With the heat of summer upon us, the generators are kicking in. We've only seen low 90's so far, but during the week the dam operators are wasting no time bringing the power up to max on the hot days. This morning they were up to four units, bringing the lake up to 708.5 feet before 7 a.m..
We've been trying to figure out in what ways the lake's bottom has changed. It's hard because we can't see down very far into the water. But it seems from the Narrows up lake, there's not much change. The Narrows usually change during these high water events. There are some big trees lodged in the channel now, big ones! And when the water is running, you have to be extra careful when drifting through. As far as the bottom, it's too early to tell.
On down lake, it seems like there's not much of a change. Fall Creek area may have changed some, but we'll see.
Lake temperature is holding at 56 degrees. Our water is still off color with visibility at about four feet. There's quite a bit of green algae flowing through the turbines from Table Rock, which is nothing more than a pain. The trout actually will eat the algae and, I've been told, get some nutrition out of it.
The flood gates were open at Table Rock Dam for 30 days, and all that time, warmwater fish were spilling over into our coldwater fishery. We've been catching smallmouth, largemouth and spotted bass, blue gill, red ear blue gill, crappie, white bass and walleye from the cable below the dam all the way to Fall Creek.
Duane took some friends out Saturday and they caught nine species of fish.
They were fishing with 1/8th-ounce white/gray jigs, four-pound line and working the banks. In the mix was a 23.5-inch brown caught close to the Missouri Department of Conservation boat ramp. The warmwater fish were kept for a fish fry along with a few rainbows. The brown was released at the dock.
I've been fishing a white 1/8th ounce jig against the banks, working the slack or eddy water, and catching a lot of fish, all kinds. But I wouldn't hesitate to try another color -- sculpin, black, black/olive, ginger and sculpin/ginger.
If you get out when they're not running as much water, say one unit at 705 feet, I'd throw the same colors but drop to a 3/32nd-ounce jig. If you're using two-pound line, you could throw a 1/16th-ounce jig.
The fish seem like they want to chase, so I'd think working a small- to medium-sized stick bait should work. I just haven't tried it myself.
Drifting with a variety of flies in the trophy area has been good, including shad flies, scuds (#12 - #16 gray), San Juan Worms (cerise, pink), egg flies (peach, red) and leaches (#12 purple, brown). I've seen some people pounding the banks with big streamers but have not received any specific reports.
Starting at Fall Creek, drifting with bait has been very good. Actually drifting from there clear down past the Landing has been stellar, according to most of our guests who have been coming and fishing in June for years. I've heard more say "this has been the best fishing trip ever" this summer than ever before. A guy just this morning said they drifted using Powerbait down towards that Landing and pulled them in "right and left."
We're selling a lot of Power Eggs, not the Gulp, in all colors. The Gulp Eggs slide off so easily while the regular eggs are more rubbery and stay on much better. Now if the water isn't running or running slowly, I'd say go with Gulp because of the scent, but since the water is cranking now, go with the regular eggs.
Night crawlers are luring the fish very well, too, and they will usually catch bigger fish, but as good as Power Eggs are working, why mess with the mess of worms?