Better Fishing at Lake Taneycomo

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Published on: Nov. 2, 1996

Last revision: Oct. 25, 2010


The future for Lake Taneycomo trout fishing looks exciting. Wouldn't it be great if anglers once again called Lake Taneycomo "The Best Rainbow Trout Fishing in America." triangle

Trout Treats

Freshwater shrimp, scuds or sideswimmers are common names for the small animals that biologists call amphipods. They are crustaceans and are distant relatives of shrimp, lobsters, crayfish and a variety of other aquatic animals. Adult amphipods reach a maximum size of about a half inch. They are common in spring branches and in the cold waters of upper Lake Taneycomo.

Catch-and-release Guidelines for Trout

  • Minimize the time that you play a fish. Select the heaviest tackle appropriate for the prevailing conditions.
  • Handle trout gently and release them as quickly as possible. Holding fish out of the water reduces their survival rate. If you must handle the trout, gently cradle the fish upside down to reduce struggling while the hook is quickly removed.
  • Use hemostats or needlenose pliers to back the hook out from its point of entry in the jaw of a trout. Single, barbless hooks are easier to remove. If a fish is deeply hooked in the throat or gills, cut the line and leave the hook in the fish. Do not try to remove a deeply embedded hook from a fish you intend to release. The hook will soon rust away.
  • If the fish appears exhausted, hold it in the water facing upstream until it swims out of your hands. Pumping a fish back and forth in the water does not help.

Bait Fishing and Trout Survival

Trout, like many fish, use sight, smell and taste to locate food. Trout will bite on sticks and leaves - and even rocks - but quickly reject them. However they will swallow earthworms, insects or other natural foods.

Natural, prepared and scented baits all contain scents and tastes to stimulate trout to feed and swallow quickly. Trout caught using these kinds of baits often are hooked in the gills, esophagus or heart, which is located just under the rear part of the mouth. Also, anglers often still fish bait on the bottom or suspended below a float and allow fish to swallow the bait deeply before setting the hook. Such fish are frequently hooked deeply in vital areas and, even if released, die.

Artificial lures and flies lack scents and tastes that stimulate trout to feed, and trout reject them more quickly than natural, prepared or scented baits. Anglers must strike quickly and, consequently, hook most trout in the lip or edge of the mouth in a nonsensitive area. Such fish, once released, survive catch and release and grow to be caught again.

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