First, our hearts go out to those who have suffered with the recent flooding. If the weather patterns had shifted, we could have been under water, too. It’s scary, it’s not fun at all. We are looking at many days of heavy generation ahead but will not complain one bit.
The rains this week missed most of our watershed by such slim margins, but precipitation did bring Table Rock Lake up 16 inches this week to 918.25 feet. Beaver Lake is unchanged. Table Rock Dam continues to release 15,000 cubic feet per second of water. One of the four turbines is still offline, so officials are running five spill gates one foot each. This is warming up our lake water to about 58 degrees combined which isn’t a bad thing. Our trout continue to be aggressive, both in feeding and fighting.
With rain still in our forecast, we’re looking at several more weeks of this generation.
Dock and shore fishing is difficult, but fishing from boats is pretty good.
Below Fall Creek, night crawlers have been the go-to bait, drifting them on the bottom using a drift rig, 1/4-ounce weight. Stay in the middle of the lake, not on the bluff side, where you’ll find lots of wood to steal your rig.
The water below Cooper Creek is moving much slower than up lake, so you might consider using a smaller weight on your rig. Also drift a PowerWorm in red or pink down through Monkey Island and the Landing.
Spoons have been working pretty well down in the Landing area. Gold and red are the best colors, either Cleos or Bouyant brands. That’s where the Missouri Department of Conservation stocks most of the rainbows, and these trout tend to chase more than the older fish.
In the trophy area, scuds are king! Actually, drifting scuds has been working all the way down to Short Creek.
Scuds, or freshwater shrimp, are our trout’s main diet. With this warm water coming over the dam, the scuds are flourishing, which is a great thing for our trout. Scuds are so high in protein that they are actually farm-raised and sold as premium fish food throughout the world.
There was a run on big scuds last week because some of the fishing guides were catching a lot of trout on size #8’s and #10’s, but I’ve been doing very well on size #12’s and even #14’s in gray, olive and tan.
If you watch my videos, I’m using a small split shot up from a double scud rig instead of the traditional drift rig. The split shot is either a #4 or #5 removable shot pinched on the line 18 inches above the second fly. I’m fishing the scuds about 24 inches apart and using four-pound line. My best area has been drifting from just below Andy Williams house clear down to Short Creek, staying either on the shallow side or in the middle of the lake.
That’s not to say that you can’t drift them from the cable below the dam down to Short Creek — it’s just that I haven’t been up past Lookout in a couple of weeks.
The “white bite” has only been good from the cable down past the first island. There are just not enough threadfin shad coming over the top to get past the island before they are eaten. But this bite is pretty good, especially very early in the morning.
Duane Doty, fishing guide, has been catching trout on almost every cast starting at 5 a.m., and he’s catching good trout on his stick baits, crank baits and white jigs.