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Good Place To Fish/paddle Close To Home


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Howdy . Where's a good place to put in and do some fishing from the old canoe? I'm taking my first real vacation in two years next week. I've got a place not far from Houston and the Big Piney is right down the road. Anybody know much about the state of the river in that area? I'd like to put in at Dogs Bluff but I want to be able to paddle for more than a hundred yards without scraping bottom. I'll also need to take out and put in at the same location because It's just me and I'm not looking to do an overnighter or a shuttle run. Any suggestions are welcome. Anywhere that's a reasonable drive from Houston would do. I'm an over the road trucker so I haven't been able to check the area out for a while. I'd rather do more fishin than scouting next week. Thanks in advance for the comments!

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Having spent considerable time on Big Piney this summer I feel I can speak with some authority when I say the only decent fishing you find is mid way between access, the further apart the access the better the fishing. If the access is primitive such as one only a canoe or kayak can be launched you may find some fish nearby. If the access has a boat ramp that a jet or john boat can be launched you will find that the meat keepers have taken all the fish home to the frying pan regardless of what ever regulations may apply. You may also find that all the turtles have been shot, game fish gigged and maybe even dynamited. As is the case at many of the stream access in the area it’s likely your vehicle will be vandalized as well. Sorry for the dour report but few knowledgeable anglers on this forum will argue with it.

His father touches the Claw in spite of Kevin's warnings and breaks two legs just as a thunderstorm tears the house apart. Kevin runs away with the Claw. He becomes captain of the Greasy Bastard, a small ship carrying rubber goods between England and Burma. Michael Palin, Terry Jones, 1974

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Thanks for the report Greasy. I, too, had been considering the Big Piney from one of the accesses rather than an outfitter to save money. I don't need my vehicle damaged though. So I suppose if I go, I'll find an outfitter and park it there.

"Thanks to Mother Mercy, Thanks to Brother Wine, Another night is over and we're walking down the line" - David Mallett

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As is the case at many of the stream access in the area it’s likely your vehicle will be vandalized as well.

Is this recent trend? Happened to you? I've been all over that river, Boiling to Ross and never had an issue. I've never had a problem with anyone messing with my vehicle at any access anywhere in the state in fact. Maybe I'm just lucky, but I know crap happens.....

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Is this recent trend? Happened to you? I've been all over that river, Boiling to Ross and never had an issue. I've never had a problem with anyone messing with my vehicle at any access anywhere in the state in fact. Maybe I'm just lucky, but I know crap happens.....

I guess I woke up this morning with a dark cloud over my head, and maybe I’m a little sour and a little fed up with seeing another beautiful Ozark stream with much poorer fishing than what should be expected given the habitat. The last time my vehicle was broken into was a few years ago at Buck Hollow on J F, but I almost always leave my truck at an outfitters lot. When I do leave my vehicle overnight at an access I’m extremely relieved when I do find it intact. You will from time to time find a report of vandalism on this forum, maybe not as rampant as I may have led it to be.

His father touches the Claw in spite of Kevin's warnings and breaks two legs just as a thunderstorm tears the house apart. Kevin runs away with the Claw. He becomes captain of the Greasy Bastard, a small ship carrying rubber goods between England and Burma. Michael Palin, Terry Jones, 1974

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The Big Piney is much abused....and some spots are safer than others...I'd probably fish the Mason to Ross Stretch...fair fishing bass up to 15"...I'd avoid Eastgate access below FLW....Lots of meth head activity...do not leave a vehicle there.

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Hey, hate to do it, but I agree with Gavin and Greasy B. . . if the access looks shady, it probably is. I've had pretty terrible fishing luck this year on the BP compared to the Gasconade. The good news is that the BP is a really pretty river in some parts, and has some nice water, especially down where you're talking about. I should make clear that I've not been anywhere near Dog's Bluff this year. I fish much further downstream (east gate and down to gasconade).

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I appreciate the info. I won't be leaving my rig overnight, I'm just looking for a nice calm stretch to paddle around and catch a few bluegill for the frying pan. I saw plenty of fish right next to the boat launch at dogs bluff at the end of last summer. So maybe that stretch doesn't get as much traffic. I really hope your idea of abuse isn't anyone who keeps a few legally. I've seen a lot of this "meat keeper" stuff on here. Maybe there is a lot of abuse? Thanks for the comments everybody.

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