Lake Taneycomo

Lilleys’ Lake Taneycomo fishing report, March 18

Posted by Phil Lilley on March 18th, 2014
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Generation here on Lake Taneycomo has been hard to pattern, just like the weather.  The U.S. Corps of Army Engineers will run water all day at one or two units for a few days in a row and then change to no water, or heavy flow in the morning and none in the afternoon.  It’s beyond guess work, even for us veterans.  If you’re planning on a fishing trip coming up, plan for it all!  Hopefully you will experience a generation pattern that fits your liking.

Our water temperature is holding at 42 degrees and is cloudy.  Visibility is six feet deep.  The rain and snow from Sunday pushed Table Rock Lake up from 913.2 feet to 914.5 feet and it is still climbing.  I would think the Corps would be looking to keep Table Rock at a reasonable level with spring ahead of us, so generation might pick up here in the next week or so.  We’ll see.

The Missouri Department of Conservation has been busy stocking rainbows.  This morning officials dumped in a load off the Cooper Creek boat ramp.  Their stocking boat is still down, so they continue to stock off both public and private boat ramps up and down the lake.  The size of rainbows appear to be bigger, averaging longer than 12 inches.  But I’ve been told there are still a lot of smaller rainbows in the lake, especially up in the trophy area.

My prediction that threadfin shad would come through the turbines at Table Rock Dam has not come true, and our trout aren’t very interested in white jigs, at least directly below the dam.  I’ve fished up there this morning with two units running (dropping to one later) and did very little on a white, 1/8th-ounce jig.  I did, though, do well on further down lake, below Lookout Island throwing  the white jig against the bluff bank.  No big numbers but what I did catch was good size (rainbow images).

March 18 Rainbow 530 2

March 18 Rainbow head 530

Right at the mouth of Fall Creek, I hooked and landed my largest trout of the morning, a 19-inch brown (image).  It, too, came on an 1/8th-ounce jig.

March 18 brown head 530

Fishing from below Fall Creek’s Dock the other day, with the water falling out from running early in the morning, I drifted and threw a 3/32nd- ounce jig and worked the bluff side down to Short Creek.  The first five trout I caught were browns and all about 15 inches long with very little color.  Several rainbows followed with the last fish being another brown.

If you notice in the video, I was letting the jig fall a long time, almost daring it to snag on the bottom.  Using a 3/32nd-ounce jig allows me to work a jig much slower than an 1/8th-ounce, but the bite is usually much harder to detect.  When there is no current at all, we go to a 1/16th-ounce jig and use two-pound line and do the same thing.

With the water off, we have had several anglers boat up to the trophy area, get out and wade the flats fly fishing this last weekend.  One father and son duo said they caught more than 100 rainbows between the two of them both days they fished.  They used exclusively #14 woolies, mainly olive.  Another pair fly fishing out of one of our jon boats today said they caught quite a few average-sized rainbows on #16 scuds, again on the flats above the Narrows.

Below Fall Creek, Kastmaster Spoons are catching freshly stocked rainbows from Cooper Creek down to the Landing, concentrating on the boat ramp areas.  There’s been a lot of activity up in Roark Creek, which is normal for this time of year.  Trout seem to like to go into creeks, especially when there’s a lot of current on the main lake.  Guides have been in and out of the creek for the past week.  Today one guest who rented a boat from us said he took his grandsons all the way up to the bridge in Roark, and they caught trout late this afternoon non stop for an hour on spoons and spinners.

Look in other creeks, too, for some activity — Turkey, Coon, Bee and even as far down as Bull Creek.  You’ll find big schools of rainbows, probably freshly stocked and still hanging together.  They usually strike about anything they see shiny run by.  Fishing these creeks is also a good way to get out of the wind the main lake has been offering.

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