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TOPIC: Bull Shoals Lake Fishing report Saturday, August 9

Bull Shoals Lake Fishing report Saturday, August 9 6 years 2 months ago #1

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Hi Guys,

I've had a couple of people lately ask me how the fishing has been on Bull Shoals lake and I thought I'd relay a report of Saturday mornings fishing:

I started out around 6:00am and paddled out in pretty foggy conditions. The water temperature was 84 degrees (a little cooler than expected) and the conditions were calm. I did well throwing a zara spook to main lake points and bluff banks until the sun burned off the fog. When that happened the fish slipped back into deeper water and I could see them (with the fish finder) hanging around the thermocline which was about 25 feet deep.

I fished a drop shot rig around that depth as long as I could stand it (I'm not a fan of the technique) and finally decided to troll crankbaits behind the kayak and cover some water. I trolled one crankbait down to about 14' and the second was getting down to around 20'. I didn't do anything at all with the crankbaits, and reasoned that I was focusing on the areas where the fish were concentrated. Looking back I would have stayed on the vertical bluff banks off the main river channel -- those spots hold fish all year especially in the summer and winter months.

If you are going to Bull Shoals lake, Norfork Lake, and/or Table Rock lake between now and late September I suggest you abandon all but the largest creeks and spend your time fishing in the main lake. In low light conditions, or when it is particularly windy you'll find that the fish will be shallower in the water column -- although they will be close to deep water. For example in Bull Shoals the kayak is often sitting atop of 70-80' of water and I'm fishing a top water plug along steep banks. As the sun pops out the fish sink down to a more comfortable depth but usually remain on these vertical structures. If you stay and fish for these fish (usually I quit when this happens) you'll probably need to focus on vertical presentations like drop shotting to keep the lure in the strike zone. Since I live only a short drive from the lake I usually knock off by this time.

By early October the fish move via structure along the river channel to the larger creeks -- and by mid-October make their way 1/2 back into the creeks. This is a great time to troll crankbaits along the steep banks and for fishing jigs along cover, etc. Some fish push all the back in the creeks but most of them will stay in the 1/2 of the creek that is still proximal to some deep water.

Sorry to be long winded. But here is some info that might be helpful to guys coming to fish the lakes around here.
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Re:Bull Shoals Lake Fishing report Saturday, August 9 6 years 2 months ago #2

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Very nice! Wish I was going back down there this year so I could fish that area!
Tight Lines and Smooth Paddling!

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