The St Francois River is a tributary of the Mississippi River. It is 426 miles long and meanders through northeastern Arkansas and southeastern Missouri.
In the springtime they have kayak races on the part that goes through Silver Mines Park. Fishing is fair with a large variety of fish.
They were calling for a high near 70 degrees for today. That was all I needed to hear. I was river bound. I decided to try a new place that I had found. It was on the St Francois River in an area I had never fished.
I really didn’t think the fish would be hitting anything that I had in my tackle box. Just 3 days ago the high for the day was 9 degrees and a front was moving into the area today bringing rain with it. Well that wasn’t enough to stop me. I loaded the yak in the truck and headed out for a day of peace and relaxation.
The air temp was 55 degrees when I got to the river and the water temp was damn cold! It would not be a good day to flip the yak.
The water clarity was clear and water level was normal for this time of year. I didn’t go upstream 20 yards before I had to get out and pull the yak through the riffles. Once through there was a good 300 yard stretch with numerous deep holes and lots of structure and cover for the bass to suspend in. I knew to get them to hit I was going to have to drop my lure right under their nose.
I knew as cold as the water was I was going to have to fish a slow moving lure. This time of the year bass are lethargic and slow to attack the food source. So my choice was a pig and jig and a Charley Brewer slider worm.
The morning really started off slow. Not one single hit in 4 hours. Then a little after one p.m. I got a hit and set the hook. Didn’t appear it was going to be much of a fight then I guess it decided, not today bucko and the fight was on. After about 5 minutes I got it close enough to the boat so I could see it. OMG!!!!! He was big. My heart started beating 200 beats a minute then crap: I forgot the dip net.
Well he dove under the yak and popped up on the other side. With the help of the cold water it tired quickly. I got it up to the yak and I lipped it and put it in the boat.
OMG! What a beauty. I put it on the board and it was a hair over 20 inches. I admired its beauty and returned it to the river. It was a spotted/Kentucky black bass.
I caught two more spotted/Kentucky black bass.
All in all it was a great day. When I pulled out of the river it was 68 degrees. I felt good. I really needed that.
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