Bourbeuse River – A St Louis Region Fishing Treasure

The Bourbeuse River offers many species for which to fish as well as being an enjoyable float stream. It is an ideal stream for novice canoeists to get some experience. One other nice aspect of floating the Bourbeuse is that due to its extremely crooked course, put-ins and take-outs can be a couple of driving miles apart while the distance in river miles over 10.

The Bourbeuse River is ideal for float and fish excursions. It is a lazy enough river that the canoe needs little attention, allowing more fishing time.

The Bourbeuse River has good fishing for a variety of species. It’s been well known for sometime as a good smallmouth stream. Unfortunately, the smallmouth bass numbers have been somewhat diminished by the non-native spotted bass. While spotted bass are a nice game fish, they tend to out-compete smallmouth bass, at least in this particular ecosystem.

Besides spotted bass and smallmouth bass, there are decent numbers of largemouth bass and rock bass, channel catfish, and panfish. There are a few walleye that are also sometimes caught.

The Bourbeuse River runs through Union, Missouri in Franklin County, Missouri. Many of the river accesses are within 10-15 miles of this area, with one of them being right in Union. One of the nicer float is between Reikers Ford access and Mayers Landing access. This section of river has few signs of civilization along its 11 river miles, and the two accesses are only about three miles apart. The fishing is quite good for bass (smallmouth, largemouth, and spotted) as well as channel catfish. As in most sections of the river, the gradient is low so you will have a fairly leisurely float. During low water times there are a few places where you may need to get out and drag your canoe.

If you are looking for a relaxed atmosphere and decent fishing, the Bourbeuse River is certainly a good option. This stream at the northern extremity of the Ozarks Region is worth a visit.