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Al Agnew

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Al Agnew last won the day on April 10 2018

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About Al Agnew

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    Smallmouth Bass Angler

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  1. Yep, and by river the 21 bridge is about 2 miles above the main part of the park.
  2. Yeah, you CAN catch a trout once in a while just about anywhere. But I don't think there are enough trout to target them below Suicide access. There's a big, long dead pool starting at the bend to the left below Suicide, and that seems to be the downstream limit of decent trout water. I have caught a lot of trout out of the Meramec from there up to the spring mouth, but it isn't as good as it once was. I don't know why the browns aren't doing better; it used to be a good place to catch 18-20 inch browns (that seemed to be about as big as they got before the meat fishermen caught them). Last couple times I fished it I had no trouble catching rainbows, escapees from the spring branch.
  3. Al Agnew

    Torn

    You gotta also think that the absolute number of pro fishermen who actually make a good living is what...less than a couple hundred? Less than that? You see the same 50 or so that are consistently in the money at tournaments. What are the chances of making it into that tiny fraternity? Local club tournaments are like the high school level, regional tournaments are college level...you better fish those kinds of tournaments for a few years and WIN a lot before you even think about going pro. My brother fished pro-am tournaments on the amateur side these days, just for the fun of it, and he sees quite a few young guys fishing the pro side who are only there because they were able to scrape up the money or their parents were willing to foot the bill for boat, equipment, travel, and entry fees, and they are usually spectacularly unsuccessful. Of all the sports I can think of that furnish the better pros with good livings, bass fishing is one of the most expensive to gain entry to, though one of the least difficult to get into IF you have the money and the time. As for the marketing aspect, that is very important, AND you better be a GOOD marketer. That's one of the underestimated areas of importance to making a living at things like this. You can parlay a tournament win or two into a LOT of lucrative contracts if you are personable, articulate, and knowledgeable. But companies shy away from people, no matter how good they are, who are too shy, can't express themselves--or even if they are just not good looking. I don't know...you want to encourage kids to "follow their dreams", but somehow you also have to make them see the realities. And that's tough to do when you're dealing with teenagers.
  4. I know what you mean, but Mary has had really bad arthritis in that shoulder for 10 years. It all started when she began to have a lot of pain when doing various activities. Went to a specialist who examined her carefully, and thought he knew what it was, a problem with a tendon that could be fixed by clipping that tendon. Arthroscopic surgery, no big deal. But when he got the scope in there, the cartilage in her shoulder joint turned out to be shredded, with little bits and pieces of it floating around all over the place. He told her then she'd have to have replacement surgery, and sooner rather than later. But Mary, like you, didn't want to go right into it and wanted to try some other things, including an experimental treatment that basically involves injecting liquid into the joint, along with cortisone shots. It worked...for about 4 years. Had it done again, worked for about two years. Tried it a third time, nothing. Shots would give her a few months of relief. So finally she just realized that if she wanted to be able to do things like paddle a kayak again, she was going to need a new shoulder. As it turned out when her present specialist examined her prior to the surgery, there is was a bony spur on her shoulder joint that was what shredded the cartilage in the first place.
  5. Several members of Mary's family have basically what amounts to congenital defects in their shoulders...three of her brothers and her dad have had shoulder replacements, and now Mary has had one as well...last Thursday. Things went well, apparently, and she has gradually cut out the opiods(she's deathly afraid of getting addicted). She's trying to do the exercises, has a passive motion machine at the house, but so far has been unable to move her shoulder more than a few degrees. Has anybody here had a replacement and used one of those things? Or just used the pulley system to exercise the shoulder? How quickly did range of motion begin to improve? I've been playing nurse (and cook) for the last week, and I don't make a very good one; freaks me out to see her in pain. Anyway, we'll see the doctor next week and find out some things. While she's been recuperating, I've used my spare time to remake a topwater rod and tie a bunch of hair jigs.
  6. I haven't paid attention to the Cardinals for several years now, but since they were in the playoffs I started watching them the last few games. Painful. It looks like they don't have a clue when it comes to timely hitting...or just hitting at all. Gotta give Wainright credit for the tough pitching performance he had the last game, but they left him in just a bit too long. Like watching the guys like him who were there when I was still paying attention to them.
  7. If you want to know how to tell largemouth from spotted bass at a glance, check out the article on my new blog. riversandart.blogspot.com
  8. Brian is right, cwc made sure the spots weren't released up there. But there are other tournaments and from what I've heard they've released a lot of spotted bass around Steelville. MAYBE there's not too much to worry about. If the Meramec above Meramec State Park was great habitat for spotted bass they would have been up there in great numbers by now, like they are on Big and Bourbeuse. There seems to be something holding them back on the upper middle Meramec, so maybe it'll stay that way for the most part. But that doesn't mean I'm not worried about it.
  9. They do just fine in clear streams, which really worries me. They are in nearly every pool on Joachim Creek almost up to De Soto. I've seen them in Big River up to Bonne Terre. Nobody knows what they'll end up doing to the ecology of these smaller, clearer streams, but I'd like to shoot the pinhead who allowed them to escape and the politicians that said it was okay to raise them. Besides that, they are about the ugliest fish I've ever seen.
  10. So like I said, things can get really muddy. My understanding, and the opinion of most "authorities cited in the case" is that the Mulberry case did NOT affect stream bed ownership. It did affect the absolute control of creek bottoms and gravel bars. The legislature afterwards, bowing to the pressure from property rights people, actually muddied things up worse by saying that it put the whole ownership thing in question. What really worries me is in the political climate of today in both Missouri and Arkansas, we can only end up losing access and use rights to Ozark streams. These streams have been used for floating, fishing and most importantly gravel bar camping and picnicking for well over a hundred years. It's as traditional a use as it gets. Any landowner on an Ozark stream SHOULD understand and accept that the public has some rights to the use of the river and gravel bars, and that he will have to deal with the public...and I say that as a river landowner myself in two different states. But large, influential landowners are continually trying to get that tradition use abolished instead of living with it, and there are a lot of legislators that are on their side.
  11. In my opinion and experience, downsizing is seldom necessary and usually not the best way to go when it comes to river smallmouth (or other river bass). Many years ago when most of my fishing was done on Big River and the middle Meramec, I was intimidated by ultra-clear water like you find on streams like Huzzah and Black River, and thought I really needed to use very light line and small lures when I fished those types of streams, rather than my usual lures for the murkier water of my home rivers. My results were uniformly mediocre to bad on the clear streams. Finally I just decided, to heck with it, I'll use the stuff I knew caught big fish on my usual waters. Not only my usual lures but also the casting tackle and 8-12 pound line. Guess what--it worked. Way, way better than the ultralight stuff and downsized lures ever did. I came to the conclusion that river bass are the same no matter what kind of water they are in, the same aggressive fish looking large and easy meals. They may be more wary of sounds and shadows and movement, so you can't approach them as closely, but they are still looking for the same kind of stuff to eat. Then, I kinda got into a rut in thinking that certain lures STILL don't work in very clear water very well. For years I never threw a regular spinnerbait in really clear water, just my homemade twin spin. That didn't really change until two years ago, when I was on a smallish, very clear stream and the twin spin just wasn't working well, and neither was much else. I don't know why I tied on the 3/8th ounce double willow War Eagle, just on a whim. But all of a sudden I started catching fish. Big fish, 18-19.5 inchers. It was like magic that day. Almost as good the next, on a different stretch of the same river. And even better a few weeks later on another extremely clear stream. Now, the spinnerbait is one of my go-to lures no matter what the water conditions are.
  12. I think it's pretty muddy, still. The supposedly definitive case in Arkansas was on the Mulberry a couple decades ago, which did give the public the right to use gravel bars. However, since there is no statute that actually delineates the public rights (same as Missouri), it all depends upon which court case the judge thinks would take precedence, and if you happened to run afoul of a landowner and got arrested, you'd have to take it to court with a chance of losing. There is no doubt, in either state, that the landowner owns the land including the bed of the stream, but given that gravel bar camping is as popular in Arkansas as it is in Missouri, if landowners could run floaters off streams there the instant they touched the bottom or bank (which is actually the law in some states), it would cut out overnight floating, or even swimming, on a bunch of pretty popular streams. So I'm comfortable with my advice above.
  13. I'd guess there would barely be enough water to float from Carver down. Probably something like 75 cfs at Carver. Keep in mind that there's a losing reach below Woolum where a good part of the river's flow sinks underground in low water conditions, so you might have a couple miles where you will be doing a lot of dragging, it's just hard to say. But 200 cfs is PLENTY of water at St. Joe, so I'd guess you'd be okay.
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