As a young teenager my grandparents and I would spend my summer vacation fishing on the beautiful Eleven Point River.

One of our favorite put-in spots was the Turner Mill access area. We would spend several days throughout the summer trying to catch our limit of the rainbow trout that are stocked along the cool spring waters of the Eleven Point. 

However, as I have gotten older, I have found that there are many other enjoyable things to do at or near the Turner Mill area.

The Turner Mill area is located about 11 miles north of Alton, Mo., on Highway 19, that is if you’re going to the south access. If going in on the north access, it will be located approximately 15 miles south of Winona, Mo., which is also on Highway 19.

Turner Mill is located around the 21.5 river mile marker on the Eleven Point River. Another way to find this spot is to go approximately 5 miles downstream of the Greer Crossing Rec Area.

For those who have a fondness for old mills found along the riverways of Missouri, you will find that all that is left of the original mill is a beautiful 25-foot metal wheel that is still standing where the mill once stood years ago. 

It is one of those places that you can close your eyes and picture in your mind what once went on in this area back when day-to-day operation was in full swing. The 25-foot wheel has obviously made for some breathtaking photos for photographers, as well.

Turner Mill is also known for its excellent trout fishing. Like I mentioned earlier, my grandparents and I have spent many days anchoring in the swift waters to be able to catch some one of the most beautiful rainbow trout.

I recently accompanied a group from my church on a men’s fishing trip during mid-July. Out of the 16 fisherman in our group, everyone caught their limit of four trout by mid-morning.

Around noon that day we all gathered on the bank to fry fish, potatoes, onions, okra, and even some deep-fried biscuits that we covered with fresh honey.

Needless to say we had a great time feasting on our catches of the day. We are not the only ones who enjoy fishing these waters, you can normally find boats at the Turner Mill access on a daily basis, especially weekends, which is without question its busiest time.

Sightseeing and fishing at Turner Mill are great, however, my favorite thing to do is to cruise up and down the river at night during mid-September thru January gigging for suckers.

I have been on several trips that we put the boat in at Turner Mill then gigged for a couple of hours, only to come back and cook on the river bank. The Eleven Point River has a plentiful population of yellow suckers, hog suckers, as well as drum that can grow fairly good size.

The suckers are by far my favorite species of fish to eat, especially fresh on the river bank.

Next time you’re looking for an outdoor adventure, if it be sightseeing, fishing or just cruising the Eleven Point, Turner Mill would be a great spot to check out.

No matter what season it is, there is beauty in the old mill and the river that surrounds it.

(Heath Wood can be reached at struttin1@hotmail.com.)

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