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  • moturkey
    Although my plans for an overnight solo trip this fall have been foiled by the scheduling constraints of work and family, I did manage to get a full day on the Meramec yesterday and it was awesome.  Perhaps not a 'banner day,' but it was certainly a success by my standards.  The numbers were good, but the sizes were smaller than I was hoping for.
    It started off chilly but when the sun came up and burned off the fog it was perfect.  Water temp was 56 when I put in at daybreak (a bit cooler than I was expecting), and despite landing a spot on my first cast the bite was pretty slow in the morning.  I stopped at 12:30 for lunch at my half-way mark, and at that point had only boated 4 smallies and 2 spots. Spook and (large) HD craw counted for 1 fish each, and a white spinner bait claimed the other 4 (thanks for the tip, @Hog Wally!).  I lost track of the number of short strikes on the spinner and spook. 
    Despite the hoopla, I've never had much luck with my half-hearted efforts on the ned rig. I really wanted to spend some time with it yesterday and I'm glad I did.  Just after lunch I found a nice rock pile along the bank in a 7' run. Water clarity was right at 7' so I could see plenty of fish but was having trouble holding my kayak against the current. I beached upstream and walked down the bank to the rock pile and caught 4 smallies in quick succession. The afternoon continued to produce well on a similar pattern, and they all came on a PBJ ned. I finished the day with 21 fish - 13 smallies and 8 spots -- 15 of which came in the afternoon on the ned. Biggest of the day was only 14.5" and I had one more that was just over 14".
    I didn't see a soul out there, with 1 exception in the early afternoon that was a fun encounter.  I could hear a radio in the distance blaring KSHE-95 (the oldest continuous rock station in the world, for those not from this area), and expected to come upon a group of river rats partying it up.  To my surprise, it was one person - a retired guy named Steve. He had pulled his car up to the bank with the radio on, and was sitting in a lawn chair with a cooler of budweiser and his trusted companion - a grizzly old yellow lab. I planned to give him his space and was fishing the far bank. He cut the radio as soon as he saw me, and soon after called me over to his side of the river.  He was enamored with my kayak rig, asking all sorts of questions about it, then revealed to me what I perceived as the secret to true happiness.... He said he has owned that land for 27 years and is retired but comes down to the farm almost every day to 'work' while his wife actually does go to work. If 'working' means pulling up a lawn chair by the side of the river with a trusted 4-legged companion and cooler of beer on a Wednesday afternoon, then I'm doing it all wrong. When he called me over, he said I was fishing the wrong bank and should try a series of lay-downs that were right along his bank.  3 casts and 3 fish later, I figured he'd been 'working' that bank (and the passing fishermen) for all 27 years of his tenure.  Steve - if you're out there, it was a pleasure to meet you and I enjoyed our conversation!
    Lunch was at the mouth of a big cave along the river, and I saw quite a few bald eagles throughout the day. I also saw a flock of turkeys fly across the river and struggle to climb a steep bank on the other side. I can't get a horny Tom to cross an ankle-deep, shoulder-width creek during turkey season, but yet here was a flock that willingly flew across a wide and fairly swift section of the river to a steep bank that any human would have needed climbing ropes to ascend.  Story of my life chasing turkeys, but I digress. The weather, scenery, solitude, and fishing all exceeded my expectations and I still have a grin on my face.
    I consider myself a guest on this river, so I won't reveal my exact location to the innerwebs but if you've floated this stretch you'll probably recognize it from the pictures.

  • moguy1973
    Bassmaster#1 and I went on our fall kayak over nighter this weekend.  Had Boiling Spring shuttle us up to Riddle Bridge early Saturday morning and it was tough fishing to start out, no topwater action and only a few bites by noon.  Then they started biting a little better.  Most of the smallmouth were average size with nothing over 13" except for a nice 17"er that I caught out of the end of a laydown that tangled me all up in the branches and I had to go pretty much cut the branches to get him out.  BM#1 wanted to fish in front of me after I caught that one so I cleaned up behind him by catching a really nice river largemouth that weighed 3lbs 10oz.  Biggest river Largemouth I've ever caught.  I  caught it on the next laydown that I caught the 17" smallmouth on and I was hugged up against the trunk of the laydown and I looked down in the water and saw it swimming towards where I had just cast my tube.  Dragged it over in front of him and he smashed it.  Was pretty cool watching him do that.  Caught most of our fish on tubes but some came on cranks some on a fluke.  HD craw caught some too.  I ended up with 22 fish to hand, with most being smallmouth and a few largemouth and goggle eyes mixed in.  BM#1 ended up with 20.
    We posted up camp on a big sandbar that we had stayed on before and it had changed a lot, with most of the bushes that had once grown in the middle of the bar washed away by the past two floods.  Found a nice area just inside the tree line to put up the tent knowing that it was supposed to rain and storm.  And what a storm it was, and a leaky tent didn't help any.  Ended up not getting much sleep and was wet and cold when we woke up after moving the tent to a different area that didn't pool the water up under it. 
    Today we didn't fish much as we were cold and tired from being wet and not getting sleep.  I did end up getting 10 and he got 6 before we pulled into Boiling Springs.  It wasn't as good of a trip as we had 2 years ago on that same stretch were we hauled in over 100 fish between the two of us in 2 days, and even with the miserable night with the weather it was a good trip.

  • Phil Lilley
    Cooler weather has brought less generation to Taneycomo.  The water has been running for an hour or two in the evenings and that's about all.  That makes fishing off the docks and wading below the dam more enjoyable for sure.
    Below Fall Creek, we're catching trout in many ways actually.  Fishing has been pretty good.  The pink Berkley's Powerworm has been the go to bait for most of the guides... still!  We've demonstrated that on One Cast a couple times this week and caught fish on both occasions off the dock.  Night crawlers are catching fish too but so is Gulp and Powereggs and traditional salmon eggs.  Still using 4-pound line for most bait applications but 2-pound when using anything under a float like the pink worm and small jigs.
    Look for the chop!  Preached it many times and will continue to do so.  The wind has been blowing fairly well this week but still, if you're in an area where there's no wind, go find it if it's around.  Fish bite much better when there's a chop on the surface.
    I found out black is the color, at least it was the other evening.  Black or black/olive marabou jig.  This was late in the day into the evening and there was a little water running at the time.  It's not that they won't change at any time -- you just have to keep trying colors until the right one is found.  This isn't a trophy area only thing... it's lake wide.  And colors will change with the time of day, brightness of the sun and even wind and current conditions.

    I mentioned in the video about line size and using small jigs.  I don't think there's any question that lighter line like 2-pound will catch more fish than bigger line like 4-pound but it's more about the lure you're using.  You can't throw a 1/16th ounce jig very far when using 4-pound line.
    I absolutely hammered them using a #16 red Zebra Midge the other day.  I tied on a black and a red about 12 inches apart, 6x tippet about 3 feet deep and was fishing the flat below Fall Creek on the east back above the boat ramp.  Never caught one on the black.  It was towards evening with no water running.

  • Champ188
    Sorry it's a couple of days old but thought I'd give a brief report on what I found Tuesday. In short ... not much.
    Launched at 8:30 AM at Eagle Rock to avoid as much of the Cops4Kids traffic as possible and succeeded, seeing only a couple of other boats all day.
    Despite the strong cold front that blew in the night before, surface temps remained 74-76 everywhere I went. Started out in a wooded pocket not far from the ramp, then proceeded to Roaring River, Panther and eventually Rock Creek. Without putting anyone to sleep with the boring details, I managed 10-12 fish over 6.5 hours, including three, maybe four small keepers. All were caught on a 1/4-ounce War Eagle tandem willow spinnerbait or smallish crawfish-colored cranks. Tried a Ned, various topwaters and even a fast-retrieve jerkbait to no avail.
    Better times are coming soon.
    Highlight of the day was the nearly nonstop progression of migrating geese flying just under the high cloudcover. 

  • duckydoty
    Started off early this morning with a buddy, launching the boat at 5 am.  Headed down the lake for a sit in the woods. On the walk in, we jumped 8 deer, so I did not think we would have a chance of seeing another. That was ok with me, because I was hoping for a chance at turkeys. Just after shooting time, I could hear a turkey behind me about 75-100 yards up in the roost.  After that I heard one to my left fly down. About that time a giant murder of crows flew in raising all kinds of ruckus, flushing the still roosted turkey off in another direction.  I could see my buddy's ground blind from where I was at and apperrently he had deer skirting the limits of his shooting range all morning.  About 10:30 we gave up on the hunt and changed gears to chasing walleye.  Good move on out part!  We had rigs in the water about 10 minutes when we caught the first keeper. We kept trolling the flats from just below K Dock to almost Snapp.  Had 3 different areas we picked up walleye in 20-27 feet of water. Tried one long run back down the lake and again picked up walleye in the same 3 areas. Decided to concentrate on the 2 most productive of the 3 and that was w the flat just above K Dock and the one just across and below K Dock. Trolled 1.9-2.3 mph depending on if we were in 20 feet of water (1.9) or 27 feet(2.3). Had enough line out with 3 ounce bottom bouncers to hit the bottom ever few seconds.  We averaged 1 short for ever keeper we caught and had a welcomed bonus of a 13 inch crappie. Did not catch any of the stinking bass which was awesome!  Only target species today. Ended up with 2 limits of keeper walleye and 8 shorts in 5 hours of fishing. Great day filled with adventure and good company!
    Oh, and got to meet Paco while taking out.  Lots of fun chatting with you!

  • yaknar
    I floated down the river, last week, for the last time this year.  The river is down with no current. I had to paddle the 6.5 miles, rough for an old man, and I should have worn my Fitbit, I would have at lest gotten 1/2 mile walking.  I found out what they wanted right off and it turned out to be another great day on the river. I caught goggle eyes, smallmouths, a cat and a walleye. Took a few pictures of the size bass I was catching. Most were caught on swallow crankbaits. I always start out what was working best on my last trip out, J tail grub, but only caught 3 so I switched. I caught the walleye on a small crankbait, it had two #10 treble hooks on it. Boy was I surprised. ......All the fish were released, but someone told me that walleyes are pretty tasty...I think there should be a word that describes " when a fish tows you around the river while your in your kayak."  Saw an eagle and a few trees are starting to turn.... I've enjoyed my time on the river this year but its time to hang up the paddle........

  • Quillback

    Got to the Big M launch early in the morning, and it was very foggy.  Got a little ways outside the mouth of the Big M cove and started fishing as I wasn't going to run down the lake in the fog. 
    Took Fido for a stroll, and picked up quite a few top water bites around docks and bluff lines.  Lots of bites, but the bass were having trouble grabbing the lure.  I think sometimes that zig-zag motion when walking the dog confuses them a bit and causes them to miss.  Put 6 or 7 in the boat (one keeper) on the top water and probably had another dozen misses.  Out of those dozen misses, I think 2 of them touched the lure. 
    Had 2 doubles, but in both cases one of the fish pulled off before I could get them netted. 
    Spent some time looking for the mid-channel top water bite, but not very much of that going on in spite of lots of shad swimming around in the channel.
    Once the fog burned off, the top water bite died.  Threw a jig for a while, picked up a couple on it, had a good one pick it up and swim towards the boat, could not catch up to it and thus did not get a good hook set before he dropped it.
    Water is clearing up a bit, saw water temps around 76-77. 

  • Phil Lilley
        Water levels are running at 280 cfs, 350 avg, and water clarity has been clear. On the hot sunny days the trout are finding deeper pools of water to stay out of the heat. On the Spring always watch for the deep green pools for bigger trout to be hiding in. On overcast cool days the trout are feeding better. Hot flies lately have been Grandma’s Brownie, Guppies and the Idaho leech. With the first few cold days of fall the trout should start moving around more.       For spin fishers out there Hot pink and white trout magnets are working great. Hot pink always seems to work on trout and smallmouth in the Spring River. Chartreuse is a good color for brown trout but I always go back to the hot pink. A little super glue on the hook before putting on the trout magnet body will keep it from sliding down. I usually prepare several the night before. For the local small creeks that hold nice smallmouth and bream, the hot pink trout magnet fished along the banks with a slow strip back works perfect. Cast across a fast pocket and let the magnet swing and watch them chase it down. Mark Crawford springriverfliesandguides.com

  • Phil Lilley
    Generation is still constant during the day and night on Taneycomo.  About a half unit night and most of the day with a shot of heavier water mid to late afternoon.  Water quality remains good enough for the fish to eat, and fight.  The fears about bad water and fish kills this fall have not materialized, but we have about 5-6 weeks left of low DO season.
    Just a quick report to show off a couple of nice trout.  I took a family fishing Wednesday in the rain.  Thought it would be excellent catching because fish usually like rainy, cloudy days.  No so.  It was tough.  All the guides were calling each other trying to find the bite.  We started with a pink worm under a float, then to a night crawler and finally boated to the dam and threw jigs.

    My party had never used spin cast gear... mom and dad were lifelong river and creek floaters, fishing for smallmouth bass in Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma.  Now in their 80's and most of their fishing days behind them, they were trying trout fishing for the first time.  I was wishing for better conditions and the fish to bite.

    Forrest caught a few rainbows on both crawlers and a jig.  Thelma did too.  I let their son Randy and wife Kim have the back of the pontoon and concentrated on the couple in front.
    At one point, we were drifting past outlet #2 when I casted for Thelma and showed her how to lift and jig the jig while reeling slowly.  Of course a big rainbow just had to grab on -- I set the hook and handed her the rod.  I knew immediately it was a good trout and adjusted the drag so the 2-pound line didn't snap.

    She fought it perfectly.  I made one swipe with the net and missed, hitting the lunker instead.  I thought for sure I'd knocked it off but to my surprise, it was till hanging on just past the net's edge.  I lunged one more time and got it.
    Big male, spawning colors, big hooked jaw.  We got a few pictures and back it went, didn't even measure it.

    The family shared with me that on the trip back to Oklahoma, Forrest shared that he thought his fishing days were behind him, and that he was so glad to get out on the river again.  I'm hoping he and Thelma come back and go out again, even if the fish aren't biting.  It was a wonderful trip!
    Yesterday afternoon, fishing guide Kris Nelson called the office and said they were coming in with a big brown.  So Duane and I got out the scales and watched for them.  Kris and his wife bought a small lodge on Stockton Lake last year and that's where he guides most of the time.  But he makes trips to Taneycomo in the fall when fishing on Stockton slows down.

    Kris and client, Jack Slaughter, were throwing stick baits against the banks below the dam when Jack hooked what turned out to be a 25.5 inch big male brown.  The brown was in great condition when it arrived at the dock so we took good care of it.  We netted it in a large rubber net and set it in the basket to weigh it - it showed 6.76 pounds.  Kris put it in our big minnow tank which is constantly aerated with fresh water.  We showed Jack how to hold the fish without hurting it, but also to show the whole fish.  But the light wasn't good and the flash bleached out the fish.

    We put the brown back in Kris's livewell and pulled the boat to the outside of the dock where the light was better.  We kept the fish in the net the whole time to keep from handling it further.  Jack pulled the fish out and up to take a couple of series of pictures, never keeping the fish out of the water for more than 20 seconds at a time.  As a precaution, Kris held the big net under the fish so as to catch it if it pulled out of his hands.  When it was released, it swam off like a shot.

  • mbkwrh
    Run the water that's all the Corp wants to do and all I want to do is fish!! So last night for the first time ever I fished a lighted indicator along with a buddy of mine. I know this die hard streamer fisherman did just that. The results put the boat on the water at 10:15 boated to the cable took the boat off of the water at 1:15am. We fished the mega worms all colors white,red,pink& cream. Fishedthem about 8-9 foot deep and boated over 50 fish to the boat. Nothing huge but had some great quality bows along with a few browns. Fished the south side then would switch to the north side and picked up around 5-6 fish per drift. I never thought I would ever do this but you have to adapt and I think I am hooked!

  • Quillback

    A beautiful early fall morning.  I began my day by fishing the edge of the buck brush with a tail spinner type top water.  Caught 2 bass total working the brush, one was a keeper large mouth.  Did that for an hour and moved out into the channel to try again for the bass that are living out there.
    They were scattered, no schools, and every once in a while one or two would come up within casting range.  Caught another 4 bass, all spots, fishing main channel.  If you can get on them, they will jump on that top water, but if you're late, they'll ignore your bait.  I can't make fan casting around the boat work, they've got to be up feeding.  Only thing I haven't tried is to try finesse type top waters, may try that next time.  Might even try a float and fly.
    Seems every time out lately I have a Big One that Got Away story. 
    I tied up to the dock at Big M, backed the trailer in, as I got in the boat I saw a bass pin some shad against the bank right at the edge of the blacktop in the parking lot.  Close enough to the boat that I stepped in the boat and picked up my top water rod and threw a pencil popper right at the spot where that fish came up.  Made two casts there, no sniffs.  Made another cast about 10 feet further down the bank, walked the bait about 10 feet of the bank, and pow, got a blow up - just felt a little tick, didn't hook up, but I got a look at the fish as it rolled on the bait and it was a good one.  Made a few more casts but that bass wasn't coming back.


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