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Night Fishing Report`


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Well I found Russ, but I had to drive to Missouri to do it.

With the blazing hot days, I had been wanting to do a night float on the elk for the past few weeks. Last night's full moon was a perfect opportunity. I hauled my canoe trailer to work in Rogers, and my girlfriend met me at the Walmart just across the line. We bought our one day licenses, and headed to Hog Heaven to say hi to Russ, and get permission to leave her jeep at his place. We drove my car up to the public access above 71. It was elbow to elbow with folks, including an whole group (national origin is unclear to me) of guys who had a stringer of fish I'm sure were illegal. I don't keep smallmouth, so I have no clue what the restrictions are, but these guys had at least six 12" fish on a stringer. Anyway, we paddled up big sugar a bit to kill some time and wait for dark.

At dark, we started night fishing - black buzzbaits and the typical night baits. I decided to set my girlfriend up with a technique that TrophyFishR turned me on to, and it wasn't long before she hooked her first 15" fish. After a few more the same size, I decided to fish the same way, and we positively killed them for the rest of the night. We had numerous fish 18" and more crashing our baits (she caught the biggest). We lost a number of fish. She broke one off, and I missed a few short strikes on the buzz bait (need that trailer hook next time).

The downside to the trip is I missed the take out at Hog Heaven. I never saw her Jeep and didn't recognize the place in the dark, so we kept on cruising until we ran into a whole group of folks and asked them where we were. We were at Judd's landing. These folks were having a good time, but they were nice enough to let me drag my canoe on their shore and hoof it back on highway H to Russ' place. I clocked it at 1.4 miles on the way back. That's a long walk in wet river clothes at midnight in that part of the world. The folks at Judd's landing would have given me a ride, but they were having too much fun to drive and I already felt bad enough for missing my takeout by a couple of miles.

Fortunately my girlfriend is a trooper. Despite having to walk back on a dangerous stretch of highway, and despite her nearly stepping on a snake in the middle of the road, she's itching to go again. I did, however, tell her that for the next few weeks I would be happy to do what she wants, when she wants, and how she wants to make up for her having to hike out like that. Hopefully she'll take me up on it.

Anyway, the midnight float on the Elk still has it going on. Can't wait for the next full moon!

I'll try to post a few pics, but the girlfriend has to approve them first.

Thanks again Russ for letting us park at your place and for being a good neighbor. Many many thanks to the owners of Judd's landing, without whom I would probably be single. And thanks to the drunken hoards of Missouri folk camped along the river who kept our night entertaining.

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