Paul Woods - Fishing

Oct 16, 2014

When the subject of stream fishing pops up, there are lots of trips that come to mind.  Probably the most interesting is one I took with co-worker Al Looper, years ago on upper Black River.  What a mistake it was.  Al insisted on taking the trip with his 14ft. Lone Star.  We were going to fish an area that I was not really familiar with, Mill Springs to Williamsville.

I could vaguely remember being on that stretch of water with my brother Richard one time and didn’t remember too much about the river as I did most of the paddling.  We had taken two vehicles and left my station wagon at the take-out point and were going to drive back to the launch area to get Al’s rig and then back to pick up the boat which we left tied at the Markham Springs launch and take-out point.

The fishing wasn’t too good but we caught some despite the river being really difficult to navigate in a boat that big.  At one swift spot, we were caught in the current and swept under some overhanging limbs.  We maneuvered under it in pretty good shape and then the fun began. Directly in front of Al, who was in the front of the boat, was a giant red wasp nest loaded with wasps, looking for some unsuspecting anglers to come and disturb them.  To make the short story even shorter, we let them have the boat.

After the boat floated far enough down the river that the wasps left us alone, we climbed back into the boat and did very little fishing the rest of the trip.  I don’t remember how many fish we caught but it was a lesson that I never forgot and never again floated upper Black River in anything but a canoe.

Fall fishing can be rewarding on the big rivers in the area if you know how to get in and out of Little Black River, Cane Creek, or Ten Mile Creek. A fishing trip on one of these streams could be rewarding.  You can catch a good view of river wildlife: mink, muskrat, river otter, raccoon, and if you take along a shotgun with your fishing gear, you just might bag a mess of squirrels.

A lot of landowners don’t like for you to hunt along these streams but as long as you are on or in the water, you are not trespassing.  If you know landowners who live along the streams and get permission, most of them are agreeable with your requests.

The Current River Smallmouth Association will have their “Classic” event on Current River Oct. 11.  To fish this event, you have to fish enough events or place in the tournaments to be able to enter.

Fishing will be from Van Buren. The rules are simple: fish 5 of the 6 club events, place in the top 5 in one of the events or be in the top 5 for the Angler of the Year Award.

The weather seems to have gotten the best of the hummingbirds.  Up until Sunday, the 5th of October, we had birds feeding. Sunday morning I noticed a couple of the little rascals feeding just after daylight.  I guess they were filling their tanks for their trip south as they were not back for their evening feeding.

UKC competition coon hunts and shows have a busy weekend as there are hunts and shows Friday and Saturday.  Friday, October 10, the Butler County Coon Hunters Club has a show at 6 p.m. and hunt entries close at 7:30.  The club at Doniphan has a show and hunt October 11 with show time at 6:30 p.m. and hunt entries close at 7:30.

Next weekend the Poplar Bluff and Doniphan clubs have duplicate events. The P.B. show is at 6 p.m. and the hunt is at 8. The date is October 17. The next night the Doniphan club’s show is at 6:30 p.m. and hunt entries close at 7:30.

I’ll close the column this week with some words of wisdom.  If you are driving in territory that is inhabited by deer (that’s about everywhere in Missouri) watch out for deer along highways.  The average cost to have a deer-damaged vehicle repair is over $2,000.  If you see an eye along the road you are traveling, slow down.  The deer breeding season is near and a buck chasing a doe doesn’t pay attention to approaching traffic.