10/19/18 Prospect Report: Jacks Fork River

Associated Area

The Jacks Fork River contains one of Missouri's smallmouth bass special management areas which extends from Buck Hollow (Hwy 17) access to the confluence with the Current River. The minimum length limit is 15 inches and you can only harvest one smallmouth bass per day. The majority of this stream is within the boundaries of the National Park Service's Ozark National Scenic Riverways. These two characteristics provide for a unique and scenic smallmouth bass angling experience. Two fish population samples were completed in 2015; below Buck Hollow and Horse Camp Accesses. An average of 29 smallmouth bass were collected in one hour of fish sampling, compared to an average of 41 smallmouth bass collected in 2010. While few fish were observed over 18 inches, smallmouth bass densities were good, and anglers will have a good chance of catching fish in the 12-15-inch range. An additional site was sampled below Eminence in 2018 yielding 31 smallmouth bass per hour of sampling. Focus smallmouth bass fishing along rock ledges and boulders in bluff pools. Goggle-Eye fishing should be good this year, in 2017, a seven-inch minimum length limit regulation was put in place for goggle-eye on the entire Jacks Fork River. The best opportunities should be between Buck Hollow and Rymers Accesses. In mid to late summer, water levels are traditionally lower from Buck Hollow to Bay Creek accesses, providing more challenging float trips. For detailed information on access, campsites, and river miles, contact the National Park Service in Van Buren at 573-323-4236.