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Al Agnew

Fishing Buddy
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Everything posted by Al Agnew

  1. Yeah, I kinda know how to get away from the crowds, but that's because I go only during the week. I haven't been running into many people, but the accesses are all beat down and there are fishing lines hanging from the trees everywhere, so I know these places are getting pounded. And the fishing has been frustrating, to say the least.
  2. Yeah, but it was a crime by police. That's the key here. Black people in these places feel like the police are treating them badly. This ain't an easy question. I fully understand that there are often REASONS why police treat minorities in these areas badly. They are crime-ridden areas, and most of the crime, if not all of it, is committed by the minorities who live there. It's easy to see how a cop can get so cynical that he just assumes that any black man who looks the least bit suspicious is likely a perp. It's like profiling...profiling often makes sense. But when the profiling is wrong and harasses an innocent black person, or when the supposed perp turns out to be innocent, there is a real problem. The real question becomes, does stuff like this happen far more frequently to minorities, especially blacks and hispanics? I suspect it does.
  3. Kinda funny...I fished BSC for the first time in quite a while the other day when I had a couple hours to kill and was staying at our cabin nearby. Meramec was blown out, BSC was slightly high and just a little murky. I basically didn't do anything everybody is advocating...waded downstream, used 4X tippet, wasn't really trying all that hard to be stealthy, and was using a smallish but not real small Woolybugger, think it was size 8. Caught 3 trout. They weren't big, 8 inchers, but it was satisfying.
  4. Yup, that's what I'm saying. Those extra fat smallies are not very common in the Ozarks. You're more likely to catch a 20 incher that's under 4 pounds than you are to catch a 20 incher that's over 4.5. And this spring just simply sucks for me so far. Had one day that was a little better than mediocre, and that was only on numbers, not size. Every other day since March has been slower than normal to really bad. Like today...floated a little known and little floated section of stream with Mary, caught maybe a half dozen fish, nothing over 12 inches. It's gotten to where the last couple floats I've put the rod down and just paddled and watched wildlife by the last couple hours of the day.
  5. As I said, false equivalency, except for the black cop shooting white guy. Black cop shooting white guy who deserves it, no problem. Black cop doing something like this to a white guy...has that actually happened recently? Don't know. Everything else in your examples are simply crime, not institutionalized mistreatment seemingly based upon racism. People don't protest crime...unless they are protesting that they are not being served well by the police in crime-ridden areas.
  6. False equivalency. You don't protest against crime committed by private citizens. You protest injustice and mistreatment by governments and police. It doesn't make any sense to protest crime in general. It does make sense to protest institutionalized racism and bigotry.
  7. Umm...not sure where you got those figures, but far less than half of Americans with jobs work for the government. Including state and local governments, the two places with the highest percentage of government workers are DC (no surprise) and Alaska (maybe a surprise) at 25%. The state with the least percentage of government workers is Michigan with 10.1% Most states have around 13-15%. And I didn't bother to try to find it, but I highly doubt that over half the employed not working directly for governments are working for companies supplying governments, etc. And...supposedly, we taxpayers benefit from the production of those government workers (and I know that is often questionable).
  8. I guess it depends upon your definition of beauty, but no, I don't think Black River is anywhere near the most scenic stream in the state. Super clear water, check. Huge clean gravel bars everywhere, check. Lots of wooded land surrounding it and not a whole lot of cropland, check. But it has too many people on it, too many idiots of ATVs tearing up the gravel bars, and it doesn't have hardly any bluffs. Long stretches of it don't even go up against steep hills. It's a good river, and if you know what you're doing you can catch some nice smallmouth on it. But not the most scenic. Current River is beautiful, more so in some sections than others. Has everything including some big bluffs. Can't really beat it. Jacks Fork is the same. Eleven Point is closer to wilderness than most, but also has a lack of big bluffs. Meramec in the stretch from Steelville to Meramec State Park is gorgeous, some of the best bluffs anywhere, but a little civilized in places. Big Piney is pretty darned nice. Gasconade is beautiful in some sections. St. Francis is unique and different. But name any Ozark stream and there are some stretches that are simply gorgeous, maybe in different ways. I can't name one that's head and shoulders above the rest, except the Buffalo in Arkansas. The upper section from Ponca down, and the lower end from Buffalo Point to the White, is simply a cut above every other Ozark stream. Fishing, though, is mediocre most of the time.
  9. Most of the livery people I know are careful not to put people in if they deem it unsafe. It's usually do it yourself floaters that get into these predicaments in my part of the Ozarks.
  10. Yup, or a 15-16 incher. There is absolutely no way that stretch produces a legit 5 pound smallmouth in a year. Maybe one every 5 years or so. In fact, I know of only one true 5 pounder that ever came from that stretch. And one other guy I know and respect his "guesstimates" told me he hooked one he was sure would go 5, and lost it at the canoe. Largemouth are another story. I have caught 5 pound largemouth from that stretch...not many, but a few. But I've been fishing it for, oh, about 55 years or so.
  11. In regard to my other post...I would call this one no more than 3.5 and probably less on an accurate scale. 18 inch Ozark river smallmouth seldom weigh more than 3 pounds.
  12. I have caught quite a few 20-21 inchers, and not a single one of them was anywhere close to five pounds. The closest I've seen was one my brother caught last year that was about 21 inches and weighed 4 lb. 12 oz. I've also never seen a 19 incher that weighed 4 pounds. Basically, it takes a pretty healthy 20 incher to weigh over 4. And a REALLY fat 21 incher to weigh 5. My two legit five pounders were 21.5 and 22.5 inches.
  13. No, not in the late spring and summer. Fish, especially bass, go to where the food is. There isn't much food for them in the middle of slow, deep pools. They sometimes use the deep water as sanctuary, but if they are there they probably aren't active. They feed in shallower, moving water because there is a lot more food there. They utilize cover, especially overhead cover like big logs or rocks, as ambush points and a bit of safety at the same time, but they aren't always next to such cover. Basically, if the water is deep enough that you can't see the bottom, it's PLENTY deep enough for the fish, and if there is cover to hide in and under, they can be in much shallower water yet.
  14. Clarity should have been perfect, about 3 feet visibility. Didn't take the temperature but on the Bonne Terre USGS gauge (the only Big River gauge showing temperature) it was 62-64. A little higher than normal but not much. Conditions should have been right.
  15. Don't know why I didn't see this post until now...those of you who thought it was a copperhead either don't know how to identify copperheads or have never seen one. The markings are completely wrong for a copperhead. FYI, copperhead blotches are thin on top and widen down the side. They've been likened to Hershey's Kisses. But if they are connected across the back, the connection is always a lot thinner than the parts of the blotches that are on the sides. You could say that if they are connected, they look a bit like bow ties. This snake has blotches that are THICKEST on the back and thin down the sides, AND it has another row of blotches on the lower sides, which copperheads don't have.
  16. It has not been all that good for me. I've floated every section now from above Irondale to Blackwell this spring, and haven't caught any big fish yet. Had one good day for numbers, with 105 bass caught. I floated it today, a long float (15 miles), so I made a lot of casts. Caught 60 bass, almost evenly divided between largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted. Not a single one of them was over 14 inches.
  17. And I'll say this again...I may be in the minority but I care about a hell of a lot more than how well I'm doing. I'm doing well because of ME, and my wife, and some fairly good luck along the way. It has nothing to do with who is president. But I care a whole lot about what is going to happen in the future on a lot of different levels. I care about the world we are leaving for our children, or my case my beloved nieces and nephews. I care about the environment. I care about energy, water supply, external threats. And right now I have passed the "concerned" point and am into full blown seriously worried about the future of this country. Not just because of this virus, though I'm pretty darned concerned about the possibilities of further mutations that could bring this thing to a whole other level. No, I'm worried about what this virus has shown us about how stupid, selfish, and anti-science we are. And how polarized we have become. It's getting past the point of being polarized, and getting closer to the point of outright hatred for everybody who doesn't believe the way your side believes (no matter which side that is). I stated on a thread on Facebook the other day that I thought the people who were participating in the thread, who were complaining mightily about their governor "shutting down the state" when the whole thing was a media hoax, were being self-centered and whiny that they couldn't go get their hair cut, which several had already complained about. In response, one of them came back on with a long diatribe about how I was nothing but a libtard, and that he hoped I would lose my house, all my money, my retirement, be reduced to having to scrounge in dumpsters to keep from starving, and to finally die of some REAL horrible disease--along with all the other libtards. And he was serious. And his "friends" on the thread came back and agreed wholeheartedly with him. Folks, it ain't that far from feeling like that to taking action, when you feel that strongly. As for Trump, I had hopes. I didn't vote for him, but I hoped that as a political outsider he just might take the tack that he was the president of ALL the people, listen to all sides, and govern as a leader, not as a Republican. He could have. He could have done a lot to pull us together. He could have been the one adult in the room. But instead, he doubled down, heck, quadrupled down, on divisiveness. And before you say that the Democrats were the ones attacking him, guess what...it takes two to be divisive. Trump didn't start every fight, but he started some of them, and he responded to any perceived opposition with nuclear tweets. He became the biggest child in the room, not the responsible adult. I am not second-guessing his responses to this pandemic. He made mistakes, but who knows if anybody else would have done better. He didn't have the country prepared, but that was a problem that was a LONG time coming through multiple administrations...the experts have been warning of this for decades, but nobody took it seriously enough. However, I AM faulting him for the apparent lack of any plan at this late point on what to do from this point on. We have forgotten that we are all Americans, that we all want pretty much the same things, but disagree on how to achieve them. We have let the radicals on "our" side, whichever one it is, define what the other side is, instead of listening to the other side. We have slid down the slope of considering those who disagree with us as enemies with nefarious agendas, not as simply fellow Americans with different ideas, life experiences, and priorities. It scares me.
  18. I don't think Missouri's is all that difficult. A lot of guys I know catch Master Angler size smallmouth half the times they go fishing. Same with good reservoir bass anglers catching largemouth. I counted up all the species that I've caught that would have qualified, and it came to 18 different species, maybe more. I've never submitted any of them. Probably several hundred smallmouth over 50 or more years. Quite a few largemouth. Only a couple spotted bass. One hybrid bass. Quite a few white bass, though that was a long time ago when we'd catch 3 pound plus white bass a lot while fishing for bass on Wappapello. Quite a few bluegill...that is pretty much dependent on finding a good small lake where the bluegill aren't overpopulated, then you can catch a hundred of them. One grass carp that was homegrown...and is still in my pond so one day I might catch it again--the thing is about 25 years old by now and I don't know how long they live, but it's still there. A few crappie over the years. A couple eels many years ago. A couple longnose gar. A few rock bass. One muskie, fishing for bass on Pomme. A couple chain pickerel winter fishing on Current River. Used to catch huge longear sunfish in the spring at a certain spot right below a low water bridge on Big River. Redear are like bluegill...find a good pond and you'll catch plenty of big ones. One brown trout in Missouri. One walleye.
  19. Nope, the so-called masks that most people are wearing. Mary has made a bunch. We've been experimenting with how to make one that actually seals decently around your face, which is difficult, which makes me think that my figures are maybe on the optimistic side when it comes to what most people are wearing. My biggest problem was leakage around the sides of my nose...my glasses continually fogged up, which obviously means a whole lot of air is leaking out there. But we've finally solved that problem by buying a load of the metal strips that go across the top of your bag of coffee so you can reseal it. Sew one into the top of the mask and bend it to fit around your nose. Works well. Mary has been making them for everybody in the family. I have a couple N95 masks. Haven't used them because, to be honest, we haven't been anywhere that I think they'd be necessary, and since ours AREN'T going to be professionally fitted, they probably aren't going to be foolproof anyway. We haven't been anywhere in public since this thing started except the grocery store a couple times, and then it was during the 6-7 AM period set aside for old people. Mary goes in, I stay in the car. Both times there haven't been more than 3 or 4 other people in the store. I did go into Tractor Supply in Farmington early one morning, after reading on their website about how careful they were being and all the measures they were taking. Big joke. None of the workers wearing a mask, no sanitizing wipes to wipe off your cart, had to ask a worker where something was and he had no qualms about coming up to within 2 feet of me to get me to follow him down the aisle. Had a small plexi screen at the checkout, but it was basically useless. I was glad to get out of there, and it's been well over 2 weeks now so I guess I'm not infected from it. Won't go back to that store.
  20. Regarding masks...nope, from everything I've read, they aren't more than about 10% effective in screening out virus particles coming in through breathing. Somewhat better than that screening out particles breathing out if you're already infected. Good for keeping you from touching your face, good for slowing the velocity and thus the spread of particles with heavy breathing, talking, even sneezing and coughing. Velocity and spread is important. So no, they aren't great protection. But they do some good. They lessen the amount of the virus you might get in a single exposure, or that you might give others. At the same time, they can make things worse if you aren't careful about the way you use them, clean them, etc. The way I figure it, if you're wearing a mask, it's more likely that you are going to be careful and conscientious about the other things you might be doing to limit exposure to yourself and others. I feel a lot more comfortable about being around somebody wearing a mask because of that. And there are a whole lot of people who feel the same way, whether or not it is totally justified.
  21. I have to say that I am sick and tired of these stupid comparisons. To "achieve" that 102 deaths per day from auto accidents, how many person hours are spent in cars? 300 plus million people and probably at least half of them spend an hour a day or more in an auto. When you look at THOSE statistics, driving is one of the safer activities we do. And we tried alcohol prohibition, but because people LOVE alcohol, it didn't work. People don't love Covid. They don't WANT Covid. Many love cars, and for most they are a necessity. So we take the small risk of dying in an auto accident as part of life. This virus is NEW. It's a potential cause of death OVER AND ABOVE all the causes of death that we've learned to live and die with. I can control the amount of risk I take from drinking (though many can't). I will accept the tiny risk of dying in an auto accident. But I know that IF I am infected with Covid, I have a significant risk of dying...one exposure, one illness, and since I'm in the high risk group I just might die. It's comparing apples to oranges, or eyebolts. So I do what I can to avoid the exposure in the first place, and I EXPECT anybody else who wants to be a member of society to do the same. If you don't, you are putting me and my loved ones in danger, and I will NOT accept that.
  22. Had a friend who sweared that blackened drum was as good as blackened redfish, since they are in the same fish family even though one is saltwater and the other freshwater. I never tried blackened drum, don't even know for sure how you prepared blackened fish, but blackened redfish was really popular for a while.
  23. Back around 1986 or 87, I hosted a writer from Field and Stream magazine for several days of fishing Ozark streams. He was a big fly fisherman but had never fished for river smallmouth, and wanted to do an article on the Ozark smallmouth rivers. I was recommending to him by somebody, and he called me and arranged to spend five days at our house and fish at least four of them. I wanted to show him a variety of Ozark streams, so the first day we fished one I always thought was really cool, Big Creek down to Sam A. Baker Park. Super clear water and great scenery, including a small shut-in with a couple interesting rapids to run. The fishing was okay; we caught quite a few mostly small smallmouth. He had come to the area expecting to stop and fly shop and buy flies for smallmouth, but there wasn't any such animal in Southeast Missouri, so he was using some of his trout streamers, all of them too small. I riffled through his fly boxes and picked out a couple of big white streamers that he'd used for tarpon or something, and he caught a few decent smallies on them. Second day we floated the upper end of Big River, just to see another smaller stream with different scenery. Did pretty well. He had gone to Walmart and bought some fly rod poppers and they produced a few fish. Third day we floated a section of the lower middle Meramec, hoping to get into a big smallmouth, but the fishing was pretty slow. Last day to fish, we floated a lot farther upstream on the Meramec. I was really feeling the pressure for ONE of us to at least hook one big one. I still remember the exact spot. I was using my homemade crankbait along a vertical clay bank, kind of a nothing spot really, no logs or even chunks of mud that had calved off the bank for a big fish to use for cover. But the big one was there, and it hit my crankbait. A bit over 20 inches, and he was as impressed as if he'd caught it himself. In all the years since then, I've floated of boated past that spot hundreds of times. I've fished it when it was warm weather, and always note that it really hasn't changed. You'd think those exposed clay banks would really keep being eroded, and a hundred yards farther downstream this one has, but the exact spot still looks like it did back then. So I was fishing that stretch today. I motored past the spot, and thought to myself that I'd never hooked another good fish off that bank in all those years. And then I thought, "but today will be the day." So I'm drifting back down the river and come to that spot, and I think again, "there's gonna be a big fish there." I was using my homemade crankbait just for old time's sake. I landed it 6 inches away from the clay, started the retrieve, and there was a huge bronze flash, a swirl, and I was hooked to a big fish. There are no pictures, because I lost it. Got it up close to the boat, got a good look at it...for sure 20 inches or better. But then it shook its head while it was facing me, and the hooks came loose. But I called it, and after all those years, there is still something about that spot that attracts big fish!
  24. Mary and I had the antibody test, since I had had that horrific respiratory illness back in January. Our doctors have it set up where you call and make an appointment, and at the appointed time a pair of nurses wheels a gurney out into the far corner of the parking lot, you drive up, stick your arm out, and they take a blood sample. You're wearing a mask and so are they. So we had it done Monday, got the results back yesterday...both of us negative. So alas, I haven't already had Covid. The test they are using is supposed to be 97% accurate.
  25. Why wear a mask? Well, I don't know how effective it is, but it DOES, according to what I've read, stop SOME of the virus particles, and as has been stated here and elsewhere many times, you don't want to get a big load of virus particles at once. A few, your body can fight off better. A big dose is worse. So yeah, that's one reason to wear a mask even if it doesn't protect you all THAT much. The other reason is to protect others, and there I think it's the same principle, except more so. The fewer germs you put out if you happen to be infected, the less likely it is that somebody else will take in enough of your germs to get infected. But there is what I think is a very important third reason. We all have to live in society as it is, and that means getting along with "strangers". If you are not wearing a mask, the people who are worried about getting it are NOT going to be happy with you when you're in the store buying groceries, and that includes the workers there. I know it pisses me off to be someplace like the grocery store right now and see people not wearing masks. So to get along with society, whether you think it does any good or not, the polite thing to do is to wear one. As far as lessening the effectiveness of your immune system by being too clean, I don't think that's the way it works. Yup, I think you can build up a hearty immune system over a lifetime of being outdoors, playing in the dirt or otherwise getting dirty, drinking questionable water now and then, or whatever. But if you have that healthy immune system, I don't think it matters to spend a few months being cleaner than normal and avoiding contamination as much as possible. Nor can you build up a healthy immune system by suddenly being unsanitary when you were not unsanitary before.
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