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  • Bassin' fool
    They’re not much but all 3 were keepers by a hair. Had several very soft jig bites but wasn’t able to hook up, started to think maybe the ol’ rabbit hat had lost its luck while the lake was iced over. Apparently all I needed to do was fish faster (makes sense, right?). First two were caught on a wiggle wart, last one on a jerkbait fished very aggressively. All came out of 12 feet of water very close to the creek channel. Water temp was 42 in the back half of the creek we were in. 

  • Cindyjo
    Caught 15 - 18 today.  8-12 fow on 1/16oz and 1/8oz jigs.  4 lb test.  Some nice fish.  The ones in the pic went in the freezer.  Hard to line up and keep in the pic when they are flopping.  tried to line them up with the scale, frustrating.  These are 13" to 15.5".   I have a special trick to encourage the larger crappie.  The last couple of years they have been running smaller.  Nice to see a healthy population of crappie.  Also picked up some bass.

  • Dan the fisherman
    I got out Friday early morning looking for some top water action.  It was misty outside and cool with little to no wind.  I knew they would go top somewhere, just didn’t know where.  I look looked in pockets mostly and points but mostly pockets.  After about 1 1/2 hrs of  searching I found them.   At first they weren’t busting hard they were more like rolling on the surface.   As the morning went by they became more aggressive and actually started busting.  Funny thing is, I couldn’t get one to bite a top water plug.  They were very smart.  What I ended up doing was running free lines and casting hair jigs at them.  I hooked 3 on the hair jig and landed two, also hooked 2 on the free lines and landed 1.   The bite shut down pretty fast.  Lasting only about 20-30 min.  But I was really happy to see the conditions improving and seeing fish on top.  A couple of more weeks and it may be really good, I’m excited to see what develops.  Anyways, good luck out there fellas and stay safe.  Btw water temp was 46 

  • Quillback
    Today was the first day in a while where I could launch early in the morning and have reasonable temperatures to fish in.  A little breezy. but not too bad.  
    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.


  • Brian Sloss
    Took Patrick out for a guided trip today and the fishing was on fire until 1:30 or 2.  After that the fishing slowed quite a bit until the end of the trip, though we did get a more here and there.  There were spots earlier in the trip where every other cast was producing a nice bow.  Best fish of the day was a fat 19 incher.  Great day and enjoyable company.  

  • rps
    Not long ago, I posted about walleye night-crawler harnesses that I had made during a "snow day" holiday from teaching. Several questions were asked. I decided to write this article as a show and tell to encourage anglers who are unfamiliar with the method of fishing to take it up and make their own harnesses. Because I am accustomed to posting about recipes and cooking, I will format this article as if we were making chili.
    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

    bobber stops

    size 1 or 2 super death hooks

    1.5 inch Macks Smile blades

    small swivels

    float beads

    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.

    Good luck!

  • Dan the fisherman
    Striper fishing has been hit or miss.  I’ll go 2-3 days catching them and then go 1-2 days with nothing.  Most fish have come off points lately.  Stripers and whites seem to be mixed in with each other.  Been catching wallies also.   Trick has been covering water on points from 35-55 FOW.  I’ll also check channel swings but they’ve been unproductive lately. Water temp is 40-44 degrees.   Good luck out there fellas, stay safe 

  • Quillback
    Delayed start to the day as I waited for it to warm up.  Got to the lake and it was dead calm, that lasted about an hour and then the whitecaps came out.  I don't mind fishing in the wind when the fish are active, but it makes things tough when you're fishing a Ned 20 feet deep for lethargic fish.  
    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.

  • Phil Lilley
    Generation on Lake Taneycomo has varied widely the last week or so -- all tied to the air temperature.  When thermometer dips below freezing and the heaters kick on, dam operators run water to produce that needed electricity.  When it warms up, as it will in the next few days, generation will slow and we'll see no current most of the day.  That's my best prediction, but I know the U.S. Corps of Army Engineers proves me wrong a lot (smiley face.)
    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.

  • Lance34
    WT 42-44, Water color, dingy.  Still can’t see my prop much.  If that helps....  It’s perfect!!!
    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.  

  • Phil Lilley
    Ladies and Gents please enjoy your copy of the Winter 2018 edition of the Missouri Smallmouth Alliance's magazine, The Bronzeback News. It contains some great articles from new members as well as notices about fun activities we have coming up in both February and March. Click the link below to read it. Thanks for your membership and participation!   Winter 2018 Bronzeback News


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