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Phil Lilley

Lilley's Lake Taneycomo Fishing Report, August 11

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There hasn't been much change in generation and fishing patterns since my last fishing report for Lake Taneycomo.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been turning on their turbines at noon every day and running water through the afternoon, shutting it down about dark.  They've been running four units full during the week and two to three units on weekends.  Water temperature is holding steady at about 53 degrees and water quality is good.  The dissolved oxygen content is good (see chart).


It's been foggy on the lake, sometimes not clearing up until late morning.  And on cloudy, rainy days, the fog hangs around all day.  Boating in the fog is tricky at best.  When the water isn't running, you can make headway just moving slowly without getting up on plane.  But if the water is running, it's tough without running fast to stay on top of the water -- but then you're running too fast to see someone coming at you.  Then there's the fog banks, those dense clouds that look like everything else.  You think you can see far, but all of a sudden, you can't.  And if someone is just on the other side of the outer cloudy wall, you're in trouble.

Then there are the kayaks that now frequently float Taneycomo . . .  need I say more?

You really can't be a hurry on this lake in the summer.  And for the most part, people have been really wise and courteous. 

Our fishing guides continue to bring in nice limits of rainbows for clients, morning and evenings.  And it's the same refrain -- night crawlers and the pink worm.  Duane Doty is still throwing his stick baits early in the mornings and catching nice rainbows and a few brown but no monsters in the past couple of weeks.  Read my last report for a detailed account on why you should be using two-pound line with our clear water right now.

Stitch and Jim frequent the resort spring, summer and fall and are serious about their fishing.  Jim told me they started "blowing up" their night crawlers this week and it made a huge difference.  Just ask Stitch.



She caught this 25-inch brown off the dock one night while fishing with an inflated worm, using two-pound line.  Man, what an angler!  Not many people have the skill and patience to land a fish like that on two-pound.

I  fly fished a couple of times this past week, catching fish on small flies - #18's and #20's.  I'm using midges and scuds mainly, 7x tippet.  I'm not "tearing it up," but the trout I'm catching are good size and in very good health.  I'm fishing mostly the trophy area, but early the trout are feeding on midges, so using a zebra midge under a small indicator 12- to 48-inches deep is working around actively feeding rainbows.  Target those fish that are rising if you can.  Again, 7x tippet is a must.  I'd use fluorocarbon, too.  And I would stay small --#16 to #20-- and brown has been working good for me.

One other thing I wanted to mention pertaining to being responsible for rules and handling trout.  Rules:  If you put a trout on a stringer, in a basket or in a live well, it's yours and counts toward your daily limit.  It is illegal to "cull" or release trout and replace one fish with a bigger fish.  Possession limit means how many fish you can have in your possession at any one time.  Possession means in your ice chest, in your freezer.  Your possession limit is a two-day limit or eight trout.  You cannot legally fish for a week and keep your daily limit each day and store them in your freezer.  An agent can ask to inspect any place he/she suspects there are illegal fish stored, so no place is exempt from inspection. 

Last thing.  Don't catch, kill and release.  If you're bait fishing, most likely the trout you catch will swallow the bait.  If you are not going to keep a fish that has swallowed the hook, cut the line and let it go back without touching the fish.  It has a much better chance of survival if you do that than to try to dig out the hook.  And if you have to handle a trout, use a damp rag.  Using a dry rag wipes off the protective slime on a fish's body, exposing it to bacteria in the water.

Good Luck!

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Completely unscientific, but when drift fishing with bottom bouncing rigs, it seems that night crawlers tend to produce more distinct strikes allowing for actual hooksets in lip for even novices vs powerbait eggs/nuggets where they just swallow it. If they do swallow it, NBD to just just cut the line and put a new rig on your swivel. You'll be fishing quicker anyways. 

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W'eve started using size 6 and 8 Gamkatsu octopus circle hook in the past year when using crawlers and minnows on Taneycomo and deal with far less gut hooked fish. Most are hooked in the corner of the mouth. It works really well for those who have a hard time detecting bites too since the fish hooks itself when the rod loads up. No need for a hook set. Just start reeling. I've not tried this type of hook with power eggs, but i think it would also work well for them.

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Same here on the circle hook Seth. But I go one size bigger with the crawlers. #6 for powerbait eggs, #4 for crawlers. Very few gut hooked fish. Plus for kds, or newbies I have fishing with me hookups are almost automatic when drifting.

Bgctrading, standard Taney drift rig. About 3' of line (I use 2#, most use 4#), hook on one end, weight ( just enough to feel it tick, not drag, the bottom.) Tie a loop about a foot above the weight to attach to a snap swiver on your main line.

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