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to the Bourbeuse River Fishing
River between Reiker Ford and Mayer's Landing
little semi-Oazark river is one of those ones that is often overlooked.
This, despite being more than a decent fishery for a variety of
bass specis as well as catfish.
To make it even
better, it is not a rarity to float a day on the Bourbeuse without
encountering another party. So, if you are interested in this fun
river within easy driving distance of St. Louis, read on.
The Bourbeuse River that courses through Franklin County, Missouri is probably the most
underrated smallmouth bass stream in Missouri, maybe even the Midwest.
Trophy fish in the eighteen inch range are not at all uncommon, and
smallmouth numbers are exceptional above Noser Mill. You'll find good
numbers of smallies in the entire river, even as far downstream as
Union. However, spotted bass and largemouth tend to out compete
smallmouth below Noser Mill, which is located. about 40 miles upstream
of Union. Below this point, spotted bass make up the lion's share of
the catch, but smallmouth and largemouth can also be found. The most
Smallmouth bass tend to be found in fast moving pools and riffles in
this marginal habitat. Don't overlook the deep, slow, pools which are
so common either. While they hold fewer bass, these are the places to
find trophy largemouth and spotted bass. The river also holds plenty of
catfish, except near the mouths of cold springs. Of course you also
find rock bass, sunfish, and more suckers than you can count. The river
has plenty of access, and bank fishing as well as float fishing are
There are many different access points for Bourbeuse River. Several
of them are in proximity to Union, Missouri. To get in the genral area,
head west on Highway 50. Not far out of town, you will arrive at
Junction UU. Turn left (South). Within a couple of miles there will be
Mayer's Landing. There is a nice little boat ramp and some decent pools
and riffles for fishing.
A few more miles south on UU will get you to Snake Hill Road and a
sign pointing you to Reiker Ford Access. Despite the short distance by
road, the float from Reiker's Ford to Mayer's Landing is a GOOD day's
fishing. It is somewhere in the neighborhood of 11 river miles and in
low water, this section is slow.
Looking for a bit more of a wilderness experience? Head further
upstream to Mill Rock Access. It's a drive, but the effort is worth it.
Nice smallmouth fishing can be had, as well as this being a good
starting point for an extended float. See map below.
11 Mile Float...4 Mile Shuttle (approximately)