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Phil Lilley
Phil Lilley

March 25 fishing report

Generation is about as constant as it gets.  With one unit down, the U.S. Corps of Army Engineers is running the other three units at full tilt 24/7.  My guess (for what's it worth) is that officials are trying to run as much water as possible through the system (through Bull Shoals) because soon it will all have to be held back due to the mass of water heading down the Mississippi.  So they're running turbines and a little flood gates at Beaver Dam -- and Beaver is a little less than two feet above power pool.  They are running three units full at Table Rock Dam, and that lake is a little less than a foot above power pool.  Bull Shoals Dam is running four full units and the lake is a little less than one foot above power pool.  We just had about a half-inch of rain yesterday, so all the lakes are holding at the moment, with no rise or fall.

Lake Taneycomo's water is 43 degrees and clear which is about normal for this time of year.  Our trout seem to be in great shape, fighting hard when hooked.  We're seeing midge hatches early and late in the day which the trout key in on at times.  We are not seeing any shad coming in from Table Rock through the dam.

The best bite area has been drifting from Monkey Island through the bridges downtown Branson using red, orange or pink PowerWorms on the bottom.  Depending on the wind, anglers are using 1/4-ounce weight to get the bait to the bottom.  PowerBait is also working okay,  as well as worms and minnows.  There are some slower parts close to the bank where people are anchoring and straight-lining bait and doing well. If you try this area be sure to pick a slow spot AND have a knife ready to cut the anchor rope if you get in trouble.

The "white bite" is a thing of the past I'm afraid, at least until the next time officials open the flood gates.  We didn't get a long enough run of threadfin shad for those trout to stay on the white bite this time.  They're back on darker colors -- brown, black, sculpin, sculpin/peach and sculpin/ginger.  It's not that you won't catch a fish on white, but just not as many.

Work the jig in slack water against the bank from the dam down and in the middle on the bottom.  Use 1/8th- to 1/16th-ounce jigs, depending on line size and what you're working.  Also, the wind becomes a factor.  If it's breezy, switch to a heavier jig to control it, and/or two-pound line.

Fly fishermen are drifting a scud, egg fly or San Juan Worm on the bottom in the trophy area and doing pretty well, too.  A great group from Oklahoma are fishing this week and catching nice rainbows on those flies. Their best area has been the Narrows, about 1/2-mile above Fall Creek.  Make sure you're on the bottom there, or you won't garner bites.

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49 minutes ago, Phil Lilley said:

So as soon as I write a report and surmise why they're running so much water, they shut Beaver's gates and drop Taney's generation from 3 to 1 unit this morning.

I need to remember this trick for when I want to come down to wade fish LOL.  Will be interesting to see how the fishing reacts to the slower water.

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1 hour ago, MickinMO said:

The fact that the White River basin lakes are at or above PP before spring rains is absolute malpractice by the Corps.  And don't get me started on how they handle the Missouri River up north these days.

The Missouri and Mississippi Rivers are extremely high right now and that limits how much water they can push down the White River, which dumps in to the Mississippi. Keep that in mind.

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Not sure what you mean by "mess up"...  I guess there are some resort/dock owners that will gripe if the conditions don't go their way but i for one wouldn't mind them dumping water just after the lakes turn over and run some water out of these lakes at the expense of high water through the winter months... oh wait, it's been running all winter.  They have been running a lot of water all winter but not as much as they could have (without gates).

But today- the water is off here.  Also at Bull Shoals Dam.  Beaver's still running one.

According to USGS, the Mississippi isn't high where the White runs in so I'm not sure why they've stopped releasing water through our system.

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