Jump to content
OzarkAnglers.Com Forum
lukem

Overnight float

Recommended Posts

I'm wanting to check out the Big Piney for the first time but was hoping to get some advice on where to go. I'll be bringing my 5 year old son with me and we will be leaving home (near STL) early Friday afternoon with the hope of getting on the water for a little bit then setting up camp and finishing up on Saturday. We will be fishing and doing the normal float stuff so 15 mi will be the max, and closer to 10 would probably be better. I have my own canoe so I would like to set up a shuttle and ideally float to the rental place where my truck is parked but if reasonably safe I would be fine having them leave it at an access point if that is what is required. I also really need to avoid rowdy crowds on Saturday

At first look, I was thinking mineral springs to boiling springs but it looks like the majority of that section is outside of the NF? Any issues with gravel bar camping or being able to find a decent gravel bar? Any other options or suggestions? I'm looking at doing this on May 13th.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, lukem said:

At first look, I was thinking mineral springs to boiling springs but it looks like the majority of that section is outside of the NF? Any issues with gravel bar camping or being able to find a decent gravel bar? Any other options or suggestions? I'm looking at doing this on May 13th.

Nice float through that section. Not a ton of traffic either. You won't have any problem finding a spot to camp.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You have a 5 year old son. Don't try to be a hero. Don't overestimate your son's manliness, no matter how much you brag to others. Don't do 15 miles. Or 10 miles. Six Crossings to Wilderness Ridge (about 6 miles) is fine. Plenty of gravel bars, won't be too crowded May 13. End up at your car at a popular site. This trip should be uncomplicated, easy, and fun. Not about you being The Best Dad Ever and pushing the limits of a child. Remember, 5 years old. Fun. Don't stress about making this some sort of "epic" trip that you wish he will "cherish forever."

Sandy Shoals to Boiling Springs is about 6 miles. Boiling Springs to Mason Bridge is about the same mileage, but your vehicle will be unattended in a somewhat remote, but locally used, area. Gravel bars can be found easily and camped on. Beware of recent campfires and tire tracks on certain gravel bars. Best to avoid if possible.

Be flexible. Be safe. Have fun with your son. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies and confirmation of that particular stretch. Looking into another option but it will most likely be Mineral to Boiling.  

joeD, do you have kids or do you take kids on trips with you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know about JoeD but I have taken my kids.  Last year I took my 11 year old on a 2 nighter on the Jacks Fork, just me and him.  Trust me...take JoeD's advice and make it a shorter float.  You can always paddle around and back up river a little ways if you find you hit your campsite too soon and believe me, you'll want the extra time if you can get it.  Much more relaxing than having to paddle extra hard to make it to your take out in time.

Just my 2 cents.  I've never regretted "too short" of a float but have regretted tacking on that extra 3-5 miles on many occasions.  As I said, you can always kill time fishing at camp or paddle upstream.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mineral to Boiling Spring is a pretty decent float, Boiling Springs CG usually puts in at Sandy Shoal Ford, so you wont see many folks on the upper half of that float and the traffic from Boiling Springs isn't that bad. The shuttle prices were very reasonable last time I used them, but I understand that the CG is under new ownership. I  would avoid 6x down to Ross Bridge. Its a pretty float, but It can be a zoo on a warm weekend. Allow plenty of time for swimming, rock throwing, crawdad gathering, etc. My girls (6&8) tend to get bored if we don't stop every 15-30 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mineral Spring to Boiling is about 11 miles, Sandy Shoal to Boiling is less than 7. I feel like 7mi is too short but I'm leaning towards doing the shorter section. It will give us more time to camp and not be rushed.

Now, any advice on tackle? Anything specific? My usual is worms rigged wacky, the occasional tube and a random crank or jerk. I would really like to get my son on some fish, don't have to be large for him...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I fish quite a bit from Rich's down stream to the Fort. If I was taking my six year old daughter with me I would rig up a Ned on a 1/16 head in PB/J or water melon. I have caught tons of goggle eye and nice crappie through that stretch of the river. The slower pools we pick up a bunch of largemouth too. Im not sure what the smallies are doing but have to assume on the beds. 

We went up river the other day with my buddies 4yo son and tied on a homemade hair jig, like a real small one 1/80 oz head, under a bobber. He absolutely laid waste to some very nice gills and crappie. Everywhere there was slower water and grass emerging from the bottom they seemed to be stacked in there. 

Im sure you guys will have a great time! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lukem-I have three kids in college. We don't float or fish or camp anymore. We did, though. I made every mistake one could make. I also did many things correct too. So yes, I do believe I can contribute to the conversation with some level of experience.

Judging by your questions, this trip is about you, and not your son. Nor about you and your son together. Also, as someone who apparently knows the Big Piney, mileages, crowds, take outs, terms like "rigged wacky" and "tube" and "random crank or jerk,", I think you know exactly what he should be using, tackle and all.

Kids and adults love chocolate milk. Bring his pillow and blanket. He may not want your gourmet cooking over a fire. He will probably disappoint you at some point. Ignore it. 

Less, not more. Him, not you.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, joeD said:

Lukem-I have three kids in college. We don't float or fish or camp anymore. We did, though. I made every mistake one could make. I also did many things correct too. So yes, I do believe I can contribute to the conversation with some level of experience.

Judging by your questions, this trip is about you, and not your son. Nor about you and your son together. Also, as someone who apparently knows the Big Piney, mileages, crowds, take outs, terms like "rigged wacky" and "tube" and "random crank or jerk,", I think you know exactly what he should be using, tackle and all.

Kids and adults love chocolate milk. Bring his pillow and blanket. He may not want your gourmet cooking over a fire. He will probably disappoint you at some point. Ignore it. 

Less, not more. Him, not you.

 

Sounds like you got me all figured out, thanks for the input. But for the record, any person that grew up in STL or has read anything on this site knows about the float trip crowd, and any person who likes to catch the occasional bass should know those terms (I did have to google a Ned rig though)...I've never been on the BP but my handy Paddlers Guide to Missouri kindly gives me river mileages. I guess shame on me for doing a bit of research before bothering folks on here?

Point taken on the food: hotdogs and s'mores for dinner and some biscuits and gravy for breakfast.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.