Little Piney Creek is home to some Rainbow Trout, so it's fairly cool, especially in the morning. We were fairly far downstream (Milldam Hollow Access), but still in a Blue Ribbon Trout Area, which meant we were restricted to artificial flies and lures; no plastics or live bait.
|Heading upstream on Little Piney Creek.|
|Sunfish hybrid? ~5" long|
|Lifer #36: Northern Studfish!|
I took us to a Forest Service access point that had always been empty in the past. Not yesterday! There were about a dozen people there, but they left us alone and weren't fishing. Unfortunately for us, ~0.4" of rain the previous night left the river a little dingy and slightly higher than we were hoping for. Still, the river was only about waist deep in that area.
We immediately headed upstream and set up shop in some emergent vegetation. I threw out a nightcrawler for suckers (never detected a bite, but I had three worms stripped off the hook), then focused on microfishing.
I opted to use a pink PowerBait worm on a tanago hook so I could see where my bait was. Almost immediately I started getting bites from some little minnows. Some were Bleeding Shiners, but most were what we've tentatively ID'd as Bigeye Shiners.
|Lifer 37(?): Bigeye Shiner!|
|Lifer 38: Blackspotted Topminnow!|
|Nick's Map Turtle|
|This brute was seined in a quieter part of the stream. One of the most gorgeous Longear Sunfish I've ever encountered.|
|Missouri Saddled Darter. We saw many of them in a riffle, but this was the only individual we were able to net. It was huge compared to the Orangethroat Darters.|
Matt caught a Hornyhead Chub, a Shortnose Gar, and some Smallmouth Bass. Nick destroyed the Longear Sunfish. I managed a Largemouth Bass, some Striped Shiners, Bigeye Shiners, and Northern Studfish on a teeny tiny fly.
I jigged a Rat-L-Trap in front of a Shortnose Gar that was 3' from me in some lily pads. It looked uninterested, then slowly turned toward it. It eventually put its snout parallel to the lure, then snapped. I was so surprised that I missed the hook set and my chance at a gar.
|Matt and his Shortnose Gar|
|My 11 7/8" Largemouth Bass|
|At 14 1/2", this is the largest Freshwater Drum I've reeled in.|
|Set up beneath US63 just before sunset.|
Species caught, netted only(^) or seen only(*):
- Creek Chub (Little Piney)
- Smallmouth Bass (all)
- Largemouth Bass (Little Piney, Meramec)
- Bluegill (Little Piney)
- Longear Sunfish (all)
- Hybrid Sunfish (Little Piney)
- Orangethroat Darter^ (all)
- Missouri Saddled Darter^ (Big Piney)
- Meramec Saddled Darter* (Meramec)
- Rainbow Darter^ (Big Piney)
- Bluntnose Minnow (Big Piney, Meramec)
- Freshwater Drum (Meramec)
- Bigeye Shiner (all)
- Bleeding Shiner (all)
- Blackstripe Topminnow (Little and Big Piney)
- Northern Studfish (all)
- Striped Shiner (Meramec)
- Ozark Minnow^ (Big Piney)
- Shortnose Gar (all)
- Hornyhead Chub (Meramec)
- Green Sunfish (Little Piney)
- Northern Hogsucker* (all)
- Redhorse sp.* (all)