Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Fishing Trip on the Gasconade River

David Mann after Successful Smallmouth Fishing Day
On Monday, June 11th, we took a trip down to the Jerome Access on the Gasconade River.  This access is within a couple of miles of I-44 just West and South of Rolla.  The area can be busy on weekends, and you can even encounter some jet boat traffic on weekdays.  We were passed several times by jet boars, but it was not bad at all.

Jerome Access Boat Ramp - Gasconade River
We brought our kayaks down for a day of smallmouth fishing, but the day began stormy.  The forecast was calling for the storms to pass somewhat after noon, so we decided to head on down in anticipation of being able to get on the river for at least a few hours of fishing.  I have come to the conclusion that nine times out of ten, it's better to head out even if the current weather isn't great.  Whether hunting, fishing, or doing something else, you will almost always get some time out in the field or on the water, and let's face it - it's better than sitting at home and potentially kicking yourself for sitting it out as the weather clears up.

Looking Upstream- Jerome Access - Gasconade River
We stopped at Rolla and ate some lunch a little before noon, and were on the water by 1:00 or 1:30.  The fishing right after the stormy weather ended was fast and furious.  Our tactics were to paddle our kayaks up from the Jerome Access the half mile or so to Jerome, and then float back down fishing both banks.  The water really deadens as you approach the access and is almost a lake for some distance downstream from the access - not great smallmouth habitat.  We made the back-and-forth trip six times and finished up just before 8:00. 

David Mann fishing gravel bar at Jerome on Gasconade R.

The lure of choice was a tiny rebel-craw.  Specifically, the version that worked was one with a shallow-diving bill. I switched to a medium diver later in the day and experienced a serious reduction in success, while David still using the shallow-diver kept catching fish. 

Fish ran between 8" and 16-18" - all were released.  Besides smallies, we caught goggle-eye, largemouth, and a huge number of sunfish.

Bluffs across from Jerome Access on Gasconade River