John, you have been having much better luck than me, this year. Apparently, your way works better than it has for me. I too fish close to the tips of the dikes, just on the oppisite side, upstream. I look for the first "dip" in the dike under the water, mentally remembering how far from the exposed dike. I then motor above the dike, about 15 ft toward shore and 120 ft or so upstream. After dropping the anchor, I float downstream to about 40 ft from the dike tip and tie the anchor rope off. Then I drop the rear anchor straight down. This leaves 2 productive areas to fish, one on each side of the boat. To the outward side, I cast about 10-15 ft straight upstream from the "dip" I mentioned. On the shore side, I'll cast straight back to the dike, about 10-15 ft from the exposed dike. Both locations have been productive for me. Now if the day ever comes that I find a way to stay warm enough and fish during the winter months, I would fish Jetdriver's downstream hole every time. Those that know me know that day will most likely never happen, I get cold below 70 degree's and freeze below 60.
Sounds like gar to me also. They stay in those backwaters all summer and (if) there are any cats in there, the gar will beat them to the bait every time. Drum will also be below the dikes in the shallower areas, and hit your bait constantly, but rarely get hooked.
Crazy, when your ready to head east and try the Miss out, post a thread and you'll get plenty of advice on where to put in at and where to fish. I used to fish below Alton Dam alot, between Woodriver, IL and the confluence of the Missouri River. No dikes to speak of up in that area, fished mostly upstream of the holes, which change year to year. Lot's of barge traffic up in that area and between that and the lack of safe spots to leave the truck and trailer, I quite fishing up there. Jetdriver and myself have been fishing below Festus this year, although the trip he mentioned above for next week, will be our first time fishing together.
John, I am working my days off this week, but it's still on for the 6th. Weather calls for clear & 85 during the day and 61 for the night. I'll bring my jacket. (I aint kidding)