St. Charles, Missouri is a mid-sized city located along the banks of the Missouri River. The region is home to limestone cliffs and bluffs, hiking trails and wineries. Fishing the Missouri and camping along her shores is a popular activity in the greater St. Charles region. Anglers seek out catfish, bass, bluegill and crappie. They can park their boats and enjoy a shore side camping experience.
Pontoon Boat Camping
If you are hoping to get some camping in along with your fishing, one option is to rent (or bring your own) pontoon boat and use it as a floating camping platform. Set-up cots or sleeping pads, and enjoy floating down the river, casting for sport fish and taking in the limestone cliffs along the river shores. Grafton Canoe and Kayak, across the river from St. Charles in the suburb of Grafton, Illinois, rents pontoon boats and provides docks and launching points. The staff at Grafton Canoe and Kayak will assist with maps and tips for camping areas and places to fish.
Grafton Canoe and Kayak
PO Box 142
Grafton, IL 62037
There are several access points to the Missouri RIver from St. Charles. Public boat launches and docks are available at Blanchette Landing (GPS N 38° 47.585 W 090° 28.425,) and found at 100 Olive St. The Missouri Department of Fish and Game (MDFG) reports success in fishing for catfish, "during low water, normally from July through September, channel catfish are found in deep water along main channel borders or along the upstream faces of rock wing dikes," as reported on its website. If you are fishing for bass, bluegill and sun-fish, the MDFG suggest fishing faster moving water and along vegetation on the shore banks where the oxygen content in the water is high.
If you are looking for some local knowledge and in-the-know fishing professionals, hiring a guide to fish the Missouri may be the ticket. Walters Guide Service will arrange custom guided fishing along the Missouri, or in the lakes around the cities of St. Charles or St. Louis. The guides will meet you at a designated location and provide tackle, gear and bait. You should provide your own sun protection, bug repellant, cooler with ice, lunch and drinks. Be sure to have a valid Missouri or Illinois fishing license.
Walters Guide Service
211 Yorktown Drive
Collinsville, IL 62234
Article Written By Eric Cedric
A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.