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Bill Babler

OA Contributing Reporter
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Everything posted by Bill Babler

  1. Had 11 keepers yesterday with the best couple being at 3.10 pounds. One LM and one SM at that weight. Lots of other keeps in that 2.8 pound range. Only had 4 shorts. Everything on a 5/8th. GPO Pig Sticker with a Beaver trailer in GP. KC area 15' to 22' Bite was a solid jig bite unlike my earlier deal. Buddy simply tore them up at Shell Knob past couple of days on a modified Ned Rig with a skirt and a slim senko trailer. I'll try and get a pic. Ned was 1/4 oz. custom built mushroom head. Fish in 15' to 22'
  2. Today was my last day on Taney for a week or so. Guided a regular client that is an excellent fisherman. He likes to keep his limit and is super fun to guide as he names every fish we catch and keep or release. He is an absolute Hoot. Some of the names he gives these fish is not for an open forum. My sides usually hurt laughing after he is done. He said today i was in for a treat. He would just have a very short time to fish due to some family obligations. He was only going to fish for 1hr. He got in trouble cause he stayed to long. I think he went thru the alphabet naming fish in about 2 hrs. I'll take that any day, but really we could have been done on the first pass after about 20 minutes as he had 4 fifteen inch bows in the boat that quick using a fly rod and the PW on 7' of tippet under the indicator. Off to the Rock to chase Smallmouth this week.
  3. Jerry yell at me if your having trouble. I caught some in your area yesterday so they are getting out up there.
  4. You'll be fine then. As I said they are just getting started on the gravel. I hit a couple of my best locations and they were not out there yet. We are at least 3 weeks out from the best bite and it usually goes to near Thanksgiving, so you will be good to catch some. Get well quick and God Bless
  5. Bout time to pick up the “Big Boy Tools.” Had a day to pre-fish, my next 6 days after tomorrow are on the Rock. Watched Pete’s report and he said they are just about to start on gravel and today they were. Had 17 with 14 keepers all Jaw’s. Best 5 at 17lbs. Best 10 would push 30 pounds. Mike it’s about time to go as soon as I get a minute. It will only get better. I fished 5 hrs today and if I would have been on a jig to start no telling what. I fished 20 run outs today not staying or catching over 3 on any of them. I just wanted to see if they were there. They are just getting there. Fished from Cow to point 10 and to point 16 The bite was they would slack you. Just throw 3 sheets to the wind if you could not find your jig and they were on it. Got slacked a dozen times. Only one swallow. Durn 4 pounder and he hurt my shoulder to boot Boat in 35’. Fish in 12’ to 25’. Best deal I’m spit balling here was around 20’ Pig Sticker Quick 5 in GPO with either a GP Beaver, Yamamoto twin GP or a big Lake Fork Craw. GPO. Lake is TOTALLY full of Gizzards. If you see a big blow, use a big Swimbsut or Dixie Jet lots of Knot Heads blowing. Or as we now call them Bass Pro Tour Fish. I didn’t mess with them Funny deal. I pulled in on a run-out flat WAY, WAY behind another boat. Guy and his wife in a brand spankin new Ranger. He had already fished the bank and was at least 300 yards away. As close as he was to the bank I was for sure he was fishing the flower beds in the yards so I didn’t think it would matter if I fished behind him i caught 3 absolutely thumpers and if I’d have thrown as far as I could my bait still would have landed 15 yards deeper than he was sitting his boat I guess both he and his wife were watching cause he snatched up his motor and Zoomed back past me giving me the universal single finger salute as he passed. Kind of funny cause I would have given him any jig in my box and told him what I was doing People, can’t figure them out. GoodLuck
  6. If I see another question on how to fish a Powerworm on this site I will pull my remaining 2 head hairs out. We have more than went over this for the last 3 yrs
  7. Spoke to one of the head guys at Orvis today telling him my story about the Powerworm. Cool guy. He had guided in both Alaska and Kamchatka said as far as he knew there had never been a fly or for that matter anything that caught trout like a friggin Berkley Powerworm in Bubblegum “Said the only.” Only thing that was remotely near it was a mop fly. Or as we call it a Megaworm.
  8. Phil said it best in his reports, we start usually at around 6’ and it really depends on the area your fishing. I want it to either just “tick” the bottom or be very close. As the sun rises we fish it in deeper water to 10-12 ft. This is much harder and requires a bit of weight especially if the water is running. No my swivel does not go thru the float
  9. Been out everyday this week and the fishing EARLY is outstanding. Most days we are averaging 35 fish in a 4 hr. trip. Bite continues to be especially early on the no cloud sunny days from about 6:30 to 9. First hour is simply unreal. If there is cloud cover they will continue to bite. by 10 AM, its time to do something else Size has been just unreal, with lots of fish in the 14 to 18 inch range. Duane and I were shouting back and forth about good fish this morning. Best bite early is on the Powerworm but it goes away. You then need to go to crawlers and they will continue on that till that 10 o'clock number then it gets testy.
  10. Would it not be great to just remove every private dock from Table Rock. I think that would pretty much end the fussing. By the way I am a dock owner and would cheer the day they said to get it out of the water. It is no more than a hole in the water to throw money into. We have 2 slips and use neither. They are in a trust so there is really nothing I can do about them. Other than hate them.
  11. I could not agree with you more. Total cluster around the all the ramps with the rip-rap. Limited docking space and then nothing along the shore line even in non-wake areas. And tell me why in Heck have they put boulders in front of some of the parking on the lake side at Eagle Rock. Simply STUPID.
  12. Bill Babler

    Big Fish

    Triploid Brown Trout, Lake Taneycomo September 4th. 2019 Girth 28 inches, length 41 1/4 inches weight Forty pounds 6 oz. Certified Missouri State Record. Really at this point I have no idea for a title for this post or a reason that God made it possible for me to catch it. It was simply his plan. For sure a day I will never forget, with a sad note in that we were not able to get it properly released even with the amount of care that we provided. Again it was not to be and there is a reason for everything. On a much brighter note, I just caught the State Record Brown trout and got a big congratulations call from the Director of the Missouri Conservation Department. Today was a pleasure fishing trip for me. Seems like there has been a few lately just getting back from Alasky with Phil, but never the less my long time best friend from Grade School came down to trout fish today and we were going to get him a couple of nice plump rainbows to take home. If you have been following our reports you know that the fish have been all over the Power Worm. Bubble Gum. Don't buy any. Both Duane and I have been fishing the same stretch of water just below the restricted zone for a week. Duane more than me, as a matter of fact I keep wanting to fish a scud in the restricted zone and he as they say, "made me do it." None the less, since we were going to keep a couple we started below the mouth of Fall Creek, with the Pink Worm. At this point I will tell you there is never a day that my equipment is not gone totally over. I never fish terminal line or tackle two days in a row. Never. Everything is broken down and rebuilt, everyday. Never fail and what I and Mark were fishing was put together last night. Main line on the Daiwa Fuego, BP Excel mono in 4 lb. to a carrot float. Below the float a Spro, sampo style swivel and then 7'6" of Orvis 6X tippet 3.1 lb. test at .005 diameter. All fished on a Rod Shop 7' Signature White River Outfitters Custom Rod. We were using of course the pink worm. Worm was on a 125th. oz. full micro jig. First super glued and then cemented. Prior to Turner Jones passing, he made me 100 heads with out bodies on size 12 mustad hook. They are very good, in the Full Micro size but a bit weak in the half micro size of 14. These were the Full, they work perfect with the PW as the head glues directly to a wide flat jig head surface. We were running a bit late and not on the water till 8 as Mark drove down about 60 miles. Our first pass he put a nice rainbow in the boat while I got him going, just like I would on a guide trip. Here is the great deal. Very much unlike a guide trip I was going to get to fish. On the second pass I grabbed a rod after he was drifting nicely and about that time a cloud came over and it got kind of dark on the water. Looked great. My float dipped under and before i could even lift the fish came to the surface and just swirled. I told Mark this was a big fish, then I said a HORSE as the drag started whirling and buzzing, smooth as silk. We were fishing a trough and the fish immediately headed for mid-stream. By then just a 1/2 minute or so Mark had reeled in and grabbed the net. I hit my bow switch and trimmed my main motor out of the water and pointed my trolling motor to the middle and let it pull drag keeping the rod high letting it absorb the pressure instead of the line. The drag was set perfect, I never had to touch it, it just peeled off like string after a kite. The fish made 2 circles in front of the boat and then headed to the back. Went under the boat and then came out with its head up. We were not quite ready and back he went under the boat. He did the same thing again and we were ready. Right into the Fish Pond net. As we lifted him into the boat his nose went thru the basket as I lowered him and he rested on the carpet. We immediately put him in the live well and did our best to keep him frisky and he was fantastic until he wasn't. I have 3 people in this world that I would have loved to share that type of an experience with. First is my son Steven and the next two are my buddy Mark and of course Phil. However Phil and I have had similar experiences in strange lands. Just feeling so blessed and again, right place, right time. Good Luck
  13. No explanation on why the rule is what it is, even though both tippet and main line were both World Line Class Records. Tippet at 3.1 pounds and main line at 4 pounds. Either would have qualified. I had 7' of tippet and the max is 6' of tippet regardless of weight class. Neither he or his supervisor could explain the rule but it is a rule. The person that we worked with is going to see if that can be changed but it won't help me. That's fine, I'm as happy as a lark. Thanks Guys.
  14. Hey Rich, thank you very much.
  15. That is one fantastic fish. You hammered them and I had one lucky cast.
  16. First, remember we are fishing a strike indicator. We do not fish carbon on a small spool reel due to memory and of course carbon line will sink immediately and is heavy. It is also almost impossible to mend or to keep from dragging the float/indicator. We want the indicator to ride as high as we can especially in current for visibility. We also want it to ride as drag free as possible and that will never work with carbon as a main line, just physically impossible due to the make up of carbon. Mono or braid is the primary line that spincast and I'm saying this with a grain of salt, spincast fly fishermen use. As in all reality we are fly fishing to an extent with a spinning rod, we are deep nymphing. Some of these deep spin/fly cast nymph fishermen are using rods to 12', so some are longer than a traditional fly rod. Not only to cast and retrieve the deep nymph, but to help monitor the drift and maintain it in natural order. Another function of the 7 plus foot rods is they allow you to use much lighter terminal tackle such as 5-6-7X small diameter tippet material. They are tremendous shock absorbers as when fished at a high attitude they take the pressure off the light tippet and transfer it to the rod. With the quality of the reels and the drag systems we have today you can fish very light line with excellent results if your technique is good and you take your time. From the strike indicator down, we DO want the weight of the line to help sink the fly or nymph as they are usually small and very light. Usually no bigger than a 12 or 14 and sometimes a 16 or 18. So most if not all of us use a light carbon tippet in the 5X to 6X range, usually with small diameter almost always at .005 or there abouts. It sinks and maintains a very low drag. Even a mono of 2 pounds will be way thicker on the diameter and will not sink at the rate of the tippet. a very low diameter mono is .046 at the very best and it is not a sinking line like the carbon. You would have to add a lot of additional weight to the line to get it to the depth we want. Right now in flow most are deep nymphing with a fly or spinning rod at around 10' below the indicator, depending where you are fishing and the depth and speed of the water. 7' to 8' is good right now where I am fishing. I want a gentle tick along the bottom presenting the nymph directly into the face of the fish, I do not want the fish to either rise or move side to side, i want it right in their face. Phil or Duane can jump in here, but when I'm guiding, I'm for the most part not fishing for fish. I know that sounds strange, but I'm fishing for bites From the day before thru the entire trip I'm setting equipment and technique to simply get another bite. Any legal step and legal action I can use to get my client one more bite is what I'm looking for. Not every bite is a fish, but most every bite or non-bite tells you something if you will listen and then practice that and then modify your practice to make it as perfect as you can. I have been doing this full time for almost 30 years taking folks that fish once a year and trying to get them the maximum amount of bites I can in a 4 or 6 hr. trip. I learn something from everyone of them and I learn something everyday. What I'm doing now has taken me 40 years to learn and I'm far from done learning and hope that continues. Currently every guide on Taney that knows their business are fishing a similar method when nymphing with either a fly or spinning rod, it is a technique that has been developing really since I was going to school here in the middle 70's and continues to be modified and perfected. Good Luck and i hope this explains it.
  17. I agree, but when that sun comes up and the boats start running, you better get out on that main lake and drag something that looks like food. Good Luck
  18. The reason for tippet length is to present the fly at the proper depth. Taney trout are grazers for the most part and feed almost exclusively on the bottom, especially during high light low wind situation it is not uncommon in the least to fish tippet lengths here as deep as 9’ to 15’ to maintain a bait or fly in approximation with the bottom. I’ve seen Chuck Grice go as deep as 18’ during high and swift water
  19. Nope, they just denied the application due to the length of the tippet. 6' maximum no reason was sited and the guy I was working with has absolutely no explanation. He thought since smaller diameter line and the fish was caught on such light line that it should have been recorded. He could not understand that rule nor could he explain a reason behind it. Nor could his supervisor explain it to him. it is just a rule. He advised when either fly or spin fishing to not use tippet in any length and on fly fishing just use leader to fly and conventional fishing either bait cast or spin to not use leader and go directly from the spool to the bait. This was just his suggestions as it takes the tippet length factor out of the equation. This would be really important when bass or walleye fishing using a braid with a carbon leader. What if you caught the world record bass, it would not count with them if your leader was over 6' Again the suggestion was do not use a leader, go directly main line to the bait if your wanting it to be in the books. Good Luck
  20. You can get everything at Lilleys except the shrink wrap and you just buy it at WalMart in the smallest diameter they have. It's only function is to keep the floats seperated to prevent tangles and add a bit of weight for the cast of long light materials. I'll post my set up for you with pictures when I can.
  21. Thanks all. In speaking with both the state and IGFA it seems that under 5% of World Line Class, State and World Record fish can be successfully released. Simply due to age, size and uncontrollable circumstance. I was told as soon as that fish was hooked it had less than a 10%chance of survival even if released at the boat. Still not much comfort there but I am satisfied in my heart we did what we could. I was also told that the fish due to the time of the fight which was so minimal was just not built for that kind of stress and probably for the most part lived under Fall Creek or one of the commercial docks and was a carrion eater. This would provide his great size and girth with minimal movement or effort by the fish. On another note the fish does not qualify for a line class record as my tippet was to long. Your tippet cannot be longer than 6' even if it is a lighter pound test and a smaller diameter than your main line. The person at the IGFA that the Mo. Conservation Dept wanted me to speak with said he simply had no idea why this rule was in the books and it was beyond stupid but it was in there. It would have been the new World Line Class Record for either my tippet or even my spooled 4 lb. test but because I was using tippet longer than 6' regardless of strength it did not qualify. At this point but he was going to see.
  22. The rig is not a slip float. It is a carrot float. Several of the guides are now using this float method developed by Rick Lisek and here is the formula. Usually have 6 lb. test mono or 10 to 20 lb. test small diameter braid spooled on the reel. ie braid floats and puts no downward pressure on the indicator. From the reel thru the first float and then a short section of shrink tubing usually about 8 inches to a very small fly fishing oval strike indicator the shrink tubing prevents the tangling of the two indicators. Anyway that's it's purpose. Without it the twin indicators will wrap most everytime on a splash cast. On the terminal end of the small fly fishing indicator they join by either a double surgeon or a very small swivel their tippet material, from 5X to 7X depending on how fussy the fish are. They can fish this rig, and better yet throw it using the 10' plus rod for extreme distance. This method along with rods up to 10' 6" allow the clients to fish their small fly, powerworm or jig deeper and still dead drift it and maintain the correct posture of the bait. The tandem float with the tubing makes such a light rig easier to throw for distance and the small indicator on the end detects the light strikes better in the guides opinion. This method has been around now for at least 7 or 8 yrs. I don't use it, i have tried but for me it is a disaster when it breaks and just to much for my clients to handle. It does however work well if you have the method perfected. Steve Dickey uses it with braid with great success and Rick uses it with mono, probably with better success. If you watch these guides they will be casting for their clients lots and lots during the trips. All of this stuff can be a challenge to throw for novice fishermen. There are a few others that use it but still most of us old timers just use a single indicator with 6X and we seem to get along pretty good. .
  23. I don't do Social Media, so I guess I am a bit protected from the remarks and really if they are negative i thought there would be some, with me perhaps leading the way. I always tell my guide clients this is not 5 years or 10 years ago, harming fish has almost turned into a crime, and we take our greatest care to not do so, when not harvesting them for food. We are always as green and as pro-active as possible and no one takes more responsibility for the death of the fish than I do. I am deeply sorry it expired. The fish in the photo secession had already expired so that was not a contributing factor. I believe there were other factors also that contributed and just being caught at that stage of life and weight was perhaps the biggest reason for its death. Let's go back to first the catching phase. I have probably had close to 100 people say man that must have been the battle of a lifetime, how long did it take you to land that Monster? When I tell them 3 or 4 minutes they say no way. Yes, after speaking with Mark he said 4 minutes maximum. At the take the fish came to the surface and just swirled. He was caught in the hinge of the jaw, just on the inside of the mouth. The Mustad size 12 had him solid, it was not coming out. Only way that fish could get away was sawing the 3.1 pound test Orvis tippet with its teeth or wrapping me around an obstruction and the line coming out of the mouth was in the soft portion of the hinge so it was caught. The fish swam to the middle of the lake just below Fall Creek dock in front of the boat. He never ran or swam fast, just a heavy weight. He looped twice in front of the boat, clearly visible swimming just under the surface in water that was approx. 7' deep, and really just swimming. At that point I raised my back motor to prevent the fish from cutting me off on the prop. "Been there and done that." At that point he swam back and went under the boat and around the stern. If I had not raised the motor he would have cut me off on the prop. He came out the first time about mid-ship and was right on the top with his head out. Not on his side, but just slowly swimming. We were not quite ready with the net this quick. He again swam to the stearn and under the boat and came out in the same location and we were ready. He never ran or surged, just slow swam 2 circles in front of the boat and 2 circles under the rear of the boat and came right to the net. He never flopped or flipped once netted and within 20 seconds in the live well with full O2 blowing. Within 5 minutes he was swimming in Lilley's tank under full air and seemed to be doing fine as I turned him over to the capable hands of the dock crew, which I give my total thanks. They have handled huge fish now for years and are the best. The fish expired and I am deeply saddened that I caught him. Even if I had released the fish immediately I don't know that the outcome would have been different. I knew the fish was a potential World Record and perhaps that swayed me into wanting to verify the size. Looking back and I told this to Phil immediately after catching him that I wished I had not caught it. Fishing is and has been my life's job, I love and respect the fish and the fishermen. I'm very sad that one of the crowning achievements of my career will now go down in this manner. I will however stay steadfast and continue to pursue the career I love and continue to respect the outdoors the creator has bestowed upon us and try my best to be a good shepherd of his creations.
  24. If those pic's don't make your heart beat a little faster, I don't know what to tell ya. Simply magnificent.
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