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jdmidwest

Toothy Sucker Fish!

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Hit the 11 Pt River on Sat. Arrived as a thunderstorm was rolling in. Put the boat in at Whitten and drifted down past Whites Creek waiting to see what weather was going to do. We had caught a few nice fish and realized while looking for a net that the boat had been stripped of net and life jackets. We went back to ramp and picked up some inflatables, the proceeded up river a ways. Fishing was still good, buddy caught a nice 15" rainbow with an attachment, freshwater lamprey, big one.  I have seen them before, but not like this 8" feller. 

 

We had several more trout during the day. We ended up running up river past Mary Decker Shoals. All trout were nicely colored and finned out. Not having been stocked for a while did not seem to hurt us.  

Wonderful day till rain caught up to us. Motored down, pulled out, and put back in at Riverton for late afternoon of smallmouth fishing. Weather must have turned the bass off, we could not get anything going with them. 

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I can't say I have ever found one on a trout, but have seen them attached to smallmouth and suckers a lot in the cooler months.

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I have seen a few, but never any more than a few inches.  The first I ever saw was doing a stream survey on the Little Whitewater in Bollinger county, but I can't remember what it was on.  I think it was on a bass.  It was only a few inches long and that was 30 years ago.

This thing took a flop in the boat and stuck to the floor like glue.  It really gripped the diamond tread aluminum well.  But the trout did not have a mark on him yet.  It must have just grabbed it.  It is a throw back from a long time ago when fishes were simpler.

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They are very common on bass in the winter on the Meramec.  Anywhere from 5 inches or so to 10 inches.  They are chestnut lampreys, just about the only parasitic lamprey species in the Ozarks, and a native species (unlike the sea lampreys in the Great Lakes that decimated fish populations there for years).  There are several non-parasitic native lampreys in the Ozarks that the angler almost never sees because they stay half buried in the mud in backwaters...they aren't much bigger than night crawlers, and act a little like aquatic night crawlers. 

Pretty interesting critters.  They don't kill the fish they attach to, but once in a while the fish will die from infection later. 

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Just missed you, JD. 3 of us camped at Whites Creek last Mon/Tues/Wed. Fishing was fair to good for us - esp. good in evenings. Lots of 12-14", and a few 16" fish. Beautiful camping weather before this heat set in.

Floods have really hurt the Eleven Point. Good campsites on the river are harder to find. Use to love Stinking Pond with lots of good wading water. But sand and pea gravel has washed away, and trees downed. Same as my other fav spot - Tumbling Shoals.  Areas with long sections of trees wiped out. Lots of places where 6-8' dirt bank exposed with serious erosion taking place. Some good holes now filled in with gravel.  Mother Nature taking her course I guess.

Still a beautiful river and one of MO best kept secrets. One day saw about 10 other people, busiest day maybe 25.

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Whites Creek always holds fish.  Its a good run with boulders and cover.

I wonder what the place will look like 10 years from now.  Its ripped up pretty bad.  I have never seen a flood uproot trees like that.  Blow outs at the end of each straight hole into a bend.

All of the downed timber will go somewhere in the floods, probably huge log jams.  Erosion will take place and gravel will shift.  The river has already been widening out and getting shallow in the riffles.  And the water table is falling off some too.

I was really amazed at how well the fishing was.  Last stock was before Memorial day.  We caught nice fish, beautifully colored and "natural".  Most were almost golden.  It was a rare moment on the river that day.  It was a weekend and we had several others to deal with.  But the fishing was good.  It really is the best place when the weather heats up.  Natures air conditioner.

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