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  • Phil Lilley
    Top deer harvest counties were Howell with 6,182 deer harvested, Franklin with 5,957, and Texas with 5,619.
    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri's 2017-2018 deer-hunting season ended Jan. 15 with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reporting a preliminary total harvest of 283,940 deer. Top counties for the overall season were Howell with 6,182 deer harvested, Franklin with 5,957, and Texas with 5,619. Of the 283,940 deer harvested, 135,891 were antlered bucks, 30,538 were button bucks, and 117,511 were does. Hunters harvested 263,834 deer during the 2016-2017 deer hunting season.

  • Seth
    Got down to the park about 12:30 just as the last two anglers were packing up and heading out. I fished from 12:30 to 4 and had the whole river to myself. Fishing was good. Lots of midging activity. My total fish count was between 20-30. I quit counting after 15 and caught several more after that. Most of the fish were between 1-1.5#. I'm not sure I ever did catch anything real small. My two best fish came on back to back casts by the bathroom hole. The first good fish was an 18 incher that I plucked from the fast water upstream of the falls. The next cast was below the falls and it produced a 21" rainbow that weighed just over 4#. The trout were midging heavily and I think a guy with a soft hackle or a crackleback on a fly rod could have really put a hurting on the fish. There are quite a few trout over 20" in the stream right now. I wasn't looking real hard for them and I spotted at least a half dozen. Nothing gigantic, but all about like the one I landed.

    I also saw a trout about like the biggest one that I caught floating dead in the moss down by the river bend near the back parking lot. My guess is somebody caught it and then beat it all around and held it out of the water for a lengthy period of time trying to get pictures and stressed it to death. That is a shame. If you catch a nice fish, keep it in a net in the water while you get things ready. As you can see, the big one I caught today is still in the net with it's head in the water. If I let it flop around on the gravel for several minutes while I fumbled around getting my phone, chances are it too would have died. The net is also what I use for weighing fish. Leave the fish in the net and then clip the scale to the net. No sense is risking damage to the gills.Of course you have to deduct the weight of the net to get the actual fishes weight. I think my net weighs around .20 so the fish was just a smidge over 4#.

  • duckydoty
    I got out with an old buddy from high school and his son this morning while the snow was falling. It was chilly but not quite as cold as yesterday morning. We were the only ones on the water for quite some time and had the trophy area to ourselves except one fella at outlet two and another on the south side. Threw grey and white 1/8th ounce jigs with 3 units of water running and caught all the fish you could shake a stick at. I love fishing Taney in the snow. Peaceful, quiet and the fish were biting.  Most rainbows were in the 14-15 inch range with a few bigger and a good showing of silver bullets.  It’s always an adventure and a day filled with laughs from crazy stories from the past when fishing with my buddy Jack and his boys.

  • 5fshlmt
    Unsure how the pics will turn out for you but thought I would share my initial thoughts as a newbie to Garmin's Panoptix.  
    This trip was two weeks ago during one of the cold fronts that pushed through SW MO.  These fish were all caught on a jerkbait which I was able to see on the display as I worked the bait to the boat.  You could literally watch how the fish would react to the bait.  
    This particular day the bait required about a 8-10sec pause and you could see the fish approach and settle underneath the bait.  Often they would retreat but caught several fish during a two hour span with two just over 4lbs and one 6lbs.  
    I am thoroughly impressed with this unit and continue to learn more each outing.  My plan is to continue to test the capabilities and work deeper structure and timber over the next several weeks while fishing the A-rig.  I will try to post a follow up with anything interesting... and hopefully a few more pics like these.

  • Justin92297
    Fished from the cable to about half way to Tan Vat and back on Friday. The fishing started off decent but slowed as the day went on. Caught lots of small rainbows and a few just over 15 inches or so. Only caught one brown but it was no bigger than  10 inches. The fish were stacked in all the bends, with the bigger trout in the slower water behind boulders. I feel like I threw every fly in my box at these fish but couldn’t get one to bite, even with very light tippet. Not sure what I was doing wrong. The fish I did catch were on small nymphs and stoneflies. I’ll be back soon to get revenge on those big ones.

  • Phil Lilley
    Generation has been fairly consistent lately.  It's been geared toward temperature and power demand.  The colder it is, the heavier generation is at night and during the morning hours.  With it getting warmer the last few days, generation has been light in the morning.  It's been off almost every afternoon for a couple of weeks.
    Water temperature has dropped to 46.5 degrees.  This is a 10 degree drop since Table Rock turned over in early December.  Our lake water has cleared considerably too.  The lake looks great!
    December is the month we get a bunch of rainbows from the Neosho hatchery (federal).  These trout are usually smaller than we get from Shepherd and this stocking is no different.  I'd say the average rainbow I've seen is about 10 inches but they're really pretty rainbows and will make beautiful fish if they get to grow up.

    This is what we call a "silver bullet".  It's a rainbow from Neosho.
    The Boswell Memorial tournament was this past Saturday.  Lots of trout were caught.  About everyone said they caught a lot of small rainbows but of the 44 teams who participated, I saw over a dozen rainbows that I would consider very nice trout - over 18 inches.  There were quite a few teams who came in with one good rainbow and the rest average.  One rainbow just under or just over 2 pounds with no good trout to go with them.
    There was one keeper, 20-inch, brown weighed in but there were 3 brought in to be weighed on Friday by the group.  All browns were released.  Some were caught on stick baits and others on jigs.  This is a good sign of things to come.
    The winners boated all the way down to Powersite Dam, our lower lake, and threw black rooster tails.  Who knew?!
    I was told pink was a hot color for those throwing jigs.  I wouldn't mention it but there was more than one person who said pink was their color.

    I got out and fished on Tuesday afternoon.  Boated to Lookout and started throwing a 1/16th-ounce jig, 2-pound line.  The wind was out of the west so it was pushing me towards the bluff bank.  I kept the boat towards the shallow side and threw to the middle.  I also had a jig-and-float rigged up with 4-pound line, a float and a 1/50th-ounce brown jig with an orange head, 4-5 feet deep.  When the wind was blowing too hard to throw the jig, I'd pick up the jig-and-float and use it.

    The brown jig/orange head did very well but when the wind died, so did that bite.  I tried a couple of new color combinations on the 1/16th-ounce jig -- black and burnt orange/orange head and an olive and light olive/orange head.  The olive did much better than the black. . . actually it did very well.
    I did the best on bigger rainbows out in front of the tennis court.  As I worked closer to the Narrows, I started to see big schools of small rainbows chasing everything that moved.  I tied on a #16 black/copper Zebra Midge with a float using my spin cast (didn't' take a fly rod).  I set the float about 18 inches and they liked that!  But there had to be just a slight chop on the water to get bit.

    I worked through the Narrows.  There was a fairly good current there which seemed to keep the trout aggressive.  I caught 7 trout in a row off one of the downed trees in the channel.  The first one was a brown, my first of the year.  The next6 were all rainbows all colored up in their spawning colors.  All these fish were between 16 and 20 inches in length and fighters!  I caught them on a white 1/16th-ounce jig.
    I saw one guy throwing a small silver Cleo and he was hooking fish too.  Others were throwing jigs and fly fishing probably with a small jig or Zebra Midge.
    Guide Tony Weldele reported they did very well throwing Cleos in the Branson Landing area this week.
    Steve Dickey was out this morning and said his clients were catching them on a small 1/100th-ounce ginger jig under a float.
    Guys fishing yesterday caught them on yellow Power Eggs.  They said they tried all the other colors and yellow by far was the best color.  They said from Fall Creek down was the best area for them, especially with the water running in the mornings.

  • Quillback
    First day out in a while, weather has been too cold for my delicate constitution, but today met my requirements.  Also was inspired by Champ's report, love to fish for smallies on the dam end.
    Fishing was pretty good for January, I caught about 20 bass total, 12 or 13 of them being smallies.  Nothing real big, but my first fish of the New Year went about 17 inches.  Caught maybe 4 or so keeper sized smallies and a couple of chunky spots.  Dragging 1/8 oz Ned on shelf rock banks and in front of docks that hung over 20 foot or less of water were the best locations, caught a couple around timber.  Fish were grouped up, when I got a bite there were usually a couple of more bites nearby.  10 - 20 FOW was best depth.  
    Finished up in a cove near the Indian creek launch, about 4 PM the stripers were feeding in that cove on shad, lots of top water activity.  I walked the dog, had three swipes at it, none of them touched the lure.  They looked to be chasing small shad in the one inch range, that Yellow Magic Havana I was throwing was just too big I believe.  
    Water temp was around 47, surprised me it was that warm.
    Here's some smallie pics and a fat spot.  All the fish are healthy, they are eating well.


    This post has been promoted to an article

  • Johnsfolly
    I have been trying to get a trip down to Bennett's and the Niangua to fish the catch and release for trout and try to get a couple new species for my 2017 season, particularly rock bass or redhorse suckers. I was also hoping to catch at least 15 fish in order to finish 2017 with over 900 fish caught. I knew that it was going to be a bit cold. Instead of leaving by 5 am and potentially hit ice, I left my house at 8. I hit some flurries between Camdenton and Lebanon. Didn't know what to expect in terms of the number of fishermen. I drove through the park and down to the Niangua to see where folks were fishing. Only saw about 6 or 7 people, a couple above the spillway and four or so around the hatchery outlets and none between the whistle bridge and the confluence. As I headed back into the park, I met two fawns feeding. This one was only 20 feet from my car and the other was even closer. They didn't seem to care as I stopped and took their pictures, even the radio noise did not deter them from putting away some grass.

    I hit the water about 10:30 and fished downstream of the spring. I was spin fishing and using mircrojigs mostly.  I typically sight fish with these microjigs, I watch the response of the fish, focus on those that are tightly turning around or following the bait on the drop, and set the hook as I anticipate the strike. With the snow, fog, pipe smoke from the flyfisherman upwind from me, and wind disturbing the water surface, it was hard to judge when a fish had the bait and get a good hooks set. I caught one rainbow and missed two others on white, then lost one on a salmon colored microjig. I missed two, lost one, and landed one on a John Deere microjig. I switched to a 1/64 oz cinnamon marabou jig and lost two rainbows on that jig. I put on a tricolored egg and missed at least two strikes. On one drift I kept the egg high in the water and had a rainbow come from 8 to 10 feet determined to take the bait. She was about 15" in length and thin. It was the largest trout that I caught.
    I moved downstream and fished above and below the whistle bridge. I caught one other rainbow on the John Deere and got a couple of more misses. I wasn't seeing more than 8 to 10 trout at any one time. I switched to a yellow chenille grub microjig. I missed one or two trout strikes, but did start getting the attention of the local sculpin population. Since I had only caught 4 fish thus far, it was not hard to switch to microfishing to get a few more numbers. Lots of sculpin were interested and I landed four above the bridge and three large ones in the deep pool just below the bridge. I was fishing from a sycamore root wad and got the attention of two of the large suckers but missed getting a hook set one either of them. Those two moved downstream and the others did pay my hopping grub any attention. That hopping got the attention of a fish up under the roots that darted out and grabbed my bait. I was able to hook and land my first rock bass for 2017.

    I moved again and started catching striped shiners on the grub. A few of these guys were over 6" in length. I moved again down the confluence spring branch and the Niangua. I caught a bunch more striped shiners on the grub just above the bridge. I ended up with 13 striped shiners for the day. I didn't see any sculpin near the bridge, but did have some darters interested in the grub, but that jig was too large for them to bite.
    I left the park and fished the Niangua below the bridge. I was trying to drift a worm under a deep undercut below a large sycamore tree. I didn't get any strikes, but when reeling in my line I had a sculpin holding onto the worm. I also caught another on the grub bait. I am pretty certain that it was a mottled sculpin, which would be another species for 2017. From my position I just could not get a good drift and decided just to fish from that sycamore. I saw a couple of suckers in a log jam below the sycamore. I could not get a bait positioned where it would be upstream of these fish and I could actually pull it out if I got bit. I made a cast and positioned the rod in amongst the roots as a rod holder and was going to fish the grub in the rootwad. As I picked up the grub rod, I had a big hit on the worm. I picked up the worm rod and got hit again. Unfortunately I broke off just as I set the hook. I had moved the fish and could see it in the water. It was either a large trout >16" or a sucker. I retied and fished a while longer. I couldn't get another substantial bite. I did catch a couple of hornyhead chubs and two more sculpin.
    I ended the day around 3:30 pm. The temp was dropping and was in the high teens as I left the water. I caught one of the two species that I had hoped for on this trip. I will determine if the sculpin that I caught in the Niangua were mottled sculpin and that may be another species for the year. I also landed 30 fish to end 2017 with 915 fish. Not a bad day.

  • Dewayne French
    I took the tracker out yesterday and my teacher bud that is off for the christmas break before he has to head back and enlightening our kiddos .  We had a decent day at Norfork with all the good keeper fish coming on Jerkbaits water temp was 47-48 depending on location, but you had to have wind blowing into that right mix of shelf/chunk rock.  We fished from 11-3 and had a good mix of fish after we figured out the Jerk bait bite was on----in the wind!!  Main lake but not bluffs but not flat banks either, at our best spot the boat was in 14 fow and we more or less paralleled the chunk rock,/shelf stuff.  The water had a good crank bait looking color to it and we tired various baits. but ended the day with the jerk bait for only 4 hours it was a great day for me . 
    Get out and enjoy, but stay safe and take a extra set of dry clothes just in case the unthinkable happens. 
    Keepers were 1-4 lb Lmb, a 15" spot, 2- Lmb at 15-1/2", 2 thumping Black crappie 17 1/2", and a 20 " walleye.   Those crappie didn't come from that dock either but they did hit the big jerk bait 
    We had a good variety of non keepers to make the day go even better with 6-8 other short Lmb, 2 other short spots, and 1 other non keeper walleye 14", and a couple really short smb.  
    Threw Meagabass 110's, A rigs, small cranks, and used Favorite rod/reel combos. Braid on the rigs and 8 lb floro on the jerk baits.
    Can't tell you much more other than you need to be going!  Stay safe my friends

  • Lance34
    Been over 4 months since really fishing on Beaver.  Mainly made a couple trips to just run my motor and look around.   Not really fishing it very much.  
    I’ve been fishing elsewhere.
    Anyway been watching the lake level and figure it was time again.  
    Man was it ever!😂
    I went off the same pattern I did last year about this time of year.  And it basically lasted until the big flood in April.
    Rigging straight 1/2oz minnows rigs at .1-.3 mph in shallow muddy bottoms. 
    Ended with 14.  WT 38-39
    It felt good to be back out there.  Hopefully this pattern will continue 
    God Bless and Happy New Year

  • Longball22
    Got out for a few hours this afternoon after it warmed up.  Just a few other brave souls out on the water.  Was able to find fish all over the place, but didn't get many to the boat.  Caught a few pretty nice fish though(see pictures).  Curious to get some opinions on the brownie in the first picture.  Doesn't have any meanmouth markings that I can see, but certainly has quite the jaw on it.  Caught him later in the afternoon on the RkCrawler; wish I'd tried running banks earlier in the day based on other reports.


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