soon. Did you know copperheads give live birth, no eggs in nest.
  36. 1 point
    Quillback

    Bluegill

    About every other year I will break out the red worms and fish for them. TR certainly has an abundance of gills.
  37. 1 point
    dtrs5kprs

    Red fin and spook last Friday Big M

    1 out of 6 or 7 would be about right.
  38. 1 point
    Al Agnew

    Do Fish Genes matter?

    Well, after reading the argument on the other thread, here are my thoughts. Genetics have to play a part in the growth potential of game fish. Some are just genetically able to grow faster than others, especially after they get to adult size to begin with. I don't think it's the only factor in why some grow faster...maybe some bass in streams, for instance, learn to utilize more fatty minnows like stonerollers instead of concentrating so much on crayfish, which are NOT particularly nutritious. Maybe some move to spring holes in the winter where the warmer temperatures keep them a little more active and they don't completely stop growing during the winter. Those are just guesses, though...I think the genetic factor is more than a guess. So, if the genetics are there, once a smallmouth reaches 10 or 11 inches (its fourth year, usually), it is an adult and begins to spawn. Now it's spreading those genes. But, maybe it produces a few thousand fry, out of which only a few will reach adult age, and only a tiny percentage of those will actually reach "trophy" size. So...the more times it spawns, the more adult size fish with superior genetics will eventually result, and ultimately the more trophy sized fish. So both sides are right to some extent on that other argument. Protect that fish until it reaches trophy size itself, and it will eventually produce more big fish than it would have if it was harvested at 12 inches. Protect it even after it becomes a trophy, and it will continue to produce fish that will become big down the road. So the more times fish of superior genetics are able to spawn, the more genes they spread throughout the population. And...by the time they get to trophy size, they are also more likely to be able to protect the nest and fry better, which also may result in more survival of those genes, even if they are producing less fry to begin with. So from that standpoint, protecting them even after they become trophy size theoretically would result in more adult fish down the road with superior genetics than harvesting them at 15 or 18 inches. Which, in my opinion, is a great argument for slot limits. Even better, IF you want to really maximize the numbers of big fish, and the top end growth of big fish, is to protect the big ones almost completely. I don't remember where, but some state manages trophy fish of whatever species by something like a yearly tag, something like a deer tag. You are allowed to keep one trophy size fish per year. You punch your trophy tag when you catch one you want to keep to mount or whatever. Once the tag is punched, you can't keep another trophy size one for the rest of the year. This allows somebody to catch and keep the fish of a lifetime, while giving great protection to the trophy fish in the water. But this is more of a management strategy for keeping big fish in the water where they are most valuable to ANGLERS, not a genetic management thing in itself.
  39. 1 point
    Mitch f

    High Def craw in branson?

    You are correct. The Ozark Source in Cuba is the only place who carries them.
  40. 1 point
    fowlthing

    Red fin and spook last Friday Big M

    Water is getting better but slowly. I actually launched from Eagle rock and ran up but did not go back into the ramp at big M A week ago the dock was still way out. At both Eagle rock and big M. Water is half way up the bathroom
  41. 1 point
    Bluff-Bassin

    High Def craw in branson?

    Unless things have changed recently the only retail place to get the craws is near st Clair. Other than that online as of now.
  42. 1 point
    176champion

    Red fin and spook last Friday Big M

    Thanks for the report!....did they drag the boat dock up?
  43. 1 point
    Same problem here using a small belt sander. One little mistake and you are starting over. I don't do it enough to be good at it so I just use the belt to get it close and then do it by hand from there. And still manage to make it look like crap.
  44. 1 point
    shrapnel

    What about the ones who don't get caught?

    I truly believe dinosaurs would still be roaming the planet today, if not for illegal giggers taking over their limit.
  45. 1 point
    bfishn

    What about the ones who don't get caught?

    You keep saying that, but it doesn't pass muster. A fish that theoretically has "big fish genes" (an unproven theory at that) has those genes as a fingerling. By the time they become the "large fish" you speak of, they've already spawned many times, ensuring the continuation of the parent genes. Then, when they're really large and nearing their natural life expectancy, their ability to reproduce wanes, and they become worthless for extending the gene pool. Hatchery managers routinely cull out the oldest broodstock for that very reason. I'm not saying there's no good reason to release big fish... but the reason you're using is a poor one.
  46. 1 point
    Yes definitely and a big ten four. I use my dremel to dish or cup face my standard poppers. Problem is you can get carried away and before you know it you are holding a bare hook . Ask me how I know! Ha, BilletHead
  47. 1 point
    Geez, Chief, nobody is arguing against what you said. The ENTIRE problem with gigging is the selective targeting of the biggest fish, something no rod and reel angler, poacher or legal, can do. It's the same thing some people at MDC keep saying, that they see no evidence that illegal gigging is harming the population of stream bass. Nope, it's NOT. But it is reducing the population of the biggest fish. That's our only problem with gigging, but it's a doozy.
  48. 1 point
    Stein

    Trout boat under construction

    Finished. Not a moment too soon, heading to AR on Thursday. Bought a new 9.9 for it. Went for maiden voyage today and BPS sent me home with the wrong gas tank. It didn't have a primer bulb. Went back to BPS and got another tank. They let me keep the old one since it had gas in it already so now I have a 3.2 and 6.6 gallon tanks. Maiden voyage postponed until tomorrow.
  49. 1 point
    Al Agnew

    Just an average trip...

    When I told Mary I was thinking about a float trip yesterday morning, she automatically assumed I was going to need her to shuttle me. She also assumed it was going to be a solo trip, because she knew I'd been doing a lot of fishing with other people and I was needing some alone time on the water. So she was not surprised when I told her where I wanted to float. In fact, I'd just floated this stretch before we left for Montana a few weeks back, and I usually don't float the same stretch of Big River twice in a row. I generally float my two favorite stretches about two times each a year. But this one is the easiest shuttle, and besides, I wanted to see if the floods had changed things. I decided to do it a bit differently than I usually do, though. Ordinarily, I do the whole stretch, about 14 miles, and end up paddling through the last three or four miles to make it to the take-out by dark, because those last few miles are the poorest fishing anyway. There are only a couple of nice pools, and much of the stretch lacks bends, so it tends to be shallow and somewhat uniform. It doesn't even have a lot of cover. But I wondered...maybe it's such poor fishing simply because I don't concentrate on fishing it. So I decided at the last minute to shorten the float to about 9 miles, with five miles or so of good water and then that last few miles, and try fishing the last stretch more carefully. The access to this stretch is problematical, which is one reason I usually do the whole thing; the intermediate access I used is one that few people know about, because it's a good quarter mile up a small tributary, and no place to leave a vehicle. Mary dropped me off and I paddled and dragged the canoe down the trib to reach the river. The pool at the mouth is a good one, and I paddled up it first, fishing my way back down it. I only hooked one bass, a very good largemouth, maybe 18 inches, on the Hi Def Craw...it leaped and came loose, continuing my streak of losing big fish. It was also disappointing that it was the only fish from that pool, and I had to "resort" to the craw to hook it. Then I drifted downstream. I had a walk the dog topwater on one rod, of course, my homemade crankbait on another, and my twin spin on a third. I fished the twin spin in the fast water, the crankbait here and there, and the topwater in the slower water. There were a couple people camped shortly below the tributary on a nice pool, and I hoped they didn't see me catch three nice smallies in a row in that pool, from 14 to 16 inches, on the topwater. Now things were looking up. I fished the next run, where I hooked a huge smallmouth the last time through, and caught a couple more, though nothing big. I paddled back up it and fished it again with the craw, still hoping to encounter that big one again, but all it was produced was a big goggle-eye. I fished down a couple miles, catching fish here and there, nothing big, nothing really setting any kind of pattern. I was carefully fishing a lot of water, slowing the canoe, slipping it into eddies, trying different things, but nothing was working well; it was just the kind of ho-hum day that sometimes happens, when it seems like the river just doesn't have many fish. But I knew they were there. One thing different from the last time was that the non-native spotted bass were having an off day; I was catching far more smallies. And they were averaging pretty nice, more 13-14 inchers than little ones. I stopped for lunch and reflected a bit on what I'd encountered so far with the flood results. No major changes. No log jams that blocked the river. But a lot of torn up banks, nothing but bare alluvial soil left with roots sticking out of it, lots of trees lying over, barely hanging onto the banks by sprigs of roots. You could tell that many feet of clay had been washed off these banks. And the most interesting thing was the number of ancient once-buried logs that had been partially exposed by the erosion. How many centuries had that wood been buried? I even saw a number of stumps and snags that were still upright, trees that had been buried while still standing. When had all that silt been deposited around those trees? Perhaps at the end of the last ice age, when it's believed the climate was far wetter and the rivers had been running much higher, eroding and depositing silt? Or was it more recent? That wood certainly didn't look recent, with its deeply fissured, blackened surface. When I continued down river after lunch, the fishing had gotten worse. I went long stretches without action. I tried various other lures, but as is usually the case, when the favorites aren't working, nothing else works, either. I reached the last pool of the "good water" portion of the float, and suddenly, the fish turned on. I caught five nice fish out of that pool, and another one in the crappy water just below. It was 4:30 PM. I had about 3 hours to fish that last stretch of marginal water if I wanted to be at the truck in time to load up before dark. Well, we'd see how good the fishing in the "bad" water was. It wasn't "bad", but the fish I caught were in the best spots only, and there was a lot of poor water between those best spots. I caught a hard-fighting 18 inch largemouth. Then a spotted bass of about 16.5 inches that looked old and bedraggled, though still fat, with split fins and scales missing everywhere. A few other nice fish here and there in the good water. A lot of fruitless casting in the less than good water. I came to one last decent pool as it neared 7:30 PM. It was decent only because it had some depth; it was a pool with a rock ledge on one side, but very few boulders or other cover, just solid rock. I'd never caught any good fish from it before, but there was one big rock along the bank about halfway down it. I figured if there was to be any good fish, they would be around that rock. I cast from well upstream with the topwater into the corner where the rock was up against the bank. One, two, three twitches, and the fish took it. The fish all day had been hitting the topwater oddly, not explosively but more sluggishly. This one was no exception, but it took it positively, and when I set the hooks, then it exploded. The 18 inch smallmouth made two wild leaps in a row, then a couple of powerful runs, then two more crazy leaps that cleared the water completely, before settling down to the kind of bulldogging battle typical of good fish. I finally lipped it, breaking my string of losing the best fish of the day after getting it close to the boat. It was a great way to end the day. All in all, it had been a relaxing day, not having to cover the kind of miles I usually cover. The river still had plenty of water, and I worked harder to slow myself down to fish than I did paddling downstream. There were no log jam blockages. And perhaps best of all, on the day before the holiday weekend, there were almost no people, and no other fishermen. The weather was delightful, mostly cloudy and comfortably cool. I ended up catching 48 bass...26 smallmouth, 10 largemouth, 12 spotted bass. Over the years that I've informally kept records, that's right at my average, so it was an average day. But an average day on my home river is still priceless!
  50. 1 point
    MoCarp

    ATTENTION FLOATERS!

    Many will be floating this weekend for many its tradition, please be careful, high water and new brush in the water, even changes in where holes , undercut banks etc are... can be deadly. Drinking while floating will be going on, and sad to say there will be people drowned, if you are on the rivers, try and be safe, and keep an eye out for those who may be in harms way take more trash out than you came with...most of all have fun and take pics to share, above all BE SAFE!
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