Friday, August 21, 2009

Fishing Missouri's Forgotten Trout River - The Niangua River

Fishing Missouri's Forgotten Trout River - The Niangua River
By Davidson Manning

Niangua River, MOImage by Kyro S via Flickr



The Niangua River may be the most overlooked trout stream in the state of Missouri. It is widely known across the state as an excellent river for floating and smallmouth bass fishing, but the trout fishery is little known. Most area trout anglers only fish in the Niangua River's tributary, Bennett Spring Branch.

Above Bennett Spring Branch, the Niangua is a typical warm-water fishery. Smallmouth bass fishing is very good, but few trout are present. It is the cooling flows from Bennett Spring that make the river into a true trout stream. For eleven miles, the water is cool enough to hold year-round populations of rainbow and brown trout. Both species are stocked regularly.

The Niangua River isn't like other trout streams in the Ozarks. First of all, it just doesn't look like a trout stream. The river is big, and it usually isn't very clear. Also, the water temperature is usually above 70 degrees for most of the summer. With that said, for some unknown reason, the Niangua River does fish well all summer long, even when water temperatures are quite high. It is not uncommon to catch trout when the water temperature is 75 degrees. In other words, it's hard to believe trout do well in the Niangua, but they do.

Rainbow trout are the most common catch in the Niangua. They are stocked every few weeks during the spring, summer, and fall, and a good number also escape from Bennett Spring Branch into the river. They are easy to catch on a Powerbait, worms, small spinners, and spoons. Brown trout are not quite as common, but a good number can be found in the river. They respond better to small crankbaits, nightcrawlers, minnows, and crayfish. Both species of trout can be caught on a variety of flies including Woolly Buggers, Prince Nymphs, Pheasant Tail Nymphs, and Caddis imitators.

Mist on the Niangua in MissouriImage by Kyro S via Flickr



You can access the Niangua River's trout water at three points. The first is the Bennett Spring Access, where Bennett Spring Branch meets the Niangua. This is probably the most popular access point, and fish are always plentiful. The next access point is at Barclay Conservation area. This is a few miles downstream from the Bennett Spring Access. Fishing is very good in this area, especially for brown trout. The final access point is at Prosperine. Trout populations are a bit lower in this area, but you can find some of the biggest brown trout in the river both up and downstream of this access. Smallmouth bass are also abundant. Fishing regulations on the Niangua allow for all baits, lures, and flies to be used. Four trout may be kept, and there is no minimum length limit on rainbow trout. There is a 15" length limit on browns. In addition, only one brown may be kept. There are many other fantastic Missouri Trout fishing opportunities, but don't neglect this gem of a river!

No matter where you access it, the Niangua is a great stream. It may not be popular to trout fisherman, the fishing is very good. You'll see lots of floaters, especially in summertime, but fisherman will be few. This river is certainly worth a trip. If you have trouble, you can always drown your sorrows by catching a few stockers over at Bennett Springs.


Davdison Manning is an avid outdoorsman spending over 100 days per year pursuing his passion for fishing, many of them in the Ozarks of Missouri and Arkansas. He details many of his favorite spots on his website Family-Outdoors. His other pursuits include many days spent in the field camping and hunting. Davidson loves to share his knowledge of the outdoors in the hope of helping others to find their own connection to the outdoors.









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Friday, August 14, 2009

Trout Fishing in the Ozark Mountains

Trout Fishing in the Ozark Mountains
By Davidson Manning

Big Spring, a giant karst spring in The Ozarks...Image via Wikipedia


One thing is for sure. There is no shortage of trout streams in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri and Arkansas. Some are spring-fed rivers and creeks. These provide everything from daily stocked put and take fishing for gullible trout, to the pursuit of wild rainbows in a pretty spring creek. There are also trophy brown trout streams that can and do produce stream grown trout in the ten pound range. In all, there are eighteen spring-fed streams in the Ozarks that are managed for year-round trout fishing, seventeen of which are in Missouri. All have public access. Of these, the freestone section of the North Fork of the White is often considered to be the best, with trout populations in the thousands per mile, with the upper section holding lots of wild rainbows and some browns, and the lower section holding a lot of browns and some rainbows. Other streams that are well worth fishing are the Eleven Point, Little Piney, Current, Meramec, and Niangua Rivers in Missouri, and the Spring River in Arkansas.

The tailwaters of the Ozarks are a completely different animal. All of the Ozark tailwaters are part of the White River System. All of these tailwaters of bottom draw dams hold thousands of rainbow trout per mile, as well as the constant chance of catching a world record brown. Cutthroat and brook trout can be found as well. There are about 150 miles of year-round trout tailwaters in the Ozarks, and about 130 miles of these can be found in Arkansas. Access is ample. The White River below Bull Shoals Dam is the most well known, providing one hundred miles of quality trout water. The upper twenty miles is the most heavily fished of this tailwater, but there are year-round populations of trout all the way to Guion, which is 92 miles below Bull Shoals Dam, and trout range considerably further downstream in the winter. The reason why this tailwater can produce trout for such a long distance is due to the fact the North Fork River flows in about fifty miles below the dam. The North Fork River also provides world class tailwater trout fishing, and it gives the White River the shot of cold water it needs to extend its trout water by fifty miles. Every true trout fisherman should make a visit to the White River in their lifetime, because 100 fish days can, and regularly do happen. This article just scratches the surface of trout fishing in the Ozarks, and I will describe specific streams in detail in coming articles.

In short, there is something for every trout fisherman in the Ozarks. There are not as many streams as there are in the Appalachians or the Rockies, but the ones that we do have compare favorably to the trout streams anywhere else in the world. Come and give Ozark trout fishing a try.
Davdison Manning is an avid outdoorsman spending over 100 days per year pursuing his passion for fishing, many of them in the Ozarks of Missouri and Arkansas. He details many of his favorite spots on his website http://family-outdoors.com His other pursuits include many days spent in the field camping and hunting. Davidson loves to share his knowledge of the outdoors in the hope of helping others to find their own connection to the outdoors.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Davidson_Manning
http://EzineArticles.com/?Trout-Fishing-in-the-Ozark-Mountains&id=2010616




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Missouri's Lake Taneycomo - Midwest Trout Fishing Mecca

Missouri's Lake Taneycomo - Midwest Trout Fishing Mecca
By Davidson Manning
Main Species Present: rainbow trout, brown trout, suckers, and largemouth bass

Lake Taneycomo as seen from an observation poi...Image via Wikipedia



Lake Taneycomo in southwestern Missouri might well be considered the world's finest trout fishery. Its popularity mostly relies on the approximately 700,000 rainbow trout stocked per year, which causes this twenty-two mile riverine lake to be positively loaded with dumb stockies at all times. They are stocked once a month, and even towards the end of each stocking period the lake holds many trout. Due to these easy to catch fish, few people come up empty handed here.

However, there are many fisheries around that hold lots of easy to catch rainbow trout. What sets Taneycomo apart is the enormous brown trout it produces. Twenty inch browns are routine, ten pound trout aren't at all out of place, and each year several larger than twenty pounds are pulled from its icy waters. All this was capped off when a Missouri Department of Conservation agent who was sampling the lake found a thirty six pound brown trout. There is little doubt that some day this lake will produce the world record brown trout to some lucky angler.

The lake can be effectively broken down into three sections. The first would be the section of lake from Table Rock Dam downstream to Fall Creek. Legal fishing begins a few hundred yards downstream from the dam. This section has special trophy regulations for both rainbows and browns, and this is where most of the largest trout in the lake live. Flies and lures only are allowed in this section. This part of the "lake" is for all intents and purposes a river, and can be waded if Table Rock Dam is not generating.

The next section of the lake worth mentioning is from Fall Creek to the Highway 65 Bridge. The upper part of this section looks like a river, but the further downstream you get, the more it becomes a lake. This entire part of the lake holds many trout, both rainbow and brown, and it can be effectively fished from the bank with bait, as that is legal below Fall Creek's mouth. Another popular method is to get a boat and troll spoons and spinners. Trophy regulations remain in effect for brown trout, but not rainbows.

The final section of the lake is from Highway 65 to Powersite Dam, which is the lake's lower boundary. This far downstream, Taneycomo is indeed a lake, although it is quite shallow. Effective bank fishing can be done with worms and Powerbait, but it is more of a boat fishery. Both rainbow and brown trout respond to the same trolling methods as above Highway 65, and that is probably the best way to fish. You won't need downriggers, or other special equipment due to the lake's shallow depth. This section also boasts some pretty good largemouth bass fishing in the creek arms, and gigging for non-game fish is quite popular in this part of the lake.

One item of caution is in order with regard to Taneycomo. Water levels can rise rapidly in some locations. Anglers are well-advised to do their homework on this matter ahead of time. Better yet, consider hiring a Tanycomo Guide to help you get on more fish and to help keep you safe.

Davdison Manning is an avid outdoorsman spending over 100 days per year pursuing his passion for fishing, many of them in the Ozarks of Missouri and Arkansas. He details many of his favorite spots on his website http://family-outdoors.com/. His other pursuits include many days spent in the field camping and hunting. Davidson loves to share his knowledge of the outdoors in the hope of helping others to find their own connection to the outdoors.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Davidson_Manning
http://EzineArticles.com/?Missouris-Lake-Taneycomo---Midwest-Trout-Fishing-Mecca&id=2048973




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Bull Shoals Lake - Missouri and Arkansas Shared Fishing Treasure

Bull Shoals Lake - Missouri and Arkansas Shared Fishing Treasure
By Davidson Manning

Bull Shoals Lake -Image via Wikipedia



Main Species Present: Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Spotted Bass, Walleye, White Bass, Channel Catfish, Blue Catfish, Crappie, Rainbow Trout, Striped Bass, Carp, Suckers, Bluegill, Yellow Perch, Rock Bass

Bull Shoals Lake in southwestern Missouri and northern Arkansas is a world class fishery by every standard. It offers great fishing for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, trout, white bass, bluegill, catfish, and countless other fish species. The upper section of the lake from Powersite Dam to Beaver Creek is the place to go if you're looking to get a taste of everything the lake has to offer. Walleye, white bass, rainbow trout, crappie, and spotted bass are the most sought after species in this part of the lake, but there are many others. Just below Powersite Dam is a popular area that is easily accessible by boat or by foot called the Pothole. This pool in actuality reaches a short length below the dam, but the section of the lake for several miles below the dam usually goes by this name.

March through June is prime time here, with great numbers of walleye, white bass, and trout, and crappie stacked up in this riverine area below Powersite Dam. 1/32 ounce white jigs are very popular here, as they work very well for all of the species listed above. Nightcrawlers are also popular for those seeking all species. By late June, most of the Walleye and White Bass have moved for deeper waters, but the area just below Powersite fishes quite well for black bass and rainbow trout in from Late June through mid- October, providing you fish early or late in the day.

At Beaver Creek, the classic bass fishing waters of Bull Shoals Lake begin. There are some true hogs in the middle and lower lake, and the current Missouri state record largemouth was caught here. During the summertime, the bass tend to hold in the 10 to 25 foot range during the day, and often fall victim to drop shot or Carolina rigged soft plastics. Even during the dog days of summer, bass come in shallow in the early morning just after dawn, and can be caught by bank fisherman, often on top water lures.

Keep in mind that Bull Shoals Lake is usually ultra-clear, so light lines are best. Walleye fishing is also very good in the lower lake. Walleye fishing is very different than in the upper lake, but it is arguably as good or better. Daytime fishing during the summer will pretty much require a boat. Some troll, and some fish the deep water with a slip bobber rig using nightrcwlers or minnows as bait. Night fishing is by far best in the summer. The most effective technique is to fish anywhere a light shines upon the water, especially around docks. Shad are attracted to these areas, and walleye follow. Minnows and night- crawlers are best in this situation. Trout fishing can also be had in the lower lake, near Bull Shoals Dam. This is purely a boat fishery, and nighttime fishing is best. Most people fish nightcrawlers or corn thirty to fifty feet deep.

This is a relatively untapped fishery, but it is very productive, as 30,000 rainbow trout are stocked into the lake each spring. Many survive for many years after stocking and grow quite large. Catfish abound. Most are channel catfish in the two to fifteen pound range, but there are some blue catfish in the lake as well, some of which reach the fifty pound mark. White Bass, Crappie, and Bluegill also are often targeted.

Davdison Manning is an avid outdoorsman spending over 100 days per year pursuing his passion for fishing, many of them in the Ozarks of Missouri and Arkansas. He details many of his favorite spots on his website http://family-outdoors.com/

His other pursuits include many days spent in the field camping and hunting. Davidson loves to share his knowledge of the outdoors in the hope of helping others to find their own connection to the outdoors.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Davidson_Manning
http://EzineArticles.com/?Bull-Shoals-Lake---Missouri-and-Arkansas-Shared-Fishing-Treasure&id=2102020




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Fishing - Table Rock Lake

Fishing - Table Rock Lake
By Davidson Manning

Fishing at Table Rock LakeImage by matneym via Flickr



Main Species Present: Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Spotted Bass, Channel Catfish, Blue Catfish, Walleye, Rainbow Trout, White Bass, Crappie, Bluegill, Carp

Missouri's Table Rock Lake is certainly famous. The lake plays host to everything from important Bassmaster Tournaments to Cable Television Shows. There is a reason for this. It is one of the best bass fishing lakes in the United States. The lake holds almost equal numbers of largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass. During the summertime, look for large mouth in five to ten feet of water, and smallmouth and spotted bass in ten to thirty feet of water. The lake's water is gin clear; it is common to be able to see the bottom in fifteen feet of water. This necessitates two things. The first is light line. Eight pound line is the norm, and you shouldn't use anything a whole lot larger than ten pound test mono filament. The second thing this clear water means is that you must approach the bass as stealthily as possible. This means not waving your rod unnecessarily, not banging your tackle box on the boat, and not motoring too close to the structure you are planning to cast to. Soft plastics such as tube baits and Carolina Rigged soft plastics are the most popular way to fish the lake. Casting crankbaits and spinnerbaits is also a popular way to fish.

There are other species in the lake besides black bass that are worth casting a line to. Walleye are stocked heavily in the lake, and can be taken by trolling crankbaits, as well as casting jigs and live bait such as minnows or nightcrawlers. Walleye tend to hold in fifteen to twenty-five feet of water in the summer. Night time fishing is best during the warm months. Another popular species in the lake is White Bass. The best time to fish for these feisty fish is in the spring when they make their annual spawning runs. During the rest of the year, they can be caught in water that is approximately twenty feet deep. Catfish are also abundant everywhere in the lake. Channel Catfish are most common, but large blue catfish can also be caught. Rainbow trout can be found in deep water in the upper lake in the White River Arm and Roaring River arms. Trolling is the best method for trout fishing in Table Rock Lake, but there aren't enough to make fishing for them truly worthwhile. If you want to catch trout, it's best to take the time to drive to either the White River or Roaring River themselves.

The clear waters of Table Rock Lake hold some of the best fishing to be had in the Midwest. Whether you like smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, walleye, or catfish, this is a great lake for you.

Davdison Manning is an avid outdoorsman spending over 100 days per year pursuing his passion for fishing, many of them in the Ozarks of Missouri and Arkansas. He details many of his favorite spots on his website http://family-outdoors.com/ Check out his assessment of many fishing areas around the U.S. at http://family-outdoors.com/FISHING_PLACES.htm His other pursuits include many days spent in the field camping and hunting. Davidson loves to share his knowledge of the outdoors in the hope of helping others to find their own connection to the outdoors.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Davidson_Manning
http://EzineArticles.com/?Fishing---Table-Rock-Lake&id=2191039




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Fishing the Eleven Point - A Crown Jewel of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways

Fishing the Eleven Point
By Davidson Manning

Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)Image via Wikipedia

There is no other river like the Eleven Point. Its wilderness atmosphere, combined with blue ribbon trout and smallmouth bass populations make this one of the true jewels of the Ozarks. The river is situated in south-central Missouri, and north central Arkansas. The forty miles of river between the Thomasville, and the Narrows Access to the river is part of the National Scenic Riverways system. This means there is little or no commercial activity, or private land along the river. This helps keep the habitat, water quality, and beauty at a level unsurpassed in the Midwest.

The Eleven Point begins as a small stream high in the Ozark Mountains. From the headwaters to Thomasville, the river is lightly fished, but can produce very well for smallmouth bass. Almost no one floats this section. Below Thomasville, the river becomes a national river, and fishing becomes better. The area of river between Thomasville and Greer Spring is known for producing some of the biggest stream smallmouth anywhere. Trophy regulations help maintain this world class fishery. Shadow bass (also known as rock bass or goggle-eye) also are abundant, as well as several other species of sunfish.

The river changes dramatically at the mouth of Greer Spring. This massive, cold and very wild spring immediately transform an easy going, warm smallmouth stream into a large river with deep and rushing flows. Most notably, it makes the Eleven Point an excellent trout stream. From the mouth of the spring branch downstream to Turner Mill Access the stream is managed under Blue Ribbon trout regulations. This means an 18" length limit, and artificial lures and flies only. This beautiful and interesting stretch of trout water relies on both stocking and natural spawning to keep fish populations up. About 5000 rainbow trout are stocked each year in this five and one half mile portion of the river. You can access this part the Eleven Point at the Greer Crossing Access at the upper end, and the Turner Mill Access at the lower end. You can expect 300 to 500 trout per mile. Wading anglers do well wading up, or downstream of these public access areas. Most people float it.

Below the Blue Ribbon trout area, you will find the White Ribbon Area. This is managed a lot differently. It is stocked every few weeks from April through September, but you will find trout here all year-long. The White Ribbon area allows four trout to be kept, with no length limit, and no bait restrictions. Most people think of this trout water as a put and take area, but there is only limited truth to this. Fish populations do decrease rather significantly between stockings, especially in the winter when no fish are stocked. However, even at times when fish populations are at the very lowest, (which is usually during February or March) trout can be caught, and good catches can be made consistently, if you know how to read the water. The best fishing generally is in June, July, and August when fish populations are really built up. About 15,000 rainbow trout are stocked per year in this fourteen mile section of river each year.. Wading and floating access will be found at Turner Mill, Whitten, McDowell Access, and Riverton. The best trout fishing will be found between the Turner Mill and McDowell Access, but trout can be found in fair numbers all the way downstream to the Riverton Access, and sometimes even significantly further downstream. Below Riverton, the river transforms back into a smallmouth bass stream, typical of the Ozarks. It is now a large river, and species such as largemouth bass, spotted bass, and even walleye can be found. The river slowly warms, and by the time it reaches the Black River in Arkansas it appears very little like the upper section.

The Eleven Point is certainly special. This is one of the best rainbow trout streams in the Ozarks, as well as an excellent smallmouth bass river. It is however, rather undiscovered. It is not used nearly so much as nearby streams such as the Current River, Buffalo River, or the Black River. Come out and give it a try.

Davdison Manning is an avid outdoorsman spending over 100 days per year pursuing his passion for fishing, many of them in the Ozarks of Missouri and Arkansas. He details many of his favorite spots on his website http://family-outdoors.com/ which is a good resource for general fishing, hunting, and camping information. His website area on Missouri Trout Streams and techniques can be located at http://family-outdoors.com/Missouri_Trout_Fishing.html and covers some amazing opportunities.

His other pursuits include many days spent in the field camping and hunting. Davidson loves to share his knowledge of the outdoors in the hope of helping others to find their own connection to the outdoors.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Davidson_Manning
http://EzineArticles.com/?Fishing-the-Eleven-Point---A-Crown-Jewel-of-the-Ozark-National-Scenic-Riverways&id=2226991



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Fishing the Current River of Missouri's Ozarks


Fishing the Current River of Missouri's Ozarks

By Davidson Manning

There is no doubt that the Current River is the most diverse stream in Missouri. It begins as a spring creek style trout river, and slowly transforms into one of the best smallmouth bass streams in the nation. Besides these species, there are also populations of Rock Bass, Walleye, and of course Bluegill.

The first twenty miles of the river make up the classic trout water. The river begins where Montauk Spring rises in the streambed of Pigeon Creek. For three miles below this point, the stream is stocked once a day with rainbow trout from March 1 through October 31. The upper part of this stretch which flows through Montauk State Park is managed for flies only. Artificial lures such as marabou jigs and single hooked rooster tail spinners fished on a spinning rod are perfectly legal, along with traditional fly gear. The rest of the river in the park allows all lures and baits. Montauk Spring Branch also flows through the park. The first quarter mile is catch and release only with flies only .Below there, all baits are allowed until it reaches the Current River, and fish may be kept. This area is also stocked daily.

Below Montauk State Park for nine miles, the river is managed for trophy rainbow and brown trout. The trout population varies from year, but you can count on there being between 250 and 700 trout per mile, which is a respectable number. Most are browns, but there are quite a few rainbows as well, including a number of wild trout. This is a great area to float, but there is wading access at the lower end of Montauk State Park, Tan Vat, Baptist Camp, Parker Hollow, and Cedar Grove. This is a year-round fishery, with the best fishing in the seven miles between Montauk State Park and the Parker Hollow Access. Between Parker Hollow and Cedar Grove there are certainly trout, but wading can be tough, and the fish numbers are not terribly high. Artificial lures and flies only are allowed, and there is a restrictive length limit in place.

The eight miles between Cedar Grove and Akers Ferry is managed as a put and take trout fishery. It is heavily stocked with rainbow trout between March and September. In the four miles between Cedar Grove and Welch Spring the best trout fishing will be in the spring and fall, as that is the only time trout are stocked. Below Welch Spring until Akers Ferry, the water is significantly cooler, and trout are stocked all summer long. The best fishing is generally near the mouth of Welch Spring, where trout are stocked extensively. Below Akers Ferry, there are pockets of trout all the way to Pulltite Spring seven miles further downstream, but numbers drop significantly the further below Akers Ferry you get.

Between Akers Ferry and Round Spring, the fishing is spotty for both smallmouth bass and trout. There are decent rainbow trout numbers in the upper half, and decent smallmouth bass numbers in the lower half, but the fishing will be marginal. Smallmouth bass fishing picks up in earnest at the mouth of Round Spring. Between this point and Doniphan, Missouri lies some of the finest smallmouth water in the state. Fish in the one to three pound range abound, and larger fish are not uncommon at all. Rock Bass and Bluegill can also be found in great numbers. Around Van Buren, walleye enter the scene. This is one of the best stream walleye fisheries in the nation, and big Ozark strain walleyes abound. The next world record could come from the Current River. Jigging, trolling, and live bait fishing are all popular to catch these big walleye.

Every fisherman in Missouri should try fishing the beautiful Current River. Its crystal clear waters are home to some of the best fishing to be found in the United States. Whether you like smallmouth bass, trout, walleye, or just a big stringer of bluegill or suckers, this is a great place to go.

Davdison Manning is an avid outdoorsman spending over 100 days per year pursuing his passion for fishing, many of them in the Ozarks of Missouri and Arkansas. He details many of his favorite spots on his website http://family-outdoors.com/ He has devoted a section of his site strictly to Missouri's trout streams at http://family-outdoors.com/Missouri_Trout_Fishing.html

His other pursuits include many days spent in the field camping and hunting. Davidson loves to share his knowledge of the outdoors in the hope of helping others to find their own connection to the outdoors.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Davidson_Manning

http://EzineArticles.com/?Fishing-the-Current-River-of-Missouris-Ozarks&id=2195992





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Trophy Bass Fishing in Missouri - Locations and Techniques

Trophy Bass Fishing in Missouri - Locations and Techniques

By Davidson Manning

While Missouri may not be known for its trophy bass fishing, there are plenty of large bass around to keep an angler busy for a lifetime. In order to catch them, you will probably have to use different techniques than you use to catch smaller bass. If you are willing to catch a few less fish in search of that wall hanger, then this article is for you. First, I will share some of my favorite big bass techniques. Then I will choose a few of the best lakes and rivers in the state to find the bass of a lifetime.
Techniques:
Live Baitfish
This is personally my favorite way to catch big largemouth bass. The setup is very simple. I use a 2/0 plastic worm hook, a split shot, and a large bobber. I hook the bait (I prefer a green sunfish between two and five inches) in the back, just under the spine. The depth I fish depends on where I am, but generally two to four feet is best. It is important to wait several seconds after the bass strikes to set the hook. When you do set the hook, do it firmly, but not excessively. Besides green sunfish, live shad, shiners, suckers, and various other minnows work very well, fished the same way.

Flipping Jigs

This is one of the best techniques for big springtime largemouth and smallmouth bass. Cast the jig into heavy cover, or near docks, let the jig sink, and jig it up and down slowly as you reel. Set the hook as soon as you feel resistance. This works well into the summer as well, but it particularly shines between March and June. My favorite jig for the method is mini-Strike King Jigs, in green and brown colors.

Plastic Worms

Plastic worms are good big bass bait from April until early November. The general rule is the bigger the bait, the bigger the bass. I prefer to Texas rig the bait, and reel in very slowly, but there are countless ways to successfully fish plastic worms, including the Carolina Rig, the Wacky Rig, and the weightless rig. My favorite big bass worm is a 7 inch Black Berkeley Power Worm. It works well for largemouth bass between two and five pounds, especially at night.

Lakes and Rivers:

Table Rock Lake

Table Rock Lake ShoreImage by FreeWine via Flickr


Most people would consider Table Rock the best trophy bass lake in the state. This approximately 40,000 acre reservoir is exceptionally clear and deep. The deep water is home to many smallmouth and spotted bass, and the shallower water holds mostly largemouth. Probably the number one trophy bass technique here is free lining three to five inch shiners. Other successful offerings are spinnerbaits, tube baits, crankbaits, and plastic worms. The main channel near the dam, the James River arm, and the Kings River arm are all great spots to find trophies, but the entire lake holds bass.

Lake of the Ozarks

This 55,000 acre lake in Central Missouri is very heavily fished, but somehow the trophy bass fishery remains one of the best in the state. Largemouth bass reign supreme here, although limited populations of smallmouth and spotted bass do exist in some river arms. The best trophy baits tend to be flipping jigs, spinnerbaits, and various plugs. The key to success here is to fish the many docks lining the lake, because the lake offers very little other cover. The Niangua Arm, Grand Glaize Arm, and the Osage River Channel are all good places to find big largemouth.

Gasconade River

The Gasconade River is a world class trophy bass river. From its humble beginnings near Springfield all the way through the town of Vienna, the river is almost entirely dominated by smallmouth bass. Between Vienna and the mouth at the Missouri River, largemouth bass take there place alongside the smallmouth. Live minnows, crankbaits, tube baits, flipping jigs, and spinnerbaits work well for both species of bass found in the river.

James River

You may have noticed in the section of this article about Table Rock Lake, I mentioned the James River arm was an excellent place to catch big bass. The fishing does not end upstream of the lake, however. All the way from upstream of Springfield downstream to where it becomes Table Rock Lake, the James River is an excellent float fishing river for huge smallmouth and spotted bass. Crankbaits, spinnerbaits, live minnows, and soft plastics are all popular.

Hopefully this article helps you learn the techniques and places to catch trophy bass here in Missouri. It may not be likely that you will catch a world record bass in Missouri, but that does not mean that fishing for them is not an exciting or heart throbbing experience.

Davidson Manning is an avid outdoorsman spending over 100 days per year pursuing his passion for fishing, many of them in the Ozarks of Missouri and Arkansas. He details many of his favorite spots on his website Family-Outdoors where he writes articles not only on fishing, but also camping and hunting. Looking for recipes for wild fish and game? Visit his recipe section at Wild Game and Fish Recipes for recipes for venison, trout, as well as most other game and fish species.

His other pursuits include many days spent in the field camping and hunting. Davidson loves to share his knowledge of the outdoors in the hope of helping others to find their own connection to the outdoors.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Davidson_Manning

http://EzineArticles.com/?Trophy-Bass-Fishing-in-Missouri---Locations-and-Techniques&id=2333576






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Smallmouth Fishing's Best Kept Secret - The Gasconade River of Missouri

Gasconade River

By Davidson Manning

The Gasconade River that flows through the northern Ozarks of Missouri is a fisherman's paradise in every sense of the expression. It is widely considered to be one of the nations best smallmouth bass streams. It is both a good place to catch and release twenty Bronzebacks, or specifically target lunker bass in the three to four pound range. The smallmouth fishing is best from the river's humble beginnings in Wright County until Jerome. There are a lot of big bass in this part of the river, and the overall numbers are ample.

:en:Smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu). Ar...Image via Wikipedia



The entire river also holds catfish, rock bass, and bluegill. It is a great floating stream, and has many springs that flow into it that cause it to be navigable all year. The upper river is a medium sized or even small stream, but because of the streams such as the Osage Fork River, the Woods Fork River, the Big Piney River, Little Piney Creek, and Roubidoux Creek, the river is quite large by Ozark stream standards by the time it reaches the Missouri in Gasconade County.

The river is quite different below Jerome. It slowly becomes a largemouth bass river, probably the best stream largemouth fishery in the region, with five to seven pound bass relatively routine. Largemouths tend to hold in the warmer backwaters. There are also smallmouths in the lower river. They tend to stay in the main current where the water is colder and there is more oxygen. Catfish, rock bass, and bluegill can be found nearly anywhere. Because it has so many tributaries, the lower river can be silty at times, but it usually runs clear and is pretty. The Gasconade has far too many access points to begin naming them, but suffice it to say you will have no trouble finding a place to fish.

If you go to the Gasconade, you should also think of fishing the Woods Fork, Osage Fork, and Big Piney River for Smallmouth. If you want trout, hit Little Piney Creek, Mill Creek, Spring Creek, or Roubidoux Creek, all of which flow into the middle Gasconade directly or indirectly. In all, the Gasconade is well worth the trip if you like to catch smallmouth bass. If you need to get a canoe shuttle on the middle Gasconade or the Big Piney River, the Route 66 Canoe Rental can help you.

Davdison Manning is an avid outdoorsman spending over 100 days per year pursuing his passion for fishing, many of them in the Ozarks of Missouri and Arkansas. He details many of his favorite spots on his website Family-Outdoors where he has information on camping and hunting as well as fishing. Specifically, he has articles on a myriad of places and techniques. Consider reading his article Smallmouth Bass Fishing in Missouri where he provides additional tips on places and techniques for bornzebacks in the Show-Me state.

His other pursuits include many days spent in the field camping and hunting. Davidson loves to share his knowledge of the outdoors in the hope of helping others to find their own connection to the outdoors.

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