Fishing Trip on the Meramec River, November 20

Posted by Phil Lilley on November 21st, 2013
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Al Agnew, OAForum– With cold weather moving in at the end of the week, I wanted to get a good day’s trip in while the forecast was still decent. Today it was supposed to be partly to mostly cloudy, 55 degrees, 20% chance of rain. I was headed for the Meramec, downstream from where Mitch and I fished last week, looking for just a LITTLE murkier water. I’d never fished down there this time of year, so didn’t know what to expect.

The water was slightly murkier–visibility of about 8 feet rather than the ten or twelve it was upstream. I took off up the river, noting possible fishing spots as I went. Unfortunately, in about four miles before the character of the river changed (a major tributary came in), I only saw two good spots and one or two more possibilities. So I kept going. The river gets smaller, narrower, and faster above the tributary, and there were a lot of logs in the water. I misread on spot and ran over a gravel bar in about two inches of water, and had to stop and clean gravel out of the intake. I hit two logs, just slightly. Kept going and finally made it up to where Mitch and I had stopped fishing before, or actually the pool above the one where we’d stopped fishing.

This pool has a huge backwater eddy, wide and deep, and that eddy is jammed full of fish (but not bass). The stupid Asian carp are thick in it, regular carp, grass carp, gar, and large numbers of drum. It’s murky toward the back of the backwater, and the reason for that is that there must be hundreds of carp up in that part. I started fishing back in the murky water and quickly caught a small spotted bass and two decent largemouths on the jerkbait.

And then it started raining.

I fished out the whole backwater with no more bass, and out in the main pool, I caught a big fish on the hair jig, but it was a drum.

In the next pool downstream, the one where Mitch and I had finished our day, I found a school of smallish smallies and caught five on the hair jig, and then a nice largemouth on the jerkbait. This was a very good looking pool, and I spent a long time fishing it. And it continued to rain the whole time. Soft rain, then a little harder, then a little harder yet, then softer.

I had good raingear, but my shoes were getting wet and my feet were getting a little cold. It was definitely not up in the 50s yet.

By the time I finished fishing that pool, it getting well into the afternoon. There was one more small spot that I wanted to try above the tributary, and small, deep eddy behind a rock point.

I only caught one fish there, but it was an 18 inch smallmouth, again on the hair jig. I then fished the pool at the mouth of the tributary, and caught a decent largemouth. Then I headed down to the one really good looking pool below.

There the hair jig caught me a 16.5 inch smallmouth, and then I hooked something that felt really heavy. I fought it for a bit before seeing it. A walleye, and it turned out to be the largest walleye I’ve ever caught from the Meramec, a 25 incher. Beautiful fish.

By the time I finished fishing that pool it was after 3 PM. The rain had finally stopped, except for occasional sprinkles, but it was already getting a little dark. I stopped to fish another spot that turned out to be shallower than I’d thought and no good, then finished the day in the last possible spot, a short distance above the ramp, where I added a crappie to my multi-species day.

It started raining again as I backed the trailer down the ramp to pick up the boat.

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