For Vic Eldred of St. Cloud, Minn., part of spring is following tradition and heading to Lake Taneycomo every year.
He and his friends have headed to Lilleys’ Landing Resort and Marina during the first week of April each year for some great trout fishing.
“Thirty years ago, my friend was looking for somewhere different to go to, and he started getting some brochures of places down at Taneycomo,” said Eldred, 63. “One day, he put a pile of them on a table and said to a friend, ‘Reach in there and pick one.’
“It was Lilleys’ Landing. They came down there, loved it and others would join them over the years. I’ve been going for the last 15 years and I hope to add a lot more.”
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The group has had some good years. But a fishing trip he took with friends just a week ago will be tough to top.
Fishing out of Lilleys’ Landing Resort and Marina, he was drifting with a Gulp egg and a small minnow when his line suddenly stopped.
“Snagged,” he thought.
Wrong. He had a monstrous brown trout.
He fought the fish for almost a half-hour on the 4-pound test line he was using, and his friends in the boat kept passing the net around to try and land the monster. They finally got it in, and stared in amazement at what they had.
They stuffed the brown trout into the livewell of their rental boat and went to the dock at Lilleys’ for photos and to have it weighed.
Once it was hoisted on the scales, the readout didn’t stop until it hit 20.56 pounds — one of the biggest browns caught in recent years at Taneycomo. It fell short of the state record — 28 pounds, 12 ounces caught at Taneycomo in 2009 — but it was still big enough to excite trout fishermen up and down the Ozarks lake.
Eldred posed for pictures, then released his catch. But he is still hoping to have a replica mount made.
“That is, if it passes the ministry of finances,” Eldred joked, referring to his wife.
It’s time to cast
Hey, kids, you think you’re the best caster in the Kansas City area? Prove it.
Cabela’s is having a kids casting contest from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at its Kansas City, Kan., store. Kids ages 3 to 15 are eligible to compete in the free event.
Prizes will be awarded in several age classes. The contest is part of Cabela’s Fishing Classic, which will feature seminars, product demonstrations and guest appearances on Saturday and Sunday.
Chapman leads pros
After two tournaments, Brent Chapman of Lake Quivira is leading the Bassmaster Elite Series points race.
Chapman finished fourth in the national tournament at Winyah Bay, S.C., last week, and took fifth March 17-20 at the St. Johns River in Florida.
Now he is preparing for the next stop on the tour, April 21-24 at Bull Shoals and Norfork lakes.
Chapman was Angler of the Year in 2012 and has qualified for 13 Bassmaster Classics.
Kansas state parks
The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism will showcase its state parks on April 23 when it has Free Entrance Days.
All the state parks will waive the normal entry fee and will host open houses. Staff will be available to answer questions and give tours. For more information, go to the website ksoutdoors.com, then click State Parks and State Parks Open House.