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Castor River, The Deep End!


jdmidwest

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As most know, the beautiful clear smallmouth stream that starts out in Madison County turns into a flood control ditch around Advance. Below that at the Block Hole, it turns into a channel that drains it into the Mississippi. The old Castor still meanders south at Advance, but is mainly a slough robbed of inflow by the levee.

Saturday, I had the morning to fish only, so we decided to test out some new mechanical work on the boat. We dropped the boat in at Scott City Diversion Channel access and motored up. It was hot, miserable. The water stunk like a cesspool from being backed up since this spring from the flooded Mississippi. We had tossed a few rods in, managed to drum up a few bass and bluegill, but not much else. We motored down to the Mississippi and checked it out, watched a tug come up.

Sunday was to be Lake Wappapello, but the weather kept us guessing that morning and we stayed at home.

Today, after a 40 degree temp change, forecast of 30 mph gusts, and a strong frontal system passing over, we headed back to the channel. Armed with minnows and crickets, we motored up river past Bloymeyer bridge and tied off to a tree out of the wind. I loaded a ultralight rod with a cricket and bobber, and a medium action rod with a minnow and bobber. Both were only out a few minutes when the cricket went under and up come the carp, 8lbs and lots of fun on the light rod. I looked and the minnow was gone, I reeled in a small gar. And that was the way it was going to be for the rest of the day till we run out of crickets. Bluegill, channel cat, carp, and a shad on the crickets. Channel cat and gars on the minnows. Many times I was cranking in 2 fish at one time. Its not the clear, pristine river as it is on the upper end, but it is loaded with fish.

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"Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously."

Hunter S. Thompson

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Grass carp on a cricket. Pretty unusual.

Do you have a picture of the sunfish? Bet they weren't bluegill.

That was what I thought too, but look closely, it is a bighead carp or an asian carp. Buddy caught a yellow carp later in the day on a cricket too. We were fishing around downed trees that has sloughed off the bank. The bluegill were actual bluegill, no longears or greenies that day.

"Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously."

Hunter S. Thompson

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I did a lot of fishing in lower Castor and the Diversion Channel many years ago, mainly seeking big walleye. Never caught a big one, but caught 20 pound flatheads and a bunch of white bass while trying--also caught quite a few average size walleye and sauger. At one time or another I've floated the Castor from Hwy. 72 to Greenbrier. It's very interesting how fast the river changes from one of the clearest streams in the Ozarks to a slow, murky, high-banked lowland stream. Once you get past Hwy. 34, in just a couple of miles it changes character. The smallmouth mostly disappear, the spotted bass get real common, the river gets a lot slower and less clear.

It's been a while since I was on the lower river. It never was a favorite, but it was always worth fishing.

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We used to fish from our farm on OO down to Gypsey alot when I was a kid. We would catch sauger and largemouths in that stretch. It is slow and murky, but full of deep holes and trees. I have not been in that stretch for about 12 years now. I don't even think there is an access at Gypsy any more.

Zalma to Greenbriar is a pretty good bass float with much the same water as above.

The area around the Blockhole is the good walleye stretch, but it was flooded out this spring when the catching was supposed to be good.

"Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously."

Hunter S. Thompson

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That was what I thought too, but look closely, it is a bighead carp or an asian carp. Buddy caught a yellow carp later in the day on a cricket too. We were fishing around downed trees that has sloughed off the bank. The bluegill were actual bluegill, no longears or greenies that day.

That is a grass carp.

This is an asian carp, no doubt there are plenty in the lower castor though.

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That is a grass carp.

This is an asian carp, no doubt there are plenty in the lower castor though.

I agree, grass carp. The big scales give it away, if nothing else. Eye placement on grass carp is higher than the Asian carp, too, though still lower than common carp.
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Ok, so when did the MDC stock Grass Carp in the Diversion Channel. It did have big scales, but goofy eye placement, lower than other grass carp I have seen.

"Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously."

Hunter S. Thompson

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Ok, so when did the MDC stock Grass Carp in the Diversion Channel. It did have big scales, but goofy eye placement, lower than other grass carp I have seen.

Fish swim. It could be from anywhere...washed out of a farm pond during the floods. I've shocked them bigger than that out of golf course creeks you could hop across. Who knows.

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