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swmofisher

Where To Fish In The Ozarks

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Where do you guys like to fish in the Ozarks? (Missouri) I'm trying to find a river or creek to go to and i'm having trouble finding one that's good for bass. It doesn't matter if it's a gravel bar access or MDC I just want to go. Please do tell where I need to go.

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Guess it depends on your definition of good. Before the era of jetboats, 100 bass a day was good. Now, a good day is 20 in places where boats float. Go when others don't. Winter and during the week.

The upper reaches of streams that are wade or canoe and drag are usually much better simply because the fishing pressure is lighter. Try to get away from the concrete ramps and larger rivers. They get hammered and lots of bass are gigged illegally in our state in the larger waters. Sad, but true. The guys who have "secret" holes are not going to divulge them. Just too precious. If I had one, I wouldn't tell. Not trying to give you a low blow, but that's the way it is.

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Lots of good little smallie rivers in the Ozark region, some with good largemouth too. I like the Elk River in Noel Missouri a lot but go during the week, the floaters are so thick you can't hardly cast during the weekend. If you know much about what you're doing 50 fish seems to be pretty reachable on a good float.

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I've been looking into Meramace, Big Piney, Little Piney, and Gasconade. I'm not looking for secret holes or pools I just want to know what river to go to and how to get to a spot to launch.

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Order a copy of Padder's Guide to Missouri from the Mo Dept. of Conservation. I think it can be found on their website. It gives every put in on every stream in the state for less than $10. Best investment you can make for stream details.

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I haven't been on the extreme lower Little Piney, but the upper reaches aren't good for bass. I go there a few times a year to fish for Rainbow Trout, and the upper part is definitely not floatable year-round unless you like dragging your boat on gravel. Also, some landowners have strung up barbed wire with 'No Trespassing' signs across the creek.

The Big Piney is decent for bass on the upper river, but the lower part has never produced for me (probably just me). It's also definitely big compared to the Little Piney!

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The Meramec, Big Piney, Gasconade, & James are good smallmouth streams. Some sections better than others but you will have to figure that out for yourself..Good luck with finding a Missouri Paddler's Guide...they have been out of print for awhile. You can get some free maps and a list of canoe rentals here...

http://missouricanoe.org/

If you want more detailed info..Join the Missouri Smallmouth Alliance, and they will send you a copy of Chuck Tryon's 200 Missouri Smallmouth Adventures.

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It has been a while, but I used to really whack the smallmouth on the Buffalo River in northern AR. All I ever used was a brown/orange Hot Lips crank and grubs. You can only keep 2 per day out of there, but that was never really an issue, the fish weren't huge, but you got plenty of them. If I caught 20 or 30 in a day only a couple were going over 3 pounds anyway. Just enough for dinner at camp.

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