Gasconade River (upper)


Annual Prospects Report

Goggle-eye and smallmouth bass are the most sought after fish on the upper reaches of the Gasconade River. Goggle-eye fishing should be good. The most recently conducted fish surveys indicate high densities of goggle-eye, with more than 13 percent of the population greater than 8" and about 2 percent greater than 9". Goggle-eye are often found around boulders and rootwads near submerged aquatic vegetation or stands of waterwillow along the shoreline. Good numbers of smallmouth bass were also present in fish surveys, with about 30 percent greater than the 12" minimum length limit. Smallmouth bass are usually found near rootwads and boulders that are close to fast current. Preferred artificial baits include crawdad-colored crankbaits, soft plastic jigs, and worms fished around logs and boulders. Live bait (crayfish and worms) also work well. When using live bait, care should be taken to not introduce minnows and crayfish from other stream systems. Introductions of minnows and crayfish from different stream systems may upset the ecological balance of the Gasconade. Largemouth bass make up about 50 percent of the black bass population and prefer slower flowing water, especially around stands of vegetation. Plastic worms fished Texas-style work well for largemouth bass. Flathead and channel catfish can be caught using limb lines, setlines, and trotlines in the deeper pools. Live sunfish usually work best for flathead catfish; nightcrawlers, chicken liver, and stinkbaits are good for channel catfish. Longear sunfish provide plenty of action for the whole family. They are especially fun for beginning anglers because of their willingness, under almost all conditions, to take very small artificial lures or a hook baited with a worm or cricket. For giggers willing to brave the cold, the Gasconade River clears up by late November, and there are plenty of suckers to provide good action.

Gasconade River (upper)