Sure Fire Spots/Techniques for Kids

Discussion in 'MISSOURI RIVERS TALK' started by DWB, Feb 17, 2007.

  1. DWB

    DWB Member

    Messages:
    984
    State:
    Missouri
    As was mentioned in an earlier thread one of the most rewarding activities a fella can engage is teaching kids to fish. I currently like to bring my nieces and nephews out fishing and soon my daughter will be of age to go fishing with me. As you all know all know kids can be impatient . If you are not getting bites they get bored. For this reason I usually end up hauling them to the local pond or lake to catch brim. Honestly for me though I would rather be on the river but unfortunately I just don't know any sure fire spots to bring the kids. I have done alright as a novice finding some big boys, but that takes a lot of patience--something kids can be short of. I am interested in finding sure fire set-ups and locations for smaller cats on the rivers. Can anyone be of help? I prefer to launch from Weldon Springs but also fish the lower Alton pool. I'm always open to suggestions though that are not to far.
     
  2. micus

    micus New Member

    Messages:
    524
    State:
    Lake St. L
    I've never had much luck trying to mix big water, boats & kids. Local conservation lakes are about the best for kids. That or head south to one of the clear running streams--that way if the fish aren't active, they can chase crawdads & play on gravel bars. My 15 yr. old grandson is still too fidgety for the Mississippi.:roll_eyes:
     

  3. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

    Messages:
    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO
    Dan, if you fish the lower Alton pool quite a bit, get your self some night crawlers and go fish the rock revetments down towards the chain of rocks bridge. You can usually get yourself a mess of channel cats down through there and the bite is fast enough to keep the little ones interested. Try and dig the worms yourself ,or buy Missouri/Illinois crawlers. The store bought Canadians arnt worth the money. Believe me, there is a huge difference. Good Luck.
     
  4. BIG GEORGE

    BIG GEORGE New Member

    Messages:
    10,362
    State:
    JOISY
    With my three sons I found that any small pond that is loaded with gills will keep em busy and interested. Start em out small and let em work on gettin proficient with the equipment and what it takes to be fisherman.
     
  5. DWB

    DWB Member

    Messages:
    984
    State:
    Missouri
    Thanks guys. I know that small streams and ponds are the best spots for kids but I just get a little bored with them after a while. I know that this is supposed to be about the kids and all but I figure what the heck, I can kill two birds with one stone.

    A. (most importantly) spend some time on the water with the kids

    B. (secondly) spend a little more time getting to know the rivers. I figure I can "fish" with the electronics when I'm out with the kids by looking for that next hole I can hit when I am out looking for the big boys.
     
  6. DWB

    DWB Member

    Messages:
    984
    State:
    Missouri
    Thanks CUZ! I have yet to fish downriver of the 270 bridge in that section. Are you recommending to fish the rock revetments between the 270 and Chain of Rocks?
     
  7. Cuz

    Cuz New Member

    Messages:
    7,241
    State:
    DeSoto, MO
    Exactly. In fact, any of the rock revetments from the 90 degree bend in the river on south are usually pretty good channel cat places. Its still a little bit too early, but you should be able to wack them pretty good this spring. When I'm after the channels, I like to use only 1 ounce sinkers and 2 ott hooks with a couple large nightcrawlers. (not canandians) if you find yourself hanging up, dont be afraid to put a float on. I usually find the channels between 3 and 12 feet of water. They are usually pretty easy to catch once you find them. If you can find water coming in from a tributary with rock revetments, thats about as good as it gets. I remember getting into a mess of channels this past summer on a rock revetment just south of the loading docks on the Illinois side of the river. (Just up from the Missouri River confluence but opposite side) I had to move spots to get away from the dam things. I was fishing a tournament and I needed some weight so I wasnt after them then. I think you can find them though. Another great place to find them is behind the wing dykes this spring when all the debris stacks up behind them. I've caught channels on float rigs set 3 feet deep right in the middle of the debris. Good Luck
     
  8. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    You should be able to slay the small channel cats in the slack water behind just about any wing dyke. Last time I took my 9 year old, we couldn't keep 2 out of 4 rods in the water. Lots of fun but all under 2 lbs. Not that he cared - it was way more fun than sitting for an hour without a bite... Kids don't care much about size, it's the action they're after.

    Use worms, dough bait (Bee-Jay always works best for me) or small chunks of fresh shad, a 3/0 hook (or #8 treble for the stink bait) and no more weight than you need to toss out your line, maybe 2 oz at most.

    If you can find a dyke that has been cut and has a deep pool below it next to the bank, that's probably the best place to look.

    I'm sure it doesn't need to be said, but little kids on a big river can be really dangerous - life jackets are an obvious must, and spending some time talking about "what if" scenarios is a good idea.

    What if the young one falls into the water? (they'll be swept downstream faster than you can grab them, best bet is for them to try to swim toward shore and you'll cut the anchor and come rescue them). What if *you* fall out of the boat while the youngster is with you? What if a big log rolls up on the anchor rope? That kind of stuff - no need to scare them, but important to make them realize that there are dangers present and that they can handle anything that might happen to them.
     
  9. DWB

    DWB Member

    Messages:
    984
    State:
    Missouri

    VERY good points!
     
  10. Michael Jake

    Michael Jake New Member

    Messages:
    808
    State:
    Troy, Missouri
    Dan, if your up toward the Winfield dam I could help with a good mid summer spot, I would be happy to show you a great honey hole up a little ways below Clarksville dam. Both spots are good to excellent for small channels, just need a river map some good night crawlers as Cuz suggested and when the water warms up I would recommend loopers rig here on the BOC for stink bait, the one with a kahl hook for the kids. These spots are all over the rivers, like the excellent one up below Clarksville, there’s a scour hole then a sandbar that come up with in 2 to 4 ft. of the surface then drops back down. Anchor over the shallow and fish the drop off… The other one is along a rip rap bank that has a couple of humps protruding from… these kind of areas are common, once you find them they will provide some great fun. The rip rap fish are a little bigger but not quite as plentiful. I think you’ll find that will be the rule of thumb, catch a dink, you’ll most likely catch a whole lot more the same size.
     
  11. Malichi1970

    Malichi1970 New Member

    Messages:
    1,334
    State:
    Fenton, Missouri
    I've never fished the Missouri or Mississippi from a boat so I would like to know the answer to a couple of those answers....What do you tell a kid to do if you fall out of the boat in fast moving current? and what happens if a large log catches a hold of your anchor line?

    I only ask as I've been looking more and more at buying a boat, personally I'm more interested in buying something flat bottom and jet motor more suited for fishing the smaller rivers and upper Meramec, but the significant other is wanting something bigger and more capable of going out on the larger rivers. SO, knowing her if we have the ability to go there we will be there and while I've spent alot of time on the Meramec river in a boat I'm sorely lacking in dealing with a river the likes of the 2 monsters we have access to here in Missouri.
     
  12. Michael Jake

    Michael Jake New Member

    Messages:
    808
    State:
    Troy, Missouri
  13. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    I think it's important that you tell the youngster not to panic and that you'll do your best to handle the problem. You *will* be wearing your life jacket so you have that to help you (I don't care whether you wear one alone or with your buddies, but as far as I'm concerned, there's no excuse for not wearing one if it's just you and a kid in the boat.)

    Let the young one know that you'll swim to the nearest bank and that you will have further instructions for him or her once you're safe. And I also think it's a good idea to leave your cell phone in the boat, not strapped to your side. It's worthless when wet, but if you fall out and things really go south in a hurry, at least maybe the young one can call for help.

    The real worry I have is getting swept into my lines that are downstream of the boat - if you get tangled in 80 lb braid or even 30 lb mono, you're probably going to drown, plain and simple. You don't have to mention that to the youngster, but it's certainly something to be conscious of.

    And that sort of begs the question, how young is too young? I wouldn't personally take a child on the river who isn't old enough to handle the responsibility. Maybe if there was more than 1 adult in the boat you could take a 5 or 7 year old. But I think a kid under 9 or 10 should really get a second thought before you put them in the boat with you. And I wouldn't take a kid on the river until I was totally at ease being there myself.

    In any case, if you haven't spent much time on the river, go with someone who has more experience and take your time, learn everything you can and then venture out on your own once you feel like you can handle things. I was terrified the first few times out on the river alone (or even with my 75 year old dad) - but after getting out there again and again over the course of several months, I don't mind going on the river alone (in the daytime, anyway. Night is a different story entirely...)

    The river is big and dangerous and will eat your lunch in a heartbeat if you're not 100% on top of things. Know that going in and it'll keep you respectful of the dangers lurking there.

    Be safe.
     
  14. DWB

    DWB Member

    Messages:
    984
    State:
    Missouri
    Thanks Mike. I just might take you up on that. I need to expand my options for sure. I see that you are just you are just up the road from me--we will have to hit the river together some time.
     
  15. fishinnstudyin

    fishinnstudyin New Member

    Messages:
    62
    State:
    MO
    I have that sort of situation too involving little kids and them getting restless. Whenever I go fishing, I try to bring along my two younger cousins along. The two times that Bluecatnut invited me to bank fish with him right below the Alton Dam on the Missouri Side (the conservation area off of Riverlands Way), my guy and girl cousin have tagged along. I love bringing them, but I've had to leave both times after two hours because they got so restless. I'd love to fish the Mississippi, but I would need to find a place that has fast channel catfish action along with action for the Big cats that can be accessible by bank. Every single time I cast out below the Alton Dam, I get snagged. Every single time... I don't know if its just me or if I have to cast much further out, but every time I get snagged, there goes about $2.00 in weights, so it can be downright frustrating for me. Is there any 'easier' bank access to fish on the Mississippi or should I just give up and take the little kids to Baldwin Lake where they can mess around catching 1/4 lb catfish while I pray I can get at least a decent size fish. I bought two Catmaxx rods 11 feet, but the more I think about it, the more I realize it might have been overkill. I wanted them in a heavy model so I could fling a little more lead into the Mississippi, but they just seem like they're too big for every other place. Maybe I should use them for paddlefish, I just wish I knew where paddlefish were on the Mississippi.

    I'm not asking anyone for their secret bank spot, I'm just asking about a general area where I can at least have a chance of getting a big catfish while not getting snagged every single cast.. I just want to give these kids a little bit of fun and let them experience seeing a fairly big catfish pulled out of the waters. Their idea of big was a 3 lb trout I caught in Montauk, them seeing a catfish or paddlefish 10-30 times heavier would be just priceless

    Thanks
     
  16. lbaker3

    lbaker3 New Member

    Messages:
    275
    State:
    Topeka, Kansas
    Marty makes some great points.
    Just to add a little bit about fishing for channel cats behind the wing dikes. Those are indeed sure fire places for small channel cats. I go during the summer, get there at sun up, pull up between 2 wing dikes and anchor as shallow as I can(about 2') on the sand bar. I stick to 1 pole as the bit is so fast. As far as bait, I personally have found nothing that compares to cat trackers wicky sticky dip bait for those small channel cats. -http://www.cattracker.com/smartshop/showprod.cfm?&DID=12&CATID=36&ObjectGroup_ID=119 -
    As Marty said, they are small, but I have a ball just catching one after another. The kids will have a ball too. You should be able to catch fish behind pretty much any wing dike. Over time I have found a few favorites that produce better than others. Just start experimenting. It shouldn't take long for you to find some good wing dikes for guaranteed fast action. I have not had a lot of luck in these spots during spring or fall. But during summer, early in the morning, you can't beat them for fast action. The action will begin to turn cold after 20/30 minutes. Just pull anchor and move to the next wing dike.
     
  17. Malichi1970

    Malichi1970 New Member

    Messages:
    1,334
    State:
    Fenton, Missouri
    Thanks for the advice Michael Jake and Mr. T I've only fished the big rivers from the bank and hopefully I can get some time on them in a boat with someone more experienced before getting out there myself. I was taught at a very young age to have a healthy respect for the river cause you never know what expect from her, but if you stay on your toes and stay calm you can usually overcome the obstacle. I have 3 kids and know that once buying a boat they will all want to be with me on it. My oldest is going on 15 and if taught what to expect could handle any situation. But, I doubt that I would take any kids no matter their age on one of the big rivers without another capable adult with me. I have alot of experience on the Meramec, so I'll stick to it for the time being and the banks of the Missouri and Mississippi.

    Like I said earier we are looking for a boat and was wondering what you all would suggest in a boat suitable for the bigger rivers?
     
  18. DWB

    DWB Member

    Messages:
    984
    State:
    Missouri
    I have an 18ft LUND Alaskan and it works great for the big rivers. I don't think that I would want to go much smaller than that though. If I had to do it all again I think I would still buy the Lund because I mainly fish Big Rivers and Lakes; however, it does have its drawbacks. Being a good sized "V" hull or modified V anyway there are some of the smaller rivers that I just can't use it on.

    My .02 but I'm sure that you will get a lot of opinions on this one.
     
  19. MoMudCat

    MoMudCat New Member

    Messages:
    186
    State:
    Troy,MO
    I take my boys fishing with me on the river a lot. We usually get back in a calm slew and catch the little channels. When they get bored and restless, we go to a sand bar. They love playing on sand bars and I usually leave a line or two out and have caught some really decent fish that way. This works the best durning the week when no one is at the sand bars. Really the only place I won't take them on the river is below dams. But, that is the Mississippi. The Missouri is a whole different "monster". Just yesterday my middle son told me he wanted to spend a lot of time fishing with me this year. Should be fun!!:smile2:

    As for fast action on the little channels, I like fishing above and below the underwater dykes.
     
  20. fishinnstudyin

    fishinnstudyin New Member

    Messages:
    62
    State:
    MO
    are any of these dykes accessible by walking? dont have a boat, but I have little cousins who always tag along and would definetely like a chance to give them quick action along with letting myself go after the big one.