Well I told you guys there was a good chance of me being on the river on Friday night....well I almost didn't make it. As I'm sure you know, there were quite the thunderstorms rolling through the St Louis area last night with heavy downpours. When it quit here in St Chuck, my buddy Chris, aka lil'river-rat, and I headed to the river. Chris hasn't been out with me at all this year as he and his beautiful wife had an addition to the family earlier this year and he had been a very good daddy and has stayed home on all his days off to help out. Well his better half and the youngens headed to her mothers house for a few weeks and he was finally ready to go. We got to Columbia Bottoms around 800pm but as we were about to drop the boat in the water, another string of heavy rain with lightning showed up, we decided to wait it out and around 900pm we finally launched. I headed to a few spots where I was hoping to catch a bunch of bait, but that just wasn't the case. Bait was a bit difficult to find but after 2-2.5 hours of throwing the net I managed to find a few small shad, a couple asians and three big skipeyes. I was finally tired of throwing that damn net and told chris that we just try our luck with what we had. I warned him that the bite was probably going to be very slow, considering the river had been on a steady fall for better than a week and there was a wind coming up out of the south. Given that, we still had high hopes but braced for the worst. I anchored in our first hole shortly after 11ish or so, and after about ten minutes my pole got slammed. Reeled in a fish that was in the mid-teens. I was relieved to have that darn black and white critter out of the boat early in the night! Whew! Rebaited that pole and threw it back out there in the same spot. 10 minutes later, slam! I grabbed the pole and could tell that it was a much better fish. As I was fighting the fish, one of the other rods in the rod holder just got burried! I started yelling at Chris, fish on! fish on! So here we are, we've got a double!!! I was able to get mine in and netted by myself, he went very close to twenty pounds. Chris was still fighting that fish and was having a time trying to gain ground on him. I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical on how big the fish really was until Chris got it up to the boat and the beauty rolled, that's when I got excited!! It WAS a pig!!! I got the net in under the fish and Chris gently guided the fish inside the net. High fives were now going about the boat with many Woo Hoos!!! Weighed the fish and it weighed in at 43 pounds and some change!!!!! Beat Chris's old PB by 20 pounds!!!! We ended up catching 6 total fish in about a three hours span. The only problem that we ran into was that we ran OUT of skipeyes. Those darn fish wouldn't touch the shad or the asians! So about a quarter to four, Chris, who was about to fall asleep due to the brutal battle with the PIG, decided he wanted to call it a night. If I would have had more skipeyes in the boat, I would've had to veto Chris's thought and would've stayed out all night!!! Several of the fish were caught in deep water while the others were caught on a sand bar in about 7-12 feet of water. It was a great night and it felt really great to be back on the Mississippi river!!!! I can't wait to get back out there! A picture of Chris's new PB!!!