Lake Taneycomo

January 12, 2012 fishing report

Posted by Phil Lilley on January 12th, 2012
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As we say in the Ozarks, “Just wait a day if you don’t like the weather.”  I would not have said that yesterday, though.  But I guess this is winter and today’s turn-a-round in temperatures, winds and snow is an indication it really is January and not April.

We hosted a private trout tournament this past Saturday in which 27 teams competed for 10 spots. The top four winning teams earned  decent money prize.  It was a blue bird day — no wind, high blue skies and no generation which usually is the kiss of death when it comes to fishing.  The weigh-in was at 4:30 p.m., and as the boats started pulling up to the dock I couldn’t help but think that the guys wouldn’t be happy with their day or their catch.  I was wrong.

When you fish in a tournament, you get some sense as you’re  putting fish in the live well of how you’re doing compared to past contests, whether your fish are big enough to be towards the top of the gang.  I guess most of the guys were feeling good about their chances as they sized up the rainbows they  brought in to weigh.

Normally eight trout weighing 10 pounds would put you close to the top, if not the top, but not this day.

As I weighed fish, I couldn’t help but ask, “Where did these fish come from?” I got my answer after the award ceremony.

Evidently, the Missouri Department of Conservation stocked these large, 14- to 15-inch rainbows off the boat ramp at the railroad trestle mid-week last week.  Guide Bill Babler confirmed this when he took clients down there this week and caught fish easily on a combination of lures and baits.  He said they were brutes, hundreds of them swimming all over the place.

Babler caught them casting silver or gold spoons, Rooster Tails and marabou jig (pink, white, black, olive in one-eighth ounce).  He also did well putting a Gulp Power Egg (pink) on a small jig hook and fishing it below a float five- to six-feet  deep.  I’m sure you could troll and catch them, too.

Now freshly stocked rainbows might not stay in the same area they were stocked.  They have been known to move upstream rather quickly, so you should look for these rainbows at Monkey Island if not at the bridges in downtown Branson.

Fishing has also been good just up from and below Fall Creek.  We fished from the Narrows down past the mouth of Fall Creek yesterday using a pink micro jig under a float seven feet deep, paired with a #12 gray scud tied 18 inches below the jig .  Half the trout we caught on this rig were on the jig and half on the scud.  We stayed in the channel most of the time.  The water was still moving from generation being shut down prior to our outing.

Night crawlers are still catching nicer rainbows from Fall Creek to Short Creek.  Minnows are also going well.  I’ve noticed huge schools of minnows in the shallow water behind our dock lately, so I’m sure our trout are targeting them as food elsewhere on the lake.

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