Jeff Faulkenberry Guides Clients to Success on Truman Lake

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Jeff F

Jeff Faulkenberry guides clients to success on Truman Lake.

There are quite a few fulltime professional fishing guides operating in Missouri on many of the larger and more popular bodies of water. Guides cater to all kinds of clients. They work with people who have never held a fishing rod before, and they work with experienced anglers who may be looking to learn about a new water or just are hoping to pick up a few tips on a certain style of fishing. One thing is for sure, a fishing guide will greatly increase your chances of catching fish. Remember, fishing is easy. It’s catching that can be troublesome.

Truman Lake is an excellent destination for a number of fish species, including largemouth bass and catfish, but it’s the crappie fishing that really sets this place apart, and no one is better at filling an ice box with slabs than Jeff Faulkenberry.

At 55,600 surface acres, Truman Lake is the largest reservoir in Missouri. It is an amazing fishery, with standing timber scattered throughout, but Truman isn’t just a lake. It’s a nature experience. Surrounded mostly by public land, the natural shoreline is home to white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, river otters, osprey, bald eagles and more.

“Everything you need to catch crappie is in my boat. All you have to do is show up and fish. I give detailed instructions so your trip is as successful as possible. I explain how it works and why it’s working, and will answer any questions my guests have,” Faulkenberry said.

Crappie are hard-fighting panfish that make excellent table fare. They are fun to catch and great to eat. Using minnows under slip-bobbers is a common tactic for catching crappies, but jigs often work just as well. Knowing what to use and where to use it on a lake the size of Truman can be difficult if you don’t have years to invest in learning the water. Hiring Faulkenberry for a day can cut that learning curve down dramatically.

“There are many reasons guides are helpful. First guests always learn something. We fish for a living, so we have knowledge to share. Second, for folks that only get to go fishing a few times a year, why take on the expenses of a boat payment, insurance and a bunch of gear to maybe have some luck? When you go with a guide you just get in their boat, use their gear and likely have a lot of success. When it’s over you hop back in your truck with a bag of filets and head home with nothing to clean or put away,” Faulkenberry said.

Depending on the time of year, crappie can be shallow in less than 7-feet of water around brush or out deep hanging on ledges. The crappie bite might be strong, but you have to know where they’re at. If you don’t have a boat, it’s going to be hard to find them. Faulkenberry is the answer on Truman.

I fish all parts of the lake. Usually I try to put in close to where the fish are biting to keep our run time down and fishing time up. My typical guide trips start at daylight and we fish around 5 hours. If we catch our limit sooner, we will head in to the clean fish and reminisce about the day.

Truman Lake is quite different from Lake of the Ozarks. There are no mega-resorts to stay at, but there are multiple options for lodging. Both Warsaw and Clinton have all the amenities you could want. You can camp or rent a cabin at a number of places around the lake. Bucksaw Resort and Marina offers a unique experience of staying in a floating cabin right on the water, where you can pull your boat up to your door. Bucksaw has all the amenities you need on site, like bait, ice and even a restaurant. They also have a boat ramp where Faulkenberry often launches.

“First and foremost I want my guests to have a great time no matter what, and maybe learn a thing or two,” Faulkenberry said.

One thing that sets Faulkenberry apart from many of the other fishing guides is he also guides hunters. He books trips for deer, duck and turkey, and no one knows where to find morel mushrooms around Truman like he does. So if you’re interested in pairing some fishing and hunting, Faulkenberry can design a cast and blast for you during one of the hunting seasons, where you’ll hunt for part of the day and fish the rest.

See you down the trail…
Brandon Butler


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