Saturday, May 3, 2014

Fly Fishing White River, Arkansas- Beaver Tailwaters- great time landing Arkansas rainbow trouts!





This is not the normal kayak fishing post- we have more of those coming to you this year.  Sometimes, on occasion, we like to go ahead and grab the waders and dust off the fly rods for some trout fishing action.  This was a great day to hit the beaver tailwaters in April.  We landed over (10) trout in a 3-4 hour period.  The weather was excellent, and it was a great confidence builder for myself, considering I have not thrown a fly in a couple of years.

I have already decided that I plan on incorporating the fly rod in our kayak fishing adventures.

Fish ON!

Mike

Friday, September 6, 2013

Mono Users Anonymous: The differences in fishing line with angler Seth Holder



What are the differences between Mono, braid, and Fluoro?  Can a old school angler like myself switch from mono to something else?  Some great insights from angler Seth Holder on the different uses for different lines, also some great conversations about Table Rock Lake, Missouri...click to listen.
Also, we are now on iTunes, "Kayak Fishing The Midwest", so you can subscribe to our podcast and get current everytime we do a show.

Paddle ON!

Mike

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The best knot for joining braid and fluorocarbon fishing line



Here is a great knot to tie braided line to fluorocarbon line, as suggested by angler Seth Holder on our "Kayak Fishing The Midwest" podcast.

I am going to have to give this one a try!

Fish ON!

Mike

Fishing Report across the Ozarks: September 5th, 2013


Here is a list of some key waters across the Ozarks for the week of September 5th, 2013.  The list is not all inclusive, but paint a nice picture of what the fish are doing in the Missouri/Arkansas Ozarks.  Personally, it seems like the rivers and streams have been the best bet, but with the water temps cooling, and the sun patterns changing, the lakes should really start to turn on, especially with big bass, real soon


Lake of the Ozarks:
Niangua  arm: black bass fair, try using plastic worms and topwater lures at night; crappie slow, try using minnows or dark colored jigs; catfish good, try using cut shad and worms; white bass fair, try using light colored lures.
(Reported on: 9/3/13)

Osage arm: black bass fair, try using crankbaits or plastic worms; crappie fair, try using minnows or dark colored jigs; catfish good, try using cut shad and live bluegill; white bass fair, try using light colored soft plastics.
(Reported on: 9/3/13) 

Mark Twain: crappie fair on jigs and minnows; all other species slow.
(Reported on: 9/4/13) 

Lake Wappapello: channel catfish fair on nightcrawlers and live bait; bluegill fair using crickets and worms; black bass fair using plastic worms; all other species slow. Anglers should note the 9" minimum length limit regulation for crappie on Wappapello Lake 

Bull Shoals (West): black bass fair on soft plastics, jigs and nightcrawlers; crappie fair on minnows near brush piles; walleye fair on nightcrawlers; striped bass fair on large jerkbaits and swimbaits; all other species slow 

Pomme De Terre: black bass good on dark plastic baits; crappie good on minnows around structure; catfish good on shad; bluegill good on worms.

Stockton Lake: catfish good while drifting nightcrawlers; bluegill fair on nightcrawlers along bluffs; walleye fair on jigs tipped with nightcrawlers or a crawler harness; crappie fair on minnows or jigs near standing timber or brush piles; white bass fair on swimming spinners or Rapalas early in the morning or late evening 

Table Rock (James River): catfish good on live crayfish, stinkbaits, shrimp or nightcrawlers, during the day fish deep holes on the shaded bank side, after dark move into shallower water and fish muddy flats or gravel banks; black bass good on live crayfish in 20' of water on days with a full sun, on cloudy days move into 8' - 12' of water using just enough weight to keep crayfish on the bottom; all other species slow 

Table Rock (Main Lake): black bass good on worms around cover in less than 25' of water, try crankbaits later in the day; all other species slow. 

James River: black bass good in the morning and evenings on topwater lures with spooks and buzzbaits, in the afternoon use drop shots and spoons in 35' - 50' of water; goggle-eye good on spinners and plastic jigs around rocks and structure; catfish good on minnows and nightcrawlers using limb lines and trotlines; bluegill good on worms and crickets; crappie slow, best on jigs and minnows in brushy areas 

Niangua River: black bass good on soft plastics and minnows; goggle-eye good on soft plastics and minnows; trout fair on bright colored Power Baits.
(Reported on: 9/4/13)

Greers Ferry Lake: As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 462.38 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 462.04 msl).  
Jeff Mays of Anglers Outpost Guide Service (501-253-1905) said the lake level is near normal and the heat has pushed the thermocline and the fish a little deeper in their comfort zone. The summer pattern will begin to change soon as the days are becoming shorter and temps will eventually begin to drop. Look for the hybrids and whites to begin pushing bait to the top more in September. As the fish transition to fall, all species will be on the move and feeding. Crappie are still suspending in open water, holding on pole timber near the river channel, and relating to submerged structure in 25-35 feet of water. Trolling is still a good method to catch slabs. 
Tommy Cauley of Fish Finder Guide Service said the water level is falling and the surface temperature is in the high 80s. Bass fishing is pretty good on topwaters early and late. As the sun gets high, fish deeper in and around brush piles and pole timber with Texas-rigged worms, jigs, Carolina rigs and Alabama rigs. Crappie are 25-28 feet deep, and are hitting minnows in brush piles and in pole timber. The walleye bite has picked up some in 15-32 feet of water; try dragging crawlers on jigheads. The bream are guarding nests in shallow water and the bite is good on crickets and crawlers. Catfishing is good on jugs and trotlines baited with a variety of live or prepared bait. The hybrid and white bass have moved deeper and some can even be caught in 62 feet of water. In about 25 feet of water, there’s been some surface action as well; try in-line line spinners, spoons and swim baits

Beaver Lake: As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,121.83 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 1,120 msl).
Bailey’s Beaver Lake Guide Service (479-366-8664) stripers are on scattered but on the feed. The night bite has been best. Live 8- to 12-inch shad fished on down lines 30-45ft deep are working well. Stripers are being taken on small umbrella rigs with white grubs, Rapalas, Bombers or spoons on down riggers set 30-45 ft. deep near timber, bluffs and rock piles. Be sure to check the following hot spots: The Dam site park and channel near the dam have lots of stripers. Point 1 is a hot spot for stripers lately. In Indian Creek, stripers are being caught past Lost Bridge and in the mouth of the creek. At Point 4, check the humps near the cedar thicket. Most walleye are being caught about 30-45 feet deep and can be caught using a variety of methods, including trolling with Cotton Cordell Spots, Hot-n-Tot's, Wiggle Warts, Rapala Tail Dancers, Shad Raps, Reef Runners or Ripstiks in natural blue or black back combos in clear water or chartreuse/orange and clown colors in stained water. Slow death rigs featuring orange and chartreuse beads are working very well on bottom bouncers. Jigging spoons 30-40 feet deep around brush and rock piles are producing as well. 
Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said fishing conditions are slow because of the hot weather. Bass can be caught using spinnerbaits and topwater baits early in the morning and late in the evening. During the day, you need to go deep if you’re going to catch any bass. Night fishing for bass is slow, but a few have been caught on large, dark soft-plastic worms. Catfishing is good on prepared bait and cut bait. Bream are fair on crickets and worms. Crappie are slow, but a few have been caught on minnows in deep water. 
Jason Piper of JT’s Crappie Guide Service (479-640-3980) said bass are fair. Early and late in the day, look for fish in newly flooded brush on the main lake. A Texas-rigged or shaky head lizard or worm will work well fished in those areas as well as a buzzbait. A Carolina-rigged lizard or worm as well as a deep-diving crankbait slowly cranked over main lake points and flats with timber will work during the day. At night try dark-colored plastics fished slowly along sloping banks on the main lake. Point 12, Rambo, Big Clifty and Rocky Branch have all been good. Crappie fishing has improved. Limits are coming in early in the day. Look for them to be suspending just off the bottom in 20 to 35 feet of water along bluff lines, mouths of small coves with timber/brush or under large docks. A black/chartreuse, pearl/chartreuse or electric chicken curly tail on a 1/16-oz. jig head fished slowly from the bottom up to the surface has been most effective. Another option has been slow trolling Bandit or Hot-n-Tot crankbaits over main lake flats close to the channel ledge. Shad colors and firetiger have been good choices. Horseshoe Bend, Eden Bluff, Piney Creek, Point 12, and the War Eagle Marina Area have all been good areas to fish. White bass have been schooling on the surface early and late over main lake flats. Once located, an Alabama rig with curly tail grubs or a Kastmaster spoon cast directly into the school will be most effective. At night using lights, try main lake bluff lines from Rocky Branch to Point 4 close to the main channel. Live minnows and shad are the best bait for night. Catfishing has been good from the bank using liver or worms at 12 bridge, Monte-Ne, Hickory Creek and the 412 bridge access.  

DeGray Lake: As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 401.03 feet msl (flood pool – 408 msl).
Local angler George Graves said the surface water temperature is in the mid-80s and the lake is clear throughout. Bass fishing is good for early morning schooling fish. The fish are chasing schooling shad on points in the big coves along the south side between the dam and Point 4. Throw surface lures such as a Zara Spook, Spit’n Image, Fluke, Pop-R, Alabama rig or 3-inch swim bait. Be sure to "hit" where the fish "breaks" because they chase the shad up and immediately go back down. If no feeding fish are present, work a Texas- or Carolina-rigged worm or lizard down the same points. Best colors for the plastics are red shad, green pumpkin/red flake and pumpkinseed. Lots of small bass have been reported in the Shouse Ford area. Hybrid fishing is fair with some early morning schooling activity in the Iron Mountain area around the marina. Also schooling fish reported along the State Park between the Lodge causeway cove to the marina. Look for breaking fish and throw a spoon in white or chartreuse. A few fish reported suspended in deep water along the old river channel in the Iron Mountain area. Use the sonar to locate the fish which will be suspended 35 to 50 feet down and under the shad schools. Position the boat directly over the fish and drop a chartreuse jigging spoon or 3-inch grub to just above the fish. Also a few walleyes are mixed in with the deep water hybrids, especially over standing timber. Lots of bream reported in most any cove with some rock or wood cover. Tightline a redworm near the bottom off secondary points in 20 to 25 feet for shell crackers. Catfish are fair at night on trotlines and noodles in Brushy Creek and around Point 10. Best baits are cut shad, chicken livers, prepared baits, night crawlers and a hot dog/soap combo. 

Lake Dardenelle: Chuck Morrison at Classic Catch Guide Service (479-774-9117) said the river has good flow. The water is stained and the surface temperature is 82 degrees. Upriver, bass can be caught on large lizards, jigs, Spooks and topwter prop baits. Stripers are biting well on swim baits, stick baits and Spooks. White bass are biting well on tailspinners and inline spinners. Catfishing is good on redworms, cut perch and whole shad. Around mid-river, bass has been taken on spinnerbaits, swimbaits, Spooks and large worms. Near Illinois Bayou, largemouths have been biting well on Spooks and swim baits in the mornings and jigs, crankbaits and swim baits during the day.

Lake Ouachita: As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 574.04 feet msl (flood pool – 578 msl).
Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort said the water is clear and the surface water temperature is 86 to 88 degrees. Black bass are getting better with a little schooling action early and late in the day. These fish are primarily still deep near structure and Texas-rigged plastics or big jigs are working best. Walleye are still hitting on drop shots fished with night crawlers and CC spoons near brush in the 20-30 foot range. Stripers are being caught on live bait and big hair jigs. These fish are still located near main lake humps and points. Bream have slowed a bit, but are still good and being caught with crickets or worms in 20-25 feet of water near brush. Catfish are still very good and being caught on cut bait and live bait on jug lines and trotlines from 18-25 feet deep. Rod and reel fishermen are still catching them near brush piles during the day with big night crawlers and stink bait.
Fish ON!
Mike

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Kayak fishing the beautiful Flat Creek in Barry County, Missouri....outstanding ozark stream!



Flat Creek in Barry County, Missouri is a place I have wanted to kayak for sometime now, so I was grateful to get a chance to explore it over the weekend.  I had a feeling that the water was fairly skinny, so I knew I would most likely have to portage and fish upstream, then kayak back, which is exactly what I did.

This would be an excellent float with several parties to make it a one way float....real challenging going up stream, then back down, but we were able to make it happen.  The water is nice and cool (due to several springs along the way) and is a prime environment for smallmouth bass.
Fishing wise, the Chomper hula grub on the stand up jig was what they were really hitting on (orange colored).  A lot of times when I am smallmouth fishing, I like to throw a texas-rigged zoom trick worm, but they were not liking these on Flat Creek...they like the hula grubs!

I would say we caught approx. 10-12 fish (all caught and released), most being of a smaller size.  There were a couple that were not bad sized (as you can see in the video).
The Missouri Ozarks have some of the most incredibly beautiful waters in the U.S.....worth it to get out and explore!

Click HERE for a map of the trip

Paddle ON!

Mike

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Kayak fishing the BEAUTIFUL Kings River in Northern Arkansas- August 18th, 2013


Nice Largmouth- last fish of the day!

This is one of my favorite rivers to kayak fish on. The scenery, not only getting there, but once you put in is incredible. I put in at the Romp Hole access just south of the Missouri border. If you paddle from this point downstream, the water starts to get "wide and fat" due to going from river to becoming Table Rock Lake. I think this transition makes the fishing potential at this point incredible, especially for large bass and white bass that come in from the lake in the spring.

When I am kayaking I like to paddle up stream, then drift fish down. Due to the rains a couple of weeks ago, the river still had a fairly good flow (unlike last year when it was in drought conditions). Due to the flow, there were several points I got out and portaged, wade fishing the whole time. The biggest surprise of the trip was catching a walleye mid stream. He hit the lure (orange hula grub on standup jig)on the retrieve, so when I got him in, I was very surprised.
I know that Table Rock Lake has a good fishery of walleye (at least that is what I have been told), so I figure he came upstream for some of the cool fast water. I am glad I had enough foresight to not lip him when I brought him in...that would have been a painful surprise. I spent the entire day out there, met some really cool canoe folk and could have spent even more time there....even saw a roadrunner when in the car on the way out.
 
Click HERE to see the map of the trip
 
"Life is better on a kayak"
 
Mike 
 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Great podcast featuring angler "Kayak Bob" with tips on kayak fishing the St. Francis River in SE MO

Click below to hear some cool insights and tips on kayak fishing the St. Francis River in SE MO as well as reclaimed strip pit fishing in Southern Illinois. We think you will enjoy this show. You can subscribe to our show on iTunes as well as www.blogtalkradio.com/kayakfishingthemidwest Paddle ON! Mike