Lake Taneycomo

Lilleys’ Lake Taneycomo fishing report, August 20

Posted by Phil Lilley on August 21st, 2013
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Generation patterns have changed drastically since my last fishing report. Table Rock Lake’s levels have dropped back to “safe” levels and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has reduced the water flow in the last few days. The flood gates were shut down last week and most days with only two units usually running. This has allowed for easier fishing for most, even fishing off most docks.

There’s been several stocking boat sightings in the last few days, too, meaning more rainbows have been stocked. I’m sure Missouri Department of Conservation and Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery folk are readying the lake for the holiday weekend around the corner.

Our annual Guns and Hoses benefit trout tournament was a success. Just short of $4,000 was raised for the benevolence fund for Branson police and firemen families. Exactly $1,000 was raised in the raffles, money going to a young policemen’s daughter with leukemia.

We weighed some heavy rainbows. It took over nine pounds to win in a field of 24 teams. Tom Burckhardt and Bill Freise won first place with 9.32 pounds, and Tom caught the biggest trout, a 2.32-pound rainbow. John Hittler and Frank Dietl weighed in 9.02 pounds, good enough for second place, and Mike Riffel and Greg Multisch took third with 8.78 pounds. All these fish were caught on marabou jigs.

When the flood gates were opened last week, lots and lots of shad came over the top from Table Rock, and our trout ate very well. Since they were shut, the water has cooled back down to 48 degrees, and the trout are now looking for small, silver shad. Back in 2011, after the flood gates were shut down, we still saw schools of shad swimming in the eddies of Lake Taneycomo, at least in the first five miles of the lake. Although I have not seen any yet, I’m sure we still have shad up here and our trout are gorging on them.

I  fished Monday with a couple of friends, Brian Wright and Joe Cermele. Joe threw a big streamer while Brian and I worked our marabou jigs. The morning  definitely was the best time, and the trout liked our white jigs.  Joe’s efforts garnered lots of looks and follows but not many strikes. They trout we caught were larger than normal, fatter than normal and very colorful. We also caught quite a few medium-sized brown trout in various areas.

I cast a hopper at the banks for part of the day Tuesday but didn’t get one rise.  However, Steve Brigman said he caught four really nice trout on a hopper yesterday, mainly on the bank on the south side of the lake from the cable down to the first island. The hopper bite just hasn’t taken off for me yet on Taney this summer.

While the gates were opened last week, our guides reported finding higher than normal numbers of freshwater shrimp in the bellies of their rainbows, caught below Fall Creek.  Some started bottom drifting #10 gray or brown scuds on drift rigs  from Fall Creek to Trout Hollow,  staying on the shallow, flat side of the lake, and not the bluff side. Anglers are also faring well drifting a cerise-colored San Juan worm in tandem under the scud.

I took some friends fishing  late Sunday afternoon. We drifted either from Fall Creek to Trout Hollow or from the River Pointe Estates boat ramp to Trout Hollow and stayed middle/shallow side.  We used one white PowerBait Gulp egg over a half a night crawler, and they caught about 20 rainbows and two small browns in less than two hours.

It was an effective way to drift bait since the Gulp egg floated the worm off the bottom.

Two gentlemen who stayed at the resort from Tuesday until Friday last week told  me they caught and released 185 trout. They even had a clicker/counter to keep exact count. Their secret? They drifted from the dam down to Fall Creek using a 1/8th-ounce Kastmaster spoon. They reported having the fishing trip of a lifetime even though they have been enjoying Taneycomo for years!

Today, it appears generation will be geared down with less than one unit during morning hours building to two units by mid-afternoon.  That’s a very good pattern, if it holds.  But I expect the water will be shut down down altogether at least sometime during the day on the weekends.  If we don’t get any rain between now and next weekend, we should see quite a bit of down water on Labor Day weekend.

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