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.