ST. LOUIS – Hundreds of fishing trips along the Mighty Mississippi have led to numerous viral social media posts for one local charter company.
On Tuesday, Captain Tyler Moses of Show Me Catfishing showed Fox2Now.com’s Monica Ryan how he does it.
Ryan and Moses caught 10 catfish that morning, including a 30-pounder. Moses said the biggest catfish he’s ever caught was 104 pounds.
“They’re the biggest thing you can catch. It’s always cool to have that hope or that opportunity to catch something absolutely massive,” Moses said.
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Here’s how it’s done.
“It all varies conditionally. Anchor fishing on some structure up relatively close to shore, but the river has been on a rise for six days now; so that usually pushes fish in and they’ll relate to structure a little more,” Moses said.
“Once the river starts falling again, at least this time of year while it’s warm, the fish will go back out in the river and then we’ll drift for them. They’ll mostly be related to kind of rolling sand humps. You just got to know the fish’s habits and kind of the process of following the river.”
But that’s an experienced captain’s take. Moses explained how fledgling fishermen can get started.
“Buy good quality tackle, and get some fresh bait, and you’ll probably catch some fish,” Moses said.
Anglers don’t keep every fish that they catch. So which ones do they keep and which ones do they toss back?
“We let everything 10 pounds and over go and we let really the bulk of the others go too. Those fish are young and you don’t know what their genetics are,” Moses said. Where a bigger fish, you know that fish has the potential to go on and produce more big fish and they’re not as good to eat. There is a certain level of pollution in the river and older fish eat more meat. They eat more other fish and so they build up, potentially at least, heavy metals and stuff.”
Captain Moses believes there’s room on the river for more people to get involved in fishing.
“There’s grain-loading facilities all along the river here and while, to them, spilling 100 pounds of corn in the river while they’re loading a single barge isn’t much, that’s a lot of free food in the river here,” he said. “And that’s one thing that keeps the number of fish high.”
Moses noticed an increase in charters during the pandemic and said some of his clients wound up buying their own gear.
“A lot of people that traditionally maybe wouldn’t have gone on a fishing charter came and saw us because everything was closed and they were looking for something to do, and they were looking for something to do with just a small group of friends and outdoors, so that fit perfectly,” Moses said.
After catching a fish, Moses always thanks them before putting them back in the river, since the fish keep him in business and provide people with food and fun.