Is my boat enough for the Mississippi River or not?

Discussion in 'Boating' started by Seth, May 25, 2007.

  1. Seth

    Seth Active Member

    Messages:
    1,807
    State:
    Owensville, MO
    I bought a 1648 jon with a 50 HP yamaha jet drive. Getting on the Missouri doesn't bother me with this boat, but what about the Mississippi? Everybody I talk to wouldn't be caught dead on that river because they think it is a lot worse than the Missouri.

    I did notice that most of you have boats ranging from 17-20 foot that you run the rivers with and that's quite a bit longer than mine.

    What do you all think, yay or nay on the Mississippi fishing?
     
  2. Arkansascatman777

    Arkansascatman777 New Member

    Messages:
    7,782
    State:
    AR
    We are skipping the June 16th Tunica tournament because of high water on the Mississippi. We have a 20 ft. Wareagle but are unfamiliar with the water so decided to stay away. Your boat would be fine when the river flows go back down but for now I would recomend extreme caution.JMHO
     

  3. micus

    micus New Member

    Messages:
    524
    State:
    Lake St. L
    It depends more on what you are going to be doing and where on the river you are doing it at. I've used a 1448 on chutes on the Miss. but avoided the main channels more because of the chop than the current. If you keep close track of the wind forecasts you can do a lot on a lot of water. 50 hp will get you anywhere anytime on that size boat!
     
  4. BajaCoop

    BajaCoop Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,209
    State:
    Poplar Bluff,MO
    I know a guy that fishes the miss alot that has about that same boat with a 25 horse tiller prop. If you know how to run it well and know the river pretty well you would probably be ok but it would be easy to get in trouble if you don't think a few minutes ahead.
     
  5. RIVER-RAT

    RIVER-RAT New Member

    Messages:
    3,128
    State:
    MO / MT
    I fish the Mississippi primarily and have seen lots of 16 foot boats out there. If you decide to go out there on it, avoid the barges, some of them create pretty big wakes...even in my 20 foot boat I have had the bow crash into some of these waves and have gotten water sprayed into the boat. I think if you just avoid those barges, you would be just fine...Just remember if you have any doubts, it is always better to side with caution!
     
  6. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    You also want to watch out when you're simply running up and down the river. The current flow is so fast that a hole or big rock will cause a 'standing wave', just like the ones you often see in rapids right below drops. I've got a 1648 with a 25hp Yamaha 4-stroke on it, and I'll take it on the Mississippi if my big boat isn't working. On the other hand, I did buy the big boat (20' Kenner) just so I'd feel safer on the Mississippi. There's as much difference between the Arkansas River and the Mississippi River as between daylight and dark. Badkarma has had his 14' on the Mississippi and had no trouble. The biggest trick is to always be alert and use a lot of common sense. During high water, the river is famous for having all kinds of stuff floating downstream, which makes it more dangerous, of course.
     
  7. blackhorse83

    blackhorse83 New Member

    Messages:
    1,008
    State:
    missouri
    I have a 1654 and have had it on the old Mississippi many times, the one thing you need to remember is "respect" if you remember this you will be fine with some common sense.
     
  8. Lngbo

    Lngbo New Member

    Messages:
    622
    State:
    Marion Ark
    I have a 16 foot crappie boat that has been on the Mississippi twice last year. The boat handled well, and the water was low. I hae not heard aobut the tunica fishing trip, but if there are other boats there I will take mine out also. River is falling right now at Memphis and wing dams are starting to show again.
     
  9. TeamWhiskers

    TeamWhiskers New Member

    Messages:
    536
    State:
    Missouri
    That thing should fly! Just be careful and take your time although I would wait until the flood stage is over. You might want to study the barge maps to know what is in that section of water. It is dangerous out there no matter what size boat you have on any river, lake or stream. I have a friend of mine that has a 12 foot canoe with a 5 horse engine on it that likes to race barges with it. It is a matter of knowing your equipment and your limitations is the best advice I can give anyone. So it is really not up to us, it is your decision and how confident you are in the boat rather if you should go out there no matter where you go.
     
  10. cpalombo

    cpalombo New Member

    Messages:
    318
    State:
    Nashville TN
    Vince is right. There are places where my 20 foot Xtrm Deep V Lowe 1940 is too small, particulary in locations close to the dams or when the river fills with debris.

    Here is how it always works... The first few time you go, you will be real careful and probably not push it (I know you will be careful, or you never would have posted the thread asking for tips). The real danger is 6 months later when you work up the nerve to get into the main chanel, go at night, or anchor in the tail of some wing dam.

    I would want to say "don't go in that small boat, dont risk it.", but I know lots of other guys would call me over-conservitive (I am Italian, I get my deep capacity to worry from my grandma). So.. I will say it this way... "Be careful... and STAY careful".

    If you want to learn the big river, go out several time with some acomplished boatsmen, and ask lots of Q's. See how water is with your own eyes in different situations (high water, lots of debris, below a dam, in the backwater, at a confluence, etc). I will take you out. PM me. Others offer all the time. Take them up on it.

    Good luck.

    CP
     
  11. Seth

    Seth Active Member

    Messages:
    1,807
    State:
    Owensville, MO
    I been thinking about going on a guided trip with one of the fellow BOC'ers here if they wouldn't mind having me a time or two. :lol: Sometime in the next few weekends I might see if anybody wants to take me for a spin on the might Mississippi.
     
  12. cpalombo

    cpalombo New Member

    Messages:
    318
    State:
    Nashville TN
    I will take you today if you want to get out. I am pushing off at 3:00 ish. PM me and we can work out the details.

    CP
     
  13. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    As many of these threads have said, think safety first. Years before these fiberglass and aluminum boats were common, people fished the Mississippi in wooden row boats. They used common sense and didn't let their horse power get them into trouble. Same thing today, just because you have a BIG boat with a BIG motor, does not in itself mean you are ready for BIG water.
     
  14. cpalombo

    cpalombo New Member

    Messages:
    318
    State:
    Nashville TN

    Well said.

    CP
     
  15. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

    Messages:
    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO
    Lawrence hit the nail on the head. Nice Post.

    1. know your boats limitations
    2. know your own personal limitations
    3. Safety first, Always.
    4. Common sense will keep you alive a long long time.

    The human body is blessed with a self preservation mechanism in the form of little hairs on the back of your neck. When they stand up, its time to undo what you are doing. :big_smile:
     
  16. riverrat2

    riverrat2 New Member

    Messages:
    7
    State:
    IL>
    Seth, I have a 16ft jon boat with 25hp motor and fish the mississippi all the time. Get along fine with it. I live in Seaton, IL. which is only 4 miles away from river that is near Keithsburg,IL. Riverrat2
     
  17. theonecatfishbob

    theonecatfishbob New Member

    Messages:
    4,100
    State:
    Wright City, Missouri
    The other members covered it pretty well. I ran the Missouri for a couple of years in a 14 ft. v bottom with an 18 horse johnson. I never had any trouble. But I dont drink and I have a lot of respect for the river. I think I would be afraid of the MO. before I would fear the Miss. Just mho.
     
  18. cpalombo

    cpalombo New Member

    Messages:
    318
    State:
    Nashville TN
    I got one for you all. Happened last night.
    I was out fishing under a dam (a big dam, 1,000 foot across covering the whole Miss river). I boated up to the edge of the dam a safe distance from the discharge, jumped on shore, and started looking for some shad. After I was done (no shad) I jumped back in the boat and untied from my log.

    The current swell by this point 50 yards from the discharge was not strong, but started taking me slowly toward the 20 foot long, 1,000 yard across, 2 yard high (6 feet high rolling off the foot of the dam!) white water. I gave the key a turn, and the engine did’t take. Tried again, no take. Tried again…. flooded. Moving toward the dam discharge, and I have a flooded motor.
    I ran to the front of the boat, dropped the anchor and 12 feet of rope. The anchor stopped me 10 feet from the white water!!!! Thank God. It would have swamped my transom for sure, and I am in a BIG boat. It would not have been good to jump out of a flooded boat at the foot of that chaos.

    After flooring the throttle and turning the key, I muscled through the flooded carb and got it running again. Now, I am in 1 foot of water with a remote tiller 115hp Merc, so I could not use my engine to power out of danger. The anchor was still holding me, so I had plenty of time to think of another way out of the mess....

    I dropped my bow mount Min Kota, and pulled anchor. I wrestled cross current for 30 second until I had the depth to run the engine. At 3 feet, I accelerated the motor, and got out of that problem.

    This just happened yesterday. I did not panic, and I knew my boat well enough to use all my options. You never know when something bad will happen, and I consider myself more careful than most.
    I spent the rest of the day fishing (wearing my life vest!)
    CP
     
  19. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    One thing I never do is voluntarily turn off the motor when I'm in really strong current, and especially when I'm in a particularily dangerous situation, like below a dam. Even when I'm drifting below a powerhouse, I will power up to the legal limit, put the outboard in neutral, and drift down current till I'm ready to run back upstream---the motor never gets turned off. About the only time I turn the motor off when I'm jugfishing is when I'm beaching the boat, which is done out of the current, except in an emergency of some sort.
     
  20. badkarma

    badkarma New Member

    Messages:
    772
    State:
    Oxford,Miss
    Seth to back up what Jtrew said my very frist time on the Miss river was an all nighter launched right before dark and hauled out after daylight at Greenville Ms where the river is a mile wide.I was chasing Coach who lives at Greenville and is on the river all the time.Coach was in a 16 ft big jon with a 50 OB and my boat is a 14ft with a 25hp and but at the time I was running a 20 hp OB.I didn't have any problems that time or any time after that but I don't get foolish on any waters.