17 Pound Trout Pulled from Lake Taneycomo

17 Pound Trout Pulled from Lake Taneycomo


It missed the Missouri state record by just a little, but the 17 pound, 7 ounce rainbow trout that a Texas angler recently caught at Lake Taneycomo provided the fight of a lifetime.

Aaron McDonald was fishing with local guide Bill Beck across from Cooper Creek access when the big fish sucked in a Trout Magnet, a short, soft plastic lure that looks like a small worm.

Working with only a 2-pound test leader, McDonald fought the fish for 45 minutes before it was successfully netted and brought — alive — to Lilley’s Landing where it was weighed.

“He was rigged for 12-13-14-inch fish, but they weren’t ready for one that big,” said Phil Lilley, owner of Lilley’s Landing. “He was thrilled to hook it, and especially to land it. A fish like that is 12 to 15 years old and had probably been hooked numerous times in its lifetime.”

The fish was placed in an aerated tank for several hours to try to revive it enough that it could be released. But Lilley said the long fight probably took too much out of the lunker, and it eventually died. McDonald plans to have the trout mounted.

The big female trout was 31 inches long and had a girth of 21 inches.

“This is the kind of rainbows we see in Alaska,” Lilley said. “A 30-inch rainbow is considered a lifetime trout in most of the rivers up there. One from down here in the lower 48 states is really incredible.”

Although flooding in recent years has been problematic for anglers and some property owners, Lilley said the high water actually has helped the trout fishery on Lake Taneycomo.

High water gave trout access to new food supplies and helped them grow larger.

The current Missouri rainbow trout record was caught by Jason Harper of Neosho on August 14, 2004 at Roaring River State Park. His fish weighed 18 pounds, 1 ounce.