55-60 degrees, maybe sooner but the bites will be further between unless you can really slow the boat down a lot. River is high and ice is flowing, not much to report for a while yet. There are several tournaments out of columbia bottoms in march, just a heads up. The first 3 weekends of march between central mo cats, twisted cats, and the catfish on the confluence monthly trail.
Odd day out on the Missouri today. Put in at Klondike. River is still high. Main river channel is now 55-56*. River is rolling pretty good but not much trash - the occasional 2-3 minutes of wood then not much. Tried skipjack, fresh mooneye, and shad - and even nightcrawlers (came prepared LOL). Nothing in the chute or the mouth of the chute. Anchored upin the new current seam caused by the high water. First 3 bites were the kind you want to see ... rod slams down, stays down, but then pops up either before we could reel down or as soon as we start to reel. (all 3 on skipjack). Short bites. You could see where the bait was crushed and scales gone. Downsized bait - more hard bites. Same thing short bites.
This went on all day. Every bite was aggressive but short. Only once did I feel like I had the fish on. felt the head shake started bringing it in and then POP!! end up with crushed bait behind the hook. Several hits slammed down and then popped back up as the let go and they wouldn't come back. Almost as tho they were cruising by, saw some food, and tried to take it while swimming.
End of the day - about 12 good hits, no hookups, all short. Bait was down to about 1" x 1" square
Here’s a question for folks who were fishing in 1993. What kind of fishing can we expect when the water goes down on the MO and Miss here in the St Louis region? Are the populations going to be hurt or maybe thriving ?
There are places they will get trapped but not enough to be alarming. I believe gar and carp are the ones that end up getting trapped in any quantities. The otter have been catching lots of carp and eating them on the tops of the levees. The leavings put out quit a smell while running the levees checking for leaks.
I'm trapping and shooting digging varmints for the levee district around Vanmeter and Teteseau. This is the levee that protects Grand Pass Waterfowl Area along with private farm ground. The levees upstream have been breached. Many of the levees on carrol county have also failed.
I'd like to weigh in here on the flooding. I started fishing the Missouri River South of Columbia in 1987. Back then we saw a big change in the size and quantity of the fish we were catching one year after the commercial cat fishing was discontinued on the river. That was a good thing.
But the changes to the river after the 1993 were a lot more profound in the amount of habitat that was left after the flood. Vast expanses of shallow sandy habitat was left after the river current cut across the levees and river bottoms. Very soon after this new pallid sturgeon fry started turning up in sampling surveys. The fish and wildlife service realized the reason for this increase was because of the new habitat from the flooding. The fish and wildlife service and army corps of engineers then started a whole lot of projects to expand this type of habitat, some not so effective, but overall probably a good thing. I believe this policy from the army corps of engineers is also contributing to the major flooding, as they will not do large winter draw downs on the upper Missouri to anticipate spring flooding. They will hold this water back in the upper Missouri reservoirs in order to maintain higher water flows in late spring and early summer for the sturgeon spawn.
Another profound change brought about by the flooding was the introduction of the asian carp into the river systems which all of us know was not a good thing. They are a huge biomass in our waters now that directly compete with all native filter feeders like shad. Personally, I believe that the larger blue and flathead catfish have adapted to this abundant food source and are utilizing it to get bigger. There has been a huge amount of pressure from trotline and bank pole fisherman for quite a few years now. But I personally know of numerous 80 pound plus fish now being caught every year. You would almost never hear of fish that big being caught before the 1993 flood.
The fishery for catfish in the Missouri, Osage, and Mississippi river systems is amazing in my opinion. If we were able to introduce regulations similar to the southern states this fishery would become the best in the world for big catfish. The limit would be one fish per day over 34" and keep as many as you want under that. MDC tried to introduce some similar regulation years ago, but was not successful because of public opinion.
@moriverfish There now appears to be a breeding population of Snakehead in Arkansas in the St. Francis River, is there any report of them in the Mississippi yet? I feel the Asian carp and Zebra muscles are a tiny setback compared to what the Snakehead will do.
don't know very much about the snake head invasion other than the first one in Missouri was caught in flood waters from the St. Francis river back in April. Definitely not good to have those things get established. According to what I have read, they can spawn several times in one year and are very hardy. Also veracious predators that would directly compete with gamefish.
Hey guys Im heading home this week to try to spend some time on the river near Alton for cats. I was thinking about fishing the Mississippi just south of Melvin Price and the Missouri right before it comes into the confluence. Has anybody been out and had some success? Thanks!