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Meramec River Fishing Help

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Hi all,

not sure if this is the right spot for this post but I'm new to this forum so sorry in advance. 

Anyways, I am an experienced lake and pond fisherman, mostly largemouth, and I'm wanting to gain more experience in river fishing. I live in Ballwin/ ellisville area so I have access to the meramec at several spots. The problem is I don't even know where to start. I have no idea what to look for in good waters, how to fish it, what what constitutes a good spot from a bad one. I'm wanting to target smallies for sure, but catching anything at this point would be a win. What areas of the meramac should I look at as being a decent spot. I don't have a kayak or boat, it's going to be me and my two feet.

any insure in this would be greatly appreciated. 

Thabks in advance

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Without a boat it can be tough finding good spots. If your looking for smallmouth any river in the Ozarks holds them. Not many by you in the Ballwin area. Head to the Upper Meremac. Anywhere from the beginning of the river at Cook Station to Steelville. But I don't know too many areas to fish without a boat. If you don't mind wading the Forks of the Black river are a good option. The Courtois and Huzzah are also in the Steelville area. They hold plenty of smallmouth despite their smaller size. But I really suggest renting a canoe on any river. If you are willing to drive 2+ hours you have the Current River, Jacks Fork, Big Piney, Little Piney, Gasconade, St. Francis. On the Meremac I use Ozark Outdoors across the river from Onondaga State Park, and take a 2 day float from Bird's Nest back to Ozark Outdoors. I think it's 20 miles and there are shorter floats. Plus they can also put you in on the Huzzah and Courtois. I like to use Huzzah Valley for the Huzzah and Bass River Resort for the Courtois. On the Black River I like to use Jeff's Canoe Rental. The Big Piney Rich's Last Resort. On the Gasconade I use Boiling Springs Campground and Gasconade Hills. Jacks Fork I use Windy's Canoe Rental. And I have never had a problem with any of these rentals accommodating my request. Just with Rich's you may get a canoe that leaks and Gasconade Hills won't put you in up river from them because they keep saying there is a log jam. They have been saying that for the past 3 years. I just think they don't want to spend the gas money running people up there.

For water to target. Every river is the exact same. There is a riffle, a hole, then a run and repeat. The fish are honestly everywhere. Holes are always productive and just above a riffle and especially below a riffle. Runs can be hit or miss depending on water depth and bottom type. Rocks are you best friend. If there is plenty of rocks around the fish are there because crawdads are there. If you empty 100 smallmouth stomachs 99 will have crawdads in them. For lures I use panfish lures. Baits don't get as big in the river as the do in lakes so scale it down just a little. Get a Rebel Wee Crawdad crankbait. A small yellow Rebel Crickhopper can be deadly. A Senko, Rooster Tails I use 1/8oz but a 1/4oz will work, buzzbaits, and get Curly Tails. They are the #1 smallmouth lure. I use 2", 3", and 5". 

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