Bass Pro/Fishing/Gigging In Missouri
Missouri is popular for a lot of reasons. From its several thousand natural caves to its beautiful streams and resorts even down to its histories. However, one activity that makes Missouri even more popular is hunting. Hunting is a popular sport in the state which is open to both residents and visitors at certain terms and conditions. Apart from hunting land animals, people in the state also revere hunting the creatures of the sea as well. Hence, fishing and gigging are pretty popular in Missouri. However, to get started in your fishing and gigging adventures, there is some equipment you’re going to need and you can find them at Bass Pro.
About Bass Pro
As of 2018, Bass Pro Shops (BPS) was an 8billion dollar retail business with over 40,000 employees. Founded by John Morris and with Headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, the enterprise has a ton of branches and subsidiaries like Cabela’s and White River Marine Group. Bass Pro Shops is an American privately held retailing enterprise of merchandise used in hunting, fishing, camping, and other recreational outdoor activities. So, assuming you want to go fishing or gigging in Lake Springfield, you best get all your apparatus from Bass Pro or any of its subsidiaries. You can shop in person or online via the Bass Pro website. At Bass Pro, you can acquire everything to satisfy your fishing or gigging needs from reels to lures, accessories to rods, tackles, etc. You can even acquire kayaks and canoes and also shop based on the type of fishing be it ice fishing, fly fishing, or saltwater fishing. The list goes on.
Missouri is so big on fishing and gigging that they’re seasons set aside just for this purpose.
Fishing like any other hunting activity in Missouri needs a permit. However, the Missouri fishing season is dependent on the species of the fish. While some seasons last from January 1st to December 31st others could go from February 16th to September 14th, March 1st to October 31st, May 23rd to February 28th the next year, and so forth. However, with fishing, certain limits, permits, allowed and prohibited methods apply depending on the specie of the fish. Hence, to find out specific details on the species of fish and its requirements do visit the MDC website.
This year, the fish gigging season was extended by a whopping 15 days. The 2020 fish gigging season opened on Sunday, Sept 15th, and ran through February 15th, 2020. So much devoted towards fish gigging, but what exactly is it?
Gigging is a method of fish hunting which involves using a gig or a multi-pronged spear as opposed to a hook and line. Most people in Missouri love to gig the Bass fish. As opposed to fishing which can happen any time of the day, gigging is a nighttime activity that is carried out most effectively in clear shallow water. Now, gigging is an alternative fishing technique used to capture those fish species that cannot be adequately captured with fishing methods. The types of fish that are captured by gigging are called ‘Suckers’. Now, of course, one cannot just go around gigging fish for fun, it can endanger the species which qualify as ‘suckers’. Hence, regulations have been placed by the MDC to control the practice. One of these regulations is the stipulation that fish giggers above the age of 15 and below 65 must possess a valid fishing licensing permit. To purchase this permit to kickstart your Missouri gigging experience do visit the Missouri Department of Conservation site.
How to gig
Well, gigging when explained may sound like a simple activity. But, here’s the catch, the boat is rocking slowly, you don’t have the luxury of daylight, it’s cold at night and of course, the fish are quick. Hence, making gigging a somewhat difficult fishing approach. However, to do it, most giggers position themselves at the bow of a flat-bottomed boat which is outfitted with a bright light as gigging is a nighttime activity. This flat-bottomed boat should have a rail which the gigger can lean upon and once he/she spots a fish, can gig it with their spears or gigs. It takes practice and a lot of patience to master this craft but once you do, it’ll be worth it.
Types of fish to gig
The MDC and Missouri wildlife code mandate that only fish described as ‘other fish’ in this code should be gigged. Most hunters in the gigging arts like capturing the common targets like the Northern Hogsucker or the Yellowsucker. Fish species that aren’t classified as ‘other fish’ in the Wildlife Code of Missouri, if taken, is considered illegal and a punishable offense. Hence, always identify the types of fish before using your gig/spear.
Where to gig in Missouri
Most residents and visitors are advised to go gigging on the medium-sized rivers of the Ozarks because it offers clear water and navigation is easy with a flat-bottomed boat. Some giggers prefer the likes of Eleven Point, Meramec, Current, James Rivers, and even Gasconade.
Apart from a fish licensing permit, giggers are entitled to a daily limit of 20 fish in total. However, there are regulations along the Current River to the Arkansas Line. Here, no more than 5 hogsuckers can be claimed and included in this daily limit.
What you’ll need
To gig, you’ll need a flat-bottomed boat, adequate lighting which could be floodlights or LED lights and a gig. It isn’t advised you go on this experience alone especially if you’re a novice. Someone needs to man, steer and navigate the boat while you’re seeking out the fish.
Missouri possesses everything you need to either go fishing or gigging. These activities constitute timeless memories in a person’s life and with the Bass Pro stores in Missouri, you can get any and every type of fishing and gigging equipment you need to facilitate your experience. This is of course after you’ve gotten a permit and have taken a course or two courtesy of the M