Fishing skills

Department of Conservation encourages anglers to test their skills via Smallmouth Slam | Outside

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and the Missouri Smallmouth Alliance (MSA) invite anglers to test their fishing skills and pursue a “Smallmouth Slam” by fishing the MDC’s 12 Special Management Areas for bass to receive pins and medallions.

“Missouri’s Special Management Areas provide excellent habitat for smallmouth bass,” said Andrew Branson, MDC Fisheries Programs Specialist. “These areas have regulations to help smallmouth bass populations grow and allow more fish to reach quality size.”

The Smallmouth Slam is divided into three levels:

  • Bronze: Catch a smallmouth bass in six of 12 special management areas and receive a bronze certificate and pin.
  • Silver: Catch a smallmouth bass in nine of 12 special management areas and receive a silver certificate and pin.
  • Gold: Catch a smallmouth bass in all 12 special management areas and receive a certificate, gold pin and medallion.

All pins and medallions awarded to participants have been supplied and guaranteed by MSA.

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“The Missouri Smallmouth Alliance is proud to partner with the MDC on this exciting angler recognition program,” said MSA President Augustus Knickmeyer. “We expect many river anglers, veterans and newcomers to the sport, to actively participate in the Smallmouth Slam.”

Smallmouth bass of any size caught after March 1 qualify for a Smallmouth Slam, but any smallmouth bass under 15 inches must be released.

Anglers can complete a Smallmouth Slam entry form each time they catch a smallmouth bass. They can also submit a photo of their fish if they wish, but it is not mandatory.

Once participants have reached one of the three Smallmouth-Slam levels, MDC will verify their submissions and send them their prize. Additionally, anglers can see their successes listed on the MDC website.

“This Smallmouth Slam is a great new program that will encourage anglers to get out and experience nature all year round,” Branson said.

For more information on the Smallmouth Slam, go to mdc.mo.gov/smallmouthslam.

The Smallmouth Slam honors anglers who catch a smallmouth bass in at least six of these 12 MDC Special Management Areas:

  • Big Piney River (from Slabtown access to Gasconade River)
  • Big River (Council Bluff Lake Dam to Meramec River)
  • Eleven Point River (Thomasville Access to Arkansas Line)
  • Elk River (the entire length of the Elk River in Missouri)
  • Gasconade River (from Highway Y bridge in Pulaski County to Highway D bridge in Phelps County)
  • Jacks Fork River (from Highway 17 bridge to Current River)
  • James River (from the Hooten Town bridge to the Hwy 413/Hwy 265 bridge at Galena)
  • Joachim Creek (from Highway V bridge to Highway A bridge in Jefferson County)
  • Meramec River (from the Highway 8 bridge to the crossing at Bird’s Nest Access)
  • Mineral Fork (from the Highway F Bridge in Washington County to the Big River)
  • Osage Fork of the Gasconade River (from the Skyline Drive bridge near Orla in Laclede County to the Gasconade River)
  • Tenmile Creek (from Highway B bridge in Carter County to Cane Creek)

To learn more about Missouri’s Smallmouth Bass Special Management Areas, go to short.mdc.mo.gov/4i3.

To learn more about MSA, visit its website at missourismallmouthalliance.org.