Tag Archives: missouri river bass

Smallies at Lewis And Clark

Some friends of mine had rented a campsite for the weekend and had invited me to come along.  We didn’t have a boat and it wasn’t a “fishing trip” per say.. but who are we kidding if I’m that close to one of my favorite lakes, I’m bringing a pole or three!

We had set a few lines the night before and only caught a small white bass.  But today I decided to take a little walk and go down to the Marina on the SD side of the lake.  The wind was blowing into the shoreline on the jetty I stopped at and was causing a bit of stirred up water.  I started by throwing a crankbait but caught much weeds, switched to a spinner bait and didn’t get a single strike.  So, knowing that there was a good population of smallmouth in this lake I switched up a little bit and went to my spinning rod, lighter line and a shaky head with a small brown crawdad plastic on it.  I started to get a few bites but they were hard to catch because of the wind.  By the time I realized one had my bait it had already run a short ways and spit out the lure. But I did manage to catch a few doing this, and they sure fought like crazy!

After a little while I decided to skip to the other side of the jetty and fish the calm waters where the wind couldn’t reach it. I noticed right away due to the water clarity and the calm water that I could see fish swimming around. A lot of them were sunfish and carp but there were a few smallmouth and also some drum swimming around there.  I found that with my polarized sunglasses that if I stayed up the bank about 10+ feet I could spot the fish without spooking them. I would then cast this little crawdad lure down near them and shake it up to the rocks there were searching for bait in.  I ended up catching a really large drum and probably 8-10 small, smallmouth bass this way! It was fun and exiting to see it all happen like that. But eventually I spooked a good number of them and decided to call it a day.

Lake Ranking 5 start: Definitely a great lake though, I love the diversity of the water and the species of fish. I did enjoy it a little more last year when i went out on the lake in a boat.

Deserving of a second chance, Carter Lake

July 16, 2017

I had been to this lake a few years back and was very unimpressed.  I hadn’t caught a fish and the water level was very low and it left me with very little reason to come back.  However, I had been hearing reports and even seen a few youtube video’s of people that had been catching fish here!  I also had heard of small tournaments there and been hearing murmers about it being a “hidden gem” in the area.  So of course i had to go back and give it a second chance.

I started near the ramp on the southeast side.  I fished along the pier and then the lilly pads on the closest shoreline.  Through fishing there I did not get a single bite but I could hear plenty of sunfish smacking the bottom of the lilly pads. So it kind of surprised me I wasn’t getting bits as Bass are usually not to far from the smaller fish they prey on.

I decided to go towards the center of the lake and I wanted to fish the dock and rock piles there. Around the first few docks I hooked into a bass using a chatter bait.  But as I continued to fish along the docks I was not having luck with moving baits.

I switched to a Pig and Jig, and a large flat trailer so that I might be able to skip under the docks.  In order to do this I switched to a longer and heavier rod, with braided line.  Pretty quickly after trying this I hooked into a nice 3lb bass.  I decided to stick to this pattern for a while and it paid off.  If i could find wood docks that the shade went deep and preferably with poles or stumps underneath them.  If I could get up far underneath the docks and get the jig to skip under there where it was difficult to reach i would find good fish hiding and get good bites.  I did loose a few nice fish, including one large enough to run my drag and wrap me deep around some brush before breaking me off.  But while doing so I did land quite a few nice fish as well.  I think I finished with eight or so bass that I was able to boat before the temperature got hot enough that I wanted to leave the lake.

I am definitely glad I decided to go back to this lake. I am not sure there is a large population of bass here yet. But the fish I did find were very healthy and good size!

Lake Ranking: 4 star, While I did now find some nice fish, the depth was still shallow and the fish were difficult to find.  I am much more impressed with it now and definitely plan on going back.

Surprise Stop at Desoto Bend

July 3rd 2017

My brother and I were going to do some fishing at a spot I had noticed off of the river while reviewing google maps as well as the Game and Parks website.  since we both worked that day and didn’t get the chance to leave the house until about 5 we were running a little behind.  On our way to this spot we decided instead to stop at Desoto bend in order to give us more time on the water.

I have fished Desoto bend once or twice a couple of years ago and was not impressed with the fish quality but had hoped that it was improved since then.  The new boat ramp and dock was a pleasant surprise and the views couldn’t have been better! We were able to take some amazing pictures.

We started by fishing around the piers near the boat ramp and moved on to some of the old bridge stumps that were sticking out of the water just to the north.  We didn’t have any luck. We saw a lot of gar and carp hitting the top of the water but couldn’t find a bass, walleye or crappie that wanted to bite.  We did hook into a few gar but they got off the line before we could get them to the boat.

Anticipating a difficult night I did bring some night crawlers to hopefully ensure that we catch a few fish.  And after a couple hours of fishing for bass with no luck what so ever, we switched up to the night crawlers.

We found a nice deep drop off with some of the old wood pieces of the bridge near and stayed there for a while before trying some deep spots near the end of the piers.  I was really surprised that we still did not get even a bite on the worms but that happens sometimes.  It was a gorgeous night on the water and I had a great time getting away with my brother.  Hopefully next time we will catch a few fish.  I also hope that the amount of rough fish in Desoto will go down over time.  If anyone has caught good bass or other fish out of here I would love any tips available.

Lake Ranking: 2 Star

This lake looks nice, had good structure and dept and even the new boat ramp and dock were really nice.  However the lake is so full of trash fish like Gar and Asian Carp.  We saw plenty of those, but did not get a single bit from any other type of fish unfortunately.

Catfish on the Missouri

June 27

Had a few hours after work today and I tried to get out to the river to see if I could catch a few cats.  Also I’ve got a bass or two on the river and always have to cast a little bit for them as well.

I parked at Dodge park and walked on that bike path a little bit south until I found a place to stop.  I cast out my line with live worms on it and while I was letting it sit I tied on a crank bait to throw around the rock pier. I never did get a bite on any of the lures that I threw for bass but I wasn’t really surprised by that.

The river is always a great place to relax. Especially during the week, there very little boats that drive buy at this time and its a great place to escape the city even when you are so close to it! After a couple minutes I did catch into a decent little catfish.  Decided not to keep him as he was a little on the small side. I did hook into another really small cat that once it bite I wasn’t sure if it was even still there or not!

The one really interesting thing about my trip was the big fish I caught.  It just started running with my line and as soon as I picked it up I could tell it was something big.  Its not very common that I catch a fish that I’m not sure what species it is but I’ll be honest I’m still unsure what this one was.  If anyone reading this knows feel free to message me.  It was big fish and fun to catch but that pretty much put an end to my night.

The sun was setting so I packed up and headed out.  The river is always fun, its exciting to never know what might be biting your line at any moment. Once I get a larger boat I’ll be exploring the river even more.

Private Lake After a Storm

5/27/17

Today My friend Andy and I decided to get access to a local private lake and try some bass fishing!  Some of his family lives out there so we were able to borrow a little jon boat and do some fishing.  It had been storming all morning and looked like it might break up in the afternoon.  We got out there right around noon and waited for the rain to slow down or stop and once it did we hit the water!

We started on the far west side of the lake and fished along the deeper side with the crushed gravel.  We hooked into a few small bass along the rocks mainly using with crank baits, and most of them were caught by Andy.  Also hooked into a very large drum that was a heck of a fight, it bit on a pig & jig and hit really hard.

As we continued along we went from the rocks to the sandy bottom and fishing around the docks.  There was little bit of a lull where we didn’t catch any fish.  But as we got closer to the east side of the lake we started catching a few more bass that were of better size, we continued catching them with the crank bait as well as a spinner bait.  We also had fun throwing a few small curly tailed worms back into the docks and started catching a few nice crappie as well! As soon as I caught a few crappie I started keeping them and had nice little stringer of fish by the time we were done.

Overall we caught quite a few bass and a good stringer of crappie we put in the freezer for later.  Definitely had fun fishing and its always a good time when you can catch any kind of species at any moment.

Lake Ranking: 5 Stars

The lake has great fishing opportunities, great depth and structure and is a ton of fun. If anyone has access to any the lakes along the Platte River south of Omaha I would definitely recommend hitting them up!

Fish on the Fly, Long Pine NE 10/8/16

Every year my dad, brother and I plan a guys fishing weekend were we can get away for a few days.  We always find a weekend in the fall where we can get out of town, rent a cabin, fish and grill some good food!  This year we had attempted to go to a lake in Missouri but found out a few months in advance that there was a large tournament being held the same weekend we were planning to go, so we decided to try something different.  We had been to Long Pine about 20 years ago when we were little kids but hadn’t been since.  My dad is coming off a recent trip to Colorado where he fished the Arkansas river and had a guided tour teach him about fly fishing.

We got up to our cabin Friday right around sunset and only had enough time to take the hiking path down to the stream to see what we would be fishing the next day.  We then spent the rest of the night watching a movie and eating food.

The next morning my brother and I got up to our dad cooking a good breakfast, then the three of us loaded up and walked down to the stream to try our luck.  We started all fishing by each other and trying to stay relatively close so we could talk and have a good time but the stream was a little small for three people so we eventually split up and fished on our own.

We tried anything from dry flies, wet flies, spinners and worms.  The fishing started off pretty slow, the water was extremely clear so we could see a few trout swimming around us in the water but it took a little while before we caught one.  The fishing was actually pretty slow, we did catch fish but never really found a consistent pattern and they were pretty spread apart in times of catch as well.  Most of the fish came on a dry fly, floating it down the stream over parts of the stream that had bigger gravel bottoms.

We fished Sat morning and afternoon and then a little bit on Sunday and ended with about 10 fish.  All were pretty small (around 7-10 inches).  But we did catch both species, brown and rainbow.  There were a few times that we did spot some rather large trout either cruising by or avoiding the current behind a rock but could never entice the larger ones to bite.

We had a great time getting out with each other and spending some time together.  Fly fishing is definitely a type of fishing that is growing on me and i’m intrigued by!

Ranking: 5 star

The cabins were nice and it was a short walk to the river.  We did catch a few fish and heard of people that were catching a lot of larger ones just a couple days before we got there.  Beautiful scenery tucked deep into the sandhills of Nebraska.  Definitely a place I would recommend visiting.

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Missouri River Oxbow May 29th 2016

One of my favorite places to fish is Middle Decatur Bend.  I go out there because of the fish diversity and also because it is a relatively unknown place to fish.  It is an oxbow lake off of the Missouri River about an hour north of Omaha.  For the most part the lake is shallow (less than 5 feet) but on both the east and west sides by the tall log pilings it does get to 8-10 feet deep and some spots even a little more.

I started the day throwing spinner baits and a plastic worm around the wood on the west side.  I fished for a couple hundred of feel and didn’t get a bite so I skipped further down the line and tried at deeper spot and didn’t get any bites.

The canal leading to the river must have been all the way through because I saw 2 different boats come through and then leave.  But as I was near the canal I saw and heard some fish in the shallow grasses.  As I got closer I realized they were mostly carp with a few gar but usually where some fish are the others will follow.

I started throwing a white spinner bait around the grasses and cat tails.  I caught two gar right off the bat, they are nasty creatures but there were plenty around to catch.  I shortly after caught two small large mouth bass.  It was nice to catch the fish I had been looking through, although I was a little disappointed I didn’t catch any Walleye or Northern Pike.  Still a fun place to go and I will definitely go back!

Lake Ranking: 4 star

This lake is a lot of fun to go to, I really like it but it is a little difficult to figure out.  I like being able to catch nice bass and northern pike but it might be a little better without the gar or all of the carp in the area.  2dc7e577-df5c-472f-8d1d-5d85ac71fa20 290f718b-5d7a-4943-94cd-cbfeaa972a4c 570b14a3-7ba0-4333-8c0a-c611ff99e0f8 e32bd206-db31-4fbb-a031-82e67b8233a3 eccc1f7b-7a7d-460b-bac6-13b5a5d4eeb5 fe26ffc7-e528-49ae-b7d2-30a1fff7a1db

October 3-4 2015 Lewis and Clark Lake, Yankton SD

Each fall we have started to do a father and sons fishing trip and we chose this weekend for our adventure this year.  For these trips we usually like to get out of town a couple of hours to a place we can stay and have a couple of good days of fishing.  We originally chose to go to Mozingo in Maryville MO but after looking through fishing reports we found there was a Bass tournament that held approximately 25 -30 boats so we decided a week before the trip to change it up.  Non of us had ever been up to Yankton to fish Lewis and Clark Lake but it was very intriguing with the types of fish and size of the lake that we decided to go there.

The weather was supposed to be chilly all weekend but not very windy.  However we quickly found out that on the main lake with a wind coming directly from the east that the waves could get very large!  We found a ramp on the southwest side of the lake that was tucked out of the wind a little bit and had some rock jetties that we could fish around.

On Saturday we started we started at this ramp and quickly started catching some smallmouth around the rocks!  The first fish we caught was a 2.5 lb smallmouth on a spinner bait.  We stayed in this little area near the ramp a lot for two reasons, one we were out of the wind and protected and two we were catching fish!  We tried throwing all sorts of lures but the one that seemed to work the best was shad colored deep diving crank bait.  It had to be in constant contact with the bottom to get the bites and so much so that we continually got it caught in the rocks and had to retrieve the lure!  So on Day one we caught about 4-5 bass 1 Norther pike and one Stripper!

The next day we decided to try the river south of the dam.  After about an hour of fighting the current and hitting two sand bars we decided to pull the boat out and go back to the main lake.  On the main lake again we caught a few more bass and Northern pike fishing the same pattern as the day before.. Deep diving crankbaits around whatever rocks we could find.

This is a lake a I definitely want to visit again but i would want to spend a lot of time just driving around the lake and looking at depths and structures to decide where and how to fish.  If is a great lake with a lot of opportunity but I feel like in order to really be successful you would need to know that lake well.  This post is picture heavy but enjoy it because we caught some good fish!

 

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October 3rd 2013, Missouri River

Today I went out all by myself.  I had a few hours after work before it got dark and decided to try something new.

For a while now I have been intrigued by the River.  Up north they caught all kinds of nice bass, largemouth and smallmouth, as well as norther pike, walleye etc.  I have even fished oxbow lakes of the missouri but it was north of town about 60-80 minutes.  But I had always been told that Omaha was too far south to hold those fish and they liked the cleaner water up north.  I never really believed that and decided I wanted to finally test the waters.

Since my boat is just a 14ft jon with a trolling motor I decided against attempting to battle the rivers current.  I parked up at Dodge Park and walked the rocks on the bank fishing any water breaks I could find.  I fished the mouth of Dodge Parks Canal, the docks near the boat ramps and some fallen trees that I could reach.

Withing the first 30 minutes I found what I was looking for, I pulled up this 18 1/2 inch bass (picture below… proof!) throwing a bass jig and trailer.  Yes you read that right, almost a 3lb bass at Dodge Park in Omaha!

The rest of the day was pretty slow, I did catch a nice drum (pictured below).  I did miss 2 other nice bites, not sure if they were bass, drum, walleye or northerns but they were bites either way.  I would be very interested to try fishing it by boat and be able to reach a lot more ideal spots for fish but did the best with what I had.  Enjoy the Pictures!

Overall Ranking: 3 Star

Probably the most intriguing place to fish on the eastern side of Nebraska.  As proven you can catch bass and its a huge body of water and has good ramps. I just don’t have a boat yet to really explore it.

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June 2nd 2013 Middle Decatur Bend

Who: Brian Barry

Where: Middle Decatur Bend, Decatur NE

When: June 2nd 5pm-8:30pm

Weather: Perfect, 70 Degrees, slightly cloudy, small breeze

Boat Type: 14ft flat bottom Jon Boat, trolling motor

This is a neat little, relatively unknown, fishing hotspot.  I was recommended to try this place by a friend of my named Mark, who stated he had fished it during high waters while fishing tournaments on the Missouri River.  The location is about 1 hour north of Omaha on I-29, it is on the Iowa side of the river but because of how the state lines are divided both Iowans and Nebraskans can fish it.  I contacted the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission just to verify the lake since it was not listed on their interactive map at www.outdoornebraska.com.  They stated that it was in fact considered to be “part of the Missouri river waters” and therefore legal for Nebraskans to fish.

The lake itself is a large oxbow lake right off of the Missouri and I have been told that during high water times that you can actually go between the lake and the river.  There is a nice little gravel boat ramp to put my boat in, as pictured below.  The water was fairly clear and shallow for the most part.  I saw A LOT of Asian Carp, those pesky fish where everywhere and would often get spooked by me and jump a few feet out of the water.  It is quite a scene, and if you haven’t had the opportunity to experience it you can view a number of good youtube videos that have been captured.

Other fish I happened across where Paddle Fish, Gar, Northern Pike and saw a guy from shore who stated he had caught a few nice Catfish.  Since I am not used to fishing the river I had completely forgot about the Gar and had not bought any line leaders to protect my lures from their teeth.  Throughout the day I hooked into 2-3 of these monsters and they quickly snapped my line as they swam away.

To start my fishing I followed the shoreline south from the boat ramp and everything looked to be fantastic for bass fishing.  There were sunken logs, fallen trees, rocky edges and what looked to be like an old bridge that had left behind a lot of big support beams in the water.  The lures I started with where a pumpkin seed pig and jig, and a brown/blue baby brush hog.  I started by the fallen brush piles and trees on the deeper parts on the lake, about 6-8ft.  I fished for about an hour and had only hooked a few Gar, therefore I was wondering if there were in fact any bass in there.  But after snagging a few times and seeing that the Gar were handing tight to the fallen trees I recognized I was fishing the wrong spots as the Bass wouldn’t school with Gar.  So I switched up my approach.

From there I switched my lines to a yellow crankbait and a white spinnerbait with a double willow blade.  I stopped trying to fish in the fallen brush piles and switched to fishing the shoreline and the old support beams from the bridge.  This structure was in about 2-4ft of water.  And as I moved in to the shallower spots I could see little schools of baitfish near the shoreline.  So, I followed those small schools and threw my spinnerbait right through the middle of them, jerking it periodically to create more action.  Within just a few minutes I had hooked into a very nice, healthy 17” Bass.  Continuing on this pattern I followed it immediately up with a 19” Bass.  This continued for the remainder of the day and I finished with 6-7 nice Largemouth’s.  The smallest one of the day was 15”.  To add to the excitement of the day I also brought in one 21” Northern Pike.

So it took a while for me find the fish but as soon as they were located it was time to focus because they were strong healthy fish.  If you are looking for a great place to get away, catch a variety of fish, and fish a place that doesn’t get much traffic from other people, this is a great location.  Just an hour outside of Omaha and a very scenic spot.  Below are some pictures of the trip!

Overall Ranking: 4 Star

Awesome little lake that is not very well known.  It is a good looking lake with lots of species of fish.  The ramp is just a gravel one and there are a lot of carp and gar there but there are also some nice bass, catfish and pike.

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