The Prespawn
Once Mother Nature releases her grip on the metabolic rate right of the bass on Table Rock Lake the fishing will steadily increase through the days leading to the spawn. There is no specific time period or water temperature at which the pre-spawning activities or phase occur, rather it happens over a range of times typically from March through July on Table Rock Lake. It also happens over a range of water temperatures, I've seen fish spawning or thinking really hard about it in temperatures from as cold as 50 degrees to temperatures in the upper 70 degrees.
Winters cold water has slowed the metabolism of the fish down to a snail's pace, when the fish does feed in cold water it does not digest the food quickly and therefore there's no need for them to feed very often, under winter cold water and weather period.
Luckily for us anglers this slowly changes during the late winter or early spring. As the days get longer more sunlight will penetrate the water and slowly increase the water temperature and therefore kick-starting the fish's metabolism. Thus giving them the need to feed more often, you pair this with the upcoming spawning phase and this is the funniest time of the year for bass fish. The fish will need to eat in excess to build up reserves for the spawning phase when they do not regularly feed and also expend large amounts of energy protecting their nests. This is also the time of year when people have been cooped up there in their homes all year and are looking to get out and do something the outdoors, birds are returning, trees are budding and the early flowers are starting to bloom.
The key to catching fish at this time of year is following the fish migrations or paths from the deeper main lake areas or the deeper sections of the main creeks up and into the shallower flatter areas where they will eventually spawn. The different species of bass such as largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted or also called Kentucky bass have tendencies to spawn in different areas of the lake and on different structure types. That's not to say that I haven't seen all three of the fish spawning in close proximity to each other, that is how you come up with the different hybrids like the mean mouth bass, which is a cross between a Kentucky bass in smallmouth bass. The pre-spawn. Is all about finding and understanding the types of structures that will hold these pre-spawn fish as they migrate or move to spawn. These important staging areas are where the fish will move up from when the conditions are good or favorable and also retreat back to when a cold front comes or when the conditions are not favorable for the fish to go ahead and spawn. These are also the first place is a lot of the fish will come back to after the spawn. Finding these staging areas is vital, the key area that has fished both coming up and fish coming back after the spawn. There are two ways to find these areas and target them, one way is to look at where you feel like a particular species of bass is going to spawn like shallow flat shoals, pockets on the backs of creeks that have gravel. You can start in those areas and move your way out towards the deeper man-like or main Creek areas. Or another way is to start on your bluffs or main rivers and work your way in towards the shower or more flatter areas. What you're looking for are sharper breaks or drops adjacent to the shower and more flatter areas. Typically more fish are going to spawn on the north banks, pockets, coves, and flats that are protected than on the southern facing ones due to the increase in light penetration and just the natural tendency for these areas to be the warmest. These areas are also the most protected from fronts and the cold north winds that can stop or slow down the spawning process. The largemouth bass will spawn the shower more than any of the other species of bass on Table Rock Lake they will be the ones that are way back in the shallow pockets and also back up under the corners of docs or any type of cover boulders stumps brush etc. The brakes you're looking for for the largemouth bass will be shallower than the brakes you're looking for say the smallmouth bass or the spotted bass. Smallmouth bass typically are spawning on the gravel points and secondary points that are adjacent to the deeper waters on Table Rock Lake.  I've also seen smallmouth bass spawning from 2 feet deep to 25 feet deep. I feel like they have a much larger depth range that they will spawn and a lot of its due to the clarity in the water also. The Kentucky bass for the spotted bass are going to be the ones that spawn closest to your deep water, spotted bass live in deep water most of their lives I've seen spotted bass spawning on bluffs and shallows close to some sort of the ledge or drop off that has deep water adjacent to it. So as you see depending on the different species of bass you're targeting you're going to want to look for the brakes or drops in different depths or sections of the lake depending on the bass that you're targeting. (and I have seen several exceptions to the rules) The largemouth bass grows the biggest out of any of the three species in Table Rock Lake, and if you're a tournament fisherman in the pre-spawn. You want the key in and target then, you definitely have to have some largemouth bass in your bag they are what win the tournaments on Table Rock Lake. The smallmouth bass is in my opinion the funniest bass to catch and they pull like a freight train! The spotted bass is the ones to target when you need to put some fish in the boat, they're more apt to bite when conditions are tougher but sometimes harder to find a keeper-size bass than the largemouth or the smallmouth bass. Just as the rut phase in deer hunting, the time when the deer throw caution to the wind, the pre-spawn and spawn is a time when the bass on Table Rock Lake start to throw caution to the wind and set up or move shower making these fish much more accessible to the average angler and allowing them to put many more fish in the boat this is the time of year when 90 percent of the people you ask agree on their favorite time to fish, and it's just around the corner.
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