Some questions for Mississippi River Fishermen

Discussion in 'MISSOURI RIVERS TALK' started by JMANWI, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. JMANWI

    JMANWI New Member

    Messages:
    33
    State:
    Missouri
    New Member/longtime viewer! I'm from Wisconsin(relocated to Missouri) so fishing for catfish is only something I've picked up in the last couple of years. I've got 19ft aluminum boat with a 70hp Evinrude so I think I'm o.k. there. I'm wondering what kinds of commercial anchors people have the best luck with? People have told me slip/fluke anchors work well but I want to know what other people think before I go and buy one.

    I'm also wondering what people suggest with respect to safety. I always carry more than one anchor, a couple sharp knives,and plenty of life jackets/throw cushions along with the required stuff. I usually have an extra 10 hp motor along on the Mississippi. Do most people only use 1 motor or do they have a backup? I had a MAJOR scare downtown(St. Louis) last year and I would have probably been in a world of trouble if I didn't have the second motor. I'm guessing even a large trolling motor wouldn't do much on that river. I'm also wondering if there is an emergency Coast Gaurd/Water Patrol number. Any additional safety advice would be appreciated. It seems like everyone that fishes the river, has a few close call stories so I would like to do everything I can to avoid them/deal with them if necessary.

    I've had my best luck on the Mississippi river right downtown. I don't catch a lot of fish but 3 over 40 were caught last year in my boat. All are released. I normally fish the Poplar Street Bridge down to the Jefferson Barracks Bridge. I'm wondering how the fishing is South and North of these places. I'm looking for some areas with less barge traffic/moored barges. I've wanted to try the McKinley Bridge area and the Chain of Rocks area and maybe Alton but don't know anyone who fishes there regularly and would like some advice on what people target in those areas(structure/holes) and if they are worthwhile. The same goes for south of the JB.

    I appreciate everyones help/advice. I don't know where I'd be without this site and everyone's helpful advice.
     
  2. Kutter

    Kutter New Member

    Messages:
    5,379
    State:
    Arnold, MO
    Welcome to Missouri. There are many catfolks around this area and most all fish any and all of the areas you mentioned. As for places to go, I will leave that to the folks more experienced with that part of the river, than I.
    Attached is the anchor called "The Digger" that I use. I got it at Cabela's and have not got hung up once in the 4 years I have had it. In the 4 years before that, I lost over a dozen anchors. I carry a small (15lb) mushroom anchor for the back of the boat to stabilize it when needed. Incidentally, I have an 18 ft river jon with a 50hp on it. As for a backup motor, I do have a 35 MinKota trolling motor. You are right, it won't help a lot, but I hope it would at least help steer me to the bank.
    I am glad you are safety conscious on the river. I go out alone at night more often than not. Many folks have asked me if I ever get scared. I tell them not only do I get scared, the day I'm not scared of the Mississippi River, is the last day I will ever go out on it. It pays to have a healthy dose of fear of it. It's when you get confident that it jumps up an bites ya. It bites real hard.

    With so many BOC members in this area, we have recently formed a side group called Gateway Cats. We post mostly in the "Partners in Catfishing" section of the BOC. Take a look around at the posts there, it might be something you would be interested in. We have groups get togethers and $1 tournaments. Hope to see ya on the river.
     

  3. Grumper

    Grumper New Member

    Messages:
    2,277
    State:
    Crystal City MO
    First of all, welcome to the BOC. There is quite a few people who fish the stretch of river you are talking about, including myself. The downtown area has some great fishing, but like you said, the barge traffic never stops, the water is rough, and there are alot of moored barges. The anchors that I use are homemade. I actually have made quite a few for the Gateway Cats guys. It's basically a steel disc attached to a 1/2 steel rod that is 20" in length with a loop up top. (I'd put a pic up, but I don't have one handy.) It works great on rocky bottoms, over wing dikes, wiers, ect. It stops my 24' SeaArk like it's nothing most of the time. As far as a spare motor, All I have ever used is a trolling motor. I've been is two circumstances in my 15+ years on the river where I have needed a backup, and the trolling motor has bailed me out both times. A good strong 24 volt or 36 volt motor should help you get out of the way to an oncoming barge with ease. Depending on where you're launching from, most sections on that stretch of the river, from Alton Dam all the way South of the JB bridge have awesome spots. I'm sure if you hook up with some of the Gateway guys, they can take you out and give a few tips. Most of these guys are die hard catfisherman and know their stuff. As far as safety goes, I carry everything needed to pass a water patrol inspection. I also carry extra flashlights and batteries for nighttime, and a good spotlight. A VHF radio is a good investment also. Most barges, including the Coast Guard moniter channel 16, which is the emergency channel. Good luck out there!:wink:
     
  4. Ryan 57

    Ryan 57 New Member

    Messages:
    23
    State:
    Illinios
    Welcome to the BOC. I fish the Alton area quite a bit. Maybe we can get together one of these weekends and try a catch a few fish. As for saftey, flashlights and a good trolling motor are handy. It is nice to a least have something to get you to the bank.
     
  5. JMANWI

    JMANWI New Member

    Messages:
    33
    State:
    Missouri
    Thanks for all the useful tips and advice. I'm definitely going to look into joining the Gateway Catfishing Club. It sounds like an excellent opportunity to meet some people and learn about the great fishing this area has to offer. It'd be nice to meet and go fishing with some people that have more experience on the river than I have. I've got a lot more to learn. Thanks for everyone's help.
     
  6. poopdeck [patrick]

    poopdeck [patrick] New Member

    Messages:
    1,215
    State:
    ofallon il
    You should try putting in at "columbia bottoms" it is just north of the chain of rocks bridge. You would be putting in on the mo but the miss is just a couple of miles downstream. This is where I put in and it gives you the option of fishing both rivers. It has a nice ramp too. Oh by the way, welcome to boc.