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  1. 22 points

    Ski boat encounter

    Made a run to the back of Spring Branch Friday afternoon and on the way I passed a ski boat that was stopped in the middle of the channel regrouping or whatever it was they were doing. I motored past them 2 or 300 yards and started fishing. As I fished I heard a boat approaching and it was slowing down. I turned to look and it was the ski boat I'd passed earlier. My first thought was perhaps I didn't give a wide enough berth as I passed him. He slowed almost to a stop and to my surprise told me he was going to the back and would be pulling his daughter out just one time and he wouldn't bother me after that. I smiled and waved and told them to have a great time. There are a few considerate folks left, and I got lucky Friday afternoon and met one!
  2. 18 points
    Not sure how to title this one. Went out this morning to get a baseline for a fishing report - try some things. They are running one unit of water, lake level 705.3 feet. I didn't get out till about 9 a.m. - boated up to just above the Narrows in the trophy area. I threw some jigs -- black, sculpin and olive -- with only a couple of bites. The midges were hatching in clouds and rainbows were taking them along the current edges close to the bluff bank. I didn't have my fly rod in the boat or I would have been throwing a small dry. I wanted to try one more thing before heading back -- a bead. We use beads in Alaska to catch big rainbows during the salmon spawning season and I'd been experiment with them here. You peg the bead, which comes in various sizes and colors, to your line about 2 inches above a small hook. Then you pinch a small split shot above the bead about 2 feet. I was using 4 pound line. Throw it out and drift it like you would any fly or bait. Bump it on the bottom. I picked up 2 small rainbows and had 3 more good strikes. Both rainbows had the hook in its mouth, not outside of it. Then I thought, let's do a comparison. So I boated back up to the top of the Narrows and drifted a #12 grey scud (200R hook) using the same split shot. Caught one small rainbow right off the bat. Then got a good strike, then another. I thought it would be about the same result. But towards the end of the faster water, I hooked something that surprised me. Why surprise? Well, I wasn't ready for something to pull hard enough to break my line, plus my drag wasn't set for it either. Nor did I have my anti-reel switched so I couldn't reel backwards like I usually do. Luckily, my line held up as the drag started to slip a little. Then I was able to flip the switch and reel backwards. It was a good fish but the hard fast run fooled me. I didn't think it was as big as it was. It stayed deep for almost the entire fight, making 3 long runs and fought hard close to the boat to stay down. I grabbed the Gopro, turned it on and set it up on the bar. The video shows the fight towards the middle to the end, not the long runs. I netted the fish but kept it in the water. I called Duane at the resort and asked him to come up with the camera to take some pics. He was on a room repair mission so it took a while for him to boat up to where I was. I drifted down to a spot on the bank where I could get out with the fish. It's way too hard to get good, SAFE pics of a trophy trout while in a boat. I say safe for the fish, not me. I didn't want to raise the rainbow out of the water unless it was for a few quick pictures. The color of this big sow were incredible! I was blessed to have landed and released. I did get a measurement, marking my spinning rod against her length while in the net. I set it on a measuring board and was surprised to see it was 28.25 inches long. It didn't seem that long in the water. The release..... View full article
  3. 18 points
    I ask the question, Just when will you decide to give up fishing? I have a story from this past Friday to share. We fished a couple hours at Bennett Springs. At the store getting our tag I noticed an older gentleman exit the store, light up a cigar. I have no idea why he caught my eye but he did. We found a place to park and wader up near the hatchery outlet. We generally try to park here and work our way up towards the dam and on up farther if we decide to. As Pat and I were building our rods, then pat started putting on her waders as I put new line on her reel. I then noticed the same guy heading towards the water, rod in hand. He entered the water, no waders. Acted like he knew what he was doing like he had been there many times. Pat was waiting on me to wader up when we heard a splash and the old fellow went down. He began to flounder between to other guys. They both went to his side to help him to his feet. Pat said I got to go and laid her rod on the bench and headed into the water. There was a girl on the bank in a scrub top watching closely and I think it was maybe his caregiver. She never went in just stood there. The guy could not seem to get his feet under himself right. Pat got in the middle of the mess and they all got him up and she walked him to the shore as one of the guys took his rod over to the bank and the caregiver. The guys went back to fishing and Pat and the other girl got the man to his car. Pat asked if he had dry clothes, he said yes and began to tear up. Told Pat thank you and all he wanted to do was to fish one more time. Then grabbing her he said I guess this is my last fishing trip and it is time to quit. He got into the car and the girl he was with drove him off. Pat came back to me and the truck in tears and then I kind of lost it too. Before fishing we just sat there and talked about what had just happened. So when will we know? This old guy seemed to know and decided on the spot. Fishing is really something we can do well into the twilight of our life. Other hobbies not so much. I hope I have help to keep me going as long as possible. Maybe they will find me and have to pry the fly rod out of my cold dead fingers? Would rather go that way instead of playing cards, checkers, bingo or dominos , BilletHead
  4. 18 points
    In a world where everything seems so harsh it’s nice to find the time to get back to living at a slower pace. But plans don’t always work out and changes are made. Still people considering passing on the trip late in the game. I had the same thoughts myself; nothing seemed to be working out as usual, but still we pressed on. Standing on the bank of the river Friday morning with a canoe loaded with three days’ worth of supplies I still had reservations. But I was with three of the best guys you could possibly float with. We shoved off and let the river swallow us up. The best float of my life. Hands down. Did a little gravel mining of my own. Surprisingly Chief wasn’t too busy telling a story to catch some fish. The water consumes you. We covered a lot of miles on day one and were rewarded with a nice meal over the campfire. We also did a foil pack of vegetable goodness that I failed to get a picture of. The next morning brought the rain. Jeff and I waited too long to get our tents down before the monsoon developed on top of us. But we did manage to get the coffee made and headed on down the river. Eventually the clouds passed. And the catching took off. Look at the tail on this future freight train. Ran across Mabel’s spot on the river. Not sure if this is her original resting place but it’s absolutely beautiful. The majority of my fish came on a PBJ ned or pink floating worm. Including this 17 incher right before camp. You notice in the underwater shot she has a big sore on her mouth. Saw a lot of fish with sore mouths but also saw an Amish clan with minnow traps and stringers. Not sure who is hurting these fish but they need to be more careful. If you are one of those types to take dehydrated meals or some soup then you are doing it wrong. Corn on the cob, BBQ nachos, and peach cobbler were on the menu for Saturday night. And of course there was a campfire. You ever put an empty beer can on the fire? What about one of those Coors Light aluminum bottles with the screw on lid? They don’t call them Silver Bullets for nothing. The sun finally came up on day three. And we made our way out with a bunch of birds leading the way. Chief getting jiggy with it. It was the perfect weekend. Great friends. Amazing food. And the fish gods smiled upon us. And just when you think you have seen just about everything that you can see on an Ozarks stream. People ask me all the time why I like to camp and float these beautiful rivers. It’s not something that I can easily explain. If they don’t get it they never will.
  5. 16 points
  6. 15 points
    A beautiful early fall morning. I began my day by fishing the edge of the buck brush with a tail spinner type top water. Caught 2 bass total working the brush, one was a keeper large mouth. Did that for an hour and moved out into the channel to try again for the bass that are living out there. They were scattered, no schools, and every once in a while one or two would come up within casting range. Caught another 4 bass, all spots, fishing main channel. If you can get on them, they will jump on that top water, but if you're late, they'll ignore your bait. I can't make fan casting around the boat work, they've got to be up feeding. Only thing I haven't tried is to try finesse type top waters, may try that next time. Might even try a float and fly. Seems every time out lately I have a Big One that Got Away story. I tied up to the dock at Big M, backed the trailer in, as I got in the boat I saw a bass pin some shad against the bank right at the edge of the blacktop in the parking lot. Close enough to the boat that I stepped in the boat and picked up my top water rod and threw a pencil popper right at the spot where that fish came up. Made two casts there, no sniffs. Made another cast about 10 feet further down the bank, walked the bait about 10 feet of the bank, and pow, got a blow up - just felt a little tick, didn't hook up, but I got a look at the fish as it rolled on the bait and it was a good one. Made a few more casts but that bass wasn't coming back.
  7. 14 points

    More paying of dues.

    Glitter boats and fly gear just don't go together It's just wrong... like hauling firewood in a mini-van wrong. There's this.... And this... Not to mention seats, windshields, electronics, and everything else that is there to grab line and ruin an otherwise perfect double haul. I have enough trouble keeping my feet off the line, I don't need any additional obstacles. Oh I caught a few short green fish while waiting for the shadows to get longer But I should have known what kinda evening it was gonna be when I eased into the White bass "magic area" and found it occupied by this Lovers of Death convention. Tonight was not the night. While I sat and waited for signs of nervous shad I noticed tons of Lake O midge shucks on the water. Then captured a hatchling. This is what has replaced dragonfly's and damselfly's over the last 10 years. Usually they hatch in Mid September. They are several weeks late this year. Yeah, he pooped on me I watched and waited.....nothing happened. Piss on it I'm about ready to break out the gear and go join Oldplug and 96Champ further down.
  8. 14 points
    Generation is still constant during the day and night on Taneycomo. About a half unit night and most of the day with a shot of heavier water mid to late afternoon. Water quality remains good enough for the fish to eat, and fight. The fears about bad water and fish kills this fall have not materialized, but we have about 5-6 weeks left of low DO season. Just a quick report to show off a couple of nice trout. I took a family fishing Wednesday in the rain. Thought it would be excellent catching because fish usually like rainy, cloudy days. No so. It was tough. All the guides were calling each other trying to find the bite. We started with a pink worm under a float, then to a night crawler and finally boated to the dam and threw jigs. My party had never used spin cast gear... mom and dad were lifelong river and creek floaters, fishing for smallmouth bass in Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Now in their 80's and most of their fishing days behind them, they were trying trout fishing for the first time. I was wishing for better conditions and the fish to bite. Forrest caught a few rainbows on both crawlers and a jig. Thelma did too. I let their son Randy and wife Kim have the back of the pontoon and concentrated on the couple in front. At one point, we were drifting past outlet #2 when I casted for Thelma and showed her how to lift and jig the jig while reeling slowly. Of course a big rainbow just had to grab on -- I set the hook and handed her the rod. I knew immediately it was a good trout and adjusted the drag so the 2-pound line didn't snap. She fought it perfectly. I made one swipe with the net and missed, hitting the lunker instead. I thought for sure I'd knocked it off but to my surprise, it was till hanging on just past the net's edge. I lunged one more time and got it. Big male, spawning colors, big hooked jaw. We got a few pictures and back it went, didn't even measure it. The family shared with me that on the trip back to Oklahoma, Forrest shared that he thought his fishing days were behind him, and that he was so glad to get out on the river again. I'm hoping he and Thelma come back and go out again, even if the fish aren't biting. It was a wonderful trip! Yesterday afternoon, fishing guide Kris Nelson called the office and said they were coming in with a big brown. So Duane and I got out the scales and watched for them. Kris and his wife bought a small lodge on Stockton Lake last year and that's where he guides most of the time. But he makes trips to Taneycomo in the fall when fishing on Stockton slows down. Kris and client, Jack Slaughter, were throwing stick baits against the banks below the dam when Jack hooked what turned out to be a 25.5 inch big male brown. The brown was in great condition when it arrived at the dock so we took good care of it. We netted it in a large rubber net and set it in the basket to weigh it - it showed 6.76 pounds. Kris put it in our big minnow tank which is constantly aerated with fresh water. We showed Jack how to hold the fish without hurting it, but also to show the whole fish. But the light wasn't good and the flash bleached out the fish. We put the brown back in Kris's livewell and pulled the boat to the outside of the dock where the light was better. We kept the fish in the net the whole time to keep from handling it further. Jack pulled the fish out and up to take a couple of series of pictures, never keeping the fish out of the water for more than 20 seconds at a time. As a precaution, Kris held the big net under the fish so as to catch it if it pulled out of his hands. When it was released, it swam off like a shot. View full article
  9. 12 points
    Old plug

    strange turtle

    I am not unhinged metally. But there seens to be some relationship occuring between my sight my thinking and my fingers. I think it has to do with age and being tired. I usially do not come in here inless I am sitting in my chair after doing some work or something. then I can fall asleep in a second. I took my new neighbor out this evening Hybrid fishing. This was the first time he ever targeted Hybrids.. Here is what he caught 26" and about 7lbs
  10. 12 points
    Dylan Cluver

    Big girl gets caught again

    Fished my heart out for this one, after looking at the pics, she was caught earlier this week by a guides client. I taped her at 32". I would like to say thank you to the old timers who have passed down a lot of hard earned wisdom to me and my friends in the parking lot and at the pavilion. This fish is a true testament to catch and release, and the work of the MDC. Triploid triploid triploid. Thank you to the guys with the tape and who walked down after I flashed my light and hollered for them!! View full article
  11. 11 points
    Started off early this morning with a buddy, launching the boat at 5 am. Headed down the lake for a sit in the woods. On the walk in, we jumped 8 deer, so I did not think we would have a chance of seeing another. That was ok with me, because I was hoping for a chance at turkeys. Just after shooting time, I could hear a turkey behind me about 75-100 yards up in the roost. After that I heard one to my left fly down. About that time a giant murder of crows flew in raising all kinds of ruckus, flushing the still roosted turkey off in another direction. I could see my buddy's ground blind from where I was at and apperrently he had deer skirting the limits of his shooting range all morning. About 10:30 we gave up on the hunt and changed gears to chasing walleye. Good move on out part! We had rigs in the water about 10 minutes when we caught the first keeper. We kept trolling the flats from just below K Dock to almost Snapp. Had 3 different areas we picked up walleye in 20-27 feet of water. Tried one long run back down the lake and again picked up walleye in the same 3 areas. Decided to concentrate on the 2 most productive of the 3 and that was w the flat just above K Dock and the one just across and below K Dock. Trolled 1.9-2.3 mph depending on if we were in 20 feet of water (1.9) or 27 feet(2.3). Had enough line out with 3 ounce bottom bouncers to hit the bottom ever few seconds. We averaged 1 short for ever keeper we caught and had a welcomed bonus of a 13 inch crappie. Did not catch any of the stinking bass which was awesome! Only target species today. Ended up with 2 limits of keeper walleye and 8 shorts in 5 hours of fishing. Great day filled with adventure and good company! Oh, and got to meet Paco while taking out. Lots of fun chatting with you! View full article
  12. 11 points

    Tuesday trip

    Sorry it's a couple of days old but thought I'd give a brief report on what I found Tuesday. In short ... not much. Launched at 8:30 AM at Eagle Rock to avoid as much of the Cops4Kids traffic as possible and succeeded, seeing only a couple of other boats all day. Despite the strong cold front that blew in the night before, surface temps remained 74-76 everywhere I went. Started out in a wooded pocket not far from the ramp, then proceeded to Roaring River, Panther and eventually Rock Creek. Without putting anyone to sleep with the boring details, I managed 10-12 fish over 6.5 hours, including three, maybe four small keepers. All were caught on a 1/4-ounce War Eagle tandem willow spinnerbait or smallish crawfish-colored cranks. Tried a Ned, various topwaters and even a fast-retrieve jerkbait to no avail. Better times are coming soon. Highlight of the day was the nearly nonstop progression of migrating geese flying just under the high cloudcover. View full article
  13. 11 points
    Phil Lilley

    Wanted Lure Duplicator

    This has run its course. I'm not deleting it, I'm locking it. Let me put a warning out there: Posting about anyone's personal record, no matter what it is, will not be tolerated here, nor should it be on any social forum. We all are sinners in the sight of a righteous and holy God, and we all will have to answer for the choices we have made. We all have been deceived, thinking that we are good enough in our own merits and don't need God, and we get to determine what is right and wrong. But the Lord's heart is to restore us all, covering our sin and shame with the blood of Christ as we humble ourselves before Him and acknowledge Him as Creator, Lord, Almighty, I Am, the Eternal One, all in all. God is the only One who should be feared, and how we stand in His sight is all that matters. To condemn anyone else for their sin is ultimate hypocrisy. And, thus, it will not be tolerated here. God is the Redeemer. He takes the most egregious sinner and cleanses them whiter than snow, if only we yield our minds and our wills to Him.
  14. 11 points

    Long Arm Fish

    It's not huge, but it was good. Fished my (our) usual stretch on a gorgeous day this past Thursday. No one around. Beautiful water, lots of fish caught, laughs and brotherhood with my good friend.
  15. 11 points
    Day three was my favorite. Last day in the mountains before the drive home. Forecast of snow, rain and wind (we got the first two but not the wind, mercifully). A local good friend as a guide on a small alpine stream at 12,000 feet, looking for wild brook trout and perhaps a cutthroat. It snowed and sleeted in the morning and, per usual, the fishing was tough. But it was pretty. The fishing picked up in the late morning. A dry fly day. I'm no purist, but I love to see the take! The brook trout had their spawning colors on and plenty of them were willing to play if you were stealthy. I even got a cutthroat to complete the San Juan Mountain grand slam!
  16. 10 points

    Great Day on the Meramec

    Although my plans for an overnight solo trip this fall have been foiled by the scheduling constraints of work and family, I did manage to get a full day on the Meramec yesterday and it was awesome. Perhaps not a 'banner day,' but it was certainly a success by my standards. The numbers were good, but the sizes were smaller than I was hoping for. It started off chilly but when the sun came up and burned off the fog it was perfect. Water temp was 56 when I put in at daybreak (a bit cooler than I was expecting), and despite landing a spot on my first cast the bite was pretty slow in the morning. I stopped at 12:30 for lunch at my half-way mark, and at that point had only boated 4 smallies and 2 spots. Spook and (large) HD craw counted for 1 fish each, and a white spinner bait claimed the other 4 (thanks for the tip, @Hog Wally!). I lost track of the number of short strikes on the spinner and spook. Despite the hoopla, I've never had much luck with my half-hearted efforts on the ned rig. I really wanted to spend some time with it yesterday and I'm glad I did. Just after lunch I found a nice rock pile along the bank in a 7' run. Water clarity was right at 7' so I could see plenty of fish but was having trouble holding my kayak against the current. I beached upstream and walked down the bank to the rock pile and caught 4 smallies in quick succession. The afternoon continued to produce well on a similar pattern, and they all came on a PBJ ned. I finished the day with 21 fish - 13 smallies and 8 spots -- 15 of which came in the afternoon on the ned. Biggest of the day was only 14.5" and I had one more that was just over 14". I didn't see a soul out there, with 1 exception in the early afternoon that was a fun encounter. I could hear a radio in the distance blaring KSHE-95 (the oldest continuous rock station in the world, for those not from this area), and expected to come upon a group of river rats partying it up. To my surprise, it was one person - a retired guy named Steve. He had pulled his car up to the bank with the radio on, and was sitting in a lawn chair with a cooler of budweiser and his trusted companion - a grizzly old yellow lab. I planned to give him his space and was fishing the far bank. He cut the radio as soon as he saw me, and soon after called me over to his side of the river. He was enamored with my kayak rig, asking all sorts of questions about it, then revealed to me what I perceived as the secret to true happiness.... He said he has owned that land for 27 years and is retired but comes down to the farm almost every day to 'work' while his wife actually does go to work. If 'working' means pulling up a lawn chair by the side of the river with a trusted 4-legged companion and cooler of beer on a Wednesday afternoon, then I'm doing it all wrong. When he called me over, he said I was fishing the wrong bank and should try a series of lay-downs that were right along his bank. 3 casts and 3 fish later, I figured he'd been 'working' that bank (and the passing fishermen) for all 27 years of his tenure. Steve - if you're out there, it was a pleasure to meet you and I enjoyed our conversation! Lunch was at the mouth of a big cave along the river, and I saw quite a few bald eagles throughout the day. I also saw a flock of turkeys fly across the river and struggle to climb a steep bank on the other side. I can't get a horny Tom to cross an ankle-deep, shoulder-width creek during turkey season, but yet here was a flock that willingly flew across a wide and fairly swift section of the river to a steep bank that any human would have needed climbing ropes to ascend. Story of my life chasing turkeys, but I digress. The weather, scenery, solitude, and fishing all exceeded my expectations and I still have a grin on my face. I consider myself a guest on this river, so I won't reveal my exact location to the innerwebs but if you've floated this stretch you'll probably recognize it from the pictures. This post has been promoted to an article
  17. 10 points

    Tournaments galore

    Was just checking the regatta listings for October and Table Rock is gonna be absolutely hammered with year-end championships and such. Annual Homer Sloan derby is this Saturday out of Campbell Point (they used to also launch/weigh in at Viola), plus there's another Champion owners derby out of Kimberling City. The ginormous (225 boats on the permit) Cops 4 Kids derby is next Tuesday out of the state park, then there's a 150-boat high school tournament Oct. 14-15. Joe Bass is having its championship Oct. 21-22 and Anglers in Action is here the following weekend, Oct. 28-29. Both are permitted for 150 boats. Sooooo ... I'm sure we can expect some "temporary new members" and lots of questions over the next few weeks. Just sayin ... might want to keep this in mind when posting information.
  18. 10 points
    They were already wet! Took my nephew to chase some walleye this morning. We got on the water right around 6:30. Stayed on the flats close to K Dock trolling flickers behind 3 ounce bottom bouncers. The sky be came dark, the wind blew out of the south east, and a little bit of rain fell, but the fish were biting. We picked up 2 little white bass, 4 short walleye, 6 of them stinkin bass, and 4 keeper walleye in that area. From there we headed up to Snap to finish off our limits along with 2 more short walleye, one 14 inch crappie, and a few more of them daggum bass. Off the water by 1. Pretty good day out there. Had to be going fast. 2.1-2.5 mph in 18-20 feet of water. First time my nephew has caught a limit of walleye. I charged him his walleye cheeks as a guide fee. He seemed to think that was reasonable😀 This post has been promoted to an article
  19. 10 points

    Mixed Bag!

    Spent yesterday out of Mutton Creek and had a pretty productive day in the drizzle. Bass fishing all day but ended up catching just about every species in the lake on spinnerbaits, jigs and crank baits. Ended up with 18 bass with only 3 keepers, 1 each of bluegill, catfish, drum, walleye and crappie. I also got into the whites big time at the mouth of Googer around 4:00. They we're schooling everywhere and the dozen or so I caught were all nice 2# fighters. Tight Lines!!
  20. 10 points

    K Dock fished good today

    Put in at K Dock early and headed down stream to sit in the woods for a bit. I was hoping for a chance at a turkey to no avail. About 8:00 am a big 8 point with a little spike in tow came by for a 30 minute visit. Got within 30 yards. Already tagged out on the buck, so I just enjoyed the show. Got out of the woods about 10:15 and changed gears to trolling for walleye. Hit every flat from Drury Mincy up to K Dock before catching my first fish around noon thirty. By 3 pm had 8 walleye to the boat landing only 5 of them with one being short. Tuff to land a big fish with a 9 foot rod, a 3 ounce bottom bouncer and a 7 cm purple fire tiger flickershad anothe 6 feet from the bottom bouncer. Had to alter my technique by keeping the rod tip in the water and swinging the fish up past the boat then turning into the net. Simply lifting would bring the fish's head out of the water and one shake and he would be off. Also caught 6 of them stinking bass in that 2 1/2 hour period. Fun day!
  21. 9 points
    Phil Lilley


    I sent an email to Trout Unlimited, Membership today: I sent out an email a few days ago through the TU leadership tool app. I was announcing a chapter meeting and in the email I put my cell number for anyone who had any questions. Later that day, I got a call from an unknown number. The gentleman asked me why Trout Unlimited was spamming him. He went on to: Ask what TU was... Why they insist on spamming him over and over after he "unsubscribed" to the previous emails. He said he saw my number and thought it was worth the long distance a call to find out. He had a strong British accent. He said he lives in Northern France. I explained who I was and what TU was all about. He told me he didn't eat fish. He didn't think fishing was right... abusing wildlife... I told him what I did, own and operate a family friendly fishing lodge. He actually thought that was cool, minus the fishing part. He was kind of huffy at first but I took no offense. I laughed and said this was an interesting phone call and I was glad he did call. We talked about traveling a bit... I'd been to Israel and Austria and may be going to Iceland next year. That was a place he wanted to go someday. So we parted new friends, and I said I'd look into the email thing. Then I looked at his address after he emailed me back - it was jerryjester@gmail.com. I thought - I know a Jerry Jester!!! Jerry Jester is a guy who lives 40 miles north of me in Springfield and is part of a trout group there. Iv'e spoke at their meetings several times - he's stayed and fished with us. So I emailed Jerry Badford back and told him I bet I knew what has happened and explained why. He thought that was a hoot! He even wanted to get in contact with Jerry Jester. I called Jerry Jester and asked him if he was a TU member. He said yes. Then I explained what happened. We laughed. Pretty crazy. I've given the gentlemen each other's contact info. I hope they correspond.
  22. 9 points

    October 9. Big M area

    Got to the Big M launch early in the morning, and it was very foggy. Got a little ways outside the mouth of the Big M cove and started fishing as I wasn't going to run down the lake in the fog. Took Fido for a stroll, and picked up quite a few top water bites around docks and bluff lines. Lots of bites, but the bass were having trouble grabbing the lure. I think sometimes that zig-zag motion when walking the dog confuses them a bit and causes them to miss. Put 6 or 7 in the boat (one keeper) on the top water and probably had another dozen misses. Out of those dozen misses, I think 2 of them touched the lure. Had 2 doubles, but in both cases one of the fish pulled off before I could get them netted. Spent some time looking for the mid-channel top water bite, but not very much of that going on in spite of lots of shad swimming around in the channel. Once the fog burned off, the top water bite died. Threw a jig for a while, picked up a couple on it, had a good one pick it up and swim towards the boat, could not catch up to it and thus did not get a good hook set before he dropped it. Water is clearing up a bit, saw water temps around 76-77. View full article
  23. 9 points
    I was lucky to be able to take Dad and Mom on their last trip to the river. Dad was dyeing from cancer, and had no appetite, would hardly eat. A boat ride and the smell of franks and beans cooked over a oak campfire brought his appetite back, made the trip to the river one of my fondest memories.
  24. 9 points
    Watching my Dad's health fail and watching his personality change as dementia tightens its grip on him is very difficult for me. I fish because he fished and included me on his trips. He doesn't love fishing like he used to. I guess that's ok because he really can't fish very well any more and he can't go on his own anymore. I'm headed down this Friday with my daughter to take Dad fishing Saturday and Sunday for as long as he wants. It may be an hour or if might be all day. Hopefully, he'll enjoy himself.
  25. 9 points
    So sell the lower unit and buy a jet pump. I'll install it for a 12-pack and a Subway sandwich.
  26. 9 points

    New play toy's

    Maybe I can get out next week to try them out..
  27. 9 points

    Day Time 9/30/17

    Olivia my middle daughter wanted to go fishing so we loaded up the boat and headed south met up with another buddy and his boy and put the boat in at 7am. Perfect water conditions to drift today, we boated up to the cable and started drifting down the south side fished mega worms in white, cream and red. Eggs in cream, peach and orange were the best today. Set the depth around 7-8 foot just deep enough so it bounced right along the bottom. They started catching fish right off the bat and about every drift they would pick up 4-5 fish the fish for us shut down around 10-10:30. Nothing huge but lots of fish and lots of smiles today and that's what it is all about..
  28. 8 points
    Mitch f


    It's a fine art, I lost a 7-13 the other day that was 24.6" long 😜
  29. 8 points


    Sat last evening to a decent wind from the south. It was pretty warm but this time of year it tends to cool off pretty quick. Got in my stand, sat up the GoPro to do some self filming, arrow knocked, all just before 4. Land owners turned 2 horses loose into this 80 ive been hunting and heard several deer during the sit "blow" which had to be due to the horses. Seen a few groups of does 100 yards away. At 5:45 seen a yote working his way up the tree line towards me. He was downwind and i was for sure he would bust me. He worked into 15 yards when i let the arrow fly. He ran 20 yards and fell over. I love doing predator control, and when i get the chance with my bow, that tops shooting a deer. For some reason i dislike evening sits. I have always seen more deer mornings. Im sure its my stand locations. My stand is in the tree with the picture with the arrow.
  30. 8 points
    I was able to carve out 4 days to go take my Dad fishing. He isn't able to go fishing by himself anymore and most of his fishing buddies are in similar situations. Big Cypress Bayou below Lake O the Pines is a Cypress tree lined jewel. I freaking love it. If I got to make a trip there in mid to late October/November EVERY year that would be fine by me. Shallow dingy water that has panfish, catfish, and bass. This year I had a special treat. My daughter was able and willing to make the trip down with me. She has always been close with my Dad. It was important to her to spend some time with him. We didn't get an early start either day, but we fished more than I expected too both days and caught decent numbers of crappie. My numbers were down, but I was playing guide most of the day. I took my trout boat down because it's better for my Dad, but it's harder to control and we a bunch of wind. New truck did great. I put over 1000 miles on the trip. At times, I averaged almost 17 miles to the gallon trailering the trout boat. Dang! My biggest disappointment was failing to catch a Spotted Sunfish. I tried.
  31. 8 points

    Anybody make any money today?

    I don't recall anything in MDC's mission statement about pandering for economic gain. They are supposed to be concerned about things like constant relocating of wildlife for monetary gain, and crap like that. I wanna throw a copperhead and cottonmouth tournament and have the weigh-in and release right in front of Fitz Tackle shop or Bassin' Bob's place. Oh don't worry, they'll go back to where they were caught from. 😀 And we'll be sure to fly old glory and the blue lines flag, and play the national anthem at least twice. Kids need to learn about catching snakes for money.
  32. 8 points

    Official Jigfest #4 thread

    Fair warning guys, I got a head start today fished 5 hrs with ice in my guides, snow 3 hrs hard wind, I am conditioning too close to too 2 bull moose, hot shower sitting by fire enjoying Canadian beverage 17 outside life is good
  33. 8 points

    Browning Air Stream Rods

    I threw one overboard this morning and lucky the cork handle floated as I was to retrieve rod...by the way i fished this last 3 days I should have thrown all my rods and tackle overboard along with all my lures and then sunk my boat.
  34. 8 points

    Boat Financing

    Nothing is truly worth what we have to pay for it, we take it in the rear from all angles. At least with a boat we get to be happy for awhile. Shiney vehicles don't really make me happy. College tuition doesn't make me happy. My wife's shoes and other assorted clothing that she can only wear ONCE, for fear that someone might notice she has worn it before, doesn't make me happy. Insurance and taxes fail to make me smile inside. Mortgage payment has no orgasmic effect on me whatsoever Boats make me Happy! 😀
  35. 8 points

    Things are Improving.

    And there are fish somewhere in TN tonite with sore lips. Not many, just a few nice ones.
  36. 8 points

    What's Cooking?

    Green Chili Deer Burgers, Fresh out of hatch chilies so I roasted and charred some jalapeños right out of the garden. Slipped off the charred skins, split open and scraped out the seeds and membranes. Still pretty hot but good flavor. Needed some fat for the lean ground deer so we bought a pork butt roast. Trimmed off the excess fat and ground it to add to the deer. Did the burgers on one side, flipped and put on the pepper then a nice thick slice of sharp cheddar, Plated and dressed the burgers. I have a happy belly now and there will be burgers to eat all week , BilletHead
  37. 8 points
    To follow on with fishing and the older folks....
  38. 8 points

    New play toy's

    Is this the proper spoon and brand?
  39. 8 points
    Old plug

    strange turtle

    The thing is I do not have a working auto correct and I have a hard time seeing what I am typing. Believe it or not I used to wrote congressinal responses. Proceedure, and regulations. Now ypu know what might be coming in your futire.
  40. 8 points
    Got back on the Rock Tuesday morning, went looking for top water fish. Water was flat calm for most of the morning, made it easy to spot where they were chasing shad on top. Unfortunately they weren't schooled up but were scattered over a broad area. Little shad are everywhere and the bass seem to want to chase them out in the channel, the fish I caught were out in 40-60 FOW. I would move around on the trolling motor waiting for one to pop within casting distance and then try and get that top water on them as quickly as possible as they will usually hit it if you get it on them before they move. Blind fan casting around the boat isn't as productive as targeting active fish. Didn't catch any big fish (only 2 keepers) and only caught a dozen. There's some good fish out there, just wasn't my day to get any in the boat. It was fun, but I had one of those days where if a few things had gone my way, I could've had several more fish caught. Took me a little while to find the right areas also, and the bite pretty much shut down around 10 AM. Best fish came on a c-rigged UV Speed Craw, caught a couple on the c-rig after the top bite died off. Picked up a couple of Kastmasters after reading Mr. Bablers report. May try them next time out. Surface temp had warmed up a bit to 80. View full article
  41. 8 points
    Phil Lilley

    Lilley's Report (unedited)

    Generation has been consistent for the last 10 days - they're running about 2,200 cfs at a lake level of 704 feet, generating 30-35 megawatts of power from midnight till 2 p.m.. Starting at 2 p.m., they're building it up to 3 units (not full), almost 9,000 cfs at a lake level of 708 feet. That's a lot of water! But it goes back down to 704 feet by 8 p.m.. There's a weather change happening tonight though that might alter this pattern. Cooler weather most of the time means less power demand, thus less generation. We will see. Some are hoping for no generation at least in the mornings, like it was back a couple of weeks ago. Others like the low flow in the mornings... I think it's boaters against waders. Who will win!? Catching the last week has slowed down, especially off our dock. Most anglers are catching their limit but it takes a considerable amount of time to do it. Night crawlers has been the best, for both trout and suckers. White suckers put up a great fight and cleaned/prepared right are great eating! With a lake level of 704 feet, boating to the dam is tricky, even for us locals! But if you can get up there to the cable below the dam, fishing has been pretty good. First fly fishing. Hoppers thrown against the banks is catching bigger than normal rainbows and a few browns. Also other dries like beetles, ants and stimulators. You won't catch a lot of fishing but if you love dry fly fishing, a few bites is worth trying. Drop a #16 or #18 red zebra midge under the dry about 18 inches for an additional chance. The white mega worm is also catching trout. Use it tied on a small jig head under a float and make sure you have enough line below the indicator to get it to the bottom. The water is clear enough to follow the white worm and if it disappears, set the hook -- it's probably in a fish's mouth. Stripping an olive, brown or black beaded wooly bugger is pretty productive. I caught several nice rainbows stripping an olive wooly bugger against the bluff bank from Lookout through the Narrows. They like to chase! Duane is still throwing the MegaBass 110+1 Ozark Shad stick bait up below the dam (from a boat) while they're running that big water in the late afternoons and catching some nice trout including browns and rainbows over 20 inches (all released). He's hooked some really big fish but those are getting away, so far. Guide Tracy Frenzel showed me he's catching trout drifting beads. This is something we do up north in Alaska to catch big rainbows feeding on salmon eggs. Trout beads come in many colors and sizes. He was using a pinkish 12mm bead (yes that's a big bead) pegged with a toothpick about 2 inches above the hook. He said it actually catches less moss than using bait just on a hook. Yes we do carry beads in our fly shop. And yes you can use these in the trophy area. I'd think they'd work good up close to the dam where browns should be ready to spawn soon. Marabou jigs are working real well. Depending on the flow and conditions, I'm throwing 2 and 4 pound line and 1/16th, 3/32nd and 1/8th ounce jigs in several colors. Best is still the sculpin/ginger 1/16th ounce with 2 pound line... but that's probably because I'm throwing it 80% of the time. When the water is running harder, I'm going to 4 pound line and 1/8th ounce jigs. I talked to a guest today that said they're catching good rainbows up close to Short Creek on 1/8th ounce sculpin jigs. They're throwing them in this slower generation. He asked if that was ok... I responded with "If you're catching fish, it's perfect!" Tracy also told me that he was catching good numbers of rainbows from Cooper Creek down in a section of about a quarter mile. His clients were fishing the pink Berkley Power worm. These fish are staying together, may be following the midge hatches morning and evening. There's usually a crud line in the lake - floating leaves and stuff that clumps up from wind and boat traffic - and that's where these trout are coming up and midging (dimpling) the surface. Several ways to target these fish. Throw something and run it through them like a spinner or a spoon. Cast a small jig, like a 1/16th, and wiggle is through the schooling trout. Or use a small jig or fly under a tiny float (fly or spin rod) and fish it pretty shallow - 18 to 24 inches deep. The pink worm is still a guide's best friend - and it can be yours too. For whatever reason, this bait has been a fish's favorite for well over a year now. P.S. After writing this report, Duane and I boated to the dam this afternoon for some fishing. He took his bait casting rod and MegaBass 110+1 stick baits and I had a spinning and fly outfit, I was ready for anything! This report is littered with pictures from the outing. Duane caught the first trout, the biggest of the evening. We didn't measure it but I think it pushed 20 inches. He did hook and lost a couple of other nice browns (pictures). I started with throwing an 1/16th ounce sculpin/ginger jig but didn't have any luck. They were running 5,200 cfs or a little over a full unit, lake level 706 feet and the weight wasn't enough to get down deep enough. I switched to a 3/32nd ounce white jig. I was using 2 pound line. Duane did catch some rainbows too. Oh, and a few smallmouth bass. I didn't catch any browns but I didn't catch rainbows, a lot of them, and most of them were quality trout! Actually, I told Duane that it was one of the best catching trips of the summer for me. Crazy! I didn't work the jig very hard at all. I'd let it go to the bottom and lift it fairly quick, not the pop I usually work a jig. At the last, when the wind picked up, I just let it drift and they eat it right up! We stopped taking pictures after a couple because it took too much time away from fishing. And I forgot to take the video cameras... We made 4 or 5 driftes from the hatchery outlets down to the top of Trophy Run. We didn't see another boat, only the people wading around the outlets and one guy at Rocking Chair Access. I guess white jigs are a hot item after all... I've had several people tell me in the last week or so but every time I'd throw them - nothing! Told Duane I guess I didn't give them a good chance. View full article
  42. 8 points

    Recent Observations

    *** Caution-Full of small sample size error and the desire to see Silver Linings *** 2017 has been a year of highs and lows fishing wise for me. The rain event of Spring 2017 caused be zero hardships property wise and I feel a little bad complaining about it, but it derailed my fishing in Bull Shoals, Norfolk, and the White River. it literally kept me from catching 100's of fish. Sad really. but of late, I have made a couple of trips to Bull Shoals and I have been Happy with some things I have seen. 1) The fish I am catching are Fat and look very healthy 2) I'm seeing lots and lots of small bass of all three varieties cruising around eating and eating and eating. 3) Catching Big Bluegill. I bet they are giving the walleye guys fits. I'm catching them in 20-23 FOW while drop shouting for bass. 4) some of the flooded brush and trees survived being flooded for months and the banks are not total moonscapes. 5) Zebra mussels seem to be less of an issue. I don't think they are ever going away, but the fluctuating water levels seem to help knock the numbers back. 6 years of steady water is gonna be bad though. I had zero breakoffs on my last trip to Tucker Hollow. That's encouraging. And zero ZM breakoffs on a lower lake trip where I have had a few before. Water temps are coming down. Fish populations are good. Air temps will be cooling. hopefully, I will find the time to get after them a little bit more frequently this Fall. I owe my Bass Cat some trips that I missed in May/June.
  43. 8 points

    Recent Observations

    Another positive sight.
  44. 8 points
    Jim Elam

    Shell Knob TODAY

    Amazing to me that a guy that spends so much time and energy on the water to benefit his clients is willing to make public so much of his valuable recon. Time and time again people post about how valuable the info has been for them when on the water. Above and beyond, Mr Babler.
  45. 8 points
    Hog Wally

    Your first "big" smallmouth?

    I took this guy out today He's 70 years old. I was curious why he was so excited over a average sized smallie. It was his first smallmouth bass he ever caught in his life It made my week.
  46. 7 points
    Ozarks Chillbilly

    10/16/17 Night

    Headed under the dam at around 8 PM. Started with a small pine squirrel sculpin and managed to hook up on the second cast (pic below). Released. Fished for another 2 hours and only had a couple of hits. Finally hooked up again at around 10:30 and I knew it was a better fish (my first Taney Brown?!?!). Got em' within range, reached for my net... pop goes the fly, gone. Still salty about that one. I know there's a small tree in front of the hole I was fishing, so i'm going to blame it on that for personal support haha. Fun night nonetheless. Couldn't get a good pic but this guy was a tank
  47. 7 points
    Like what Smallieflys said, floating with the right cats makes a float whether you're catching or not. Thoroughly enjoyed this one.
  48. 7 points

    Utah Cuttslam

    A bit of a throw down , As some of you may of read of Mr. and Mrs. BilletHead's trip to Utah fishing we got our Cuttslam certificates with collector medallions in the post a couple of weeks ago. We got them mounted and matted in a frame together. When we did our Wyoming slam we did in separate frames. Since we are a husband and wife team this one looks nice. On line I seen we are number 183 and 184 to complete this and the first and only ones from Missouri to do it so far. Fun trip and fishing in each of the four fish in their native range. If anyone is interested in taking the challenge by all means do it, BilletHead
  49. 7 points

    Dam Area Still Good

    More of a drive than I like, coming out of Rogers...but felt compelled to put in at Indian Creek Rec Area boat ramp and try out that side of the lake for some Stripes. Fished mid-lake a week ago and didn't even mark any so...just wanted to see if I could find them further away. I put in just after sundown and worked the western bank (north of boat ramp) and marked plenty of fish of some sort but had no takers. I then pedaled east across the channel to the "ruins" on the north point of the Pine Log area. I just worked S patterns, up and down the slope of that point and noticed 20-40 FOW to be where I was most routinely marking fish...so I split the difference and pedaled in 30 FOW southeast along the western bank of the Pine Log area. That was the ticket. Between 8:30pm and 10pm I caught 3 Stripes, all between 22 and 26 inches (ok, NOT trophies, but fun), 3 very thick Walleye...all keepers, and one 18" Smallie. All were caught on a deep diving Smithwick Rogue in blue/black and all released healthy and alive after short battles. Water Temp was 74 degrees, wind was almost calm from the SE even though weather channel was calling for 7-10mph. I believe I was alone out there. SO...my take is that there are plenty of fish up there and I'm anxious to hear others report evidence of when the mid-lake area heats up.
  50. 7 points
    bobby b.

    Lower end 9/23/17

    Fished a couple hours this morning - WT 74, clarity about 5 ft up in North Indian. I'm still fishing the long flat gravel runouts using drop shot worm. Found fish in about 20 - 25 ft sometimes on the bottom, sometimes suspended over 30 -40 ft, sometimes under bait balls. On one occasion the screen went totally dark for the bait fish. Caught 10+ fish mostly Ky, a couple SM, and one Meanmouth, plus some perch that seemed to move in after catching a KY or 2. Most of the Ky were just legal (or close) and the SM all short. Tried swim bait on the flats but no luck with that. Nice morning until about 9:30 when it got hot. Very few boats out. Saw a loose buoy in the middle of the White in about 150 ft up towards Pt. 5 - this one appeared to be floating towards shore. I see this from time to time and if I think they are likely to have found a new permanent home, I mark them on the locator so I don't hit them at night. There were a couple that stayed out in the middle of North Indian for months earlier this year, probably moved by the higher water level.

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