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I've only caught one smallie over 20" in Missouri. Caught her on a float last April while ticking bottom with a 3/8oz swim jig, 21" with a 14" girth. My best on the fly measured 19". I've caught lots of 15-17" fish over the years...but any smallmouth over 18" is usually my fish of the year.


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What is your personal best smallie? I don't need to know where, lake or river will suffice. I have caught a lot of Missouri smallmouth that are 18 or better, but fish over 20 inches are rare. My personal best Missouri smallie was 20.5" and was caught from somewhere most would not expect. This past year I was able to catch 3 over 19 and a 20" in a 4 week span in August and early September.

If I include other states, I was able to break my personal best smallmouth in Indiana this past summer. It was a beautiflul 21.5" from a small stream that I was unable to get a picture of unfortunately.

Andy, I'm right there with you I have never been able to break the 21 inch mark......it's tough I really don't think there are all that many in Missouri streams 21 and bigger. I have caught some 20's and quite a few at 19 and under but, very few over 20. Here's one that was a hair over 20.5 from a Missouri streampicture469c.jpg

but most are in the 19 inch range and those are way more common like thispicture646b.jpg

the 21 inch mark is tough to best

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I don't take a tape measure or camera when I wade a river but I have my rods marked every 3" above 12" and every inch above 18" and obviously when you lip a fish and hold him up against the rod you can't hold the tail togethr but right after I put Werner Redus from Hot Springs Village on a close to a 23" smallie the next cast I caught a 22". Both were measured against my rod and immediatly released back into the Ouchita River under I30 at Malvern AR off the upside of the second pier in the westbound side of the bridge. That area of the Ouchita in the seven years I lived there produced more over 18' fish than I caught anywhere else. After that day Werner and myother fishin buddy started calling me "guide". Werner is gone now catching even bigger giant smallmouth up in the sky but I still remember the smile on his face that day.

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My personal best smallmouth was caught 4 summers ago on my favorite Ozark stream. It went 20.5" and is still my only smallmouth over 20" to date. I think I've only caught 5 other smallmouth between 18"-19.5" and probably only another 30 between 16"-17". I don't catch as many big ones as most on here, but I don't get the chance to fish as much anymore either.

Here's to a new PB this year!




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20" about 20 years ago.

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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