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Haris122

Fishing St. Joe State Park?

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Anyone fished any of those 4 lakes before? If so, how did it go, and what could we expect. I went swimming there several times, and always thought I'd like to try out fishing the lakes from the kayak. Next week I may actually go ahead and do it.

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I never did.  They were lead mine lakes.  I really don't know if there is any toxic stuff in the lakes, but it is likely.  Then there was the constant noise from all of the 4 wheeler's that kept me out.  I have not looked at them since I was up there in the 90's.

I did fish the Busch Wildlife lakes in the 80's but never kept a fish.  Lots of toxic stuff in the ground around there too.  It used to tarnish the blades on the spinners of the grubs I was using to fish with.

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I'm pretty sure I'd probably just fish it C&R anyways. If I were to keep something, it would probably be in very small quantities, but that being said, I think they have a map that shows levels of lead still in the nearby soil. Unfortunately there's no information for the lakes themselves, but if the bordering soil samples relate in any way, the lakes would be among the cleaner areas. I'm still not completely sold, and wouldn't make it a habit to keep much, but it helps a little bit.

https://mostateparks.com/sites/default/files/sept-map-grid-trail-mult-colors-33x44-600-2[1].pdf

Funny about Busch, it looks like one of the cleaner areas in the St. Louis area to keep fish from. Certainly gives a better impression than most areas of the Meramec south of 44. Again, I haven't kept much from there either, but I feel relatively at ease keeping the occasional fish from there. Maybe it's just a false sense of security, but I hope it's just that things have gotten much better than they were in the 80's.

Either way, hope I can give St. Joe a try shortly.

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Haven't fished it in years but used to catch some nice bass out of it years ago. Both Grandpa's were lead miners and my Mom's Dad had a minnow tank in the basement of his home in Elvins. You could fish what was then known as the Monsanto lake thru the winter as the water they pumped out of the mines kept the one end open. They have had problems on several occasions with higher temps and low water with pollution from human waste,etc. We fished those minnows and caught crappie from time to time but C&R might be the ticket during the summer months anyway.

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I made it out there on Sunday, and tried my luck at the big lake (Monsanto lake), with hardly anything to show for it. My total tally was 1 little largemouth, 2 green sunfish, and a bluegill, while fishing there most of the afternoon up until 8. I guess cause I came up there on the weekend, it was louder than I thought it'd be, with the occasional off-road vehicles on the trails right alongside the lake but in regards to noise it still wasn't too bad. I noticed pretty soon that this lake had a good bit of milfoil under the water along the bank. For me that's a problem cause I still have no clue how to fish structure like that without constantly hanging up. The water was pretty warm, in the low 90's-high 80's, and initially I started seeing fish primarily below 10 feet, out in the middle of the lake. I tried a bit of everything I have some confidence in, including shallow diving crankbait, topwater heddon torpedo, buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, roostertails, all alongside the shore and stumps and trees a bit further out from shore. As far as deep water stuff, I just tried a deep diving crankbait (a storm wiggle wart I think), casting from closer to shore out into deeper water. In the end I really only got frequent bites on a plastic trout worm under a slip float, fishing close to shore, that being how I got the 3 sunfish for the day. The sole bass bite I got on a spinnerbait. Hopefully whenever I try Pim Lake, I'll get better results.

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I have fished the largest, Monsanto, and the smallest, Pim, both from the bank and from a kayak. Targeting bass, I have had luck on chatter baits, small swimbaits, and frogs when I fished there this past summer. The lakes themselves are pretty quiet, with occasional fellow bank anglers, but oftentimes when I go out there I am pretty much alone. I have my best luck close to shore structure and stumps. Of the two, I have had better luck on Monsanto, but it is a much larger lake and takes a good few hours to make your way all around it fishing from a kayak. 

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