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Phil Lilley

Big One Got Away

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51 minutes ago, snagged in outlet 3 said:

We primarily stay in the trophy area but I would rather not deal with more boats than usual since we are flexible on when we go down.

Most if not all of the tourney guys will be fishing below Fall Creek anyways so you would be fine.

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My best light line tale of woe story...

This was back in the early 1980s.  A buddy and I were floating the entire length of Huzzah Creek from Dillard Mill to the Meramec.  I'd never fished upper Huzzah before, but knew it was very clear, and back then I was used to fishing the Meramec and Big rivers, which were usually murky.  I thought I needed to use ultralight and 4 pound line in that super clear water, and fish small marabou jigs and such.  So that was what I was doing the first day, catching lots of very small bass and goggle-eye, when I suddenly hooked a huge smallmouth.  This thing was easily 20 inches; I couldn't believe a fish that big was up the creek that far.  We were in fairly slow water, lined with a lot of logs, and I knew getting it in wasn't going to be easy.  But the fish for whatever reason seemed to just avoid all the logs, and I gradually worked it in as the canoe drifted downstream to the end of the run, where there was a swift riffle, and nothing to get snagged on, or so I thought.  The fish was just about done, and I had it about 10 feet from the canoe at the top of the riffle, when it made one more lunge, which took it right into a very small snag sticking up out of the gravel.  Line wrapped around the snag and pop.

I put the ultralight rod down and picked up my casting rod with 10 pound line and my homemade twin spin, and caught a bunch of fish on it the rest of the trip.

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3 hours ago, Mitch f said:

And lesson learned! 😏

I might learn my lesson one of these days, but I’m gonna have to stop catching my biggest fish year after year on my spinning rod and 8# line first. 😁

 

The difference in 4# and 8# is pretty drastic though. 

 

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56 minutes ago, Seth said:

I might learn my lesson one of these days, but I’m gonna have to stop catching my biggest fish year after year on my spinning rod and 8# line first. 😁

 

The difference in 4# and 8# is pretty drastic though. 

 

I gotcha

10-15 years ago I tied a lot of hair jigs. It was a pretty big hair jig compared to what you guys are throwing. I did notice that the smaller trout would come up and nip at the tail. At first I thought about devising a tiny stinger hook.  But all the decent size fish inhaled it without hesitation. I guess I’ve always wanted to catch the bigger fish and not worry about numbers. Do you think you have a better chance at catching a big trout on a small or little profile jig?

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1 hour ago, Mitch f said:

I gotcha

10-15 years ago I tied a lot of hair jigs. It was a pretty big hair jig compared to what you guys are throwing. I did notice that the smaller trout would come up and nip at the tail. At first I thought about devising a tiny stinger hook.  But all the decent size fish inhaled it without hesitation. I guess I’ve always wanted to catch the bigger fish and not worry about numbers. Do you think you have a better chance at catching a big trout on a small or little profile jig?

I did catch an 18” and a 21” rainbow on back to back casts with a hair jig I tied up for bass last year. I’ve caught a pile of stockers rainbows on 4-5” jerkbaits and still don’t have a 20” plus brown to show for it. Trout are one of those goofy fish that have no problem trying to eat lures nearly as big as themselves.

 

My best brown is 19.5” and came on a size 20 ginger gbug by the Rebar hole, which is a far cry from that big jerkbait. I think it is more about just getting lucky and putting the lure in front of the right fish. There are probably more big trout caught on little scud flies than anything else each year on Taneycomo.

I think you can definitely increase your odds of hooking up with a big brown with big baits around wood cover, but I don’t think rainbows are as easy to focus on aside from sight fishing. They aren’t as cover oriented as the browns.

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