Fishing Report by Lilley's Landing.
Lake Levels and Generation: Probably the most important part of this fishing report is, “What is the water doing?” That’s been the emphasis of my reporting since May 1st when we saw the third highest water release from Table Rock Dam – 63,000 c.f.s (cubic feet per second.)
Table Rock is at 928.25 feet. It dropped .42 of an inch the past 24 hours. The ideal level is below 920 feet, but the power pool level is 917 feet.
They are releasing 9,800 cfs of water through the spill gates and 9,745 cfs through the turbines at Table Rock Dam, totaling close to 20,000. Taneycomo’s water level at the dam is 712.20 feet. Power pool, or the level with no generation, is 701.3 feet.
The water temperature below the dam varies, depending on which side of the lake you’re on. On the spill gate side (south), it’s about 63 degrees. On the turbine side (north), it’s about 52 degrees. Downlake, we’re seeing water temps about 59 degrees. Of course, this temperature will only rise as summer days approach.
This weekend marks the fourth week of spill gates being opened at Table Rock Dam. There has been a large number of fish that have washed over the dam and into Taneycomo, warmwater fish. We’ve seen, and caught, gar, crappie, white and black bass, spotted bass, blue gill, walleye and smallmouth bass. As a matter of fact, if you drift on the south bank you will catch mainly smallmouth and white bass, very few trout! It’s crazy!!
If you do drift the south side of the lake from the dam (cable), you MUST watch out for the first island of trees. You don’t want to drift into these trees!!
There are a lot of ways we’ve been fishing in this area, many have not been conventional ways to fish for trout. One way would be to drift a crank bait on the bottom. Duane Doty found that if he cast out a Bomber Fat Free Shad (or something close to this bait) towards the dam (while drifting), cranked it down to the bottom and then let it just drift, it would stay there, digging its bill into the bottom as it ran down lake. This has caught some big trout, mainly brown trout.
A more conventional way of fishing this stretch is drifting white jigs, shad flies and small stick baits. We’ve also done well throwing sculpin jigs, too.
While they’re running 20,000 cfs, a double jig rig is good to get to the bottom, and you have to be on the bottom to get bit!!! The current is so fast up there, the fish are either along the banks or on the bottom where the current is much slower. We’re tying two 1/8th-ounce white jigs 18 inches apart using four-pound line. You can jig this rig a little, but it’s mainly just drifted. The strike is pretty hard.
Using a drift rig with a 1/4-ounce bell weight, tie one or two of these flies: Shad fly, #12 – #16 gray scud, pink San Juan Worm or an egg fly (Y2K). Use 4x or four-pound line.
Duane has been drifting from the cable all the way down to Fall Creek. The last couple of days, the stretch from Lookout Island to Fall Creek has been the most productive. But the warmwater fish have been closer to the dam on the south side.
The current at Fall Creek is really fast, too fast to drift, in my opinion. If you want to fish that area, I would start drifting closer to the Riverpointe boat ramp and drift down lake. Actually, the best catching has been just above our place (Lilleys’ Landing) and drifting down to the Branson Landing.
But the hot spot has been drifting from the powerlines above Monkey Island down through the bridges using Berkley’s Power Eggs – white/pink or white/orange. And the rainbows we’ve seen caught are nice ones! There’s been very little fishing pressure on these fish for weeks. This has given them a chance to grow. Again, you need to be on the bottom to do well.
If you want to throw jigs and lures, work the slow side of the lake using white or dark 1/8th-ounce jigs, stick annd crank baits. The Flicker Shad has been a good lure lately. It’s caught several big browns and rainbows.