We are finally starting to see winter arrive here in the Ozarks after a very mild autumn. Our lake water temperatures are still just above 50 but should drop steadily in the next few months. We had a very late lake turnover this season because of the warm weather. All in all, our fishing forecast looks pretty good this winter.
Generation patterns have been consistent lately. We’re seeing moderate flows on cold mornings, off in the afternoons and back on in the evenings until about 10 p.m.. This does vary with how cold it is. The colder it is, the more electricity is needed.
Table Rock Lake is about five feet below its seasonal power pool and will remain there until we start receiving some substantial rains.
Our water is usually stained after Table Rock turns over, but this year it’s not too bad. That should help the fish bite since their activity does tend to slow down when there’s a lot of silt in the lake.
The trout bite seems to be better when the water is running. Drifting baits, flies and hard baits works, catching some pretty nice fish. Try drifting night crawlers on the bottom from Fall Creek clear down to Cooper Creek along with some Power Baits. We’re carrying minnows now, but I don’t think many people have tried them yet. There are some crappies down at the Branson Landing to catch. Look for them in front of the fountain.
The jig bite during generation is fair. I’ve done pretty well throwing white, sculpin or black jigs and working the bluff banks and the bottom in the channel.
The jerk bait bite has been good during generation also. The Doty’s 110+ in sculpin or rainbow has worked especially early in the mornings and on dark, cloudy days.
When the water is off, air-injected night crawlers on the bottom are the best. A jig under a float using two-pound line and a black jig is also a hot item.
Fly fishing – the zebra midge, #16 black, under an indicator using 6x tippet is best with a #16 gray scud a close second. Strip a white or black streamer when the water is running and/or when there’s choppy conditions. And we’ve been catching a few nice ones using a cream #20 midge dry on the shallow flats where fish are midging.