Lake Taneycomo

Lilleys’ Lake Taneycomo fishing report, March 6

Posted by Phil Lilley on March 5th, 2015
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March 5 rainbow 530

Generation patterns on Lake Taneycomo have stayed basically the same in the last month.  The dam has been generating water most mornings until about 9 or 10 a.m., then off for the rest of the day before running a little some evenings, but not every day. Weekends are still a big guess. Most weekends there has not be running  water. With warmer temperatures around the corner, we might see less generation unless Table Rock’s lake level jumps up. Then we should experience hard generation as spring approaches.

Trout fishing is still pretty good, but there are a bunch of small rainbows in the lake.  If you’re looking for nice rainbows to catch and keep, you’ll have to thin through quite a few and keep the bigger ones. I guess there’s nothing wrong with catching a bunch of fish, is there?

Following that thought, if you are releasing trout, you certainly don’t want to kill and release. When handling hooked fish with the intent of release, it’s important not to harm them. Keep these pointers in mind:

1. If you have to touch the fish, use a wet hand or wet cloth. Don’t squeeze or drop them in the boat.

Trout have a protective slime on their skin that keeps bacteria from growing on them. Handling them incorrectly can remove this slime.

2. If the hook is deep inside the fish’s mouth, cut the line and let it go quickly. Dislodging a hook will harm the fish more than leaving the hook in.

3. If you want to release a trout but want to take a few pics, keep the fish in the water, in the net, while getting the camera out and ready. Lift the fish out of the water only for as long as it takes to snap the photos then release the fish as soon as you’re done.

I’ve heard anglers report catching big numbers of rainbows on Lake Taneycomo some days.  As I am listening to those reports, I’m hoping they practiced good handling techniques.  If they didn’t, they could have potentially killed a lot of trout.

March 5 brown 530

Fishing below Fall Creek, out of the trophy area, garlic-scented Powerbait is still one of the best baits working right now, in yellow, orange and white. Salmon-colored paste Powerbait has also been working well. I’m sure night crawlers would catch good rainbows, too, but it just doesn’t seem like anglers are focused on using them lately. Minnows are working fair.

Four-pound line is still okay to use. Our water clarity is fair to cloudy, depending on generation and boat traffic. We don’t see the really clear water until later in the spring and summer.

Trout Magnets under a float have been hot!  Pink/white, pink, white and chartreuse are the best colors on a gold hook.  Fish them starting at three feet deep and move down until you find where they’re holding, which could be as deep as 10 feet.  Dockhand Duane Doty is catching rainbows off the dock using his spey fly rod and fishing 11-feet deep with a Trout Magnet.  I’d use two-pound line or 6x tippet.

Micro Jigs and marabou jigs are also working under a float.  Best colors are brown, sculpin or brown/orange with an orange head, sculpin/ginger, olive or brown/orange with a brown head.  Best sizes would be 1/125th, 1/100th, 1/50th-ounce.  For micros, use olive, sculpin or ginger,  again, with two-pound line or 6x tippet.

If you feel comfortable doing so, add a Zebra Midge under the jig using 6x tippet–about 12-18 inches from the jig.  Use a #14 or #16 red or black Zebra.  I say “comfortable” because this rig is a little difficult to cast without getting tangled.

If you get out early while the water is running, work a stick bait against any bluff bank for both rainbows and browns, particularly browns.  Throw Rapalas, RC Stick, Lucky Craft Pointers, Rebels and Super Suspending Trout Magnet baits.

We have had no reports of shad coming from Table Rock Lake through the dam.  Table Rock’s water is cold enough to cause shad to die, but I don’t think we’ve had enough hard generation to pull the shad through.  That may change this spring.

In the trophy area when the water is off, fishing under an indicator with either jigs or flies is best.  For jig and micro-jigs, the colors and sizes mentioned earlier in this report will work.  Look for a choppy lake surface for best results.  How deep to fish your jig depends on the depth of water.

March 4

If you’re throwing a marabou jig without a  float, use a 1/32nd-, 1/16th- or a 3/32nd-ounce, depending on the line size you’re using.  You can probably get away with using four-pound line up there, but you’re going to have to use a 3/32nd-ounce jig.  Use two-pound line when throwing smaller jigs.  The best colors would be sculpin, sculpin/ginger or orange, olive, black, brown, ginger or white.  Use brown or orange heads.

Trout are still taking scuds and midges up in this area.  Zebra Midges are always good, not just up in the trophy area.  Switch colors and sizes and you will find what they are liking.  Red, black, green, yellow, rust, primrose & pearl and others in size #14 to #18.  Fish these under an indicator from six-inches to four-feet deep, depending on the depth of water and where the trout are cruising.

When using scuds, fish them deep enough so they’re running on the bottom in the gravel.  That’s where they live.  Don’t be afraid to use a bigger scud either.  Move them around because scuds swim.  The best colors are different shades of gray, brown, olive and ginger.


Here’s a picture I took of some scuds in a tank.  You can see how they vary in color and size.


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