Lake Taneycomo

Lilleys’ Lake Taneycomo fishing report, Sept 20

Posted by Phil Lilley on September 20th, 2013
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I just checked the weather forecast for the next 10 days, and I see some 40-degree nights and not many 80 degree days. If you notice the trees in my opening image, you’ll see a little color in those trees on the bluff. It all indicates a change of seasons is just around the corner!

There’s hasn’t been a great deal of change in our fishing patterns here on Lake Taneycomo in the past few weeks. Generation has started sometime after noon and continued into the evening. Most days one to two units are running, just enough to flush out the upper end of the lake of the leaves starting to fall. Water temperature is holding about 51 degrees coming through the dam and rising to about 60 degrees at the Branson Landing.

Early in the mornings before the sun gets too high, the bite has been the best, but on sunny days, after about 9 a.m., fishing gets a little tough, especially in the trophy area where the water isn’t as deep. If the wind kicks up and we get a chop on the water, it’ll stay good throughout the day.

Our rainbows that have been stocked the last couple of weeks have been on the short side, it seems. Out jig fishing a few times this week, I’ve noted that a lot of the rainbows I caught were less than 11 inches. They do seem to be eating well — they’re in great shape, fight hard and have good color. But there’s always the bigger rainbow and an occasional brown mixed it.

Speaking of jigs, I’ve done pretty well this week throwing a straight jig, using an ultra light rod and two-pound line, throwing a 1/16th-ounce jig and working it in deeper water close to the bottom. The best areas have been from the Narrows (/14-mile above Fall Creek) down through Fall Creek all the way down to our place. Best colors have been sculpin, black and ginger/sculpin.

I haven’t done as well throwing a jig and float this week. It seems like the trout are wanting something moving more than sitting still, whether the water is running or not.

A couple of weeks ago, I did the same thing with a Trout Magnet. Threw it on two-pound line and worked it without a float. The trout hit it on the drop, which always makes feeling and/or seeing the bite tough. I bet I miss 80% of the strikes, but since the fish hit it so often I still catch them pretty well.

I believe I do catch better fish using the jig. That’s always been my experience anyhow.

Bait fishing has been good the last couple of weeks, too. Most people fishing off our dock and out in boats have been catching their limits. Our water is still very clear, so using at the most four-pound line is important. Using two-pound line will catch more fish.

The same live baits are working — night crawlers injected with air or floating them using a PowerBait Gulp egg, best in white. Gulp eggs in pink and white.

I have noticed a lot of people trolling and doing well. Troll slowly using a small crank bait like a F-5 Rapala. An in-line spinner like a Rooster Tail also works. Be sure to use a good barrel or swivel to keep your line from twisting. The best area to troll is below Cooper Creek.

Missouri Department of Conservation officials reported sighting some good browns during their annual survey a few weeks ago. They shock and survey trout in the upper end of the lake every August to determine the condition of our trout in the lake. Shane Bush, MDC fisheries biologist, said they shocked two browns around 30 inches. He also said that they’re seeing some browns come up the hatchery ladder, located below the dam.

Fish pics courteous of Steve Dickey, fishing guide.

Drove to the dam this afternoon and look around.  Hadn’t been up there since the last high water event.

Ran into Duffy, a good friend who fishes up at the dam almost every day of the year.  He said fishing had been pretty good lately.

Overcast today so I knew the trout would be active up there below the dam, so I took my rod.  There were quite a few people fishing but it was not crowded and there were plenty of places to fish.  Duffy told me about the changes to the Rebar area, how it had filled in.  The run itself isn’t as deep as it was and it dumps into a deep pocket on the far side on the way down.  Not easy to fish that deep pocket.  The water slows down too much when it hits it.  Can’t get a good drift.

There are a lot of trout holding in the fast water, though.  Duffy showed me how it’s done.  He was drifting a soft hackle over a weighted scud, using a long leader and no indicator.  He cast it over the run and with a slack line, and then let it drift down.  A strike would stop his line; it would tighten and he’d set the hook.  He set the hook on a lot of fish as I stood and visited.

I fished down from the run, across the water from the washout gravel bar.  I stayed out of the water most of the time and cast to mainly rainbows that were working the bottom in the shallow water below the small flow coming down over the main gravel bar.  There was just enough current to carry my fly across the gravel where they were feeding.

I used a couple of flies–a #20 dark trout crack and a #20 plantan using 6x fluorocarbon under a half palsa.  I had a long leader, too, so as to not spook the shallow holding trout, although they still spooked quite a bit.  I hooked and landed six or eight trout, one brown (pic).

Others were doing well, too.  One female angler was showing everyone up, hooking over a dozen trout while I was there.  She was drifting something in the deeper run.

Out in front and down from here, I saw several nice browns jump.  That’s a good sign for sure.  Didn’t see any big browns either in the Rebar run or in the shallow water I was fishing.  Duffy said he has seen them jump, too.  He reported seeing several 15- to 17-inch browns caught but nothing bigger in the last week.

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