Category Archives: Fishing

Is Branson really the most fun place to be in America?

There are so many ways to have fun in Branson.

There are so many ways to have fun in Branson.

“Absolutely! Anyone who has been to Branson can attest to the wide variety of fun filled activities it has to offer,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “From pristine lakes and championship golf courses to world class shopping, dining, live entertainment, and so much more, there’s a bewildering choice of things to do. At the end of each day, Branson’s goal is to have you and your family saying, ‘WOW, what a fun day!’” she added.

Wood, has been involved with the Branson tourism industry and helping Branson visitors plan for a great Branson experience for over three decades.  She said that, in many cases, as we work with people helping them to plan their customized Branson vacation you can sense the fun they are having just examining the variety of fun filled activities Branson has to offer. It gets even better when they realize that there is generally more than one choice for fun within each major type of activity.

Fishing is a good example of the fun choices available within a type of activity. If you want to fish for Rainbow or Brown Trout, Branson’s Lake Taneycomo is one of the finest cold water trout fisheries in the country. On the other hand, if you want to fish for Large or Small Mouth Bass, Crappie, Catfish, or other warm water species it’s hard to imagine a better place to do that than in Table Rock Lake. Fishing isn’t the only fun Table Rock Lake offers. It’s a virtual aquatic fun paradise with its 43,100 surface acres and 745 miles of shoreline providing a wide variety of fun including fishing, boating, swimming, scuba diving, water sports, and even a sandy beach.

Wood points out that Branson’s great golfing is another example of the choices available. From courses such as Holiday Hills, a more forgiving course; to par three courses like Don Gardner and Top of the Rock; or championship courses such as Branson Hills Golf Club, Thousand Hills, Buffalo Ridge Springs, and Point Royale, there is challenging fun in Branson for every golfer.

Nowhere is the variety of fun choices for an activity more obvious than with its live shows. Sometimes referred to as “The Live Music Show Capital of the World,” on a daily basis Branson’s shows are unmatched by any national tourist destination anywhere near its size and by very few, if any, that are larger, for the number, variety, and quality of the live shows it offers. Whether it’s the magic of Reza Edge of Illusion; Sight and Sound’s spectacular Moses presented on a 300-foot wrap around stage; The Million Dollar Quartet; country music shows as diverse as Clay Cooper’s Country Express, Billy Dean and Jarrett in Concert, and Presleys’ Country Jubilee; or one of its over 90 other shows, Branson’s choice of live show fun is unbeatable.

And the fun doesn’t stop there. From Branson’s world class award winning theme park Silver Dollar City, to the Titanic Museum Attraction, hiking, biking, a myriad of other attractions and activities there is fun at virtually every turn. Shopping fun of all types from the award winning Branson Landing on the shores of Lake Taneycomo to quaint specialty shops in its historic downtown and throughout Branson, abound.

In advertising her Branson Dixie Stampede dinner attraction, Dolly Parton says, “It is the most fun place to eat in Branson.” In terms of having fun, one could paraphrase Dolly and say, “Branson, Missouri is the most fun place to be in America!”


Did you know this about fly fishing in Branson?

River Run Drift Boat

River Run McKenzie style drift boat coming out of early morning fog.

Many fishermen are aware of two of Branson’s Tri Lakes, Table Rock Lake and Bull Shoals Lake because of the great world class bass and crappie fishing they offer. Still others, although not nearly as many, are aware that Lake Taneycomo, flowing 23 miles from Table Rock Dam to Powersite Dam, before forming the headwaters for Bull Shoals Lake, offers great Rainbow and Brown Trout fishing. Still fewer know that, in terms of numbers of trout and accessibility, it is one of the finest trout fisheries in the country and that it offers, year round, great fly fishing.

Although, all 23 miles offer great trout fishing using a variety of methods, it is the area that the locals call the “Trophy Area,” starting with the “tail waters” just below Table Rock Dam and running for three miles downstream to the opening of Fall Creek that is generally considered the prime fly fishing area on the lake. That results from its topography, which, particularly when they are not running water through the dam, is shallow enough and has enough public access to permit excellent wade fishing.

“It’s an awesome Tailwater fishery,” said Carolyn Parker, the co-owner of River Run Outfitters, who operates a full service fly shop and the only Orvis Endorsed Guide Service in Branson. How awesome? In 2006 out of all the Orvis Outfitters in the nation, River Run won the “Orvis Outfitter of the Year” award over many of the excellent “Orvis Outfitters” located throughout the United States and has been a finalist the last four consecutive years. That says a lot about the quality the experience their customers have in their fly shop; while on guide trips, primarily using non-motorized McKenzie style drift boats, and the quality of the fly fishing on Lake Taneycomo.

Being a Tailwater fishery, Lake Taneycomo is dramatically impacted when water is being run through the dam to generate electricity. When they are not generating electricity, the lake, particularly the first two miles offers great wading. When they are generating electricity, usually preceded by the blowing of a horn, the water level and speed of the current increases quickly in proportion to the amount of water they are releasing. This makes it, for all practical purposes, accessible only to boat fishing if they are generating at a rate of much more than 1300 cubic feet (cfs) per second.

From a safety perspective, the best advice, if wade fishing and the horn blows, is to get out of the water as quickly as possible and assess the situation. Calling 417-336-5083 will provide information on the current generation conditions including how many cfs they are running.

The "CQ" Streamer is a great fly to use on Lake Taneycomo Trout.

The “CQ” Streamer is a great fly to use on Lake Taneycomo Trout.

Typically the “hatches” that other trout fisheries are noted for do not play a big part in fly fishing on Lake Taneycomo. On a day to day basis, midges such as the P & P, Copper Dunn, Black Zebra and others in sizes 12 through 20, depending on how much water is being run, fished under an indicator, catch a lot of fish. When using an indicator normally 6x fluorocarbon is sufficient, but on sunny days in shallow water with no wind 7x wouldn’t hurt.

For those who like to strip “streamers,” the size 12 olive CQ or Wolly Bugger would be a good place to start. Both come weighted and un-weighted. My favorite method of fishing is to attach a 7 foot, 1.5 ips, sinking Rio Versi leader with about 5 feet of 5x Trout Hunter tippet to one of those flies and have at it. I use this system because it permits me to both indicator fish and streamer fish with the same rod and line simply by changing the loop to loop leader and adding a few feet of tippet.

The good news is that there are two excellent fly shops on Highway 165 just south of the entry to the hatchery that will be delighted to give you the very latest information on what is working. They are “River Run Outfitters” and “Anglers and Archery Outfitters.”

In terms of places to stay, the fishery is within ten minutes of the vast majority of hotels and resorts in Branson. One of the closest full service resorts is the Welk Resort, located just across the street from the Pointe Royale Golf Course, which has an indoor water park and a complete slate of activities that the non-fishing members of the family can enjoy.

“And there’s one other thing that fly fishing in Branson offers, that virtually no other trout fishery in the nation can offer,” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center; “the shows, attractions, shopping and other fun filled exciting things that Branson is noted for, all within a ten minute drive of one of the best fly fishing experiences in America.”

Clay Cooper delights passengers on first 2013 Branson Cruise With The Stars

Clay Cooper "at the helm" of the Landing Princess .

BRANSON, MO, July 27, 2013 — “Just look at the way he relates to the passengers and the great time they are having with him,” said Annette Wood, Director of Group Sales for the Branson Tourism Center, one of the facilitators for Branson Tourism Center’s exclusive “Cruise With The Stars” event. She was referring to Branson star Clay Cooper, of the Clay Cooper’s Country Music Express show, as he interacted and shared with them on an individual basis during the Clay Cooper Cruise With The Stars event on July 26.

All of the passengers were part of an event combining two elements, seeing the Clay Cooper Country Music Express show and an exclusive VIP luncheon cruise with Cooper aboard Main Street Cruise Lines‘ 100 foot luxury yacht, Landing Princess. The VIP luncheon cruise with Cooper was available only as part of the Cruise With The Stars entertainment experience offered exclusively to Branson Tourism Center customers because of the special relationship it has with Clay Cooper’s County Music Express and Main Street Lake Cruises.

As each passenger boarded the Landing Princess they were greeted by Cooper who posed for pictures with them. After the cruise got underway, everyone had a chance to see Branson Landings spectacular “$7.5 million “Fountain Show” featuring the merging of music, fire, water, and light into an amazing and dazzling display of water fountains shooting 120-foot geysers and flame bursting from fire cannons all choreographed to light and music. They enjoyed a wonderful lunch as they cruised beautiful Lake Taneycomo. Fortunately, even though it was raining, the fog had lifted except for lingering wafts which added an additional element of surreal beauty to the scenery as the boat glided by.

As they ate and cruised Clay personally visited with each group and table. It was an honor watching him interact with the guests aboard the boat. When one sees his show they cannot help but be impressed with how he almost instantly established a rapport and relationship with his audience. It’s not something that is learned. One either has it or not and he has the gift. From the looks on the passengers faces and their comments it was obvious that the passengers felt that they had a special experience and one they would not soon forget.

Many asked for the schedule of future cruises because they wanted to plan to participate. Subject to change, the following Branson stars will be participating in Cruise With The Stars on the dates indicated:

Mickey Gilley – September 19th, 2013

The Haygoods – October 4th, 2013

Yakov Smirnoff – October 14th, 2013

Tony Orlando – November 7th, 2013

Legends in Concert – December 5th, 2013

As was the case with the Clay Cooper Cruise With The Stars, along with a unique view of beautiful Lake Taneycomo, Branson Landing and spectacular Ozark vistas each VIP cruise will include lunch and an unparalleled chance to interact with the star(s) on the cruise. This includes opportunities for photos, autographs and a unique up close and personal experience that is available only to those who have taken advantage of the exclusive offer and purchased Cruise With The Stars tickets.

Branson Tourism Center’s Wood advises that there are only a limited number of seats for each Cruise With The Stars and recommends making advance reservation as soon as possible. For tickets or information on the exclusive Cruise With The Stars event please contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-875-1550.

CPAA/Bass Pro Fall Big Bass Blast provides opportunity for amateurs to win big money

Central Pro Am Fall Big Bass Blast

BRANSON, MO, July 23, 2013 – “With a guaranteed prize of $10,000 for the biggest fish, weigh-ins and prizes every two hours and no professionals or guides permitted, the Central Pro-Am Association’s Fall Big Bass Blast (Blast), presented by Bass Pro Shops and the Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce & CVB, is an excellent opportunity for amateurs to fish for a day, have fun and win a lot of money,” said Mike Webb the owner of the Central Pro-Am Association. The Blast will be held on Nov. 2, from 7 AM to 3 PM at Bass Pro Shops Long Creek Marina, 378 Long Creek Road, Ridgedale, MO on Table Rock Lake.

He further explained that the Blast is designed for non-professional fisherman and, unlike normal tournaments where there is one weigh-in and it is the total weight of all the fish that wins, in the Blast, there are four independent weigh-ins with only one Bass from each fisherman eligible to be weighed in at each. There will be cash prizes paid for the largest bass at each individual weigh-in.

Although the amounts for each will vary, depending on the number of registrations, with 300 registered participants, EACH independent Weigh-In Payouts would be 1st: $3,000 2nd: $2,000 3rd: $1,000 and progressively less from 4th to 10th place. The independent Weigh-Ins will take place every two hours at 9 AM, 11 AM, 1 PM and 3 PM. In addition to the cash prizes for the individual “Weigh-In Payouts” there will be “Big Bass Payout”, for the three biggest fish of the day of 1st: $10,000 2nd: $5,000 and 3rd: $3,000.

Webb points out that although the amounts shown as payouts above for each of the four Weigh-In Payouts and 2nd and 3rd in the Big Bass Payouts are based on 300 registrations for the Blast. If there are more or less the prizes would be adjusted up or down accordingly. The $10,000 1st for the Big Bass of the tournament is the guaranteed minimum regardless of whether or not there are less than 300 registrants.

Another unique feature of this event is the way the tournament starts. There will be no day of tournament registrations or massive “take off” from one spot. All participants must pre-register and participants can be anywhere they want to be on Table Rock Lake ready to fish when they get the text message at 7 AM that the tournament has started.

To facilitate this type of start all participants must Check-In at the Springfield Bass Pro Shops, 1935 S. Campbell Avenue, Springfield, MO between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM on Nov. 1. Registration is $150.00 per participant and may either be done on line or at the Check-In. All participants “must be enrolled in the Bass Pro Shops®Outdoor Rewards® Program which is free and may either be done on line at or on site during the event Check-In. You may also enroll on-site during event Check-In and either way, all Blast participants received double rewards points on all purchases made at the Springfield Bass Pro Shops

There will be additional on-site activities on Nov. 2 in addition to the Weigh-Ins at the Bass Pro Shops Long Creek Marina. These include free NITRO® Boat Demo Rides, free Food and Beverages and NITRO®, Mercury®, and NASCAR® displays.

Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center, one of the sponsors of the Central Pro-Am Association reminds those attending and participating in the Blast that Nov. 2 is during the first week of Ozark Mountain Christmas and signals the beginning of one of busiest periods of the entire Branson season. She recommends making advance arrangements not only for lodging, but for shows. For information or tickets for any of Branson’s shows and attractions or for lodging arrangements please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website

Western style drift boats provide unique Lake Taneycomo Branson fly fishing experience

Looking upstream on Lake Taneycomo to Table Rock Lake Dam from boat launching ramp.

BRANSON, MO, May 21, 2013 – The words of Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center came to mind last week as I stood on the banks of Lake Taneycomo within sight of Table Rock Dam. She had said, “Branson’s shows, attractions, shopping, lakes and other activities provide a broad choice of things for its visitors to do, but what’s really great is the different specific options visitors have within those general choices.”

Take fishing for example, Branson’s two warm water lakes Table Rock and Bull Shoals Lakes are world class bass fisheries and the cold waters of Lake Taneycomo offer some of the finest Brown and Rainbow Trout fishing anywhere. Within the general category of trout fishing, Lake Taneycomo offers a variety of ways to fish from fishing off one of the fishing docks in downtown Branson, wading at Table Rock Dam or fishing from a boat to guided trout fishing trips of every kind.

I was brought out of my reverie as Carolyn Parker, who, in my opinion is one of the best fly fishers around, male or female, and the co-owner of River Run Outfitters with her husband Stan, who is no mean shake of a fly fisher himself, walked up. She had been kind enough to offer to take me fishing as she went out on her day off to continue the eternal quest of exploring for new “layups.” No, not the basketball shot, but a place where their guides can position their boats, either with oars or an anchor so that their clients can fly fish efficiently.

And that brings us to one of the most unique fishing opportunities available in Branson and one of the most peaceful and serene ways to view the beauty of upper Lake Taneycomo. It’s hard to imagine a better way to do that than by taking a guided River Run Outfitters fly fishing trip in one of their McKenzie western style drift boats that have no motors and are powered by, as Parker says, “‘people power’ rowing them.”

That’s right, shades of the trout fisheries of Montana and Wyoming, visitors to Branson can actually enjoy a “western style” drift trip within ten minutes of the shows, shopping, attractions and everything else Branson has to offer. And it’s the “real deal, River Run Outfitters has been an Orvis Endorsed Outfitter since 2000, won the prestigious “Orvis Outfitter of the Year award for 2006 and has been finalists for a number of years including the last three years.

River Run OUtfitters' Carolyn Parker ready for another fly fishing trip on Lake Taneycomo.

Some might ask, “They won over some of the big outfitters from out west?” Absolutely, the combination of the beauty of Lake Taneycomo, the service provided by River Run Outfitters and the quality of the fishery are simply amazing. Parker is a member of the International Women Fly Fishers (IWFF), has completed the “Fly Casting Instructors Course” given by Joan Wulff and, when she’s not managing River Run Outfitters full service Orvis fly shop or guiding clients, is probably fly fishing Lake Taneycomo.

She has had the opportunity to fly fish around the country in fisheries such as Montana, Wyoming, Alaska, Idaho, Utah and others. When asked how she would rate Lake Taneycomo as a trout fishery she said that both in terms of the quantity of fish caught and the total fly fishing experience, it is one of the best fisheries she has every fished particularly so in the “Trophy” or “Special Regulations of the lake in the upper three miles of the Lake starting at Table Rock Dam.

She did point out however, that if they are running water through Table Rock Dam for the generation of power, that wade fly fishing near the dam becomes increasingly more difficult, in terms of the space available to fish, water depth and the speed of the current as they increase the amount of generation and becomes just about impossible if they are generating more than 3,000 cfs. “Our drift boats are specifically designed for those conditions and provide fly fishers a way to have a great fly fishing experience regardless of whether or not power is being generated and in the vast majority of cases catch trout.”

They were generating about 6,000 cfs when Parker launched the boat and rowed us to our first layup which was actually upstream a bit from where we launched. Because of the unique style of the boat and its limited draft, the guides have extreme flexibility and can maneuver the boats, drop their anchor and position them on a current break, the edge of an eddy or just about anywhere else they want to position the boat and can even row against the current for short distances.

During our five hour trip we caught and released over 30 Rainbow Trout with the largest being 16 inches, had about 12 “rodeo fish,” on for less than 8 seconds, and missed easily twice that many, but that’s what makes it fishing. Our primary setup was a tandem rig consisting of a size 12 Big Ruby and a size 16 Red Ribbed Midge tied about 12 inches below the Big Ruby and fished under an indicator. We also got to do some stripping with intermediate sink tip line using the CQ Streamer. What a great time fishing, just being outdoors and spending time with and getting to watch one of the best fly fishers on Lake Taneycomo do her magic.

Another neat thing about a fly fishing trip on Lake Taneycomo with River Run Outfitters it that you can have a great time whether you are an expert fly fisherman or have never fly fished before. Their guides will tailor the trip to fit your level of expertise or desires and everything, except the fishing license and trout permit, is furnished including top of the line Orvis fly fishing equipment.

River Run Outfitters is open from 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM daily and is located at 2626 Missouri 165, Branson, MO, just north of the Shepherd of the Hill Trout Hatchery. For further information please call 417-332-0460 or visit their website

Lake Taneycomo’s Paddlewheel Pub afloat with simple fun and yesterday foods

Main Street Marina's Paddle Wheel Pub

BRANSON, MO, March 18, 2013 — Opening to the public today, “The Paddle Wheel Pub” floating on Lake Taneycomo at Main Street Marina on the Branson Landing Boardwalk offers Branson visitors and locals alike a unique entertainment and dining experience. Larry Milton, co owner of Main Street Marina and Main Street Lake Cruises with his wife Lianne said, “The opening of the ‘Paddlewheel Pub’ is another step in making the Main Street Marina an exciting ‘one stop’ activity destination from which everyone can see, experience and enjoy one of Branson’s most precious aquatic gems, ‘Lake Taneycomo.'”

The Paddlewheel Pub is located right on the waters of Lake Taneycomo. Whether sitting inside and looking out through its large glass windows or sitting on the spacious patio decks Pub visitors have one of the best seats “in the house” for watching people walk along the Branson Landing Board Walk, seeing the lake activity on Lake Taneycomo such as the passage of the majestic boats of Main Street Cruise Lines as they depart for their voyages and one of the most unique vantage points available to see the Branson Landing Fountains, including its spectacular $7.5 million synchronized fire, water, light and music show.

In keeping with the overall riverboat, history and nostalgia theme of the Main Street Marina and Main Street Lake Cruises, the Paddlewheel Pub has a riverboat theme and is “Simple Fun and Yesterday Foods.” It features “Nathan’s Famous” hotdogs and Paddlewheel Pub specialty items, along with drinks ranging from milkshakes and soft drinks to a full bar service.

In addition to a variety of Nathan’s Famous hotdogs ranging from their “World Famous” original hotdog to “Chicago Dogs” the Pub features a complete menu of “Nathan’s Famous” items ranging from Chicken and Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches Pretzel Dogs, Corn Dogs lemonade and orangeade and much more. Paddlewheel Pub specialty items, listed in the same menu, but separately from, the Nathan’s Famous items includes a variety of simple fun foods. It offers sandwiches such as Fried Balogna, Gourmet Grilled Cheese and Peanut Butter and Jelly among others, Paddlewheel Mac-n-Cheese, Strawberry Bleu  Cheese Salad, Old Fashioned Tomato Soup, Fried Pickles, Paddle Wheel Wings and much more.

In addition to the Nathan’s Lemon and Orange Ade, the pub offers full fountain service featuring Coke products. In keeping with its “simple fun and yesterdays foods theme” the Pub also serves some drinks not commonly found in pubs such as milk shakes and root beer floats and, although not, a “drink” Snow Cones and Popsicles.

The Paddlewheel Pub also offers a complete bar service. This includes a complete selection of popular beers including some local specialty beers from Mother’s Brewery and White River Brewery and “Moonshine,” “Whiskey” and “Rum” from the locally operated “Copper Run Distillery” along with  a wide selection of “frozen” and other beverages.

Whether it’s a family just looking for a quick lunch or a milkshake and a soda while comfortably sitting on the patio experiencing the peace and beauty of Lake Taneycomo, someone looking for a quick snack or a group just wanting to sip a drink as dusk settles over the lake and watch the Branson Landing Fountain show, the Paddlewheel Pub provides the ideal place to do it. For more information on the Paddle Wheel Pub please call 1-417-239-3980.

Ozark Mountain Christmas spirit grows post Thanksgiving

Santa poised to surprise needy eating free Thanksgiving Breakfast in Clockers Cafe.

BRANSON, Mo., November 22, 2012 — The celebration of Ozark Mountain Christmas in Branson runs from November 1 to December 31, but to many, the millions of sparkling Christmas lights just seem to glow a little brighter and the spirit of Christmas seems to grow almost exponentially each day between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The result, although not definable in pure objective terms, is that America’s largest celebration of the traditional Christmas, Ozark Mountain Christmas, with its shows, drive through lighting displays, Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas and all the special activities associated with it becomes even more unique and special.

From a child’s perspective, it could be because the chances to see Santa Claus increase drastically. Why just this morning as this writer was walking through Historic Downtown Branson he talked with Santa in front of Clockers Café as he was poised to surprise some of the anticipated 600 people receiving a free Thanksgiving breakfast courtesy of Clockers owners Allen and Karen Theane and the many volunteers who served it. Santa pointed out that he is going to be pretty busy between now and Christmas and looks forward to greeting Branson’s boys and girls at area stores, Branson Landing by the big Christmas Tree, Bass Pro-Shops Winter Wonderland and other special events.

Starting this weekend, Branson’s Titanic Museum Attraction will be sharing the magic and beauty of its “Fantasy Princess” as she brings “new Holiday Magic to Branson” every Wednesday through Sunday until December 30. Her appearance is part of the annual ‘Titanic Christmas Winter Wonderland” featuring Edwardian-style decorations, thousands of holiday lights, one of the most unique gift shops in Branson with many one-of-a-kind items and “costumed merry-makers” that passengers on the ship will meet and interact with while on their “voyage.”

Every year, one can feel the Christmas spirit fill the air as the first Sunday in December approaches, December 2 this year, and an event that has been part of Branson’s heritage for 64 years, The Adoration Parade and Nativity scene lighting takes place in Historic downtown Branson. The parade has dozens of bands, floats and walking units participating in the parade, which is one of the few nighttime Christmas parades in the country and is unique because its sole purpose is to celebrate the very reason there is a Christmas by “Keeping Christ in Christmas.” This year the Adoration Parade will be preceded by a “Centennial Adoration Service” at 10:00 AM in the Branson Convention Center as the last event in Branson’s celebration of its Centennial.

Whatever the reason, the spirit of the traditional American Christmas that is an inherent part of Ozark Mountain Christmas just seems to grow and become more prevalent with each passing day. Perhaps, in the final analysis that’s the answer, as each day brings us closer to the real reason for the season and the spirit involved with the wonderful gift celebrated on Christmas Day; it’s only normal that the true spirit of Christmas would fill our hearts.

Webb wins Central Pro-Am Angler of the Year

Mike Webb with a 7.30 pound bass he caught in the CPAA March Tournament on his way to winning Angler of the Year.

BRANSON, Mo., October 23, 2012 — “A big congratulations to Mike Webb on winning the coveted title of “Central Pro-Am Association Angler of the Year,” said Tiffany Isnard, the Director of Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center, one of the major sponsors of the Central Pro-Am Association (CPAA). After a series of tournaments, spanning a period of approximately ten months, all fished on Branson’s Table Rock Lake, Webb, with a final score of 1262.58, nosed out fellow fisherman Brad Butler, with a final score of 1250.73, for First place by just 11.85 points. Bob Neff was Third, with 1233.34 points, Pete Wenners Fourth, with 1196.80 points and Jeff Durr Fifth, with 1182.85 points.

The quest for the CPAA Angler of the Year Award started on Dec. 3, 2011 and ended seven tournaments later on Sep. 15. The “points” earned by each fisherman are more than merely the total pounds of fish caught. They are a combination of points awarded for each tournament in the series, with points being awarded for participation, number of fish caught, total weight and placement in the tournament. To win the title, a fisherman must consistently produce at a high level throughout, the seven tournament series.

Going into the last tournament of the competition Webb and Butler were “neck in neck.” Although both Webb and Butler caught four bass, Webb’s 13.29 pound total weight, including the tournaments biggest bass, weighing 6.95 pounds” and First Place tournament finish; coupled with Butlers 11.06 pounds total weight and Sixth place tournament finish, earned Webb the coveted title of “Angler of the Year.” After earning the title Webb said, “This has been a goal of mine since I started fishing Central Pro Am 20 years ago. I’m ecstatic about winning my second event and the Angler of the Year title.”

Branson Tourism Center’s Isnard points out that Webb also runs a program called K.A. S. T. (Kids Are Special Too.) K.A.S.T. was founded in 1996 to educate kids about the hazards of drug use and provide an alternative to that use. Since that time Webb has traveled to countless school assemblies and other gathering of kids giving a “kid oriented” antidrug presentation and sharing fishing and the outdoors as an alternative to drugs.

As if that’s not enough, Webb is a professional fishing guide operating Webb’s Guide Service and has become the new owner of CPAA. He will take over the operation of CPAA with the start of its 2013 season. The first tournament of the 2013 season will be the two day Pro-Am Tournament, “The Bass Pro Fall Spectacular,” on Table Rock Lake out of the Ahoy’s ramp. Entries will be taken for the 2013 Bass Pro Shops Fall Spectacular and the rest of the 2013 CPAA season both on-line at or via phone at 417-485-5644.

Central Pro-Am Associations Pro Champion to win $40,000 Ranger-Mercury Package

The CPAA Pro Champion will win a $40K Ranger, Mercury Motor and Trailer Package.

BRANSON, Mo (April 7, 2012)  “Even at this point, it’s the best opportunity most fishermen are going have to win a Ranger Bass Boat,”  said Jim Thompson, the owner of the Central Pro-Am Association (CPAA). Thompson was referring to the fact that the winner of the CPAA’s Pro Division, at the end of its seven tournament series will, in addition to the prize money won for each tournament and being the CPAA Champion, also wins a 19 foot Ranger Bass Boat, 200 horse power Mercury Engine and trailer package valued at over $40,000.00.”

To be eligible to win the Ranger, the fisherman must be a member of the CPAA and have fished five out the seven of the 2012 CPAA Pro-Am Tournaments, all of which are being held on Table Rock Lake. Thompson said, “Although two of the seven tournaments have already been held, fisherman who fish all of the remaining five CPAA Pro-Am Tournaments, the first of which will be held next Saturday, April 21 out of Mill Creek on Table Rock Lake, are eligible to win the boat. The other four tournaments will be held on May 5, June 9, June 30 and September 15.

Thompson mentions that out that the total Championship scores for the 50 fishermen who fished the first two events range from a low of 25 to the high of 376.09. When asked if someone who started fishing next week could win the tournament Thompson chuckled and said, “Absolutely, this is after all bass fishing and anything can happen.” He clarified by explaining how the scoring system works.

There are three types of points, “Show Up,” “Weight” and “Placement.” Every fisherman in the tournament gets 25 Show Up Points just for showing up and fishing. The second element of the score is Weight Points, the total weight of the fish each weighs in. Placement Points are awarded based on the placement of the fisherman in the tournament with 150 points for First Place and a one point reduction for each place under that, i.e. 2nd Place 149, 3rd 148 etc. Fishermen must weigh in at least one qualifying fish to get any Placement Points.

Thompson points out that it’s every bit a possibility that a fisherman starting next weekend could win the Championship and the Ranger Mercury Boat Package. If the new fisherman caught 15.50 pounds and placed 15th in the tournament their score would be 25 Show Up Points, 15.50 Weight Points, and 135 Placement Points for a total of 175.50 Championship Points “With five tournaments to go and fishing being the sport that it is, although obviously the person with a 376.09 point lead at this point has an advantage, anything can, and probably will, happen.

The Championship and competition for the boat package is in addition to, based on 60 boats per tournament, up to $2,000 in the prize money that can be won at each of the five tournaments. The winner of each of the individual CPAA Tournaments in the series is based strictly on the total weight of the qualifying fish caught and weighed in. The total weight for each tournament is included in the Weight Points awarded towards the Championship and the Placement within each tournament based on that weight determines the number of Placement Points awarded.

Anyone wanting to enter next week’s tournament or more information on the CPAA can do so in person at the CPAA Office, located in the at 220 Branson Hills Parkway, Ste B, on the east end of the same building that Branson 1st Stop and the Branson Tourism Center are located in or by calling 417-335-5075.

Silver Dollar City’s “An Old Time Christmas” features “A Dickens’ Christmas Carol”

Scrooge and the "Ghost of Christmas Present" looking in on Cratchit's celebration of Christmas.

When one is planning a day at Silver Dollar City, they are not normally thinking of “shows,” they are generally thinking about rides, craft demonstrations and all of the fun activities that it offers on a daily basis. Here’s something that a lot of people don’t fully appreciate however, Silver Dollar City puts on some of the most unique, entertaining and best produced shows in Branson during the many world class Festivals it runs each year including, but not limited to shows as different and exciting as “The Fabulous Wallendas! Famous Family Circus,” during “KidsFest,”’ “Headin’ West” during the National Harvest Festival and, of course, “A Dickens’ Christmas Carol” as part of its “An Old Time Christmas” running through December 30.

After seeing “A Dickens’ Christmas Carol,” Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center said, “What a wonderful fantastic show. It is another example of the quality and breadth of the live shows that Branson offers its guests.”

Created specifically for Silver Dollar City, the 60 minute musical adaptation of the Dickens classic novel is not just a remarkable entertainment event, but a unique and special Christmas experience not available anywhere else. The “Christmas Carol” features an extremely talented cast, “a live band, astounding special effects, stunning Victorian scenery and exquisite period costuming.” That, combined with the spirit, energy and talent of the cast, brings the story of the skinflint Scrooge and his journey of change from “Humbug” to the true Christmas spirit to life in a dramtic, exciting and inspirational manner

“A Dickens’ Christmas Carol” is playing at the Opera House Theatre in Silver Dollar City and is included as part of your Silver Dollar City experience during its celebration of “An Old Time Christmas” through December 30. Although there are multiple performances scheduled each day, Branson Tourism Center’s Johnson suggests, because of the show’s popularity, other festival shows such as the “Living Nativity” and “Frosty” along with  everything else there is to do at Silver Dollar City, that those planning to see any of Silver Dollars City’s shows should plan accordingly. She also points out that those buying their Silver Dollar City tickets through Branson Tourism Center (BTC), one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services, get two full days at Silver Dollar City for the price of one.

For additional information or tickets for Silver Dollar City or any of Branson’s other shows and attractions or for lodging arrangements please contact BTC by either calling their toll free number 1-800-785-1550 or through their website