Spending The Night on a Sandbar

Discussion in 'MISSOURI RIVERS TALK' started by MississippiJugHead, Mar 5, 2007.

  1. MississippiJugHead

    MississippiJugHead New Member

    Messages:
    147
    State:
    Missouri
    There are a few nice sized sandbars on the Mississippi near our trailer. They are very popular on summer weekends with people eating, drinking, and swimming. I was thinking about spending the night on one. Does anyone have any experience doing this? Anything specific to watch out for? Are snakes an issue? Would any particular side be best for fishing? Any ideas are appreciated.
     
  2. Doyle

    Doyle New Member

    Messages:
    582
    State:
    Illinois
    I would think a big issue is a rain 10 miles up stream.:smile2:
     

  3. LiquidSteel

    LiquidSteel New Member

    Messages:
    898
    State:
    La Vista N
    Locally we have the Platte River. It provides good sandbars for eating, fishing, etc... One summers night a bunch of my buddies and I decided we would go camp there overnight. We brought a grill, 2 tents, a radio, lots of food and beverages. We got there about noon on a saturday and partied like rock stars on the sandbar most of the night. Probably till about 3:00 a.m.

    And then about 6:45 a.m. we all woke up the same time to wet sleeping bags and the sound of water. Lots of water! It had rained up stream miles away and the Platte ended up taking the grill, the tents, alot of the coolers, some fishing gear and yet everybody made it out alive. We were still in high-school and we were very lucky that morning!


    If you go, check the weather upstream before you do!
     
  4. Redd

    Redd New Member

    Messages:
    790
    State:
    Southeast Kansas
    Me and my buddies have camped a few times at a sand flat on our little river. I didn't do much fishin', mostly swimmin'. Best place to go to cool off on a hot summer afternoon. Swimming and wading all day, while taking a couple breaks now and then to go through some mud holes back up in the woods, on the four-wheelers. Then come night, lazily lay on the bank and enjoy the breeze while cookin' on the camp fire and watchin' the thousands of lightning bugs in the trees. Sounds corny as all get-out, but some of my most memorable times was spent on the bank or in that tiny river. That spot or farther downstream. It didn't really matter. Just always felt right.

    -Red
     
  5. CaTmAnDo55

    CaTmAnDo55 New Member

    Messages:
    154
    State:
    florence, SC
    hey man try not to make it such a hard time just remember to watch your weather and just try to have a good time i go on a river in my town and this year my wife and kids are going with me and i think it will be wonderful i enjoy being on the river and doing it with my family this year makes it 100% better now watch for snakes. in south carolina we are allowed to carry handguns on the river so i carry mine loaded with rat shot and carry heavy loads for gators but it doesnt bother me
     
  6. Wooly

    Wooly New Member

    Messages:
    134
    State:
    Illinois
    I have spent many nights on the sandbar as well as up on the bank. Great times, great memories. If you don't go you have neither. Like the brothers say keep an eye on the weather locally and up stream. Have a worst case situation plan and all else will be manageable. Just have fun and take a buddy to share the memory.

    Wooly
     
  7. MississippiJugHead

    MississippiJugHead New Member

    Messages:
    147
    State:
    Missouri
    Thanks for all the replies so far. It seems that rising water is the biggest concern mentioned so far. The sandbar is on a stretch of the river between the Clarksville Locks and the Winfield Locks. Does that matter opposed to say a river with no locks and dams? Also, would quick rising water be more likely to happen in spring versus summer?

    Redd: corny as all get-out memories are what its all about
     
  8. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

    Messages:
    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO
    I regularly stay on the Mississippi Sand bars during summer Gary. I have never had any problems to speak of. Occasionally we get snagged in a Thunderstorm but I've managed to stay dry just using the tents rainfly. I usually will throw camp up below a wing dyke close to the bank where there is plenty of driftwood for fires. Also, being up next to the bank serves as a nice wind break. The others are correct in that you'll want to place your camp a few yards from the water edge just in case the river comes up some. Another benefit of camping on the pools behind the wing dykes is the barge wakes wont beat your boat up all night while your sleeping. If you just use a little common sense and go with your buddies, sleeping out on the Mississippi is an extremely enjoyable and rewarding experience. Not to mention, you just might hook into a 100 pound fish while your sitting there enjoying a "coldie".
     
  9. SkiMax

    SkiMax New Member

    Messages:
    2,012
    State:
    Rising Sun, IN
    I am not sure but i don't think snakes would be a big problem. The sand will cool off very quickly at night and the snakes probably seek a warmer spot (under rocks and such) that is just an educated guess and by no means any wisdom! Just a thought, now if u sleep in and the sun gets up they could come out
     
  10. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    One tip for sandbar camping:

    When you get there, jam a stick into the sand right at the edge of the water. Then you can tell if the river is rising or falling.

    If the stick washes away, it's probably time to relocate....
     
  11. micus

    micus New Member

    Messages:
    524
    State:
    Lake St. L
    You can always reload the boat! Just don't take too much gear for one trip. The Mississippi isn't going to come up that fast or far without warning, just check the river stage forecast. It would take a huge amount of rain to bring it up locally. Now down at my place on the Jacks Fork, its been know to flash flood with a 25' rise without any rain at camp, happened about 50 years ago.
     
  12. fish

    fish Active Member

    Messages:
    1,573
    State:
    ChattanoogaTenn
    I don't know if the sand bars up your way are like they are around Memphis, but I had the law run me off one several years ago right at the Memphis Arkansas bridge. They told me the sand bars there were unstable and if you stepped in a soft spot you could go under. The sand actually squeaked under my feet when I walked. I have never seen sand like that before or since and I don't want to. They also told me that the current was so fast there that the river could shift at any moment and wash the entire sand bar away. This was on the Arkansas side of the river. Never went back.
     
  13. Catmaster

    Catmaster New Member

    Messages:
    391
    State:
    SE Kansas
    I do a ton of camping on the Neosho and have always like Redd said had the best times while I was camping on those gravel bars. Just watch the weather. If you see lightening anywhere even close to upstream dont take any chances. Move to higher ground to camp. Also, I have always had good luck fishing on the gravel bars at nights. Mostly the flathead.
     
  14. SHARON FLEMING

    SHARON FLEMING New Member

    Messages:
    478
    State:
    IOWA
    When our four kids were young that was their favorite thing to do.We camped on the the sandbars for many years, now we are just too darn old to do that any more Sure miss those days
     
  15. moriver

    moriver New Member

    Messages:
    416
    State:
    Missouri
    I always check the river levels with the USGS site before I head out. The link is listed below. Check upstream from where you plan on setting up.
    http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/rt

    One more word word of advice. Always put your anchor out on shore when you pull your boat up on the sand. The water can come up fast and set a boat to foating down stream before you relize it. Good times.....
     
  16. just cats

    just cats New Member

    Messages:
    325
    State:
    Leslie Missouri
    I wouldn't sweat the snakes, The mosquitoes will already have the snakes eaten or at least run off by sunset. As far as which side would be best for fishing , well every island is going to be different as to how the currents and eddies flow and where the holes are and all that so experiment a little, the fish will let you know when you've found the spot. The head or the tail would both be likely spots though to start your search. One very important thing to do when camping on an island is to be absolutely one hundred percent sure that your boat is secure for the night. Don't just pull it up far enough on the sand to hold it and forget about it. A rise of just a few inches could lift her up and take her away without a sound. An empty beach would be an ugly sight come morning.Camping on the islands is great, just use your head and you'll love it. Good fishin !
     
  17. LiquidSteel

    LiquidSteel New Member

    Messages:
    898
    State:
    La Vista N
    MORIVER, I tried to give you reps for that great info, and website. It told me I had to spread it around a bit.

    But great intel!

    Thanks !
     
  18. pythonjohn

    pythonjohn New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    11,533
    State:
    F L A Swamps
    Had this lady friend one time that kept buggin me about going up on the river and night fishing for catfish so I asked her if she was an outdoor person and she told me yes so I said sure.
    Well.....I loaded the boat up with everything we needed to spend the night now in the back of my mind I knew where a little cabin on the bank was and I had stayed in it before.Well we fished untill about 12pm and decide to get some sleep.
    The cabin was occupied and i never told her that was where I intended to stay.
    I went up the river a way and found kinda of a clear spot on the bank, now mind you that the river where I was fishing is nothing but Florida swamp.
    Anyway I pulled the boat up and anchored it real good and commence to clearing out a spot and she said "You are not serious are you?" well I had worked all day and fished half the night and I was ready to rest.
    I cleared out a spot for a fire and put my bedroll down.
    In the distance a dog was chasing a deer or wild hog or maybe somthin was chasing him.
    You could hear big bull frogs croaking hootowls were holering at each other and she swore she heard a couple of gators grunting I told her that the gator was just tryin to find somthing to eat like a frog or a cotton mouth.
    The skeeters were bad so I threw some wet wood on the fire for smoke and went to sleep.
    Now when I woke up she was in the back of the boat sitting stright up eyes wide open and she ask me how I slep out there o the ground with all those things out in the swamp and wasn't I afraid of the gators and snakes as if the skeeters weren't bad enough? I asked her what she ment and she replied"wern't you afraid something would slip up and eat you?" I said no because I knew you would wake me up if anything came around!.
    She never asked me to go night fishing again.
    Women......I just don't understand them!!!

    I sure had a good time!

    P.S. This is a true story...Believe it or not.
     
  19. MoMudCat

    MoMudCat New Member

    Messages:
    186
    State:
    Troy,MO
    The only thing I can add is you don't want to stay on any "new" sandbars. That is, any that have been dredged up in the last year or so. These sandbars can "dissappear" rather quickly. This happened to my my uncles and cousins. They were staying on a new bar and left to run thier lines. When they got back my uncle was standing in chest deep water. They lost everything. Otherwise, camping on sadbars is an awesome experience.
     
  20. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

    Messages:
    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO
    great story John. Thx for sharing.