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Al Agnew

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Al Agnew last won the day on September 10

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  1. College Football

    The problem there is, coaches that have had consistent success are probably all working at schools that want to keep them. There aren't a lot of those guys looking for jobs.
  2. (Update w/pics) Topwaters for Stream Smallmouth

    There are drawbacks to using the Boga thingies. Because they do not bend the bass's lower lip back enough to immobilize them, the fish can thrash around on the grips, and in some cases end up breaking the fish's lower jaw near the tip of it.
  3. I Didn't Know What It Was....At First

    I once flipped my canoe in a log jam that held a very ripe dead deer. When I bailed out of the canoe, my hand went INTO the deer. It was enough to gag a maggot. Last spring on the Yellowstone River, there were more than 30 dead cows in the stretch below the house. Best guess is that they waded out onto the ice when the river was frozen over during the previous winter and broke through.
  4. College Football

    Yeah, today was simply horrific. I got to thinking...we kinda got spoiled during the PInkel years. They never got a recruiting class that ranked any better than the mid-30s, but most years they far outperformed their recruiting rankings, which meant that PInkel and company were able to find kids they could develop, and they were good at developing them. Now, there are too many segments of the team that are simply not good enough. The linebackers, the secondary, the offensive line, and the quarterback just aren't good enough. Yep, PInkel fell down on recruiting his last year or two, which is part of the problem, but the main part is that these upperclassmen simply have not improved much, if at all, in the last year or two. Forget for a moment the in-game coaching, which isn't good, either; it just seems that Odom and his assistants can't develop players the way Pinkel could. These guys seem to be able to recruit fairly well, given what the situation has been the last couple of years, but they're never going to be able to get enough guys to have a top team without having to coach them up. If they can't develop like Pinkel, it ain't gonna work. And that's the main reason why I think Odom's days are (and probably should be) numbered. The next year or two probably aren't going to be pretty no matter who is coaching. The question is, can Sterk find a coach that can recruit and develop players?
  5. Cool Unusual Fish Pics

    Yeah, it isn't that difficult to fool the casual viewer. For somebody like me that uses Photoshop a lot and is trained to see things like edges, details, consistency of light sources, proportions, it becomes a lot more difficult. Note that in every other photo posted, there is at least some splash and surge of water. The other photos aren't faked. That one is. A couple other things that stand out in it, as I look at it some more...the bird's foot is way too small...I suspect that the foot in the original bird photo was blurred and obscured a bit, and the guy tried to make it look "right" and ended up erasing too much of the toes. Also, it would be EXTREMELY unusual to get that kind of close-up of the carp and the bird with both in focus, and STILL have the background trees in that same kind of focus. He would have had to use a long lens to get the action, and in that case the background would probably be completely blurred out.
  6. College Football

    No optimism here. However, I'm cautiously not TOO worried about the defense, believe it or not. I think they're fixing stuff on defense; it hasn't looked bad since the first half of the MO State game. I'm more worried about the offense after last week. Moore got the dropsies again, and Lock made some stupid mistakes. Plus, if they don't get special teams fixed it's going to be tough to beat anybody.
  7. Cool Unusual Fish Pics

    Sorry, ain't buying the leaping carp photo. The lack of ANY kind of disturbance in the water or water droplets coming off the carp just gives it away as fake. Go fill up the tub, stick your arm in vertically, and lift it out as fast as you think a carp would be moving as it leaped out of the water. Water will surge up around your arm, water droplets will be flying off, as well as running down your arm. Only way you can bring your arm up without making all that stuff happen is doing very slowly and carefully. Most likely one of two things was done for that photo...either the carp (and probably the bird) were both photoshopped into the background, or else the carp was tied to something in the area where the bird's wing covers it up and suspended in the water like that, while the bird was photoshopped in. The only thing that makes me think that might be the way it was done is that the reflection of the carp in the water looks pretty realistic. However, if you blow up the photo, you'll see the background around the edges of the carp and bird is a different texture than the rest of the background, which makes me think both were photoshopped in.
  8. Needed a change and simplified the plan

    Yep, fish have feeding zones. A real old-timer that used to live on the Current River above Doniphan, and who was an expert walleye fisherman, used to catch walleye back in his younger days on live minnows on trotlines. He said that if in an unfamiliar pool, he'd start by stringing the trotline all the way across the river, but that he'd always catch walleye only in one or two spots along the trotline, so he'd re-string the line so that it had several hooks in those spots and no hooks elsewhere, because that's where the walleyes' feeding and travel zones intersected the trotline.
  9. Needed a change and simplified the plan

    Yeah, a lot of times you should be fishing where you're standing...or where your boat is sitting. Driftboat fishing the Yellowstone for trout, we're always casting up against the bank, but when we wade it, we're usually casting 10-20 feet off the bank. (But fish are caught both places.)
  10. The thread on the Meramec forum got me to thinking...conventional wisdom has it that the farther you get from an access, the better the fishing should be. There are definitely reasons for this. If it's a nice, deep pool at the access, the bank fishermen pound it unmercifully, and even if they might be fishing for catfish, if they catch a legal smallmouth they'll probably keep it. Also, on rivers that are gigged a lot, the gigging is easiest and done the most close to the access. Certainly, too, wading anglers will be limited in how far they get from the access, unless they are guys like me that just HAVE to hike three or four miles and back when I'm wading. But, I've caught a lot of fish, and some big ones, very close to popular accesses. Big River, St. Francois State Park. There used to be a certain rock, at the tail end of a deep pool, just above one of the more popular places to get to the water, that produced three 20 inch plus smallmouth from me. I haven't caught a big one there for a long time, and the rock is in shallower water than it used to be, but for a long time it was a magic spot. I've also hooked some pretty big fish at other spots within the park. Back in the days when the Blackwell bridge on Big River was used all the time both as a canoe access and by bank fishermen, I caught more than one 19-20 inch fish right there at the bridge. And the first really big fish I ever caught at night was in the long pool below the bridge. People have always put boats in at the county park access on the river at Desloge and fished the long pools upstream, but one time I caught 6 bass from 16 to 20 inches in a single afternoon there. I watched CWC catch a 20 incher right under the Highway 47 bridge on Mineral Fork one time, and I caught an 18 incher in that pool on another trip that year. I once hooked (and lost) two really big smallies right in the middle of the Bass campground on Courtois Creek. I used to catch big fish regularly right under rope swings, for some strange reason. There are certain conditions, which I won't go into here because I'd just as soon keep them less known, where big fish will be around accesses for specific reasons. But the examples I gave were not those types of conditions. The big ones were there simply because it was decent habitat and somehow they'd escaped being caught by a catch and kill angler. So don't overlook places close to accesses!
  11. Needed a change and simplified the plan

    It's funny...some of my best fish have come from spots very close to accesses. I think I'll start another thread on the subject.
  12. Smallmouth of the North Country

    We had cool temps, lows around 50 degrees and highs in the 60s, all three days. First day was very windy, north wind, which certainly contributed to making fishing tougher, with mostly sunny skies. Next day was almost no wind, partly cloudy, third day was mostly cloudy, light wind. Water temps were 60-64 degrees all three days; third day it never changed from 60.5-61. One probable reason so many fish were right on the banks where we fished the second and third days was because there was a zone of about a foot off the bank where the water was clearer. Visibility in mid-channel was no more than 12 inches, but was closer to 18 inches along many of the banks. The first day the water was clear, and the fish were NOT on the banks. Like I said somewhere, I stopped fishing topwater lures with multiple treble hooks because we didn't have a net and those fish are just too big and strong to get a grip on them safely with all those trebles. However, topwater was working, and I think the fish were willing to move a bit farther to take a topwater than they were the spinnerbaits and my homemade crankbait. I had several that made a wake of a couple of feet attacking the topwaters, but didn't see any wakes coming to the other stuff. If I was choosing a topwater to fish, I'd have the walk the dog lure that I could work the best in a small area--one that you could walk quite a bit without it moving away from the bank very far. The grass along the bank didn't have to be touching the water, but it was definitely best if it was overhanging the water. The rivers we fished were all above normal for this time of year.
  13. Why some people do not like carp!

    I think it's great that Euro style carp fishing is perhaps getting more popular, as long as fisheries managers don't start managing waters for carp at the expense of gamefish. Seems to me that "wild" carp like we have in the public waters of the U.S. would be a tremendous draw for Europeans wanting to experience something a little different from the extremely managed, more or less domesticated carp found in European waters. I'm now out in Montana, and there is a public lake about an hour away from the house which is chock full of carp. (It also has some pretty nice largemouth.) It's at Three Forks, where the Madison, Gallatin, and Jefferson rivers come together to form the MIssouri River, in a big flat area surrounded by lofty mountains. How cool would it be for a European carp angler to catch carp in that kind of setting, with the landscape and history?
  14. Ozark Creek Fishing

    That's my favorite kind of summertime fishing. I LOVE it when my streams are "too low to float". I know I'll have them pretty much to myself, and I go into it expecting to have to work at it. Of course, I've never been able to turn down the work even when it gets excessive, because the rewards are always there, but as I get older, I have begun to question myself when I decide, as always, to do the longest float I think i can possibly handle just so I'll have more water to fish. Those marathon 12-15 mile "float-drags" are getting a little tougher to do.
  15. (Update w/pics) Topwaters for Stream Smallmouth

    Coosa, I almost agree with you...SOMETIMES and some streams, they hit topwater better in the early morning, but most of the time it's definitely a mistake to put the topwaters away in the middle of the day. I think to some extent it has to do with the amount of traffic and fishing pressure the water gets; heavily pressured waters tend to be a little more likely to be better early. Smaller, more lightly pressured waters, middle of the day is usually as good or better than early morning. I think there are a lot of myths and misconceptions concerning stream smallmouth fishing, and one of the big ones is that mid-summer hot weather isn't as good. LIke you, some of my best days each year are always during the hottest part of the summer. Fact is, fish are cold-blooded critters whose bodies are the same temperature as the water, always. The warmer the water is, the higher their metabolism is, at least until it gets so hot that they get stressed. Smallies can be very active at water temps up into the high 80s, and most Ozark streams seldom if ever get any hotter than that. I've stumbled upon streams that had water temps up around 90 degrees, and then the fish do go rather dormant, seeking out any kind of cooler water--I've found them snugged up to the downstream edges of gravel bars, where water seeping through the gravel comes out at a cooler temperature. But up to that point, they will be active and aggressively feeding more often because they have to feed that metabolism. Which also always makes me question the conventional wisdom that says they feed heavily in the fall to "fatten up" for winter. As water temps cool, their metabolism slows. In the winter they burn a LOT fewer calories. The big females finish developing their eggs in the winter, though they will already be somewhat developed by fall, but otherwise, they really don't need to feed all that much to maintain whatever weight they put on in the fall. And...that "fattening up"? Have you ever seen fat on bass? I really doubt that they build up fat reserves, they build up muscle mass, and lose some of it under duress and starvation regimes. Anyway, they are doing other stuff in the fall, especially moving to wintering pools, and while they do feed, sometimes heavily, I've never found that they feed MORE heavily in the fall than in the summer. If they feed reasonably well in the fall (and in the fall, most of their food base is as big as it gets after a summer of growth), their slowing metabolism perhaps allows them to add some muscle mass during the fall, but it's not a matter of stuffing themselves like grizzly bears to get through the winter.
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