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If you have ever visited Branson, you most likely have seen Lake Taneycomo. Providing a scenic backdrop for Branson’s historic downtown area and an upscale hotel, shopping and restaurant district known as “The Branson Landing,” the narrow lake could be mistaken for a river. But the scenic stretch of water is most certainly a lake – one known for record-sized rainbow and brown trout.
The lake became a cold water fishery – unlike any other in Missouri – when nearby Table Rock Dam was built in 1958. Fifty-degree water pours into Lake Taneycomo from the dam’s spillway – 200 feet below the surface of Table Rock Lake, providing ideal conditions for trout.
The Missouri Department of Conservation’s Shepherd of the Hills Trout Hatchery releases about 750,000 trout each year into Lake Taneycomo, creating an angler’s paradise.
There are many ways to catch trout at the lake. The amount of power being generated by Table Rock Dam dictates the water level, the speed of the current – and what type of lures you might want to use.
Freshwater shrimp, crawfish, shad and bugs are a trout’s primary food source, so lures that imitate the fish’s favorite meals work best. Local fishing guides and staff at bait and tackle shops are a great source for information about fishing Lake Taneycomo’s waters.
You can learn more about fishing for trout at the hatchery’s conservation center six miles south of Branson.
With bald eagles flying overhead and great blue heron rookeries along the shoreline, Lake Taneycomo is certainly one of Missouri’s fishing gems.