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Al Agnew

Fishing Buddy
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Al Agnew last won the day on April 10

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About Al Agnew

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    Smallmouth Bass Angler

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  1. Al Agnew

    Top water chances after cold weather and rain?

    The fish should be beginning to gather around wintering pools by now with the drop in temps, so if you're fishing long stretches of shallower water there may not be many fish there to catch.
  2. Al Agnew

    Top water chances after cold weather and rain?

    Water temps are important. Under 60 degrees, topwater probably won't be the BEST option, but it can produce fish down through the 50s, and on special occasions even colder.
  3. Al Agnew

    Who likes lily pads?

    Don't think grass carp eat lily pads. Bismarck Lake used to be full of pads. I had a blast for a few years there, until some other guys figured out how to fish them. There were so many and so thick that you couldn't use a boat with a trolling motor in them, and everybody else seemed to think that paddling was against the law or something. So I'd take a canoe and paddle way back in them. What I was looking for was something different. Small openings were okay, but if there was a very small opening against a log, or against a clump of some other kind of vegetation, it was magic. I devised a lure I really liked, by taking one of the early weedless hollow frog lures and putting a section of heavy wire on the front of it with a buzzbait blade. Cast it up on the pads, bring it slowly to the opening, and buzz it fairly slowly across the opening. I got some incredible blow-ups that way, and caught a pile of 3-6 pounders. Then it got to where the pads were so thick you could hardly find any openings, and also milfoil started getting thick within the pads, and it became almost impossible to find openings to fish. I really haven't spent hardly any time there since then.
  4. Al Agnew

    How much water do I need at Bell Chute?

    Missed this thread somehow...if you have the guts to do it, if you get a hole and water is coming in quickly, take off going on plane and try taking out the drain plug, assuming you can get to it. The water will drain out the drain plug hole at least as fast as it's coming in the hole you put in the boat. I did that when I put a hole in mine, and although there was a flap of aluminum that was guiding water into the boat even faster than it was coming in sitting still, the drain plug hole almost kept up with the incoming water. I learned that long ago, when my dad had a boat that leaked slowly. By mid-day there would be a couple inches of water in the bottom, so he'd just take off and take out the plug, and all the water would drain out in just a few minutes of running. I'm not sure it works quite that well with a really fast jet outboard because I think you have to have the drain plug hole covered with water so that the water forms a suction as you're moving quickly forward, and maybe a jet hull won't be far enough into the water to suck it out as efficiently. But it would be worth a try. Of course, if you are stopping you put the plug back in before you stop!
  5. Al Agnew

    Hulls Ford to Hazelgreen

    I suppose you know that Hull Ford is on the Osage Fork, and if you did that float you'd be on the Osage Fork more than the Gasconade.
  6. Al Agnew

    Eleven Point Everything

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I tend to love streams with lots of impressive bluffs, clean gravel bars, and as few signs of human civilization as possible. So my top five in Missouri would be: 1. Upper Jacks Fork 2. Current between Round Spring and Logyard 3. Big Piney between Mason Bridge and Ft. Wood 4. Eleven Point, entire national scenic river stretch 5. St. Francis, Silvermines to Hwy. C-N bridge (just because it's so different from every other floatable stream in Missouri) Honorable mention to the middle Gasconade, lower Niangua, Meramec between Steelville and Meramec State Park, the whole upper Current River above Round Spring and Jacks Fork below Alley Spring. And the Buffalo In Arkansas tops them all.
  7. Al Agnew

    Eleven Point Everything

    Smalllmouth--Thomasville to Greer (if there is enough water), and Riverton to Arkansas (there is also a lot of good smallmouth and spotted bass fishing in Arkansas). The Greer to Riverton stretch has smallmouth, too, but not nearly as good a population as the stretches above and below. But from this time of year through the winter, you can find some smallmouth in the bigger pools. Chain pickerel--there are a lot of them in the trout section from Greer to Riverton--more the closer you get to Greer. Scattered throughout the rest of the river. The Eleven Point has fewer gravel bars than most Ozark streams, so if you're looking for gravel bar camping, you are limited and have to start looking for a camp early. There are float camps--cleared campsites up in the bottoms--at decently spaced intervals between Greer and Hwy. 142...go to the Forest Service Eleven Point National Scenic River website--they have a pretty good map of the float camps. Absolute must see before or after you float is Greer Spring. In my opinion the most beautiful setting of all the big Ozark springs, because it's all wild and natural. The river itself has a few other nice springs, but there aren't really many spectacular scenic spots--not a lot of huge, impressive bluffs, etc. It's just ALL really nice because it's wild and there aren't all that many signs of civilization. And the water is gorgeous.
  8. Al Agnew

    Knapp time.

    Wrench, the curved one was probably used, just not as a spear point. Possibly a hafted knife, or a hide scraper. I can imagine that a lot of times a point didn't turn out quite the way the knapper had hoped, but it was still sharp, and ended up being used for something else. I found one in the gravel parking lot at Bismarck Lake one time--it was probably in the creek gravel that was hauled in to cover the lot. I still can't pass up bare dirt without automatically looking for points. And one other type of place that is seldom hunted for them is atop bluffs. I've found a few pieces in such places, but know people who have found a lot of good stuff on nearly bare rock atop a bluff, and my grandpa found a couple in his tilled garden, which was just 50 yards back from the edge of a bluff on a smallish creek.
  9. Al Agnew

    Eugene Oregon Fly Fishing?

    Umpqua River and its forks are not far away to the south--excellent smallmouth fishing!
  10. Or somebody that wants to make sure everybody knows what they think. Nearly all modern cars weren't designed for carrying a boat on top. Used to love my old Quick and Easy racks that attached to rain gutters, which of course are non-existent now. No rack designed for modern vehicles IS that quick and easy, or solid. No bumpers to tie fore and aft to, either. We own a couple of Priuses (Prius's? Priui?). Got Yakima racks that supposedly fit the older one, but they are a pain to attach solidly, and they don't even work on the newer one. So I just use those hard foam blocks that fit onto the gunwales of the canoes. I attached heavy duty straps with grommets to the bolts holding the hinges of the hood for front end tie downs, but still have to crawl in under the car to find tie downs for the rear end. Then throw ropes over the middle of the canoe and through the car doors to tie to the handles in the car ceiling on both sides for getting into and out of the car. Would never trust just tying to the roof of the car, or to factory roof racks alone, because I don't know how good the attachment of those racks is to the car roof. I always tie down fore and aft as my primary safety tie downs.
  11. Al Agnew

    Our Buddy Charlie Reading

    I agree with almost everything he said. The only thing that I don't quite agree with is that while you CAN use a fly rod for just about any fish that swims anywhere, there are a lot of situations where it's a little like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. I love fly fishing for the things it does best, but have little interest in trying to make it work for things where other forms of angling work far better. I wouldn't care for open ocean fly fishing for giant fish like sailfish or marlin. I don't even think about using it for fishing deep water reservoir bass. Or, for that matter, winter fishing for Ozark stream smallmouth, and I don't use fly tackle for my summer Ozark smallmouth fishing from a canoe because it becomes more of a pain than a pleasure when drifting downriver by myself in the canoe. On the other hand, it's just perfect for most stream trout fishing, or for catching panfish and small bass out of a pond or wading size stream. I can't imagine using anything else to catch big bluegill out of my pond, or to fish the Yellowstone River outside my house in Montana. It's funny that most fly fishing literature has always been somewhat philosophical and lyrical, while most literature on conventional fishing, like bass fishing, is strictly nuts and bolts how to stuff. What is it about fly fishing that brings out navel gazing and mysticism? Why are there no John Geirachs and Thomas McGuanes in bass fishing? I see mysticism in all kinds of angling that I do, and especially in river and stream fishing, no matter what tackle I'm using. Yep, fly fishing is fun, and puts you close to your prey and the ecosystems in which it lives. But so do other forms of angling. There is great satisfaction in achieving some kind of mastery in an activity that is at least mildly challenging and that has plenty of nuances and arcane knowledge. But there's a lot of that in other forms of angling, as well. I think we all get great satisfaction from doing things well, especially things that aren't easy to do well. Fly fishing is one of those things. So is topwater smallmouth fishing with casting tackle. So is handling a solo canoe, or a raft or driftboat, in fast water. And if those things have the reputation, the mystique, of being difficult to master, so much the better--it makes us feel better about ourselves and makes us think we look better in the eyes of others. But in the end, it's not rocket science to get reasonably proficient at it, while at the same time you can spend a lifetime working out all the things you CAN learn from it.
  12. Okay, I get it now! Yes, the sidecutters should be in every angler's tackle, and with most lures today, it's pretty easy to just clip the split ring so that you only have to work on the embedded treble, not the whole lure hanging from you. I never used to carry a net, but now I do in the boat. Still don't carry one in the canoe, but I'm rethinking that as well. I am a little wary of the fish grips, because I think they can do more damage to the fish's lip. I've never had to get a spinnerbait out of anybody, but I think the sidecutters would be very important to getting one of them out, as well, since the spinnerbait arm would be in the way of getting the hook into position to push it in the right direction. I think I would cut off the arm right at the head, so I could push on the head as if it was the eye of the hook.
  13. I think that was your buddy's fault. He almost certainly didn't jerk at the correct angle, and the angle is very important. You have to jerk the hook at the angle that the point and barb is in your skin, which on most hooks is exactly parallel to the shaft of the hook. If you jerk at a more vertical angle, pulling UP on the shaft of the hook, the shaft rotates upward and will probably put one of the other barbs into your finger as happened to you. You want the point of the hook to come STRAIGHT out of the hole. If it's one of those hooks where the point is directed somewhat inward toward the shaft, you have to jerk at an angle that's even flatter than the shaft. Just picture how the point up to the barb is slanted, and jerk in that direction. In all the times I've gotten hooks out of myself and others, I've never had that happen. The hook always pops straight out and usually goes flying off into the sunset away from my finger. It also could be that it was YOUR fault. You don't just press down firmly on the eye of the hook, you press HARD and directly toward the buried barb, not straight down into your skin.
  14. Al Agnew

    I am a kayaker now !

    A wader belt is important. Yes, you can swim in waders, but waders full of water will slow you down, not pull you down. And slow you down climbing out of the water. Wrench has a good point in that water pressure keeps the water from pouring into the waders when you first go under, but as you're trying to stay afloat and get to safety, the water starts coming in. A belt slows it down considerably. So does having a waterproof jacket over the waders. But in the winter, you'll probably have a lot of other clothing under the jacket and waders that will wick in water. It won't gush in, but eventually you'll be wet and there will be extra water in the waders. So wearing a good PFD is an absolute must, and being prudent and aware of the dangers. I can remember a couple times when I kinda forgot this and suddenly realized how close I was to probably dying. Both were in my solo canoe in the winter. The first time, I was walleye fishing down at the big, deep gravel pit hole on Black River at the 67 Highway bridge north of Poplar Bluff. I suddenly realized I was out in the middle of the hole, hundreds of yards from either bank, and didn't have my life jacket on. Even with it on, in 38 degree water the chances were I'd never make it to shore if I dumped, so I carefully paddled closer to shore and went around the pool to get to where I was going...and immediately put my life jacket on. Second time was on the Meramec in the winter, floating above Onondaga. There's a very narrow riffle running into some logs...no problem usually, but as I dropped into the riffle, I saw a new log with just the tip sticking up out of the water, and I was headed straight for it. Had to do some really hard draw strokes to clear it, leaning way over the side of the canoe to really put my back into the strokes...and when I did clear it, I realized I wasn't wearing my life jacket. Could have probably gotten out if I'd flipped, but I would have been soaked, four miles from the truck, and no change of clothes, in 40 degree weather. The life jacket would have made getting out a sure thing, but wouldn't have helped with the hypothermia once I got out. So now, if in the canoe, I always carry a change of clothing in a waterproof bag, along with some matches, when I'm out in the winter.
  15. Al Agnew

    Does It Matter?

    Yeah, I make my own leaders, too...after a few days of use, the store bought leader I started out with is so short that I've spliced about three sections of tippet onto it

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