Sunday, February 25, 2007

You can wait until spring- or you can catch fish now!

What a great day of fishing at Busch Wildlife CA in St. Charles County, Missouri!
I am incredibly thankful that all of the lakes are now unfrozen- they had been ice covered for almost a month!
Take a look at the photo- the large trout on the stringer to the right measured out at 16". This is the highest water level on this lake in about 2 years (should be a good spawn this spring!)
Caught them like I have caught them all winter- 1/4 copper colored "Super Duper" and Silver/Lime green Lil Cleo Spoon- (2) 7' spinning reels with 4# test.
Here is something I found interesting about today's fishing. The first fish hit real close to shore (strike was around 2' from the shoreline. This got me thinking that the back of the lake (the more shallow portion) would be the best place (opposed to right on the dam). Once I found them, I caught my limit in less than an hour. They were shallow and up in structure (thankfully, I only lost one spoon). It was real windy and cold (at one point, it started to sleet fairly heavy). Temperature about 38 f. Water temperature was probably close to the air temp.
You can wait until spring- or you can catch them now!


Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Best of 2006- Fishing the James River for Smallies

Imagine this- it is summer time, 90 degrees and very humid. Not always the best for other types of fishing, but my favorite weather to fish for Smallies. The photos are the largest smallmouth I caught that day- around 15" in length. We caught this a couple of hours into our float on the James River on the east side of Springfield, MO. (before you get to Lake Springfield).
My friend, Kevin Hanks, and I grabbed a canoe and some cold ones and headed upstream, with the intent to float down. This is an interesting river. From first sight, it appears to be "dirty", but looking closer, it is a very healthy river- it just does not look like most ozark rivers. This is probably due to the fact that there are not many springs that feed this river- it does have the same rocky bottom, however, that most ozark streams and rivers have. There are some HUGE common carps in some of the deep pools upstream- very impressive!

I was using a bait cast rod and 10# Red Cajun Line, Stand up Jig and Orange/Brown hula grub (Chomper). I have a lot of friends that approach waters like this with ultra lights, and I can imagine that would be a lot of fun as well, but I really dig using heavier gear (especially with all the cover- look at the front of the canoe- that is where this smallie came out of)
We absolutly tore it up on this day- I caught around 15 smallmouths, a couple of large mouths (none of any real size), and some rock bass. We caught so many fish, my elbow was sore the next day- absolutly increadable.
Here is why I am writing this article- when all the lakes are frozen, and the fishing is real lean, it is nice to think about what is to come in 2007!