Mondays are for Fishing

I called this little stretch of backwater "Perch Lane."

Old steel bridge, just upstream from Ozark, MO.

Headed out Monday evening for a little fishing before the beginning of my work week. Slipped the canoe in Finley Creek just a ways upstream from Ozark. Almost every time I fish Finley, I leave impressed... clear water, deep holes, big logs, submerged rocks... Aside from a handful of heavily used access points, Finley is a very underutilized stream (and a good fishing stream) for being in such a populated area. Many people believe Finley is not clean, but I think this is more perception than reality. Just a couple weeks back, my little girls found live mussels in the Finley. And as any good fisherman can tell you, mussels are often the first thing to disappear when water quality is poor. Anyway...

My plan was to hang around upstream from Ozark until about 90 minutes before dark, then float down to the park, throwing topwater. To pass the time until the sun started sinking, I found an intriguing little backwater (see pic above) and caught several chunky, black perch on some little semi-surface stuff. The backwater was narrow and very deep (12-15 ft) and hugged a little rock bluff, out of the flow of the creek. I have no doubt some live minnows dunked in that water would have yielded some nice bass, but when I catch and release (which is most of the time) I do not use live bait.

With the black perch being as feisty as they were, I had high hopes that the bass would be hitting the topwater hard, but this proved untrue. As I floated down the Finley with the sun setting and darkness coming on, I tried every topwater lure in the box... stick baits, buzz baits, poppers... nothing. For this night, the perch would have to suffice. But my goodness, what an evening! Being on the river early in the morning is awe inspiring, but there's something about being on the river at nightfall that is just magical. If you've been there, you know what I'm talking about. Nothing can compare to God's creation.