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Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/07/2020 in Posts

  1. 27 points
    Bill Babler

    8-1-20 Walleye and more Walleye

    Started out of the Knob at 5:30 and I was not the first boat on the water. It is a total disaster up there at the ramp that is pretty much caved in from the wake boats. Shoreline damage at Shell Knob is without a doubt the worst on the lake. It is totally full of wake boats and now I am seeing lots of 35' plus type boats, cruser style. Headed up steam to the mouth of the Kings and fished 3 pts. that are very good to me usually. Mostly with a 2.8 inch Keitech and a drop shot either crawler or Yamamoto cut tail. Three small K's about 14 inch the first hour and all three had multiple hook holes, so they are being investigated. I brought 60 cleaned and washed crawlers and used about 1/2 of them on really nice blue gills. 18' to 26' on gravel. Clients wanted to keep them so we had a dozen big gills in the tank at that point and I knew I was in trouble as far as the bait supple. Next hour and a 1/2 we used up the rest of the worms and kept another bunch of gills and caught a dozen small bass and 4 small 12" walleye. We had an hour and a half to go and I told them we had to make a bait run so I pulled into Big M. and bought 3 more boxes of crawlers. With that 3 boxes of crawlers we caught 19 more walleye and at least 20 bass and a really nice flat head. Here is the rest of the story. Pulled out of Big M. and headed back toward the Knob. One particular runnout not be named was calling my name so I pulled in on it. Quill has fished in probably more than me, I see him there most times I'm up the river. It was still cloudy and there was a slight wake boat chop blowing in on the point. I hit it to shallow, I thought. I came onto the point at 12ft. and my graph just blacked me out. The water color in the White is really about as dingy as you will see it in August. Looks more James River green. By the time I got shut down and the Garmin dropped I was in 18' and the Livescope looked like a shotgun had hit the screen. The 2D was totally full on the other graph. I rigged all three clients before I let anyone drop cause i knew I would never get them all in the water any other way and all three dropped. First drop 2 keeper walleye and a nice 12 lb. flat head. Talk about a zoo and fire drill, I had one on my hands. I had 3 fish on the floor of the PHX and rewormed them and they dropped all at once again. The guy the back had kept the worm on as the Walter had not got it off the hook. All dropped. I scrambled to throw the fish in the well and all three were hooked up again. All thee had nice keeper K's on. I chunked them back and rewormed 2 clients as the guy in the back had again not lost his worm and as far as worms go it looked pretty good. Back they went and again in a manner of speaking all hooked up. Mind you we are in about 17' of water. 3 keeper walleye and none even remotely needed measuring. The guy in the back again did not lose his crawler and at this point i'm telling you that is a record. Back down they all went and again the guy in the back caught another keeper walleye and the two in the front caught keeper K's He did lose his crawler this time, but what a run. This went on till the 36 crawlers were gone and their trip was over. On this location we had 19 walleye with 15 keepers and none of the keeps need to be measured. I let them keep 9 walleye for the 3 of them and looking back I probably should have just let them keep a couple each. None the less they were thrilled. 28 gills, 9 walleye and the kitty went to the dinner table. Yesterday they loaded the boat with quality rainbows on our trip to Taney so i'm sure my luck is at least ran out for the next week or so. 23 total walleye on a 4hr. trip is by far the most I have ever seen or even heard of on the Rock. 15 keepers is by far them most I have heard of. RPS may know someone that has done better, but it was unreal. Bill Beck and 2 clients caught 12 keepers off Viney about 10 yrs. ago spooning in the Fall, and that was the best I knew about until today. My best day ever was with Buster Loving on Bull Shoals, we had Brent Frazee of the KC Star and we kept 12 that weighed 57 pounds at the pothole. All on Buster's custom painted and custom billed jerkbaits. That was for sure a day 20 years ago. On to the wake boats. They were all over us all day except for the walleye runnout at the end. It is totally terrible. It was close to impossible to load my boat at Shell Knob ramp with the rollers coming in. There is a trick however. I only had 1 ft. of the trailer in the water. That's right, 1 ft. Back in wet your bunks and nose the boat on the trailer. Next big breaker that comes in ride it to the winch and you got her done. Most likely a day on the Rock I will never forget. Good Luck
  2. 21 points

    Kim Bridge

    The little man talked me into taking him tubing last week so of course i did. Then he wanted to catch a fish. Bridge pillars are always a for sure thing, had to hit a couple and then he caught a couple on a drop shot. Livescope helped a bunch to find what side of the pillar they were on. It was all he could do to get that smallmouth in, i thought either him or my rod was going overboard
  3. 20 points

    Her biggest

    Decided to try a different place. Pulling Flicker shad. This thing made a run like a hybrid. When we seen it flash in the clear water we knew it was a good one. Then when the behemoth breached the surface and Pat's eyes got rather large.. This is her largest to date of any species. 30 inch plus blue cat. Pat said lets weigh it, I said no scale in the boat. Where is your "Bogo grip"? I about lost it laughing. One of the nicest specimens I have ever seen. Its back in there awaiting the next lucky angler,
  4. 19 points
    David Goddard

    Strong Summer Bite 7/24-7/27

    Its been a minute since I have posted in here and seems like forever since I have been fishing. Corona-Rona took away almost all of my senior season of bass fishing for Mizzou and made it one hell of a time to enter the job market. I was fortunate enough to get an offer to work for Marcus Sykora at State Farm and I have really enjoyed that so if any of you need any insurance give me a call (573)365-5088. Any how I am getting married Aug. 8th so for my bachelor party a group of us went down to my favorite lake in the US that I have ever fished. Justin and I fished Friday the 24th . Caught 20ish fish with only 7 keepers but we lost a bunch of good fish in the morning. Those big KYs and smallmouth would knock the fire out of a 2.8 keitech scrubbing the bottom in like 15-20 foot in the morning. Once you hooked them those fish would shoot straight from the bottom to the surface and sky rocket out of the water. We never saw any schooling fish all week but every morning we would catch them shallower on the secondary points scrubbing a 2.8. We caught some fish later in the day drop shotting a morning dawn worm on rock piles but the morning bite was by far the best. Our best 5 for the day went around 12 pounds with all 3 species but we had the bites for a significantly better bag. Saturday we caught them much better. Actually capitalized on the bites we got in the morning. We probably caught over 30 bass. We fished from sunrise till about 10:30 and then from like 6:30 till dark. Most of out better bites came in the morning. I caught 3 big smallies in the morning scrubbing a 2.8 on a secondary point. All of them 17.5-18.5 inches and at or around 3 pounds. We proceeded to struggle the rest of the morning till we finally fished deep dock cables. The deeper the cables the better they were. We caught a bunch of fish doing that. All spots but there were some nice ones on there. 16+ inch fish. Made it fun to catch numbers though. The deep cable fish bit all day too so it wasn't just a morning thing. Those fish bit that same 2.8 keitech about 30 foot deep. Our 5 fish limit was 14 pounds. We caught 11 keepers and 30ish fish in our 2 sessions; 8 in the morning and 3 in the evening. Sunday we did the exact same thing and had similar results as Friday accept we only fished from sunrise till about noon. Missed some caught some but had a fun time. Caught more shorts and had another 11-12 pound limit. Caught them drop shotting the cables too on Sunday. Caught 25ish fish on Sunday. All in all a good overall bite for the summer. I feel like you can never expect the rock to be that good in July but I was please with being able to catch a limit every day. I am in the process of buying a house in Holts Summit and I am heading to Glacier national park for the honeymoon. Hoping to get on some grayling and big cutthroat on a fly rod out there. I'll be very much out of my element though lol It was a fun trip with good friends I cant wait to do it again. Tight lines everyone.
  5. 18 points

    Banner Morning!!!

    Got on the water at daybreak out of Mutton Creek. Headed up the Big Sac and had a ball on top-water and also gitzits. I was catching top water fish up until about noon when it got hot enough for me to come home. LOL
  6. 15 points

    More golden rainbows 7/31

    Water was a bit lower this morning so I launched the boat at Cotter and ran up to a shoal that was wadeable. I didn't see any fish coming up so I started with a Y2K and midge dropper under an indicator. I noticed a nice golden rainbow holding in the current and made a cast just upstream of him and he took the Y2K. After I released him I saw another golden and caught him also. Then one more showed up and I caught him. That was 3 goldens in a row, all different sizes. This shoal is not close to any of the stocking points so I guess the goldens must like each other's company and hang out together. Overall it was a good morning with lots of rainbows and one decent brown. They liked the Y2K better than the midge today. Here's a picture of the biggest golden and the brown...
  7. 14 points

    Kimberling this week

    Been fishing this week with live crawlers. We have been finding bluegill on gravel runnouts at 25-30feet deep on the bottom. Catching about 30 per day. Nice big eaters too about 9 inches. Using whole live crawlers we're catching several keeper spots a day also. Mostly 15-16 inches. 2 catfish also, 1 at 27 inches and the other at 24 inches, and 2 short walleyes about 14 inches. I may go out trolling crankbaits and jigging spoons yet this week, but worms are working well and are easy. Wt is about 88 degrees, I havent been seeing or catching many suspended fish. A few around the bridge, but the gravel is much more productive. Havent seen any schooling fish or white bass either.
  8. 13 points

    Louisiana Saturday night... Striper

    Not Louisiana but hey the song came on, on my way to the lake... Close enough Fished throughout the night Saturday night and was set back relaxing shooting the breeze with a couple good friends when I glanced back to see the back rod bent halfway in the water... Kind of like the scene out of Jaws.. The fun was on then... Good fishing and God Bless
  9. 13 points

    Great morning on the Rock!

    Got out at about 5:45 this am. Started at a cove just off the main channel down by Cow creek at about 6 or so. Water temp was 85.8 with maybe 5 foot of visibility. Looks like an algal bloom goin on. Was not like this 3 weeks ago. Fish were busting on top all around us sporadically for about 45 mins to an hour. Threw spooks, and wakers with no takers. Picked up a popper and they seemed to like that as I caught 2 in successive casts, both keeper spots, and then it was over. Found them out in the creek channel just outside the submerged tree line suspended in 30-50ft in 70 ft of water closer to the main channel. Started throwing the jet slab spoon and it was on! Giant whites with some Kentuckies mixed in literally knocked the snot out of the slab spoon. They were hitting it so hard the nearly ripped the rod out of your hand! Also caught a nice 4-7 Largemouth and 21” walleye on the same rig! What a morning! At 10 am or so we were just beat after casting that slab for so long so we called it a morning! Caught 29 total, no shorts. Mostly whites 4 spots, 1 Largemouth and the kicker walleye. Bass were released unharmed. Can’t say that for the whites! Gonna have some of them Friday night! What a blast! Good luck
  10. 12 points
    Mitch f

    Memories of Canada 🇨🇦

    Back in the early 2000’s we would make our yearly trip to Minaki, Ontario. Rough Rock lake was kind of a trophy Musky lake but also had plenty of big walleye and Northerns, with a smattering of small schools of smallmouth now and then. The MO was usually catch enough walleye for shore lunch, then switch to casting for Musky in the afternoon and evening. When Casting for Muskys we were always rewarded with tons of Northern pike, sometimes really big ones at that. The first couple of years we used Indian guides from a local reservation. We got to know them very well. They would typically make the shore lunch of fresh walleye for us. After a while we really got in tune to the lake and the various dangerous rocks around the lake and learned how to avoid them. We also learned the best Musky spots too. Looking back it was truly a magical experience. God’s Country for sure! I believe these pics were from 2006
  11. 12 points

    Indian Creek, July 20

    Got there at first light again today, as I was walking down to the boat, saw a striper about a long cast away from the dock, knock a few shad in the air. Would've dropped the TM and made a few casts but there was a guide boat maybe 50 yards away from it when it came up and they were on it. Motored about a 1/4 mile away and started fishing. Stripers and black bass would come up on top chasing shad, no schooling action and pretty scattered but it lets you know they are in the area, along with some shad. Spend the morning throwing a 3.3 Keitech on a 1/4 oz head. If I had one come on top I'd cast at it, otherwise I would fan cast around the boat, moving a little every once in a while on the TM. I caught 3 stripers and a couple of smallmouth. Saw the guide boat one (they were pulling bait) and lose another. 2 of my stripers were in the 3-4 lb. range, however the last one I caught went a little over 10 lbs. I fished a gravel point and decided to move over to the other point across the cove. Rather than fire up the big motor, I ran on the TM and slowly trolled the Keitech. Had a little bump, didn't think much of it, moved about 20 feet and that striper hit that thing and just about pulled the rod out of my hands. So the boat was going forward, the striper going the other way, drag was just singing and before I could get turned around, my 50 yards of braid and leader where gone and I was into the backing. Made me a little nervous as I don't spend much time testing the backing to leader knot as this setup I primarily use for black bass and no bass is going to pull 50 yards of braid on me. Well I was able to catch up to the fish and get back some braid on the spool. Just as I did that fish got hung on something, don't know what it was but it felt like a piece of line, had some give to it, well all of a sudden I felt a little thunk, the line went weightless just like it does when you break off, so feeling somewhat dejected I started reeling in my line, the slack came out and the fish as still on. at this point the fish was done, came to the boat, laid on it's side, and I slid it into my somewhat inadequate net for a fish this size. I did keep this one as I doubt it would've survived. This guy was on the water before me: So top picture is one that's 10 lbs.. Next pic is one of the 3-3.5 lb. fish I caught, but they both look the same - bad camera work. And my best smallmouth:
  12. 12 points
    My share, these were big fish that had to be chunked. The 3 I cleaned were all males Phil and I sneaked back up to the Knob this morning, launching at 0600. Water temp at 85 and partly cloudy. Walleye and a Cruise Ship full of bass were where I left them. Phil has a few pic's to post, but for the record we caught 11 and lost 3 or 4 more heavy weights that spat it back at us. 5 keepers that need not be measured, 15 gills and just a load of bass that we cursed for biting and released. I say cursed but Phil was teasing them into biting on the Livescope and there was quite a bit of giggling watching them courtesy of Garmin. Fish today were in the 17' to 23' depth range on gravel and we were around them all day. We never had a spree like I did Saturday, but it was more of a grind it out fishery today. Loads of fish and bait but we worked harder than my clients did the other day. I kept 3 walleye and 1 small channel and Phil kept 2 walleye and a mess of 15 gills. Just a note on the Livescope. It is totally the BOMB. If your not on them watching them you are looking 360 degree and finding them. It's like a bluetick hound after a raccoon, you can see them anywhere around the boat by simply turning the head. It can be a bit humiliating as even though you find them they sure as heck don't have to eat it. We are talking about live bait this morning and we had bushel baskets of refusals. They would swarm up, over, around and turn and turn and turn it down. But--- Sometimes they would eat it. And the fun part is you could see them do it and watch the fight right there on the screen, both 2D and Livescope. Fun morning on the big pond with my good buddy and his buddy Jack.
  13. 12 points

    2 Cats and 1 Logperch

    I got on the river this week but I didn't have the luck that Flysmallie had, previous post. I had a hard time finding them and didn't catch a mess of anything. Every hole I came to, I only caught one fish out of. It could have been a smallmouth, goggle eye, cat or pumpkinseed. I caught two pumpkinseeds on the same lure but one flipped of before I could get the picture. I caught three catfish, small, medium, and large. The large one was about 22 inches long and put up a long and hard fight. She made my day. The "paddlefish" is about the size of the smallmouth I was catching. I have caught them before and I know a lot of you "wish" you could catch one but I caught a logperch. He was caught on a Rebel Grasshopper. Everything was caught on cranks. This year I have been taking all my pictures with a iphone, that's water resistant, hanging on a lanyard instead of a camera. It seem to be working pretty good. I also had 2 eagles watching me fish. Fishing was slow, river was down, but it was a great day to be on the river. Took pictures of a few and released them all to fight another day....
  14. 12 points
    So I has been more than a week since I have been back in Maryland. Been a bachelor all this time, but with work, handling the garden, chickens, laundry, and feeding myself I have not put efforts in larger posts. I wanted to talk about the last fishing trip in Kansas with my daughter Livie. We ended up where I had started this fishing trip back at the plunge pool. After see the bass in the pool on the last trip and the drum that I caught, Livie wanted to fish for bass to start the day. I rigged up an extra wide worm hook and a fluke in baby bass color. I gave her a quick primer on how to fish the bait. On the first cast she got bit but pulled the hook on the hook set. I told her to let them swim with a bit more. Next cast and she caught her first bass of the trip. She caught two more on the fluke then let dad take over. Not having too much chance when fishing micros, I gave this 13 inch largemouth a little long arm deal ! We switched out the fluke for a texas rigged green pumpkin Berkley worm. Livie caught two more and dad caught another as well as a big green sunfish. My goal was to try for some darters and a possible madtom or two. While I was doing that Livie wanted to go for an orangespotted sunfish. The pool was blocked by a small rock dam and foamy on the surface. We opened up the dam and the foam quickly went down stream giving Livie a clear view of any orangespotted sunfish. She spotted one near where I caught mine on the last trip. As I was telling her to be careful to not catch one of the many other sunfish, she was landing the orangespotted sunfish on her first cast . After showing up dad, she had fun with the other sunfish like this longear sunfish. I was frustrated at the darters that would hit the bait once and then spooked off. I only saw five or so darters in the creek. Just couldn't get it done. I also had a madtom spook that wanted nothing to do with the bait. I did find a madtom to play and landed what I had hoped to be a new species. It was a cool catch but was a slender madtom that I have caught before. Done with the micros, we headed down to the pool that I had caught my drum on the last trip. We could see several big carp as well as a drum or two as we snuck to the pool. we tied on an olive/black marabou 1/16 oz jig and tipped it with a little redworm. Livie was having a tough time getting her cast into the sweet spot in the pool. So I showed her where to cast and how to retrieve the bait. As it was coming in a big drum inhaled the bait and I handed her the rod to fight the drum. She did a great job and landed this big drum from a small pool. She got that fish released and fished from the bottom of the pool. With more comfort that she would not tangle in brush above her she made some casts into the pool. I went back to get the other rod and she hooked up and was fighting a nice carp as I got back to her. Not long after she released this fish, a thunderstorm came in quickly and we got back to the vehicle before the deluge was upon us. We had a great time fishing Kansas and hope to get back that way again while my son is stationed out that way.
  15. 12 points
    Ryan Miloshewski

    Taneycomo Report 7/3

    Went down to Taney last Friday to do an afternoon of fishing and it was the first tip I've had in a while that was lights out. I think a fairly consistent generation pattern has a ton to do with it. Went with my friend Lauren Plunkett, who had never fished Taney before, and she landed a couple of 18 and 19-inch rainbows--her biggest trout ever. That was pretty neat! Went out of Lilley's around 2pm and fished until 6pm or so, with an hour delay due to a thunderstorm. Fishing was great before and after. We solely fished the Signature Series jerkbaits from the cable through the Narrows. Casting the 110+1 in french pearl and dragging the 606 in ghost shad was the ticket. Our best spot was Lookout to the top of the Narrows. I landed a 19-inch football brown by the tennis courts, and most of our fish came in that area. The Narrows was a bit slow, surprisingly. On our last drift we went clear down to River Point. Right in front of the dock in the middle of the lake near the seam I had a big fish hit. I felt two head shakes and said "oh, man!" I had caught three rocks (yes, three) prior and thought they were big fish. Don't knock it..they feel like giants! Lauren said "another rock?" Right then my drag SCREAMED. That fish took off and straight up ripped 100 feet of line from my reel. She yelled "oh s*^! not a rock!" and grabbed the net. Before I could switch to start back reeling the fish the line broke. I've caught a couple 10-pound trout before, and this felt way bigger than any of those. It was a sour way to end the day. I wish I would have at least seen the thing. But still a great day on Taney. We caught one fish under 17-inches in four hours.
  16. 11 points
    Had a plan, do some early bass fishing, then catch some gills. Brought some red worms for the gills, brought 4 dozen with me as the reports I was reading were showing 6 year old kids loading the boat with big gills. Well those kids sure beat the heck out of me, I caught exactly one gill. Caught somewhere between 6 and 8 spots on the worms and a couple of short eyes, but I could just not find those gills and I even tried Babler's secret spot. Sometimes the fish win, and I hate it when they do. But, the bass cooperated fairly well on the swimming the Keitech deal, also got a keeper eye on the Keitech. Caught 21 bass total, only two keeps, but had fun on the spinning gear. Got run off the water about 11 AM. Quite a few fishermen out there today too. Very nice morning for August.
  17. 11 points
  18. 11 points

    Shout out

    Just wanted to take a second to shout out to @fishinwrench Just got my boat back after blowing it up last year. Had an ordeal with a bad remanufactured part. This man made it right when in all honesty he should have made more money on the deal. Glen. Thank you. I appreciate you. More business from me to come. Made two kids and a dad happy
  19. 11 points

    A little help please

    Stein, Buddy, I can help. I’ll attempt to PM Phone # For details
  20. 11 points
    dan hufferd

    Somewhere on Spring river

    Sunday afternoon near Carthage Mo.
  21. 11 points

    Fly-fishing Jon boat

    And Blah, blah, blah. Lots of sweat and cussing, and hangups on getting paint, a console, and various other items that ordinarily wouldn't be a problem at all (thanks to COVID fearing suppliers across the country). Anyway, she's done and ready for taxes and registering at the DMV.
  22. 11 points

    James is fishing good.

    My buddy just bought a kayak and wanted to do a little after work float. We put in at a bridge and took out at another bridge. That's the stretch I would recommend. But since it was 4pm before we left Springfield it was a short float. First fish was a healthy 14 inch beauty on a PBJ ned. A few minutes later out in the bright sun and horrible heat I had a really nice fish take a spook. I thought I had a solid hookup and she was staying down mostly and then it just came undone. What I saw of it looked like a really nice green fish. We didn't catch anything bigger than 14.5 maybe. But we caught a lot of fish. You could pretty much catch a fish anywhere you wanted to throw a ned. I kept after another spook fish but other than a couple of dinks it never produced. Left the big kid camera at home but here are a couple of cell phone snaps.
  23. 10 points
    bank robber

    Great day at Stockton!

    Just a note to all Ozark Anglers. If you want a great day of chasing Walleye you need to consider giving Ed a call at lmt-out 660-890-5262. Spent the day with Ed Monday and it was as good as it can possible get. Ed, myself and my brother Joe had a total of twelve keepers which is a three man limit. Also, we caught numerous short fish the entire six hour trip. Great equipment, great boat and a first class gentleman to share the boat with. His goal is to see that everyone has a good time, is safe and catches fish. Highly recommend you give him a try.
  24. 10 points

    7-13-7-16 report

    We fished the Indian point area every morning from daylight till about 930-10 am. We only dropshotted night crawlers I had my 6 year old with me. We scratched out 6-8 keepers probably caught 12-15 each trip mostly spots every morning and several nice walleye. The last morning we hit the mother load of GIANT blue gills. All fish were in the 24-35 ft range off points. I found several on my livescope in tree tops but I never could get them to bite. Most fish I found either hit it right away when I put it in front of them or if they didn't. it took a lot of jigging the nightcrawler in their face to either spur them to bite or another came racing in off the screen to nail it. I hope someone can use this info.
  25. 10 points

    Kimberling area 7/9 to 7-11

    Got on the water about 7am Thursday. Found just a few fish on the shaky head biting in front of the flooded brush in 8-10 feet of water. Those fish seemed to vanish after a quick storm rolled through. Thrs evening and Friday morning we caught several keepers working a jig and wobble head on bluff ends. Bites were still to few and far between, so Friday evening we went searching for actively feeding fish in the shallows. We found them in the very back of cow creek. Caught 6 keepers between 5-7pm. All of the fish were in less than 5 feet of water and most were relating to the creek channel. Caught 2 on a shaky head with a speed craw and 4 more on the wobble head with a kvd rodent. Had about another half dozen short fish. Went back to cow Saturday morning around 6am but couldn’t recreate what happened the evening before. We worked the creek over and only had 1 keeper and 3 shorts to show. Ran around the spring branch and then fished schooner with little luck. I did hook up a nice 5lber in schooner on a tube, but the fish launched itself completely out of the water and spit my lure right at the boat. I lost at least 5 good fish after the hook up over the course of 3 days. They seem to be biting weird - just picking it up and then running right at the boat. Definitely seems to be a lot of fish with the summer mush mouth. The other boat I was with faired a bit better - they caught about a 16 keepers over the course of 3 days fishing a jig in 25-30 fow on lake points with deep water access. They caught predominantly smallies. Hope this info helps. Good luck out there grinding through the hot days.
  26. 9 points

    King's River

    Fished 545-11 today. Bait everywhere! Had 8 keepers nothing over 3 lbs 15 fish total. All topwater, spooks,poppers buzzbaits.
  27. 9 points

    Current River This Week.

    I took last Monday off and spent the day on Current River. Launched out of Doniphan shortly after daylight and fished it till noon heat came on down to State Line. Jet Boat races last weekend and was pretty sure the river was stirred up good. Caught several fish, but nothing big. By catches included a crappie, gizzard shad, and some nice goggle eyes. River up more than normal this time of year and moving good. Tubes and drop shot worms, rooster tails were working. Put back in at Big Springs and run down below spring in the afternoon. It was terrible. Ran back up river past Van Buren a few miles looking at all the floater traffic. Dropped back down and started fishing below town. Hit several fish back to ramp including a nice 18" smallmouth to finish the day. Back to the Big Spring access yesterday and run up to town in the morning. Drop shot finesse worms were working well until the boat traffic picked up, then all went dead. Did have a nice big smallie on at the upper end of the park but my buddy had a net failure and it got off. Little Social Distance was no match for all of the 40's running the river. Had 2 go round me at the same time, one port and one starboard that pushed water over the back end of the boat. Went touristing and scouting other ramps at Hunter and Bay Nothing. Took the hike to Hunter Cave, had not been there in 30 years. Back to Bay Nothing and a run up the river this morning. Nice day for a boat ride, saw lots of wildlife. River was stirred up and cloudy. Fishing pretty slow.
  28. 9 points

    Campbell point

    Catching them fairly well on a drop shot at 25 foot. Watermelon chartreuse finesse worm...all the usual spots we caught 5 squeakers between the three of us....in 2 hours. Caught another handful of dinks. No bluegill or goggle eye
  29. 9 points
    Greg B.

    Smorgasbord 7-26

    Well yesterday was a rough day. My dad passed on Sunday and the funeral was at 10:00 am yesterday. When I got home I realized I needed to keep myself busy to keep from thinking of him. Then it hit me that if it had been dad, he probably would have gone fishing. I pulled the boat out of the barn at 5 and was on the water at 5:30. Running electronics I was able to find a few pockets of fish stacked up over deep water, along bluff walls, and in the shade! Trolled 1/8 oz jigs for a few hours and was rewarded am with a few really nice crappie, a few shorts, a channel cat, and several white bass. The crappie and the cat came home for a smorgasbord dinner! all in all it was a nice evening for a night when I just wanted to feel something tugging on the line. Largest crappie was just under 1.5 pounds and three more in the 1.2 range. Made for a good dinner and really helped me out. good luck to you all.
  30. 9 points

    Just funny stuff

    Pulled from BBC:
  31. 9 points

    Big Indian

    Caught 9 fish today, Biggest bit a plopper early. 3 on a spoon, 1 big smallmouth on a 6XD, would gladly take it any tournament day this time of year. 5 keepers.
  32. 9 points
  33. 8 points
    Any trip where you catch a keeper Eye is a good trip! But is sure is crazy how it can change in a day! Not to rub any salt in the wound but we were out last night and got after them again. Key for us was definitely idling around until we found them on the graph. Hard to get a 5 and 6 yr old to be patient and wait to find the fish. We did lose one eye at the boat and caught one small eye. But couldn't find the mother load of Eyes that Mr. Babler was on earlier this week.
  34. 8 points
  35. 8 points

    Cooler weather

    Cooler weather didn't completely shut Down the walleye. Don and Tisha got them a couple limits. 8 keepers and 12 shorts. 15 to 21 ft bottom bouncing
  36. 8 points

    Neighborhood pond

    Got the boys out this morning for a little fishing at a neighborhood pond. I might have to head back with the long rod this evening.
  37. 8 points
    Cameron Gillespie

    7/24 Report

    Fished up near the dam in the AM, pulled out when water started rising about noon and went to Rim. Bite was pretty good at the dam, caught a mixed bag of some very nice rainbows,a nice brown, a tiger trout, and a bunch of stocker brookies. Had a nice smallmouth as a bonus. That fish was long and skinny. I kinda wish I had put it in the live well and transferred him to the lake. Rim didn’t fish nearly as good as the Dam. Went up Crooked Creek to try for smallmouth, but water has dropped and was pretty nasty and stagnant.
  38. 8 points

    Just funny stuff

    This one in particular reminds me of a forum member or two.
  39. 8 points

    Just funny stuff

  40. 8 points

    Pretty sunrise off our deck

  41. 8 points

    It is time.

    Walleye fishing has really heated up over the last week. Went out on Wednesday at 7 keepers and 16 shorts in 16 to 18 foot of water bottom bouncing. Wet today had a 3-man limit with 22 shorts same deal. Thank you Joe and Ed for hopping in the boat with me. And those two really put the smack down on some walleye. If you have been holding off till the walleye bite got good give me a holler it's time to go.
  42. 8 points
    Club Tournament yesterday out Lead Hill, had 7 bites caught 6 keepers, all on topwaters spook Jr /plopper. 4 limits were caught between 2 clubs w/ 16 boats. I won one club with 12.5 lbs. Other club winner had 13 lbs. Wt: 85-86. Stay hydrated everyone!
  43. 8 points

    Hopper season is starting... 7/26

    I launched at Wildcat this morning and ran to some protected water and then put the waders on. There were some fish rising to small mayflies so I tied on a size 18 parachute Adams. I had 6 or 7 takes and landed 3 rainbows and a decent cuttie. Then I noticed a big splash close to the shoreline so I switched to a size 10 green foam hopper since I saw quite a few small green hoppers yesterday when I mowed the yard. Second cast and I hooked the brown in the first and second pictures. A while later I hooked the rainbow in the last picture. I missed a few more takes on the hopper and then I didn't see anything rising so I switched to a Y2K/midge combo under an indicator and caught quite a few rainbows. Glad to see the fish starting to look for hoppers as that is one of my favorite ways to fish.
  44. 8 points

    What's Cooking?

    Did some ribs today. Turned out very good. Also baked beans with molasses, yellow mustard and some rub. Cole slaw. Had a hankerin’ for strawberry margaritas so we did that this evening. And it tasted good.
  45. 8 points
    A four year reprise of where it started. At 7:30 am on July 10th, I met up with @Ham again at the Eminence boat ramp on the Jacks Fork river. It had been nearly four years since we first met and fished this area. Again this time I had come down from Columbia and Ham up from Flippin to see what we could catch. We did discuss our targets for the day. Trip Goals: Catch 15 different fish species between the two of us. Catch a total of 3 new lifelist species between the two of us. Catch 5 new fish for our annual species total Catch 50 total fish for Waldo The first catching happened right at the boat ramp on the Jack Fork. We both had micro gear and were casting to the schools of bleeding shiners, chubs, stonerollers, etc. Ham was fishing a microjig with a tandem fly and I was fishing a #22 with a piece of worm. Ham caught the first fish of the day, a bleeding shiner, then another. Then bigeye and striped shiners. it would make life so much easier if fish realized that we just want a photo and we will let them go soon after that, but they sometimes just don't cooperate. So Ham is getting the species total and numbers going while I'm still sitting on zero. Had my chances, but lost a couple. Then I finally got on the board with a longear sunfish. Then a couple of bleeding shiners. Ham had moved upstream to the other ramp. As I was heading his way a bunch of darters caught my eye. Had to stop and try for them since I have not seen many in MD and have not caught one in 2020. Played with them and caught two. Ham also caught this guy and I had to play my role as COD - Crusher of Dreams and id'ed it as a rainbow darter. Still a new species for the year for both of us and another on the board. We had to pull ourselves away from the Jacks Fork and head to the Two River access on the Current. I had tow primary lifer targets in mind for this trip, a current darter and skipjack herring. I would obsess about the skipjack, but more on that later. We pulled into a large side pool and tried for pickerel, shadow bass, and smallies. We threw some jerkbaits for pickerel with no success. Ham caught shadows and smallies in this hole. I caught my first smallmouth bass of the year on an olive Rapala X-Rap that I was throwing for the pickerel. Only about 7 to 8 inches in length, but it will "click" . I followed that up with my first shadow bass of the year as well caught on a 1/8 oz Tri-olive Zig Jig. At the head of the pool Ham had a skipjack follow his jig as he was winding it in. I put on a small silver spoon and the quest began. I got it to follow once, but no bites. Tried many casts for another but none showed up. This will become a recurring theme throughout the day. We moved spots and ran up the Jacks Fork. Could see many new fish, but caught a couple more smallmouth and shadow bass drifting back downstream. Then onto the next spot and the next. In one of the big pools that we fished, the drum would taunt Ham. I have caught a drum this year so I was more focused on what fish were around the logs and root wads in the pool, like whitetail shiners. I caught a shadow bass but could not get the shiners to play. The drum were frustrating Ham as well. Ham will have to correct me, but I thought that we caught the first bluegill of the day in that hole. After that hole we went further downstream. Caught a few striped shiners and more bluegill in a woody creek coming into the river. My first striped shiner in that area hit the X-rap that I was using again for pickerel! We moved on to fish along a bank with boulders and rock to look for sculpin. Saw a logperch, but not for long. Ham caught the first green sunfish of the trip and had a drum go towards his jig. After that he was targeting the drum while I was focused on the darters amongst the rocks. Again mostly rainbows, but there was one greenside darter that I just could not keep a bait in front of while the boat was moving in the water. Ham did the impossible and finally hooked and we landed the first drum on a jig! He came back to try for the greenside darter, but no success. We tried a little creek to look for current darters. Again lots of bleeding shiners and other micros. I actually saw a 5 inch rainbow trout and had it bite my microgear but missed getting a hookset. Ham caught a northern studfish and I caught a blackspotted topminnow to continue to add to the species totals for the day. I went up into the creek and saw a groups o minnow with orange tinted fins. They looked like bluntnose minnows to me. They were spooky, but I did get one to bite and got it in the bag for photos. The blackspot at the tail as well as the lateral stripe led me to believe that this was a bluntnose minnow, but it just didn't look right. I ultimately ended up looking over a few different species and again none really looked like this fish. I contacted a friend and he responded that he believes that this fish is a common hybrid in that area with a parental lineage of an Ozark minnow and hornyhead chub. Not sure how those seemingly different species would be able to hybridize, but this fish does have characters of both of those species. So who knows. We did count it as a different "species" for the day. I called Ham over to try for these fish as well, but the few that I had seen had left the area. Then the darters from hell showed up. We just got into a bunch of greenside darters including a couple of males in breeding colors. Ham has not caught one before and he did most of the fishing for them. Many just would not play or were in positions where you couldn't get a bait to easily enough to get a bite. So nothing there either . We went to a few more spots and creeks, but never did really find any current darters. I had my chances at a few skipjacks. I had one bite a PET No 1 spoon and missed getting it hooked. I tried silver in-line spinners that just didn't go fast enough to trigger a bite. My next possible successful attempt was using a PET spoon tied to the white/gray Zig Jig. One skipjack actually hit both the spoon and the jig on a retrieve and did not get hooked. I never did land one and spent a lot of productive fishing time trying for those guys, which limited Ham's ability to catch more species himself. We did have an encounter with Cujo, I mean Emma, which at one point I thought she might have tried to jump into the boat. We did stop in one hole just to abuse sunfish for a while. That was fun. All in all it was a good day, albeit quite hot. So how did we do on our goals? Catch 15 different fish species between the two of us. - we only caught a total of 13 Bleeding shiner, bigeye shiner, Northern studfish, striped shiner, smallmouth bass, shadow bass, rainbow darter, hybrid minnow, longear sunfish, bluegill sunfish, green sunfish, drum, and blackspotted topminnow - Catch a total of 3 new lifelist species between the two of us. - neither of us caught a new lifer 0 - had chances at greenside darters, the hybrid minnow, and skipjack herring Catch 5 new fish in total for our annual species total - I caught my first bleeding shiner, striped shiner, blackspotted topminnow, smallmouth bass, shadow bass, and rainbow darter of the year Ham caught his first bleeding shiner, rainbow darter, and drum of the year Catch 50 total fish for Waldo - In total we caught well over 70 fish on the day. It's always a great time getting together with Ham. Can't wait to do it again.
  46. 8 points


    We have been catching quite a few Spooning docks on Table Rock, My buddy uses a white spoon and i use chrome, they almost always prefer the white. We have caught a lot of small 12-14 inchers this year too. Most of them between 20-30ft
  47. 8 points
    Al Agnew

    Not creekin' this time...

    Did a long float trip today. River was in perfect condition, and I caught about 85 bass, but the vast majority were less than 12 inches. In fact, I doubt that I caught more than about a dozen that were over 12 inches. But some of them were really good fish...I caught four 18-inch (give or take a quarter-inch) smallmouth, and 2 largemouth that were about 17.5 inches. The weird thing today is that I was consistently underestimating the size of those fish, until I put them on my paddle blade, which has marks on it for 18, 19, and 20 inches. I'd catch one of those smallmouth, hold it up and look at it, and guess 17 inches, and then put it on the paddle and it would be right around the 18 inch mark. So when I hooked one that actually looked a little bigger than those fish had looked in the water, I was excited. Had to be 19 inches. Got it right up to the canoe, was even holding the net and beginning to work it toward the net, and the danged line broke. The last mile of the float, I had some nice fish blow up on the topwater, caught a 16 inch largemouth and a 16.5 inch smallmouth, and I just had a feeling that there was one really big one just waiting to hit that walk the dog lure. It was a perfect spot, right at the bottom of a riffle with a good log, current sweeping past it. When the fish hit, it was a splash the size of a washtub. Current was sweeping the canoe toward that log. The smallmouth surfaced, and I saw that it was CONSIDERABLY bigger than those 18 inchers had looked in the water. I grabbed the paddle and worked the canoe away from the log, rod held in my other hand. The fish leaped three times. Stayed hooked. I had it close to the canoe. It jumped twice more. I knew it was over 20 inches. I grabbed the net, got the fish coming toward it...a foot from the net, it leaped one more time, and was gone. Anybody watching me would have thought I was nuts. I was cussing LOUDLY. I'm calm about it now. That strike was absolutely spectacular. The fish was about as hot and strong as a 20 plus incher can get. It was fun. And what the heck, I was going to release it anyway. Not a single person seen all day, but two deer crossed the river in front of me, two turkeys flew across, an eagle gave me a really good look at it. Great day!
  48. 8 points

    Ending on a high note!

    Well, after fishing every Tuesday night for the past 10 weeks I'm headed back to reality for a couple of months 😊 I spent the first trip up at the Little Sac River catching the end of the white bass run and since then it's been 9 trips in a row to Taneycomo. Had some great trips some not so great, but that is fishing (and life) in a nutshell. Got down a little later than normal and started fishing by about 7:00. 10 casts in I started experimenting with my pause length on my Silver Shadow rap. I started counting out loud..1...2...3...4..and my line started swiming away from me 😊 landed an absolutely beautiful 17.5" smallie after some acrobatics. I wish the picture could've done it justice but just beautiful markings on this fish A little while later, I caught a chunky little rainbow on a berkley cutter 110+ in a darker color pattern. This time I was working it with shorter pauses. Then it got slow until DJ, Blake, and friends showed up after dark. I'm so glad I finally got to have someone show me the ropes on the night bite. Learned some tips and tricks that I never would've thought of on my own. Got whacked on my first cast but missed in the hookset. Next cast produced a walleye and two casts later another small bow. The one fish guarentee lives on! Then things slowed a little so I had a chance to chat with DJ some more. Thoroughly enjoyed it my friend! Cant wait to setup another trip together!
  49. 8 points
    My buddy Rob and I met up with Tyler and Blake around 10 and got the party started. Tyler got the one fish guarantee and first fish was a Walter followed by some rainbows. Signature series is money as usual and they are flat out slamming them tonight. Just fat chunky bows. Rob hooked into a donkey a bit ago down by last set of stairs but it bull rushed him then spit the hook. He surfaced once and had a huge mouth and head on him... a heart breaker for sure. We're having 4th meal now and getting ready to head back at it. I'll post some more pics in the morning too.
  50. 8 points

    Trip/Fishing Report (6/24 - 6/27/2020)

    “The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of that which is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.” - Author Unknown The fifth Andy Hart Memorial fishing trip took place in late June on a new river. For the first time we took our memories of Andy to the Gasconade River. It was the 14th annual trip overall. Each year I have cast a wide net of invites to friends of our departed friend and for the first memorial trip we had 11 attendees float and fish on the Buffalo River. For the last several years, this memorial trip has become a father/son affair with at least 3 pairs but our group of six has remained solid and we have really settled into a nice routine that has made this trip fairly easy to prepare for as we all have an understanding of who is bringing what in terms of shared gear and meal prep. However, this year with COVID-19 throwing a wrench into everything in our lives, I decided to keep this year’s trip plan limited to our standard group and not send out a wider invite. A few days before our scheduled departure, our pair that drives down from Kansas City backed out of the trip, leaving just 2 pair on this trip. With a few strategic moves, we were able to revise our plan to have all of our bases covered for gear and meals. So we headed out on a Wednesday morning for Gasconade Hills Resort just south of I-44 and East of Lebanon, MO. As this was my first trip on the Gasconade River, I spent a great deal of time trying to prepare and understand everything I could about the river. The first decision to be made was what section of river to cover. The fact that we had to rely on an outfitter to provide canoes and transportation, we were limited to certain sections of the river. Because of information consumed on the Ozark Anglers Forum, I tried to get us on the river as far upstream as possible. We ended up using Gasconade Hills Resort to put us on the water at Anna Adams access for a 20 mile float back to their resort. Since there was little information to be found online about this part of the river, I peppered those working at the resort as well as our driver with questions about the river. None of them had any information whatsoever about the first 10 miles of our float because they had not put anyone on the river at the Anna Adams access in quite some time and I’m not sure if any of them had ever done that stretch of river personally. Feeling confident in our ability to handle whatever an ozark river could throw at us, we kind of enjoyed the feeling of trailblazing. It also made me confident that the waters we were about to navigate had experienced little fishing pressure. Many years ago, I made the decision to buy a canoe for these trips. I had seen how Al and others set their watercraft up to maximize ease of use and organization that makes piloting and fishing easier and more comfortable. However, after bringing my canoe on a few trips on the roof of my SUV, I decided it didn’t make much sense due to the fact that the other trip participants did not have canoes themselves and we were therefore still reliant on outfitters on whichever river we choose. So, in my planning for these trips I always ask about the canoes available and when possible, try to specify what we are looking for. Often times we have choices but on the Gasconade there are far fewer choices to be had. I was not looking forward to the fact that we would be in aluminum canoes for this journey but I did like the idea that the Osagian cargo canoe Gasconade Hills Resort had available were large with plenty of room for all the gear and supplies we bring on a 3-day trip. When we arrived at Anna Adams access, we began to load up the cargo canoes and chatted with our driver and a couple of other people nearby who were puttering around in kayaks. Once again, no one had any idea what lay downstream from that access point. Those kayakers had no intention of traveling more than a few hundred yards. As it turned out, we would not see another human outside of our group for the first 10+ miles of our journey. Upon stepping into our newly rented conveyance, I was immediately amazed at the stability of the cargo canoe and after navigating through our first downed tree in the first riffle we came to, I was also surprised by the very slight draft of our fully loaded vessel, not bumping a trunk only a few inches beneath the water’s surface. I am not about to try to make a case for an aluminum canoe on a fishing trip but the stability and space was very nice and comfortable. “Scholars have long known that fishing eventually turns men into philosophers. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to buy decent tackle on a philosopher’s salary.” - Patrick McManus In the first mile or two of our journey, the river quickly revealed it’s circuitous nature as it wound through every riffle which were not infrequent in the early-going. Most of these bending riffles were fraught with challenging obstructions that required careful maneuvering and analysis. I relied heavily on ferrying through the turns, often slipping the nose of my canoe into the only navigable spot in the middle of a downed tree and then putting the canoe into forward with strong strokes and then bumping our way through and over limbs and trunks. The bite was slow early in the day and it took us a little longer than expected to start catching any fish. Starting our day in the early afternoon, it wasn't until later in the afternoon before the bite began to pick up. A few shouts of “Andy!!!” were heard occasionally, usually after a fish got off of someone’s hook. As we noticed a lack of good camping options at the riverside of the Gasconade, we made an early stop to set up camp when we found a decent gravel bar. By the end of day one we had caught (and released) a total of 22 smallmouth. Our early retirement on day one, coupled with the extended daylight that comes with late June gave us plenty of time to leisurely set up camp, eat dinner, clean ourselves up, play some dice and watch our campfire. We also toasted our departed friend who inspires us to keep coming back to the river each summer. I am always surprised how this trip brings me closer to Andy without even trying to make it so. It is always natural to talk about him when I am on a river. Whether it is the tradition of bringing oatmeal creampies as a snack, gravel bar waffle ball, or just getting tangled in a tree, there are always reminders of my friend when I am on the river. On night one of our camping trip I found myself telling my companions about something Andy would always do that I now find myself doing and I couldn’t even explain why. One of the things I typically bring on the river is fresh corn on the cob - already buttered, salted and peppered - to heat in the campfire. For whatever reason, I would never say “corn”, I would pronounce it “karn”. I found myself explaining that I pronounced it that way out of habit now just because Andy always did just as he would refer to Interstate 44 as “the farty-far”, and subsequently I often do so as well. We come on this trip to have fun and catch fish but it is the little things (sometimes very little) that make it truly special. The night was very cool for late June, even a bit chilly, which made for comfortable sleeping conditions. After a good night’s sleep we got our morning routine in motion, eating some breakfast burritos, drinking cold, canned coffee and breaking down camp. We were back on the river a bit earlier than normal and the conditions were very cool and comfortable with a partly cloudy sky. As we moved downstream the Gasconade slowly transitioned to fewer riffles and longer and slower pools. As the pools seemed to slow, and required more effort to move along, the big cargo canoes tipped their hand so to speak. I quickly realized why they have that squared off transom in the back. I certainly would have loved to have a small trolling motor to push that heavy beast through the frog water! The fishing began slowly again on day two but began to pick up about mid-morning with a string of nice fish in the 15” range. My son hooked one that had to be at least 15” that I netted for him as he brought it towards the back of the boat. As I removed the lure and pulled it from the net, I explained that he needed to hold the fish firmly so I could get a photo of him with what was surely his best smallmouth of his young fishing career. As I was attempting to make the handoff to him, the fish shook its way free of my grip, landed on our cooler and plopped back into the river. I was devastated. I didn’t even think to measure it first and now it was gone! My son was sweet enough to console me and tell me that we would just have to catch a bigger one. Almost immediately, I hooked one of very similar size which I landed and he took a photo of me with my fish. “Nothing makes a fish bigger than almost being caught.” - Author Unknown A great run in a short period of time, where all four of us caught several very nice smallmouth from 12-16”, came to a crawl so we stopped for a lunch break on a nice gravel bar where we played some wiffle ball home run derby. It was a fun diversion that kept us busy for a little while on a clear and hot afternoon. After an enjoyable lunch stop, we hopped back in the canoes and tried to pick up where we had left off. However, my son and I experienced a significant drought, not landing a fish for at least a couple of hours. On one occasion I hooked into another very nice fish. I had her within a few feet of the boat when she broke me off at the lure (I was using 4/15 power pro green braid with an 8# fluorocarbon leader of roughly 8’ tied with a uni to uni knot). I really hate losing any lure, hook, weight or line in the river but when I know that I have left a hook in the mouth of a smallmouth it is simply devastating. I spent several minutes rubbing my head and wondering what had happened. How could that fish break me off in open water? I should have had more than enough strength in my line to horse that fish in. My drag was set fairly loose. I regularly check my line for any abrasions near the end. I just couldn’t grasp what went wrong. After retying, I got back to work. It wasn’t long before I felt a bite and set the hook…immediate snap and my line was broken again. Now I certainly was not sure if this was a fish this time as I never felt anything but the bump that just as easily could have been the bottom but when I saw that the break was in exactly the same spot, I began to doubt everything. Was my fluorocarbon line old? Yes. Was it brittle due to its age? Was it my knot? I have used a Palomar for decades but the squiggle left at the end of my line had me even doubting my favorite knot. I wish I could say that was the last lure I lost on this trip but unfortunately that is not the case. I did make the decision to lose the leaders and go straight to only braid and that did seem to help. I also tried other knots but I am leaning towards old brittle fluorocarbon as my scapegoat. A very frustrating stretch for boat number one with no landed fish resulted in boat number two stretching their fish count lead to double digits over ours and no one could claim to have the apparent big fish of the trip as both boats landed fish over 15”. Our drought finally came to an end when my son made a relatively short cast into a deep pool with moving water and many downed trees as we were navigating a bending riffle. He thought he was hung up but we quickly saw a flash of a large fish and I immediately reached for the net. Subsequent to a short but intense fight, I netted his 18” largemouth. This time, I was sure to measure the hog on my cooler before trying to hand him his catch. Just over 18”! A real beauty of a fish. I then went to hand him his catch so I could get a photo of him with it and…I dropped it…onto the dry box…and into the river. I did it AGAIN!!! This time I was crushed. And once again, it was my son consoling me for the missed opportunity. Every time I apologized, he would tell me, “How can I be upset? I got to catch the fish!” He really is a great kid and there is no one on earth I would rather share this time with. The afternoon was similar to the previous one but this Thursday afternoon was a bit hotter than the previous day and the fishing may have been a little slower as the river itself certainly was. This required more time with a paddle in hand and a little less time with a rod in hand. As shadows began to grow on the Gasconade, we knew we needed to start looking for a good spot to camp as good spots are far more sparse than on other Ozark rivers. We paddled through long, slow pool after long slower pool finding nothing but sand and mud banks with heavy tree cover. While this section of the Gasconade did not have towering bluffs and inviting gravel bars or even particularly clear water, it has a different kind of wild beauty. At times the trees over-stretching the river from both sides created what seemed like a tunnel stretching downstream. That, coupled with the complete solitude and sizable fish made the choice of the Gasconade worthy of our efforts. “One thing becomes clearer as one gets older and one’s fishing experience increases, and that is the paramount importance of one’s fishing companions.” - John Ashley Cooper We had every intention of setting up camp early once again and enjoying a leisurely evening, but the lack of suitable camping spots caused us to paddle for what felt like miles looking for a decent gravel bar. Once we found one that was decent (at best) we made the decision to set camp. Once again, we were treated with a cool, comfortable evening with stars out in force. A waxing crescent moon rising late, gave us plenty of darkness - a great vantage point for star gazing. I quickly noticed a satellite moving across the sky from right to left, then noticed one moving overhead and away from our vantage point, then another followed the same line, then another and another and another. A train of satellites that were perfectly spaced one after another continued a procession that lasted for at least an hour! I had never seen anything quite like it. The comfortable sleeping conditions resulted in a very restful slumber for our whole crew and gave me time to have breakfast ready for everyone as they finally showed themselves. We were on the river again in no time, happy to leave behind the small, weed-covered gravel bar we called home for the night. Of course, behind the next bend in the river we came across a beautiful, big, flat gravel bar with partial tree cover that looked like it was made for river campers. All we could do was shake our head and commence fishing. Again on our third day the pattern of longer, slower pools continued. We had some decent runs here and there but, by all accounts the river was very slow in this section despite the fact that the water levels were noticeably above normal. The cargo canoes required application of significant elbow grease to slip through the nearly dead pools that came with the addition of headwind on this particular Friday. We came across the only other canoe on our entire trip with less than 5 miles remaining on our 20-mile journey. Fishing was slow but steady on Friday with few of notable size. I did get another 15” smallmouth with a white jerk bait as well as a 30”+ gar that took the same lure. The shout of “Andy!” rang out on an handful of occasions, a way of thanking our friend for the gift that continues to give, years after his departure. The time you spend on a river with friends is special. When that friend is your son, it is priceless!
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