Bull Shoals Lake Fishing Report

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John has Won 3 Central Pro Am bass tournaments on Bull Shoals Lake and Bull Shoals Lake and it is one of his favorite lakes! Bull Shoals offers some of the finest and most diverse fishing of the 3 Branson area lakes. In addition they are releasing 18,000 striped bass per year into Bull shoals lake starting in 2013! This will open up a whole new option for us fishing in Branson Missouri. I will be taking Guided striper fishing trips for striper's just as soon as they reach a size that is worthy of the fish!

The early spring fishing on Bull Shoals is starting to kick off with most of the fish still mostly shallow, lots of fish in the pockets and creeks and at the mouths of creeks and pockets.
Jerk baits, crank baits and jigs have been the best baits with a slow retrieve.

April 8
This has been the longest coldest spring that I can remember and I soon hope to forget it!
the bass fishing and all fishing in general is way behind schedule, soon as it starts to warm the cold nights return keeping things from happening.
We are having some decent days fishing on Bull Shoals but overall it is slow, one fish here 3 fish there. However wee have had some good days when we put the trolling motor down and jig fish the channel banks. The key has been to focus on the banks that have mixed rock and are about a 45 degree slope. The ones that have more stained water have been the best by far too.
We are starting to catch some nice white bass too and it will open up soon as the water warms a bit, we are catching some fat girls full of eggs!
We also have been catching some walleye, we have actually caught walleye on every trip I have taken on Bull Shoals this year with the exception to the one trip I took where the people wanted to target walleye! GO FIGURE!! The walleye we have been catching have been pretty shallow in 3 to 5 foot of water and mostly been coming on jerk baits and crank baits.
some crappie are starting to move into the creeks and can be caught on a minnow and float rig on the steeper chanel banks or out of the deeper brush piles.
The end of this week we are suppose to get some warmer weather and I predict things will turn on!

March 16
If you want to bass fish on a guided trip for your spring break vacation in Branson Mo than Bull Shoals lake is the best lake to fish right now. there can be some good catches of bass, white bass and the occasional walleye mixed in the bag, actually we have not had a fishing trip on Bull shoals this spring where we have not caught at least a walleye, But personally I would rather eat white bass that art cleaned right than walleye. What I mean by cleaned right is taking all the red meat or fat out or off the fillet. The white bass are excellent table fare and probably my favorite fish to eat that swims in the Branson area lakes.The bass can be caught on a Alabama rigs, jerk baits, jig and various crank baits on Bull Shoals right now. The upper end of the lake is a bit warmer (upper 40’s) than Table Rock Lake right now and seems to have more active fish than the Rock.Most the fish are still on the main river and have not moved back into the creaks yet, but there are definitely some in the creeks and soon to be many more.Look for bluff ends and channel swings with wood on the main lake and parallel the banks. also on the pockets close to these areas has also been producing well.The walleye are up on the flatter gravel and secondary points and bite lots better early and late in the day or when the wind is blowing pretty good. Crank baits, swim baits and the jerk bait have been  been the best lures.The whites are starting to slowly run up the larger creeks on Bull Shoals and can be caught on swimming minnows, crank baits and smaller jerk baits. The fishing for the whites is getting better every day and soon will be full out! I cleaned some big females the other day and the eggs had turned to mush in a few of them, not sure why, might be cause they normally would have been spawning by now?For a guaranteed fishing guide trip just give me a call and I can put you around the big ones!

Feb 25
The bass fishing on Bull Shoals lake by Branson Mo is kicking off as usual. To get to upper end of Bull Shoals Lake from Branson is a short 15 minute drive. Lake Taneycomothat runs through the heart of Branson MO dumps into Bull Shoals a few miles from the Branson Landing.
The upper ends or the main rivers of lakes is usually the first parts or areas of a  lake for the fishing to turn on in the spring. This is due to several factors such as the spring rain runoff, being shallower water. This more stained water caused by the sediment brought in  from the spring runoffs warms quicker than the deeper clear lower sections of a lake.This shallow stained water absorbs the sunlight where the clear water does not. Also in the upper sections or larger creeks of a lake there is usually some current which helps mix this warmer well oxygenated water throughout the water column. Bull Shoals Lake has more species of fish in greater numbers than any of the three Branson area lakes making it a favorite for anglers and fishing guides like myself to target in the spring. With the addition of good walleye fishing and more strippers on Bull Shoals it is a exciting and diverse lake to fish.
The best areas to fish are the mouths of the pockets and creeks where the ditch joins the or creek joins the main white river channel. The upper end of Bull Shoals Lake has extensive flats and the channel to the creeks or pockets is never where it looks like it will be. Your best bet is to find these ditches with a side finding or to idle over these areas till you figure just where they are. After you mark it is usually best to come back and fish when the area is not disturbed.
Look for the steepest drops adjacent to these ditches and focus your efforts there in late winter but as the water warms or the river rises the fish will move to the flatter areas and eventually to backs and up on the flats.The best baits for early fishing like this is the jerk bait and the Alabama rig.


February

Check back for a fishing report on Bull Shoals Lake I have some guide trip scheduled for there in Feb , have only been doing Trout fishing trips on Taneycomo Lake. It is exciting for me to be living in Branson Mo surrounded by 3 of the hottest lakes in the country especially with the spring feed just around the corner!Bull Shoals is the first of the 3 lakes that are close to Branson to turn on for Bass fishing in the spring. Actually the James river and the Kings river on Table Rock Turn on early too but they are too far for me to enjoy fishing. Plus the added bonus of walleye and striped bass make it the perfect storm for early spring fishing “guess we are still in late winter though”


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