Fishing was a bit better than the last time out, I caught 11 total, spots and largemouth, 5 keeper sized. One of the keepers was one of those big headed, skinny body largemouth, but the rest were nice healthy fish. Ned rig fish, except for three on a jerk bait. Caught a few fish shallow today on windy banks, they were in 5 FOW or so. The rest were out in the 20 FOW range.
Saw some top water activity again today off one rocky point, that's where I caught my jerk bait fish, throwing at those bass chasing shad on top. Seems weird to see them chasing shad on top when the water temp is 42, but there they were.
I left at 2 PM, wind got pretty crazy at about 1 PM, a warm wind, but it was blowing.
high quality monofilament or fluorocarbon line, 10 or 12# test
1/2 to 5/8 inch barrel swivels
size 1 or 2 J bend offset worm hooks
size 1 or 2 super death hooks
1.5 inch Macks Smile blades
size 3 or 4 Indiana, Colorado, Royal, or Willow blades in various metallic or bright colors
folded clevises or quick change clevises
Chuck's Standard Tablerock Harness
Using a Palomar knot, tie the tag end of the spooled line to the J bend worm hook. Snug it down and cut off the tag end, leaving about 1/8th inch above the knot to serve as a worm holder.
Hold the hook in one hand and the spool in the other and extend your arms to about 4 feet across. Cut the line at the spool.
Thread the new tag end through the bobber stop loop about 4 inches and slide the stop off the loop onto your line. The bobber stop serves to keep the float and blade from pushing down and bunching the worm nose.
Move the stop down to within 1 inch or so of the hook knot.
Thread the line through the 1.25 inch torpedo float bead of your color choice. (Alternatively use 4 or 5 spherical float beads or 2 or 3 elliptical float beads.)
Thread the line through one hard plastic bead. (Note: I use either fluorescent yellow or fluorescent red for all my harnesses.)
Put your blade on a folded metal clevis and thread the line through both loops. Be sure the cup of the blade faces the hook. If using a quick change clevis, be sure the C shape is toward the hook and the opening toward the front.
Thread the line through a second bead.
The first bead on serves to keep the clevis from binding on the float. The last bead on helps prevent moss and leaves from fouling the easy spin of the blade.
Holding the components snug against the bobber stop, measure three feet of line from the rigging. Using another Palomar knot, tie on a crane swivel at that point.
I store the harnesses wrapped around pool noodles by inserting a nail through the swivel loop and wrapping the harness until I can use the hook point to secure the rig.
The Smiling Slow Death
Attach your super death or slow death hook to a small swivel.
As with Chuck's rig, attach the swivel to the line with a Palomar knot and measure off four+ feet of line.
No bobber stop will be necessary, so thread the line through your chosen float beads.
Thread the line through one hard plastic bead.
Thread the line through a 1.25 or1.9 inch smile blade, back to front.
Do not put a bead in front of the smile blade. It restricts the spin of the blade.
Snug the rigging to the hook and measure 3 feet of line.
Attach the barrel swivel at that point with another Palomar knot.
I caught 3 bass the first 15 minutes of fishing off a rocky point. One was an 18" largemouth that was skinnier than heck, probably weighed about 2.5 lbs. Then I spent another 4 hours to scratch out two more bass, and then on one of the last spots I fished I caught 2 on back to back casts. Ended up with 8 bass, two of them were fat spots that were in the 15-16" range and I am sure either one of them outweighed that 18" largemouth.
All fish came on the Ned, mostly in the 10-20 FOW range. One exception was one of the keeper spots, I saw a fish swirl on top, threw that Ned on the swirl, it was in the water about 2 seconds and that spot nailed it. Not something you see to often when the water temp is 42.
Tried a float-n-fly for about 15 minutes, no bites on it.
Water temps were 42-43, and there were quite a few boats out there today.
The water temperature has dropped another degree. It's 44 degrees now coming from Table Rock Lake. The clarity is still pretty good -- may be five to six feet of visibility.
It's been cold, and they have been generating, but trout fishing has been superb! Even when the water was off for most of this past weekend, anglers were catching a lot of trout -- and some good ones, too! We had three keeper browns brought in to our dock Saturday at the end of our private trout tournament. One brown measured just over 20 inches, one brown was about 22 inches and the biggest was longer than 25 inches and weighed 7.5 pounds.
We hosted an outdoor writers conference Sunday night through Wednesday morning this week, sponsored by the Conservation Federation of Missouri. We were expecting about 30 writers, but some couldn't make it, literally, because of the ice and snow on the roads. Those who did were treated to some great food, fellowship and fishing.
Monday arrived sunny but bitter cold. Some of the guides initally couldn't get their boats off the trailer since they were frozen stuck. But later in the morning, they were abe to take some of the writers out fishing . . . and did they catch trout!
Tuesday, the weather turned off wintery cold, and the water was running hard in the morning, but those who braved the elements enjoyed some big trout, including these beautiful browns and rainbows.
Most of the trout were either caught on a MegaBass 100+ or an 1/8th-ounce white/gray marabou jig, drifting from the dam down to Lookout Island with three to four units running. In the afternoon, the fish switched from hitting white to darker colors like sculpin/peach and brown/burnt orange. With the high quantity of small rainbows still up there, anglers are catching numbers of trout, but the big ones have moved up and may be, just maybe, feasting on some shad coming through the dam.
Tuesday afternoon, drifting from Lookout down through the Narrows, we found a good number of trout in this area. We caught them on dark and light colored jigs, mainly 1/8th ounce. The water was running at 705 feet with two units. This is the first time I've done well fishing this stretch in a while.
The Narrows, of course, has a ton of fish in it, and they're hitting on just about anything. Ken White, a writer from the Stockton area, was catching them on an 1/8th-ounce Kastmaster, gold/green or gold/red on Monday.
The pink Berkley worm is still a hot lure. Bill Babler, guiding for the writers Tuesday, actually put one client on a keeper brown on a pink worm down close to Monkey Island! That's pretty uncommon, a brown taking a pink worm.
Drifting night crawlers is catching some really nice rainbows, drifting from Fall Creek to Trout Hollow. Seems like there are a lot of rainbows that have moved downstream out of the trophy area to this stretch, and they usually prefer natural baits versus Powerbaits.
Jig fishing has really taken off, it seems. Throwing a jig, no matter whether the water is running or not, is producing big numbers and some big trout, too.
Depending on how much water is running, the best choice would be an 1/8th- or a 3/32nd- ounce jig using four-pound line. If the water is running pretty slowly, or there's no generation, dropping to a 1/16th-ounce jig would be better. You also have to drop to two-pound line to throw that small of a jig.
The jig-and-float rig is working, too. We did well using a brown/orange head 1/125th-ounce jig Monday about four feet below a float, using two-pound line. I also tried a black/brown and a sculpin/ginger and caught rainbows on both.
Pretty much consistent bite the whole trip. Rigging double half oz minnow rigs in 6-7 fow and 4-5 feet down. At a slow crawl speed.
They still hitting and running. Makes piercing that nose and crossing eyes difficult.😂
Lot of them are right in the thin part on the side of their mouth. Lost a bunch.
We lucked out with light winds yesterday. Made for a comfortable day on the water and good fellowship with a fellow rigger to fish along with.
Counting down the days until March. Ended with 15. God bless.