Coming up dry on Truman...

Discussion in 'MISSOURI LAKES / RESERVOIRS TALK' started by Mr.T, Sep 11, 2005.

  1. Mr.T

    Mr.T New Member

    Messages:
    2,553
    State:
    MO
    Went out again last night with my dad and brother - thought we had picked a good spot, an area just west of G16 where the depth changes from about 40 ft to around 10 ft - we were on the shore, using goldfish, fresh shad, worms, Bee-Jay and Danny King's. 6 hours of fishing and all we had to show for it was one good bite on the gold fish and a 2 lb eater on the Danny King's.

    Needless to say, this is quite disappointing - we've had nothing but bad luck the last several times we went out.

    So I'm trying to figure out if there's something fundamentally flawed in our technique or if the fish just haven't been biting.

    Anyone else doing well in the last week or two on Truman?
     
  2. diodeman

    diodeman New Member

    Messages:
    49
    State:
    Benton Co. Mo.
    Sir; I have some questions for you, please do not take offense if I sound blunt.
    (1). Is your bait on the bottom, or a few feet above the bottom. Shore fishing I place my weight on the bottom and have the bait on a slack line 18" above bottom. I use 150lb test to the bait hook, but the weight is attached to 30lb test so I can lose the weight but keep the fish.

    (2). Bluecatfish school just like crappies therefore when one picks up your bait it will run with the bait trying to get away from the rest of the school. Let the cat take the bait and run with it, feel your line and when you are confident that it is swimming freely with it then set your line.

    (3). Shore fishing; I pitch, tighten the weight line, then loosen it a foot and set the bait clicker. Folks have seen me fishing and get excitied and scream at me to "set the hook." I will only after the fish is freely running with the bait, I click off the bait clicker and thumb the reel to slowly control outfeed and to feel the fish running. From a boat I use no weight at all, let the bait swim.

    (3). Yes I am catching but only at night, and only using fresh bluegills. If live bluegills are not working, fillet it out like a crappie, weave 1/2 of bluegill fillet on hook with the head on the bottom (tip of hook) this presents a very juicy bait.

    (4). You are fishing in the right areas, I am still doing well in drop-offs. We had bluecat for dinner today that was caught this morning at 3:20am on G14.

    (5). Do you have a fish finder, sonar, radar, whatever...so you can see the bunches of baitfish suspended on the drop-offs? That is the key, no bait, no fish , no kitty's to eat.

    (6). I exclusively use bluegills, period.

    (7). A fish finder is essential in finding the bait fish schools, get one and learn to use it well. It is essential for night fishing.

    (8). Start thinking like a shad instead of a 50lb bluecat, why? Rule #1 is big things eat little things. The drop-offs provide the plankton the bait-fish thrive on, plus an environment in which they can seek different depths to survive.

    This morning we were acidentally catching crappies at 40 feet down at G14 just playing around with jigs waiting for the big kitty's to latch onto something. There are tons of baitfish in Truman right now, one hour before dark you could catch all the shad you want on top of the water. The 'mayfly' hatch is thick right now so the small fish are eating them up and growing fat.
    We have been having difficulty catching blues and flats on live bluegills so we switched to bluegill fillets and are doing as well as always. We believe that currently the catfish are stuffed with the abundant food and will not struggle to chase live bait as they usually do, we know because the several large cats we brought home this morning were gut stuffed with shads, they had bloated bellies. Good luck and do not park in one spot, 15 to 20 mins. then move, think like a shad, get a fish finder with lighted graph so you can see the bait schools. Good luck!
     

  3. Mr.T

    Mr.T New Member

    Messages:
    2,553
    State:
    MO
    Thanks for the tips, Diodeman. I don't take offense - just trying to learn a better way to fish.

    The bait is generally on the bottom -- I use an egg sinker, swivel and then about 18 inches of leader to the hook. Never figured out how to get it up off the bottom when fishing from the shore - the line is at such a flat angle that I don't even think a 3-way swivel arrangement would help to get it up enough to matter.

    I'll admit to being a little quick on the trigger - had one great hit on the goldfish the other night and yanked it out of his mouth. I was using a circle hook (also new for me) and forgot that I need to let them run and then just start applying pressure. Don't have a baitclicker reel, so it's either slack line with the bail open or tightline and hope they run with it.

    We're going to try getting out in the boat again this weekend, probably around G14 since there's a boat ramp there on the south that's not buried in the trees (we looked at the ramp on the north side, straight south out of Tightwad and there's not enough money in the world for me to try to navigate in and out of there in the dark...)

    We have a fish finder but again, it's a new tool and we haven't learned how to read what it says. (Dad is convinced it just plays the same thing over and over in a big loop... :D )

    Hopefully things will pick up once it cools off a bit. We'll let you know how it goes.
     
  4. diodeman

    diodeman New Member

    Messages:
    49
    State:
    Benton Co. Mo.
    Mr. T.

    G14 offers a premier example of a slope from deep water to shallow water. I realize what a temptation it is to set a hook at the first bob of the pole or a screaming drag, but realize that alot of blues just snatch a bait in their lips and run like hell to get away from the rest of the school of blues that are hanging around it. Once a blue gets away from the pack it will slow, gum and crunch the bait to soften it, then swallow. I often wait for the bait that is being pulled, to slow, (by the way as soon as the bait is snatched I set the bait clicker to free spool, or in your case let it free spool, then I thumb the line to keep it from knotting as it slides off the spool and to avoid backlash), I want to make sure the cat has crunched the food and it is securely in its mouth before I set a hook.

    G14 right now offers excellent opportunties for large stripers which are chasing top water baitfish at dusk. My largest striper this year from that area was 21lb. 2oz., it was chasing shad and I was throwing HUGE shad colored Zara Spooks over the feeding stripers and twitching the Spook through the feeding frenzy. The stripers really like those top water Spooks.

    That drop off at G14 really produces huge fish late at night into the morning. The big cats come off the downside bottom of the slope to hunt baitfish as they come up the slope. The bluecats are still doing well on bluegills. You MUST have a readable graph or similar device to locate those baitfish schools that are deep.

    My best luck with the big fish comes from having a bait (if live slightly wounded), if dead filleted out and drizzling natural oils, all these smells permeate the water better if the bait is slightly off the bottom so the smell can drift down stream.

    When I have to fish an area from shore, and the water and line angle provide little opportunity to have the bait suspended off the bottom, I put an inline bobber (sprayed with Cod liver oil to camoflage it) on the hook line to hold it up off the bottom. I use an in-line bobber below Truman Dam so my bait is not laying in a rock hole. I have plenty of inline bobbers that have teeth marks from the large cats who swallow the hook and chew the hell out of that bobber. My floating bobber has pulled this year a; 56lb. flathead, 42lb. yellow flathead, 47lb. bluecat, numerous smaller blues in the 20lb. range that were thrown back, and my biggest bottomfloating bobber catch from Truman Dam this year was a 113lb. Aligator Gar. That's right all you non-believers there are still Aligator gars in this area and some big ones live below the dam.

    Learn to use that graph, it is a must if you want fish in your frezer, otherwise you will...this may sound harsh, be like the rest of the 70% of fisherman who try so hard but catch so few for their valiant effort. I spent two years fishing with a 90 yr.old man who lived in this area all his life and he taught me the following facts by catching a large amonut of fish in a short period of time, thus fishing became fun instead of a labor.

    Facts:He always told me the same thing over and over.
    Big fish eat little fish, think like a minnow! You must be able to think about where the bait is and that is where you will find the eatable fish.

    Good luck with the fishing, they are still biting and they will contiue to do so clear into late November. We had fresh bluecatfor lunch today.
     
  5. spoonfish

    spoonfish New Member

    Messages:
    3,780
    State:
    Warsaw, Mo.
    Diodeman gave you the best tip I can think of Mr.T
    Buy the best electronics you can afford, but even more important no matter what kind you may have is, Learn how to read them. I would rather have a raft to fish off with good electronics than a millon dollar boat with out any. You said you had a topo map, take it out and compare the graph with it, you will soon start to notice what your graph is telling you. If your hunting big blues fish the upper side of deeper holes where you see the shad on your graph. Like he said they will allways be where the bait is, and in Truman thats the shad!
     
  6. Mr.T

    Mr.T New Member

    Messages:
    2,553
    State:
    MO
    Well, another Saturday night passed with no fish to speak of.

    We tried drifting at G14 from about 6pm to 2am, plus we ran some jug lines just southeast of G14. The wind was obnoxious to say the least. Used whole and cut-up bluegill (actually, they weren't "bluegill" proper, but yellow sunfish and rock bass and other miscellaneous members of the perch family) along with some frozen shad. It got dark on us before we could find any fresh shad - the wind had driven them deep I think.

    Mostly we just caught the bottom and a couple of long-submerged and forgotten about trot lines. I broke one fishing pole trying to get loose from a snag. We used those "bottom bouncer" rigs but they snagged up a lot. And of course I researched today to find that we had them rigged up wrong - next time they'll work a lot better, I'm certain.

    We'd start just about due east of the G14 sign in about 16 ft of water and drift to the northwest until we got over the river channel then go do it again. Painted a few possible shad schools on the depth finder, but no way to know for sure if that's what we saw or not -- generally they appeared as good sized blobs a few feet off the bottom. We did catch one small blue right about the time that we saw what looked like a school of shad on the finder.

    So it's discouraging, but I'm not going to quit. I'm convinced that G14 is a good spot to fish; I just have to keep trying until we learn exactly where to fish and how to know if we're in a good spot.

    It's tempting to pay one of the local catfish guides just so I can go see how and where to catch the doggone things... I think a few hours of demonstration would go along way toward helping me figure this whole thing out.
     
  7. fishingbuddy4

    fishingbuddy4 New Member

    Messages:
    1,564
    State:
    Warner Rob ga
    Mr T I have been drifting in 5 to 10 feet of water catching alot of 12 to 20 inchers and several 20 lbers with a couple of 30s Drifting is where its at.This is the rig i have ,Take a pencil sinker slide it on your line then slide a bead on ,tie a swivel on then a 3ft leader,then your hook put a cigar bubber 6 inches from hook ,drift from deep to shallow strat in 20 ft drift to 5ft you will do great If you want we can hit the lake sometime i will so you how it works.