Lake Taneycomo Keeps Anglers on the Water
Lake Taneycomo is prime for two public tournaments hosted by LIlleys’ Landing Resort & Marina this winter, owner Phil Lilley reports. “Last Saturday in a private, invitation-only tournament, anglers had to weigh in with more than eight pounds to win any money — the first time I can ever remember,” he said. “The big fish was a brown that weighed a little under four pounds, and the top team weighed in almost 10 pounds.”
Taneycomo, which runs through the heart of Branson on its 23-mile stretch, is one of the best trout fisheries in the Midwest, flowing like a river when Table Rock Dam is generating.
Saturday, January 24, and February 28, fishermen, novice and experienced, are invited to try their luck and skill for cash prizes and custom-made trophies in two public tournaments.
The entry fee is $50 per each two-man team. In both tournaments, teams must catch-and-release and may only use artificial baits. All entrants are invited to a free meal immediately following the weigh-in at 4 p.m. at the resort’s covered pavilion. Lilleys’ Landing does have some jon and bass boats left to rent, which must be reserved ahead of time by calling the office at (888) 545-5397.
Despite the challenges of unpredictable weather, winter is often the best season for trout fishing on Taneycomo. During late fall Table Rock Lake, which feeds Taneycomo, turns over. That inversion pumps oxygen into the water that then flows into Taneycomo — a big plus for the rainbow and brown trout stocked in the lake.
In the 30-plus years of annual winter tournaments on the winding lake, anglers have learned to prepare for a wide range of weather. Some years, the high temperature has reached 70; others have dipped to below freezing with snow and sleet. But the weather is all part of the outdoor adventure, contestants say, as they just add layers and pack hand and feet warmers.
Marabou jigs have long proved to be a mainstay on the lake, because they are cheap at $1 each, and can last through a dozen or more fish. Lilleys’ Landing tackle shop carries jigs in several different size of weights to vary with Taneycomo’s generation schedule. Scuds and midges are also great to try in the upper lake, sometimes with a tandem rig tied with an egg fly or a San Juan worm 18 inches below the scud.
More information on either tournament is available at Lilleys’ Landing website or by calling 888-545-5397 for a copy of the entry form and rules. For current fishing tips, anglers can go to Lilleys’ sister website, http://www.Ozarkanglers.com to find articles, ask questions in a forum and read reports.