Lake Taneycomo

January 5, 2012 Fishing Report

Posted by Phil Lilley on January 5th, 2012
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Well, this winter has been a joy so far, as far as fishing weather that is.  We’ve had a few cold days back prior to the holidays and the mornings now are crisp but nothing compared to the last few years – snow, ice and cold!  They are forecasting 50’s this weekend here in Branson. . .  it’ll be a nice time for the trout fishermen as well as others who get out on the big lakes and small streams.

With the milder weather and the lakes dropping close to normal levels, the Corp has started leaving the water off at Table Rock Dam this week for most of the afternoon at least.  It’s been a little breezy but we like some wind, enough to break up the surface on the water.  I would think this generation trend should continue as long as we don’t have any big changes in lake levels and day time temperatures.

When the water is running in the mornings, they’ve been doing well drifting bait from Fall Creek clear down past Cooper Creek.  Night crawlers have been catching the bigger rainbows but Gulp eggs using white/pink or yellow or orange is doing well also.  Big numbers of rainbows are being caught but not big rainbows.  We usually get a big load of rainbows from our federal hatchery in Neosho in the winter and they will run smaller than our state trout.  Some of these small rainbows don’t even hit the 6-inch mark but most measure about 10-inches.  Our trout from Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery average over 12 inches.

You can also catch trout below Fall Creek using small to medium stick baits like Rapalas, Rouges and Pointers.  Troll or cast and retrieve towards the bluff banks.  Rooster tails and Cleos are also working but you may catch mostly smaller rainbows on these.  Marabou jigs worked off the bottom using darker earth colors like brown, black, olive and sculpin, 1/8th to 3/32nd-ounce.  If using a float, fish them 5-8 feet deep and use small weights– 1/50th down to micro jigs in 1/256th ounce.  Same colors.

Above Fall Creek, when the water is running, drift a scud, #12 brown or olive have been best colors with an egg tandem.  Small to medium stick baits, like I mentioned before, worked against the bluff banks are producing some nice trout including a few browns.  Also seeing some bass and crappie up there.  When the water is shut down, fishing has slowed mid day but picks back in the evening.  Midge hatches most of the day on and off but better late.  Zebra midges, #16 rusty midge or red/gold head fished 12 to 24 inches under a float.  Also fish that scud under a float and make sure it’s dragging the bottom.  Soft hackles, cracklebacks and small woolies stripped on a choppy surface when you see trout midging.  We’re seeing a bunch of small, first-of-the-year browns caught using this technique.

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