Lake Taneycomo

Lilley’s Lake Taneycomo fishing report, May 2

Posted by Phil Lilley on May 3rd, 2016
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Rob 530

We’ve seen very little generation the past two weeks.  If the U.S. Corps of Army Engineers run it at all it’s midday for a couple of hours, enough to move algae out of the upper end of the lake.  A slimy algae has been growing in both Table Rock and Taneycomo during daylight hours, which is normal for this time of year.  The fish don’t mind it, but it’s tough on us anglers.

With little generation, our water temperature inches up on warm, sunny days.  Surface temperature may reach into the 60’s, but the lower water levels are staying a safe and cool 50-something.  This is actually beneficial for both trout and other aquatic life like midges and scuds.  Plus, it makes the trout more active — they like water in the upper 50’s.

We’ve had some rain the last few days but not enough to change generation patterns.  Table Rock has only come up about nine inches, still under 916 feet which seems to be manageable. I see no big change in this pattern, unless we get a substantial rain, and then all bets are off.

Fly fishing has been very good with the water off.  I should say, small jigs and flies are drawing bites whether on a spin or fly rod.  Zebra midges under a float and/or micro and small marabou jigs under a float are all working very well.

We had a gentleman come in the shop today showing a jig that he couldn’t keep the trout off of — an 1/16th-ounce black and yellow marabou jig with a gold head.  We quickly stocked some in our store.  He said he was using it under a float.

Duane Doty and I chased a crappie story on our lunch break today.  We heard crappie were stacked along the wall at the Branson Landing, right in front of Joe’s Crab Shack!  We worked the lower half of the wall at the Landing using jigs and caught two rainbows — but no crappie!!

Guide Steve Dickey says the first two hours of the day have been the best for catching a lot of trout up in the trophy area on a variety of small jigs under a float.  He’s using a small ginger or light olive jig (marabou) or a half-micro in olive or brown.  The best depth has been 39.5 inches deep.  You’ll have to ask him why 39.5 inches…

Wayne and Rob Dickerson of northeast Kansas come to  spend a week with us every May,  renting a G-3 bass boat from us and fishing exclusively jigs all week.  Well, Monday Rob scored a trophy brown, weighing 7.2 pounds, 23.25 inches long.

Rob 530

They were drifting and throwing white 1/8th-ounce jigs along the bluff bank across from Cooper Creek. Sound familiar?  Quite a few big browns have come off that bank.  The fish was released at the dock after a few pictures and measurements.

Spoons are still catching fish, especially down lake from Monkey Island, the mouths of Roark and Turkey Creeks and even up in those creeks a few hundred yards.  Cleos, Kastmasters and Sin-a-Lures in varied colors thrown and retrieved are catching mainly rainbows and even a big one occasionally.  Steve Stiehr of House Springs, MO, caught this 7.6-pound rainbow down lake yesterday on a green Spin-a-Lure.  It was released at our dock.

7.6 pound rainbow 530

The best live bait by far has been air-inflated night crawlers.  Set the weight 18 inches from the hook and that’s how high off the bottom the worm will float.  Trout will see and bite it a thousand times faster than non-inflated.  Minnows under a float are working, too, especially up closer to the Fall Creek line.  Set them about 36 inches deep.

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