Contributors to this thread:
Great Missouri River Trip!
I had a full rupture of my Achilles on April 9th in a basketball tournament. I was devastated my basketball playing days had come to an end but also feared my annual trips to the Missouri R. to shoot bigheads may be in jeopardy. I was determined to make it and couldn't wait to get on the water. We also had several paddlefish tags in our group.
We were off to a good start and found that the fish were feeding a lot more actively since we had been here two weeks prior. My daughter was able to connect with a perfect cleaner right off the bat.
My buddy Josh was making his second trip ever with me and he connected on a stud fish that turned out to be his best fish ever. Things were off to a hot start.
Josh's girlfriend Rachel was making her first trip ever and it didn't take her long to catch on!!
The afternoon was slower and very hot. We thought margaritas may change our luck! We were right!
We floated into a school of fish and I saw one that was deep that I thought looked pretty decent. What I thought was a decent fish turned out to be a stud and after a long chase with the boat we got him up and put another arrow in him. 47.5 lbs on the scale!
This fish was worthy of a group photo!
The next couple of days we shot several nice cleaners!
Maddie and Josh doubled on a good one!
Bryce also connected on a big silver carp!
Memorial day was over and Maddie, Josh and Rachel had to leave so it would be Bryce and I solo for a day until our other friends would be coming. We worked hard to debone all the fillets packed in ice. No easy task but well worth it.
We had some weather roll in but actually it helped us due to the fact it cleared out all the other boats! We would find gold at the end of the rainbow!
I saw a huge fish deep underneath some dinks and got a quick shot off as he was sinking down. I thought I missed at first but then the line took off. I had shot him through the bottom lip and the fight was on. When we got him to the boat Bryce put a perfect backup shot on him and after another run or two we had him in the boat. We looked at each other in shock. 54.1 lbs on the scale. For this river this is a huge fish and was maybe my biggest in 25 years of chasing these things.
Wow! Y'all always shoot some big'uns! Fun!
Never ate any of those. You fry the fillets? How'd you rate them taste wise?
Those are some monster fish now! What's the meat like ? Looks fatty like big catfish. Glad you were able to get out despite the leg.
Wow, great pics and fish....some real monsters!
Sorry to hear about the end of your basketball career but thanks for taking us along on your bowfishing trip.
How do you prepare the fillets? They look like they would be tasty.
The meat is unbelievable! Very white, firm and mild. We grill and fry it but you really can’t go wrong with it. We have the deboning down to an art. Not fatty at all.
I have way more coming but have to head to physical therapy.
Man that sunshine looks nice. Just rain and snow in MT. Keep em coming Harlin, love the smiles.
Awesome, looks like a great time
Looks like a great time, Beav !
Hope the Achilles is fully recovered soon!
That is some Awesome bow-fishing right there!!
Wow those are some monsters! Congrats. You must have fish in the freezer for 2 years after that trip.
WOW! Those are monster fish.
WOW, what a great trip!!!! That looks like a total blast!!!
Wow, I'll have to try that sometime!
Bow fish you can actually eat:)
Looks like a blast! Heck id almost book a trip if you could shoot a couple fish that size that were worth eating. Fillets look great.
The Louisiana State University Agricultural Research and Extension Center has a series of videos showing how to prepare the fish and deal with these bones.
The head of the bighead carp is particularly prized in Singapore, and is usually steamed whole
We have developed our method that I prefer. It doesn't require taking the skin side off. We just work from the inside of the fillet. Once a guy gets the hang of it you can fly through them, but it does take some time to learn.
We had a great day of bigheading and the next day paddlefish season would open. More friends showed in camp and tomorrow would be a great day.
Paddlefish were thick and we looked over several before Reid connected on his first paddlefish. 28,5 lbs
I passed a lot and saw one deep and let one go. I knew he wasn't real big but I was happy!
My buddy Bryce connected shortly there after on a fish that was also in that 25 lb class like mine.
Travis finally was sick of passing fish and said he was shooting the next one that gave him a shot. He did! 20.6 lbs.
Our buddy showed up for the evening and jumped in the boat and 10 minutes later he had a 36 lber!!
Maddie made it back to the river and once boat traffic cleared out a bit we started seeing a lot of fish. Maddie connected on her second paddlefish ever and she was thrilled!
Memories that will last forever!! Spending time with my kids in the outdoors has always been one of my priorities!
There is a bar called the Icehouse 150 yards off the river so our whole clan met for a few drinks one hot afternoon. You throw your bottles against the wall when you are done. This has been a long lasting tradition.
Next couple of days we continued shooting some bigheads and silvers and Matt even got a decent gar.
Also we managed to shoot a couple of big silvers!
Last day Bryce and I doubled on a really big silver and we filled the tub with 18-23 lb bigheads that came up really good the last couple of hours of our trip. Great fun and also brought home some excellent eating! I even think it made my Achilles feel better! : Have a great one!!!!
Looks like a superb time!
Is there any video of the conversation you had with your wife when you told her about your plans of going to the river??!! ;-)
Man!! You guys hammered a pile of em again, especially on some real hogs! I wish I could have made it up there with you guys!
What’s the protocol on tagging the paddlefish? (I’m assuming that’s what the red tags are)
Required to tag immediately by the dorsal fin. The clip locks into itself.
Man, what a trip! Are the paddlefish good to eat, too? Also, are the silvers just as good?
Paddlefish out of a lake are not very hood in my opinion but out of the river they are good. Silvers are close to bighead but take longer to clean to make boneless. We try to shoot at least 15-18 lb bigheads at a minimum.
“Leave it to Beav” to make us all look like losers again! Argh! Very nice work Harlin as usual! Thanks for sharing.
I guess my invitation got lost in the mail…again.
Congrats, looks like a blast!
Makes me smile. Solid work my friends. Hunt
Special place. Good stuff my friend!
Beav! What a cool trip! Thanks for posting this…looks like your crew had a blast! Too bad about the Achilles! I fully ruptured mine at the start of bow season…it healed up just fine! Follow the Doc’s orders!
Now that's my kind of fishing! Looks like you all had a blast!!
Looks like a lot of fun! Thanks for sharing!
Always a great time at the river! The people just make it even better! My daughter-in-law got her 1st and my son took his second paddlefish on a quick day trip!
Excellent Harlin! I couldn't make the banquet this year, but you can count on next year and I hope to get to eat some of those!
Sorry to hear about the Achilles rupture Harlin. That's one tough injury for sure. Looks like you're making the most of it though...quite the bowfishing adventure with family and friends. Thanks for sharing!
Outstanding photos of a great trip! I fish/bowfish the Mo river near Leavenworth, Ks and have snagged silvers & bigheads behind the wing dikes during the spring snagging season but have never hooked or seen a spoon. Are you finding them more out in the channel? I have eaten both the species of carp and found them to quite good and agree that the spoons from the river taste great (ours come from the Osage River below Bagnell Dam) compared to the Lake of the Ozarks fish. Hope your tendon heals quick!
What an awesome experience! Hopefully get out there to do that!
Incredible~congrats to you all on an awesome outing!
Great stuff, thanks for sharing with us!
Hope the foot heals up good as new for you!
Bighead Beav and the monster fish! Good times man
Awsome! Looks like yal had a great time
I grew up in Yankton! Haven't been there in a while, sure miss the river there. Great place to grow up! Looks like you had an awesome trip! Congrats.