A Day on the St. Francois River

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.

Eleven and a half inches

Thirteen inches

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.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. It is very much appreciated. Remember to spread the love and be kind to each other.

All photos are property of Double D Acres LLC and May not be reproduced without written consent from me.

Until Next Year!

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“Time will pass and seasons will come and go.” – Roy Bean

The end of the fishing season on the rivers here in Missouri for me has come to the end of the season.  On sunny days I will still float the river but fishing will have to wait until spring.

I know you all are probably getting tired of hearing my fishing stories so I will keep today’s blog short.  I put in the river at 8:30 a.m. and the temperature was 30 degrees. The “weather guessers” were calling for a high of 60.  The fourth cast of the day I caught a largemouth bass.  It appeared the fishing would be good toaday.  So I thought.

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The wind was a force I really didn’t want to deal with.  At one point I was going through a shallow, swift area of the river when a wind gust hit me head on and actually pushed me and the yak back up river against the current.  It made it pretty difficult to fish.

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That morning I caught 2 large mouth bass and one smallmouth bass.  Oh well a bad day on the river is better than a good day at work.  After lunch it didn’t get any better.  I caught 1 smallmouth and 2 perch and that was it.  It wasn’t the way I wanted to end the fishing season but next season will be here before we know it.

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It was a good year.  The Big River really is becoming a trophy smallmouth bass area.  The largest one I caught, actually put in the boat, was 16 inches.  Here in Missouri it takes approximately 7 to 9 years for them to grow to 15 inches.  I also caught a 19 inch largemouth and an 8 pound channel cat.

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I want to thank my high school friends David Tripp and Mark Nelson for taking time out of their busy schedules and doing some fishing with me.  I had a good time and hope you two did also.

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Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.  It is very much appreciated.  I hope you enjoyed the photos.  Photography is one of my passions.  Remember to spread the love, be kind to each other and above all, respect each other.

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All the photos were taken on the Big River near Desloge, MO.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally!!

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David and Mark

“There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.”  – Thomas Aquinas

On June 22 at noon the Geritol Crew finally shoved off and floated a portion of the Big River.  We started at St. Francois State Park and floated to Cherokee Landing.  It was a beautiful day for a float.  David and Mark used Mark’s canoe and I took my Kayak.   Water was low but clear.  We caught a few fish but they weren’t biting very well.  Mark did catch a sixteen inch smallmouth.

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David and Mark

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Big River

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Big River

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Big River at St. Francois State Park

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Big River

It was a great time with friends.  We took a trip down memory lane and revisited our time at Northwest High School.  When we got to Cherokee Landing no one was around so we loaded everything in the truck and headed out to St. Francois State Park and pitched tents.

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My tent at St Francois State Park

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Coffee perking

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Frying the bacon

I am lucky that I got to spend some time with some old high school buddies.  David and I hit the Bonne Terre lake one day.

Thanks for reading.  Hope you liked the pics.  Be kind to one another, share the love and don’t squat with your spurs on.

 

The Ugliness of Failure

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” – Henry Ford\

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Big River above Leadwood.

I had posted that I was taking a seven day float on the Big River.  I planned everything except my physical abilities and the water level of the river.  Some time ago around the early 80’s I busted my right foot up pretty good.  Doctor said about the only thing I didn’t break was my toes.  He told me  he had some good news and some bad news.  I said lets start with the good news.  He said I might walk again but if I did it would be with a cane.  I said well now lay the bad news on me since you all ready PPed pretty good on my day.  He said I really don’t think you will walk again.  Well, he missed that one.  I do have a lot of pain from time to time with it though.  I didn’t expect the river to be so low and couple that with the the extra weight of supplies, there were a lot of places that I had to get out and pull the yaks.  By Sunday my ankle was swollen the size of a large grapefruit so I decided to call it quits.  I have all ready started working on a better plan.  I failed at what I started out to do and it makes me sick.

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My rig I used on the trip.

I did manage to leave Mounts on Saturday morning around 9 am.  It started out pretty well.  I met some folks along the way and the day was beautiful.  The back float was doing a great job.  Then, then, then, BAM!  The float was following right behind the yak when the current sucked into a tree and then a sudden stop.  It caused the front end of my yak to go under water and then the whole yak started taking water causing a 63 year old man, who looked like a beached whale, to eject himself from his kayak.  To make it worse there was an audience.  I was glad to see them though.  They helped me drain the kayak and get it back in the water however the tent and sleeping bag got soaked even though they were tucked into dry bags.

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Big River

I am not going to accept defeat.  I am all ready planning a new attempt sometime in August or September.  I have to get all my supplies in one boat.  I am thinking, lose the cooler and water.  I am going to do some research on water filters.  Secondly the only food I will carry is MREs and protein bars.  That will help a lot.  I am also going to have to find a good boot with support that will take the water.  I really believe I will be able to do the 7 day float then.

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My friend David concentrating on his fly fishing.

“Some of the best lessons we learn are learned from past mistakes.  The error of the past is the wisdom and success of the future.” – Dale Turner

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.  It is deeply appreciated.  Be kind to one another.  Share the love and don’t squat with your spurs on.

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Big River