Melvin Price Dam Info, Please

Discussion in 'MISSOURI RIVERS TALK' started by BKS72, Jul 19, 2007.

  1. BKS72

    BKS72 New Member

    Messages:
    3,361
    State:
    East of KC
    If the stars align, weather cooperates, all that good stuff I think I'm heading over by St. Louis to fish next weekend. Looking at Google Earth, there's a ramp on the MO side of the Miss at the Melvin Price Dam. Is that a public access ramp and if so, is the area around Melvin Price a good place to fish? It will be my first trip on the Miss, so I'm just looking for somewhere convenient to put in and get a feel for the Mississippi. Looks like it's only a few miles above the confluence and I'd like to look over the MO river over that way while I'm down there as well. I spend a lot of time on the MO over here, so I'm familliar with boating rivers, but as I've posted earlier, still a little intimidated by the big river for some reason. Any info and do's and dont's appreciated!

    Branden
     
  2. SkipEye

    SkipEye Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,525
    State:
    Winfield, MO
    Name:
    Darryl
    The Mississippi isn't bad at all right below Mel Price, never figured that out as it seems like a bigger river up North at Winfield???????

    The ramp you are looking at is a free ramp that is downstream of the dam. The water level is pretty low here so not sure how much longer you can put in. There are some ramps above the dam but you would have to lock thru which would eat up time.

    The other option is Columbia Bottoms ramp on the Missouri, a couple miles above the confluence.

    There are others here that know that area better and they will chime in soon enough. This is a really good area for Hawg Daddy Cats, one of the best that I know of. You have tailwaters, deep holes, flats etc.......... and every bite might be a big one. I have only fished it a couple times and have managed some big fish, including the one in my Avatar.
     

  3. theonecatfishbob

    theonecatfishbob New Member

    Messages:
    4,100
    State:
    Wright City, Missouri
    Yes sir. The ramp on the MO. side is public. You will take 270 east to 367 north towards Alton Ill. You will cross the Missouri and about 3 or 4 miles past that you will see a bridge with cables hanging down. There is a Fisca gas station where you turn right and just follow all the way back to the ramp. It is right below the dam and the confluence is about 4 miles down river. Bait is usually not hard to get there and it is a good place to catch some big fish. According to the prediction center the Mississippi is on a 3.5 ft raise. Should be great timing. Enjoy
     
  4. BKS72

    BKS72 New Member

    Messages:
    3,361
    State:
    East of KC
    Good deal. I was wondering if that was the Columbia Bottoms ramp or not. I may just put in over there, that way I can check out the MO on the way to the Miss and GPS out a clean track during the day. Hate to get hung up on a sand bar as soon as I put in:eek:oooh: Also don't want to mess with locking through (although it would probably be cool since I've never done it before) until I have at least some idea what I'm doing on the big river.

    I know absolutely nothing about fishing around locks/dams. It looks like if I fish the MO side I'm away from the locks and should be out of the barge traffic, which would be good. Would around the lock be a good place to get bait? Looks like there's plenty of feeders coming into the MO to get bait on the way down as well. I'll probably invest in a couple of Sabiki rigs and bring some light poles and try to stock up on some bait while I'm there as well.

    Thanks for the info!!

    Branden
     
  5. SkipEye

    SkipEye Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,525
    State:
    Winfield, MO
    Name:
    Darryl
    Normally below a dam will be some deep scour holes. These are present at Winfield Dam where I normally fish with holes to 60 feet deep. Not so prevalent at Mel Price, not sure why except the current seems less here and the bottom is rocky instead of mud in places. It seems to maintain about 30-35 feet deep below the gates in themain tailwater. Look for a deep hole around the big yellow cylinder, hint, hint, hint.

    To fish a tailwater most effectively (they say) look for current seams that will develop at the pillars between the gates. Try to fish these seams. I've heard different theorys on the scour holes below dams. Some say they will hold on the shallows just above the holes, some say at the head of the holes, some just say in the deepest part. I don't know anymore because I read so much different opinion.

    It is a good area with potential to set your new PB thats for sure.:smile2:
     
  6. xOZx

    xOZx New Member

    Messages:
    21
    State:
    Illinois
    For columbia bottoms, stay on 270 east to the Riverview exit. It is the last MO exit and if you miss it look directly to your right or left because you'll be looking up and down the Mississippi! :wink:

    Turn left on Riverview at the stop sign at the bottom of the exit ramp. Follow that to the Columbia Bottoms C.A. Follow the road back to the ramp...on the left back in there.

    Good ramp. Go downstream untill you have to turn right or left...you are now on the Mississippi! :cool2:

    Left to the dam, right to the Chain of Rocks. p.s. don't go all the way to the chain...shallow down there.
     
  7. RIVER-RAT

    RIVER-RAT New Member

    Messages:
    3,128
    State:
    MO / MT
    Branden, I fish the Melvin Price Dam down to the confluence ALOT!! Let me know when you're in town as I just might be up there and I could show you around if that is something you would be interested in doing. I'm up there on most weekends in the evening hours.

    I think you'll like it, get some of those sabiki rigs and cast as far out into the river as you can, at the dam, that is where I have been catching alot of those goldeyes and skips. I personally have been catching more fish on the goldeyes than anything else.
     
  8. BKS72

    BKS72 New Member

    Messages:
    3,361
    State:
    East of KC
    Sounds good, I'll drop you a PM later in the week when I'm positive we'll be there. Everything so far is a go, but you know how it is. I'd love to see how you work a Sabiki and catch skipjack. I'm planning on taking Friday off and heading over Thursday night after work and meeting up with my Dad. We'll probably get on the water early Friday morning, try to load up on bait, get some tracks and spots marked out on the GPS and then fish awhile. Depending on how hot it is, we'll probably head back to the hotel in the afternoon, take a nap, and then we'll hit it all night Friday night and repeat the process on Saturday. This time of year I don't get real interested in the fishing till evening. I'm just too sorry to sit out and bake all day. :big_smile:
     
  9. Kutter

    Kutter New Member

    Messages:
    5,379
    State:
    Arnold, MO
    Now let me confuse EVERYBODY! That ramp you speak of, below Melvin Price, on the Missouri side, well, it's actually in Illinois! No, I am not crazy.............Ok, I may be, but that is a different story. All along the Mississippi River there are sections of Illinois on the west side of the river and sections of Missouri on the east side of the river. Apparently, the state lines originally were set up at the center of the river, but over the years, the river has changes course a few times, thus the states overlapping the river. Nope, it doesn't effect licensing, as either state is good on both sides.
    Now, back to your regularly scheduled topic, sorry for the buttin in.
     
  10. BKS72

    BKS72 New Member

    Messages:
    3,361
    State:
    East of KC
    No problem, appreciate the info. Never thought of it, but yeah, I guess setting up the state line at the center of the river would be kind of impermanent....
     
  11. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,297
    State:
    Coshocton,
    Watch out for them birds!
     
  12. catfishcrazee

    catfishcrazee Member

    Messages:
    52
    State:
    illinois
    i see the water level is at 6.0, anyone know if you can still launch at the boat ramp below the dam.
     
  13. RIVER-RAT

    RIVER-RAT New Member

    Messages:
    3,128
    State:
    MO / MT
    Ron, I launched there last night with out any problems. I have a 20 foot jon also.

    As far as the fishing report, well it started out alittle slow but in the end we (MM516) boated 6 fish, the two largest fish weighed out at 22lbs and 34lbs.

    I caught all the fish on herring filet/herring heads. I tried several different baits including shad, asian carp and skipjack but they really wanted the herring over anything else.

    I forgot my camera but MM516 brought his so I'm hoping he'll post them on here sometime soon!
     
  14. catfishcrazee

    catfishcrazee Member

    Messages:
    52
    State:
    illinois
    thanks riverrat. thinking about fishing there tomorrow. you have any luck during the day?
     
  15. RIVER-RAT

    RIVER-RAT New Member

    Messages:
    3,128
    State:
    MO / MT
    Well to be honest with ya, I've only fished there during the evening/night hours. Well I take that back, this spring I fished there during the day but the water was so high, I don't think anybody was catching fish!
     
  16. BKS72

    BKS72 New Member

    Messages:
    3,361
    State:
    East of KC
    Just got back from St. Louis about an hour ago. Had a miserable ride there and back (blew a trailer tire going each way, discovered the jack was missing from the car, etc) but the fishing was good and we had a great time.

    Put in about noon on Friday at Columbia Bottoms and ran up to the dam to do some skipjack fishing. We were catching them on Sabiki's (my uncle had just pulled a double) when one of the dam guys started yelling at us and pointing to the "500 feet away" sign which I had missed. Had to get back out of the boil, so that shot the skip fishing. It was the coolest thing to catch a few of them, though. Not quite as fun as catfishing, but pretty neat.

    Caught some bait and went down to Chain of Rocks bridge to hide in the shade until it cooled off and then went back to the dam and fished awhile. First good run my dad had, he broke off. I was showing him how to tie a palomar knot and the 40 lb mono he was using broke as soon as I cinched the knot. Had a good run on his other rod, same thing. Him and my uncle aren't used to fishing big water, so they don't worry too much about their gear. Moved off of the dam and fished a wing dam. I switched them to using my gear and they hit a couple of small blues, biggest maybe 10#.

    Fished all night, went to the hotel about 8 AM, slept 4 hours, and then I made those guys go to Wally world and buy new line. We spent 3 hours at a really nice park near CB getting all their rods and reels tuned up, restrung, set up for big water, did a little work on the boat, etc. Got back on the river about 5, fooled around trying for more skips by the dam, threw for some bait and went back to the dam to fish. Dad hit a 10# blue and a drum. We fished it till around 8 PM then headed up the MO. Hit a 10# channel off a sandbar but moved off after a couple of hours because the gars were driving us nuts. Went to the next spot and on the way my uncle caught a 15# carp in the ribs. After my dad and I got done laughing and my uncle wreaked his vengeance on the carp by making some nice bait chunks, we fished a dyke for a couple of hours with absolutely no result and moved to a flat.

    About 230 this morning, I told them we were getting into prime time and we rebaited. I could tell those guys were getting kind of down because we hadn't hit many fish and none of any size, but they were still getting a kick out of being on the river. I crashed a little before 3 and at 320 one of my clickers started screaming. My uncle was closest so I hollered at him to get it. Turned out to be a 30# blue. His first blue on RR and by far the biggest fish he'd ever caught on a rod and reel. Did some CPR action, got calmed down, and we all crashed till about 630 this morning. Woke up a 7, put on fresh bait and were eating breakfast when my dad's rod takes a dive. He fights it in and it's a 20# blue. His 2nd blue ever on RR and far and away his biggest fish ever. Got some pics (I brought a camera, and of course discoverd the batteries were dead when we went to take a picture Sat. evening. Pix attached are more crappy pictures with my phone..:confused2:)That was a perfect end to the trip. We ran back up to the dam, fished a little bit, then packed it up and headed out. No monsters, but 2 nice fish and a lot of firsts for those guys, so it was pretty much all a guy could ask for the first time fishing a stretch of river(s).

    I realize you guys from the St. Louis area are probably used to doing this every weekend so reading this was most likely pretty boring, but just wanted to let you all know I really appreciated all the info and tips. We had a great time, I got to put those guys on their biggest fish ever on a rod and reel, and it was an absolute blast being able to run both big rivers in the same day.

    Thanks again!

    Branden
     

    Attached Files:

  17. Kutter

    Kutter New Member

    Messages:
    5,379
    State:
    Arnold, MO
    Oh, uh, yeah, of course, us guys around St. Louis do that kinda stuff all the time. Yeah, right! We just don't talk about it so as to not make the rest of ya feel bad. Same reason some of us never show pic's of all those hogs we catch. Yep, Catch And Release has opened up a whole new world to some of us. LOL

    Sounds like you gained a few great memories you will never forget. What more could a person ever hope for?