Tuesday, February 9, 2016

February: MO State parks Catch and Release season

Bennett Spring SP below the Suzy Hole in zone 3

February 7, 2016 Sunday: Bill Taylor, Bob Randall and I rode with Rod Pennington from Springfield to Bennett Spring State Park. It has been tradition the past several years to fish on Super Bowl Sunday, hoping the football fans stay home in front of their television set instead of fishing. But on this seasonably warm day, there were many fishermen in the park. Another factor for a larger than normal crowds would be the number of trout one could catch in a day.
Started below the Whistle Bridge and fished zone 3 entire trip; a few trout and very few fishermen
It was a cloudy days to occasional broken clouds allowing the sun to break through. There was a western wind that was not much of a faction in zone 3. Bob started in zone 2, Rod, Bill and I started below the whistle bridge and Bill and I fished from there going down stream for the afternoon. Rod fished above the Suzy hole for several hours before hiking to the bend below the stone bridge. We totaled 100 trout for the day. My numbers were down due to the entire fishing trip in zone 3. There were several areas with fish, with the fishing below the Suzy Hole much slower. I fished soft hackles and adult caddis on the surface. Which is fun watching the trout’s reaction to the skating caddis.

The DNR waiting for an inspector to verify the Whistle bridge to be structurally secure
We fished until the horn sounded at 4 PM and returned to Springfield. We saw a few turkey and numerous deer in the fields along I-44. This will be my last trip to Bennett Spring for the catch and release season, it ends Feb 9, 2016. I will check out Bull Shoals and the streams near Power site dam for walleye. The water continues to be high at 672.7 ft and falling with the top of power pool 659.0 ft. I am not sure what I will find, knowing there is plenty of water.

from left to right: Kim Schultz, Rod Pennington, Dr Bill Taylor and Bob Randall

Overall, it was an outstanding catch and release season with Bennett Spring SP provide exceptional fishing due to the flooding and many thousands of extra trout in the spring creek. I heard there will be a discussion with the hatchery managers as to a plan for the trout before opening day.

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