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Bill Babler

OA Contributing Reporter
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  1. Like
    Bill Babler got a reaction from nomolites for a article, I Truly Wish It Would Have Been You   
    Table Rock Lake Current Fishing Report Mid-Lake 4-15-20

    Fat Jaw got me started.
    Got started this morning pretty early for me in this cold weather.  Launched out of Baxter at 7:30 and fished till 2.  Little hazy at first then the wind swept in about 8:30 and it got super bright and windy.  Surface temps this morning 56.1 when I launched and the water is kind of a green tea color with visibility about 4-5 ft.
    After these last few cold nights I almost didn't go but thought maybe the same jerk bait fish I caught Easter morning would be hanging around.  Started on that 50 yrd. point stretch that I caught most of them on Sunday.  I also almost went to Taney.  First 20 minutes I threw the Megabass in pearl and had zero bites.  I could see some fish relating to the bottom and I moved out from about 20' to 30'.  
    Nothing on the jerk bait but I continued to see fish not on the bottom,but maybe a foot off and suspended.  I pulled back out on the  point boat in 20' and picked up the Pig Sticker 1/2 oz. in GPO with a Reaction Smallie Beaver on it and chunked it up into I'm guessing maybe 8 to 10 feet.  Big Brown fish caught it, then another and another and another.


      I lost count but I think it was about 15 to 20 straight throws with a keeper.either a jaw or a K.

     As the haze lifted, the sky brightened and I never caught another SM.

     K's continued to bite like they were at the last supper.

    Another 4 plus Toad brown fish.
    Continued to catch fish just drifting around this point in the wind by then, bout 9:30.  I was not catching them every cast but I was kind of shocked at some point when I didn't get a bite.  I left them biting.
    Pulled back to a really similar interior gravel point going into a big deep spawning pocket put the boat in 20 and there they were again.  Cast after cast on the Pig Sticker.  I tried a jerk bait and a Keitech and I could catch one on it but it was just not the deal, they wanted it on the bottom.

    They thought the Pig Sticker was Food.
    Next location same type deal but I only caught two on it.  One nice K and the other a solid LM on a Megabass.

    Caught a few on a stick bait and a swim bait but it was just not the deal.
    Next spot same similar gravel run and it was totally Ri Dick U Lating.  Every throw was a 15 to 17 inch K on the jig.  I bet I didn't catch 5 short fish all morning and I'm just spit balling but probably 50 plus keeps.  That is super conservative, as the real number is not a number, it is nonsense.

    About 1:30 pulled back on the original location and caught 5 more in 5 casts and put it on the trailer.

    They were just inhaling the jig.
    I've had great days here catching really big fish.  I've had days catching literally hundreds on a drop shot, but I have never had a day on a jig like today.  They wanted nothing swimming or really cranking as I threw a Rock Crawler to try and get them to eat it.  I would catch one on a jig, pick up the jerk bait and throw it.  Nothing.  I would pick up the swim bait and throw it. Nothing.  I would pick up the Rock Crawler and throw it.  Nada.  I would pick up the jig and throw it up there and "Thump there she is."  These fish were totally packed full of crayfish.  I don't think I caught a single one that didn't have at least one in its throat.  And these were monster craws.
    Two big SM over 4 were the champs of the day, but just the sheer numbers of quality K's was something to always remember  I'm going to say the best 5 at just under 17 pounds, so not a tournament bag but for sure the kind of day that keeps up getting up early and going back out.

    Best K of the Day.

    Only Bummer of the day was I lost 2 very large walleye right at the boat.  I had my net out but both had the jig back deep and both cut the 10 lb. line before I could get them in the net.  Man would that have made a day catching supper too.
    I get to fish a lot and I'll catch them good again.  Probably not like today but I wish one of you all could have had this day.  I was going to say I wish my son would have, he loves to fish a jig, but he would not have hung in there for that many fish.  He is a 2-3 hr. guy even if they are tearing it up on a Redfih, he just won't fish that long.
    The rest of this week and into next might be record breaking, so if you can get out there and enjoy it, by all means do.
  2. Like
    Bill Babler got a reaction from tho1mas for a article, March 26 2020 Crappie Report   
    Feel a little funny about making a Truman Lake report, but we went so here it is and maybe a little bit of very uneducated information.

    This is kind of a story in the works and I blame it all on the interweb as it got me going this Winter with nothing to do but sit here and spend money I don't have.  Started watching Spider rigging videos and I got HOOKED.  Was kind of hooked from last year seeing them  work on Lake O. during turkey season, but  the videos were the last straw.   I got with Ed. of Southern Crappie Rods and fanangled a guide price deal and he set me up with 8, 14' Southern Crappie Rods.  I also bought a dual front chair system and a Drift Master trolling set up and mounted it all on my 23' Alweld.  Of course then I had to try it out.  Side note, we only used 2 rods each so 4 was the max we used around the trees.
    Been reading all the Truman reports on the web and most have been crazy good so a few phone calls and some great folks on here got me and my buddy Mark on our way.
    Quick note there were no minnows available in Warsaw yesterday, but we were smart and I brought 8 dozen from Lilleys, which reminds me, I need to have them put on my bill
    On with the report, we hit Bucksaw at 8:30 and were about number 15 in  line to launch.  No problem as these people actually know how to launch and pull boats out.  4 rigs can launch at once and it is like a well oiled machine.  When we pulled out a 3:30 Mark said there were over 100 rigs in the parking lot.  We saw boats of every age and price you can imagine.  One current theme was it didn't mater your boat cost or how old it is.  99% of the boats had PanOptics.  We saw rigs including the pickup that cost less than their electronics  These crappie fishermen are CRAZY about Livescope. and a 126 SV
    After the tips I received we went up and started at Pretty Bob Creek.  I will tell you, the creeks from Jackson up to 13 hwy are totally full of fishermen.  Seems like most of these folks are either Dipping trees or Spider rigging.  We did not see a person make a cast all day and we at first were covered up with fishermen.  One thing I was not familiar with was how close these folks will fish to you.  We were even slightly bumped once as a guy went by us with his trolling motor in a narrow channel between trees.  Huge lake but everyone concentration on the major creeks.and there were lots of folks.  At one point there were over 20 boats in Bob and the next big branch up on the right.
    We caught a total of 37 crappie 5 whites and 1 channel cat fish.  We caught everything rigging using either a Capps and Coleman or a Kentucky rig.  Never lost a hook in all those trees, unbelievable.

    We had decided to keep only crappie between 12" and 16" so that's what we did, could have had two limits, but there is not enough meat on a 9" crappie for me to mess with.  We kept 14 crappie and had just a scouche over 6 lbs. of fillets which we thought was super for a couple of dummies. We had 5 females and 9 male keepers.    Big Caveat and no" PanOptics."
    The Lowrance HDS7 told me they were hanging in the 10' to 15' depth range over 18' to 20' so we used that old worn out machine to find our crappie, and did OK.  Didn't see them snap at it but saw the rod tip dip or quiver and that was fine.
    We could not catch a fish on a soft plastic.  Caught them all on double minnow rigs.  Caught 2 of the white bass on soft plastic
    The Dippers/Dabber fishermen were interesting, they would scan the millions of trees and pull up and dab a jig or minnow on a rod that was 11' to 14' and watch the scope.  Talked to one of these guys at long range.  His mount put the 126 SV screen just below his chin.  I'm guessing the mount was at least 5'.  He said every tree in Truman in the last 10 weeks had been dipped.  Said he could catch one here and one there but the majority ran from the bait like a chicken with its tail feathers on fire.  He said in January at times you could catch a limit out of one tree.  Now it was one or two no matter how many were down there.  They were totally gun shy.
    We noticed that the smaller pockets, like maybe only 100 yrds. long were not being hit so we gave them a try and right off we started catching.   We caught the majority of our fish out of 3 of these small pockets .  If I were to go back I would concentrate on these small pockets only.  They need to have at least 20/25 ft. of water however to make them work.  Fish are pretty much suspended over the deepest part either on a tree or just suspended in the channel.
    The Lake reminds be of Bull Shoals only its very muddy.  Still fantastic vistas and no houses to be seen .  Surface temp was 56 in the small cuts.  Creeks and big lake 51 degree.  Just about zero visibility, looked like you were lowering your bait into plowed ground.  I heard a guide say the crappie like it muddier the better and he was right.
    Good Luck
  3. Like
    Bill Babler got a reaction from FishnDave for a article, Float-N-Fly Primer March 4 2020   
    White River Outfitters Guide Service

    Let's face it, there are lots of ways to catch fish on Table Rock that don't involve getting snarled up or having a Master Fly Caster's certification.  In Springtime is there a better way to catch big fish other than fishing a barbed wire contraption that's named after a Southern state.  Probably not, with one exception, the Float n Fly.

    The Table Rock Lake,  Float-n-Fly history goes back to a guide by the name of Bill Richey.  Bill went to Dale Hollow Lake one early Spring and they fished the fly and had really good success.  A light switch went on and he thought that will work on the Rock big time. 

    Bill introduced both Bill Beck and myself the the technique and we kind of took off with it winning multiple tournaments and guiding clients to the biggest bass of their life with it.  I caught my personal best Table Rock Bass on the fly, at 10.1 pound.  Bill caught 2 over the 10 pound mark and also had a 12 year old girl, catch a 10.3 on it.  My biggest on a guide trip was a whopping 8.3 pound a client caught about 6 yrs. ago.

    The Float n Fly works between late January and May if lake conditions are correct.  We have not had a good year for it for the last 4 or 5 yrs.  Good year is clear water, pool between 914 and 917 and if possible small shad die off.  This is the perfect year as they are just inhaling it.  I hit 3 different bluff ends today after guys fished A-rigs on them and caught keepers right behind them, no problem.

     
    Fishing a Float n Fly is a bit like a Ned in that it is pretty slow fished, but a better analogy is you fish it as if your were flipping a jig in a bush.  Cast it out and let the fly settle, bounce it or jig it several times and then rinse and repeat.
    Both Bill and I bought specialized equipment for the technique.  We both bought St. Croix rods that were 9' as they are tournament legal in most derby's.  Some do not have length specifications and you may use any length rod you wish.  i prefer a 10' to 12' rod.

    Any good large arbor spinning reel, at least 3500 series works great.  Spool the reel with the 10 lb. braid, you select brand, it don't matter.  I like white or hivis yellow.  Just like a fly line you can see it and tell if you have to much slack.

    You need a Mr. Crappie high Vis float and a 3 way swivel.  I use a Spro 3 way.  First you attach your swivel to the float then you put your braid on one arm of the 3 way.  I use a palamar and pull it super tight.  Then for your leader you want to use carbon as it sinks.  Bill Beck used 4lb. but I think 4, 6, or on the outside 8 works OK.  8 is easier to cast.  At this point attach the carbon with a improved clinch with at least 6 wraps.  I'm using 14' of depth right now as these fish are suspended deep, as deep as 30' and they will still come up for it.

    There are a ton of companies making Float n Fly jigs/flies.  The best by far not even close is the Spro Phat Fly in 1/16th. in blue or shad.  My favorite is the blue. It has a super sticky Gamakatsu size 1 nickle hook that you need to be careful of.

    There are a couple of things you now need to do.  First you need to trim the fly back a bit.  Yes its looks like a waving tail would be better but its not.  Trim the fly.

    Attach the fly to your carbon leader with a 6 twist improved clinch and put the knot at the rear of the eye so the fly rides level, cinch the knot tight and it will stay at the back till you get bit.  There you have the basic FF rig.

    Correct posture for the fly.

    Incorrect posture for the fly.
    After you have it attached use gulp or some type of attractant on the fly, you can pretty much just sop up the tail with it and that great.

    Casting and retrieving and fishing the rig needs some explaining.  With 14' of leader below the float it takes a while to get proficient.  First this rig is light, so you are casting or lobbing the float, the fly and line just follow, somewhat like a fly cast.  Pull out at least 3' of braid to the float, dangling your leader and fly in the water as far as you can reach out with a 10' to 12' rod.  Length really Really helps. Back cast the float and watch your back cast, when your fly hits the water, lob it forward at height and it will shoot right out there after a little practice.  If your a fly fisherman no problem, Phil lilley was casting it better than me in about 5 minutes.  The trick is watching your back cast making sure the fly is completely behind you prior to coming forward.  Easy Peasy.
    When the fly hits the water it takes a few seconds for that to sink.  Wait about a minute and then jig it several times and repeat.  If nothing raise your rod tip as high as you can reach and them smoke it in as fast as you can turn the reel handle.  Reason,  You cannot slowly reel 14' of 4 or 6 pound test leader thru pole timber, cannot be done.   Reel in fast and the fly will come to the surface following the float and rethrow to a new location.
    Strikes can be very easy or the float is just gone.  Sometimes it starts walking,  just like crappie under a float.  When setting the hook set to 12 o'clock, this is a lift and not a snap or you will break that light line keep your rod very steady in that straight up attitude, allowing the rod to absorb the shock of the fish.  Keep a big bend and if you need to use the trolling motor to pull the fish out of the pole timber to deep water, making sure previous to fishing that your drag is very loose.  The better the reel the better the drag.
    Float n fly does not work well in wind or choppy water, it is best as a smooth water technique.  It's hard to keep slack out of your line and for some reason the fish don't like the constant action of the chop.  Go figure
    Location, most any bluff end or runnout pole timbered fast drop point  I usually make a dozen cast per location and if nada, hit the road.  At times they will get on the bluff walls in the small cuts and pole timbered pockets, where ever fish stage Pre or Post spawn.
    Table Rock, Bull Shoals, Beaver or any of the White River Lakes it will catch them between now and May.
    Watch your electronics, if I see suspended fish in the 10 to 30 foot range off those points they will eat it.  Don't be intimidated by it and you will catch your biggest bass, maybe of a lifetime right here on the Rock
    Good luck
  4. Like
    Bill Babler got a reaction from FishnDave for a article, Kimberling City March 3rd. Float-n-Fly   
    Current Fishing Report KImberling City, Mo. 3-3-20  White River  Outfitters Guide Service

    Can you see the Mr. Crappie Float?
    I have tried and I have tried, I have put in more than enough time from point 2 to point 5 and I just cannot get it to happen.  I guess you can call it fishing, cause you sure can't call it catching.  I can scratch a few out of pre-mo locations, but that is totally that.  Those fish are just not where I can get at them or they just don't like my junk, and I'm thinking that's a big part of it.  I'm sure its a matter of time till my old tricks work again down here, but for now they are thinking most of my lures have been in a Kitty Litter Box and not a tackle box.

    Man that was a dark one.  
    UPDATE:  Kimberling City this morning and wouldn't you know there are fish in the lake, that want to snap.  I fished a float-n-fly off bluffends from 6:30 till 9:00 then, the wind started I had 15 solid keepers with a 4 lb. largemouth anchoring the string prior to the wind event.  Lots of really nice 2.25 lb. jaws, and enough K's to keep you setting the hook.

    Ouch, that's sticky
    I moved around quite a bit and caught them on every end I tried.  Spro Fat Fly set at 14 ft. below the float using 6lb. Invisx.  Boat in 40 ft. to 70 ft. Fish suspended in the 20 ft. to 30' range and they would come up and eat it.  

    Young One's like it too
    I fished some straight wall bluffs with pole timber and they were not on it on the fly but if you sat off a way you could swim a Keitech after counting it down to 30 and  catch some nice K's  Trouble is you will lose some baits, depends on how bad you want to catch 

    Most catches are top lip.

    If their mouth is big sometimes it goes a little deeper, especially if the fisherman is sleeping.

    Lot's of really nice Jaw's were after the floater.

    And, some K's too.
    Wind started howling at 9 and I couldn't catch any more float fish as it will not work in the wind very well, but I continued for another hour to catch some swim bait fish.

    Tried the jerker but got the same response that I have been getting, they no likey.
    Good Luck
  5. Like
    Bill Babler got a reaction from tho1mas for a article, Kimberling City March 3rd. Float-n-Fly   
    Current Fishing Report KImberling City, Mo. 3-3-20  White River  Outfitters Guide Service

    Can you see the Mr. Crappie Float?
    I have tried and I have tried, I have put in more than enough time from point 2 to point 5 and I just cannot get it to happen.  I guess you can call it fishing, cause you sure can't call it catching.  I can scratch a few out of pre-mo locations, but that is totally that.  Those fish are just not where I can get at them or they just don't like my junk, and I'm thinking that's a big part of it.  I'm sure its a matter of time till my old tricks work again down here, but for now they are thinking most of my lures have been in a Kitty Litter Box and not a tackle box.

    Man that was a dark one.  
    UPDATE:  Kimberling City this morning and wouldn't you know there are fish in the lake, that want to snap.  I fished a float-n-fly off bluffends from 6:30 till 9:00 then, the wind started I had 15 solid keepers with a 4 lb. largemouth anchoring the string prior to the wind event.  Lots of really nice 2.25 lb. jaws, and enough K's to keep you setting the hook.

    Ouch, that's sticky
    I moved around quite a bit and caught them on every end I tried.  Spro Fat Fly set at 14 ft. below the float using 6lb. Invisx.  Boat in 40 ft. to 70 ft. Fish suspended in the 20 ft. to 30' range and they would come up and eat it.  

    Young One's like it too
    I fished some straight wall bluffs with pole timber and they were not on it on the fly but if you sat off a way you could swim a Keitech after counting it down to 30 and  catch some nice K's  Trouble is you will lose some baits, depends on how bad you want to catch 

    Most catches are top lip.

    If their mouth is big sometimes it goes a little deeper, especially if the fisherman is sleeping.

    Lot's of really nice Jaw's were after the floater.

    And, some K's too.
    Wind started howling at 9 and I couldn't catch any more float fish as it will not work in the wind very well, but I continued for another hour to catch some swim bait fish.

    Tried the jerker but got the same response that I have been getting, they no likey.
    Good Luck
  6. Like
    Bill Babler got a reaction from tho1mas for a article, Kimberling City to Aunts Creek 2-27-20   
    Table Rock Lake Current Fishing Report 2-27-20

    Took a BFL client yesterday in the KC to Aunts Creek Zone.  Water clarity is kind of a greenish and frothy color if that is a color.  Surface temps at 46.6 and a pretty stiff wind that really made no difference to the Big Phoenix.  Did restrict our fishing locations somewhat but still got them figured out early. 
    BFL is a Ranger tournament somewhat, not like OMTT but still lots of Rangers.  When we got back to the resort 2 of his other buddies that were also prefishing and both with new 21 ft. Rangers were at the dock, both soaked.  They had tried to go from Mill Creek Ramp up the James and from Mill Creek to point 9 there were 3 foot cross blow waves.  We never got a drop of water on us and they were totally miserable.  Both said it was a nightmare.  Just Sayin. 
    We had 12 keepers with my client and good buddy catching 10 from the back of the boat and me hoisting the 2 smallest out of the front.  Not a real guide trip cause we are searching for derby fish and I get to fish pretty hard.  In other words he laid the wood to me.  Good for him.
    Fish were positioned really similar to where they are up the White and every year I am learning.  With the cloud cover and the water staying pretty much the same temps all day and not rising at all with the lack of sunshine and churning water they are staying deeper than in the past.  They are on channel swings and major cover channel banks, but they are not up in the water column, and that is why its hard to catch them on a jerk bait, they are just staying deep.  ie swimbait and A-rig.

    Every fish we caught yesterday had a big crayfish in its gullet, even if we were around shad, they all had shrimp cocktails sticking out of their throat.  I was positing the boat deep, in the 40 plus foot range throwing into 15 plus and slow swimming the bottom with the rig, most fish coming on the bottom out of 18' to 30' on very vertical channel banks.  You can see them hovering and rising up at times in that depth range.  Very seldom did we see one up in jerb bait range, almost all were bottom dwellers.
    We could have caught more per location, but since we were prefishing we would catch one or two and move on.  Biggest fish was a 3.8 K and had 3 Jaws that were 3.75 and and 3 more jaws that were 3.60. 

     These fish are by no means everywhere and for me between point 5 and Long Creek with the exception of the float-n-fly it is totally dead water.  I'm kind of sick of pounding it to death with poor results.  Get away from Branson/Indian Point and the dam area and its a totally different lake that has fish in it.  Most years the dam area is the last to turn on and the same is happening this year.  Another factor is just the sheer traffic in that area and the numbers of baits the fish are exposed to on a every day basis, it just seems like a never ending amount of constant fishing pressure.
    If you want to catch fish on Table Rock, you have to be willing to go look for them or figure out a method or location that no one else knows of.  Then please let me know what or where that  is and I'll keep your secret 
    Good Luck
    I had the two smallest with a 1.80 K and a 2.10 LM.  We had 9 Smallmouth keeps 2 K keeps and the one LM.
     
  7. Like
    Bill Babler got a reaction from Daryk Campbell Sr for a article, Table Rock Lake Current Fishing Report 1-10-20   
    Dam-Long Creek area with Mike
    Hit the water out of Old 86 yesterday morning at 7:30 in the Geico Ranger with a really stiff South wind and some pretty good swells. Water was clear and 48 degree.   Plan for this morning was to crank and throw the stick bait on windy banks and then take a breather and do a little vertical stuff if we could find them.  Always good to see and fish with Mike.  The guy is always in a great mood and really reminds me of Beck which was also one of his best friends.  He loves to fish and simply loves what he does.  He is pretty good at it.😎

    Started on a transition bank  with a lot of wind and some big surf pounding it.  I was on the sticker and Mike started with the RK.  I hardly had my butt in the seat when he said, " There she is."  Really nice 2.5 lb. LM.  Wind was really blowing down the bank, kind of had the boat sideways with me on the back and Mike on the front.  He was fishing a bit deeper with the bow in 18 to 20 feet and me in about 1/2 that and still  almost full cast from the bank.
    About 3 cast later and he was winding it pretty good and also pulling it he caught a nice Jaw.  Again probably 2.5 or so.  Here is a tip, don't be afraid to throw that Spro Rock Crawler deeper than you think.  Mike was throwing it on 10 lb. Carbon and he was ticking the bottom at 12' .  We fished a 300 yard stretch of the transition until it flattened out and he caught 4 all keeps with the good one pictured above.  I wasn't really warmed up good yet so that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

     
    Wind was blowing a gale and he had a phone call to take so we pulled into a creek to check for some deep ones.  They were there but fussy as all get out.  While he was on the phone I caught a good keeper K swimming the Keitech Deep-Deep at 50 feet plus.  As soon as he was done he put 2 more keepers in the boat  also on a swim bait deep.  I think I'm down 6 to 1 but who's counting.

     
     
    Saw some Loon's working in another creek and went in.  Here is where I was totally blown away.  Mike is a Garmin guy and we watched the Garmin Panoptix Livescope all day.  He kept saying Bill, Bill get up here and look at this.  At a spot in the creek he said," Bill get up here and look at this, there is a school of shad 50' in front of the boat at 30' with a school of bass under them at 35', I'm going to catch one right under that school from here."  And, Durn he did it,   Threw past the bait ball counted it down and swam it through the bassyou could see the fish fighting back toward the boat after he hooked it.  Simply amazing.  99% of us would have never caught the great Brown Fish that Mike pulled from the middle of the creek suspended under shad away from everything.

    With a pretty nice wind on a transition bank going into one of the major creeks in the dam area, we started fishing the McStick pretty serious for about a hour and I even threw a Megabass a bit but no bites at all on the stick bait.  If the Table Rock Hammer cannot catch one on a stick bait its probably time to put it down.

      I asked if he wanted to catch some deep jig fish and he was all on board so we motored up Long Creek to the ridge I had been doing well on.  We both fished a Pig Sticker 5/8 and 3/4 GP Orange. 

    Now durn it, I'm pretty good at this and these are my fish.  As you can tell this is probably not going to be good for me.  Stinkweed put 3 keeps in the boat before I got one.  PS  Mine was bigger.  He then put 1 more keep and 1 short in so at this point I'm pretty much toast but it is sure fun watching him catch them.  Dudes we caught some jig fish out over 40'.  He is "EXTREMELY PATIENT"  He calls it Hard Headed but if he thinks he can catch them he does not move.  Same thing with the Rock Crawler he will throw it and throw it.  It works if you can make yourself do it.  The day he caught the 5 pounder he said he threw it and caught 5 in the first hour, nothing for the next 2 hours still throwing it and then 4 more in about 45 minutes with one over 5 and 1 around 4.
    We stopped at another transition on the way in and he caught another really nice LM on the RK. again he was fishing it probably a bit deeper than most of us, I'm saying that crank bait fish came out of probably 15' plus. 

    Mike fishes a Motorguide Tour Pro and it lifts and deploys with 2 fingers.  It is totally silent both turning and running.  The new MG with spot lock is not out yet but Motorguide has told him it will be something special and should be out soon.  Mike has been very loyal to Motorguide thru all the spot lock deal and also with the new Garmin so I'm excited to see what he thinks of the new motor.
    Final score Mike Mcclelland 12 keepers and one short.  Bill Babler 3 keepers.  Last time I beat him 8 to 3, so he got his revenge and really gave me the best water to fish all day.  We'll get out another couple of times in the next two weeks before he has to go back on the road.  It was a fantastic and educational day with a really good buddy.
    If you all have any questions about equipment or technique you would like Mike to answer just post them here and I'll see what he has to say.
    Good Luck
     
  8. Like
    Bill Babler got a reaction from tho1mas for a article, Holitna River Float Trip with Bill and Phil   
    Just for general information, Phil and I flew on Alaska Air out of KC.  We chose to fly first class for several reasons, one being the distance of the journey and others being very marginal price difference when you took into account we were taking lots of weighted luggage, especially a gun.  Alaska has very similar baggage restrictions as other airlines with the exception that you may include in your luggage an oversize bag if it is caring sporting gear.  Not overweight, but oversize at no additional charge and this really helped us. Also we were fed and watered in a proper manner and not thrown a sack of chips or peanuts.  Makes a difference when your in the airplane for nearly 8 hrs. 
    Nice Breakfast on Alaska Airlines

    We arrived at about 11:45 in Anchorage and hustled a bit to get a couple of loaves of bread from Great Harvest Bread Co. to take on our float.  Food was going to be provided but I'm glad we took the bread as it really worked out well.  A note on the Mountain House food provided.  It was really good. and a two person portion is really for 3 people.  It is filling and easy to prepare.  I think the only meal we could finish without leftovers was the B&G.  I did take lots of condiments and extras and they highlighted it very well.  I would not be afraid to take Mountain House for a couple of weeks at a time, its that good.  Especially the Biscuits and Gravy, simply outstanding.
    We had fish two nights and Phil cooked the fish.  I made most everything else.  He cooked Char fillets on the grill and fried Sheefish.  Both were excellent.  We mostly boiled our drinking water or used water purifying bottles.
    Alaskan Adventure Lodge at Sleetmute, formerly know as the Holitna River Lodge is owned by Dan Paull and girlfriend Jami.  It is not an easy place to get to.  Really there are only a couple of bush flight companies flying in there.  We flew with Sound Aviation.  Bill and Beth.  It is quite an operation and they fly non-stop daily to most of the villages in the area, hauling food, sundries and lots of people.  We had a dog on our flight home that had a fish hook in its tongue so they get passengers of all types.  It is the Bush. They fly a 6 passenger retractable sheel Piper and by next year will have a 12 passenger online hopefully
     They seem to always be a bit late and we were late both going and coming.   We really pushed it coming out as we got to our terminal only 25 minutes prior to boarding for our home flight.
    SOUND AVIATION 

    The flight to the Lodge  via Sleetmute was just about as interesting a flight as I have had in Alaska,  with the diversity of geography just outstanding.  The peaks and ruggedness of this area is simply an unforgettable site.
    Flight from Anchorage Picture

    Arrival at the Lodge we were met by Dan, Jami, Terry, and Rodney that is their main staff with also another staff of 3 guides.  We stayed in the Trapper Cabin.  Small useful and to the point.  Table, chairs, wood stove and bunk beds with comforters, pillows and small sheeted beds.
    Phil in front of the TRAPPER CABIN

     Their Lodge and big garden was just to the right.  We had several meals in their lodge served family style and very good, especially the garden vegies and rasberries deserts fresh from that garden..  Jami has cooked in Alaska camps for several years.  The dining hall is at the rear of the lodge and their kitchen and living quarters are in the front.  They don't seem to mind a bit about coming into their space but we were cautious about it, as we both know how that feels.  They have a community restroom and shower house attached to the back of the lodge with two sinks a shower and potty.  Nice hot running water during generator hours, which I believe are 6 AM to 1 PM and then again from 4 PM to 9 PM.  Everything is on a generator and gas is 5 bucks a gallon.  Not really bad but logistically its hard to get.  It is delivered once a week from an air carrier out of Sleetmute, about 40 miles down stream.
    View from the front of the Lodge.  We saw Moose in the river bend and also a pair of Beavers

    Tuesday morning we packed up our considerable gear along with their camping and food for the several day float and packed the boat.  Rodney their camp handyman and general great guy was going to take is 60 miles up the river by boat and we would float back.  He took us about 55 and Phil saw a gravel bar he liked and I will tell you that one move by Phil really made our trip.  More later.
    Boat packed for Holitna River trip

    The river is quite large at the lodge and gets larger as it heads for the Kuskokwim   Going up river it starts to change to a more traditional fly fishing wade able type of water and really this is what we found we were looking for.  Where Phil and I camped that first two days was the best water for our type of fly fishing.  This water held huge amounts of spawning chum salmon and grayling and char were feasting on eggs.  Great for beaders,  nymphers and jiggers.  We used a bead a jig, a mop fly and streamers to catch chum,  and silver salmon as well as char and grayling, with the grayling almost at will.  I had 5 on my first 5 casts with a bead and then 5 more in 5 casts with a mop.  Phil could catch them one right after the other on a Lilleys Jig.
    Holitna River at our first camp site, traditional fly fishing water

    After unloading and sitting up our camp we caught quite a few fish.  The idea was to pack the raft and start down the river on Wednesday morning.  We got up to a flat raft that had a leak  Rodney had pumped it up with an electric pump and left us a hand pump that we later found out had the guts out of it.  We texted the lodge for a new pump or a raft repair and of course they could not arrive until Thursday so we had two nights at the first camp.  That was super as it had the best fishing.  If we were to do it again we would have gone up to the confluence of the river another 35 miles and made that float picking us up just about a day downstream from our first nights camp.  We didn't know this.  I'll talk about the Sheefish in a minute but they really need to accessed if that is your primary fish on the lower river from the lodge.
    The second night a two raft party floated by that had started on the upper river and said the grayling and char fishing were outstanding also further up.  We both surmised at the end of the trip that a 5 night float from the confluence and then a two night lodge stay would be the best of both worlds.
    Raft set up ready to float

    Rodney got us floating by 11:30 on Thursday and that first day was fantastic on the upper river.  Phil was catching char and grayling at will and we found a slack that was totally full of red salmon and silver salmon.  We caught just about all the silvers we wanted to and could have continued to catch and catch but we strolled on.  Great day on the water.
    Nice 4 person tent with fly, provided by the lodge

    We slept dry and comfortable every night.  Phil had a cot and his pad and I just used my pad and bag.  I never got into the bag as it was quite warm.  I just spread it over me like a down throw.  We also had some fantastic camp fires that Phil built every night that were a pleasure to watch.
    Nice Camp Fire

    Our camp was elevated on Friday night and we caught several silver salmon and pike.  It was on a beautiful turn in the river and you could see for several miles down stream,.
    Phil with Pike


    Saturday we got into a more traditional Sheefish location and caught 3 sheefish and several silver salmon.  Mostly caught on a jig in a deeper hole.  Also the NE wind started to blow and we thought we might be in trouble as we were rowing right into the teeth of it.
    Sheefish

    Our Saturday night camp was on a wind swept bank and Phil did a magnificent job of anchoring our tent.  He had to reanchor in the night as the wind was howling.  We had to be picked up on Sunday as it was just to tough going right into that stiff N. wind.
    As I stated earlier the reason for the Holitna float was for sheefish.  We wanted the Kobuk for lots more sheefish, but could not make that happen, it is at least a year in advance for that type of float.  The upper Holitna is beautiful and I hope one day to perhaps see the upper river beyond where we started but again there are so many rivers to run and probably not enough years left to make a dent on them.
    I will tell you we were both in very good shape for this float and shared completely in the camp work and rowing.  I had been on a 4 month fitness plan getting ready and Phil is most always in good shape.
    I was doing 200 setups, 200 15lb. weighted arm curls a complete stretching and loosing program and a 40 minute exercise program on a bike with a lot of cardio prior to the trip. It made a huge difference as we were both very strong rowers and had energy left over at the end of the day.  Phil is a way better lifter of weight and he handled the heavy lifting.
    Either Phil or I would be happy to help anyone on this trip so just email us if you want to go.  Also here is the best jig that the lodge used for most everything from salmon the sheefish, I tied this one this morning.   I also got a kick out of one of the guides saying he lover the Whopper Plopper for Pike.  They caught most of their sheefish on the jig, hardware and soft swimbaits like the Keitech.  I think they said they used the BP brand as they were longer lasting.  I also saw bags upon bags of Zoom Flukes lying around.
    Jig

    The brand is Jake's Jigs and they are popular through out Alaska and the pacific NW.  I have seen them on Kodiak and at times they use them in the salt for mooching.  I have several I'm going to send up to the Lodge for Dan to tie.
    Jake's Jigs

    Thanks for watching and a big thanks to Rodney, Terry, Dan, Jami, and Bill and Beth at Sound
     
     
     
     
     
     
  9. Like
    Bill Babler got a reaction from dan hufferd for a article, Simply Unreal Fishing   
    Ethan with a Super nice Taney Brown Trout male with Kype in full spawning colors.
    Click on the pic for a totally beautiful male brown in full color.
    On Taney everyday this past week with results that were beyond good, especially for the Summer heat.  If you can fish, Great.  If you can't fish much it does not matter, your still going to get bit.
    Have not fished above Dave's flat or below Lilley's, all in between, mostly averaging about 50 fish per day with most in the 14 plus inch class,  with lots and lots bigger, and very few smaller.
    By playing the flow you can continue to have success throughout the morning.  I'm starting at either 5:30 or 6 am.  Till 8 am you cannot make a mistake.  Stickbaits, Power Bait, Crawlers, jigs, PW, all are working.   
    When the sun hits the ball game changes, as does the flow but the bite can continue if you adapt.  Seems like at about 8 the flow really slow down, and at this time if you go to live bait your not in trouble.  The Power worm, power bait or sitckbaits will almost go dead.   You can go to a TJ full micro in pink or any small pink jig under 100 oz and you will still be fine, with that or a crawler.
    I have not been out there as much latter in the morning past 10 am but the guides that are taking multiple trips are telling me at 11 am or so when the flow increases the bites are totally insane on a crawler or down around monkey on PB.
    If you watch it and only keep the quality fish you can clean 4 fish that easily weight close to 5 pounds after they are gilled and gutted.  Over a pound and a quarter average and that is fantastic, at any time of the year, let alone dead of Summer.

    Lots of brown trout currently on the move above Lilley's.  They seem to be hanging in any of the bends or deeper pockets and by that I mean just depth changes, as really there is not a lot of deep water right now.

     
    Big fish are also coming in as just about every trip  we are catching both rainbows and browns in the 20" to 22" class.  
    If you get a chance even though its hot outside right now so is the bite.  Come on down.
    Good Luck
  10. Thanks
    Bill Babler got a reaction from trythisonemv for a article, Simply Unreal Fishing   
    Ethan with a Super nice Taney Brown Trout male with Kype in full spawning colors.
    Click on the pic for a totally beautiful male brown in full color.
    On Taney everyday this past week with results that were beyond good, especially for the Summer heat.  If you can fish, Great.  If you can't fish much it does not matter, your still going to get bit.
    Have not fished above Dave's flat or below Lilley's, all in between, mostly averaging about 50 fish per day with most in the 14 plus inch class,  with lots and lots bigger, and very few smaller.
    By playing the flow you can continue to have success throughout the morning.  I'm starting at either 5:30 or 6 am.  Till 8 am you cannot make a mistake.  Stickbaits, Power Bait, Crawlers, jigs, PW, all are working.   
    When the sun hits the ball game changes, as does the flow but the bite can continue if you adapt.  Seems like at about 8 the flow really slow down, and at this time if you go to live bait your not in trouble.  The Power worm, power bait or sitckbaits will almost go dead.   You can go to a TJ full micro in pink or any small pink jig under 100 oz and you will still be fine, with that or a crawler.
    I have not been out there as much latter in the morning past 10 am but the guides that are taking multiple trips are telling me at 11 am or so when the flow increases the bites are totally insane on a crawler or down around monkey on PB.
    If you watch it and only keep the quality fish you can clean 4 fish that easily weight close to 5 pounds after they are gilled and gutted.  Over a pound and a quarter average and that is fantastic, at any time of the year, let alone dead of Summer.

    Lots of brown trout currently on the move above Lilley's.  They seem to be hanging in any of the bends or deeper pockets and by that I mean just depth changes, as really there is not a lot of deep water right now.

     
    Big fish are also coming in as just about every trip  we are catching both rainbows and browns in the 20" to 22" class.  
    If you get a chance even though its hot outside right now so is the bite.  Come on down.
    Good Luck
  11. Like
    Bill Babler got a reaction from STLbassbuster for a article, Turning the Knob on Table Rock Bass   
    Table Rock Lake Current Fishing Report June, 14 2019  Shell Knob, MO.
    White River Outfitters
    Perhaps the most perfect Top Water Morning, Just up Stream from Shell Knob.
    ss
    The Idea this morning was to fish out of Eagle Rock.  I had a last minute cancel that I was not able to fill and have two trips next week out of Eagle Rock and wanted to get up there and see what was happening.  Got to the 86 bridge at 5:30, and knew I was in trouble as there were boats and rigs parked everywhere.  Didn't want to fight the mob, I'm guessing a pretty decent size derby.
    Didn't want to waste a perfect morning so I booked for the Shell Knob Bridge Ramp and there were only 2 rigs there at a little after 6.  Lots of boats flying by from up stream so I'm guessing the ER derby crowd was headed downstream to big water.  Mistake for the most part.  I headed upstream right into the teeth of them.  Boats on most ever dock and major runnout from SK to Carter, all right on the bank or flipping any dock they could find.
    With the cloud cover slight drizzle and little chop you could not have ordered a better Top water morning.  Fish were absolutely blowing everywhere at depth.  At first I thought they were whites, but nope, mostly LM with some really nice K's and several Jaws mixed in.  I petty much caught big keeper fish cast after cast from 6:15 till 9:30 on a Fin.  I have fished here in the good and bad times and today for me was for sure one of the good times.  Wish my son could have been out with me, he was here last week and we caught fish, mostly on a jig but today was special as it was all about the Top.

    A couple of guys that were fishing a dock came out and pulled up to me saying that had seen me wacking them and did not mean to intrude but wondered how I was catching them.  I asked first off did you catch any on that dock and they said no.  They had watched the MLF guys catching them early in the mornings on a shad spawn under docks and thought that was the deal.  I said it might have been a month ago, but those fish were long gone and out here for me to catch.  I tried to help them, but It just was not going to happen,so I wished them luck and they pulled off.

     About that time the fish blew up again.  I was sitting in 106  feet of water.
    Message to self, I don't think White River bass need to hide under anything.😎
    Just about every fish I caught and the numbers were a bit silly, were keepers.  With the way they were feeding this morning, I'm guessing they probably will not eat again until sometime next month.   I just got really lucky being in the right place on the right day at the right time.

     
    These fish were chasing schools of shad and also schools of fry.  There are just millions of tiny fry swimming in big schools around the Knob.  Some shallow and some deep.  Just have no idea how many offspring are out there this year as I think we  had a fantastic spawn.  

     
    My boat was so saturated with poop, fry, shad and crayfish that I had to take it to the car wash and wash it out to prevent from grinding it into the carpet.

    Lots of Daddy's in them also, just about the size of a 3/8 oz. jig
    Put lots of fish on the board, but for the most part just gave them a smooch and sent them back to the briny deep to continue on their feeding binge.

    I did catch 1 on a jig just for kicks and grins and a couple on a drop shot and a spoon, but the Fin was the deal by far on this perfect top water day on Table Rock Lake.

  12. Like
    Bill Babler got a reaction from Daryk Campbell Sr for a article, 5-26-19 Table Rock Lake/Lampe Mo,. Report   
    White River Outfitters current Mid-Table Rock Lake fishing report Sunday, May 26

    6 AM On the Rock Point 19
    Had one of the best days of the year today, not only because the fishing was simply unreal, but my client Jeff was a long time Table Rock Lake, ie Ozarks Lake's fishermen.  He had great stories from the late 60's and 70's.  Jeff had fished Table Rock, Bull Shoals and Taney when he was in his early teens with Rex Grady, staying at Lake Shore Resort.  He had also fished the Rock with the Fletcher's out of Devils Dive and floated the Kings River many times out of DD Resort.

    Nice dark Table Rock Jaw on a  Red Fin
    Launched this morning in what I thought was perfect timing and was wrong.  We pulled away from the H hwy. dock at 5:15.  I t was going to fish the swim beach at Baxter but there were 2 boats on it.  Next was the point going out of the Indian's on the left.  Boat on it.  Went to the buoy point up the White across from Red Barn,  boat on it.  Next was Red Barn 3 boats on it.  Next was 19, boat on it.  Next the Old Road Bed point.  Success.

    LM like topwater too
    Fin bite was savage with the boat in 25' throwing across the point.  We caught 9 here, all keepers and they just crushed it, to the point of being scary.  Guy on 19 had vacated so I bogged over there and we caught 6 on it.  All short but again they hammered it.  Zoomed back to the road bed and bang a nice jaw on the fin and then  switched to the Keitech.  3.3 with a 1/4 oz. head in either Rainbow Shad or Pro Blue.

    I'll be durned fat Kentucky's eat Red Fins also.
    It really never slowed down.  I jumped a bit and we threw the fin on each new location, but the Keitech never stopped getting bit.  Most locations we would catch at least 6 with a combination of just about every fish that swims in the lake.  Fished 5 gravel runnouts this morning between point 19 and point 16 with no bad stops.   Hitting the Road Bed twice early looking for fin fish. 

    Walleye prefer swimbaits to Red Fins
    Boat today was most often in 25' but did hit 35' several times.  Most fish in 12 to 20 ft. 

     Fat 10 inch bluegill on a 3.3 Keitech.  We caught several they seemed to be about 15' deep
    Total of 17 topwater fish as we caught a nice K on the last cast on a fin.  Probably 25 down fish on the swimbait and did not see any drop shot fish what so ever.

    Baits were pretty simple for us today.  We used two.  Surface temps at 74-76 degree water is clearing fast.
  13. Like
    Bill Babler got a reaction from 5bites for a article, 5-21-19 Table Rock Lake Report   
    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.
  14. Like
    Bill Babler got a reaction from tho1mas for a article, 5-21-19 Table Rock Lake Report   
    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.
  15. Like
    Bill Babler got a reaction from Larry Eby for a article, 4-30-19 Table Rock Comprehensive last Several Days   
    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.
     
  16. Like
    Bill Babler got a reaction from tho1mas for a article, 4-30-19 Table Rock Comprehensive last Several Days   
    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.
     
  17. Like
    Bill Babler got a reaction from STLbassbuster for a article, 4-22-19 Kind of Nuts Today   
    Started at the dam early and it was just not what I wanted it to be.  Had several fish with a 4.52 jaw but not many bites.  Loaded u.p the rig and headed for Baxter.  Temps at the dam were 56 when I launched at 6.

     
    Relaunch at Baxter at 11 and the temps were 60 and it was just flat on.  I caught them on a Keitech 3.3 and a jerkbait with the boat in 30 ft.  Fish seemed to be in that 15 ft. range suspended and moving up.  Fished from 11 to 5 and did not go 10 minutes without a bite.  Wind was just perfect.  Had 2 keeper walleye one 19 inches and one 22 inches and I released them.  Had 10 crappie, the biggest I have ever caught.

      One here and one there.  They were monsters. Biggest at 3.08 and 18 inches.  Next biggest at 3.02 and 17.75 inches.  The 10 weighed in at a little under 24 pounds.  Smallest was a shade under 17 inches.

    I have fished in my 65 yrs. on Lake of the Ozarks, Lake Barclay, Kentucky Lake and Toledo Bend and never had a 2 pound crappie let alone a 3 pound crappie and for gosh sakes catching them on Table Rock is just unreal, I'm in a fog.  Knife is 15.5 inches long.

    Every crappie came on a suspending jerkbait.  Color did not matter as long as it was Blue.  They were not schooled, one here and one there.   Pole timber was always present.  Best 5 bass would have pushed 17 pounds, all the best being jaws.
     
     
  18. Like
    Bill Babler got a reaction from liphunter for a article, 4-22-19 Kind of Nuts Today   
    Started at the dam early and it was just not what I wanted it to be.  Had several fish with a 4.52 jaw but not many bites.  Loaded u.p the rig and headed for Baxter.  Temps at the dam were 56 when I launched at 6.

     
    Relaunch at Baxter at 11 and the temps were 60 and it was just flat on.  I caught them on a Keitech 3.3 and a jerkbait with the boat in 30 ft.  Fish seemed to be in that 15 ft. range suspended and moving up.  Fished from 11 to 5 and did not go 10 minutes without a bite.  Wind was just perfect.  Had 2 keeper walleye one 19 inches and one 22 inches and I released them.  Had 10 crappie, the biggest I have ever caught.

      One here and one there.  They were monsters. Biggest at 3.08 and 18 inches.  Next biggest at 3.02 and 17.75 inches.  The 10 weighed in at a little under 24 pounds.  Smallest was a shade under 17 inches.

    I have fished in my 65 yrs. on Lake of the Ozarks, Lake Barclay, Kentucky Lake and Toledo Bend and never had a 2 pound crappie let alone a 3 pound crappie and for gosh sakes catching them on Table Rock is just unreal, I'm in a fog.  Knife is 15.5 inches long.

    Every crappie came on a suspending jerkbait.  Color did not matter as long as it was Blue.  They were not schooled, one here and one there.   Pole timber was always present.  Best 5 bass would have pushed 17 pounds, all the best being jaws.
     
     
  19. Thanks
    Bill Babler got a reaction from STLbassbuster for a article, About to Break Loose. 3-11-19   
    Table Rock Lake Kimberling City 3-11-19 Report

     
    Launched at Cow this morning to a cloudy grey sunrise with surface temps at 42.7.  Boated down to White's Branch to see if I could catch any of these big A-rig fish that are showing up in the tournaments.  From Schooner Creek to Cow Creek the lake is full of dying shad and gulls.  Thousands of dying shad and enough gulls to scoop them up.  I will tell you, if you see this Run.  Don't even drop the trolling motor, cause they ain't havin it.  You have to get away from those shad to get bit.
     

    I fished for 3 hours right in the middle of it and got ZERO BITES.
    At 10 o'clock I came to my senses and got away from this buffet and it got good.  Surface temps were like a Rocket Ship today and were on the rise, big time.  Even with that the fish wanted it slower than slow.  They ate a stick bait on flat water and another deal.

     
    I put a total of only 7 fish in the boat but they were all solid keeps and lost one around 8 lbs. at the boat.  As a matter a fact she hit the side of the boat twice but when your using a 15' 4 lb. leader and are by yourself its hard to capture those biggens.  After the crazyness I put her through she just decided to dive down and wrap me in a tree and be done with that foolishness.
     

    Word on the lake today was the A-rig was just not working, it had to be slow.  Bottom Ok on the Ned, but not quality fish.  Jerkbait in the trees and the floater were on them and they were all good.
    Surface them at 2 PM when I pulled was 48.1 at Cow Creek with gin clear water.  Visibility in that area is 15' on the white spoon test.
     

    Just about to get good, these fish are starting to stage on channel swings and spawning cove mouths.
    Good Luck
  20. Like
    Bill Babler got a reaction from Daryk Campbell Sr for a article, About to Break Loose. 3-11-19   
    Table Rock Lake Kimberling City 3-11-19 Report

     
    Launched at Cow this morning to a cloudy grey sunrise with surface temps at 42.7.  Boated down to White's Branch to see if I could catch any of these big A-rig fish that are showing up in the tournaments.  From Schooner Creek to Cow Creek the lake is full of dying shad and gulls.  Thousands of dying shad and enough gulls to scoop them up.  I will tell you, if you see this Run.  Don't even drop the trolling motor, cause they ain't havin it.  You have to get away from those shad to get bit.
     

    I fished for 3 hours right in the middle of it and got ZERO BITES.
    At 10 o'clock I came to my senses and got away from this buffet and it got good.  Surface temps were like a Rocket Ship today and were on the rise, big time.  Even with that the fish wanted it slower than slow.  They ate a stick bait on flat water and another deal.

     
    I put a total of only 7 fish in the boat but they were all solid keeps and lost one around 8 lbs. at the boat.  As a matter a fact she hit the side of the boat twice but when your using a 15' 4 lb. leader and are by yourself its hard to capture those biggens.  After the crazyness I put her through she just decided to dive down and wrap me in a tree and be done with that foolishness.
     

    Word on the lake today was the A-rig was just not working, it had to be slow.  Bottom Ok on the Ned, but not quality fish.  Jerkbait in the trees and the floater were on them and they were all good.
    Surface them at 2 PM when I pulled was 48.1 at Cow Creek with gin clear water.  Visibility in that area is 15' on the white spoon test.
     

    Just about to get good, these fish are starting to stage on channel swings and spawning cove mouths.
    Good Luck
  21. Like
    Bill Babler got a reaction from David Goddard for a article, Table Rock Lake Current Fishing Report 9-4-18   
    Surface temps the last few days has been hanging in the 76 to 79 range depending on area of the lake.  This morning at Shell Knob it was 77 and pretty much stayed there.  I'm going to go ahead and do the K-Knob first.  Lets just say Shell Knob  to Big M and Shell Knob to Baxter as it is all pretty much the same deal right now, with one note worthy exception that I will tell your about in a minute.
    Lots and lots of drop shot fish in the 26 to 40g foot range not so much really congregated but several on a lot of locations, mostly gravel.  There are also fish chasing all day long, some in the middle and some just about everywhere.  I can't catch them worth a hoot on top water, but they will eat a under spin with a 2.8 inch Keitech decent.  What they will eat the best is a 1/2 oz. Little George in Silver or Chrome.  I started at the end of last week with 5 most of them probably 20 yrs. old and I now have none.  They took them from me.
    Today especially, as I saw something I have not seen for 25 plus years on the Rock.  Today I witnessed at massive school of LM chasing shad.  The last time was up the Kings River near Blue Hole today it was at the mouth of the Kings.  I was fishing the point going into Mill Creek at Twin Rivers and saw them bust right in the middle of the White River Channel.  Its 98 feet deep right there.  I really did not pay a total load of attention as I thought they were Whites and would be up and down.  Deal was they stayed and stayed up.  Finely after about 5 minutes I just had to go check it out as they just kept surfacing in about a 40 acre patch.  I pulled out there and tossed the Little George.  and it was a total slam and while I was reeling in the fish I saw that they were LM. busting all around the boat.  Got the fish to the boat and it was a solid 4 pounder.  When to reach over for him and he dived and snapped off the George.  I had another one rigged so I calmly did the same frigging thing and lost another Little George.  These were on 6lb that I had been catching K's on with out a problem.  These LM were not that by a long shot and they were moving and slashing at top speed.  Picked up another rod with a yellow magic and they were still busting all around me.  Some of these feeds were as big as a bushel basket.  Tossed out the YM on 8 pound Maxi and as soon as it hit the water if was gone, I mean it was like you threw in a 500 lb. boulder.  It was there one minute and I had a slack line the next.
    I had 2 remaining rods with baits, both were under spins on 8 pound line.  I boated 6 LM on them all about 3 pounders before the Keitechs were torn off.  I also caught 1 more on a drop shot and one on a swim jig.  All cookie cutter 3 pounders.  These fish were on the surface at least 20 minutes and then they were gone.  Wish I would have had a camera guy but the futility and craziness would have really embarrassed me.
    Reason for all the lite tackle was I was to have had some extremely mature fishermen today and that was what they were comfortable with.   Due to the rain at Shell Knob they did not get out, so I was on my own after the drive over.  I has also been catching some up there swimming a jig thru deep trees, and that has been a hoot.
    Now for the rest of the lake.  The deep Football jig bite has really tapered off, and the drop shot bite is back on again from Kimberling City to the dam.  Guides are telling me a half day trip they are using 6 dozen crawlers and fish are both suspended and on the bottom in the 26 to 35 ft. range.
    James River is still fishing well on the Football Jig at that same 30' depth range with some really solid K's and LM along with the big boys.
    Hope I don't have to wait another 25 years to see LM surface on the rock in a massive school like this.  I don't believe there was any other bass in that 40 acre school but LM and as I have said, for the Rock in Post LM kill that is just something few people have ever gotten to see.
    Good Luck
     
  22. Thanks
    Bill Babler got a reaction from dan hufferd for a article, Table Rock Lake Current Fishing Report 8-6-18   
    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

  23. Like
    Bill Babler got a reaction from tho1mas for a article, Table Rock Lake Current Fishing Report 8-6-18   
    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

  24. Like
    Bill Babler got a reaction from Seth for a article, Turner Jones micro jigs   
    First question, first.  Yes he made several jigs and prototypes.  He made Bill Beck and I some float and fly jigs also and they were unreal for early season Bass.  Merlin Olsen was a fly fisherman and was fishing the Green River, either early 80's or late 70's.  His guide used the "New fly/jig and of course they ripped them."  Merlin immediately wrote Mr. Jones and asked if he was in need or would like a spokes person for his Micro's.  Merlin said he would be that person free of any obligation other than Mr. Jones giving him all the Micro Jigs he needed to keep catching trout.  Deal was done and a match was made.
    Prior to and after Turner's passing his Grand Daughter who lives pretty much off the grid made them for Phil and a few other of their better clients.  She  ran out of materials and there was some problem with stolen molds and other equipment from Turner's estate.  Kind of a tangled web, to say the very least.
    At one time Turner took a partner, a young woman who he thought was going to help him.  She immediately stole lots of written information and molds and sold them to Lucky Strike and that's how they started making the product.  Thru much legal battling Mr. Jones got this stopped as he related to me. The jigs Lucky Strike made were similar but trash, there is a bonding process that adheres the  miniscule single strand of Hen Hackle under a colored collar of shrink wrap that holds this together.  There is no tie thread or no marabou as Turner said it makes the jig way to heavy and not realistic.  Both thread and marabou add bulk and this fly is extremely streamline and zero bulk.
    After he molded and painted the head and added the eyes he then added the shrink wrap and hackle body and then clear coated the head and the attaching wrap.  Multiple steps that he said had to be exercised correctly to make the fly as life like as possible.  He said it is either a newly hatched sculpin or a small minnow imitation.  He also made Sculpin jigs that the head was an identical match for a very small sculpin.

     
    We ended up this morning with 62 fish for 3 clients on this jig.  The fish here are extremely fat and healthy with lots of fish in the 13 to 17 inch range.

     
  25. Like
    Bill Babler got a reaction from Daryk Campbell Sr for a article, Sunday Fishing Report   
    Fished the AIA as an alternate with good friend Don Gossett  it was the kick off for Table Rock. After a 2.5 hour fog delay. We started to clear blue high pressure fishing. Surface temps started at 47 and by 4pm had reached 51 in the dam area
    Lots of the channel swing creek locations I had been fishing really muddied up but we managed 11.78 pounds. 2 of those came from clear water in the Kimberling area on a float-n-Fly. Both were 4 pounders.  It was hard for lots of us, we only had 4 keepers and a total of only 6 fish. The other 4 were A-Rig fish. 
    86 boats in the derby and we came in 13th and got a decent little check. 20.44. Won it with second at 15.24. Out of the 86 boats 40 teams skunked so it was a very tough bite
    Most to all fish caught on a Rig, Swim Bait, Spoon or jig. However I have no idea how you could fish that jig as the moss and slime are terrible
    With the water warming this week and the lake color I expect to see some crank bait and spinner bait shallow as the water has risen over the moss line.  Moss line is at 906 and the lake is now 916 with color so that should come into play pretty quick
    None of the fish however were spitting craws. All Shad so it makes you wonder. I’m hyped about fishing this week and will try and keep you up to date
    Good Luck
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