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East Gate to Rt. 66 canoe rental

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Kevin and I put on the river Friday evening about 5:30 pm and got off the river Sunday at 4 pm.  2 nights camping on the river and the trip is approximately 22 miles.

Andy at Rt. 66 hooked us up as he always does for us on the Piney or Gasconade. 


Water was about 75° and clear.  We caught smallmouth, spotted bass, goggle eye and 1 largemouth.  All together 100+ bass.  Kevin caught the biggest.  A 2 1/2 lb. Spotted bass.  Most of the rest were 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lb. Fish.  Kevin was using a watermelon flappin hog, white shad texas rigged and a hula grub texas rigged.  I used flappin hogs in watermelon and in green pumpkin as well as powerbait craws in green pumpkin...nothing else.  Always amazes me how much tackle I take only to use 3 items.


Great float and quite good fishing, just missing the bigger fish.  We'll get them next time.  


Thanks again to Andy.


Here are some of the fish photos











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Well, the jaw thing should have done it...compare the size of the mouth on those largemouth compared to the smallmouth pictures.  Spotted bass mouths are the same relative size as smallmouth.  But you have to close the mouth completely and then look at where the very rear edge of the maxillary (upper jaw) falls--with the fish horizontal, a imaginary vertical line from the rear edge of the maxillary will run up a bit behind the eye on largemouth, it will go through the rear part of the eye on smallmouth and spots.

However, once you know what you're looking at, you can tell spots from largemouth at a glance.  Spots have prominent ROWS of dark spots, one on each scale, below the horizontal dark stripe going down their sides.  Look at those fish in the pictures and you'll see just scattered dark spots, not perfect rows of dark spots.  Also at a glance, the scales just above that horizontal dark line on spotted bass will be prominently dark-edged; more like the scales farther up the back on those largemouth in the pictures.

If you really want to be sure, however, it's a several step process.  1. Feel the tongue.  If there is not a patch of teeth in the middle of the tongue, it's 100% largemouth and you need go no farther.  If there IS a patch of teeth on the tongue, however, it may still be a largemouth.  2.  Examine the mouth, as explained above.  If still unsure...  3.  Lift the spines on the spiny dorsal (back) fin, and look at the connection between the spiny dorsal and soft dorsal.  The last membrane between the spiny and soft dorsal on largemouth will go down almost to the back, so that the two fins are almost completely unconnected.  On spotted bass it will be broadly connected to the soft dorsal.  Still not sure?  4.  Look at the scales on the cheek, behind the eye.  On largemouth, the scales on the lower cheek are just slightly smaller than those on the upper cheek.  On spotted bass the lower cheek scales will be considerably smaller.  After doing all that, you should be pretty sure of your identification, and when you've caught a bunch of both species, you'll be able to tell at a glance.

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