Staying out of the way.

Discussion in 'MISSOURI RIVERS TALK' started by FREESPOOL, Aug 21, 2007.

  1. FREESPOOL

    FREESPOOL New Member

    Messages:
    1,234
    State:
    Edwardsville, Illinois
    So far I've spent my time on the river above the melvin price dam. I'm planning a fishing trip below it this weekend.
    Above the dam, there is plenty of area to stay out of the main channel and the path of the barges. I've been looking at the navigation charts for the area below the dam. And the whole river looks like it would be open to barge traffic. How do you stay out of their way? I don't want to be anchored in the middle of the night with a big ole' barge heading right towards me!
     
  2. oldguy

    oldguy New Member

    Messages:
    12
    State:
    Kansas
    Ferrari,

    Sounds like a good time, hope it works out. I'm not familiar with that part of the river, but I have fished both the Mississippi and Missouri rivers for some time. Some things to consider;

    1. Don't anchor in the river at night where there is strong current. First, it's dangerous and second, it's against CC regualtions to anchor in a "traveled portion" of a river or channel. The barges are the most obvious danger but probably not the most likely. A more probable disaster would be a submerged object catching your anchor line and dragging the bow of the boat under. While neither of the scenarios happens very often, it is a zero defect game from the boater's perspective. Count me as one of those who has a meat cleaver near the bow cleats when I'm anchoring in current.

    2. Sounds like it may be difficult to determine where the barges will run below the damn. If there are no channel markers, you might want to do some scouting for a day or two and watch them. My guess is that the channel won't fluctuate that much in such a short period of time. Once you know where they rountinely go, if you have a GPS unit you can mark the "danger zone". Another option is to use your depth finder to find the channel and then mark the boundaries on your GPS.

    3. If you're still not sure, don't take any chances...get out of the main current and fish downstream of a sand bar, bridge piling or rock dyke, aka wing damn.

    4. As a reminder, if you're on an anchored or moored boat at night, you must display a "white light visible from all directions". In addition to running the stern light, I usually carry a shining light as well. If I'm anywhere near the channel and worried about a barge, I'll flash him...not that he's going to give a rip but it might buy me some time to pull anchor and move.

    Good luck
     

  3. crazy

    crazy New Member

    Messages:
    2,090
    State:
    Kansas CIty, MO
    You must be one of those people that say.. A giant sequoia might float down the big bad muddy river and yank a boat under in 4.3 seconds. The worse it has ever done is a tree or large log hits your anchor rope it catches on it. Then it will proceed to kick your boat to one angle or another then start pushing you. As far as a barge there not doing 70mph if you can't get out of the way well you have your own problems.
     
  4. SkipEye

    SkipEye Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,525
    State:
    Winfield, MO
    Name:
    Darryl
    Someday I hope to be as 'informed' as you are Josh on the hazards of anchoring in the river.:roll_eyes:

    I 'think' that the 'worst' that can happen is a big ole tree comes along, centers itself on your anchor rope, your achor is really stuck hard this time, and yes, sucks your boat under in a life-threatening matter of seconds. I'll keep the knife handy thank you. Cheap insurance.

    Barges, yeah they are slow. They can be intimidating at night. If you pay attention you can get out of the way. You still have to respect them for what they can do to you. Everyone isn't an old salt river captain like yourself. And the OLD ONES didn't get old by disregarding hazards on the river.

    Lots of other 'hazards' on the river too that have cost many people their lives.

    I'll bring my own boat if we fish the river Josh!:wink: You seem a little too careless for my tastes.

    The guy had some valid questions and concerns.
     
  5. cubedweller

    cubedweller New Member

    Messages:
    454
    State:
    MO
    Everything is a calculated risk. I will freely admit that my own tolerance for risk is less than some folks' comfort levels -- and there's nothing wrong with being careful. I try to balance the two.

    Also, I've had the pleasure of being aboard Josh's vessel and didn't at all feel that he was careless.
     
  6. crazy

    crazy New Member

    Messages:
    2,090
    State:
    Kansas CIty, MO
    You see now I'm not as careless as you might think. I just know my ability and use it to the max. I like to fish too much. I'm not going to fish facing the front of the boat with my rods out the back. So oh well if I get hit by more stuff. Until you get hit you will never know what it's like. Go ahead and worry your self to death. Carry 5 knifes on the boat in strategic places so one is never out of reach. Double check each time out that they are all sharp enough to cut 3/8" rope like a hair. Practice grabbing the knife and running to the front of the boat to cut loose from the evil of darkness. Just make sure you can get there and cut away from it in 4.3 seconds!! I'll just go along with my knife dull in the back of the boat next to the bait cooler. Every morning when each and everyone of you wakes up and goes to work is a calculated risk. So why should fishing in the dark with gun fire going off in a not so nice area of town be any different? Yeah go ahead Darryl bring your boat just remember I fish the Missouri river where the buoy's move around in the current.
     
  7. SkipEye

    SkipEye Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,525
    State:
    Winfield, MO
    Name:
    Darryl

    My aren't we touchy. It doesn't seem to occupy too much of my time to have that knife up front. I don't dwell on it every moment in fear. There is reasons though on the river to at least be prepared.

    OVER confidence is what kills people. nuff said!
     
  8. Malichi1970

    Malichi1970 New Member

    Messages:
    1,334
    State:
    Fenton, Missouri
    Ya know Josh your right it's a long shot for a tree to come down and grab your anchor line and pull your boat under. But, this last spring that happened to a couple of fisherman they were both picked up floating in the river. So, while it may not happen too often it's still a risk and I'm like the rest, I'd rather be prepared for such a thing then not be. The consequences of not being prepared can cost you or someone you love their life. I'm not knocking you for your confidence so don't go get upset, I'm just stating my opinion
     
  9. theonecatfishbob

    theonecatfishbob New Member

    Messages:
    4,100
    State:
    Wright City, Missouri
    Simply put: You desregard the POTENTIAL HAZARDS of the river, we will see you on the evening news. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. JMHO
     
  10. FREESPOOL

    FREESPOOL New Member

    Messages:
    1,234
    State:
    Edwardsville, Illinois
    Easy now. Everyone has their own opinion. Well, except for me. I haven't been below the dam yet to form one. :smile2: I have been wondering how the boat would react to a tree catching on the anchor line. The other day I saw a stick about 2 inches in diameter sticking straight up out of the water. Just floating past my anchored boat. I was wondering what the stick was connected to, to make it stand straight up. :embarassed:

    Do logs and trees make it through the dam? Just curious. I don't know how the dams are designed.

    Above the dam, at least what i've found so far.... the bottom of the river is mostly mud. Is there a lot of rock on the river bottom below the dam?

    I think i'll mount a knife near my anchor line just in case. Good info.

    Dan
     
  11. oldguy

    oldguy New Member

    Messages:
    12
    State:
    Kansas
    Dan,

    "I have been wondering how the boat would react to a tree catching on the anchor line."
    In my experience most debris simply bounces off the line and isn't an issue. In the spring, or when the water is on a fast rise, you'll probably get some snags on the line, but again, nothing major. I first fished on the MO river in 1965 out of Boonville and on the MS in 1995 out of Memphis. In all that time I have only experienced the "crank bait" phenomena one time. It wasn't on my boat but the owner had a knife and cut the rope. We weren't taking on much water but we popped up pretty good when the rope was cut. So it's rare...may not ever happen, but if it does at least you'll have a way out...besides swimming. If it never happens, on your deathbed feel free to damn me for wasting your 401(k) on such a frivolous purchase as a knife.

    "Do logs and trees make it through the damn?"
    Don't know about the damn you're referring to, but my guess would be if the water is high enough, yep. If they didn't, you'd see somebody out there occasionally cleaning them up. Think about all the trees you see leaning from the bank into the river ready to go the next time the river is high. They've got to go somewhere. Some will sink to the bottom, some will float on top and some will be submerged and moving.

    "Is there a lot of rock on the river bottom below the dam?"
    Don't know, but your FF can tell you. But even if there isn't a lot of rock or structure for the anchor to snag on, you can still get screwed. Let's say a large tree catches your anchor rope and pulls the anchor up (out of the mud). Anchor may work itself free from the tree or it may not. If it doesn't, now what? It's unlikely you're going to be able to pull the tree out of the water and dig the anchor out. You might be able to get some slack and untie the anchor line, or you might not. If you have a reasonably sharp knife handy you can cut the rope and go back to fishing.

    Good luck.
     
  12. micus

    micus New Member

    Messages:
    524
    State:
    Lake St. L
    Took a kid fishing that I ran into in a restaurant out on the Mississippi. After we got out there he mentioned that his dad and two uncles had been killed on the river while fishing. I was surprised that he wanted to go after that. The water was bank high at the time and we were mostly running lines that I had out. Watched a few 60-80 foot trees complete from the roots to the tops float by sideways to the current. I have no illusion as to what would have happened if I had got hit by one and the anchor didn't give. I like to fish as much as the next guy but my family wouldn't be happy if I got myself killed out there. Bravado has no place on the river.
     
  13. grinnel

    grinnel New Member

    Messages:
    28
    State:
    Pool 25, Mississippi MO
    I have a machete that slides perfectly into the front rib on the gunnel of my boat. If the need arises its there. Cost me about 4 bucks at a cummins tool store. I think funerals now days run 7 or 8k.

    grinnel
     
  14. griz

    griz Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,744
    State:
    Murray Ky.