Lake Taneycomo

Lilleys’ Lake Taneycomo fishing report, April 6

Posted by Phil Lilley on April 6th, 2013
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Table Rock Lake has crept up to almost power pool which likely means we will start to see an increase in generation very soon. Rains are forecast for next week which will push the lakes in our chain up past power pool. That doesn’t mean big generation, but it will mean some. We’ve had very little flow for months, so that will be a big change. It’s inevitable.

Because of this uncertainty, my fishing report will have to cover more possible options than normal. I can tell you what’s been working lately, but these patterns might not work when and if dam operators start running water. Here goes . . .

With no generation, below Fall Creek, we’ve been fishing Berkley’s Powerbait or Gulp Eggs on the bottom or on a jig head under a float.  We have used straight line on the bottom (four-pound line is fine), a drift rig or just a #8 short shank hook and a split shot up the line 18 inches. We put on green or clear monofilament line. You can use fluorocarbon; a good line is Vanish two-pound. Otherwise, Trilene XL four-pound green works great. Colors: orange/white or yellow/white are working the best. In the paste, yellow is good. If you’re putting the eggs on a jig head, use a 1/32nd-ounce head with a #10 hook and slide one or two eggs on the hook.  Set the float three- to five-feet deep. Our guides actually use Super Glue to keep the eggs in place. An added benefit is you use less bait per fish using glue. This is working really well in the Monkey Island area. The Missouri Department of Conservation just released between 20 and 30,000 rainbows in the downtown area this week.

Because we have a lot of freshly stocked rainbows in the lake, throwing a Cleo or Rooster Tail might be good to do, too. New rainbows like to chase shiny things in the water.

The jig-and-float technique should also work. I would fish between Fall Creek and Trout Hollow, targeting  the shallow side of the lake, opposite the bluff, from the River Pointe boat ramp to Short Creek. This water is a lot deeper than you think and holds fish. The best jig colors to try are brown, sculpin-ginger, brown-orange, all with an orange head, black or olive. Sizes- 1/32nd-ounce to 1/125th- ounce. Set the float four- six- feet deep.

I ventured out to fish with some kids this week. We fished night crawlers on the bottom just up from the mouth of Short Creek, staying on the shallow side of the lake. The kids caught better rainbows than we’ve been seeing in the trophy area, a nice brown trout and a big sucker — which was the biggest thrill to them.  We injected air into the worms for quicker strikes. Again, four-pound line is fine using worms.

Above Fall Creek I also tried my luck a few times this week. I took some boys up there one morning and introduced them to jig-and-float fishing. They caught on fairly well, boating quite a few rainbows, although most of the strikes went unanswered.

I added some 6x fluorocarbon tippet to my four-pound line on my spin cast outfits, a small float and 1/125th-ounce jigs, then set the floats at 36 inches and fished the Narrows most of the time. There was a good chop on the water and the fish were hungry! The best jig was by far a brown with an orange head, although ginger was good, too.

On Thursday, I was blessed to fish with a long-time friend, Rolan Duffield.  We tried Bull Shoals for white bass in the morning, then came back to Taney for some afternoon trout.  We fished mainly jigs under a float using the fly rods and fished from Lookout to the Narrows.  Yes, we caught lots of trout.  The best color by far was a ginger in 1/100th-ounce size.

Last evening, they were running a half unit of water. I boated up past Lookout Island to the top of Trophy Run and started throwing a straight jig with no float. I tried a white first, catching one nice brown,  and then a sculpin  which yielded nothing.  Next I tied a ginger 1/8th-ounce jig on — and they liked it!! I was looking for a nicer rainbow but didn’t find anything larger than 13 inches. As I drifted on down to the Narrows, I caught rainbows consistently on either the ginger or sculpin/ginger jig. Past the Narrows I didn’t do as well.

This morning, I took a couple of friends out for K.A.A. (Kids Across America). We started well above the Narrows throwing a zebra midge, #16 rusty 30 inches under a palsa and working the deeper water. The bite was light, but they caught about 35 rainbows for the morning. After the wind picked up, the trout really bit well. We used 7x fluorocarbon tippet when the water was dead still and 6x when it grew choppy.

I also tied on a #14 crackleback, and they caught several on the flat there at the Narrows. The fish were midging really well.

If and when the dam operators start running water, drifting Gulp eggs or night crawlers down from Fall Creek should be very good. I’d think our trout will like the running water since they find more food moving in the water and more opportunities for feeding.

Above Fall Creek, I’d drift an egg fly on the bottom and also try a larger size scud, like a #12.  We use a jig-and-float and drift a full micro pink with a chrome head fivv- to seven-feet below an indicator.

Of course, I’ll be throwing an 1/8th-ounce jig and working the bottom of the lake off the bluff banks when the water starts moving.  If you can get all the way to the dam below the cable, you’ll find the biggest trout in the lake right now. Jig fishing will be great!

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