Andy Whitcomb

Just because it’s called the “Old Man River,” the Mississippi isn’t just for seniors. Well over 2,000 miles long and flowing from Minnesota to Louisiana, there are quite a few boating opportunities for everyone on the Mississippi.

Rivers are more intimidating to boaters than lakes because of the current. And Mississippi River boating isn’t easy to take. Navigating around moving sandbars, decrepit logs, and wing dams can be tricky. Moving water is less forgiving of mistakes and glitches.

It is important to be prepared. A good place to start is online, where you can monitor the flow of water, find maps for starting the boat, and learn about safety requirements. You’ll need to find out what safety equipment your state requires for each boat in addition to a PDF and, if necessary, take a boat safety course prior to operating.

Another good source of information could be hiring a Mississippi river guide. With the river and conditions constantly changing, Mississippi river guides have up-to-date knowledge of wells, currents, and where to fish. There are reportedly 375 species found in Mississippi areas, but it is most commonly found for blue catfish, walleye, and freshwater drums. There are even several Bassmaster tournaments held in different locations along the Mississippi as they offer excellent trout for largemouth bass.

Do your homework before cruising the Mississippi along any of the 10 states it flows through. There may be locks to navigate and / or new high or low water hazard conditions on this river which can be 1 mile wide on some lower reaches. You should of course not overlook a current boat registration.

Andy Whitcomb

Andy is an outdoor writer (http://www.justkeepreeling.com/) and stressed out dad has contributed over 380 blogs to takemefishing.org since 2011. Born in Florida but raised on the banks of farm ponds in Oklahoma, he now hunts pike, small bass and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After completing his Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fishery research technician at OSU, in the US state of Iowa and in the US state of Michigan.