It’s opening day for spoonbill in Missouri and we cleaned up. 15 degrees, when we launched the boat, unusual,but nonetheless, we were there. I live 2 1/2 hrs from Warsaw, Missouri and for Us, Spring had arrived. It had been a long winter and we were done with winter. We hit the ramp at 7:00 am. Regardless of temperatures or precipitation or work, I wasn’t going to miss this. The ramp was icy and my outlaw country singin’ friend had already stolen my hat from my head, before my truck, trailer, AND good friend had slid down the ramp backwards 15′. The only thing that stopped every material thing that i hold dear from being lost was the fact that my back tires found an unfrozen piece of concrete below the waterline. Dusty held on tight, without complaint, and before we knew it , we were Snagging. It didn’t take long, and fish on, and I had the first one. It didn’t take much longer and We had the second one. Fishes three through eight were boated before 1:00pm. Oh, by the way, if we weighed each one, the total weight of the fish would have been over 320 pounds easily ( legal keeper is 36″ approx. from fork of tail to the eye). We caught 8 fish.;4 keepers.
How to catch Spoonbill?
Things you will need… Gaff, 1/4 ” rope, snagging reel/rod combo, 6/0 treble hooks, 8oz.-16oz. bank sinkers and a boat. Don’t forget local licenses.
Know where they are. You will never catch a 100#+ spoonbill in the state of Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Nevada, California, or any other Western state for that matter.
The Missouri River and Mississippi River watersheds are the only place in the world to capture this trophy.
If you want to catch a true monster freshwater fish head to the Midwest…Everyone knows this. Spoonbill are unique, the catfish here are unreal.( <link>.com)
- Have the correct rod, reel and tackle.( including a gaff, very important)duty level wind reel rod reel combo. The reel needs to have 300 yds . of 80# or stronger braided dacron line.
- A boat.
- Large treble hooks 4/0 or larger. We like 6/0 or bigger.
- Bend the hook points out another 2-3 dgrees. Why? Because, when you hit one snagging, they roll. When they roll, the heavy dacron line does the catching, not the hooks.
- You will also need large lead weights. Get an assortment of 8oz. and 16oz. Lead bank sinkers.The current and direction , either with or against the current, will determine the amount of weight required. You want to be able to feel the weights hitting the bottom on each pull and drop.( More on that later).
- Tie two to three large treble hooks, 2-3 feet apart with a 2′-3′ tag end of line below the lowest hook. Youtube how to snag for spoonbill rigs.
- On the 2-3′ tag end make a surgeon’s loop and attach 8-16-24oz’s of lead bank sinkers to the bottom of the line.
- Pull the boat out into the water and start trolling at the slowest possible speed. This should be the lowest idle speed of the outboard.( Less than, or as close to, 1 mph).
- Now, drop the weight to the bottom.
- Repetively pull the rod from 0 degrees to 90 degrees,( 0 degrees being the rod parallel with the water’s surface to the rod tip being directly overhead 90 degrees). Do the pull/drop constantly, over and over again.
- Once someone in the boat hooks one, everyone else needs to reel their lines in as fast as possible to avoid getting tangled with the line with the fish.
- Boat the fish with the gaff. Measure the fish.
- If legal, the fish will be too large to put in any live-well.
- Tie the fish up to the front cleat of the boat by it’s spoon and it’s tail. They just don’t fit in live-wells. You will see.
These fish can’t be filleted like any other fish. They have no bones only cartilage.
Any good fish recipes? Post to the blog.
My favorite saltwater fish is Red Snapper.;Korean Style. Sliced thin eaten , raw with gochujang red bean paste, vinegar, etc. dip sauce. See the easy 4 ingredient sauce recipe Korean Sashimi Dipping Sauce.
Gulf Shore’s Alabama.
Favorite freshwater fish is crappie fried in Louisiana seasoned fish fry; peanut oil, cast iron, propane fryer.