Saturday, July 31, 2010

Spring River, Twin Bridges SP, Oklahoma, July 29th, 2010: Fishing a tad slow, great potential!

Fishing barge- has indoor fishing spots!
Paddled all around these islands...very scenic!
I arrived at Twin Bridges SP, Oklahoma around 3:30 in the afternoon and got the kayak launched- extreme heat both air and water.  Paddled all around the islands in the middle of the channel.  There is a really good put-in point for kayaks and canoes if you go up the hill in the state park...great vista to see the entire river as well.  This is the point where the Neosho River and the Spring River merge to form the Grand River and Grand Lake in Oklahoma.  I got a chance to chat with the fishing barge operator...this is an incredible catfish fishery.  On the way out, he was cleaning a very large flathead catfish caught on a jug line.  I am going to come back later and target some of these catfish!

Fish ON!


Oklahoma Yard compliments to the designer!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Grand Lake, Deleware County, Oklahoma, July 28th, 2010: Little bit of action near marina, bass are deep

Marina near Bernice State Park
My first Oklahoma largmouth!
I got a chance to fish Grand Lake O' The Cherokee's (Grand Lake) after working in Kansas for the day, and hit the water around 3:30 p.m. or so.  The put in spot was Bernice State Park.  Grand lake is a beautiful lake and today turned out to be excellent.  I paddled up to the bridge that crosses the arm of the lake and went to the other side of the bridge. 

Grank Lake Largemouth Bass
There was a marina and a shady rocky shore with docks, shade, and depth, so I chose to fish that area for the day.  I was using a natural colored Wave Worm on a texas rigged baitcasting rod.  I got a couple of really small taps and caught a 6" green sunfish (the bait was as large as the fish!).  After fishing the drop off points for about an hour, I paddled to the cove that had the marina.  About 10' out on the corner of a dock, I landed my first and only fish for the day.
  They call this spot the "Crappie Capital", so I will make sure to come back to it soon, and most definitely check it out for spring crappie fishing.
Fish ON!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lake Springfield, Greene County, Missouri, July 26th, 2010: Nice size bass caught on texas rigged plastic worm off kayak

I only had a couple of hours after work on Tuesday to hit Lake Springfield.  The last couple of times I have launched off at this point, I paddled north where it turns from Lake Springfield to the James River.  This time, I decided to head west towards the railroad track bridge and bluffs.
  I was using an 8" purple/black plastic worm, texas rigged on a bait casting rod....I got a hit immediate and thought I had set the hook.  When the first bass surfaced, she shook her head and spit it out.  I knew it was a really good sized bass, and for a split moment I had some disappointment...then I realized how grateful I was just to be able to be out kayaking and doing what I love to do.  I never have understood the people who curse and carry on when they lose one....give me a break!  If you fish enough, you will catch another one- promise!  So I just leaned back for a moment, took a deep breath, and said "perfect"!
  Here is what was cool...after a couple of cast, BAM!  Another big hit!  Was it the same fish?  Or was it the brother from another mother?  These are the mysteries of the universe.  I currently have an elbow that is out of place, so landing this one was a real challenge, but we made it happen.  I love fishing for bass this time of the year- especially in the evening!

fish ON!


Lake Springfield, Greene County, Missouri: My attempt at a Bill Dance Moment

Monday, July 26, 2010

Lake Sherwood, Warren County July 25th, 2010: Catfish hitting on bass worms!

Needed the net for this one!
I decided to come back to Lake Sherwood after a great day of fishing yesterday (even with the heat).  A front moved through, so it was cooler than yesterday by a little, with more overcast than sunny skies.  This time I launched at the dam and fished the first cove by the lakes largest (and only) island.  I figured I would leave the bottom rig at home and just go for bass, so I had (1) spinning rod and (2) bait caster rods on the kayak.

Two Nice Lake Sherwood Channel Cats
  Tried a lot of different things....started with yesterdays "go to" the red jelly worm with no success.  I brought a tin of Berkly Gulp Alive worms, 7" watermelon and started to cast those.  I caught one very small bass, but did not set the hook hard enough to get into the boat.  About an hour into fishing the shore lines I got a mighty hit.  This happened the minute the worm went about 6" into the water by a log.  This was the first and largest channel catfish. I am glad I had my net in the kayak...this was the first time I have had to use it on a fish.  The water temperature is so warm right now, it really does not surprise me that they are hitting like this.  I have caught many a catfish in the spring on rooster  tails fishing for other species.  I continued around the cove and about 40 min later, caught the second catfish, in the same manner.  I am really glad I came back for round two on Sunday!

fish ON!


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lake Sherwood, Warren County, July 24th, 2010: Panfish off, but Largmouth On!

I got out to the main lake at Sherwood around 1:30 or so.  The story of the day really was the heat....the index was up over 100 degrees!  However, I know that sometimes the best fishing is during high light, high heat days, especially for that is what I was targeting on this day.  I got a new kayak wheel set and so I wanted to try it out.  It is going to take a little getting used kayak is a little heavier, coming in at around 75# (much like a canoe in that respect).  So I decided to park at the Lake Sherwood marina, unload it from the top of the car, and "wheel it" over to the boat launch.
  Paddled out of the cove and went to the beach area of the lake to get all the rods set up and ready to go and fished that cove.  Got absolutely no interest in the nightcrawler/ bottom rig set up that traditionally works so well on Lake Sherwood.  I got bored so I started to throw a texas rigged red Manns Jelly worm (6") towards the shore...started to receive some taps, but was not able to set on any....after about an hour or so fishing the shale banks, I paddled past the swim beach into another cover that has a lot of hydrilla and moss cover.  As I was speaking with another fellow Kayaker, a hit....16" Largemouth!
  I then paddled toward the marina and decided to use the canoe/kayak landing. (very dangerous, might I add....straight drop off w/ concrete and wire).  I knew my brother in law, Rob, was getting ready for a tournament that night and spotted him at the boat launch, so we had a quick convo....As I was packing up, I decided to fish just a couple more times towards the dock and BAM!  An even larger Largemouth Bass...hit on exact same set up.  As you can see from the photo, he is probably about 18" or so....overall, great day on the lake!  Finished up around 6:00 p.m. and headed home.

Fish ON!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010

Crane Lake, Iron County, MO, July 17th, 2010: If you kayak the lake, make sure you check out the Shut-Ins below the dam!

This is the Shut-In area below the dam at Crane Lake.  This area really reminds me of either West Virginia or Colorado, the way the rocks are structured.  This is a part of the Mark Twain National Forest and is in the "Arcadia Valley" of Missouri. 

Crane Lake, Iron County, MO, July 17th, 2010: What a beautiful lake!

Meremac River, Crawford County, MO: Canoe fishing not bad! River just a tad high

This was the first time I had paddled the Meremac River near Steelville. I got a chance to canoe with my friend, Art McCall. We ended up doing about 6 miles, and outfitted canoes with Garrison's Resort (friendly outfitter). It felt a little weird being on a canoe vs. a kayak. I am still very partial to kayaks, but I can see applications for canoes on occasion.
The float was fast, and we stopped several times at some sand bars to fish. I had some success with a brown rooster tail. Art caught a couple with a natural colored plastic worm , texas rigged.
I caught all of mine inside a root wad/tree that was in the middle of the channel. Current was going both ways, and there was slack water in the middle, with shade. I fished the seam and had success. The smallmouth was not a bad sized one for a river this size. I think I am going to come back to this spot with my kayak, and charter Garrisions to drop me off, that way it is a one way trip (too swift to paddle upstream with my kayak).
Gauge: 3'
Flow: 1,000
Fish ON!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Lake Sherwood, Warren County, July 13th, 2010: Main lake home to huge Bluegills!

I had an opportunity to go to Lake Sherwood in Warren County after work, and I am glad I did. Very rarely will I fish the main lake and not have success fishing, especially for large Bluegill and Red ear Sunfish. This day was not exception.
I used the traditional bottom rig with a nightcrawler and paddled around the main island. I was fishing off the main "channel" of the lake. You can do this on a week day, but on the weekend there are too many skiiers and tubers who make it almost like ocean fishing (kind of like Lake of the Ozarks, except not nearly as bad). Only had a couple of people in powerboats, and it got real calm after 6:00 (that may be when no wake regulations come into place.
Finished around 7:00 p.m. and headed back home.
Fish ON!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Meremac River, St. louis County, MO. July 4th 2010: Paddeling was awesome, storm not as good

Paddled from the Route 66 State Park boat launch to the confluence of the Big River. I got a chance to film it with my HD camcorder (see previous post). This is one of my favorite stretches of the Meremac River. In the past, the fishing has been really good. This is the spot that I caught a huge smallmouth- my personal best so far.
I had a bottom rig out with some nightcrawlers and caught several drum....this part of the river has a ton of drum. I bet it has some large catfish as well. It is 2.75 miles from the boat launch to the confluence point. I felt the workout the next day, big time (close to 6 miles total)...because my thought was to paddle up, drift fish back for about 3 hours or so. In reality, I paddled up, and then had a thunderstorm on my back going the other way. So I had a "sense of urgency" to get back to the ramp. Did not make it....found a tree to hang out under until it blew over. I got soaked. There is a saying "cotton kills". This is a correct statement. I had a cotton sleeveless shirt on, and it stayed soaked the whole time. In a cooler environment, I could have got hypothermia (even in the summer!). That is why a dry bag with dry clothing is always a good idea (I usually keep extra cloths in the car, if possible).
Flow: 900 (cfs)
Gauge: 2.75 (ft)
Fish ON!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Sugar Hollow Lake, Warren County, MO. July 2nd 2010: Fishing a little slow, a couple of nice fish

This is the second largest lake at the Lake Sherwood area. Gas driven engines are not allowed on this lake- trolling motors only. This keeps the traffic down on this lake. Everytime I have taken the kayak out here to fish, I have been the only one on the lake.....good set up!
Fished on this day about 4 hours.....caught a couple of nice panfish (see photo above), but not a lot to write about. Fishing was sporadic at best. Had a nice hit on a minnow spinner, but was not able to set. I think the fishing may have had something to do with the weather pattern or time. I have seen buckets of panfish come out of this lake in the are in a summer pattern for sure! This seems like it would be a great early morning or evening lake to fish. We will have to try that some time before the summer closes out.
Fish ON!


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Lake of the Ozarks, Grand Glaize Arm, June 29th 2010: Found a nice primative launch for the Kayak

I got an opportunity to kayak Lake of the Ozarks for a few hours last week. The original plan was to put in around the swinging bridges and kayak the skinnier waters (I prefer rivers to lakes, just so you know). The challenge I had with that plan was the portgage from the parking lot to the put in site. I really need to invest in a set of wheels for the kayak (that will be the next investment).
Drove past the bridges and found the primitive camping site on the south end of Lake of the Ozarks SP. Found a perfect gravel launch (just how I like it) and put in. Got quite a bit of paddling in and fished all the way back. Fishing was a bit slow. Had to fight a bozo on a speedboat skiing the area....I could not believe someone would take such a risk- big stumps and debris, plus the water goes from about 12' to 1' within a matter of yards. Because of this, I had to paddle against 3' waves every 1/2 hour or so..this is why Lake of the Ozarks is NOT a good kayak or canoe lake from Memorial Day to Labor Day....I will come back to this place in the fall when it calms down a bit.
Fish ON!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Lake Sherwood, Warren County, MO. June 26th 2010: Tore it up on large Bluegill and Red-Ear Sunfish- Big time!!

I have fished Lake Sherwood in Warren County many times in the past from shore, but this is the first time I have kayak fished the main lake at Sherwood. My opinion is that Lake Sherwood in Franklin County is the best Red Ear Sunfish lake in the state of Missouri, and is one of the top large Bluegill lakes in the state as well....what an incredible fishery!
I put in near the island on the main dam and paddled into the first cove past the island. The day started off with a couple of large bluegills. Started with a slip bobber, but soon moved to a bottom rig with a nightcrawler...that was the trick!
When I paddled back, I anchored up at a point and started to cast out...BOOM! I must have hit a whole school of large redears! We ended up with a nice stringer at the end of the day, big time. Ended up cooking the filets baked over cajun rice...yum!
Fish ON!