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Weekend report


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I had a brief stay down in Branson this past weekend. I didn't fish much, and when I did I didn't catch much, but I did get my nicest fish that I ever caught from Lake Taneycomo there this trip. Saturday afternoon we briefly hit up the public dock at Cooper Creek Access, and threw a few different stickbaits out there for about half an hour, to no avail. A lot of the time floating algae or whatever would get caught on the trebles and lip, and kind of make it a pointless retrieve, but I wasn't expecting much luck there anyway, especially with as little time as we were going to spend there that time. Late Saturday evening though, we hit up the trophy section near the hatchery in full gear and had some action. At first we tried a spot we came across while scoping some more of the place out, earlier in the day. It was a bit downstream past outlet 7 on the map. There we threw the stickbaits for about half an hour, maybe a little more, and after no bites in that time-frame, I was persuaded that we try our luck back upstream in-between outlets 5 and 6 on the map, a location we had some more familiarity with.

For a while nothing was happening there either, but I eventually did get a bite on a small shad crank bait cast somewhat close to and parallel to the shore. That got me trying some more in that general direction when bam, in the middle of the night, all of a sudden something big hit and took off with my lure. Immediately dread set in. I was afraid I was going to lose it before I ever saw it, but in what was probably the next 5 minutes,  the thing took drag, tried dogging away, but slowly but surely, got brought in close enough for me to make it out. What I had on my line, was a big Walleye. Another minute or so getting it close enough to me to net, and a very lucky netting later (the lure came unbuttoned from the fish as I scooped it in), I had in my net that big walleye. I can't say exactly how big it was, but I imagine easily 22" long if not more, and heavy. I caught a 18" walleye down there before, but this fish was clearly much more massive. Probably about as wide as 2 if not 3 of the one I had caught there before. I can't tell you exactly how much it weighed, but if I had to guess it had to be at least 3-4 lbs. By far my most massive fish I ever caught down there. After figuring out how to hold it up for a few pictures, I put it back in the water and watched it swim off. After that I decided to cast out some more in hopes of catching an equally impressive trout of some sort. I did catch a respectable rainbow that went maybe 15-16", but after letting it go, that wound up being all the action for that night before we took off, after ~3 hours of fishing.

Sunday, it got to be about noon by the time we got back to the same spot to fish, by which point more water was being released again. We kept throwing the same stuff, along with some roostertails, but this time nothing came of that spot. After maybe an hour, I decided to try out the spot where we started out the night before. There ironically I caught another fiesty rainbow that went maybe 14-15", but that wound up being it in the brief half hour or so that we still had left to fish. Just to finally see what some of the lower areas of Taneycomo look like, we drove down to Rockaway Beach, and fished from the dock there, for another half hour, but unfortunately without any further action.

Wish we would've hit it at better times in the day, and for longer, but overall I'm still pretty happy with that Walleye, and though I wish there would've been bigger or more of them, the 2 rainbows I caught, were far from my smallest ones from there, so I'd say it was a successful little trip.

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