Some questions for Mississippi River Fishermen

Discussion in 'Gateway Catfishing Club' started by JMANWI, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. JMANWI

    JMANWI New Member

    Messages:
    33
    State:
    Missouri
    I posted this on the Missouri Rivers board but it was recommended to post it on this also. Thanks for everyone's help.


    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. big-muddy

    big-muddy New Member

    Messages:
    1,834
    State:
    norfolk, va
    you came to the right place!! prepare to be flooded with info. good luck on the barge traffic. theres no avoiding that. especially downtown
     

  3. katcatchingfool

    katcatchingfool New Member

    Messages:
    2,032
    State:
    illinois
    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.


    JMAM if you are fishing the St louis area you are able to fish just about anywhere you want, with ease. I believe the water picks up a mph or two at the chain of rocks. If your anchor holds down town your anchor will hold anywhere. I personally use a home made anchor (thanks Russ) designed by Russ, its just pipe with welded on re-bar, it will hold just about anywhere but it doesnt like sandy bottoms with lots of current. And yes i alway carry two anchors not so much for safety but if i lose one i dont want to quit fishing. As you might already know the current world record Blue catfish was caught just North of the chain of rocks. Barge's do not travel between the upper half of Mosentean Island all the way to the cannal at the north tip of Chatoue Island. If you are looking to get away from the barges i would try that area or in the Mo. River itself, big fish caught up on the Mo. river every year too. Hardly any barge traffic. Hope this helps.
     
  4. Grumper

    Grumper New Member

    Messages:
    2,277
    State:
    Crystal City MO
    As posted in the Missouri Rivers Section:
    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:
     
  5. russ

    russ New Member

    Messages:
    853
    State:
    dexter. mo
    well said, i dont live there but, he and the other guys up there are fishing nuts. they know every spot on the river. i would join there club if i was you, these guys love fishing and are always ready to help someone out. wished i lived closer id be a member in a heart beat. but with that said they will help you if your a member or not. good luck and enjoy fishing the ole miss.
     
  6. 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.
     
  7. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

    Messages:
    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO
    Welcome to the BOC Josh. Its a pleasure to have you on board. Please feel free to attend our next gathering and/or meeting to meet everyone and partake in the fun at no cost to you. We'd love to meet ya.
     
  8. JMANWI

    JMANWI New Member

    Messages:
    33
    State:
    Missouri
    Sounds good Cuz. I'll keep my eyes open and see if I can make it up for the next meeting.