11/10/15 Prospect Report: Big Piney River

Associated Area

Driving Directions

This section of the Big Piney River is located in Texas County.  Baptist Camp Access is located norht of Cabool from 63 highway take RA to access.  Dogs Bluff Access is located in Houston from 63 go north to 17 north it is 3 miles on the right.  Mineral Springs Access is located north of Houston from highway 63 north take E highway to Forest Drive and the access is at the end of the road.


The upper Big Piney River stretch of river from Baptist Camp Access to Mineral Springs Access, approximately 14 miles of stream, is one of the best sections for fishing on the Big Piney River and offers reaches with beautiful bluffs and trees. Numerous springs maintain the river at a floatable level most of the year, even during low water years, so anglers shouldn't be hindered from fishing the reach below Baptist Camp Access where some of the best rock bass (goggle-eye) can be found.  There is a special rock bass (goggle-eye) regulation that begins at the Highway 17 Bridge (Dogs Bluff Access) and extends downstream to the confluence with the Gasconade River.  In this special management area, goggle eye must be at least eight inches (8") in total length to keep and the daily limit is 15.  The 2013 sample indicated goggle-eye numbers and sizes have remained stable from past samples and fishing should be good from Baptist Camp Access to Tone Hogan Bridge.  Smallmouth bass numbers and sizes are variable throughout this stretch.  Anglers will have plenty of opportunity to catch goggle-eye and a maybe some smallmouth and largemouth bass. This section has a mix of habitats with plenty of chunk rock, logs, and vegetation where you can be successful in landing a fish. From Dogs Bluff Access/Highway 17 Bridge downstream to Mineral Springs Access fishing may be a bit slower, but this is the most popular float on the upper Big Piney River. Pay attention to where Brushy Creek flows into the Big Piney River.  A recent  sample indicated that 15% of the smallmouth bass are greater than 12 inches in length.  You can complement your creel with other panfish species such as longear sunfish or bluegill. Look for Smallmouth Bass in the faster water with woody structure, rootwads or boulders and largemouth in the slower backwaters.  For bait options you can't go wrong with live bait, but for those who like using artificial bait, goggle-eye and smallmouth bass readily strike small, soft plastics  in green, pumpkin, or brown color.  Also, 4 inch plastic worms, purple in color with a white tail, rigged on a small jig head, catch good numbers of Goggle-eye.