Chris has been known to go out of state, if necessary, to collect skipjack herring, vacuum seal it, and freeze it for the next fishing season. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to contact a fisheries biologist from the Department for help (see page 1 for regional office phone numbers). Blue catfish are common in both the Missouri and Mississippi rivers throughout the state of Missouri. Be the first to rate this post. It took a few years, but Carl’s efforts paid off. After watching anglers come in from the river in fishing boats with blue cats up to 50 pounds and larger, he decided it was time for a new challenge. In the summer, they are usually on the river in the early morning hours or at night to avoid the heat. As a fisheries management biologist for the Missouri Department of Conservation, I have promoted fishing big rivers through seminars, hands-on fishing workshops, and brochures. Rod holders are highly recommended in a boat or from the bank because a huge blue catfish can easily pull an expensive rig into the water before an angler has time to react. Some of the advantages of fishing from the bank instead of a boat include the ability to be stealthier and gain access to some hard-to-reach areas such as the upper end of a creek arm where it is too shallow for a bass boat to enter. The Mountain Lion Response Team confirms reports and busts myths. The Louisiana Delta is the delta land along the Mississippi River and has many lakes in it’s area. Breeding males are a deep blue-black on the back and sides, with the head swollen and knobby and the lips thickened and fleshy. These are bank fishing hotspots because bass use the flooded road as a migration route to the shallows. The fish of the Mississippi River are mostly invisible unless we seek them out with a fishing rod. When bass start nesting, you need to stock your bag with plenty of soft plastics including plastic lizards, creature and beaver baits, tubes, stickworms and soft jerkbaits. Limiting your gear is a necessity when bank fishing for bass because you might have to walk some distance to reach a prime spot. Both Chris and Carl fish day and night, depending on their work schedules and the season. The boys had had enough fishing and hit the bank, wandering up and down the river’s shoulders doing what boys do. Big River Fish The various habitats associated with the Missouri and Missis sippi rivers are home to numerous fishes. Artist - Mark Raithel As a community bank, Mississippi River Bank can quickly respond to your banking needs and our focus is always right here at home. Anglers should always refer to the Wildlife Code and area signs and brochures to determine daily and possession limits. Virtually all serious blue cat anglers are sensitive about bait and they shun the frozen sort. The rivers also contain a large amount of floating debris, especially during and immediately after high water periods. The Missouri and Mississippi rivers are home to the blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus), the channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) and the flathead catfish (Pylodictis olivaris). The most important thing is that you feel confident in your equipment when you go into battle. Ten minutes later, I was reeling in a huge mass of flesh and whiskers under the industrial lights of the barge repair depot. A variety of fish inhabit the river … Most big river “catters,” as they are sometimes called, agree that the best baits for large blues are gizzard shad, goldeye, or best of all, skipjack herring. Anglers should note that some waters that support blue catfish populations will not be impacted by the new regulation. The icing on the cake came a week later when, during a three-hour photo shoot for this article, he took my friend Kevin Krause to one of his favorite spots on the Missouri River. Baitfish are also attracted to the rocks to munch on algae and plankton in the summer and fall and the bass use the rocks as cover to ambush the baitfish. Shore fishing on a big river, lake or reservoir. Fishing for catfish and striped bass (rock fish) from shore. Some wing dikes have notches that produce a downstream scour hole where blues can be found. Laufenberg Claims Mighty Miss Prize. Their numbers have declined in the Mississippi River upstream from the mouth of the Missouri River, but they are still taken in those waters by savvy anglers, especially in the tailwaters of the locks and dams. We protect and manage the fish, forest, and wildlife of the state. The typical rig for blues includes a 7- to 8-foot rod with a strong back and a sensitive tip. Blue cats are often found near structures and/or cover, such as wing dikes, bluff holes, log jams and cut banks. The river in the Davenport area flows east to west instead of the usual north to south. Both largemouth and smallmouth can be found in the river system around La Crosse. In a recent article for In-Fisherman’s Catfish Insider, Chris explained that his favorite targets are moored barges that have been in place for a week or more, usually for repair. October 20, 2020. Carl also fishes by moored barges where he suspects that all of the artificial lighting attracts insects and baitfish at night, which further attracts big blues. Ultimately, the new regulation should provide a better opportunity for more anglers to catch quality-sized blue catfish. TWRA staff to inform anglers of areas where you can fish without a boat. Maumelle River Area Specific Regulations Largemouth bass shorter than 14 inches must be released immediately.Handicapped-accessible fishing pier available at Pinnacle Mountain State Park. But these water residents play a vital role in the life of all the river’s neighbors, including people. Bonnie Oliver and the blue catfish he caught Nov. 12 from the Mississippi River at the foot of North Street in downtown Baton Rouge. The light coloring often leads to confusion with the white catfish—a species neither native nor common to Missouri. Bank Fishing Lures. If you like fishing, the Mississippi River in the Carroll County area is for you !!! Managing Editor - Nichole LeClair ... some tailwater areas also offer access for bank fishing… With so many freshwater lakes and rivers, plus an abundance of saltwater options, fishing in Virginia is top-rated. From the Missouri Conservationist Magazine. These brush piles are magnets for bass throughout the year, especially if some are planted in the shallows and others are located in deeper water. More fishing resources. Medium-diving crankbaits, spinnerbaits, jigs, and topwater walkers or poppers are best for prespawn bass. Conservation departments usually sink brush piles in public access areas that are within casting distance from the shore. Staff Writer - Jim Low Wing dams, closing dams and riprap can quickly damage a boat. Angling Opportunities: On Pool 26, Pohlman's Slough, just above Grafton where the Illinois River flows into the Mississippi, is a good fishing spot, as are other backwaters in the area. As Carl netted the blue catfish, he guessed the weight at 35 pounds. It is similar to the blue catfish, but has scattered, roundish dark spots on its back and sides (spots often are absent in the smallest young and large adults). Carl fishes for blues in areas that vary in depth from 6 to 20 feet or more, but always chooses areas with current, sometimes right out in the main channel of the river. These are similar to channel catfish, with one significant difference— the anal fin margin is straight and tapered. I’m disappointed. The lures and terminal tackle you should stock in the bag depends on the season. Fishing for smallmouth bass often improves during the summer period at the same time that angling in lakes is less productive. He baited my line without asking me if I needed help and showed me where to cast. They typically use a throw net to catch gizzard shad in the mouth of a tributary or in shallow backwaters that are protected from the current. ... River Closures ... Mississippi . Area Type Flowing Water Facilities Pinnacle Mountain State Park has a boat ramp and fishing pier mid-way between the Lake Maumelle Dam and the Arkansas River. Locally owned and operated right here on the Westbank of Louisiana since 1980, Mississippi River Bank provides the personal attention, experiences and resources you need to help you reach your financial goals. Bank fishing tips and techniques. They wanted to document his methods of catching blues by rod and reel. The channel catfish is also slender, but with a projecting upper jaw. Editor in Chief - Ara Clark Some great places to fish for bass from the bank include public access areas; old gravel roads that were flooded when a reservoir was filled; and rock riprap along bridges, marinas or dam spillways. Ross Dames grew up along the banks of the Mississippi River near Hannibal and has been a Department fisheries management biologist in the area for 18 years. Currently, catfish from the Missouri and Mississippi rivers are under a consumption advisory. Be alert for the distinct ripples caused by shallow submerged rock structures. Would you bend down to pick up a penny?” he asks, “A mungo blue might swim right by that penny, but it rarely ignores a quarter.”. Fishing was slow, but Carl managed to catch a 35-pounder on the second day. From the deep blue waters of Lake Michigan to the many great rivers and crystal-clear lakes and ponds, Illinois bank fishing opportunities abound. The Piasa Island Chute above Alton also is a good fishing spot. The slow-moving Illinois River, which twists 273 miles through the heart of the state before joining the Mississippi River 14 miles upstream from Alton, has shown an improved fishery since the late 1970s, and anglers have made fine catches of sauger and walleyes, white bass, channel catfish, largemouth bass and panfish from both the main stream and backwaters. Throttle down when barges are in the vicinity and steer into a barge's wake rather than taking it on broadside. A heavy-duty bait-casting reel loaded with 30- to 50-pound monofilament line works well for blues. Attach a piece of 12- to 24-inch line to a two-way swivel below the slip sinker and tie a 6/0 to 8/0 circle hook to the end. On the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, boaters should avoid commercial barges, which are not maneuverable. Most blue cat anglers swear by circle hooks because they eliminate the need for “setting the hook.” When a blue cat grabs a circle hook, all the angler has to do is pick up the rod and start fighting. Load your bank fishing bag with a variety of lures in the spring when bass move to the shallows. Maps for fishing the lower Mississippi River. Catfish are considered one of the water's top predator fish. The flooded road usually features some inundated trees and a ditch along the side of the road that attract bass in the shallows. When bass move to the shallows in the fall, stock your bag with plenty of spinnerbaits, buzz baits, squarebill crankbaits, and topwater plugs. Adults commonly are 15 to 45 inches long and weigh 1 to 45 pounds. We are sorry that this post was not useful for you! You should also stock a few bags of soft plastic jig trailers such as plastic chunks or double-tail grubs in green pumpkin, watermelon or pumpkinseed colors. These can be difficult to see at night and present another boating hazard. Call 1-800-392-1111 to report poaching and arson. No votes so far! River. Missouri River anglers typically fish with gizzard shad, which can only be taken by net. The access areas also feature boat ramps that attract baitfish to the algae growing on the ramp’s concrete. The Mississippi River is an incredible resource. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has reevaluated their fish consumption advisory on the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. The best lures for summertime bank fishing are deep-diving crankbaits and a variety of plastic worms ranging from 6 to 10 inches. Depending on the season, I usually carry two or three rods: a baitcast outfit with 14- to 20-pound fluorocarbon line for pitching and flipping, a baitcast combo with 14-pound monofilament for topwater lures and maybe a spinning outfit with 8-pound fluorocarbon for finesse lures. During the cooler times of year, they often fish during the day. Map Landing Closest Town / Landmark; 18: Bunches Cut-off (Sarahs Cut-off) Lake Providence This stream's large size and length seperate it from most trout waters within the state. Medium-diving crankbaits, spinnerbaits, jigs, and topwater walkers or poppers are best for prespawn bass. When I spot a bass on the nest I can easily work that fish without the distraction of trying to constantly position a boat to keep a safe distance from the nesting bass. He likes to describe bait in monetary terms, comparing a large hunk of bait to a quarter and a small piece to a penny. In urban areas such as St. Louis, an abundance of additional structures such as moored barges and bridge piers are available. The types of waters vary from small ponds and streams to large reservoirs. Adult blue catfish commonly are 20 to 44 inches long and weigh 3 to 40 pounds on average. Find local MDC conservation agents, consultants, education specialists, and regional offices. Boaters should wear personal flotation devices when on the water. Only three lakes listed for Louisiana and only one of them (Toledo Bend) is a lake. There are many popular fishing spots on the mighty Mississippi near your Davenport inn. Carl feels that the bigger the bait the better. SPORT FISHING LICENSE. They never have dark spots on the back and sides. Carl had been bank fishing on the Mississippi River with night crawlers and stink bait for a couple of years, but he rarely caught a catfish over 5 pounds. He used … The reader is responsible for the persistence and common sense. His quarry was blue catfish—or more specifically, big blue catfish. Now, he routinely catches blue cats in the 30- to 40-pound range and caught 65- and 72-pounders last year. Chris Morrow, a veteran blue cat angler from Troy, Missouri, focuses on these structures when fishing. After watching anglers come in from the river in fishing boats with blue cats up to 50 pounds and larger, he decided it was time for a new challenge. The back and sides are pale yellow to light brown, and mottled with dark brown or black (mottling often is poorly developed in adults from muddy water). The tailwaters below the Mississippi River navigational dams are also good bets for cold weather action. fishing licenses and equipment helps fund our fisheries programs and helps ensure the future of fishing in Illinois. If you don’t want to get too fancy, there are plenty of affordable, heavy-duty rod and reel combos that will do the trick on big river blues. It’s due north of the Biloxi Bay-Ocean Springs Bridge and is right at the foot of Howard Avenue. The Mississippi River at Vicksburg is home to giant blue catfish. Although many long-time blue cat anglers insist that nighttime offers the best fishing, Carl notes that many catfish tournaments are held during the day and they regularly produce huge blue cats. Occasionally, people also approach me on their own (usually by phone) to ask how to safely navigate and fish the Missouri or Mississippi rivers. One that comes highly recommended is the old Highway 90 fishing bridge. Pool 13 runs 34.2 miles from Bellevue, Iowa to Fulton, Illinois Carroll County, Illinois borders the major portion of Pool 13. This includes the Missouri portion of the Mississippi River, which will continue with a daily and possession limit of 20 channels and blues in the aggregate and 10 flathead catfish. Anglers should learn to identify these three catfish and become familiar with the regulations that apply to them on Missouri’s big rivers. Appropriate gear is important when pursuing big river giants that can exceed 100 pounds. Load your bank fishing bag with a variety of lures in the spring when bass move to the shallows. A high-dollar bass boat rigged with high-tech electronics is the rage of bass fishing today, but there is a less expensive way to catch bass: Bank fishing. Kevin, with a lot of help, boated an 80-pound behemoth! They prefer to catch their bait fresh, but if that isn’t possible, they vacuum seal the bait before they freeze it so that it will appear fresh when thawed. Because blue catfish and channel catfish are similar in appearance, they were formerly lumped together under the same Missouri regulation, which allowed anglers to keep up to 10 channels and blues in any combination each day. The Mississippi River State Fish and Wildlife Area is located between pools 25 and 26. Some are critical to … The LTRMP Pool 26 study area includes a portion of the Illinois River. Carl had been bank fishing on the Mississippi River with night crawlers and stink bait for a couple of years, but he rarely caught a catfish over 5 pounds. Mike Reed first fished the Mississippi River near Cape Girardeau for catfish as a youngster, and he has been a Department fisheries management biologist in southeast Missouri for 15 years. Fall and spring are usually the best seasons for fishing from the bank because bass migrate to the shallows either to feed or spawn. As with all fish that you eat from Missouri’s rivers, you should check for recommended consumption rates that are released by the Missouri Department of Health each year. Here are some of the best places to target these huge fish. While fish tissue contaminant concentrations have declined, PCBs and chlordane remain at levels of health concern for sturgeon and sturgeon eggs and several catfish species. Boater Cade Laufenberg of Onalaska, Wisconsin, brought a three-day total of 15 bass to the scale weighing 50 pounds, 1 ounce to win the no-entry fee Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Regional Championship at the Mississippi River. Although many catfish anglers practice catch and release on trophy-sized blues, it is worth mentioning that the blue catfish makes fine table fare. Sunset Marina is located on Rock Island, which is a larger island in the Mississippi River on the Illinois side. It’s one of the most rewarding aspects of our job! Although it is most efficient to access blue cat habitat by boat, many of these locations are accessible from the bank. We facilitate and provide opportunity for all citizens to use, enjoy, and learn about these resources. If that bridge doesn’t please you, try another; there are more t… In the fall, you can walk a bank and look for schools of baitfish in the back of a creek or cove to find bass. St. Louis is home to the confluence of our nation’s two greatest rivers, the Mississippi and the Missouri. Most blue cat anglers consider the head of the shad or skipjack the best bait of all. Pool 2 contains the best population of quality walleye and sauger in the area. Designer - Susan Fine Visit the News & Public Notices section of the DHSS Web site at http://health.mo.gov/ for information. The Mississippi River is 2,552 miles long. Some anglers prefer catching goldeye or skipjack herring on small jigs similar to those used to catch crappie. Management restores the natural habitat that Ozark quail require. There is no doubt that Carl is above average as catfish anglers go, but with a little education, persistence and common sense, most anglers can gain access to quality-sized blue catfish in Missouri’s big rivers. 4. A quick check on the digital scale put the fish at 38 pounds, by far the biggest catfish I had ever caught on pole and line. The anal fin margin is rounded, and the back and sides are olive-brown or slate blue. Rock riprap is a great bass attractor because the rocks warm the water and draw bass to the shallows in the winter and spring. It is not uncommon for anglers to catch 20-30 or more smallmouth in a single fishing trip. A few miles upstream from the mouth of the Missouri River, we anchored next to the rusty leviathans. If you still don’t feel prepared to venture onto Missouri’s big rivers in pursuit of big blues, just remember that Carl Roberts was in the same boat, so to speak, five years ago. Checking a county map will help you find old gravel roads that enter a reservoir. Fish supply food for otters, eagles, humans, and other fish. A few months later, Carl was plying the Missouri and Mississippi rivers in a 17-foot, deep-V aluminum boat. So, is Carl Roberts special, or can anyone learn to boat big blues on big rivers? I frequently walk the bank of my home waters of Lake of the Ozarks in the spring to sight fish for bass in my cove. Skipjack herring are more widely used on the Mississippi River due to their better availability. The warming waters also make northern pike fishing pick up. For winter fishing, I would recommend carrying mostly suspending stickbaits in shad patterns and football jigs in brown or black hues. DHSS reviewed recent sampling conducted on these rivers and recommends that all consumers limit catfish consumption to one meal per week of flathead, channel and blue catfish greater than 17 inches due to PCBs, chlordane, and mercury. https://fishingbooker.com/blog/ultimate-fishing-guide-mississippi-river A soft tackle bag capable of storing three large Plano utility boxes is ideal for bank fishing. Fishing tournaments have become popular on the Mississippi River from local ice fishing derbies to B.A.S.S.The tournament regulations and permit application process is now available on-line. During that period, beginning about five years ago, I heard from Carl often. That didn’t bother the adults in the least. As he cut off another skipjack’s head and slid it onto my hook, he added, “Lets see if you can do a little better; the night’s still young.”. Artist - Dave Besenger Bank Fishing The following bank fishing locations were compiled by . You can bank on some excellent bank fishing opportunities from the shores of the 1.5 million acres of water in Illinois. Many companies now design rods for big river cat-fishing. He asked about everything from river hazards to bait and catfish habitat. Rock riprap along bridges and dam spillways are prime spots to catch bass from the bank because the rocks run from the bank out to deeper water, which allows bass to move up shallow to feed and then quickly escape to deeper water when a cold front arrives or the water level drops suddenly. The Maquoketa River's trout water begins at Joy Springs Park and ends where the Maquoketa River becomes impounded by the Backbone Lake dam. SUMMARY OF FISHING REGULATIONS. “Nice fish,” he said, not overly impressed. We motored up the Mississippi just after dark to a fleet of moored barges. Photographer - Jim Rathert When bass start nesting, you need to stock your bag with plenty of soft plastics including plastic lizards, creature and beaver baits, tubes, stickworms and soft jerkbaits. When you fish from the shore, you can sneak up on shallow bass without having to worry about the noise created by your trolling motor, the ping from your electronics or your outboard motor bumping into the bottom. Adults commonly are 12 to 32 inches long and weigh 1 to 15 pounds. The most popular time to fish walleye and sauger is in the fall and winter, when fish are concentrated in the area between the St. Paul airport and the I-494 bridge. That’s how I met Carl Roberts, a 51-yearold electrician. You will also need to stock your bag with worm weights and worm hooks in various sizes. Red River is a river not a lake. Late spring, early summer can be an excellent time to catch nearly every species of fish, but bass fishing really stands out. Editor’s Note: The fifth stop on our year-long Catfish Hotspots tour takes us to the central part of the state’s western border, a section of the Mississippi River that guide Bob Crosby compares to deer hunting in Kansas — be prepared to see some monsters. Tackle should include slip sinkers weighing from 3 to 8 ounces. According to a recent article in Outdoor Life, the Illinois state record blue cat, which was taken last year on the Mississippi River near St. Louis, was caught with the front half of a skipjack herring—including the head, of course. By taking these basic recommendations, reading a few fishing magazines, and most importantly, talking to successful catters, you just might end up being interviewed by a film crew from In-Fisherman yourself some day. 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