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Fishing the Current River of Missouri’s Ozarks
The Current River is without a doubt the most diverse stream in Missouri. It begins as a spring creek style trout river and gradually transforms into one of the best smallmouth bass streams in the nation. In addition to these species, there are also populations of rock bass, walleye and, of course, bluegill.
The first twenty miles of the river constitute classic trout water. The river begins where Montauk Spring rises in the course of Pigeon Creek. For three miles below this point, the stream is stocked with rainbow trout once a day from March 1 to October 31. The upstream portion of this stretch, which flows through Montauk State Park, is managed for fish only. Artificial lures such as marabou jigs and single hook rooster tail spinners fished on spinning rods are perfectly legal with traditional fly gear. The rest of the river in the park allows all bait and lures. Montauk Spring Branch also flows through the park. Flies only are catch and release in the first quarter mile .Below that, all bait is allowed and fish can be kept until the current reaches the river. This area is also stocked daily.
The river is managed for rainbow and brown trout for nine miles below Montauk State Park. Trout populations vary from year to year, but you can count on between 250 and 700 trout per mile, which is a respectable number. Most are brown, but there are also some rainbows, including many wild trout. This is a great area for floating, but there are wading accesses to Montauk State Park, Tan Vat, Baptist Camp, Parker Hollow, and the lower end of Cedar Grove. This is year-round fishing with the best fishing in the seven miles between Montauk State Park and Parker Hollow Access. There are certainly trout between Parker Hollow and Cedar Grove, but the wading can be difficult and the fish numbers are not very high. Only artificial lures and fish are allowed and there is a restrictive length limit in place.
The eight-mile stretch between Cedar Grove and Akers Ferry is managed as a put and take trout fishery. There are large stocks of rainbow trout between March and September. The best trout fishing in the four miles between Cedar Grove and Welch Spring will be in the spring and fall, because that’s the only time trout are stocked. Below Welch Spring to Acres Ferry, the water is noticeably colder and trout are stocked throughout the summer. The best fishing is usually near the mouth of Welch Spring, where trout are stocked in large numbers. Below Akers Ferry, there are pockets of trout about seven miles further downstream to Pultite Spring, but the numbers you get below Akers Ferry are significantly reduced.
Between Acres Ferry and Round Spring, fishing is spot-on for both smallmouth bass and trout. There are decent rainbow trout numbers in the upper half and decent smallmouth bass numbers in the lower half, but fishing will be marginal. Smallmouth bass fishing is in full swing at the mouth of Round Spring. Between this point and Doniphan, there is some of the best smallmouth water in the state of Missouri. Fish in the one to three pound range are abundant and larger fish are not at all uncommon. Rock bass and bluegill can also be found in large numbers. Around Van Buren, enter the walleye scene. It is one of the best stream walleye fisheries in the country and large Ozark strain walleyes abound. The next world record current could be from the river. Jigging, trolling and live bait fishing are all popular for catching these big walleye.
Every angler in Missouri should try fishing on a beautiful flowing river. Its crystal clear waters are home to some of the best fishing to be found in the United States. Whether you like smallmouth bass, trout, walleye, or a big stringer of bluegill or sucker, this is a great spot.
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#Fishing #Current #River #Missouris #Ozarks