15 Miles On The Meramec

Posted by Al Agnew on July 14th, 2012
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Mitch, Greasy, and I did a long Meramec float today, Mitch and Greasy in one canoe, me in my solo. Why do a 15 mile float? Well, the way we did it, one boat had the left bank all the way down, the other boat the right bank. So you might be paddling 15 miles, but you’re only fishing 7 or 8 of them, given that most places when one bank is fishable, the other is a waste of time to fish. I kinda talked them in to doing that long, though. They’ll have to chime in and say whether they want to shoot me for it.

Fish were looking for topwaters most of the day. We caught fish on other stuff, but the strikes came pretty consistently on topwater. I say “strikes” instead of fish caught, because it was one of those days when MANY fish weren’t getting hooked. I wasn’t keeping close track, but I’d guess that we were getting about four strikes per fish hooked, maybe more. And that’s not even counting multiple strikes from what was probably the same fish. I ended up with 65 bass caught (52 smallmouth, 10 largemouth, 2 spotted bass, and a spotted/smallmouth hybrid. I think Mitch and Greasy together caught about the same number–with two guys in a canoe, the guy in front usually catches most of the fish, while when fishing solo as I was, I get them all to myself. But if you figure we caught about 130 bass in 15 miles, we probably got strikes from perhaps three times that many if you consider the fish we caught on other stuff as well. That would come to about 25 fish striking our lures per mile.

Unfortunately, they were mostly small. Lots of under 12 inch bass. Not many over 14 inches. Mitch caught a 17 incher on his own crawdad soft plastic design. I hooked one that looked to be about 18 inches on topwater, and lost it at the canoe. But we all had blow-ups from a number of other good fish…probably no 20 inchers, but several that were probably 17-18 inches. I don’t mind it when the little ones are striking but not getting hooked…I get to see the strike but I don’t have to unhook the fish. But it does get a little frustrating when the bigger fish are doing the same thing. I tried tossing in a tube or jig when I’d get a blow-up and miss, and it never once worked.

Actually, the first 10 of the 15 miles went quickly and easily, a relaxing float as far as I was concerned. But the last five was a different story. The wind came up, and it was blowing from a weird direction, the only direction that would give us a direct headwind…from the northeast. Couple that with the fact that the last five miles has a lot of long, flat, not great habitat runs, and the last five miles seemed to be longer than the first ten.

Anyway…fun trip, saw an eagle and a fawn on the river bank, a pair of mink…caught two 13 inchers at the same time, saw a LOT of big buffalo and drum, cooled off in the river several times.

Follow on OAF forum – http://forums.ozarkanglers.com/topic/34804-15-miles-on-the-meramec/

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