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Seth

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  1. Like
    Seth reacted to Phil Lilley for a article, June 4 Fishing Report   
    Here on Lake Taneycomo, we're finally seeing some slower generation after months of high water.  But we're an oasis in the middle of flooding, all around us.  There are so many people affected by flooding,  our hearts go out to them.  We could easily be in the same position if weather patterns shift.
    We've had rain this past week but our watershed hasn't been blanketed with inches, only isolated storms delivering a half-inch at a time which soaks into the ground with little runoff.  So our lakes are not jumping up and generation has slowed.
    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have been running up to 3 units, starting early in the morning and shutting down after dark but this isn't the case every day.  Today, they are not running water until 2 p.m. which gives those who like to fish from the bank, or dock or wade a chance to enjoy some quiet water.  Hard to say what will happen in the coming days... we are forecasted to get quite a bit of rain this weekend but we will wait and see what falls and where.




    Duane had a guide trip this morning, early, and Steve did great throwing a stick bait.  He landed 4 rainbows over 20 inches, all in the lower trophy area.
    Speaking of scuds, a beaded scud under an indicator works well, using 6x or 2-pound line from Short Creek up.  So will a zebra midge.  I really don't have specific colors and sizes because I haven't been out to try it yet.  Same size tippet on the Zebras.
    Air injected night crawlers almost always catches fish anywhere on the upper lake but especially in the Short Creek area.

    The pink Powerworm caught this 15-pound brown in the Short Creek area last week.  We like to think a brown is smarter than that, growing from a 12-inch stocker to a 30-inch brute without being caught.  Taking a pink Powerworm shouldn't have been on this guy's menu.
    See all the trophies caught and released on our Trophy Page.
    Black/Olive marabou jigs have been doing pretty good so far this week, even out fishing the sculpin/peach jig.  White is still the color on the first half-mile of the lake, then switch to the darker colors.

  2. Like
    Seth reacted to Phil Lilley for a article, April 9 Taneycomo Fishing Report   
    It's been hard to sit down and write a fishing report because of the uncertainty of conditions lately.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened four spill gates last Monday and left those gates opened exactly one foot each for one week.  I speculated that the opening of the gates would be temporary, only a couple of days, but that was not the case. So now that the gates are closed, and the work has been completed at the dam, I can evaluate future conditions . . .  maybe.
    The release rate presently is 6,500 cubic feet per second (C.F.S.), Taneycomo's lake level is at 707.6 feet.  Dam operators are running it around the clock, and Table Rock Lake's level is dropping about two inches per day, 915.42 feet.  Power pool is 915 feet.  Beaver Lake is shut down and holding at 1,120 feet.  Their seasonal power pool is 1,120.43 feet.  Our water temperature is 43 degrees.
    I would speculate we will see this flow for the next few days, until Table Rock's level drops to 915 feet... but you never know.
    Our trout did see a good number of threadfin shad flow into Taneycomo from Table Rock through the spill gates, and now they are looking for about anything that looks like a threadfin -- white jigs, white hard baits, white flies.  Even spoons and spinners will work.  These fish can be aggressive in their feeding, especially the bigger browns and rainbows that are used to eating bigger meals, like other trout and forage fish.  So wake baits and larger jerk baits seem to be the ticket if you're fishing for trophies.
    With two units running, you can easily boat up to the dam, but just stay in the middle of the lake.  We're using 3/32nd- to 1/16th-ounce white jigs, throwing them straight with no float and smaller 1/32nd-ounce jigs under a float four to seven-feet deep.  Switch out the color if they're not taking white to sculpin, sculpin/ginger, black/olive or white/gray.
    Those who are throwing big jerk baits are throwing a Megabass 110+ in shad colors.  If you don't want to spend the big bucks on a Megabass, throw a Rouge or Rapala.  Suspending baits seemed to work better than floating or sinking.
    This is the time of year when we start to see a lot of green moss on the bottom of our lake, so drifting anything on the bottom is hampered by the green stuff.  But that's not to say you can't catch trout by drifting a gray or olive scud, egg fly, San Juan Worm or a shad fly on the bottom. I'd recommend using very little weight and no weighted flies, if possible.  Better yet, use a float and fish any of these flies under it four-  to eight-feet deep.
    Below Fall Creek, night crawlers are doing about the best along with minnows.  Minnows would be excellent because we know the threadfin shad have made it all the way down past Fall Creek, so those fish have seen and eaten a bunch of them.  White jigs are also pretty hot, even past Lilleys' Landing and Cooper Creek.
    Our guides are back to using the pink and red Berkley's PowerWorm under a float eight- to 10-feet deep.  The best area is from Monkey Island down past the Landing, according to Steve Dickey who had just brought in a happy group of clients.  He said they're having to thin through smaller stocker rainbows to get the nice ones, but they are for sure there!
    Another group of guys staying here brought in some nice rainbows which they caught drifting down by the Landing on white/orange PowerEggs with a pinch of worm on the hook.  You can't argue with success!  I did overhear some talking yesterday that they tried trolling and were surprised they did very well.  They were using a blue Rebel.
    Here are some pictures of trout caught over the weekend by anglers who fished in our CAM benefit tournament.
     




    These were all 20-inches-plus, the last one  24 inches caught on a white jig.  David Beal and Seth Turner.



  3. Like
    Seth reacted to Al Agnew for a article, A couple half days...   
    Mary was going to be gone from Thursday to tonight, so I had a choice to make...do I watch the NCAA tournament and overdose on basketball, or go fishing?  I didn't make any real plans, just decided to go if the urge struck me.  A couple months ago, after I'd gotten up at 5 AM to go play basketball from 6 to 7, with boat trailer already hooked up on the truck so that I could leave for the river right after basketball, Mary was telling her sister Tina what I was doing, and Tina said, "you know, it must be nice to have two things you are that passionate about."  So really, although there is not much that would override my passion for fishing, this was basketball...but...I don't love watching basketball quite as much as I love playing.  So when I woke up Friday morning, knowing it was going to be a nice day and the trolling motor batteries were already charged, I headed for the Meramec.
    This is usually the toughest time of the year for me to figure out the bass on the Meramec.  They are leaving their wintering pools and heading for spawning areas, but they are so much in transition that sometimes it's hard to find them...or at least find some that are willing to bite.  I headed up the river to a certain wintering pool, and then went right on by it to the next riffle upstream, which has a big slow eddy right up against the fast water.  Sometimes, that kind of current seam seems to gather the moving fish.  Sure enough, using a deep diving crankbait, I hooked a nice smallmouth on about the third cast.  A couple casts later, another one.  I ended up catching a half dozen there.  Okay, got that figured out.  But I was curious whether there were any fish left in the wintering pool, especially toward the lower end where I'd found a pile of them earlier in the year.
    A half hour and two small bass later, I concluded they were gone.  So, find more eddies at the bottoms of riffles?  I drifted downriver, fishing smaller eddies along good banks with some current, catching a few more small fish...and then a 17 inch male on the crankbait in one of those little areas.  So I kept fishing down one more similar bank.  Then I hooked a fish that felt much bigger.  It came to the surface, and I was excited.  This looked like my first 20 incher of the year.  I played it carefully and lipped it...well, maybe not quite 20 inches, but it was a heavy, thick female.  I put it on the ruler on the front of the boat...18 3/4th inches!  Wow, I couldn't believe I'd misjudged the length of that fish so much.  Still, it was a great smallie.
    But then...I KNEW I needed to replace my trolling motor batteries.  They had gotten to where they were only putting out half the power they had when good, but that had been enough the last trip I made before spending five weeks in Montana, and I'd kinda forgot about their deterioration.  They had supposedly charged up okay the night before.  But by the time I caught the big fish, they were about done.  A half hour later, I was done...no power.  So I headed back to the ramp, and decided to spend the rest of the day working around our cabin on the river, where I'd spend the night.
    Saturday morning was just too nice.  I had to get back on the river.  So as soon as the local boat dealer opened at 8 AM, I was there buying trolling motor batteries.  I put in at the nearest access to the cabin and headed upriver, hoping the crankbait bite would continue.  First spot, two small bass.  Second spot, nothing.  I tried a couple of riffle bottom eddies.  Nothing.  Headed upriver as far as I wanted to fish back down, and stopped at a pool that usually produced both winter and summer bass.  Two more dinks.  
    The next pool downstream has one of the best riffle bottom eddies of any pool on this stretch.  The riffle is fast and dumps into the pool at a near 90 degree angle, with a smallish but beautiful eddy that drops off into 12 feet of water abruptly.  First cast with the crankbait--16 incher.  Second cast--a heavier fish struck.  After the bad guess the day before, I figured when I saw this one that it was probably 18 inches.  But it was another heavy female, and this time when I put it on the ruler, it came to 19 inches.  The eddy produced four more fish, each one a little smaller than the last, the last one barely 11 inches. 
    I fished down the pool below, catching one more small fish.  By that time, you could tell it was a spring Saturday...the jetboat motorheads were showing up, people buzzing up and down the river joyriding, and I was getting a little annoyed.  It sure is nicer to fish during the week.  I came to a marginal riffle bottom eddy, and caught a marginal fish from it.  Next one didn't look as good, and didn't produce anything.  I couldn't find any more that looked like they would hold fish.  I caught two more little ones, and then it was 4 PM and I was ready to call it quits. 
    But it was nice to get into a couple of good fish, anyway.
  4. Like
    Seth reacted to Phil Lilley for a article, March 25 fishing report   
    Generation is about as constant as it gets.  With one unit down, the U.S. Corps of Army Engineers is running the other three units at full tilt 24/7.  My guess (for what's it worth) is that officials are trying to run as much water as possible through the system (through Bull Shoals) because soon it will all have to be held back due to the mass of water heading down the Mississippi.  So they're running turbines and a little flood gates at Beaver Dam -- and Beaver is a little less than two feet above power pool.  They are running three units full at Table Rock Dam, and that lake is a little less than a foot above power pool.  Bull Shoals Dam is running four full units and the lake is a little less than one foot above power pool.  We just had about a half-inch of rain yesterday, so all the lakes are holding at the moment, with no rise or fall.
    Lake Taneycomo's water is 43 degrees and clear which is about normal for this time of year.  Our trout seem to be in great shape, fighting hard when hooked.  We're seeing midge hatches early and late in the day which the trout key in on at times.  We are not seeing any shad coming in from Table Rock through the dam.
    The best bite area has been drifting from Monkey Island through the bridges downtown Branson using red, orange or pink PowerWorms on the bottom.  Depending on the wind, anglers are using 1/4-ounce weight to get the bait to the bottom.  PowerBait is also working okay,  as well as worms and minnows.  There are some slower parts close to the bank where people are anchoring and straight-lining bait and doing well. If you try this area be sure to pick a slow spot AND have a knife ready to cut the anchor rope if you get in trouble.
    The "white bite" is a thing of the past I'm afraid, at least until the next time officials open the flood gates.  We didn't get a long enough run of threadfin shad for those trout to stay on the white bite this time.  They're back on darker colors -- brown, black, sculpin, sculpin/peach and sculpin/ginger.  It's not that you won't catch a fish on white, but just not as many.
    Work the jig in slack water against the bank from the dam down and in the middle on the bottom.  Use 1/8th- to 1/16th-ounce jigs, depending on line size and what you're working.  Also, the wind becomes a factor.  If it's breezy, switch to a heavier jig to control it, and/or two-pound line.
    Fly fishermen are drifting a scud, egg fly or San Juan Worm on the bottom in the trophy area and doing pretty well, too.  A great group from Oklahoma are fishing this week and catching nice rainbows on those flies. Their best area has been the Narrows, about 1/2-mile above Fall Creek.  Make sure you're on the bottom there, or you won't garner bites.
  5. Like
    Seth reacted to Phil Lilley for a article, November 20 fishing report   
    It's been a "kind" fall season this year.  Our water quality hasn't tanked like in past years, which caused the fish in Lake Taneycomo to become lethargic.  The water in Table Rock Lake typically stratifies during the spring and summer,  forcing low-oxygenated water to the depths where Taney gets its water through the dam.  Because of high water and flash flood events in the past, tons of bio material (wood and leaves) were washed into the lake, causing even more "damage" to the water close to the bottom.  That also adversely affected our water quality.  Fortunately, with have had no floods this year!!  Praise the Lord!!!
    The end of these seasons are marked by what we call "Table Rock turning over." This is when surface water on Table Rock cools and becomes colder than the water below it.  Eventually a majority of this surface water cools down enough that it causes a flip --- the water on top sinks down, forcing water towards the bottom up to the surface.  In time, sometimes it takes a week or more, all the water mixes and becomes uniform.  The water at 130 feet deep at the dam where Taney gets its water improves to the point the U.S. Corps of Engineers doesn't have to add liquid oxygen to water passing through the turbines, and restrictions are lifted as to how much water can be run at one time.
    We are at the end of that season.  Table Rock's water has mixed to the point as of last Friday that the water coming into Taneycomo measures 3.45  parts per million, up from <1.p.p.m..  When this process starts, it continues until the water is fully mixed.  As I type this report, I suspect that 3.45 reading has gone even further up and will continue for the next week or so.
    The bottom line is that it's an exciting time for our Taneycomo trout because their water has improved.  It's like they've been living on the top of a high mountain for three months and now have been brought down to sea level where the oxygen is much better.  They should be much more active.  It's an exciting time for us fisher people, too.  It means "catching" should improve, too, not that it's been that bad this fall.
    Compared to other times of the year, fishing pressure has been very low this past few weeks, except for the wading area below the dam.  This means stocker rainbows have been left to live and grow in the lake with less chance of being bothered by someone with a hook and line.  Our trout seemed to be spread out through the upper lake, too.  There's good concentrations of rainbows almost everywhere between the Landing and Table Rock Dam.  So I'd say there's no "hot spots" to report, only that catching is good in most places right now.
    The generation pattern has changed.  Since last Friday, dam operators have been running water around the clock, anywhere from 35 to 75 megawatts, which is really not a bad flow.  It's not too fast to make fishing off our dock tough.  You can get a good drift if you're fishing from a boat, but it does make wading below the dam pretty tough, although not impossible.  Not sure how long this will continue, and I don't know if there's a reason for it either.  It just is . . .
    We've haven't been going very far from the dock and catching some really nice rainbows this week.  I've caught two rainbows throwing a jig within sight of the dock weighing more than two pounds, and measuring 18-19 inches long.  Plus I've caught other rainbows all colored up and looking healthy in the 13-to 15-inch range, along with a couple of browns in the 14-to 15-inch range.

    We've been throwing the color sculpin with or without another combo color (ginger, burnt orange, olive, red) straight, no float, using either two- or four-pound line.  If we're throwing an 1/8th- or 3/32nd-ounce jigs, we're using four-pound line and throwing smaller jigs using two-pound line.  White/gray jigs are working pretty well up lake in the trophy area, according to Duane, who's had a few guide trips the past couple of weeks.  Most of the fish I've been catching have come off the bottom rather than when working the jig higher in the water column.
    If you're out in a boat and drifting bait on the bottom, with such slow current, you should pay close attention to the amount of weight you're using to get the bait to the bottom.  It's much better to have less than more.  Only use enough weight to get the bait to the bottom, even if it takes a while to sink.  Too much weight will do two things - - you will get snagged up much quicker and the heavier weight will make feeling a bite much harder.  If you're using drift rigs, use the smallest weight, and if that weight is too heavy, break it off, tie a simple knot on the end of that line and pinch on a small split shot.  The knot keeps the shot from sliding off the end of the line.
    Night crawlers will catch bigger fish.  But Powerbait catches fish, too.  Use PowerEggs and use a white egg with another color, pink, orange or chartreuse.
    Cleos and other spoons are doing pretty well, too.  I watched a group in one of our pontoons the other day throwing Cleos just up from our dock, on a bright, sunny, calm day, and they caught quite a few rainbows.  The bites  should be much better if there's some wind, chop on the water.  And Cleos are easy to use, especially in wind.

    The pink Berkley's Powerworm is still catching rainbows.  Under a float anywhere from four- to eight- feet deep depending on how bright the day is.  Under a bright sun, fish them deeper.  With choppy/cloudy conditions, fish them closer to the surface.
    If you go up in the trophy area.  You'll see gobs of bugs come out and float around.  Most of them are sow bugs.

    Trout do eat them but they're not high in protein like freshwater shrimp, or scuds.

    Both are in abundance right now, so that's the fly of choice to use.
     Fly rod - the best color lately has been brown, but you can see from these images that they can be several shades of olive, beige, brown and gray.  Sow bugs are almost always gray.  Fish them under an indicator and make sure they're on the bottom because that's where they live.  For spin cast rig, fish them under a float.  You may have to use a tiny split shot to make sure they get down, although the scuds we sell in our shop are weighted.  Best tippet size right now is 6x.
    Midges are working fairly well but not half as good as a scud.  But if there's a chop on the surface and trout are rising to midges, strip a crackleback or a soft hackle.
     
  6. Like
    Seth reacted to Bill Babler 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.

     
  7. Like
    Seth reacted to Phil Lilley for a article, Definitely not a catfish: Birthday trip yields a huge Taneycomo surprise   
    It was supposed to be a memorable trout fishing birthday trip for his brother.
    But on the last day of a cold and windy outing at Lake Taneycomo, Ken Adam is the one who got a gift he'll never forget.
    Adam, fishing Monday with brother Steve in an adjacent boat, said he was almost ready to call it a day because of the lousy weather and murky water when he flipped a white and purple McStick lure up close to a floating log.
    <READ MORE>
  8. Like
    Seth got a reaction from Pat Magee for a article, Bored so I went Fishing   
    Got down to the park about 12:30 just as the last two anglers were packing up and heading out. I fished from 12:30 to 4 and had the whole river to myself. Fishing was good. Lots of midging activity. My total fish count was between 20-30. I quit counting after 15 and caught several more after that. Most of the fish were between 1-1.5#. I'm not sure I ever did catch anything real small. My two best fish came on back to back casts by the bathroom hole. The first good fish was an 18 incher that I plucked from the fast water upstream of the falls. The next cast was below the falls and it produced a 21" rainbow that weighed just over 4#. The trout were midging heavily and I think a guy with a soft hackle or a crackleback on a fly rod could have really put a hurting on the fish. There are quite a few trout over 20" in the stream right now. I wasn't looking real hard for them and I spotted at least a half dozen. Nothing gigantic, but all about like the one I landed.

    I also saw a trout about like the biggest one that I caught floating dead in the moss down by the river bend near the back parking lot. My guess is somebody caught it and then beat it all around and held it out of the water for a lengthy period of time trying to get pictures and stressed it to death. That is a shame. If you catch a nice fish, keep it in a net in the water while you get things ready. As you can see, the big one I caught today is still in the net with it's head in the water. If I let it flop around on the gravel for several minutes while I fumbled around getting my phone, chances are it too would have died. The net is also what I use for weighing fish. Leave the fish in the net and then clip the scale to the net. No sense is risking damage to the gills.Of course you have to deduct the weight of the net to get the actual fishes weight. I think my net weighs around .20 so the fish was just a smidge over 4#.


  9. Like
    Seth got a reaction from patfish for a article, Bored so I went Fishing   
    Got down to the park about 12:30 just as the last two anglers were packing up and heading out. I fished from 12:30 to 4 and had the whole river to myself. Fishing was good. Lots of midging activity. My total fish count was between 20-30. I quit counting after 15 and caught several more after that. Most of the fish were between 1-1.5#. I'm not sure I ever did catch anything real small. My two best fish came on back to back casts by the bathroom hole. The first good fish was an 18 incher that I plucked from the fast water upstream of the falls. The next cast was below the falls and it produced a 21" rainbow that weighed just over 4#. The trout were midging heavily and I think a guy with a soft hackle or a crackleback on a fly rod could have really put a hurting on the fish. There are quite a few trout over 20" in the stream right now. I wasn't looking real hard for them and I spotted at least a half dozen. Nothing gigantic, but all about like the one I landed.

    I also saw a trout about like the biggest one that I caught floating dead in the moss down by the river bend near the back parking lot. My guess is somebody caught it and then beat it all around and held it out of the water for a lengthy period of time trying to get pictures and stressed it to death. That is a shame. If you catch a nice fish, keep it in a net in the water while you get things ready. As you can see, the big one I caught today is still in the net with it's head in the water. If I let it flop around on the gravel for several minutes while I fumbled around getting my phone, chances are it too would have died. The net is also what I use for weighing fish. Leave the fish in the net and then clip the scale to the net. No sense is risking damage to the gills.Of course you have to deduct the weight of the net to get the actual fishes weight. I think my net weighs around .20 so the fish was just a smidge over 4#.


  10. Like
    Seth got a reaction from fishinwrench for a article, 11-26-17 Glaize Crappie   
    A buddy and I started about 1pm yesterday and fished till dark. I started out hitting a few brush piles, but only caught one. It didn't take me long to switch gears and start scanning main lake docks. Found a few that were loaded up and caught around 50 crappie. Only had a few white crappie and only three or four shorts. The rest were all good quality black crappie and most of them were over 10". There was no need to measure any of the two limits that we kept. Biggest was 12.25". If you couldn't get your jig way up under the dock, you didn't catch fish. I doubt color mattered, but we were using BG Slab Slayers and Slab Busters in blue, black and orange with a chartreuse tail. They all worked as well as the other. We fun fished for a bit longer after limiting out and caught another 15-20 keepers that we released.
  11. Like
    Seth reacted to rangerman for a article, Walleye galore   
    Had a wonderful day today. Had a limit of walleye plus a few to release. Cut lose a 28 incher. All trolling cranks at 2 mph in 18 foot of water on a gravel flat.  And the bass were a pain. I couldn't barely keep them off the hook.


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