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  • Phil Lilley
    There has not been much change in regards to generation patterns lately.  The dam has been running a little water each day, but it's anyone's guess what time that water will run.  The lake level has reached up to 705 feet, one unit, once or maybe twice a day, in the morning and/or in the evening and running for less than an hour each time.  We call this "fish water."
    From now until January is the slowest time of year as far as fishing pressure with the exception of the holidays -- the weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Our guides are either off hunting or home catching up on "honey-do's," but either way, we don't have their usual wealth of information on fishing tips.
    Guide Steve Dickey has been fishing the Berkley pink Powerworm in the Short Creek area, the bend above Lilleys' Landing and down on the Cooper Creek flat.
    This is the time of year that our trout are looking for midges and small insects on the surface, falling with the leaves from the trees.  I've mentioned this before in a report -- that there's usually a line of leaves and "stuff" on the surface on the lake, piled up by wind and boat traffic.  That's where you'll find trout congregated, midging the surface of the lake taking bugs.  And that's where we target trout using flies and jigs under a float.
    They'll eat small flies such as zebra midges and thread midges under a float 12 to 36 inches under a small float, either using a fly rod or a spinning rod.  I'd use two-pound line because the flies are so small.  They'll also take small micro jigs under a float, set about 24 to 48 inches down.
    Zebra midges are working in red or black, P&P or rusty in sizes #14 to #18.  For thread midges in shallow water (12-inches deep along the edges) use the colors red, green and brown in sizes #18 to #22.  Two-pound line (6x) is okay, but for the smaller thread midges you may have to go to 7x tippet.
    Dark jigs continue to be the go-to favorites, either fishing them under a float or throwing them straight.  Black, black/olive, sculpin, brown, olive have been best.
    The Berkley's pink Powerworm is doing okay early, but it's been hit and miss with it.  Duane Doty mentioned on One Cast the other day that on a guide trip they had to "go find" a school of rainbows, catching them on the pink worm.  He found them on the flats from about a fourth mile below Fall Creek down to the private boat ramp.
    As far as the hot color for Powerbait, it's lately been yellow or chartreuse.

  • Ham
    Launched the boat shortly after Sun Up and pulled it out a little after Sundown. I wish the day could have lasted about another 6 hours.
    mid 40's air temp, got up to low 50's later. Rain. Some times harder, sometimes softer BUT rain within 15 minutes of starting. That's why I have Good rain gear. Cabela's Guidewear treated me right. Again.
    water temp 59-62' water clarity was Awesome. So Fun to watch the fish you are catching pull pull pull
    fish are still deep, shallow, and in between. Lots of ways to skin that cat right now. Pick the one you like and find the place to make it work.
    I force fed a 17 inch smallie a swimbait in 25 FOW on a wind blown bank. I missed a couple of other bites. I suspect smaller fish that dream big.
    picked up my Buddy Lincoln Godfrey. He loves to catch Big crappie. So Big Crappie we did catch. Bobby Garland Baby Shads fished around select boat docks and standing timber. 1/32 and 1/16 oz heads. Of course, you also catch small bass of all three species and other sunfish while doing that.
    Godfrey had to bail to return to real life. I turned to boat back out in the cold rain and force fed them drop shot rigs until I got tired of being stupid and pulled out a Ned rig. I found a stretch of bank that was loaded with fish and was getting bit every stinking cast. I had some hook failures and breakoffs which got in the way of numbers. I had a hook failure on a sub keeper walleye. I had 4 Big Crappie on a Ned and a big Bluegill too. I finished with 54.
    Pics or it didn't happen. So carry on I suppose.

  • Steve McBasser
    Twice a year the men in my Sunday School class get together and camp out for a few days. In the spring we do Table Rock.......In the fall we go to Stockton. When we got there early Thursday morning the sun was shining and the birds were singing. It was an absolutely glorious day. We pitched our tents and unloaded all our gear and then headed to the boat ramp. We fished from noon until dark and had a ball catching little stud bass. Friday was completely different. The cold front came through Thursday night and Friday was very cold and blustery all day. The fishing was decent because of the increased wind and we wound up having an excellent fish fry on Friday evening. Saturday was a strange day. It was dead calm, cold, and there was a heavy fog and light misty rain all day. We caught several fish but the bite wasn't nearly as fast as we had hoped. The drive back to Springfield after dark in the dense fog was a challenge but all and all......we had a blast. Can't wait for our spring trip to Table Rock.....

  • Quillback

    Another cold and windy morning, talked to a guy that came down to his dock to check out his boat and he told me that it was 41 degrees at his house.  It did warm up later in the AM, but is sure felt good at the end of the day to be in the truck with the heat on.
    Fishing started out pretty slow, tried a few places that held fish Monday, but they didn't pan out.  I scratched out a half dozen by noon and stopped on one last chunk rock bank that always holds fish in November and it gave me another 9 or so in about 45 minutes.  They were all Ned fish, and the earlier fish were split between Ned and a 1/2 oz Nutech Grass jig.  The later fish were up pretty close to the bank, 5-10 FOW.  Earlier fish were deeper in the 10-20 FOW range.
    So it turned out to be a decent day compared to what I have been catching, 15 total, 2 keeper smalls, and some spots that were chunky, but I doubt if any of them made the 15" mark.  Only caught one largemouth.  Definitely location specific, I fished a lot of marginal water with only a bite every once in a while.
    WT 60-61.

    A different colored smallie.

    Ye olde TR 14" spot.

  • Quillback
    Went out yesterday in the cold, wind and drizzle.  I was hoping for a crank bait bite, but in spite of trying pretty hard to get them to bite it, all I got was one 12" spot on a crank.  Switched to my usual fall back when all else fails baits (jigs and Ned) and started to get a few fish.  Nothing earth shaking, but got 10, mostly on the jig, a few on the Ned.  One keeper smallie, one short largemouth, and the rest spots, a couple of those being right at the keeper mark.
    Mostly deep fish in the 10-20 FOW range, had one good thunk shallow in front of some buck brush, but couldn't keep it on.
    The bite was a little better than it was a few weeks ago, maybe because of the weather.
    Surface temp was around 62.  Water is getting clearer, I would estimate maybe 4 feet of viz.

  • duckydoty
    My brother came down for the weekend to chase  turkey, deer and walleye with me. A plan was set that we would try for turkeys in the mornings then change over to walleye then a sit for deer/turkey with crossbows in the evening.  We started Saturday morning off early, launching the boat out of K Dock and headed down stream with shotguns in hopes of a chance at some turkeys. We sat in the woods till about 10 and did not see any. We both had plenty of deer walk up on us though.  Winds got strong but we stuck with the plan and started chasing walleye. Within the first 10 minutes of trolling we had a big one in the boat. We trolled a couple more hours and caught 1 more keeper along with 3 shorts, a couple gar, a short crappie and one of them stinking bass.  Headed back to the woods around 3 for the evening hunt. I had 6 toms skirt me about 80 yards out and Brother Dave had 3 hens come in. He also had a big 8 pointer that he was all giddy about make its presence known.  Pretty fun 1st day of our weekend adventure. The plan this morning was to get up at 4 and hunt turkeys for a bit then back to chasing walleye. My phone decided to update last night and not keep the alarm.....☹️  My wife woke me up at 5 and said, "I though you were going fishing."  I jumped out of bed in full panic.  It was storming at the time , so we checked the weather, decided to forgo the hunt, and start chasing walleye around 7 am.  It was sprinkling just a bit when we launched and not much wind. It took about 45 minutes to catch the first fist and it was a giant walleye. We averaged about 2 keepers an hour with a few close to the boat releases and a short walleye here and there. It started storming bad on us with big gusts of with and white caps. The fish kept biting, so we kept fishing. Finally called it quits around 2 pm. Ended up with 7 keeper walleye (4 of them over 25 inches) 5 short walleye, one short crappie, 3 gar, one stinking bass, and one good sized walleye bumped off the hook with the net. Sure was fun, but we got soaked.  Sitting next to the fire warming my bones now.
    We caught all the fish trolling the same way I've been catching them for a couple of weeks now.  Running up and down the edge of the flats where they roll off into the old river channel.  We are using 3 ounce bottom bouncers with a 7 cm flicker shad in tow about 5-7 feet behind the bottom bouncer.  I try to go right around 2 miles per hour up to 2.5 mph.  Caught all the fish in 27-28 feet of water today and had to be bumping the bottom with the bottom bouncer every few seconds.  Had to let quite a bit of line out to be going that fast and hit the bottom in 28 feet of water.

  • 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!


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