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Showing content with the highest reputation since 12/16/2014 in Articles

  1. 5 points
    I know it's only been two days since my last report, but conditions have change so much that hardly none of the June 26 report holds true for fishing Lake Taneycomo. Here's why. The short answer is that the spill gates at Table Rock Dam were closed yesterday morning. In just a matter of a few days, Beaver Lake was dropped from a high of 1,131.5 feet above sea level to its present level of 1,129.1 feet I think the release was about 25,000 cubic feet per second of water at the heaviest flow. This was in response to a four-inch rain over the weekend that sent the upper White River and other feeder streams out of their banks. Just north of the basin, flash floods sadly inundated the towns of Anderson and Cassville, Missouri, as well as other communities in the area. All of this runoff water eventually feeds Table Rock and that sent its level from 917 to 921 feet -- its present level. When Table Rock hit 920 feet, 10 spill gates were opened to allow a little more than 20,000 c.f.s. of water to pass through to Lake Taneycomo. Only after a few days, the inflow of water into both lakes became manageable through only turbine releases, so spill gates on both dams were closed (Thursday morning.) Presently, Table Rock is releasing 6,000 c.f.s. (two units) of water in the mornings and 10,000 c.f.s. (three units) of water in the afternoons. Water temperature is about 47 degrees and clear. And with little to no rain in the seven-day forecast, I believe this is the most water we'll see for a while. We may see even slower generation in the near future. One other thing about lake levels. Note that Bull Shoals is now at 687.9 feet and rising. Beaver and Bull Shoals are being held at high levels because of the flooding on the Arkansas and Mississippi Rivers. Once these rivers can take water releases from the White River basin, both our tail water, Beaver's tail water and the White River tail water will see heavy flows, probably through the month of August. When the spill gates at Table Rock Dam were open, we saw an influx of warm water that affected our scud population (freshwater shrimp.) They had babies basically . . . lots of babies. It's amazing how fast they multiply given the right environment. We also saw a pretty good flow of small threadfin shad and other small forage fish. Yes, the "white bite" was on! And so was the scud bite. And boy was it good!! And it still is. We are seeing some of the most beefed up rainbows in all my years of fishing this lake. We are catching 17- to 19-inch rainbows that weigh three to four pounds, in some cases, and it's not all just big bellies either. These fish are brutes -- big shoulders -- just big. And fight . . . I've always said the Alaskan rainbows we catch fight harder than any trout I know, but these are giving them a run for their money. It's exciting. Fishing from the cable below the dam down to Trophy Run, stay in the middle and drift, using a drift rig, 1/8th-ounce bell weight, four-pound line and either a single or double fly rig -- #12 or #14 scud in dark gray, olive or brown. You can run it with an egg, shad fly or San Juan Worm as the second fly also. Some are using a white or cream Mega Worm and catching fish. You can drift these flies all the way down to Trout Hollow but stay either in the middle of the lake or on the inside bend -- stay off the bluff side. Jigs - white, of course, have been working, but as the "white bite" lessens, switch to a sculpin, olive, sculpin/ginger or peach, brown/orange or black jig. Use four-pound line when throwing 1/8th- or 3/32nd- ounce jigs and two-pound line when throwing smaller jigs. Try a smaller jig under a float. Drifting night crawlers or orange PowerEggs from Fall Creek down to Short Creek has been good. I've been fishing the inside bank from Cooper Creek down to Monkey Island throwing a variety of jigs and catching some real nice rainbows.
  2. 5 points
    It was supposed to be a memorable trout fishing birthday trip for his brother. But on the last day of a cold and windy outing at Lake Taneycomo, Ken Adam is the one who got a gift he'll never forget. Adam, fishing Monday with brother Steve in an adjacent boat, said he was almost ready to call it a day because of the lousy weather and murky water when he flipped a white and purple McStick lure up close to a floating log. <READ MORE>
  3. 4 points

    2 days out of Big M

    Fished with Liphunter (Mike) Tuesday morning, we started at daylight and fished until 1 PM. Real foggy to start with which limited where we went at first. We tossed Neds for most of the time, found enough fish to stay busy, just couldn't get much quality. We caught around 30 total, mostly spots, one or two largemouth and a nice keeper sized brown fish. Almost all on the Ned, did catch a few on the Kietech and Mike had one to the boat that got off of a Rock Crawler. Fish were located in the main channel off steep banks and points. Today I was solo, got out again at 7 AM and fished until 1 PM. No fog so I was able to motor to a timbered point that I knew was holding early morning fish. Got there to flat water and a few fish on top chasing shad. Threw a jerker at them, they didn't really seem to want it, but did catch a couple, one being a smallmouth that seemed to have challenges getting the bait in it's mouth. Switched over to the Keitech, slow rolled it, sometimes casting to the bank, and sometimes working the deeper water in front of the boat. Caught fish shallow and deep on it, several keepers. Read some reports on here of people catching fish with clipped tails, never noticed any like that myself, but I'll be darned if I didn't catch a nice spot that appears to have the top of its tail clipped. There's a Keitech in this fishes mouth, you can just barely see the jig head. Pretty sure this is a mean, fish was a little darker than the photo shows. Couple more: I did catch a couple on the Ned, but today was mostly about the Keitech. Water temps from 49-52.
  4. 3 points
    Al Agnew

    A couple half days...

    Mary was going to be gone from Thursday to tonight, so I had a choice to make...do I watch the NCAA tournament and overdose on basketball, or go fishing? I didn't make any real plans, just decided to go if the urge struck me. A couple months ago, after I'd gotten up at 5 AM to go play basketball from 6 to 7, with boat trailer already hooked up on the truck so that I could leave for the river right after basketball, Mary was telling her sister Tina what I was doing, and Tina said, "you know, it must be nice to have two things you are that passionate about." So really, although there is not much that would override my passion for fishing, this was basketball...but...I don't love watching basketball quite as much as I love playing. So when I woke up Friday morning, knowing it was going to be a nice day and the trolling motor batteries were already charged, I headed for the Meramec. This is usually the toughest time of the year for me to figure out the bass on the Meramec. They are leaving their wintering pools and heading for spawning areas, but they are so much in transition that sometimes it's hard to find them...or at least find some that are willing to bite. I headed up the river to a certain wintering pool, and then went right on by it to the next riffle upstream, which has a big slow eddy right up against the fast water. Sometimes, that kind of current seam seems to gather the moving fish. Sure enough, using a deep diving crankbait, I hooked a nice smallmouth on about the third cast. A couple casts later, another one. I ended up catching a half dozen there. Okay, got that figured out. But I was curious whether there were any fish left in the wintering pool, especially toward the lower end where I'd found a pile of them earlier in the year. A half hour and two small bass later, I concluded they were gone. So, find more eddies at the bottoms of riffles? I drifted downriver, fishing smaller eddies along good banks with some current, catching a few more small fish...and then a 17 inch male on the crankbait in one of those little areas. So I kept fishing down one more similar bank. Then I hooked a fish that felt much bigger. It came to the surface, and I was excited. This looked like my first 20 incher of the year. I played it carefully and lipped it...well, maybe not quite 20 inches, but it was a heavy, thick female. I put it on the ruler on the front of the boat...18 3/4th inches! Wow, I couldn't believe I'd misjudged the length of that fish so much. Still, it was a great smallie. But then...I KNEW I needed to replace my trolling motor batteries. They had gotten to where they were only putting out half the power they had when good, but that had been enough the last trip I made before spending five weeks in Montana, and I'd kinda forgot about their deterioration. They had supposedly charged up okay the night before. But by the time I caught the big fish, they were about done. A half hour later, I was done...no power. So I headed back to the ramp, and decided to spend the rest of the day working around our cabin on the river, where I'd spend the night. Saturday morning was just too nice. I had to get back on the river. So as soon as the local boat dealer opened at 8 AM, I was there buying trolling motor batteries. I put in at the nearest access to the cabin and headed upriver, hoping the crankbait bite would continue. First spot, two small bass. Second spot, nothing. I tried a couple of riffle bottom eddies. Nothing. Headed upriver as far as I wanted to fish back down, and stopped at a pool that usually produced both winter and summer bass. Two more dinks. The next pool downstream has one of the best riffle bottom eddies of any pool on this stretch. The riffle is fast and dumps into the pool at a near 90 degree angle, with a smallish but beautiful eddy that drops off into 12 feet of water abruptly. First cast with the crankbait--16 incher. Second cast--a heavier fish struck. After the bad guess the day before, I figured when I saw this one that it was probably 18 inches. But it was another heavy female, and this time when I put it on the ruler, it came to 19 inches. The eddy produced four more fish, each one a little smaller than the last, the last one barely 11 inches. I fished down the pool below, catching one more small fish. By that time, you could tell it was a spring Saturday...the jetboat motorheads were showing up, people buzzing up and down the river joyriding, and I was getting a little annoyed. It sure is nicer to fish during the week. I came to a marginal riffle bottom eddy, and caught a marginal fish from it. Next one didn't look as good, and didn't produce anything. I couldn't find any more that looked like they would hold fish. I caught two more little ones, and then it was 4 PM and I was ready to call it quits. But it was nice to get into a couple of good fish, anyway.
  5. 3 points
    Because there are so many facets to this Lake Taneycomo trout story, it's hard to know where to begin. The prime fact is that Paul Crews of Neosho, MO, landed the biggest brown trout Saturday anyone's ever caught in the state of Missouri to date. It was officially weighed by Missouri Department of Conservation Fisheries Biologist Shane Bush and documented at 34 pounds and 10 ounces. That beat the previous state record by a little more than six pounds, caught by Scott Sandusky of Arnold, MO, in November, 2009, also on Lake Taneycomo. Crews and partner, Jimmy Rayfield of Salem, MO, were fishing together in a trout tournament hosted by Lilleys' Landing Resort & Marina on upper Lake Taneycomo. It's called the Vince Elfrink Memorial, named after Vince who was an avid sportsman, husband, father, and friend to many of the participants of the contest, including Crews and Rayfield. Vince passed away in 2011 of brain cancer at the age of 52. And just so happens that the pair won last year's tournament, sealed by a 21-inch brown trout Rayfield had caught. The pair beat out 36 other teams to win this year's event. The day started out foggy and wet, but the afternoon brought out the sun and wind. We all were watching for thunderstorms early but anticipating the high winds forecast for later in the day, and they did arrive about 2 p.m.. Fishing in wind gusts up to 40 m.p.h. is not easy, especially tossing a small 1/8th ounce, sculpin-colored jig around. Working a lure that small in high winds is tough, even with four-pound line, but feeling a bite is virtually impossible, unless it's a huge fish, I guess. Crews and Rayfield had had a good day up to the minute the big fish was hooked. They had been fishing down from Lilleys' Landing most of the day but ventured up to the mouth of Fall Creek to make a drift, working their jigs along the east bank. Crews said they were in shallow water, able to see the bottom under their boat as they drifted. Table Rock Dam was releasing water at a rate of 6,850 cubic feet per second, generating two units at 3 p.m. Even with the difficulty of the wind blowing his line, Crews still felt a "tap" and set the hook. That's when the excitement started. The fish came off the bank where it was hooked and ran toward the duo, swimming under their boat. Crews had to scramble his new rig, spinning it around so that his line didn't catch the edge of the boat or trolling motor. The trout stayed down almost the entire fight, so Crews didn't really know what he had until the very end, but he knew it was big enough "to probably win the tournament" if he landed it. Little did he know . . . "Frank'' eventually headed across the lake to the bluff bank, then switched back to the middle and eventually returned to the inside bank where docks dot the shore. Yes, the fish has a name explained later in the story. Frank then headed to places he's probably familiar with -- the docks. Crews said he swam under at least two docks. That heightened the high risk that the line might be cut on the dock itself or boats in the docks. Crews, a seasoned angler, kept his rod way down in the water to keep the line from rubbing on anything that would end his fight. At one point, Crews said that Frank quit moving. He thought for sure Frank had wrapped his line around something and escaped. But Frank was just resting, and a fish that big can do whatever he wants to do. Eventually, he came out, tired and ready to give in. Rayfield worked their net over his head and the pair hoisted the fished into the boat. They were just above Short Creek when the fight ended. Crews had just bought a new boat and this was its maiden voyage. Fortunately, the live well was just big enough to fit Frank in, but he filled every bit of it. Word got back to me that they were boating in with a huge fish, so we had everything ready to receive the package. Frank was immediately placed in a large, aerated tank on our dock to rest after his ordeal. We determined right off the bat that we'd try to keep Frank alive regardless if he was a new record or not. Once he uprighted himself and was swimming around, we pulled him out and recorded a quick, unofficial weight of 33.4 pounds. He was easily a new Missouri state record. Now we had to come up with a plan to transport him to the hatchery to be officially weighed. We filled a stock tank full of lake water and that's where Frank rode, guarded by admirers in the back of my truck on the five-mile ride to the Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery. Shane Bush was there with hatchery personnel, ready with their official scale to see if Frank made the record books or not. Everything was done quickly and carefully, pulling him out of the stock tank to the scale, verifying his weight at 34 pounds, 10 ounces, and then moving him to an aerated tank in Shane's truck. We still had no pictures out of the water, just shaky videos, but the goal was to return him back in the lake as quickly as possible. We caravaned down to the boat ramp access, less than a mile from the weigh in site. Shane needed to get some official measurements before release -- 38 inches long with a 27-inch girth. He confirmed our observations that the adipose fin had been clipped, which identified Frank as a triploid brown trout. I'll explain what that means later. The sun was about to set over Table Rock Dam, so we hurried to the edge of the water to take a few pictures -- Crews and Rayfield with the new Missouri state record brown trout. We slipped Frank into the water, and Crews gently held him there until he swam out of his hand. We followed him a little ways downstream until he turned and swam close to the bank, holding his own in the swift water. Frank dashed the record books, survived being fought, handled, trucked, weighed, trucked and photographed and before sundown was back in Lake Taneycomo -- we hope to keep growing and maybe, just maybe, give someone else a chance to catch a state record fish. Crews lives with his best friend and wife, Rita, and their son Matthew in Neosho, Missouri. They own Crews Construction and specialize in wastewater treatment plant construction. He is an avid outdoorsman, but his home waters are the Spring and Neosho rivers as well as Grand Lake, so he rarely fishes for trout except in the annual tournament honoring his fishing buddy. Frank's story - we've always had trout hovering under our dock, feeding on pieces and parts of fish discarded from our fish cleaning facility. And on occasion there will be a big trout, either brown or rainbow, stop by for a treat. They move up and down the lake seeking out the best meal, never staying in one spot very long. One day about three years ago, Duane Doty (dockhand and guide for Lilleys' Landing) spotted a very large brown. He stood out from the other trout. He was a brute. Duane called him Frank. Shortly after Frank showed up, another brown trout showed up and he was much bigger! Duane changed Frank's name to Frankie and called the new addition Frank. We have since videoed and photographed Frank many times when he has trolled by, so we have good records on him. To sum up this incredible story up, fishing in a memorial tournament, named after his best friend, Paul Crews hooks a fish in extremely adverse conditions, fights a 34-pound fish on four-pound line for 20 minutes around docks, logs and boat traffic and lands it using a small trout net. He fits it in his live well and keeps it alive while transporting it to be officially weighed, measured and photographed and released back in the lake successfully to keep the story alive. And Crews says, "Praise the Lord!" Credit: Ryan Miloshowski for pictures.
  6. 3 points
    I survived another year of crazy... Saturday we woke up, had some breakfast and then hit basspro for a bit to pick up a new hoodie wife bought me. Grabbed some more soft plastics while we were there to go beat on the bass again. Got a late start but my older two daughters still have the fish whispering down pat and the oldest hooked up on her first cast. Followed by my middle one shortly after. Nothing huge, but makes me proud they are catching all on their own, and fishing by feel too which for me took way longer to really get the hang of when I was young. It was about 90 so they didn't last too long. Wife and kids headed in and I got a few hours of quiet time to chase them on my own. Caught a couple solid fish and saw a big ol girl that would probably go 6lbs easy in the back end of the pond. I will say I'm starting to be a true believer in HUK gear. I have a few fishing shirts to keep the sun off me, but I picked up their vented hoodie and it's just a great clothing item I wish I would of found sooner. Was hot in direct sun, but had a breeze and I stayed nice and cool even with my hood up to protect my bald head lol. My dad had 9 spots on his hands and arms burned of recently so I am trying to be more cautious when out in the sun. Overall was a great day too spend with the wife and kiddos.
  7. 3 points
    So CajunAngler and I headed North for our annual Spring Fishing Trip. This was a terrible year to decide to try a lake further north, but that’s how it goes. I was pushing to go back to Oklahoma, but he bamboozled me with talknof catching a Musky. Pomme here we come. Sunday AM I’m driving thru snowy sub freezing temps with heavy clouds and a pretty stiff wind from NW. Things didn’t look so Great, but we’re hard headed and reasoned that the weather would steadily improve as the week wore on. We stowed our gear inthe rental place and launched at an unimproved ramp in Decker Creek. Water temp was 51 or so. Water had a Lot of stain, but wasn’t muddy. Wind was brutal, but we bundled up. First freaking cast of the trip, Johnny catches a 4 plus LMB on an A rig. As it turns out, That was the only A rig fish on the week, but still. Fish was holding in 15 FOW on downside of wind blown point. We move inside the pocket a little bit and first freaking cast with a Wart he catches a 6 lb 9 oz Largemouth. I’m freaking out over the fast start and the quality of the fish he caught. Before too long, I got a > 3 lb Largie on a crank. Warts, RK’s, and the like would occasionally catch a fish the rest of the day. It was a grind, but quality of the fish was Excellent and we were Happy to be getting bit at all. We almost didn’t fish and assumed we might zero. We planned.on quitting a little early, but stayed to almost dark. Monday was colder and almost as windy, but no snow and no clouds. It felt a little warmer, but water temp was slow to respond. Fish were slow. Crankbait fish were not biting. Johnny got a Goo on a jerkbait to get us started. I got a non keeper on a Ned. We headed into Quarry area to get out of wind. Johnny got a couple little guys on Ned. I was trying a GYCB 4 inch Twin Tail Hula Grub in 236. Throwing tight to rock wall and hopping it down the ledges. No much happening, but I stuck with it. So, I lifted it up after a cast and it felt heavy. A sharp lift up for the hookset and there was no response just got heavier and heavier. Johnny asked what was up and I honestly did not know. Finally, I got some slow kicks deeer and deeper under the boat so I knew I had something heavy. Eventually, I worked it up to the surface and we got a big flash of color as it drove down again and Johnny asked if that was a Musky. I realized it was a Musky. Holy Crap! I’ve got a Musky hooked up. Johnny got a big net out and helped me get the beast in the net. It had been caught before and didn’t look pristine. The fight was fairly subdued for a fish just under 38 inches which was good since I had 8 lbs line. Woot Woot! My day was made andda new fish added to Lifetime list. Monday afternoon we continued to search around and caught a few more fish primarily on Ned rigs. No more crankbait fish. Saw water temps approaching 56, but most places cooler. Tuesday Morning was warmer with fun temps forecast for afternoon. We packed shorts in the boat. We launched in Pittsburgh Public Use area. That ramp is fairly far up Lindley Creek. That ramp is long and steep with a poorly designed and executed turn around area. All parking on top of hill so there is a long walk back to boat. Another windy day, but out of south. It warmed nicely. The fish did not care. It was still a grind. Ran around lots of places, but finally Johnny said let’s go back to dirty water up river. We found warmer water and a few fish in some wood cover. I got a 4 lb ad a 3 lb LMB pitching Baby Brush Hogs, Johnny got a few chunky bass as well. We got to wear shorts. Life was Good. Wednesday the forecast was for even heavier winds from NW again with falling temps. We opted for lauching at Boliver and going as far up Pomme De Terre river as we dared. we got a couple of nice fish in shallow dirty water off river channel. We kept heading up looking for a wind break and exploring the river. We went far enough that the water got clear and the river bottom got rocky. Johnny said no more when electronics said 2 FZoW under keel. We expected smallies, but caught everything else except smallies. Using a variety of baits we caught LMB, Drum, White Bass (Small), crappie, and a little walleye. It’s beautiful up there and we caught fish, but quality was gone. We talked it over during the day and decided to head in a little early and load up. We fished BSL Thursday and caught almost 30 bass with a lot of keepers including some smallies. All in all a good trip. Fishing was slow because of water temp, but quality was excellent. I know they must have good numbers of fish, but you would know it by the numbers we caught. I was surprised at how small all the White Bass were. What’s the deal with that. I was stunned by the amount of used fishing line we caught with our lures. At least 11 times we got tangled in lost or discarded fishing line. Id love to go back to Pomme De Terre in early Summer or Fall.
  8. 3 points
    With his father's help, Zaniel Cole, 8, has done the unthinkable in Oklahoma. Not only did Zaniel snag a 100-pound paddlefish, but he also managed to snag a rare shovelnose sturgeon the very same day! Paddlefish and shovelnose sturgeon are distant cousins in the order Acipenseriformes and date to the time of the dinosaurs, which is why they are referred to as "prehistoric fishes." Although they are the most abundant sturgeon in North America, shovelnose sturgeon numbers have declined over the past century and they are rare in Oklahoma. So, catching a shovelnose sturgeon the same day as a 100-pound paddlefish is a notable thrill. Shovelnose sturgeon are not federally protected in Oklahoma, but they are listed as a Species of Special Concern in Category II. This means there is insufficient information to adequately evaluate the population status or species trend in Oklahoma. Harvest of shovelnose sturgeon is legal with a limit of one per day. However, any shovelnose sturgeon caught in the state is required to be reported to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. Zaniel and his father, Adam, released the shovelnose sturgeon and reported their catch to the Wildlife Department. Their story was shared on the Wildlife Department's Facebook page and has quickly become very popular. Learn more about the shovelnose sturgeon in the upcoming May/June issue of Outdoor Oklahoma, the official Wildlife Department magazine. Anglers should take special precautions when handling paddlefish. It is best to avoid holding or grabbing the fish by its jaw or gills. Just remember to #HugAPaddlefish (Photos Courtesy of Adam Cole)
  9. 3 points
    I had planned on fishing around Akers Ferry to try for a few more new species for the 2017 season. I had caught two new species, the central stoneroller and the striped shiner, for 2017 at Montauk earlier in the day, I knew that knobfin sculpin were prevalent in that part of the Current river. Last year I had caught southern redbelly dace in a small creek near the Ferry access. So I was confident that we could catch at least a couple of new species on this trip. Livie caught the first knobfin sculpin of the trip, which was her first of this species. Then I caught one as well. I would love to say that it was challenging to catch these scuplin, but once we found some they were everywhere. Microfishing to me is not about high numbers, but targeting some new species. We could have caught many more sculpin, but went after darters and minnows instead. Livie caught the first darter, a female rainbow darter. We switched rods and I caught my first rainbow darter of the year (4th new species on the day; first fish below). I was surprised that the males still had some of their breeding coloration like Livie's male (second fish). We were surrounded by a large school of larger minnows. I caught one of these guys, another central stoneroller. They frustrated Livie to no end and she just could not get one to bite again. By this time it was getting really hot (possibly up to the mid 90s). After leaving the river, I still wanted to see if we could catch a southern redbelly dace. unfortunately the creek was just a trickle due to the lack of rain this summer. We had a great day. At the end of this trip, I had caught more different sp[ecies than I have ever done is a given year. I also have caught a larger number of fish in a given year than I ever have before. Yet I feel that there are still many species yet to catch and it may be possible that I may catch many more fish yet this year.
  10. 2 points
    White River Outfitters Guide Service Table Rock Current Fishing Report Real Nice Table Rock Lake Spotted Bass 3.15 pounds. Picked up Bill and Jack at Mill Creek Resort at 0600 and headed for the mouth of the James. Fished around Point 9 for a couple of hours swimming a 3.3 Keitech in Pro-Blue and caught some very nice SM. Boat in 15'. Wind started to blow and we headed up the James, surrounded by MLF guys, which this morning all minded their own P's and Q's and we did not have to contend with them. Most of the locations I caught them on Saturday were high and dry We did manage to catch 4 up there 3 SM and 1 really nice K. One on a jig and the others on the Keitech. These fish were 15' and under. As I was coming out we saw Pete at the cut thru Island below Jackson and his client had a nice fish on a jig. Here is where it is much better to be lucky than good. I have not seen a schooling fish to speak of all year and right at the mouth of the White, thar-she-blew. LM, K's and Jaw's a plenty. There were big chops out there and they were blowing right in the waves. Here is the deal, we stayed on those fish for almost 2 hrs. Mostly catching them on a Fin and a swimbait, it was amazing. These fish were blowing in 90ft. plus and they just kept on and kept on. I never leave when they are biting like that regardless of time but we eventually left when it started thundering and wind blowing just to much. Have no idea of numbers but it was pretty stupid. Just some thumper fish with the 3.15 lb. K in the picture with Jack being the biggest.
  11. 2 points
    I"m gong to start this in reverse order starting today and going back thru the past week. My work load has been totally Table Rock 8hr. trips with the exception of a trout attack on Sunday. Most of the past week has been corporate stuff. This year with really good clients that wanted to be there and fish. At times this is not the case. 4-30-19 National Crop Insurance group staying at Tall Pines Pete Wenners and Phil Stone helped on this trip today and it was really pretty good just prior to the storm. We started in the lower lake area fishing topwater on a cloudy overcast morning with surface temps at 56 and water clarity at clear beyond clear. All of us had huge blowups and swats and nothing to show for it. Fish would just blow up all over or behind it and follow it to the boat but Pete's group was the only one that captured one on top and that was mid morning. I believe Pete's best deal where he could find a slime free location was a 5bites Ned Rig. Both Stone's group and my group caught them on a 2.8 inch Keitech. We had 15 keepers and 19 total fish in my boat which was excellent keeper to catch ratio. This was a 4 hr. trip. I think Phil did about the same. 4-29-19 Six hour bass out of Shell Knob. We caught a butt load of fish yesterday but the keeper ratio was really bad. Lots of spawned out and male LM. Several on top but the majority on a Keitech either 2.8 or 3.3 I think we had close to 50 fish with only a dozen or so small keeps. Surface temp at 56 and water clearer than the lower end. 4-28-19 was a trout day. We had 41 for anyone interested on a Berkley Power Worm 7' under a float. Had some just flat excellent fish. 4-27-19 Dental Group of Missouri. We had a fantastic day in the wind and boat traffic on the Rock. " Truly Stellar." Lots and lots of boat traffic but not bothering us one little bit. They were not fishing what I was fishing. Surprise, surprise. Had 35 bass with 15 really nice keepers, all Jaw's. Boat was in 30 to 40 feet letting the 3.3 inch Keitech hit on the very ends of the long runnouts just before they dropped into the channel. We were fishing with a 1/4 oz. Keitech tungston head with a 2/0 hook. We would let the bait sink to the bottom and then slow wind it back. Most times it was hitting in 15' to 20' to staging fish. 4-26-19 Fished out of Shell Knob with a pair of fishermen about to fish the Shriner derby. Struggled all day, catching crappie and short fish. Probably had 20 bass a dozen crappie and a couple of squeeker keeps. Keitech. 4-25-19 Fished Mid-lake Baxter 56 degree water and they were biting on the long runs, most fish were staging in the 15' to 25' range and we caught them swimming the Keitech thru them. Had 21 quality keepers, mostly SM and most averaging 2.6 to 2.9 pounds. Thats a slim range but most were males and cookie cutter. Had 8 crappie 4-24-19 Same as on the 25th. but had 26 keepers and no crappie. Mostly fishing the long run out ridges near the big spawning pockets I will tell you I only fished the same location once all week and it was a huge gravel flat up the James a bit prior to point 10. We hit it twice Saturday and on the 24th. It is really solid with keepers. Saw at least a dozen boats fish near it on the bank and in the pocket and never seen a fish caught while my guys were really sticking them off the end of that gravel. With all the boats Saturday we had no problems, I think everyone including the tournament participants knew the lake was crowded and everyone so as to speak stayed in their lanes. This lake right now is in great shape. Not a load of 4 to 8 pounders, but absolutely great on 2.to 4 pound fish. Good Luck out there.
  12. 2 points
    Made it down to the lake Friday the 24th at around 4 in the afternoon and tried to find some fish in trees with little success; only catching a few largemouth and spots. Did land a few keepers all on the drop shot. Made it out early Saturday morning and saw a ton of schoolers till the sun burned the cloud cover off around 9 a.m. caught a nice largemouth on a jig and quite a few brown bass and spots. Found a school of very nice fish that I just couldn't manage to hook up on when they would come up. Had a pig of a smallmouth knock a whopper plopper about 2 feet out of the water when they were schooling. Overall caught almost all of them on a drop shot anywhere from about 28-40 feet. Evening bite was not as strong but it was the same deal with the drop shot on deep gravel. Sunday morning was my best morning. Caught a nice smallie and some good kentuckys too. Same deal though, drop shot in 30-40 feet. Darker colors worked best for me the whole time. The purple/brown strike king dream shot was my weapon of choice. Still my favorite lake in the state. I'll be back as soon as I can get away from school again. I was elected president of the Mizzou Bass Fishing team so if any of you would like to support us we would obviously appreciate it. Tight lines, Dave Goddard.
  13. 2 points
    White River Outfitters Table Rock Lake Current Fishing Report Well the Surface temps have upped and then down and now back up. We have gone in the mid-lake area from 88.9 down to 79.9 to today at 84 degree in the last 8 to 10 days. My gravy train of concentrated fish has ended and they have scattered throughout the entire water column. We had top water fish this morning and If I had been there quicker we would have had more. This deal has really changed. Lots of singles and very few multiples. The best fish chasing are SM and they will hit a top water if you can get it to them in a hurry. Had been catching some of the Dixie Jet but just a couple of pecks on it this morning. Most fish coming on the drop shot in 27 to 36 ft. either on the bottom or suspended. Again lots of nice size K's not as big as they have been but most pushing the 14.5 to 15.5 inch mark. There are shad of every size right now and the K's seem to be hitting the young Threadfin and the Big Jaw's are after the small Gizzards. When you see a single fish chase its going to be a nice jaw in the mid-lake area, if you see multiple its K's and Whites. On the drop shot this morning if we could see them we got bit most of the time. We however were hunting for singles and doubles and did not see a single set of marks with over 3 fish in the school. The last month I've been fishing to worming schools of K's that had multiples of 10 in them. Man we had a great bite here from May to August 1st. Now we are kind of back to Summer fishing where the fish have seen just about everything we have to offer them and on top of that they decided they don't like each other and have singled and paired up. There are probably some big whites to be caught if you wanted to work at them, but most of my folks have been after the green fish. I believe however you could target them in the pockets. This morning we had LM-K-SM and White so a bit of everything except my normal Eye. Shad shape worm and a cut tail early then they got fussy and wanted the real thing about 9 AM so we gave it to them. Nothing on a jigging spoon, only the top water and the drop shot baits. The photo's are from the last several days. Here is a really nice Jaw on a Lake Fork 6" chrome spoon that was chasing Gizzards Here is the release swim away
  14. 2 points
    I decided to post some smallmouth pictures of fish caught during a three day trip wading trip to New York State last month in hopes that this audience will be more appreciative than the guys at work. When we talk about our vacations and I talk about fishing, I receive comments like, “I hate fishing--it is so boring”. And, this comment is from a guy who goes to Florida with his family for a week and as far as I can tell, mainly just sets on the beach or swimming pool. Oh well, I suppose if everyone was as passionate about fishing as most of us on this board, then our fishing waters would be way too congested. My wife is from the Buffalo area and I’ve come to appreciate the fly fishing in the area through the years while visiting her family. I usually do a Spring and/or Fall Steelhead trip, however some Springs I get up there too late for Steelhead and so, like this year, we mainly fished for smallmouth bass. --ozarkflyfisher
  15. 2 points

    Turnback Time

    No we are not talking Cher singing on a battleship here. We are talking a white bass report, Mrs. BilletHead and I had a pretty nice morning outing . Water temps 61 to 63.5 degrees. Windy, very windy and overcast. Sprinkle or two. Shot one shoal and stayed below the second. Started by anchoring in two foot of water. Mrs. BilletHead had two fish before I could get a cast in. We would work an area. Pull anchor drop and repeat. Pat used floating line. I literally fought sink tip in the shallow water. Getting snagged a bunch. Actually she was beating me up pretty bad until I switched to floating line. Clousers would go deep enough and snagging problem disappeared. In the thin water just smallish males. As we worked to a max depth of five feet larger fish showed up. There was a stretch of maybe a half mile of straight river we fished between eight AM until ten-thirty before picking up and heading to the ramp. in the deeper water we used the trolling motor until we hit fish and dropped anchor again. Pink over white Clousers and chartreuse over orange is all we used. The Mrs. shooting one out, Proof channel cat like pink, Pat had white bass thumb today, I caught one of the biggest whites I have ever caught today. The rule here is 15 inches. Got a good measurement at home. Wouldn't make 18 inches but close, Totals when we remembered to click . Never seen another soul until we got back down river. Good day to spend with my bride and best friend, BilletHead
  16. 2 points
    Submitted by Brian Shaffer. May 25, 2013
  17. 2 points
    Bull Shoals Reservoir is one-of-a-kind. It's character doesn't resemble many other man-made lakes in the country. It's banks are, for the most part, void of docks or buildings. It seems as if it's lost in time when the Ozark Indians used to use the once White River for their source of life. What about the fishing?! As many lakes in the midwest, white bass are a sought after trophy, for their meat and for their fight. I remember years ago in Oklahoma, to name one state, white were considered a trash fish and not fit to eat. No limits on this abundant fish didn't seem to deter the population on most lakes and rivers. There seemed to be an endless number schooling up and down the flats, devouring and schools of shad in their way. Times have changed, as they do, and the white bass, or called sand bass in some other parts of the country, have become coveted as crappie and walleye (well- almost). Most anglers come out of the woodwork on warm, sunny days in March and April to line the banks and fill the channels with their boats to do what? Chase whites. When do the whites start their march? All depends on the weather. In January, we start to see white bass show up when fishing for winter crappie off mud flat banks or fishing for walleye off the flat channel in deeper water. On into February, more start to show from K-Dock up to Beaver Creek in the main channels and you can usually depend on finding them close to the bottom. How do you locate them? Find them through countless days of drifting and trolling in this 4 to 6 miles stretch... or... read my reports and I'll tel you where I've either caught them or heard of other catching them. I don't know about you but I can't afford to spend countless anything but working here at the resort! Once found, they won't move too far too fast-- especially if they are close to say Beaver Creek where they will run up to spawn. How to catch pre spawn whites- as I said, they will be close to the bottom of the lake. **Bull Shoals is designed to be the holding basin for the White River Chain of lakes-- it can hold lots of water. About 15 years ago, they put 40 feet of water over the normal pool-- that's allot of water!! Then normal thin lake went sprawling all over the place and it was difficult to find anything in so much water.** You need a good depth finder, not necessarily to find the whites but to see what kind of depth you're in. Finding the fish is good too. Lures and techniques- your preference from here. I like jigs. I use 1/18th and even 1/4th oz jigs, depending on the depth and wind conditions. I use marabou mostly when vertical jigging. White, blue, chartreuse, gray, yellow, purple.... I switch around until I find a color to their liking. Some people like to jerk spoons. I've never got the hang of that but I know it works. One thing to remember when working either a jig or spoon up and down-- look for it to stop before it hits bottom. You won't feel the proverbial tap like when retrieving a lure- they usually take the lure on the drop. Drifting minnows on the bottom is good. Either with the wind or current. Careful not to use too much weight so as to get hung on the bottom a lot. Trolling deep diving crank baits is also good- blue/silver hot-n-tots, shad raps and heavy rooster tails. If the lake level is low enough, use 1/8th oz lead heads and swimming minnows and work them slowly across the bottom. We use several colored minnows including motor oil, blue, purple, chartreuse and smoke. Powersite will start holding white bass early in the season. Either fishing from a boat or the banks, working crank baits or swimming minnows is current or not can be productive. You really never know what you'll catch up there too- whites, crappie, black bass, rainbow or brown trout, drum, carp, catfish, walleye- even striper now. That's why they call it the "Pot Hole". Night fishing for pre spawn whites is very popular and productive closer to the spawn. I've headed out in my boat from River Run on many a night, while others are heading in. I head down to the "Willows" and anchor in current along the mud bank in about 18 feet of water. I throw a purple swimming minnow (1/16th oz lead head in medium current and 1/8th in heavy current) towards the bank almost at a 90 degree angle and let the lure drop close to the bottom before retrieving it. When the lure makes the swing at the back of the boat, I usually get the strike. This is when we catch a lot of the "sows" or female whites- big whites!! Conditions do have to be just right for this to happen but in most years- we do get water generation at night and we do catch whites this way. Other ways to catch whites at night- off the banks- the same willow bank, the mouth of Swan Creek, up close to Powersite Dam and the mouth of Beaver Creek. Use slow-moving lures like jigs, grubs or swimming minnows and work them close to the bottom. Darker colored lures usually work best. Spawning whites- when does it really happen? Water conditions in the creeks need to be: warm- 60 degrees or higher; running water preferred; water color- I believe anything but extremely muddy. In the spring, weather fronts and rains play havoc on fishing. "The whites and running- now their not- it's too muddy- water is too high- too low- too clear- too cold- new moon- old moon." If you're like me, you spend half your time chasing "stories" about what happened yesterday and coming up empty. In early to mid April, our white bass are usually in peak spawn and most of the time, you'll find white spawning on up into May. Whites will certainly stay in the creeks into June sometimes feeding on minnows. Early mornings and late evenings in low light times, whites generally make a run up in our creeks and are easy pickings. Night time too. Whites will moving up in creeks and then hold in deep pools before continuing on their trek. People wading using minnows in holes below riffles usually do real well. Use 4 lb line with a small split shot and #8 hook. Toss the line in the current and let it settle in the pool. If the pool isn't real deep, blue rebels are a hot lure to use. Jerk it erratically, triggering the strike. This technique works on post spawn whites too in the main lake and in creeks. Working swimming minnows through these pools also is good. Use different colors- depending on water color- till you find a color they will hit. Fly fishing is a blast for whites in the creeks now. Fly fishing is the best technique for fishing the fast riffles and pockets along these riffles. Use small jigs, streamers and even nymphs like stones and hellgrammites. Whites usually like flashy flies. Whites bass hang around the same areas for weeks after spawning, usually out closer to the mouths of the creeks and in the main lake. After spawning, they are vivacious feeders and very aggressive. Jerk baits like the blue rebel and sluggos are a blast to use. We fish up in Swan Creek with small sluggos into the month of June and in clear water, you can see the white swarming the lure as you twitch it in. Main lake- rattle traps is one of the best lures to locate and catch whites. Bottom line- white bass is a great sport fish to fish for and even to eat. I hope this helps you have a successful fishing trip this spring.
  18. 1 point
    Back in the 1970s and 80s, several regional outdoor writers, including as I remember Larry Dablemont as well as a couple Arkansas Game and Fish guys, wrote several articles in regional magazines extolling the virtues of the fishing for big smallmouth on the Kings River, which fired my imagination to no end. I did make it to the Kings sometime around that time period. As I remember, I floated from Trigger Gap to the Hwy. 62 bridge one day, and from the bridge down to the next access the next day. I remember the float above the bridge being somewhat of a disappointment, as there was barely enough water to float and it was quite clear. Back then, I thought that all the best smallmouth waters had to have some color, like the Meramec, Big, and Bourbeuse that I was used to fishing. I don't remember much at all about the lower float, so it must not have been all that great, either. I have a few photos of the upper float, but not many, and I was really into photographing my floats back then and I've always been a sucker for photographing bluffs, so there must not have been that many impressive bluffs on either float. But I had seen some photos of the river farther upstream that looked really cool, and I kept it in the back of my mind that one day I'd do a float from Marble down. I even stopped one time at the Marble Access on the way to somewhere else just to check it out. It was VERY low, just a trickle of water, and there were several filleted remains of...spotted bass? I certainly didn't remember seeing or catching any spots on that float below Trigger Gap...something made me think I caught a few below Hwy. 62, though. Later on, I read from Dablemont or somebody that the big smallmouth had disappeared from the Kings. So the idea of floating the upper river went further onto the back burner. So this summer, when I started thinking about my annual three day solo float, the Kings didn't pop into my mind at first. But my secret creek that used to be so spectacularly good fishing had been a little disappointing the last couple years, and I started entertaining thoughts of floating somewhere else. Somewhere new, maybe? And finally I thought of the upper Kings. I checked the water levels a few weeks back, and was somewhat shocked to see that the only gauge on the Kings was reading 50 cubic feet per second. That's low. I don't consider a stream to be floatable without a lot of dragging and scraping bottom unless it's at least 75 cfs. I checked to see what the exact location of the gauge was, and was even more surprised to see that it's a bit downstream from the river's biggest tributary, Osage Creek. Wow, if it was that low below Osage Creek, how low would it be upstream? I started making backup plans while watching the gauge occasionally. Well, the Kings got a good rise a couple weeks ago, and it seemed to be keeping its level well above normal for this time of year. Looked like the Kings float was still on. In fact, I really like my solo float to be on water that IS a little too low for anybody else to think seriously about floating it, and the gauge was still reading well above 100 cfs. I finally decided that the Kings was my choice. On Tuesday I called Kings River Outfitters at Trigger Gap to arrange a shuttle from Marble down to their place. "There's not enough water to float up there," the guy said. I explained that I was used to floating streams that were too low to float, and expected to have to get out and walk some of the riffles. "Okay, as long as you know what you're getting into," he said. I made the five plus hour drive to the vicinity Wednesday afternoon, staying at a nice little motel in Berryville overnight, and met my shuttle guy at 8 AM Thursday morning. We drove up to the put-in at Marble, and my first good look at the river up there was just about what I expected...fairly clear, and the riffle at the put-in looked to be flowing about 50 cfs. Yep, I was going to be walking some riffles, but I'd probably be able to float most of them at that level, though I'd scrape rocks on most of those I floated. I loaded my two coolers, and two drybags with all my clothing, camping gear, and miscellaneous stuff into the solo canoe. I'd picked up a couple of the more expensive high tech coolers recently, and they were considerably heavier than my old cheap coolers, so the canoe seemed to sit lower in the water. I had plenty of ice in them. One held my food, the other my beverages and water. I started down that first riffle and dragged bottom with the rear of the canoe a lot worse than I thought I would, so I stopped, and reloaded everything to balance my load better. The river looked pretty good for fishing, and I was excited to be fishing new water, but it took a while to catch the first fish, and it was a largemouth. So was the next one, then I caught a couple spotted bass. Finally a smallmouth. I was trying topwater without much success, but my homemade crankbait was catching a few, as was a spinnerbait. But the fishing was disappointingly slow. There were nice looking pools, but a lot of the river was bedrock bottomed, and even the bluff pools were different from what I was used to. The geology was such that the bluffs were layered in thin beds, and the cliffs came right down to the water and then the solid rock sloped off into the middle of the pool. Because of the thin beds of rock, there wasn't much big chunk rock underwater, just solid, flat bedrock with ledges. I just didn't think it looked like great habitat even in the deeper pools. And the low flow meant that there weren't many deep, fast runs, just shallow riffles and bedrock bottomed pools. But the landscape was gorgeous. Some of those bluffs were a hundred feet high, came right down to the water, and the river had undercut the base until you could paddle all the way back under the overhangs. This upper river is, in some ways, pretty civilized, with a lot of cleared land and cattle, but those bluffs were really cool. I planned on floating from Marble to a bit below Marshall Ford the first day, so I kept moving. It's a little over 11 miles between those two accesses, and I hadn't gotten on the river until after 9 AM, but I knew I could float til nearly dark...I don't cook my meals on these hot weather trips, so all I would have to do was set up my tent, which takes about 10 minutes. I was floating over about 75% of the riffles, though almost never without scraping bottom. My biggest early problem was a private, torn up low water bridge that I had to portage over, and portaging required almost completely unloading the canoe. Then I came to a stretch where I was having to get out and walk nearly every riffle. I wondered if this was a losing reach, a geological term where part or all the flow of a stream sinks underground to emerge again farther downstream. This went on for about a mile and then there seemed to be more water again, though I didn't notice any inflow. I finally caught a very nice largemouth, about 17 inches, on a walk the dog topwater, and a few decent smallmouth, 13-14 inchers. I think I ended up with about 40 bass for the day, almost evenly divided between the three species. The spotted bass were fat and as good as any of the bass I caught that day, and since they are native to these streams I was happy to catch them. In mid-afternoon I passed three guys in kayaks, and I wondered if they were the reason the fishing was slow, but after I passed them it didn't get any better; in fact, it got worse for a while. Then it picked up a bit, then finally just about died by the time I came to the second low water bridge that required portaging. At least this one had been furnished with ramps on both sides that appeared to be specifically for portaging canoes over it, but I still had to unload the boat again. There was a big sign saying "Marshall Ford, 1 mile downstream". I figured that some people would be confused and think they had come to the take-out, even though Marshall Ford has been a high bridge for a while now. There had been no lack of good camping gravel bars until I passed under the bridge, and then it took more than a mile farther before I found a usable bar that didn't have a lane coming onto it or a cabin next to it. I finally picked a small, narrow bar with barely enough flat area to pitch the tent, a half hour before dark. It was a picturesque spot, though, with a smooth, colorful sandstone cliff opposite the bar. I'd noted that the geology had changed in the last couple miles, with the bluffs floored with that smooth sandstone instead of the shelving, undercut limestone, and there was more chunk rock in the pools. I set up the tent in nearly the last light, and brought out my smoked chicken leg quarters, potato salad, and cole slaw out of the cooler, with a cold sweet tea, and ate as the stars began to appear. A single mosquito buzzed around my ear for a bit. It was warm, so when I went into the tent I lay atop the sleeping bag, reading a Kindle book on my cell phone until my eyelids drooped. I was up at daylight, and quickly broke down the tent, loaded the canoe, and started my day of fishing. And as the morning went along the fishing got better. I hate to admit this...I've never been a big fan of the Whopper Plopper, but for some reason I decided to try one, and for the first time, it was almost magic. The water had gotten clearer...yesterday it had about 3-4 feet visibility, but it was 5 feet or better by the time I'd gotten to camp last night. The walk the dog topwater was producing a few fish, but the Whopper Plopper was doing better by far. Lots of smallmouth, almost none of the other two species. By the end of this day I had caught 113 bass, with only one spotted bass and two largemouth. Most, however, were small, under 12 inches. When I would get a strike from a 13-14 incher on the Plopper it was vicious, and often I thought it was a big one until I had it on long enough to get a good look. I remember one 14-incher that really shocked me. A couple weeks ago I'd damaged a tendon in my left arm, my casting arm. I could cast okay backhanded, but I had to use two hands on a forehand or overhand cast, and my elbow was still sore and weak. This fish clobbered the lure as it neared the canoe, and then drove toward the rear of the canoe so hard that it nearly jerked the rod out of my hand and really HURT my arm. In late afternoon, the best fish of the trip blew up on the Plopper, coming completely out of the water and knocking the lure three feet. I twitched it once and the big smallmouth came back and got it. It measured 18 1/4th inches. I got strikes from a couple others that missed that might have been that big or bigger, but given the way I'd overestimated some of those 14 inchers when they hit, I can't say that for certain. It's 16 miles from Marshall Ford to Rockhouse, the next access, and the bluffs, while different, are even more impressive in some ways than those undercut cliffs upstream. Some of them are over 200 feet high. I had planned to stop for the evening a mile or so above Rockhouse, but again there just wasn't the perfect gravel bar, so I kept fishing and passed the access, going nearly two more miles downstream before picking out a huge, high bar adjacent to a wooded bluff. I'd covered more than 16 miles. But one reason I'd floated so many miles is that the habitat was getting worse. There were longer stretches of shallow water with very little cover between the good pools. Some stretches were bedrock bottomed, others were wide, gravelly bottomed pools that looked good from upstream but turned out to be a foot deep when you got into them. So I'd paddle through those long unproductive stretches to fish the good water. I passed a creek called Dry Creek, which actually wasn't very well named, because it was flowing enough water to increase the flow of the river by a good 25%. Now the riffles were all floatable--except I soon began to come to very wide, gravel riffles that were two inches deep all the way across. I later passed another creek that was flowing fairly well, but not enough to make a lot of difference. The second night I ate smoked pork chops, bothered a bit by no-see-um gnats in the hour or so before dark. Since I'd floated so far the second day, I only had about 5-6 miles to go. And the habitat was no better. The sheer bluffs had disappeared, too, and the scenery was less interesting, plus the very wide, inches deep riffles became very common. I only caught about 20 smallmouth, biggest about 16 inches, mostly again on the Whopper Plopper. I'd noticed a pattern the day before and it continued on this day. There would be a few fish at the head of a decent pool, but the larger fish seemed to be near the tail of the pool. Some of the pools were really nice and deep with big rocks in their upper portions, but would shallow out about halfway down. Those pools had few fish willing to bite. But if a pool stayed fairly deep toward the lower end there would often be a couple bigger fish in the lower portion. And while there were some nice logs here and there, I caught basically nothing on wood, every fish came from those chunk rock areas. I reached the old, breached low water bridge at Trigger Gap early in the afternoon, and floated over the gap in it, then downstream a half mile to the Kings River Outfitters access. All in all, it had been a very interesting trip. But I have to say I was disappointed in the overall habitat. And often, I noticed a pretty bad smell...I think there are a lot of industrial chicken farms near the river. I was actually surprised that the water quality seemed as good as it did. I also wonder if the habitat was a lot better back when Dablemont and the others were touting the Kings, because it didn't really look like the kind of water that produce huge numbers of big fish. But it had been a good solo trip, with perfect weather, great scenery, and sometimes good fishing. The wildlife was kinda lacking...I saw two deer, and a white goat standing on a rock watching me go by, the whole trip, along with a bunch of vultures. I also noted a lot of huge redhorse suckers, something I've seen on other Arkansas rivers. Do these rivers not get gigged much? You never see big redhorse in any numbers on Missouri streams. All in all a good trip, though I'm not sure I'll do it again any time soon.
  19. 1 point
    Got to Cooper at 6 am. Heavy fog and then thunder and quick light rain. Slowly made my way upstream in the fog. Boats scattered around fishing. 35 megawatts till 9 or so and then they ramped it up to 150 when I left Threw the jerk till noon. No fish caught after 10:30. Had around 10 to the boat, rolled another 15 or so and had at least that many followers. Never caught a rainbow although at times groups would follow it all the way to boat. A couple of the browns that I rolled or had on for a while were real nice. One XL brown followed the jerk to the boat and he was a tank. Back at it tomorrow. @Travis Swift I swear I had all my bass gear but I just couldn’t leave my regular milk run.
  20. 1 point

    White river 6/27

    Had a good morning today with minimum flow until 1 pm. Sulphurs really started popping once the fog burned off around 10. Lots of rainbows, 2 decent browns and real pretty cutthroat. All on dries. Here's a link to a short video of the bug action... Also a couple of pics...
  21. 1 point
    My daughter, Jaiden, and I went to the river today. I was mainly expecting to go on a boat ride and enjoy the beautiful day with Jade. I didn't think the fishing would be very good with the water being high and in the middle of the day. We jetted up river and then started to float back down. Oh yeah, Jade likes to listen to music and sing too which usually doesn't help with the fishing!! I skipped a 1/8 oz #2 sickle finesse jig paired with a 2.75" orange and green pumpkin Z-Man worm under some overhanging limbs by the bank. I watched my line as the jig drifted down river skittering on the bottom. All of a sudden my line stopped drifting so I reeled into the pressure. My line started swimming up river and the fight was on. Then the smallmouth got in the current, headed down river, and started pulling drag on my reel. Luckily I had my fishing buddy Jade with me to grab the net, or I don't think I would have ever boated that fish. I'm sure it was less, but it felt like it took 5 minutes to get that beast in. The fish was just shy of 17." The smallmouth seem to love that green pumpkin and orange combo around here. If you look closely in the mouth of the fish you can see a craw that she had eaten just before she took my bait. The pincers on that craw still had a orange hue to them. This may not have been my biggest smallmouth, but it is the best one I have ever caught because I got to share it with Jaiden. After we released the fish and drifted around the next bend, I saw an eagle fly over us. I thanked God for another wonderful day that I got to spend with my daughter in his beautiful creation!
  22. 1 point
    Much apologies for the delay in this report as getting back to the grind at work has me consumed. Of my 34 years coming down to Table Rock Lake only one word comes to mind: WOW. It has been a very long time since I have seen the lake fish like this. Here is a quick snapshot of our trip by the numbers, per day: Sat May 11- On water by 630pm, off the water by 10pm. 15 caught, 3 keepers. Sun May 12-On water by 930am, off water by 430pm, back on the water by 630pm, off the water by 12am. 50+ fish caught, 13 keepers. Mon May 13-On the water by 10 am, off water by 430pm, back on the water by 7pm, off the water by 1am. 50+ fish caught, 20 keepers. Tues May 14th-On water by 3:30pm, off water by 1am. 40+ fish caught, 10 keepers Wed May 15th-On water by 3:30pm, off water by 1am. 30+fish caught, 8 keepers. Thurs May 16th- On water by 4:00 pm, off water by 12am, 30+ fish caught, 6 keepers. Friday May 17th- On water by 6pm, off water by 2am. 40+ fish caught, 8 keepers. Saturday May 18th- On water by 10am, of water by 12pm. 20+ fish caught, 2 keepers. That is correct, we finished our 7 day trip with exactly 70 keepers and easily 250+ fish caught, with a 20LB flathead as our "kicker". Of these fish I would say only a handful were at the 15" mark, most were over 16". Besides the catfish, largest Smallie was 4.5lbs, Largemouth at 5.5lbs and Spot at 3lbs. You already know what the were caught on: Keitech 2.8-3.3(bumping the bottom), smoke grub, NED, white fluke thrown into the bushes and at night we were throwing salt craws and the tried and true black colorado blade 3/8th. 80% of these fish were caught in the White as the clarity the first half of the week was an easy 10'-12'. The other 20% were caught up the James as the water started to turn green(almost too green-Algae boom). Of the 70 keepers, 5-8 were female and 2 were spawned out. Simply incredible. If you have a beginner or a little one you want to get hooked into fishing, this is the perfect time. Below are some pictures. Tight lines all, enjoy this time on Table Rock.
  23. 1 point
    Fishing was a little different today, caught 30 spots, not one largemouth or smallmouth. Most came on a 3.3 Keitech on a 1/4 oz head, caught a couple on the swing jig/Menace and one on top water. Fish were on main lake points and windy banks, usually in 5 -20 FOW. Caught 3 walleye, one was a keeper, a couple of crappie and even a rainbow trout, but no dang largemouth or smallmouth. WT 56, but I don't remember looking at it after 10 AM or so, I bet it warmed up later in the day.
  24. 1 point
    It's that time of year when I check several indicators on my phone -- the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock App and the NOAA Weather Prediction site because both will tell me the future and how to plan my trout fishing strategy for the days to come. They also gives me what I need to tell others what to expect as far as flows here on Lake Taneycomo and what fishing report to give. The indicators, right now, tell me we're going to see heavy generation for at least a week. But with very little rain predicted, we should see lake levels dropping very soon and less generation in the near future. We were starting to see lower flows until the area received 1 to 1.5 inches over the Beaver and Table Rock basin. Actually, Bull Shoals got more rain, and we'll see it jumping up more than the upper lakes. One inch of rain doesn't sound like a lot of rain -- plus it was a slow, steady rain over two days -- but Beaver has come up 18 inches and still is rising. Table Rock has risen 12 inches and crested. Beaver is running its turbines a full 12 hours a day (so far) and Table Rock is now running 199 megawatts or 13,000 cubic feet per second round the clock. Now to translate all that information into a fishing plan. The common and most used fishing pattern is drifting with the current and using live bait, Power Bait or a fly or lure. And for the most part, that technique is the most effective. The keys are -- the right amount of weight and position of the boat. That's right, it's not really what you're putting on the hook but how you're drifting that hook. If you're not putting your offering in front of or in sight of the fish, you're not going to get bites. Getting the weight right is key. You want just the right amount of weight to get your weight to the bottom and keep it there. Yes, position of the boat is important, too -- the speed of the drift -- keeping the boat moving at the speed of the current. You should feel the weight consistently ticking the bottom. If it's not, add more weight. If it's grabbing a lot, reduce the weight. Trick: To add weight you can add a removable split shot to the line and slide it down onto the bell weight. This allows you to change weights quickly. Where you drift in relation to the bend of the lake is vital. I tend to drift on the inside quarter of the lake. In another words, if you draw a line down the center of the lake, the bluff of the channel side is on one side and the lower bank/shallow side is on the other. I will stay on the inside half of the lake, toward the shallow side. Nothing wrong with staying dead center in the middle, but I would not go past the line towards the channel. To do that, assuming I have a trolling motor (and I strongly recommend having one in these conditions), I would point the trolling motor towards the inside bend so I can pull the boat to that side. The current will want to pull you to the outside, but keeping the method of propulsion pointed in the direction you want to go will make the operator's job much easier. Regardless of where you drift, keep clear of the banks. Trees fall into the lake off the banks and trees eat drift rigs. Enough said. What to use? Power Bait Gulp eggs are good for fishing when the water is not running or when it's running pretty slowly. They smell good! But they're softer than Power Eggs and fall off the hook faster. Power Eggs smell, too, but not as much (just my observation), but when the egg is drifting at 5 mph, smell plays less of a part in luring the fish to bite. So I'd go with Power Eggs instead of paste or Gulp Eggs. Color? That's where you need to have all the colors and try them all. Even during the day, if they stop hitting one color, change. You'll find a favorite, probably. But even that preference will change as the sun changes the light at the bottom of the lake. Night crawlers and minnows are other great baits. I believe you will have a better chance of catching a bigger trout using natural baits similar to what they see every day, especially minnows. But depending on their mood, being aggressive or not, you might go through a lot of minnows. My experience is that they tend to suck the minnow off the hook, assuming you're hooking the minnow in the lips. If this is the case, find the smallest minnow in the bucket and see if that helps. If they're aggressively feeding, it won't matter. Most anglers will fish down past Cooper Creek, down past the Branson Landing, when four units are running. The water is much more manageable, slower, and there's plenty of trout in these areas to catch. If you find a "hot spot" where you consistently catch a trout or double up in one particular area, keep motoring back up to drift through that area until the well runs dry. Now for other methods of fishing. Duane has been throwing stick baits and drifting crank baits on his guide trips this week and faring well. He's using the Bomber Fat Free Shad and ticking it on the bottom, catching a lot of browns up to 22-inches. He's also using the MegaBass 110+ shad and doing fair. These methods aren't for the faint at heart. They're a lot of work with less results compared to drifting bait or even throwing jigs. But you have a better chance of catching a trophy fish. Seriously, if you don't have the equipment or time to spend learning this bite, hire a guide who does have the equipment (hundreds and hundreds of dollars in equipment) and the know-how to put you on fish throwing big lures. You'll be much happier. Plus, it'll be his lures you'd lose, not your own! We're back to using our 1/8th-ounce jigs in this fast water. And we're seeking out slower water, eddies where fish will be holding. We're fishing the inside banks, or, if we're fishing the channel, bluff banks, we're working the eddies, places out of the current and getting bit. And . . . we're losing a lot of jigs in the process. We're also using four-pound line, too, either Vanish or Trilene XL (green or clear). If you're not losing a few jigs, you're probably not catching very many trout. You need to be down where they are and that's usually down where there's some snags. The darker colors are working better that white or white/gray BUT we're always trying white just in case they switch, or are starting to see shad or bait fish. If they get on white, they will be much more aggressive on the bite, in my experience. Always have white jigs in your box. Drift a fly on the bottom in the trophy area... actually I'd drift one all the way down to Trout Hollow. A bigger scud (#12) in gray or olive, an egg fly or big San Juan Worm. Even a Mega worm. The bottom is fairly clear of moss so you'll get a clean drift this time of year. And make sure it's on the bottom. Media Note! Between my fishing reports, if you're wanting to know what's going on here on Lake Taneycomo, tune in to our DAILY BROADCAST called One Cast. We talk about lake levels as well as who's catching fish on what. And we might catch a fish ourselves. One Cast... going for almost 1500 days in a row. Subscribe and click the BELL for instant notification. Or see us on Facebook.
  25. 1 point
    It's been a wild start to winter here in the Ozarks! The Lake Taneycomo area was rocked Friday night by tornado-like winds and thunderstorms but brought rain that we actually needed. If there were any leaves and acorns in the trees before last night, there are none now! This is supposed to be followed by colder temperatures with snow in the forecast later next week. I know parts of north Missouri have already seen eight-inch-plus snowstorms twice in November. What will this winter bring -- when it officially gets here? But actually, the fish don't care! Cold temperatures and wind help Table Rock Lake turn over, so Taneycomo gets higher oxygenated water. A cold winter cools Table Rock's water so that Taneycomo gets good cold water all summer long. So whether it rains or snows, trout could care less. Wind -- heavy winds, like today -- stir up the water and push bugs out of the gravel in shallow water, triggering feeding frenzies in the upper end of our lake. Now what we as anglers have to do is figure out how to fight the elements and present our lures to the fish in way that fools them. That is not always easy. These windy days are good for throwing heavier lures, lures that fly through wind and are reeled back pretty fast so that the wind doesn't affect the action. Spoons, spinners, hard baits like crank and stick baits are examples. Plus the trout tend to be more active and more aggressive when it's very windy. Generation helps. The patterns have been unpredictable lately. If the dam does run water, it's usually a half to one unit, but only for a few hours. But with colder days and nights ahead, that might be bumped up. Plus the restriction has been lifted for running water because Table Rock Lake has turned over, but it seems that one turbine at the plant is down for maintenance. We'll see what happens with generation in the days to come. Minnows and night crawlers are the hot live baits right now. Live minnows are always good in winter months. We've had a good crop of pond weed along our bank with schools of small forage fish moving in and out of this cover. But before long, the U.S. Corps of Army Engineers will open the turbines with heavy current, washing all of it out. You see, most of it is dead already, and it will easily be taken out and down lake. This removes all the cover for these small fish, pushing them out where trout and other fish will feed on them. Marabou jigs, spoons and small stock baits will be the ticket for much of the winter months, too. Trolling, casting -- whatever you want to do -- should be a way to catch a bunch of good trout. For the rest of my report, I can point to my last fishing report on November 20th. Scuds are still the best fly to catch fish almost anywhere on the lake but especially from Short Creek up. Tan, gray and brown are the best colors.
  26. 1 point
    Phil Lilley

    November 20 fishing report

    It's been a "kind" fall season this year. Our water quality hasn't tanked like in past years, which caused the fish in Lake Taneycomo to become lethargic. The water in Table Rock Lake typically stratifies during the spring and summer, forcing low-oxygenated water to the depths where Taney gets its water through the dam. Because of high water and flash flood events in the past, tons of bio material (wood and leaves) were washed into the lake, causing even more "damage" to the water close to the bottom. That also adversely affected our water quality. Fortunately, with have had no floods this year!! Praise the Lord!!! The end of these seasons are marked by what we call "Table Rock turning over." This is when surface water on Table Rock cools and becomes colder than the water below it. Eventually a majority of this surface water cools down enough that it causes a flip --- the water on top sinks down, forcing water towards the bottom up to the surface. In time, sometimes it takes a week or more, all the water mixes and becomes uniform. The water at 130 feet deep at the dam where Taney gets its water improves to the point the U.S. Corps of Engineers doesn't have to add liquid oxygen to water passing through the turbines, and restrictions are lifted as to how much water can be run at one time. We are at the end of that season. Table Rock's water has mixed to the point as of last Friday that the water coming into Taneycomo measures 3.45 parts per million, up from <1.p.p.m.. When this process starts, it continues until the water is fully mixed. As I type this report, I suspect that 3.45 reading has gone even further up and will continue for the next week or so. The bottom line is that it's an exciting time for our Taneycomo trout because their water has improved. It's like they've been living on the top of a high mountain for three months and now have been brought down to sea level where the oxygen is much better. They should be much more active. It's an exciting time for us fisher people, too. It means "catching" should improve, too, not that it's been that bad this fall. Compared to other times of the year, fishing pressure has been very low this past few weeks, except for the wading area below the dam. This means stocker rainbows have been left to live and grow in the lake with less chance of being bothered by someone with a hook and line. Our trout seemed to be spread out through the upper lake, too. There's good concentrations of rainbows almost everywhere between the Landing and Table Rock Dam. So I'd say there's no "hot spots" to report, only that catching is good in most places right now. The generation pattern has changed. Since last Friday, dam operators have been running water around the clock, anywhere from 35 to 75 megawatts, which is really not a bad flow. It's not too fast to make fishing off our dock tough. You can get a good drift if you're fishing from a boat, but it does make wading below the dam pretty tough, although not impossible. Not sure how long this will continue, and I don't know if there's a reason for it either. It just is . . . We've haven't been going very far from the dock and catching some really nice rainbows this week. I've caught two rainbows throwing a jig within sight of the dock weighing more than two pounds, and measuring 18-19 inches long. Plus I've caught other rainbows all colored up and looking healthy in the 13-to 15-inch range, along with a couple of browns in the 14-to 15-inch range. We've been throwing the color sculpin with or without another combo color (ginger, burnt orange, olive, red) straight, no float, using either two- or four-pound line. If we're throwing an 1/8th- or 3/32nd-ounce jigs, we're using four-pound line and throwing smaller jigs using two-pound line. White/gray jigs are working pretty well up lake in the trophy area, according to Duane, who's had a few guide trips the past couple of weeks. Most of the fish I've been catching have come off the bottom rather than when working the jig higher in the water column. If you're out in a boat and drifting bait on the bottom, with such slow current, you should pay close attention to the amount of weight you're using to get the bait to the bottom. It's much better to have less than more. Only use enough weight to get the bait to the bottom, even if it takes a while to sink. Too much weight will do two things - - you will get snagged up much quicker and the heavier weight will make feeling a bite much harder. If you're using drift rigs, use the smallest weight, and if that weight is too heavy, break it off, tie a simple knot on the end of that line and pinch on a small split shot. The knot keeps the shot from sliding off the end of the line. Night crawlers will catch bigger fish. But Powerbait catches fish, too. Use PowerEggs and use a white egg with another color, pink, orange or chartreuse. Cleos and other spoons are doing pretty well, too. I watched a group in one of our pontoons the other day throwing Cleos just up from our dock, on a bright, sunny, calm day, and they caught quite a few rainbows. The bites should be much better if there's some wind, chop on the water. And Cleos are easy to use, especially in wind. The pink Berkley's Powerworm is still catching rainbows. Under a float anywhere from four- to eight- feet deep depending on how bright the day is. Under a bright sun, fish them deeper. With choppy/cloudy conditions, fish them closer to the surface. If you go up in the trophy area. You'll see gobs of bugs come out and float around. Most of them are sow bugs. Trout do eat them but they're not high in protein like freshwater shrimp, or scuds. Both are in abundance right now, so that's the fly of choice to use. Fly rod - the best color lately has been brown, but you can see from these images that they can be several shades of olive, beige, brown and gray. Sow bugs are almost always gray. Fish them under an indicator and make sure they're on the bottom because that's where they live. For spin cast rig, fish them under a float. You may have to use a tiny split shot to make sure they get down, although the scuds we sell in our shop are weighted. Best tippet size right now is 6x. Midges are working fairly well but not half as good as a scud. But if there's a chop on the surface and trout are rising to midges, strip a crackleback or a soft hackle.
  27. 1 point
    Tried to fish for a few hours prior to thunderstorms and heavier rain moving in this morning. My outboard motif decided to screw me over again and not fire at all. Repair is cheaper, but I’m just about ready to replace the darn thing. I was going to try to fish out of White Hole. I knew that the AGFC had a project there recently, but I had no idea what had been done. Kudos to AGFC! It is First class. Asphalt parking lot with ample parking. A nice pavilion. A ramp down to the waters edge. And the best part is a nice new boat ramp that is double wide and angled down current to make launching and loading easier.
  28. 1 point
    One of my main fishing goals this year was to help others achieve their goals (where possible based upon proximity and scheduling). The main focus has been to get my daughter's goals met. She has goals to catch five new species that she has never caught before, to catch two new species of sculpin, and to catch a total of 40 different species for the year. Up to this point her life list was only at total of 34 species. So we would have to work on getting her on new species. With my travelling between Missouri and Maryland, I have been able to find species that she has not caught previously and fish those spots when she is in Maryland. I have posted about those trips previously. When in Missouri, I have focused on getting her in front of some of the more difficult species either due to their resistance to being caught or more likely the distance from our house. I have been also thinking about trying to fish a spot where I have seen and caught plains topminnows previously. This is a small creek just south of Rolla. With that in mind, I planned a trip first to a creek and a small river that are "on the way" to Rolla. At the first creek there was the opportunity to catch several minnows, darters, sunfish, and bass. Since she had not yet caught a smallmouth bass this year, Livie was fishing a 1/32 oz tube jig with a green pumpkin body/chartreuse paddle tailed slider. We were upstream from an overpass and I had her try to cast near the rip rap on the far bank. I tied on a perch colored whopper plopper and cast under the bridge. Livie immediately got bit by a decent small stream green sunfish. Then another. At that point I made my first cast and as the bait "plopped" a few feet got bit by a 8 inch smallmouth (my first of the year ), which for this creek was not a bad sized fish. Some 12 to 14 inch could be caught here, but with the low water, weren't likely to still be in this tributary. Livie made a cast to a shaded part of the water and caught her first smallmouth of the year. I made a couple of more casts with the WP and got slaps at the bait by sunfish and smaller bass. I then switched to the micro rig with a #26 Tanago hook with a tiny piece of redworm. I caught the first western mosquitofish of the day and my first of the year. I had seen a couple of male northern studfish that had some of their breeding coloration. I caught one on the micro rig. Not as colorful as some that I have seen or received photos of from other OAF members, but a nicer one than I have caught previously. While looking for those guys I noticed a small school of minnows that did not look like the schools of bleeding shiners swimming around us. I dropped the bait and caught a bluntnose shiner. Livie was catching green and longear sunfish and at least one more smallmouth. I got her to take up the micro rig and she caught her first mosquitofish of the year. She never did catch any of the bluntnose shiners, since they kept dispersing when she got close to them. A little discouraged by not catching on the worm she resorted to what she does best - hand fishing ! She caught the following critters by hand. Maybe HD Tackle will replicate these guys (@Mitch f @Hog Wally)! Northern studfish Unknown minnow Longear sunfish We got to the confluence of the river and I could see smallmouth in the big pool below the confluence. We threw a few things at them but only landed a couple of small smallmouth bass and sunfish. Had a 16+' smallie look at the WP but not commit. Upstream from the confluence I had a huge blow up on the bait. I made a second cast and nothing until the bait was about 25 feet from me, It was passing right through the transition from the deeper channel to a shallow ridge and got blasted by a nice chunky 13" largemouth (yes we Follys can catch bass as well). Livie swithed from hand fishing to a Trout Magnet trout crank and got into a thick bunch of large green sunfish. You just can't stop the selfies! With the heat, Livie was wearing down. So we headed down to Rolla to get something to eat, drink, and try for plains topminnows. Livie was feeling worse, so I went out and scouted the creek to see if I could locate any of the topminnows. I found a couple only. The water was really low and most fish were really spooky. Our redworms were dead and breaking down in the heat. So I put a small piece of chartreuse plastic from a trout magnet jig on a #16 hook and let Livie fish in the shade of the bridge while I went after the topminnows. I also had on a much smaller piece of plastic on the #26 Tanago hook. I could only catch northern studfish. The juvenile topminnows were too small to get hooked and the one adult that I now saw avoided this bait. I switched to a white/pink piece and found a pod of three topminnows further down the creek. They avoided the plastic bait. Meanwhile Livie was catching bluegill, longears, and small green sunfish on most every cast. She found one of the redworms that had not fully liquefied and brought it to me as I stood near that pod of fish trying not to move and spook them. As soon as I got the worm near them they took interest and I caught one of the three. Livie then switched positions. That spooked the fish and it took about 5 to 6 min for them to return to a spot where she could reach them and not spook them. She got bit and once again we were not able to hold onto the fish for a photo. She did not want to try to catch the last one from the bunch or to look for others. Called it quits! Livie caught three different species that put her total for the year at 32 species. So now we are in the countdown phase towards her 40 fish goal. She also has caught 16 new species so far to add to her life list! Just need to find some new sculpin. I am looking hard in Maryland and may think her best bet is going after some marine species.
  29. 1 point
    Thought I would share my fishing experiences for the last two weeks with others so I may be of use to them. I mostly fished from Sugarloaf to down past 5 fingers areas. The better fish I found(mostly spots and a few largemouth) were staged on major points in 10-15ft of water. Deep in the underwater bushes. Be prepared to lose a few and get hung up regularly! I caught many spots in the 2-3 lb range. Using 18llb flourocarbon and 10.5" worms. It seemed the bigger the worm, the better the fish. Not all major points held fish only the most extreme ones. Had a blast and caught tons of fish! Also, can anyone tell me what type of bass the 2nd picture is?
  30. 1 point
    I reached out on the Bass Cat Owners Forum looking for someone to trade a trip on Bull Shoals for a trip down to Venice, La. I was lucky enough to find someone willing to take a chance on me. I don’t post nearly as much over there as I do on Ozark Anglers. My new friend Jim Cazes is another LSU alum. Retired after 40 years in sales. Has a Bass Cat Puma which he was able to leave at home for this trip. He hadn’t caught many smallmouth bass and wanted to visit Bull Shoals and the BassCat factory. 5/8 We launched out of Lead Hill. We ran down lake a ways and found some bushes in 5-9 foot of water with some wind on them and quickly caught a few bass. We relocated to a finger off a creek and caught more bass in bushes on blades. I found a flatter bank and introduced him to Ned rigs . He picked it up pretty quickly, but we were catching LMB and Spots. I had to move us to a smaller Hollow off the main lake to put him on some smallies. Honestly, I think he enjoyed the Mega Bluegill he caught as much as the smallies, but he hadn’t caught a decent smallie yet. 5/9 We launched into Jimmy Creek. Rainy and windy. We caught fish, but the quality smallies continued to evade us. It bluebirded off on us and we Made a run to the Oakland area. Got a bass in bushes and the a few more on the Ned. I lost a BIG smallie on the Ned. We took a break for lunch and a factory tour. After lunch and the factory tour, we headed back to Leadhill. More clouds had moved in and it turned out to be a Good move. We caught some quality fish on points in a secondary cove on Ned rigs. I think he was really surprised how hard a 3 lb smallie could pull. He set and reset his PB smallie several times. We finished up the day by both catching a nice smallie on a main lake point late in the day. 5/10 We were on the way to the lake when he got a phone call about complications from home and he decided to cut for home. I went fishing anyway. More spinnerbait fish. More Sluggo fish. More Ned rig fish. More swim bait fish. I quit early. I was a little tired. water is 69 to 74 degrees. Water color varies from area to area, but it pretty good. Lake level is still slowly going up. I think we were over 671 today. I’m really hoping for it to creast REALLY soon. CLOUDS AND WIND ARE YOUR FRIENDS. Looking forward to my trip to Venice.
  31. 1 point
    Phil Lilley

    Long Creek Crappie

    Put in at Long Creek Ramp at 4 p.m. and boated up (left from ramp). Hit a few old spots - first one produced a nice keeper right off the bat. Lost another, then the spot went cold. Moved around, nothing. Tried another spot, nothing. Then went to good spot #2 and found a real hot spot - caught 4 real quick. Noticed baby thread fin against this bank and the crappie were under them. Moved around and caught another. Went back to spot #1 and caught 3 more keepers. Ended with 8. Didn't have to measure any... all over 12 inches. Haven't cleaned them yet- they're in a live tank so I don't know what they are but I bet males. Caught all but one on a smoke swimming minnow on a 1/16th oz head. 58-59 degree water. I caught most within 8 feet of the bank in 4-8 feet of water, a few out from the bank in 15 feet suspended. Really none on brush. Spot #1 has a green MDC structure sign in the back, 3 cuts from the ramp on the left bank and spot #2 also has a sign and it's the first cut on the left. Both are kind of corners... I caught them close to the signs but that wasn't why I fished either spot... I've done well on those banks before they put the brush there. Pattern? Not really any pattern... just covered a lot of area and made a lot of casts. Oh yea... caught 15 stinkin' bass too, mostly dinks. This post has been promoted to an article
  32. 1 point

    Caddis swarms today

    Since it turned out to be such a pretty day, I took a quick trip up to the White river after lunch. They turned the water off at noon so it was low when I got there. As soon as I got out of the truck I could see fish rising fish everywhere and lots of caddis flying. Caught a nice brown on my second cast. For about 2 hours it was a fish or a strike every other cast (all on dry flies). Probably caught 30-40 rainbows and a couple smaller browns. The hatch slowed down around 3 so I headed home. Here's a couple pics of the better browns....
  33. 1 point
    by Spence Turner ~~ "When you coming down?" Phil Lilley asked. "Browns are running and the Corps of Engineers isn't running much water through Taneycomo or for that matter anyplace in the White River system." Perfect conditions, I thought. We'd talked earlier about getting together Lilleys' Landing Resort for some fall trout fishing when spawning browns move up to the head-end of Lake Taneycomo. Even set a date, which turned out to be my wife's birthday...not just her birthday, but rather her 60th birthday. When she learned of my plans...well it wasn't pretty and I'm still digging out of the hole. Women just don't have sense of humor when it comes to forgetting minor things like birthdays. Needless to say, I rescheduled. I've conducted a 30-year, dark and steamy affair with a bewitching, curvaceous, sultry, lass, who's waters run deep and cold, followed by intensely personal periods of hot, steamy, activity. I've wallowed in those waters. Felt the power and reveled in their deep, stark, beauty; savored the explosive organisms of slashing rainbows and broad-shouldered browns; and agonized over her health as she aged. Her name: Lake Taneycomo, Missouri's first lady of trout fishing. I thought about those years, the thousands of rainbows and browns I'd handled; the fights to change regulations, introduce brown trout in 1980s and a special management zone in the 90s; as I motored south to Branson and Lilleys' Landing. The changes worked: Lake Taneycomo is back with an attitude. And, I retired. Taneycomo anglers have shattered Missouri's brown trout record, and discovered a dead brown, longer than the current world record. The lake has everything needed to grow a new world record: an abundance of food; great living conditions and habitat for brown trout; and regulations allowing browns to grow large. Keep your fingers crossed. Day One I wasn't looking for a record, just a couple days of great trout fishing. The water was off and after a quick check in, I headed for the upper end at Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery. The upper pools are waist-deep at max...bathtubs filled with large cruising browns and rainbows. Anglers lined the second hatchery outlet. Not really needing company, I walked to the third outlet and waded across to the Rerod run and pool, spooking several large trout with my clumsy wading. At the head-end of the riffle, a pod of small rainbows fed on amphipods kicked loose by upstream anglers. I caught two, before wading to the end of the run and rerigging to a large black woolly bugger as light failed. As I finished, the horn at the dam blew, chasing me off the water, as needs for electrical generation took precedence over those of the angler. I waited out the flush of water and resumed fishing as water fell an hour later. Fog tentacles swirled around me as I waded back out to the riffle. A great blue heron joined me fishing the shallows. Tensions of the day and week disappeared in the darkness and fog. Two small rainbows fell to the black woolly bugger in the dark, before a heavy strike jarred my rod. The trout wallowed briefly, shaking its head, then sprinted downstream stripping line from my reel. What a satisfying sound in the darkness. It wasn't large. I quickly worked the trout back, and landed and released a 15-inch brown, none the worse for our brief encounter. It was enough for the first day. Day Two The water was off. Fall leaves floated randomly around Lilleys' Landing dock, and the bluff across the lake was on fire, cloaked in reds, yellows and greens as trees held tightly to a calliope of leaves, heralding the approaching winter. As long as the water was off, Phil suggested fishing the upper end again. We found the parking lot full, most anglers fishing outlet 2. Phil suggested rerigging for some "skinny water" trout fishing...changing leaders from the rope I used in the darkness, to a 9-foot nymph leader, tapering to 7X or 8X. In the shallows, browns and rainbows fed on midges and amphipods, backs and tails out of the water; several large browns tended a newly dug redd in the outlet plume, mostly ignored by float-and-jerk anglers. We both caught trout, rainbows mostly, with a brown trout or two thrown in for good measure; Phil caught and landed 10 trout for everyone I caught. In the afternoon facing rain, we motored up to the "Overlook Hole," and fished drys and small soft hackles to rainbows cruising the shallows, finishing the day using the old tried-and-true, weighted scuds under a small strike indicator, a technique dating to the 60s and 70s. No large trout, but lots of intermediate-size rainbows fell to the rig, and we had the lake to ourselves. Day Three Ryan Walker, White River guide and friend of Phil's suggested heading for the Norfork tailwater and fishing Arkansas' catch and release zone, downstream from McClellans boat dock. Ryan is one of the new breed of White River guides, who specialize in catching large trout using flies and artificial lures (Contact Ryan through Lilleys' Landing). I'd not fished the Norfork in over 15 years and jumped at the opportunity. We found the river almost dead low and dropping, creating a series of shallow riffles, bedrock shelves, and pools, making the entire river available to anglers. We waded down to the first riffle and Ryan suggested fishing the skinny water, shallow areas at the edge of runs, before moving to the deeper areas in the riffle. "On falling water, I've found large trout holding and feeding in shallow riffle areas, overlooked by most anglers." Ryan instructed as he pointed to a spot about 5 yards from where we stood. "You'll need an indicator." I tied on a small "dead shrimp" Ryan handed me and cast...it really wasn't a cast. I just flipped the fly and indicator to the spot where Ryan pointed. The indicator stopped and I tightened the line and was fast into my first trout, a rainbow. In the next four casts, I caught and released three trout, all between 10 and 14 inches. Nice start to the day. We caught a bunch of rainbows, several browns, a couple of cutthroats and even a brook trout before breaking at noon. I'd guess we caught and released 30 to 40 trout and the day was young. After a drink, we drove to the handicap parking lot at Goat's Bluff and walked upstream to the islands and the end of the catch and release area. What an afternoon. I watched brown trout spawn; a young women hook a huge trout briefly before losing the fish; Ryan landing an 18-inch rainbow, which weighed in at about 4.5 pounds and lose another larger trout, which took off for Missouri and didn't stop; and Phil catching an Arkansas grand slam, a rainbow, brown, brook and cutthroat trout. The largest fish of the day for me...a large sucker. I have no idea how many trout we caught and released, probably well over 100 in the five hours we fished...certainly well worth the drive from Branson. Lake Taneycomo is back; heck the whole White River system is reveling in unprecedented high quality trout fishing never experienced before. Thirty years ago I envisioned what the White River System could become, and now have seen the vision come to reality. The real winner in all of this is the trout angler. The good old days are now, with more to come. And my love affair with Lake Taneycomo continues. Not older, just better.
  34. 1 point
    Phil Lilley, ozarkanglers.com exclusive Vince Elfrink of Branson has a new personal best. And it just so happens it's a Missouri best, too! Elfrink, fieldhouse supervisor at College of the Ozarks, loves to fish -- and hunt-- for that matter. A native of southeast Missouri, he came to the tri-lakes area in the late 1970s to attend College of the Ozarks and there he has stayed and made the lakes area home with his wife, JoBeth, and their three children, Joel, Micah and Luke. Despite his faithfulness to his job and his family, Elfrink takes advantage of every opportunity to either be in the field or on the water. Three years ago he furthered his love for fishing and bought a bass boat and acquired his OUVP Coast Guard License and now moonlights as a part-time fishing guide. This past Sunday, he left church and headed straight to the bank on upper Bull Shoals. He was in search of the white bass and walleye that have been running the last few weeks. Armed with spinning rod, swimming minnows and his hand-tied buck tail jigs, he sprawled down the mud bank to the water to start his "restful" afternoon of fishing. It turned into a bit of a circus though. Hooking and landing a few decent white bass on his quarter-ounce white buck tail jig, he hooked another one – or so he thought. This fish fought about the same, but when it broke the water's surface, it had a different shape and color. It was a yellow perch. Yellow perch are not native to this part of the country. They normally are found farther north and are found primarily in the Great Lakes. But somehow they've found their way into Bull Shoals, much to the chagrin of the Missouri Department of Conservation. In another words, they were not stocked by MDC officials but rather by a third party -- without permission. But they've flourished and are now listed as an official game fish, at least on the record books. This yellow perch was a nice one. Elfrink knew he had something special. He made a call and found out the current state record was one pound, seven ounces. He thought his perch was bigger -- and he was right. He contacted the local MDC agent, Buck Nofsinger who asked him to bring the fish up to the local Country Mart in Forsyth to be officially weighed and verified. He weighed in at a whopping 1 pound, 11 ounces, several ounces bigger than the record. Vince Elfrink is now the Missouri state record holder for a yellow perch. The fish was picked up by officials from Bass Pro Shops. They will hold the perch in quarantine for 30 days and if it lives, it will be placed in their tank at Bass Pro on the Branson Landing.
  35. 1 point
    Took my friend Bobby fishing today. We talked about postponing the trip until Friday because we thought the fishing would be tough. A northwest wind; a couple of days after a pretty strong cold front, clear skies, etc. On the way down around ElDorado Springs, we saw several herds of cows all lying down. Not good signs. By the time we got close to Stockton, the cows we were seeing were standing up. So who knows. We put in at Orleans Trail around 9:00 a.m. and started there. I was throwing a jerkbait and Bobby was throwing a green pumpkin rock crawler. Nothing for quite awhile. I switched to an alabama rig and still nothing. Was working our way toward the main lake just east of the buoy line and I switched to a rock crawler in red craw. Caught 2 fish on back to back casts. A few cast later I caught another one. Continued for a little while longer but to no avail. Crossed to the north side and pulled out the ned. Caught a few out in 8 to 14 feet of water. Headed toward the dam and worked that big cove just north of the quarry. It was game on. We doubled up twice and all 4 fish were keepers. Fish still coming out of 8 to 14 feet of water. Secondary points and channel swing type banks were the best. We caught several in that particular area. We then headed toward the mouth of Price Branch in one of the big coves just east of the mouth of Price Branch. Started toward the back and worked toward the main lake. Caught quite a few back there too. We then headed back to Orleans Trail to finish out our day and caught a couple more on secondary points. We got off the water at 4:00 p.m. When it was all said and done, we boated 49 bass. 15 were keepers with the biggest being 17 1/4 inches long. 3 came on the rock crawler and 46 on the ned in green pumpkin. And we almost didn't go because we thought the fish weren't going to bite. You just never know. Water temps were 44.5 to start the day and 47.5 when we got off the water.
  36. 1 point
    Put the boat in at about 9 AM, brought my buddy Mike with me. We were hoping to find some smallmouth action. Cloudy day with an on and off breeze. We dragged jigs around for a while, not getting any action, but saw top water activity and started walking the dog. We caught spotted bass and had a few striper encounters. You always hear the phrase "The wind is your friend", well for the top water bite it was not our friend. When the water went calm, the activity picked up, when the water got riffled you'd hardly see any activity. We also learned that the fish, both spots and stripers would feed in a few locations, so we established a milk run, fish an area until the bites stopped, go somewhere else and give them a chance to forget about us, return and get a few bites. The spots would hang near the edges of the timber, the stripers would come through periodically moving fast. Saw a few stripers swim right under the front of the boat chasing shad, they were flat out moving! I hooked 4 stripers on top water, first three got off, finally boated one at the end. I wasn't planning on keeping any so not too upset and them getting off, none of them were wall hangers. To me the most fun is getting them to blow up on the top water and getting that initial hard pulling surge. Spotted bass were really fat, they are a fat fish to begin with, but these boys were flat out obese. They are gorging on shad of which there are plenty back in Indian. No smallmouth brought to the boat, had one jump right over my TW, that was the only one I saw. Probably had a few others blow up on it. Fish were having a hard time zeroing in on the TW, had more misses than connections. I wish we had a few more days of the kind of weather we had yesterday. WT - 53
  37. 1 point
    I have been trying to get a trip down to Bennett's and the Niangua to fish the catch and release for trout and try to get a couple new species for my 2017 season, particularly rock bass or redhorse suckers. I was also hoping to catch at least 15 fish in order to finish 2017 with over 900 fish caught. I knew that it was going to be a bit cold. Instead of leaving by 5 am and potentially hit ice, I left my house at 8. I hit some flurries between Camdenton and Lebanon. Didn't know what to expect in terms of the number of fishermen. I drove through the park and down to the Niangua to see where folks were fishing. Only saw about 6 or 7 people, a couple above the spillway and four or so around the hatchery outlets and none between the whistle bridge and the confluence. As I headed back into the park, I met two fawns feeding. This one was only 20 feet from my car and the other was even closer. They didn't seem to care as I stopped and took their pictures, even the radio noise did not deter them from putting away some grass. I hit the water about 10:30 and fished downstream of the spring. I was spin fishing and using mircrojigs mostly. I typically sight fish with these microjigs, I watch the response of the fish, focus on those that are tightly turning around or following the bait on the drop, and set the hook as I anticipate the strike. With the snow, fog, pipe smoke from the flyfisherman upwind from me, and wind disturbing the water surface, it was hard to judge when a fish had the bait and get a good hooks set. I caught one rainbow and missed two others on white, then lost one on a salmon colored microjig. I missed two, lost one, and landed one on a John Deere microjig. I switched to a 1/64 oz cinnamon marabou jig and lost two rainbows on that jig. I put on a tricolored egg and missed at least two strikes. On one drift I kept the egg high in the water and had a rainbow come from 8 to 10 feet determined to take the bait. She was about 15" in length and thin. It was the largest trout that I caught. I moved downstream and fished above and below the whistle bridge. I caught one other rainbow on the John Deere and got a couple of more misses. I wasn't seeing more than 8 to 10 trout at any one time. I switched to a yellow chenille grub microjig. I missed one or two trout strikes, but did start getting the attention of the local sculpin population. Since I had only caught 4 fish thus far, it was not hard to switch to microfishing to get a few more numbers. Lots of sculpin were interested and I landed four above the bridge and three large ones in the deep pool just below the bridge. I was fishing from a sycamore root wad and got the attention of two of the large suckers but missed getting a hook set one either of them. Those two moved downstream and the others did pay my hopping grub any attention. That hopping got the attention of a fish up under the roots that darted out and grabbed my bait. I was able to hook and land my first rock bass for 2017. I moved again and started catching striped shiners on the grub. A few of these guys were over 6" in length. I moved again down the confluence spring branch and the Niangua. I caught a bunch more striped shiners on the grub just above the bridge. I ended up with 13 striped shiners for the day. I didn't see any sculpin near the bridge, but did have some darters interested in the grub, but that jig was too large for them to bite. I left the park and fished the Niangua below the bridge. I was trying to drift a worm under a deep undercut below a large sycamore tree. I didn't get any strikes, but when reeling in my line I had a sculpin holding onto the worm. I also caught another on the grub bait. I am pretty certain that it was a mottled sculpin, which would be another species for 2017. From my position I just could not get a good drift and decided just to fish from that sycamore. I saw a couple of suckers in a log jam below the sycamore. I could not get a bait positioned where it would be upstream of these fish and I could actually pull it out if I got bit. I made a cast and positioned the rod in amongst the roots as a rod holder and was going to fish the grub in the rootwad. As I picked up the grub rod, I had a big hit on the worm. I picked up the worm rod and got hit again. Unfortunately I broke off just as I set the hook. I had moved the fish and could see it in the water. It was either a large trout >16" or a sucker. I retied and fished a while longer. I couldn't get another substantial bite. I did catch a couple of hornyhead chubs and two more sculpin. I ended the day around 3:30 pm. The temp was dropping and was in the high teens as I left the water. I caught one of the two species that I had hoped for on this trip. I will determine if the sculpin that I caught in the Niangua were mottled sculpin and that may be another species for the year. I also landed 30 fish to end 2017 with 915 fish. Not a bad day.
  38. 1 point

    Cape Fair 12/3/17

    I put in at 7:20 and fished a straight worm for a couple hours and had a couple shorts, and a couple swing and misses. It was pretty slow with the worm. I started throwing some cranks, spinnerbaits and squarebill with not much luck at all. I went to the very back of a 50 yard cut with a black Buzzbait with a gold blade and when I pulled it over the top of a log in the far back something took a swipe at it but stopped just short of hitting it. That got me excited because it seemed big. For some reason she pulled away from it. I changed to a black on black Buzzbait and did much better. I caught about 12 on it with 2 good keepers, and they really wanted it. The big one was 3.14 and the other was 3.5 on my scale. It sure was good to get out again and set the hook, it has been way too long. Water temp was 55.7 and I pulled out right at noon.
  39. 1 point
    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😀
  40. 1 point
    Phil Lilley

    Stockton Lake

    Stockton Lake has quietly become one of the best fisheries in Missouri, offering some of the finest crappie and walleye fishing, as well as white bass and black bass. One little known fact is that Stockton holds the current smallmouth bass state record set in 1984 of seven pounds, two ounces, caught by Kevin S. Clingan of Springfield. Since Stockton was formed in 1969 by the damming of the Sac River near the city of Stockton, it is younger than most lakes in the state. Its shores are undeveloped, for the most part, and underwater structures are still in place for fish habitat. This has been key to Stockton's ability to grow lots of crappie to legal size. When most lakes stop yielding crappie in the summer and fall months, anglers are still catching them on Stockton, day and night. The one thing striking about this Missouri lake is the lack of development along its shores. There are a few pockets of activity including private and public docks, campgrounds and public accesses but there are no condominiums, no resorts, no timeshare developments, hardly any homes within view of the water. This is truly amazing in this age of water recreation. The lake is relatively shallow which scares off big cabin cruisers you'd see on bigger lakes in Missouri. You really need to keep an eye on the depth finder because open water doesn't mean deep water on Stockton. SPA Generation Schedule Elevation, feet above mean sea level Top flood control pool: 892 feet Top multi-purpose pool: 867 feet Surface area, acres Top flood control: 38,300 ac. Top multi-purpose: 24,900 ac. Drainage area (square miles): 1,160 Shoreline miles: 298 Stockton Lake Map (Corp) MDC Fish Habitat Map Lake Levels - http://www.nwk.usace.army.mil/Locations/DistrictLakes/StocktonLake/DailyLakeInformation.aspx Bush Piles - http://mdc.mo.gov/sites/default/files/resources/2010/05/6202_4066.pdf Lake Map - http://www.stocktonlake.com/pages/map http://www.nwk.usace.army.mil/Portals/29/docs/lakesites/stockton/2011BrochureST9-7.pdf http://www.ozarkanglers.com/stockton/maps/ https://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/fishing/where-fish/fish-attractor-gpx-files Campsites Cedar Ridge Crabtree Cove Hawker Point Masters Mutton Creek Group Camp Orleans Trail North and South Ruark Bluff East and West Marinas Orleans Trail Marina Stockton State Park Marina Mutton Creek Marina Buy Missouri Fishing Licenses Online! Fishing Regulations Bass, black (largemouth), smallmouth and spotted bass (kentuckies)- 15-inch length limit, 6 daily, 12 possession. White bass, striper, hybrid bass- 15 total daily (only 4- 18 inches or longer can be kept in a daily limit), 30 possession Rock bass (goggleye) - no length limit, 15 daily, 30 possession. Crappie, white or black - 10-inch length limit, 15 daily, 30 possession. Bluegill - no limit Catfish - no length limit, 10 daily (only 5 can be flatheads in a daily limit), 20 possession. Walleye - 15 inch minimum length, 4 daily, 8 possession. Spoonbill - 2 daily between March 15 and April 30. Length - 34 inches between the eye to the fork of the tail minimum. Non-Game fish - Snagging, snaring and grabbing are allowed from 3/15 - 4/30 only. Fishing Licenses - Residents - those fishing of the ages of 16 and older and 65 are required to have on their person a valid Missouri fishing license. Those 65 and older do not need a fishing license. Proof of residency - Valid Missouri Drivers License. Non-residents - those fishing of the ages of 16 and older are required to have on their person a valid Missouri fishing license. Costs - Resident - $12 annual (March 1 thru last day of February) Non-Resident - $42 annual (March 1 thru last day of February) Daily Permit - $7 (midnight to midnight) Buy Missouri Fishing Licenses Online! Missouri Wildlife Code Report Violations - Poachers In cooperation with the Missouri Department of Conservation, Operation Game Theft works to stop the illegal taking of fish and wildlife that includes trophy animals and rare and endangered species.
  41. 1 point
    Been several years since I've gotten to get up there during the summer. Got to take my son and one of his friends on Friday and was NOT disappointed! Got on the water at 10:30 with 2 units running, then they turned it up to 3 at noon. Pulled off the water at 3:30... Made one run multiple times throughout the day which was from the line at the dam down to the ramp using 1/16 ounce homemade jigs at 2 units, then 3/32 & 1/8 at 3 units... 1/8 worked better at 3 because the fish would hardly come off the bottom. Was really surprised at the lack of clarity of water but could still see the bottom when the sun was just right. Caught a lot of them by sight fishing them, but most were caught blind jigging. We caught them on both banks and in the middle on the run we were making Got to see my son keep up with the old man as far as numbers go which was fun to watch him try to catch me. He's real close to hammerin down on me, but for now, I've got my bluff in on him! Ended up catching 84 rainbows in those 5 hours with the biggest being 21, 19, and 18 inch rainbows (most were between 13-16 inches). Didn't catch a brown all day which kinda surprised me, but did catch 2 white bass which didn't surprise me considering we absolutely smashed them below bull shoals a few weeks ago... never seen so many fish with "dam" scrapes on their sides! Overall, just a fun day fishing!!
  42. 1 point
    We've seen very little generation the past two weeks. If the U.S. Corps of Army Engineers run it at all it's midday for a couple of hours, enough to move algae out of the upper end of the lake. A slimy algae has been growing in both Table Rock and Taneycomo during daylight hours, which is normal for this time of year. The fish don't mind it, but it's tough on us anglers. With little generation, our water temperature inches up on warm, sunny days. Surface temperature may reach into the 60's, but the lower water levels are staying a safe and cool 50-something. This is actually beneficial for both trout and other aquatic life like midges and scuds. Plus, it makes the trout more active -- they like water in the upper 50's. We've had some rain the last few days but not enough to change generation patterns. Table Rock has only come up about nine inches, still under 916 feet which seems to be manageable. I see no big change in this pattern, unless we get a substantial rain, and then all bets are off. Fly fishing has been very good with the water off. I should say, small jigs and flies are drawing bites whether on a spin or fly rod. Zebra midges under a float and/or micro and small marabou jigs under a float are all working very well. We had a gentleman come in the shop today showing a jig that he couldn't keep the trout off of -- an 1/16th-ounce black and yellow marabou jig with a gold head. We quickly stocked some in our store. He said he was using it under a float. Duane Doty and I chased a crappie story on our lunch break today. We heard crappie were stacked along the wall at the Branson Landing, right in front of Joe's Crab Shack! We worked the lower half of the wall at the Landing using jigs and caught two rainbows -- but no crappie!! Guide Steve Dickey says the first two hours of the day have been the best for catching a lot of trout up in the trophy area on a variety of small jigs under a float. He's using a small ginger or light olive jig (marabou) or a half-micro in olive or brown. The best depth has been 39.5 inches deep. You'll have to ask him why 39.5 inches... Wayne and Rob Dickerson of northeast Kansas come to spend a week with us every May, renting a G-3 bass boat from us and fishing exclusively jigs all week. Well, Monday Rob scored a trophy brown, weighing 7.2 pounds, 23.25 inches long. They were drifting and throwing white 1/8th-ounce jigs along the bluff bank across from Cooper Creek. Sound familiar? Quite a few big browns have come off that bank. The fish was released at the dock after a few pictures and measurements. Spoons are still catching fish, especially down lake from Monkey Island, the mouths of Roark and Turkey Creeks and even up in those creeks a few hundred yards. Cleos, Kastmasters and Sin-a-Lures in varied colors thrown and retrieved are catching mainly rainbows and even a big one occasionally. Steve Stiehr of House Springs, MO, caught this 7.6-pound rainbow down lake yesterday on a green Spin-a-Lure. It was released at our dock. The best live bait by far has been air-inflated night crawlers. Set the weight 18 inches from the hook and that's how high off the bottom the worm will float. Trout will see and bite it a thousand times faster than non-inflated. Minnows under a float are working, too, especially up closer to the Fall Creek line. Set them about 36 inches deep.
  43. 1 point
    Phil Lilley

    Elevenpoint River

    The Eleven Point River is one of the most diverse and beautiful fisheries in Missouri. The Eleven Point is Missouri's only National Scenic and Wild Riverway and runs in large part through the Mark Twain National Forest. Fed by numerous springs, the river abounds with wildlife not only below the water's surface but also along its banks. The forested banks of the Eleven Point along with the many bluffs and some caves all make the Eleven Point probably the most pristine of the Missouri Ozark float streams. By being a little off the beaten path, the Eleven Point does not get nearly the traffic as the other famous float rivers in Missouri. As for fishing, the Eleven Point offers quality rainbow trout fishing for about 20 miles and boasts one of the only reproducing populations. Other species of note are smallmouth bass, goggle-eye, chain pickerel, and walleye. Trout fishing starts at the confluence of the Greer Spring branch and the river. Greer is the world's 10th largest spring and doubles the size of the river while turning it into a cold water fishery. This is the beginning of the blue ribbon trout section and it extends about six miles to Turner Mill Spring. Flies and artificial lures are only are allowed (soft plastic and baits are prohibited); the limit is one fish at 18 inches or longer. There is a strong population in this section of river. The trout have taken hold and are very healthy. The average trout caught are 12-14 inches, and there are plenty of trophy-sized fish that are just a lot tougher to catch. The Eleven Point is deeper than most Ozarks trout streams and is difficult to wade for long stretches between shoals. Therefore, watercraft is advisable. You must be willing to go a little deeper for fish than in most rivers in this region. Dry fly fishing is a rarity on the Eleven Point. A 9-foot, 5- to 6-weight fly rod works best on this river. The following is a list of recommended flies: -Don's Crawdad --This is one of the most productive patterns on the Eleven Point. There are tons of crawdads in the river and they are a major food source. Fish this small crawdad under a strike indicator and look for takes on the dead drift and the swing. As with most things you fish here, you need to get it to the bottom for the best results. -M.O.A.T. (mother of all tungsten)- This is a stonefly like pattern with three tungsten beads, peacock dubbing, and rubber legs. It really gets down and catches fish. Use it as a lead fly and attach different smaller droppers. bh peasant tail soft hackle peasant tail hare's ear in tan, olive and black in-cased caddis (mostly green pupae, but do have some cream-colored ones) bh crackle back egg in fall through December midge pupae copper johns (variety of colors) san Juan worms, especially after a rain stone flies in black or brown will work most of the year, although use gold from late August through the first part of November leech patterns --Mohair and bunny leeches work well in tan, olive and black wooly buggers (variety of sizes and colors) sculpins and other streamer patterns, something to imitate a little rainbow trout The 14 miles below Turner Mill to Riverton (Hwy 160 bridge) is stocked regularly and is designated as white ribbon. The limit is four trout per day of any size and any lures and baits are allowed. All of the above flies and lures still apply to this area. In addition many spin fishermen report good luck using little rubber grubs, minnows, worms and Power Bait. Eleven Point River Trip - Fall 2015 from Focal Imaging LLC on Vimeo. Floating the Elevenpoint River To the experienced canoeist, the Eleven Point is a relatively easy river (Class I and Class II on the International Scale) requiring intermediate experience. Snags, trees and root wads still remain the most dangerous of all obstacles and, on occasion, may require scouting from shore. Although canoes are the time-tested means of travel through fast water, flat bottom jon boats are used on the river, primarily for fishing trips. You may encounter some boats with motors. Motor boats are restricted to a 25-horsepower limit. Canoeists should learn to read the water ahead. Whitewater riffles mean that rocks lie very close to the water surface, and you are about to enter a "chute" where water flows faster. The safest course to follow is the smooth water, shaped like a "V" pointing downstream. Watch out for root wads! Water rushes under and through the exposed roots of fallen trees and creates hazardous conditions. Learn to avoid obstructions. Back paddle as to change positions or use "draw" or "pry" strokes to move laterally. From OA Forum by Bob Steffen: Short 2 Day, trout intensive trek - Greer to Whitten 11.5 mi: Camp night before at Greer Access (NE intersection of MO-19 @ River). Allow 1 hour to visit Greer Spring (drive to the Spring Trail, S of river, W of MO-19 - then hike 1 mile down plus one mile back up). Or, allow 1 more hour to drive up to see the old mill at Falling Spring. Fish under the MO-19 bridge, upstream, and wherever you can cast to the south bank. Turn in early and get a good night sleep. See Eleven Point Canoe Rental for canoe and logistics. Get latest fishing conditions from Brian. Get on the river as early as possible. Spend lots of time fishing the side waters of the 1st island and below. Be heavy, get down, get deep. Stop and fish a lot. Great spots consecutively appear. Stop immediately below Mary Decker shoals and throw heavy stuff at the pigs that live beneath those boulders. Stop at Turner Mill north access and hike up to see the old mill wheel and the spring. Camp at Stinking Pond (5 mi and not smelly in the springtime) or Horseshoe Bend (9 mi) Forest Service Float camps. (Fish channel immediately upstream and waters across river from either Float camp). Stay up late. Enjoy the solitude. Watch the eagles and bats hunt. Keep an eye out for bears. Leisurely morning. Fish to Whitten. This is only 5 miles from Stinking Pond and even closer to Horseshoe Bend. More great fishing, so take your time and enjoy. All the way, you will need a strategy to keep the river from pulling you downstream faster than you want/need to go. Take out at Whitten Long 2 Day, fishing/exploration trek - Greer to Riverton 19 mi: All of the above, plus: Start catching 50-50 rainbows and smallmouth below Horseshoe Bend. Don's crawdad fly and Rebel Craw lure are hard to beat. Camp at Horseshoe Bend (9 mi), Barnhollow (10 mi), Whites Creek (12 mi), or Greenbriar (14 mi). Note: Each of these float camps is a short distance up an inlet/feeder creek. Some are not marked well. They all have flat tent space, fire rings, nice latrines, and decent fishing nearby; making them good campsite options. Be sure to check out the Boze Mill Spring on right, about 2 miles upstream from Riverton. Throw something meaty and deep downstream of the spring outlet, north shore. Take out at Riverton, US-160. If early, fish west side of river bank. Long 3 Day, trout & smallmouth trek - Greer to The Narrows 30 miles: It doesn't get any better than this, unless you've got all week. 90% smallmouth downstream of US-160. Rooster tail spinners (slower retrieve than trout). River Levels Elevenpoint River Levels near Ravenden Springs, AR Elevenpoint River Levels near Bardley, MO Access and Campsites- Thomasville at SH 99 Bridge at 0.0 miles (this section down to SH 19 not recommended in low-water) Cane Bluff Access and picnic area at 9.3 miles SH 19 bridge at 16.6 miles (campsites and put-in with trail to Greer Spring about a mile up the hill) USFS boat ramp in Greer Springs Campground on river right at about 16.7 miles Turner's Mill North (river left) and Turner's Mill South (river right) at about 21.5 miles Stinking Pond Float Camp on river left at 22.3 miles Horseshoe Bend Float Camp on river left at 26.5 miles Barn Hollow Float Camp on river left at 27.0 miles White Creek Float Camp on river left at 28.5 miles Greenbriar Float Camp on river left at 31.0 miles Bozeman Float Camp on river left at 33.5 miles Riverton / SH 160 bridge on east side at 35.7 miles Morgan Creek Float Camp at 44.0 miles SH 142 Bridge on river left at about 44.3 miles MDC Myrtle Access on river right at 48.0 miles Missouri-Arkansas state line at 49.0 miles Fishing Regulations Trout: 5.5 miles Oregon County Greer Spring Branch junction to Turner Mill Access At least 18 inches Daily Limit 1 Artificial lures and flies only No Red Ribbon Area on the Eleven Point 14.2 miles Oregon County Downstream from Turner Mill Access Rainbow trout - none. Brown trout - at least 15 inches. Daily limit- 4 trout. No bait restrictions *Limits: 4 trout daily. 8 possession. (no size restriction) *Brown trout state-wide limit is 15 inches. Smallmouth Bass: They are found throughout the system. Statewide season on bass in rivers and streams is open from the 4th Saturday of May till the last day in February annually. 1 daily. 15-inch minimum length. Goggle Eye: They are everywhere and are quite tasty. 15 daily. 30 possession. 8-inch minimum length. Walleye: These fish are found closer to the Arkansas border. The better walleye fishing is in Arkansas. 4 daily, 8 possession. 18-inch minimum length. Chain Pickerel: 6 daily, 12 possession Fishing Licenses - Residents - those fishing of the ages of 16 and older and 65 are required to have on their person a valid Missouri fishing lisense. Those 65 and older do not need a fishing lisense. Proof of residency - Valid Missouri Drivers Lisense. Non-residents - those fishing of the ages of 16 and older are required to have on their person a valid Missouri fishing lisense. A Missouri TROUT STAMP is required for ANYONE who fishes the trophy or Blue Ribbon area on the Current River, regardless if the angler is keeping or releasing their catch. (New March 1, 2005) Cost- Resident - $12 annual (March 1 thru last day of February) Border Permit - $10 Non-Resident - $42 annual (March 1 thru last day of February) Daily Permit - $7 (midnight to midnight) Buy Missouri Fishing Licenses Online! Report Violations - Poachers In cooperation with the Missouri Department of Conservation, Operation Game Theft works to stop the illegal taking of fish and wildlife that includes trophy animals and rare and endangered species.
  44. 1 point
    We had a change in generation/flood gates the other day that dropped the flow from 20,000 to 15,000 cubic feet per second of water -- which was a good thing. Table Rock dropped below the magic 920 feet mark, so the U.S. Corps of Army Engineers closed off most of the water coming over the spill gates. I don't know the exact flow of water coming over the gates, but the water coming through the turbines has varied from 9,000 to 13,000 c.f.s. daily. The lake level dropped about 18 inches here at the resort, and the flow is much slower, although it's still fairly swift. The threadfin shad that were coming over the spill gates have all but stopped, but the fish are still looking for them. Fishing pressure in the trophy area has been pretty heavy the last couple of days -- they've seen a lot of white jigs. Some of our guides have been switching over to dark jigs -- as the white bite diminishes -- and have done well. Below Fall Creek, drifting and getting bait, flies and lures to the bottom has been the key. Bait: Gulp Eggs in, yes, white has done pretty well with chartreuse right behind it. Minnows and night crawlers should be good, too. Flies: White shad fly, of course, Mega Worm (white yarn San Juan Worm), #12 gray scud, and white wooly. I'd also try other colors of San Juan Worms and scuds, too. Lures: White jig, of course, and I'd suggest a small, floating silver stick bait such as a F-5 Rapala. The wind was wicked today, coming out of the north. Rather than pinpoint the best areas to fish, I'm going to say you should target areas with the least amount of wind. You could find other areas where the fish are bunched up and hungry, but if you can't get your bait or lure to them with the proper presentation, you're not going to catch them. Wind really hurts your presentation, in most cases, so I suggest finding an area on the lake where the wind isn't as bad. Guys cleaning trout Friday evening said most of their fish were full of shad, but some were full of scuds.
  45. 1 point
    It's been an interesting 30 days here on our tailwater. News of the trouble on Lake Taneycomo in November reached most local newspapers. But about as soon as the news was really spreading, the situation righted itself and tragedy was adverted. The water quality from Table Rock had deteriorated so badly that trout started dying both in the tailwater and in the Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery. But a welcome cold snap flipped Table Rock's water over at the dam, sending good, oxygenated water to the bottom. Our water here on Taneycomo is excellent now and will stay that way through the summer. Generation has been consistent the past couple of weeks. The pattern has been two units running 24/7. We've had a couple of good, soaking rains that bumped up lake levels above us, but that has only has prolonged the current water flows, not increased them. As soon as Table Rock's level drops to or below 915 feet, we may see less generation -- or maybe no generation for periods of time. I'd almost call Taneycomo's trout fishing excellent right now. I don't use that word to describe fishing (catching) very often because it implies that everyone can catch fish if they try. But if you drift using a drift rig and a 3/8-ounce bell weight, topping your hook either with half a night crawler or a Power Bait egg, and drift from Fall Creek to the Landing, you'll catch a trout, probably several trout. The Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery has stocked more rainbows than staff had scheduled for these winter months because of the poor water quality back in November, so there are more fish in the lake than normal for December, translating to a plethora of trout to be caught. But as I said in my last fishing report, please do not take advantage of this abundance of trout. If you're keeping fish, please obey the law and keep your daily limit of four trout and your possession limit of eight -- and that's all. And be mindful how you handle trout when you release caught fish. Cut the line if the hook is buried. Hooks are cheap! I've already given you the best way to catch trout right now. Dock fishing is just okay at present, but night crawlers are the best bait. If you're interested in catching bigger trout, throw a crank bait. Stick baits such as Rapalas, Rogues and all the other baits you'd throw for bass will work. I'd throw medium to large baits, too, not the small ones. Fly fishing has been tough mainly because of the turbidity of the water. When Table Rock turns over, we get a lot of brown sediment in our water, but it will clear up in January. If you're fly fishing and using flies under a float deep, I'd try larger flies such as a #10 scud, egg flies or San Juan Worms in big, bright colors. I've drifted these flies using a drift rig in the trophy area lately but really haven't done that well. It really is better fishing below Fall Creek right now.
  46. 1 point
    Phil Lilley

    2015 Jigfest Reports

    Bill and I just got home from our White River trip. Yes, we came home early because Bill has a guide trip in the morning. But we fished all day yesterday and this morning. We started at the Norfork Tailwater ramp at 8 am. We met Brad Smith, fishing guide for that area. Brad helped us the past couple of years at our Healing Waters event and invited us to fish. We launched and headed to the dam. They were running water, lake level at 378.5 feet. I was throwing a 3/32nd oz sculpin jig and Bill had an egg fly/San Juan Worm combo under a float 8 feet deep. I caught a couple small rainbows right off the bat. Bill - nothing. The water was brown like Taney's was a few weeks ago. We floated on down with some success. We drifted down to McClelland's and boated back up. Caught a crappie at the line and another small rainbow. We drifted down past the handicap access this time before deciding to calling it. Caught a few small rainbows but it just wasn't worth staying. We thought the White would produce better so pulled out and headed to Norfork. We stopped and grabbed a bite to eat at Heidi's Ugly Cakes & Sandwich Shops. Nice place, good food and great gal - Heidi! Definitely a place to visit if you're in the area. Headed to Rim Shoals on the White. Water was cleaner and better color. We started at the ramp and drifted down throwing 3/2nd oz jigs. Colors used: sculpin/ginger, brown/orange. ginger and white. Caught fish on most colors but they were scattered. We drifted down to the mouth of Crooked Creek and boated back up. This time we drifted a new route and off the point of an island on a gravel drop, I saw a rainbow swipe my jig. Cool!! It was a nice one. But Bill hooked one at the same time and Brad went to help him net his fish. When he turned and saw what I had he exclaimed, "That a nice rainbow for the White!" It was broad and colored like a male rainbow getting close to spawn. Measured 18-inches according to my Photarium. We ended the day with maybe 24 trout between us, including a pretty cutthroat Bill caught. Great day, good company on an awesome river! Back at the lodge, guys started coming in from fishing and arriving for the weekend's trip. We stayed at Riley's Station outside Buffalo City on the White. We ate, watched a great football game and sent to bed. This morning, Bill and I headed to Wildcat Shoals access to meet Brad. We put the boat in at 9 am and yes it was still chilly! The breeze was moving the fog up river again but the sun quickly warmed everything up. We both threw a jig this time and we switched to a heavier weight because the water was running much harder than yesterday. There was quite a bit of debry in the river too - weeds, leaves and sticks washed in the lake from the edges and rising water. We drifted down and worked the bank and caught a few trout - one real pretty 13 inch brown came it. We headed back up and past Wildcat, on to the Narrows and tried our luck up there. Bill put on his float and fly jig. Neither of us had another bite. We packed up at noon and headed back. Don't know why the trout were as fussy as they were... but that's fishing. I bet the guys tear them up tomorrow!
  47. 1 point
    This has been quite a week here on Taneycomo. Trout dying at our hatchery--lethal levels of nitrogen and sulphur in Table Rock's water--zero levels of DO coming through the dam into the hatchery--and high nutrient levels in Table Rock is blamed. I made a couple of trips out to the hatchery on Tuesday after hearing rumors on Facebook about huge numbers of trout dying and big fish kills in the lake. All those reports were bogus--exaggerated as suspected. But trout did die in large numbers and hatchery personnel couldn't do much about it except try to move fish to other raceways where the water was a little better. They have succeeded in saving a vast majority of the fish in the hatchery including most of the brood stock but they have had to change their management schedule to make it happen. Are we out of the woods? Not quite. But cooler temperatures haven't brightened all our faces and cold weather this weekend may turn the tide. As Table Rock's surface temperature drops into the 50's, it should cause the lake to "flip" or turn over. This sends cooler water, high in dissolved oxygen down to the depths of the lake and mixes the layers of water throughout the lake. This should cause the water flowing into Taneycomo to get better--more oxygen and less suphur and nitrogen. As winter and colder temperatures approach, it will get better and better. Another issue was 5 to 7 inches of rain the area received on Tuesday. This brought Table Rock's level up past 917 feet which is a level that the Corp considers the mark between normal winter pool and flood pool. So they needed to release water to keep the level from reaching levels above 917 feet, so much so that they were restricted by their own rules from releasing this using their turbines. They simply couldn't inject enough O2 into the water to keep it above 4 ppm which is their minimum standard. So they had no choice but to spill water over the top flood gates in addition to some through the turbines. They started released yesterday at 4 p.m. and continue to presently. Consequently, this has brought up our DO levels in our lake! Yippy!! That's what the trout think. This morning, my friend Rolan Duffield, as well as guide Chuck Gries, reported trout fishing was excellent! They drifted San Juan Worms and egg flies under an indicator 10-12 feet under an indicator from the dam down to Trophy Run and caught lots of strong and health rainbows. Others downstream reported doing pretty well too. But you had to put up with the strong sulphur odor--yep--rotten eggs! The trout caught up below the dam were spitting up tons of scuds too. I'm sure the running water as displaced them from their resting places along the banks. Not sure how long the gates will be open--hopefully for a few days. But we're over the hump I believe, or at least real close to it.
  48. 1 point
    Phil Lilley

    Stalking Trout

    By Brett Rader ~~ As we walked down the stairs near outlet #2 on Lake Taneycomo I told my son Marlin to watch out for the back casts from the throngs of anglers drifting their hardware through the current of that outlet. The occasional upward yank from the elbow to elbow masses crowding that 8 foot stretch of current meant another trout had bumped a line, escaped a snag to the pectoral, or perhaps even taken one of the many parade floats that get thrown in front of their faces on a constant basis. There was a time in my life that I would stand there like the rest of them, looking like opening day at Bennett Springs...OK, maybe not that bad...but hoping to get that prime spot at the base of the stairs where I could drift my bug through holding fish that are longing to get back to their birth place...the hatchery. Are there fish there? You Bet! Hundreds of them sometimes. They're always there...every day, and they're easy to catch. But that's not why we were there. We had much bigger things in mind today. What we needed right off the bat were the right conditions. We knew we had those conditions before we left the house. Looking off our deck I saw a quiet and still Lake Taneycomo. We're about 4-5 miles downstream from the dam, so I called 417-336-5083 to hear what they may be generating as it can take a half hour or so before generation makes it down to our place. Good news! Zero units generating. We had our ideal conditions...we had our plan of attack. Today we would be stalking and sightcasting to trophy browns and rainbows. If you're a fly fisherman I'm sure you've heard the term sightcasting before. It simply means visually spotting a holding fish and throwing your fly in an attempt to catch that one particular fish. I think a lot of people get a little intimidated by that term. Maybe they question their casting accuracy or maybe they just don't know how to spot holding fish underwater and therefore don't bother trying. They'll try their luck dredging the deeper, darker holes hoping to pluck an unseen trophy on a hope and a prayer. Don't get me wrong...the deep holes hold fish and I fish them often. I'll even pull a big one out of there from time to time, so they're always worth exploring. But you would be amazed at how many fish over 20" can be caught in water barely deep enough to cover their backs...sometimes not even that deep! Have you ever walked along a bank on upper Taneycomo and watched fish dart from the shore as you take those first few cool refreshing steps into the water? Maybe you just saw a swirl or a big shape pushing water away on the surface as it raced to deeper cover. Maybe you frantically throw your big indicator, weight and fly in the general direction as you mutter something like..."man, those were some nice ones!". It happens again as you splash through shallow water towards one of your favorite runs like Rebar or the Big Hole. You think to yourself that you can't catch those fish...way too shallow...couldn't even set my float shallow enough to fish it and they never take softhackles or dry flies there anyway. So you trudge on through, watching the wakes of some big fish part like the Red Sea as you blindly make a bee line to your favorite hole... you know, the same one you've been talking about in the truck with your buddy before you even got to the river. You know where you're going but first you have to walk through that shallow water to get there and all those spooky fish just get you more excited about reaching your predetermined destination. Well let's take a step back for a second, take a breath...practice a little patience and really examine what's going on there in that shallow water on the banks. The banks and shallow water on the shores of upper Lake Taneycomo are loaded with monster brown and rainbow trout. You've seen them before in all the situations I've described above. If you look close you'll see quite a bit of surface activity created by these fish. If you look REAL close you'll even see a tail or dorsal fin waving in the air at you now and then like a bonefish on a Bahama flat. What are these fish doing? They're digging for scuds. Trout predominately eat two things in Lake Taneycomo...midges and scuds. And with all things being equal, scuds are their favorite, and provide the most nutrition for the energy expended. Our lake is LOADED with scuds. It's why all those trout follow you around and bump your ankles as you walk around. Your shuffling feet disturb the bottom causing scuds to lodge free from the gravel bottom as they frantically swim back down to the safety of the riverbed. Well, there's a ton of scuds in the shallows around the banks up there and these fish are always on the prowl for the occasional stray and, in fact, move the gravel around with their snouts attempting to dislodge the bounty beneath. By now you're saying..Ok Hemmingway!...get to the point! How do I catch them. Would you believe me if I said it was easy? How about if I said you stand a good chance of catching a 20" plus fish without even getting your feet wet. OK, here we go. One word! Presentation! They key is putting your fly (a scud) in front of these active fish in a natural and non-threatening way. If a fish is moving in any way, shape, or form, it's a target. Even those that are just hanging in a current or on the bottom (like brown trout) not budging at all, can be caught at times so if you see a fish you want to catch...try it! Lets start with equipment. We're talking fly fishing here. Your basic 4-5 wt rod...8 1/2 - 9 feet is just fine. Heavier than a 5 is getting a little clunky. Lighter than 4 and you'll have a hard time landing these bad boys. WF or DT floating line...no sinking or sink tip. You won't be using a lot of line so the line quality is really not too critical. Tippet...I'm a huge believer in fluorocarbon. In fact, I use nothing but Rio Fluoroflex Plus or the new Deceiver fluorocarbon from Umpqua. I'll use 6x if there's a chop in the water or if it's overcast. If it's clear and calm, I'll typically use 7x. Here's where a 4 wt rod or a mid to full flex 5 wt will pay dividends as it will protect your tippet more. Your strike indicator isn't always necessary but I typically use one half of one pinch-on Palsa float. If it's windy I'll use a whole Palsa, but I always use the regular white Palsa and not the colored ones. There are two reasons for that. I think the white is the least threatening. From under the surface it's the least contrasting color even being mistaken perhaps for bubbles on the waters surface. The other reason is that the colored versions have that sharp edge where they apply the color that can cause a few more tangles on false casts. That theory I have for all indicator fishing and not just for stalking. What comes next??...the weight right??..No! In fact, I don't use any weight with this method in most cases. The reason is, we don't want to cause a lot of surface noise when we make our presentation, PLUS, you want your fly to drop slowly and naturally in the water column and not 90 miles an hour behind a chunk of lead. That may sound odd to you but trust me, it makes a big difference. Next comes the fly. I won't lie to you...this is critical. In this case, size matters and I never fish anything bigger than a 16 and usually prefer fishing #20's. What I typically do is tie a size 20 fly on a #18 hook to get a little better hookup percentage. What also matters is a natural looking scud. No bead heads, wire ribbing...holographic dubbing, shell backs or any of that eye catching, flashy material typically found on today's popular patterns. My favorite pattern as you might have guessed is one of my own Chartered Waters creations I call the Bit Scud. "Bit" meaning just a little bit of a thing. A simple, understated beauty that would get overlooked in anyone's fly box. Another solid pattern I tie is the SoftShelled Scud in the same sizes as above. Lastly, is the G-Bug. It wouldn't be a stretch to say I've caught over half of the fish I've ever caught in my life on a G-Bug in one form or another. In this case I'm using #18's to #22's. Lastly, is the depth. You want your fly about half a foot deeper than the water you're fishing. One and a half feet deep is a good rule of thumb as most of this fishing is done in about a foot of water. OK...you got all that? Now it's time to catch some fish! The first thing you'll notice when you walk along a bank looking for fish is that you're the only one doing it. Nobody fishes this way. I took a client out this Memorial Day weekend and we had the North bank from outlet # 2 down to #3 all to ourselves, so you'll love the elbow room. 99% of the time I'll never put a foot in the water when I'm stalking. There are a few good flats where you can walk out over them but most of it is done from the bank. One reason is to remain hidden and to let the fish remain calm in their regular routine. The other reason not to enter the water is, you're taking away targets. Remember how those fish follow you around when you wade? We'll...if you're in the water the fish are attracted to your walking. Unless you're a shuffler (and we know you're not a shuffler right?)...we don't want the fish at our feet. Lastly is, standing on the bank you have a better view of the fish below you...and don’t forget your polarized sunglasses. All are subtle advantages you gain, but you always want as many advantages as you can get. The next thing you want to do is take out about 10 feet of fly line from the end of your rod while holding your fly in your non-casting hand. The goal here is to be ready to flip your fly out in front of a cruising or scudding fish without having to strip line or false cast and it's really just a flip of the wrist to shoot it out there. I'll sometimes slowly wave my line in a soft figure 8 pattern as I walk the shore to keep it out of the moss and water and ready to shoot towards my target. I know it sounds a little too "River Runs Through It" cute, but it really does allow you to quickly respond to a target fish. Keep a low profile. I'm not talking hands and knees here but you can bend down a little and flip your fly sidearm to keep commotion down to a minimum. Sometimes you'll find fish working a particular area and you can actually wait in one area for fish to cruise past you as opposed to hunting them down. Before you send one towards a fish, take a second to get your fly wet and to squeeze all the air out of it while holding it underwater. Remember you don't have any weight so you need a saturated fly so it slowly falls in the water column. While your primary target is moving fish, don't pass up a big stationary fish either as they will react to this presentation. That being said, the active ones will make more decisive moves on it. The water current is slow to nearly nonexistent in these areas so you want to put your fly sometimes up to 10 feet or more in front of the fishes general bearing depending on how fast the fish is moving. The key is to have your fly arrive at the bottom at the same time to just before the fish arrives at the same spot. Watch how long it takes your fly to fall in the water column while you're fishing so you know how long it will take to get it in front of the fish as it moves towards your offering. It takes 7-10 seconds for my Bit Scuds and G-Bugs to fall a foot and a half with no weight. Keep that in mind as you cast ahead of your target. So now you've found a fish. You're rigged and ready....you've been quiet and he's about 10ft off shore moving slowly to your left. Flip your fly out there about 10 feet in front of him trying your best to land your rig straight out over the water with a soft touchdown. By that I mean you want to cast farther than the amount of line you have out, so the rig will straighten out over the water and not land fly first followed by tippet, indicator and leader. You know when you have a real good cast...all the line you have stripped out shoots through your guides so hard that it pulls a few clicks off your drag before straightening out then softly floats down completely straight?...That's what you're looking for in a very short distance and not quite so hard. The goal is to have as little "slack" between your fly and your indicator as your fly floats (sinks) down in the water. Don't despair when you spook a few fish. It will happen. It still happens to me. The good thing is these fish get over it pretty quick and there's a good chance you'll see him again within 4-5 minutes. So now you've done everything right. You're fly is in front of that fish...it reaches bottom about a foot or two ahead of the fish...what next? Watch the fish's reaction. You'll know if he saw it and if he's interested. Often, if you're a little off target but the dropping fly catches the fishes eye he will make a move towards the fly...you're getting close to payoff now. You'll see the fish quicken the pace as it moves in for the take. Don't get nervous!...Ah, go ahead and get a little nervous. That's what it's all about anyway, right? The adrenaline rush...the anticipation...the moment of truth...if you're not a little nervous then it's not fun. Your fish will slow right before inhaling it...it will probably cock its head a little to get a better angle before picking it up...you may see the mouth open as it sucks it in but the real image you're looking for is that tell tale flash of white from the inside of the fishes mouth. That little flash of white means the fish has inhaled your fly and that's your key to pull the trigger. Set it quick!...but not hard. Remember, these are educated fish that have lived in this river for a few years and they've seen and felt more than one phony scud. You typically have less than a second to react before he's spitting it back out and won't be interested in that pattern for the rest of the day. They will occasionally hold on to it longer, but don't count on it. The one thing my clients have a hard time learning is, being quick enough with the hookset. Even veterans find it surprising how quick you need to be. At this point you may be asking yourself why the need for an indicator? My eyes are the first indicator I use. If I can see the fish and I can see my fly (or at least the general area where my fly would have fallen to) I'm looking for the white flash. If the fishes body obstructs the view of its mouth or there's a chop on the water or even a glare where you can't see the fish clearly...then I'm watching that indicator for the slightest little twitch and I mean slight. That is the reason to get that cast out there straight so when the fish does take it there's a direct connection to that indicator. Did I say the slightest twitch?? I meant the SLIGHTEST TWITCH!!! When I take clients on a stalk I tell them to set the hook when I say go. I want them to watch the indicator (or the fish) so they learn, but often, especially early on they tell me "How did you know there was a fish on there?" I saw the twitch! Rarely will that indicator go under. Sometimes it will just start moving without a twitch, meaning the fish sucked it in so passively that it didn't even make it twitch. It's subtle no doubt, but soon you'll be picking it up and it will come much more naturally to you. Lastly you need to do a little preventive maintenance before you send your fly towards a fish. Make sure your line is tangle free...no wraps around the tip or butt section...you're not standing on your fly line , etc. When you stick these fish they will run like a bonefish out of that shallow water taking every inch of slack you have out and then some. Keep your drag light and be patient. Their first instinct is deeper water and you'll get some blistering runs. Again, isn't that what it's all about? The thrill, the excitement. The anticipation of the take, the explosion of water and power and it all happens right before your eyes. You'll learn a lot about how a trout behaves by sight fishing. The subtleties of how a fish reacts to different situations will surprise you and most definitely educate you. It is by far the most exciting method of fishing you can experience. In my humble opinion it is the best way to catch trophy trout here on upper Taneycomo. This method works all year long and is best with zero to one unit of water generating. You can find fishable pockets with two units running but you start needing more weight, bigger indicators and it becomes less of a finesse presentation game and more typical of indicator fishing. Do you want to catch a brown trout of a lifetime? Try this around October through January up by the dam when they're spawning and you may just want to stay here forever. The pictures shown here are of my 11 year old son Marlin and myself on a June 6th 2004 trip fishing, about 1-1/2 hours total. All these fish were over 20 inches and all different fish. We lost two bigger browns and probably caught about 30 fish total in that time. Every day isn't this good but many are. You can drop me an email or go to our website at Chartered Waters or call 1-866-362-1928 if you need further explanation of this technique or if you want to pick up a few of these fly patterns. Of course we'd love to take you out on a guided trip for a hands on education and our guarantee that you will catch fish or your trip is free. Folks, you have to try this technique! You'll be amazed at the results and how much more water will suddenly become available to you. With a little more patience and a little more concentration you may never leave the bank again! At the very least you'll think twice about splashing through those shallows before scoping out a potential fish of a lifetime. Stalking trophy Lake Taneycomo trout. It's my favorite way to fly fish for trout. It just may become your favorite way too!
  49. 1 point
    I eventually stopped counting at 20 but caught more after that. Had 5 get off that I could confirm were bass. Most of the smallies in the 8-10" range but 8 over 12". At one point I have 3 legal smallies in 3 cast. Most of the bass were smallies. 5 Largemouth and one Spot. Plenty of Gills - since I'm usually using panfish lures. 1 Drum I caught on a live crawdad. The Goggle-Eye have finally shown their faces. Caught 7. Most in the 6" range and 2 over 8". And 6 catfish. 4 Channels and 2 Flatheads. The start of the day they were hitting a 1/8oz White Rooster tail. Then a few on a yellow crickhopper. I really started to get into them when I switched to a 1/8oz Yellow Rooster Tail. I don't know what it is about smallies and the color yellow, but they seem to love it. I had to switch to a 1/8oz Chartreuse Rooster Tail because I lost the yellow one, but it kept producing. I got to my camping spot. Trapped some minnows then started using those. Simple rig, just a #6 hook a sinker and a peg float to keep it off the bottom. Cast into the current and keep the line tight, trying my best to make sure I don't hook any deep. The smallies were eating them up. And that's also how I got my first cat. The more I and more I have been studying cats I have learned at least in the ozark streams. If a smallie is there, so is a channel. Lately I've been fishing for them during they day casting cut bait in the places I usually try getting smallies. I don't always bring a cat in, but I'm almost always getting bites within 15 minutes. Anyway at dusk I slip sinker rigged a live perch. And Santee Rigged some cut shad. The rest of the cats were caught on the Santee rig. Even the Flatheads. The next day was tougher not as many fish but still pulled in 2 bass over 12". One was over 15". I used a White Rooster tail, Yellow Crickhopper, And the winner for the day was a Red Tinny Wee Deep Diving Crawdad Plug. Here's the pics. I didn't start taking pics until the afternoon of the first day. After my 3 legals in 3 cast convinced me to keep the camera handy. Attached Thumbnails http://forums.ozarkanglers.com/uploads/monthly_06_2015/post-16891-0-13579800-1433900367.jpg http://forums.ozarkanglers.com/uploads/monthly_06_2015/post-16891-0-96836000-1433900376.jpg http://forums.ozarkanglers.com/uploads/monthly_06_2015/post-16891-0-39594700-1433900387.jpg http://forums.ozarkanglers.com/uploads/monthly_06_2015/post-16891-0-24566400-1433900396.jpg http://forums.ozarkanglers.com/uploads/monthly_06_2015/post-16891-0-42971300-1433900406.jpg http://forums.ozarkanglers.com/uploads/monthly_06_2015/post-16891-0-20054200-1433900422.jpg http://forums.ozarkanglers.com/uploads/monthly_06_2015/post-16891-0-90283700-1433900430.jpg http://forums.ozarkanglers.com/uploads/monthly_06_2015/post-16891-0-90173700-1433900436.jpg http://forums.ozarkanglers.com/uploads/monthly_06_2015/post-16891-0-47570000-1433900445.jpg http://forums.ozarkanglers.com/uploads/monthly_06_2015/post-16891-0-02211400-1433900452.jpg http://forums.ozarkanglers.com/uploads/monthly_06_2015/post-16891-0-42095600-1433900462.jpg http://forums.ozarkanglers.com/uploads/monthly_06_2015/post-16891-0-86271500-1433900469.jpg http://forums.ozarkanglers.com/uploads/monthly_06_2015/post-16891-0-78781600-1433900476.jpg
  50. 1 point

    Got to go floating

    Had a couple of days off last week, so I packed up the camping gear and fishing tackle for an overnight solo float. I hit the water about 11:00 on Thursday and pulled off the water around 4pm on Friday. Started catching fish almost immediately and didn't stop catching them until I put my rod down at the takeout. 35 the first day in about 6 miles and 58 the second day with 4 17"ers and an 18.5. Ate some great food, endured a thunderstorm or two, and may have imbibed a few too many beers. Can't wait to do it again. My breakfast friday morning
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