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Amazing Day On The Meramec Yesterday.


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I spent all day Saturday outside working on a backyard project and an outdoor party. So I had zero desire to spend Sunday outside again. But the wife wanted to head to the river to play in our new kayaks so Sunday morning we were river bound.

With the river so low I don’t even get the Blazer out these days (I know there are plenty of people who are thrilled by that) and the way things are going, I might not get it out again till next year.

But the wife talked me into buying these kayak a couple of months ago and now it looks like the best thing we did. I am really enjoying them and still enjoy wading and fishing which is a great way to stay cool.

Got to the river about 8:30 and after getting the a/c fired up and food put away we loaded up the yaks and headed upstream. We stopped at the first island we came to which is not too far upstream from our place and we both beached to get started.

I really didn’t expect to catch much but went ahead and set the minnow trap and rigged up both poles to fish with minnows. Didn’t take long to get a decent group of minnows and we started fishing. Ended up catching more than I thought we would. We paddled upstream around the island and would stop and fish the decent spots. I caught a few 12”-13” smallmouth, a drum and a big spotted bass. My wife caught a couple smallies plus another white bass.

I always let the smallmouth go but will keep the white bass to see if we might get enough to clean. But on this trip I didn’t even bring a stringer so they were all let go. All in all it wasn’t a bad morning.

By the time we paddled around the island and floated back downstream it was about noon. So we headed back for lunch and to meet up with my son, who was coming down with some friends to go tubing.

Once my son and his friends were gone I was pretty wiped out and ended up crashing on the couch in the a/c while the wife read her book.

Finally got up about 3:00 and told the wife I wanted to try fishing another island that is just downstream from our place. It is a classic set up with rocks and small boulders that form a decent rapids that ends up dropping to a deeper pool. She said she would join me shortly so I shot down there and threw out the minnow rig. Caught a 12” smallmouth on the first cast. Then another on the second and ended up catching 5 fish on 5 cast and each one was bigger than the last. All were smallmouth and the last one was about 15”.

All these fish were caught on my wife’s rod and reel which had a bobber above the hook and split shot.

She showed up about then and I told her about the smallmouth and asked if she had brought the camera because I wanted to have prove in case I caught some more. Like usual she said she did and then said show me how your catching them. I handed her rod back and threw out using my rod which didn’t have a bobber and, after about 20 seconds, felt the familiar tap, tap and set the hook. As soon as I felt the tug on the end I said I don’t think this is another smallmouth, it is probably a big drum.

I was wrong! It was a good size channel cat. I was totally amazed. The most amazing part is, I was catching the fish after throwing to the deeper water, which is about 5-6 ft and letting the current swing the bait downstream below me in about 2-3 ft of water. After it sat there a short time it would get hit. Once I landed it I realized I still didn’t have a stringer. I ended up using the rope on my kayak as a stringer to keep the fish.

So by now I am getting excited. Threw back out again and wham, same thing- big catfish. My wife by then is fishing a little farther down. She gets hit and ends up catching another nice white bass. I throw out again and get hung on a boulder. Wade out to get the minnow off the snag and when I do I let it sink behind the boulder and see this big channel cat rise up and eat the minnow. Set the hook and the fight is on.

These rod and reels we were using are light action spinning rods with 6lb test. I am using a little #8 gold Aberdeen hook and one small split shot. So it was a blast fighting and landing these fish.

Ended up catching one more nice channel cat and another white bass and a few more smallmouth before things slowed down. All the smallmouth were let go and none were deep hooked.

All and all an amazing day considering it was over 100 degrees out and we were fishing in the hottest part of the day in 2-4 ft of water.

One thing I did realize after we got back and I started cleaning the fish, there were thunderstorms rolling in so we must have been fishing right as the front came through. Not sure if that was why the catfish were turned on but I will be back there again on Wednesday to see if they are still there.





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