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Ryan Miloshewski
Ryan Miloshewski

Jerkbaits for Trout

Going after big fish on Taneycomo is a challenge, but I think I'm close to getting it narrowed down. I spent a week on Taney last week and fished three ways, exclusively--dragging cranks (which Duane and I have written about), jigs, and throwing jerkbaits. Jerkbaits produced the biggest fish this time around

I am a big fan of the 6th Sense Provoke 106x and 106DD jerkbaits in Ozark Juice, Grape-Treuse, and French Bone Pearl colors. They are only $10, as opposed to a Megabass (which I do like, too, but at $25 a pop they can get expensive). Word must have gotten out because they are almost sold out of everything. But here's the link: https://6thsensefishing.com/collections/6th-sense-provoke-106-jerkbait. We also threw Spro McStick's, Megabass 110s and 110+1s, and Luck-E Strike Rick Clunn STK jerkbaits. Anything that looked like a shad worked well, as expected. 

When they cranked the water on in the afternoons we boated up to the cable and beat the heck out of the banks all the way to Lookout. Then did it again. We'd average 2 fish on a drift, which is not a ton, but the fish were always 15-22-inches. My buddy hooked into a giant brown below Rebar but it broke the line. He set the hook, it jumped three times (giving us a great look), and swam straight at the boat. He gained the line but as soon as it reached the boat, it immediately turned for a big run. At that point, it was over. The brown was at least 26-inches long, but I think it was closer to 28-inches. I got good looks at him in the air and under the water before he swam out of our lives.

When the water was off, we jig fished on the bend above Monkey Island. There's a big school of fish up there and most were 13-15-inches. We also beat the banks around the landing. On one occasion I had a tank of a brown chase my jerkbait out from the shade right across from Garfield's on the bluff bank. Right above the dike about 30 feet. He was 10-pounds or so, easily. Duane and I have talked, and I think if you hit the bluff banks from the landing down you'd get into some big ones. I have caught some nice browns across the lake from the resorts on Lakeshore Drive over the years, too. Just didn't get a chance to try it this time.

Another thing we were catching was giant white bass by the cable on the south side of the lake. They schooled up toward the early evenings every day (from 4-6pm) and we caught 2-4 each day. All of them measured 16-17.5-inches long, and were easily 2-3 pounds. Such a blast! 

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Went with Duane early one morning and ended up catching three nice walleye, too. That day we ended up with seven species from Lookout to the cable (whites, walleye, kentuckies, smallies, browns, rainbows, and a sucker) on the jerkbaits.


I landed a 22-inch rainbow where the whites were schooled up, too. Weighed 4 lbs and fought like a tank. On the last day, finally landed a 20-inch brown below the boat ramp. Didn't weigh him.

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It was extremely fun (and tiring) but required some persistence. If you're going to fish this way, stick with it! It can be hard work, but you know the reward is swimming around out there. We worked them all different ways, too. Jerk-jerk-pause, constant jerking to the boat, and sometimes 6-8 jerks and a pause. They hit each way. Just try different techniques and when you get bit, replicate that--until it stops working! We went some drifts without a bite, and on the second drift on the same bank hooked into a 17 or 18-incher. We had a bunch of fish following and "rising" at our jerkbaits on every drift, too. They were usually browns in the 18-20-inch range. Sometimes they bite, but 9 out of 10 they would investigate and scurry back to the bottom.

My grandpa even landed a 19-inch rainbow, his biggest trout in eight years!


We were using 8-lb test on medium-heavy baitcasting rods. We were prepared for the big one, but he had a little more in him than we liked! Until next time...

IMG_3850.JPG   18" Brown

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Sounds very similar to my experience with throwing a white RC STX when I was down there a few weeks ago. I committed about six hours across a couple days early and when the water first cranked up to it and I think I had five or six follows and three confirmed strikes from browns. Of the three strikes, I broke one off on the hookset because it absolutely murdered thet lure and I just jerked way too hard. Another smacked it, but never got hooked up and the other was on long enough to jump twice and tail walk before coming unbuttoned. Everything looked to be in that 18-22" range. Nothing humongous. There were a few aggressive stocker bows in between to keep my head in the game and at east let me reel something in.

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It's a very different and fun way to fish them.  I have only fished a few days out of a boat where I've tried to stick with it and its definitely a quality over quantity type of day, but when they hammer that stick bait it gets the blood pumping.  

Night time is a different animal altogether for me.  I throw sticks almost exclusively when they are generating at night.  Just have to slow it way down and really let the bait work in the current.  Theres been nights where we'd slow down to a crawl and work x raps high up in the water column.  You'd hear or see the fish hit from below and set your hook on the breach.  Tons of fun, but I'm still missing that big brown at night.  For some reason I always stick big pigs of rainbows, not that I'm complaining.  One of these days though between the walleye, white bass, smallies, kentuckys, drum, suckers, rainbows, smaller browns, and even crappie we've caught up there on stick baits below the dam I hope to get hooked into a sea monster brown that I'm able to land.

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Looks like an awesome time. Those are great fish especially those absolute toad white bass! Congrats!

Love to fish stickbaits for big browns. In thin water less than 3 to4 ft deep I'll just use the original F9 or F11 Rapala. Did have success night fishing X-raps with @JestersHK. No browns but caught smallmouth, fat rainbows, and a white bass. I hope to be able and arrange another Taney trip ot two in the near future.

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Definitely a fun time! The end goal is always the sea monster brown! We had him hooked..just couldn't seal the deal. I can still hear my buddy pleading "No, no, no!" as the brown turned haha. 

When we caught the walleyes, the water was off and we were using small Megabass-looking baits on 4 lb test--now that was fun! Careful though, the hooks are sharp. Took one in the finger...

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Yeah stinks you lost em... I've caught a few walleye jigging at night on 3lb maxima and a 4'6 ultralight.  Thats a fun time for sure if you can keep the line out of their mouths.  I hate treble hooks. 

As I've said before on here I crimp all my barbs which def costs me some fish but with night time + treble hooks + angry fish I'd much rather those hooks come out easy vs sticking and staying put...

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11 minutes ago, Gavin said:

Good for you! Thanks for the report but I'm surprised you caught ANYTHING on a RCSTX. I cant catch a cold with one, maybe a rainbow on the tail hook..Browns do not seem to like them. Glad I sold them off.



Lol yea I'm not a fan. I stick with the Provokes and Megabass. But that big brown ate the RCSTK like it was his last meal. Must've been in a good mood..

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