Al Agnew

Fishing Buddy
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Al Agnew last won the day on April 5

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About Al Agnew

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    Smallmouth Bass Angler

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  1. I'm out in Montana and don't have access to my books. But I'm pretty sure it isn't a common shiner nor an Ozark shiner. It actually looks the most like an emerald shiner to me. Emerald shiners are found all over the Ozarks, mainly from bait bucket releases over the years, since they are the usual small minnows sold commercially.
  2. Yep, I'm to the point where it's almost like, why bother? The 6 fish limit is apparently sacred to MDC. Since all their creel surveys show that only 10% of bass anglers keep their fish, they are convinced that killing 6 fish a day does no harm. But we all know some smaller streams where just a couple of people killing 6 fish a day for a few days decimates the population of adult smallmouth in that stream, because it isn't big enough to produce huge numbers of adult bass. I even understand to some extent why MDC believes it's okay, given what they've found in their studies. But those 15 bass on that table are 15 fewer adults in the stream, and if say, there are 500 angler days on a given stretch in a year (x number of anglers times y number of days they fished), and 10% of those days were anglers keeping a limit, that's 300 adult bass taken from that stretch in a year. And I'd say that's extremely conservative on most of these streams.
  3. Funny how sometimes you can catch rock bass when you're not even trying, fishing for bass, and other times they seem to disappear. Seems like when it gets hot and the water gets low, they don't get active until after dark. I think the most likely place to catch your slam all on one body of water is the trout section of the Meramec. I've accomplished your slam several times there, especially in the winter, where I've done it all in one pool.
  4. No, your first fish is not a silverside. They are longer, slimmer, have a spiny dorsal fin in front of a soft dorsal that's farther back than the dorsal fin I can barely see on your fish, and they have a different-shaped mouth, with a long, pointy snout, almost like a pike. The best book for Missouri fish identification is "Fishes of Missouri", by William Pflieger. The second edition is the one you want. But it is now out of print, though you can still find them on Amazon occasionally. There is also a "Fishes of Arkansas" book, I forget the author, and I don't know if it's still in print, but it is almost as good for Missouri Ozark fish.
  5. I agree with everything Flysmallie said. Electronics is a part of it, but it's more of a symptom than the problem. The electronics is a convenient baby sitter for parents who have no interest in having their kids go outdoors, let alone actually taking them outdoors. And another big part of this is that kids simply aren't allowed to do stuff outside on their own, due to paranoia about pedophiles. When I was a kid, I rode my bike to the river by myself all the time, or had my parents drive me and drop me off. Now I can't imagine kids the age I was then doing that. I float through a stretch of the same river that has a lot of houses very close to the river, and have yet to see kids from those houses playing around the water.
  6. For people who really want to have fun fighting big fish, I don't know why more of them don't target both common carp and grass carp. Big, heavy, powerful fish, and plentiful. Personally I'm not interested in them for several reasons, most important of which is that the best places to fish for them are not the kind of places I most enjoy fishing--clear streams. Second is that the ways you have to fish for them most of the time are just not the ways I most like to fish. But at times I've had fun catching them.
  7. I've been buying most of my books on Kindle from Amazon these days, and reading them on my phone. That's both good and bad. The bad is, a whole lot of books to wade through in the lists before finding something interesting, and then a lot of books that aren't put out by the major publishers (and are cheap, the 1.99 ones) end up being pretty mediocre reading at best...I've got about a half dozen on my phone that I've started reading and given up on. But what I've discovered lately is that there are a lot of older books on Amazon, many of them on Kindle. I just found two series that I read many years ago, but never got the last couple of books in the series. On a whim, I'd done a search for them, and sure enough, they were available. One is my absolute favorite secret agent type series from back in the 1970s and 1980s, the Matt Helm series by Donald Hamilton. Hamilton was one of my favorite authors, having also written some very good, gritty Westerns. But he wrote more than 20 Matt Helm books, and I was missing a few of them. The character was made into a couple of cheesy movies, trying to cash in on the popularity of the James Bond movies, starring, of all people, Dean Martin. The movies were bad, and were nothing like the books, which depict a hard-bitten, no-nonsense government assassin. The one I'm reading now is titled "The Damagers", and is one of the last of the series. It is set in the late 1980s or early 1990s, and features Muslim terrorists, a little before they became every author's bad guys like they are now. The other series was Fred Saberhagen's Dracula books. Set in modern times, but going back in history as well, Saberhagen's Dracula is an amoral but honorable character who is loyal to those he likes but pure death on those who wrong him or the people he cares about. I had five of the first six books in the series, but didn't even realize he had written 9 books in total, one of which mainly featured Sherlock Holmes but had Dracula as the other main character. I haven't read it yet, but am looking forward to it. Another author I found was Andrew J. Offutt. I fell in love with Offut's series of books featured the Robert Howard (author of the Conan the Barbarian books) character, Cormac Mac Art. I'd read the one Howard book featuring Cormac, but when Offutt wrote several more books about the character, I really liked them. He also wrote a couple of Conan books which were also, in my opinion, far better than Howard's. I'd read a few more books Offutt had written, both fantasy and science fiction, and liked them as well, so I looked him up to see if there were books of his available that I hadn't read, and found a couple that sound interesting. Offutt, by the way, was a very interesting character in his own right. He made most of his money writing pornography, and his "mainstream" novels certainly have somewhat explicit sex scenes, though certainly nothing any worse than a lot of other novels. He was known as the "King of 20th Century Smut", and began writing pornography to pay for his kid's orthodontist, finding it to be so lucrative that he continued for much of his life, writing out of his house in Kentucky. His son, a well known author, wrote a book about growing up with such a father. So, I now have eight new novels on my phone and I'm really looking forward to reading them.
  8. Geez, guys, cool it. As I said before, I understand MoCarp's gripe. And as Wrench said, nobody that likes peace and quiet ever goes to someplace where noisy, rowdy people are and tells them they should quiet down or leave, but noisy, rowdy people regularly go to places where before you could expect peace and quiet and then tell everybody else to just deal with it. The question here is, is this the kind of place where you SHOULD expect peace and quiet? Probably not. And the only thing that can be done by those wanting peace and quiet in this area at night is to see if enough people feel that way that they can get the area zoned against that kind of business. Personally, I find this issue an interesting one...but nobody wants to "listen" to two or three people calling each other out on an internet forum, not to mention that Phil will rightly shut this whole thing down probably as soon as he reads it. Surprised he hasn't already.
  9. I don't wade and fish all that often. I have about seven or so creeks that I've waded for many years, and I don't like to pound any of them too much, so I usually end up fishing each one time per year, maybe two times...and some I don't fish for a year or two. I don't care if you stick red hot bamboo slivers up various portions of my anatomy, I'm not telling where they are. Seems like any given one will be good for a year or two, and then the meat fishermen start pounding it and it goes downhill fast. Then they move on to some other creek, and in a few years that one gets good again. A week ago, I took a guy from Oregon creek fishing; I figured he'd never be back to pound my favorites and he probably wouldn't blab about where they were. We went to my closest creek first. It was the first time I'd been on it since the big flood, and the flood had really destroyed it, scouring what had been decent pools for many years down to bedrock. We caught a couple 15 inchers in the one pool we came to that was still pretty much intact, but it was obvious that we weren't going to find much good fishing there, so we drove over to another one. This creek was actually where I caught my very fist smallmouth. My grandfather grew up not far from it, and he always liked to go there to trap minnows, even though there were plenty of places closer to his house. I must have been about five years old when he took me there one day, and showed me how to drift a crawdad under the low water bridge. I hooked a smallmouth that was probably 11 inches but seemed huge, and got so excited I put the rod over my shoulder and ran across the bridge, dragging that poor fish right up onto the concrete. That was about 60 years ago. I've fished that creek ever since, usually once a year. Sometimes I fish it twice a year, going downstream from the bridge one time and upstream the other time. It has had its good years and bad years. It's a small creek, flowing through extensive gravel beds, the water clear to very clear. Over the years it has seemed to get shallower and flow less water. Right now, it's flowing maybe 8-10 cubic feet per second, which means the typical riffle is 10 feet wide and a couple inches deep. The pools are seldom over three feet deep, and there are long stretches between productive pools. The guy from Oregon couldn't get used to fish being in such small, shallow waters. We started out, and he passed up the first little pool. I caught a 14 incher in it. He passed up the lower end of the next pool. I caught a 12 incher there. Then I caught a 16 incher in a spot where he couldn't believe there was a fish. There were a LOT of fish in the creek, and they acted like they'd never seen a lure. In about two hours of fishing, covering about a mile, I must have caught 20 smallmouth, including another 16 incher and several 15 inchers on my little homemade walk the dog topwater. He couldn't get the hang of fishing walk the dog lures, though I loaned him a couple, and pretty much was frustrated that I was catching all these fish and he wasn't. So I suggested we quit and go eat some supper. But I was thinking I needed to come back, by myself, and see how many fish I could catch when I didn't have somebody else fishing more than half the water (ineffectively). Today was the day, and I planned to make a full day of it. My wade-fishing trips are usually just for a few hours, but I wanted to wade a long section of this creek if the fishing was as good as it had been before. It had been a very long time since I'd waded farther than about two miles from the bridge. I keep wade-fishing simple. I carried my topwater casting rod and reel, 5 feet long, with a very light baitcasting reel and 8 pound line. I used to fish light spinning tackle on these streams, but I've gotten to where I just enjoy baitcasting tackle so much more, so why not use it? It isn't like I'm casting very light lures. My lure selection is very simple. I brought two small wooden walk the dog topwaters, a modified Pop-R, and a LC Gunfish, along with a single twin spin and a small buzzbait. It fit into a small plastic box. To carry it, I tucked in my fishing shirt and put it down my shirt. My wallet and cell phone went into my shirt pockets, my truck keys went on the chin strap from my fishing hat, and a small bottle of water went into my shirt as well. That's it. Mary is usually appalled that I carry so little water, and no food, for that long a fishing trip. But I've always traveled light and foregone eating...I ate some breakfast and tanked up on tea before I got on the water, and I figure that would be enough to let me go most of the day. Of course, the topwater went on my rod to begin. I waded up the same water we'd fished the week before, and you could tell that I'd educated some of the bass; they weren't attacking in wild abandon. In most of that first mile, I only caught 10, though several were 12-14 inchers. Then I came to a decent pool, which had the misfortune to be in a spot where one could drive and park right at the edge of it. It sees a LOT of swimmers, and probably some anglers, each summer, though there was nobody there today; there had been a family swimming there the week before. From the riffle at the bottom, I made a long cast up into the rocks along the edge of the pool, and the water exploded. This was a very nice fish. I played it carefully, and like all the smallies in this creek, it was a powerful fighter. I finally lipped it...17.5 inches! Another one, perhaps a half inch shorter, had been following it throughout the battle, but I oouldn't get it interested. Still, I caught several more decent fish in the rest of that pool, surprising given its popularity. And that was the beginning of the good fishing. From there on up, there were fish just about anywhere there was enough water to cover their backs. You'd cast to the middle of a small pool and you'd see wakes charging the lure. I caught fish after fish. A 16 inch largemouth. A 17 inch largemouth. A 16.5 inch smallie. Most of the time, when I'd hook one, others would be following it. They'd often just hang in the water a few feet away and watch as I landed it. I came to a better pool. Longer, maybe 50 yards long, deeper, 3-5 feet deep along a vertical clay bank, no cover to speak of. In the spot where it just seemed, for no particular reason, the best fish should be (once in a while I just get that feeling), the lure hit the water and a big fish took it immediately, before I even began to play it. Another hard battle, hard enough and long enough that my left arm was getting tired, I lipped another 17.5 incher. Next big pool, this one with rocks along the bank and water 4-6 feet deep from bank to bank in one spot. I got a soft strike on the topwater as I stood in waist deep water against the opposite bank. It was a small green sunfish. I reeled it in, and then saw a big brown shadow following it. I stopped reeling, hoping the bass would try to take the lure away from the little fish and get hooked. The sunfish hung in the water, just under the surface, 15 feet away, as this really big smallmouth stopped a foot away and stared at it. This was the biggest fish I'd seen, probably 19 inches. But it had no intention of doing anything. I reeled the sunfish in, unhooked it, all the while watching the big fish slowly cruise back and forth, studying ME. I cast to it but I knew it was useless. I'd gotten on the water about 8:30. I reached what I'd planned to be my stopping point, where a tributary comes in, about 1 PM. But I wondered what the fishing was like above the trib, so I kept going. I caught my 65th bass about two pools upstream, and then went up to one more pool. It was a beautiful spot, with a steep hillside coming down to the water, the pool studded with rocks, a rocky riffle at its head that dropped a good two feet, and there at the riffle were two whitetail bucks, slowly wandering up the creek, their summer coats bright red in the sun, with a blue heron just upstream from them. I thought to myself that sight was worth it all, even if the fishing hadn't been so good, and that was a good point to turn around and start the long trek back to the truck. And it WAS a long trek. I'd come nearly five miles up the creek, and this creek is not easy wading. It's small enough that the gravel bars and bottom in the moving water areas are covered with rocks from softball size to volleyball size; rough, irregularly shaped chert and drusy quartz that makes for a real strain on your ankles and a pretty darned good core body workout balancing as you walk. It wasn't a particularly hot day, but I'd long finished my little bottle of water and was realizing I was a little thirsty. I switched to my twin spin to fish the best spots on the way back down, otherwise mostly walking the gravel bars and gravel side channels rather than wading the creek, but still having to wade across at the riffles. I was wondering how many people of my age would be willing to do this kind of marathon wade trips. I WAS getting tired. The twin spin produced 10 fish on the way back, making my total for the day 75 bass. Lots of 12-15 inchers that fought like demons. Lots and lots of just plain savage attacks of the topwater. No other anglers. No other people, period, until I got back down to the bridge, where there were four other cars parked and wall to wall swimmers and sunbathers. I had a cooler in the truck with a big, cold Coke and some Oberle snack sticks and potato chips, and that was a really nice ending to my all day wade. It was 4 PM. As you get older, you start to realize that there will come a time when you can't do some of the things you've always enjoyed most. But not yet!
  10. Seems like some people think boats are designed to be foolproof. Sure seemed like the boat in the first video was just a little over-powered...most of the time there was about a one foot square patch of the boat bottom in the water, the rest in mid-air. That can't be very safe, waves or not.
  11. And this is what a stripper looks like...notice the lack of stripes at all
  12. Bingo! That second paragraph is pretty much what I wanted to say, but you said it better.
  13. In the whole scheme of things, this really doesn't bother me that much...I don't go to reservoirs, in the rare times I go to them, to get peace and quiet. But as I tried to say before...the question is at what point does one user group's activities have enough of a negative effect on other user groups that it should not be allowed? You can say that everybody has an equal right to use the resource, but what happens if one user's activities make it difficult for other users to enjoy it? And there is also the fact that it's not just the people hanging around the bar, it's an owner making money off it. Having said all that, I will say that I don't think this rises to the level of something that should be banned. It's a reservoir, not some completely unspoiled place. There are lots of noisy activities. There is one other criterion for something like this to be stopped, and that's if it's harming the resource itself. It probably isn't.
  14. You can make your own bait buttons by using a paper punch and punching little discs out of a plastic coffee can lid. Slightly larger than these, but translucent and work the same way.
  15. At what point do one person's rights to do something impact other people enough that they shouldn't have that right? It's always a sticky question. Often, the characteristics of one particular activity cause it to conflict with other activities...while those other activities wouldn't conflict with others' enjoyment of the resource. In this case, the bar's noise and undesirable elements are affecting other lake users negatively, while those other users aren't affecting anybody nearly as much. So do the bar's owners REALLY have the right to operate? By law, apparently so. I highly doubt if there are any particular zoning laws that would preclude them from doing so. But there probably should be. Most people are against zoning laws because they don't want anybody telling them what to do on their property...until somebody else does something on THEIR property that negatively impacts everybody else. Then zoning laws don't seem like such a bad idea, but by then it's too late.