Brown trout caught at Lake Taneycomo sets new Missouri record

Fox News reports: A Missouri man just became the new state record-holder for brown trout, hauling in a 40-pound, 6-ounce fish at Lake Taneycomo in Branson on Wednesday using a pole and line.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) said Bill Babler of Blue Eye, which is just north of the Missouri-Arkansas border, became the new record-holder after it verified his catch on a certified scale in Branson.

The fish was 41.25 inches long and had a girth of 28 inches, The Springfield News-Leader reported.

Babler told the newspaper he’d been out fishing only for a few minutes when he caught the brown trout.

“As soon as I set the hook, it came to the top and I knew we had a good fish on,” Babler said. “We positioned the boat in an unobstructed area. It was pulling drag pretty good!”

Babler said he tried to keep the fish alive in an aerated tank, but it died before it could be released.

The fish was eight or nine years old, fisheries management biologist Shane Bush said.

The MDC said the previous record was set just seven months ago by Paul Crews of Neosho. He was fishing at Lake Taneycomo as well when he reeled in a 34-pound, 10-ounce brown trout in February using a pole and line.

Missouri state-record fish are recognized in two categories: pole-and-line and alternative methods. According to The MDC, alternative methods include throwlines, trotlines, limb lines, bank lines, jug lines, spearfishing, snagging, snaring, gigging, grabbing, archery and atlatl (a spear-throwing device).

Babler’s biggest brown trout prior to Wednesday’s catch reportedly weighed 13 pounds. He told the newspaper he planned to have his record-breaker mounted.

Babler’s fish was only about two pounds shy of a world-record brown trout caught in New Zealand.



3 Replies to “Brown trout caught at Lake Taneycomo sets new Missouri record”

  1. Was it all just plain good luck or a super natural spiritual intervention? Given the location of Lake Taneycomo, which is actually a reservoir, in Branson Missouri and Bill Babler’s place of residence in Blue Eye Missouri, I would believe it to be the latter since this area is also home to Morningside U.S.A Ministries.

    Now, after speaking with our “Beloved Creator”, allow me to pass on a wee bit of His spiritual guidance to this mathematical equation.

    Reports show :

    The tourism mecca of Branson, Missouri, is also the home of Lake Taneycomo, a premier fishery offering some of the best trout fishing in the nation whether you fish with a fly rod or spinning tackle. The cold-water lake also provides some surprisingly good bass fishing local anglers have tried to keep secret for years.

    The lake’s constant water temperature keeps trout in a stable environment, unlike bass in other reservoirs where the seasons cool or warm the waters and cause the fish to move shallow or deep. The water in Taneycomo stays cold year-round since it comes from Table Rock Dam about 160 feet below the surface of Table Rock Lake.

    Lake Taneycomo fishing began in 1913 with the construction of Ozark Beach Dam at Powersite on the White River. The lake sustained a popular warm-water fishery for more than 40 years, but that changed when Table Rock Dam was constructed in 1958. Since the water flowing from the dam was too cold for most of the White River’s fish, those populations declined and the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) compensated for the loss of the native fishery by stocking rainbow trout into the 22-mile lake.

    During the early 1990s, the MDC enhanced the lake’s fishery by stocking brown trout that have grown to trophy size. Although the state “pole and line” record rainbow trout was caught elsewhere, Taneycomo holds the state record for a rainbow trout taken on alternative methods with a 15-pound, 6-ounce fish and produced the state record brown trout weighing 28 pounds, 12 ounces. (New state record of 40-pound, 6-ounces)

    The trophy area below Table Rock dam offers fly fishermen of all skill levels a chance to catch plenty of rainbows and brown trout. The most popular technique among the locals is to drift an olive scud below a strike indicator with the current. Water flow from the dam is usually low during the summer so anglers have plenty of opportunities to wade in the trophy area. When flow is light, small streamers, soft hackles and dry flies work best.

    Rainbows and browns can also be taken on spinning tackle with 2- to 3-inch jerk baits, micro jigs or marabou jigs (ranging in size from 1/100 to 1/8 ounce) in brown or olive hues. Tie the micro jigs on 4- to 6-pound line and set a float about 2 to 3 feet above the lure or fish the larger jigs without a float.

    A wide array of live or scented baits produce best for anglers of all ages down lake. The locals have used pieces of nightcrawlers, Berkley Power Bait Eggs and Berkley Gulp worms in pink or chartreuse to catch plenty of trout from Cooper Creek to downtown Branson. A drift rig with a 1/4-ounce weight and a small bait hook works best for drifting or tight lining the bait.

    Wintry weather can make an angler miserable while fishing Lake Taneycomo, but it has little effect on the lake’s main inhabitants. The seasons don’t really affect the fishing much so Taneycomo trout fishing can be really good in the winter but it can also be just as good in the dead of summer.

    Winter is traditionally a prime time to catch big trout, but you can experience some fantastic fishing in the spring when four generators are running constantly at the dam. The 2,080-acre lake receives a lot less fishing pressure during the colder months than it does in the summer and spring. Mostly local anglers fish the lake in the wintertime.

    Patterns throughout the summer and into early fall remain about the same but more brown trout start running up to the dam area where you can catch them on large streamers and top water flies in eddies.

    Heavyweight Large Mouth Bass can be caught during the winter on the lower end of the lake throwing Alabama rigs and suspending stick baits along the stump-laden flats near drop-offs. Flipping jigs with a plastic craw or chunk to the boat docks down lake from Branson Landing is an effective tactic for Large Mouth Bass from spring through fall.

    Some top water frog action also occurs during the warmer months in the weeds up the creeks on the lake’s lower end. Other productive lures for catching Lake Taneycomo bass throughout the warmer months include buzz baits, spinner baits and crank baits.

    So ask yourself, was Bill Babler’s trophy Brown Trout just sheer luck, mathematical manipulation or the result of super natural spiritual intervention? Again, my faith is in The Big Guy!

  2. Before I forget, I should include a fishing map of Lake Taneycomo and the surrounding area. As you will notice by scrolling in and out, there are literally hundreds upon hundreds of hot spots. Table Rock Dam mentioned in my reply is located just east of Whites Branch on the left section of the map. Unfortunately, the connecting watercourse flowing from the White River Reservoir (left side of map) between the dam at Table Rock and into Lake Taneycomo (right side of map) is not shown.

    The chances of landing a Rainbow or Brown trout of substantial propagation are in rational terms, not uncommon in these waters, since many records have been set in the past. Remember, Bill Babler did tell the local newspaper he’d been “out fishing only for a few minutes” when he caught his Brown Trout.

    When you’re hot, you’re hot !!

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