Mississippi / Missouri River around St. Louis

Discussion in 'MISSOURI RIVERS TALK' started by TN Greg, Mar 23, 2007.

  1. TN Greg

    TN Greg Member

    Messages:
    627
    State:
    MO
    Can anybody give me a heads up as to the river conditions in this area? I was thinking about putting the boat in tomorrow.... Thanks in advance.
     
  2. bearcat

    bearcat Member

    Messages:
    925
    State:
    Nokomis, Illinois
    Water level at Alton tailwater is 13 plus feet. Which is a little high to me. Otherwise dont know for sure. Good luck.
     

  3. Grumper

    Grumper New Member

    Messages:
    2,277
    State:
    Crystal City MO
    I've been fishing the river at Crystal City, and the river is way up. All wing dykes are under, and most of the buoys are barely sticking out of the water. Went out this morning, threw a cast net for at least two hours. Couldn't even buy a shad. Lots of debris.
     
  4. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

    Messages:
    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO
    Dont feel bad Gary, I spent 11 hours on the river the other day, in the rain to boot. The shad are extremely difficult to find, as they are scatterred with the high water. I found a couple dozen in Joachim creek by throwing the net into the channel about 15 feet deep. Fished for 4 hours with nary a bite on the shad. Got aggravated an snagged myself an asian carp to use. I fileted the asian, and cut different size baits to experiment with to see what they might prefer. I had one piece 1 inch wide by 12 inches long and various sizes under that. I got three nibbles on smaller baits, and had one hilacious rip on that big piece. Fish was only on 3 seconds or so, and let loose. I never even got the rod out of the holder. I felt my drag and I had it locked down pretty good on that Penn 310 so I know it was a pretty good fish that was pulling that drag out and heading for the Gulf Of Mexico. Had I not been in the front of the boat goofing off, I might have had a chance at that fish. Who knows. I'm starting to see a history here of me and goofing off. :embarassed: Perhaps I'd better start tending the rods a little closer. Anyway, long story short, the Asians outfished the shad big time on my outing. As well, just about all of my bites came in fairly shallow water. No bites in deep water, and didnt paint any fish either.

    OH, wow, forgot a biggie. The Catfish are spawning. With one of my bait net throws I caught a couple dozen 1 inch long channel cats. Took me 20 minutes to get those darn things outa there too. By the size, I'd say they were born 3 weeks ago. This is certainly an early spawn for what I've seen in years past. It would also explain a slow bite.

    Good Luck Everyone
     
  5. bluecat junkie

    bluecat junkie New Member

    Messages:
    38
    State:
    missouri
    If the catfish are indeed spawning then that would explain my slow day on the river today. I was only able to find 1 shad for bait so i used big shiners and some frozen skip jack. I only got one bite!! The river was high and had some trash in it. I was fishing in deeper water, but it sounds like I should have been shallower. Where is a good place to try when the water is high? I was fishing where the barges unload. I wonder if the sand bars would be good with the water high? Oh well, it was still nice to be on the river. Talk to ya later.
     
  6. Angler2007

    Angler2007 New Member

    Messages:
    489
    State:
    Missouri
    I doubt there is anyway the catfush are spawning yet. The water temp just isn't warm enough for that. They are probably up in the shallows on these warm days sunning themselves. Not to mention the food isn;t going to be too far away.
     
  7. Grumper

    Grumper New Member

    Messages:
    2,277
    State:
    Crystal City MO
    John, I wouldn't doubt if they were beginning to spawn. Last weekend I caught several baby channels in my throw net, plus the temps are coming up. I had about 47 degrees in the river Saturday, and I went up Plattin and Joachim creeks, and the water was at about 57 degrees.
     
  8. skipjackking

    skipjackking New Member

    Messages:
    823
    State:
    Missouri
    I had the same thing happen to me sat i had to buy a new net today seemed like every cast they were in the net.
     
  9. crazy

    crazy New Member

    Messages:
    2,090
    State:
    Kansas CIty, MO
    Spawning in water in the high 40's to mid 50's? That just seems a little cold to me. Maybe they where late bloomers from last fall.
     
  10. RIVER-RAT

    RIVER-RAT New Member

    Messages:
    3,128
    State:
    MO / MT
    I was out on the Mississippi and missouri, the confluence, and was able to find plenty of shad in the slow waters...I to caught alot of baby channels in the throw net as well...I'm with Cuz, not only did I catch plenty of shad, but I caught a couple juvee asians, first tried the shad, nothin' then tried the asian and started gettin a few nibbles, just couldn't get one in the boat.

    I also tried fishing the shallows, the deep holes the main channel, you name it, I tried it...all I got was a sunburnt nose!

    Is it possible the bite is slow due to all the grass and leaves that are floating in the river? That was about the only thing I kept reeling in on a consistant basis!:angry: I can't wait for all that crap to finally settle on the bottom or make its way to the gulf or where ever it ends up....JUST GET THERE!
     
  11. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

    Messages:
    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO
    Guys, with all due respect, These fish are spawning and have been for a couple of weeks. I know a catfish fry when I see one. I caught two dozen 1 inch channel cats in my net three days ago. No, they are not from last year. We have an extremely early spawn this year. Yes, the big river (mississippi, and missouri) water temps are 50 degrees. (around St. Louis) However, due to the high water conditions, the tributaries are running 60 degrees. Thats plenty warm enough. Believe it or not, these fish are definitely spawning around St. Louis. Its impossible that a 1 inch channel cat is left over from last year. Do your homework on growth/mortality rates for catfish fry. Its the earliest spawn I've seen in recent history, but I'm telling you, they are spawning. If your going to go out fishing, concentrate on the shallows. You might feel goofy fishing in 2 feet of water, but thats where the cats are. good luck.
     
  12. Grumper

    Grumper New Member

    Messages:
    2,277
    State:
    Crystal City MO
    Im with ya Cuz, I couldn't get my boat in at the Truman ramp last weekend so I put in at Plattin Rock. No channels were caught in our nets up there, but the weekend before last, I put in at Truman, and I went to my normal bait spot, the warm water discharge at Ameren, and every cast had about 10 1-2" channels in it. We've been catching them for about the past 3 weekends. We've been catching way more baby channels in the net than shad. I'm not exactly sure what the spawning temperature for cats is, but I do know that bass will spawn at 60 degress, and the water is pushing that temperature in the creeks, and I know that a big river is usually a few degrees cooler that the smaller rivers, lakes, and creeks.
     
  13. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

    Messages:
    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO
    Thx for clarifying Gary, and you are correct. Usually 60 degrees is a decent indicator of the upcoming spawn. This year with the early high water, we are seeing 60 degrees in the tributaries. The fish are moving shallow, and moving in the tributaries. I've told a few people the cats are spawning and they thought i had flipped my lid. These fish are in the shallows, and in the tributaries. They will still bite, but your not gonna find them deep. Fish the feeder creeks, far back sides of wing dykes in areas where there is a small amount of current, and especially fish the backflow areas of the wing dykes. These are readily identifiable by mere eyesight. Anywhere you see the main river current make a 180 degree turn, where the river is running north, this is a great spawn/prespawn place to fish. Do your best to fish the "slack" side of the current rip, and present your baits as natural as possible. If you can find the 180 degree turns up next to the bank, you have found prime spawning grounds, and lots of catfish. I spent 11 hours on the river, half of that on the Lowrance, and I can tell ya from that day, there isnt many fish in the holes. I painted a ton of fish shallow 3 - 10 feet, but the bite is slow. If they are spawning, its going to be hit or miss anyway. Some lucky soles from the BOC are going to be on the river when the post spawn bite rips in, and its going to be alot of fun. I just hope they share their stories. :smile2:
     
  14. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

    Messages:
    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO
    Hey, this reminds me of this past year. For all you Kansas City Fisherman, we BOC'sters from St. Louis are going to be fighting an early spawn it appears. If you guys can hit the river this week, you have a pretty good chance of doing darn good. You guys out there seem to run about 1 week behind us on the water temps, and the bite. Weve sure been catching alot of fry in our bait nets. Hope you guys are fairing better out there. Main channel temps are running at 50 + or - a couple of degrees , however the tribuatary temps are at 61 + or - a few. Good news for us is usually after this initial spawn, the flatties go on a huge feeding binge. I've found the flats will start to forage heavily when that water temp hits the upper 60 and 70 degree range. I've got a gut feeling we are in for a nice spring fishing season. :big_smile:
     
  15. ravenloft420

    ravenloft420 New Member

    Messages:
    346
    State:
    mo
    all these babies you guys are catching really makes me happy. that just means more catfish to come in later years. I can see why the bite is slow because you have to admit it is still kinda early. they will be hittin hard soon enough brothers :smile2: cant wait
     
  16. Kutter

    Kutter New Member

    Messages:
    5,379
    State:
    Arnold, MO
    I used to love using a nylon cast net. Notice I said "used to"? Mono is bad enough to get those babies out of, try nylon! Might as well throw the darn thing away once those baby channels get in there. For those of you who have never had the privilege of finding out first hand, the spines on baby catfish are like hooks with a dozen barbs. Once they get in a net, they are next to impossible to get them out.
    Cuz, don't sweat the questioning. We here that know you, know you are about as good as it gets around here when it comes to knowing the Mississippi River and the fish in it. Ain't a one of us doubt a word you say.

    By the way, Cuz, I got out the ol sighting scope the other day. How come you didn't fish your best wingdike?:wink:
     
  17. Malichi1970

    Malichi1970 New Member

    Messages:
    1,334
    State:
    Fenton, Missouri
    As for as water temps around the area, I was out on the Meramec this last weekend. Put in at George Winter and just went for a ride on the river. The water temps were holding around 60-62 degrees according to the depth finder in the boat. I thought this was a bit warm for this time of year, but I guess it makes since that I couldn't buy a bite the last couple times out. I was over at LOZ 2 weeks ago and the temp was around 50 degrees.
     
  18. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

    Messages:
    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO
    :confused2:
    Uh Oh, sum one is on to me. :confused2: I did fish my favorite wall. Was that you Kutter hanging from a rope off that cliff with the Binoculars? And you are exactly correct about those channel cats. I spent 20 minutes getting them out. I tried to save as many as I could, but in the end, I had to cut a few of them out. Not only do they have all those barbs, but the barbs wont lay down either. Hope I dont find any more of those little boogers. Also had another interesting observation. I put the boat up into the willows to hold it so I could fish a backflow. I kept hearing noises up in the willows and starting focusing my attention up there. Well, I happened to notice a few catfish swimming around in those willows. Dont know if they feeding or what. The willows were so thick,fishing in there was out of the question. I think were going to have a great spring season. Thx for the nice compliments. I spend alot of time on that river thats for sure. Seems there is always something to learn though.
     
  19. Fishhead1

    Fishhead1 Member

    Messages:
    177
    State:
    Illinois
    Name:
    Eric
    1st of all let me say anything is possible.

    Literature states that Channel Catfish spawn closer to 80 degrees (http://fishbase.com/Reproduction/Fi...us&SpeciesName=punctatus&fc=129&StockCode=304) than 60 degrees. I'm a big believer in global warming and have seen various evidence of that, but I don't think local streams/rivers are anywhere near 70 degrees yet, let alone 80. That being said, it could be that channel cats got goofed up and spawned in or around a power plant or similar hot water discharge and you happened upon their young.

    From everyone posting on these boards so far no one has reported Skipjack or White bass running yet around Chain of Rocks or Mel Price and they tend to go before the cats.

    1-2" catfish can most certainly be from last year, although probably not the spring spawn (those would be 2-4"). We trawled catfish smaller than 1" in September last year, meaning that the channel catfish probably got off a 2nd or 3rd spawn mid-late summer, channel catfish won't grow once the water turns cold so they'd remain small until the water warms and they start eating/growing again in the spring.

    Anyway, just sharing some info, again anything is possible and it sure is a good excuse to get out there fishing and checking things out.
     
  20. poopdeck [patrick]

    poopdeck [patrick] New Member

    Messages:
    1,215
    State:
    ofallon il
    I go to the chain of rocks almost daily and the skippies are not there yet. A few days ago we also caught a bunch of the little channels at columbia bottoms. We were also able to catch some nice skippies and shads with the net on the mud banks going towards the miss. It was nice to be on the boat but the fishing was a dud.