They were in about 28 ft of water.
We also caught 4 or 5 baby walleye.
I am blessed to have such a great friend!
The turnover gave us much needed, oxygen rich water last week. This is a seasonal occurence. For a quick explanation: water in Table Rock Lake stratifies during the spring, summer and fall, dividing in to layers as to temperature, density and dissolved oxygen. That forces colder water towards the bottom of the lake where we get our water (Taneycomo).
As summer moves along, water is drawn from Table Rock through turbines, generating electricity to power our air conditioners. But this water is the cold water, rich in oxygen, we need for our trout. Towards the end of summer, this good water runs out and what's left is almost void of oxygen. It's so bad that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers then has to inject liquid oxygen into the flow when water is run.
Then something special happens. Cold weather moves in and cools the surface of Table Rock. Then cold water flows in and temps really start dropping. Cold water is heavier than warm water, so surface water starts to sink to the bottom. At some point, all the layers disappear and the water at 130 feet deep on Table Rock becomes high in oxygen and cooler. Through winter and spring, our water on Taneycomo, from Table Rock, gets colder and colder.
Then the cycles starts again.
A guy made a comment about our weather today -- it's crazy! Sunday was freezing in the morning at 18 degrees. The wind started blowing, maximizing the feel of the cold, but it warmed up late in the afternoon. Monday was warmer but windy. Tuesday should be sunny and cold again with Wednesday, warm again. Sounds like autumn! And, yes, I know it's not winter until December 21st, but it should look more like winter by now.
I think it's affecting our catching of fish.
Fishing isn't bad. . . it's just not as good as it should be after the lake turns over. They aren't jumping in the boat. The high winds aren't helping, though, since they make it tough to fish everything is catching fish and handle a boat.
There's not one thing that's working better than others. Jigs, flies, spoons, spinners and bait are all producing bites, just not in big numbers.
The dam operators are running water almost every morning and evening at least--the pattern is--no pattern during the daytime. Last week, they gave us no generation during the day but this week has started out with 35 megawatts running, or a half unit. With warmer weather later, we should see more periods of no generation.
We've caught rainbows, boating up to the cable when the water is high enough, throwing 1/16th, 3/32nd and 1/8th ounce in dark colors mainly, but a few on white. Also tried a jig- and- float using a 1/16th-ounce sculpin jig with an orange head and did pretty well. Still catching warmwater species of fish up there, smallmouth bass mainly, which is crazy.
Personally, I'm still not doing very well fishing from Lookout down to the Narrows. I'm not saying to skip that area, but I'll let you decide.
The Narrows are still fishing very well, holding good numbers of rainbows. Trout there are taking scuds, egg flys, San Juan Worm (I still like the white chamois worm) drifted on the bottom. If the water is off, use midges under an indicator. Most of the trout are towards the bottom of the Narrows when the water is running.
Here's fishing guide, Bill Babler's report. He shines more light on his fishing sucess.
I fished Friday, Saturday and Monday. Restricted zone. Egg fly in twin colors either pink/salmon or pink/yellow. Micro eggs are working best for me size 16. Grey or grey/orange size 16 scud on a drift rig. Fly or spin cast, beaded egg same size or a beaded pink San Juan Worm. Depending on current 7 to 9 ft. 6X leader. Drift the reef above the Fall Creek ramp through the reef at Fall Creek Dock.
Outside of the restricted zone, pink Power Worm on the inside bend from Fall Creek to Short Creek and then a short stretch of gravel directly across from Short Creek to Trout Hollow's dock or the drop off just above their dock. Monkey Island down stream side in the slack water off the point has been really good for numbers but mostly small males.
I agree with Bill, we're catching a lot of male rainbows, which is normal for this time of year.
The one hot spot seems to be from Short Creek to Trout Hollow. This area has become one of our guide's go-to spots. It's filled in with gravel, not very deep. Where the pile of dead trees is in the water, there's a drop off where the water goes from 5 to 10 feet deep. This is another place where fish gather.
Replenished sites will be updated on the AGFC Mapper after the first of the year.
I cannot begin to tell you how much fun I had at my first Jig Fest attendance. Not a selfish person on site. A big share of everything and anything. Food knowledge and friendship. Two things stood out. Terrierman said to me, " Marty it isn't all about fishing, just look at this group of good people". Yes I seen that a bunch of guys of various ages and all walks of life together with a common goal friendship and fishing. Then Stein said. " Look at this group of guys. All getting along. You couldn't put a group of women together like this and their not be some competition for pecking order, Men and women are wired different" I can see this to be somewhat true and Mrs. BilletHead agreed with me as I told her about what I had heard!. BTW she is extremely jealous of what I got to do . I may have to treat her special for some time! I never heard a cross word between anyone in this bunch of guys. I was about the first one to turn in for the evening. I could lay in my bed and hear nothing but laughing.
Then their is the fishing. I was on my way down early Thursday morning. I knew some were there day before. I was hoping to fish when I got there. So I start getting texts and calls from GrizWilson. Where are you? What way are you coming down. What is your ETA ? Meet us at the Cotter access . I get there and here comes a boat with Griz, Mike (Wounded one) and I think Ron? (hey these guys know each other and I have to remember them all being a newbie) Up comes Griz and Mike. Griz to make sure my drift chain is made correct and Mike to be my fishing partner for awhile. Griz says we are going to drift this section for awhile and go get into room, pick up JohnsFolly and fish a bit more. Mike and I become acquainted and we all launch from the ramp. I tie on a jig and ask Mike for pointers. We fish parallel to the bank as we drift with the current? Yep he says.(Keep in mind for the last several years I pick up conventional gear maybe a half dozen times a year) We began to drift. My first cast, my first hook up and first fish I was blessed with,
Yep first fish a cutty . More coming time for dinner,
The water temps were hovering around 39, the water clarity was a scary Gin color...I could see the bottom everywhere we went in water up to 17 ft deep and the winds gusts were anywhere from 10 to 35 mph I would guess. A cold front pushed thru very early prior to us going out....not exactly ideal conditions.
I started out fishing a jerk bait as it is just one of my things, I absolutely love fishing jerk baits these fish were having none of that not even a sniff. The water was soo amazingly clear that I found myself just standing there looking at the river and it's contours and it's fish....just astounding. I'm sure Hog was sick of me commenting on how clear it was, just so fun to be able to see everything.
We fished for a bit I wasn't doing anything , Hog was fishing a Craw pattern they just came up with and at first glance I thought it looked peculiar. Then I tied one on and let it fall into about 6 ft of clear water and it looked amazing!!! It is really weird how these colors can look so different in and out of the water.
Just as I started with the craw, Hog as he does, says " oh I got bite here" and then set the hook and his rod bent in half. I knew he had something with some weight. Sure enough he did, he coaxed up an absolutely beautiful 19 inch 4lb Smallmouth. This fish was soo chunky and just a perfect Bronze beauty. I was jumping and fist pumping as I just love to see fish like this in person....I was ecstatic.
Now I'm pumped as hell and ready to go but, these conditions were just horrific for fishing and the bite was very slow. It seemed like if you could get the craw in front or near a fish they would crush it.
We moved on to a few other spots and the wind and temperature were oppressive really. Not much happening but, my excitement was keeping me warm from seeing Hog's fish.
We finally made it to a spot that Hog said there is a giant here for sure and I thought to myself what is he talking about?? As it looked fairly vanilla but, I know not to question his knowledge of that river. I made a cast right to the area he was speaking of and wham I had a nice hit and set the hook. Hog says you have a nice one and being the dork I am, I say it seems like a 17 incher. Then a massive blob of Bronze rolls in front of the boat and I see Hog lunging for the net in excitement....low and behold it's a 20 inch FAT Hybrid Smallie/Spot!!!! We were both high fiving each other like little kids. This was such a cool moment for me as I have never seen one this big in person.
Guys I know you may get sick of people pushing products on here and I am not a part of Tackle HD anymore as we parted ways. I can tell you this, their 4 inch Craw just flat out catches bigger fish on average. Eventhough we parted ways we are all still friends I love Paul, Mitch and Aaron like my brother. They have a great bait and their jigheads are the best at crawling thru rocks I personally have ever used. Sorry in advance if you don' care for my endorsement but the proof is in the pudding as far as I'm concerned.
Now as I sit here eating my wife's delicious chilli, I am wondering how old that Hybrid is???...the biggest one I had caught prior to this was 14 inches.
Anyway everyone have a good rest of the weekend
Started in some shady cuts between Bridgeport and Peach Orchard and it became apparent early on that would be very little shallow action, so we soon migrated back out to the main river. For most of the day, we went 15-20 minutes between bites on the Ned rig ... not a good deal on a bait that consistently produces a bite every 5 minutes or less. The action was primarily in channel swings and bluff ends.
I did manage to pick up a gorgeous 4 pound-plus fish off an isolated boat dock (15 feet of water in the stall where she bit) on a finesse jig and lost beside the boat what looked to be one of the biggest spots I've ever seen in any of the river arms. Got a pretty good look at it up close and it was well over 3 pounds.
Also managed one fish on a jerk bait. Dilly dilly!
All told, we had a dozen fish but only two keepers. No crank bait bite at all and I spent too much time throwing one. Better days coming soon. Stay tuned.
Capt. Rick Stanczyk
Islamorada Backcountry Charters with Capt. Rick Stanczyk