Bull Shoals Lake Fishing Report – February 1, 2017

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 650.29 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659.00 msl).
(updated 1-25-2017) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said before last weekend that it was hot out and the fish didn’t know what to do. Water temperature on the main lake has been 49-50 degrees, while it gets a little cooler back in creeks. Del didn’t get a lot of time out lately because they did the Springfield (Mo.) boat show. As far as the bite goes, he’s still catching them on a Wiggle Wart or Rock Crawler. The water is real clear. You could see the drop-shot bait 17 feet down last week. He’s been catching some using a flat-sided crankbaits. The wind’s been piling up in the back of the draws. Work the banks, the 45-degree banks and look for wind. You’ve gotta have the wind. If you don’t have it at one stop, just go to the next stop. Those fish are shallow, catching them in 7 feet off the shore, while keeping the boat parallel to the bank. Catching a few on a jig. If there is any wood or brush piles around the boat docks or close to deep water, drag a jig through there. Those fish are 10-25 feet throughout the day. Been catching a few fish on the spoon. Went and checked on the deep fish, and those fish are toward the back or in the middle of the creek. Today they weren’t all the way back but halfway back, they were close to the main channel, at 40-50 feet. There is just a little bit of shad here and there but kind of spread out, no solid pattern like is normal for this time of year. Keep moving and keep fishing.

Bull Shoals Lake Fishing Report – December 14, 2016

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 652.29 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659.00 msl).
(updated 12-7-2016) K Dock Marina’s owner reported he’d been away from the lake for a week or so, but had some good reports from several anglers last Friday. The water temperature dropped significantly in the past few weeks. However, the lake level has also been on the decline very rapidly. All species have improved, but not to the late fall bite that they expect for this time of the year. Crappie are really starting to hit in the coves around brush piles. Bass are going to be found on the points and steep bluffs using crankbaits and jigs. The lake has not turned over yet, (in my opinion), which will bring the fish up into their winter pattern. Need some input from friends that are fishing for Walleye. Hope to get a good report from them. With rain and cold temps last weekend, it was a great time to fish for walleye! Water level was 651.7 feet msl (7.2 feet below normal) last Friday. Water temperature ranging 52-54 degrees. Water is stained.
(updated 11-30-2016) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said the lake is about 20 feet lower than last year at this time. Quite a few things are going on. A major cold front came through. Two weeks ago it was in the 80s, looks like they’ll be in the 60s for the next week or so, he said. Lows are getting down in the 30s. Fishing has been pretty good. With the temperature change, the baitfish (shad) are still in the back and in secondary points going in there. A couple of things are still working. Still a topwater bite early. Throwing a Sammie for the topwater, they’ll just randomly find them throughout the day. A squarebill is hitting in these huge balls of shad. You know you’re in the right place when the whole graph lights up white, or you’ll throw your bait in there and they’ll just scoot out on the water. The Wiggle Worm bite is starting to pick up. Wiggle Worm or Rock Crawler working parallel to the bank. If you’ve got bluebird skies, you can always catch fish on a jig. The spoon bite is starting to get going here, it seems to be working off the secondary points, going into the creek channels, getting in that 30-35 feet of water. Using shad-style spoons and just jigging with the spoon. Watch your graph. Also using a shad-style drop-shot bait with an 18-inch leader. That seems to be doing a little bit better than the worm. They seem to be keyed in on the shad pretty good. In back the fish seem to be sitting more on the bluffier style banks; that’s where he’s been having most of the luck there, with the jig on those kinds of shoreline. Also in the back areas you can pick up some quality fish on the wake-style baits or the bigger gizzard-style shad baits. Look for the wake caused by the baitfish and that’s what you’re trying to imitate back there. It’s crystal clear out here, the visibility is as clear as he’s seen it in a while. Up the lake some in the creeks there is some color in the water. Try getting into that dirtier water, and wind will also help. It’s getting cold, wear a lot of layers.

Walleye better suited for large, cool lakes A reader of the weekly AGFC Fishing Report noted the recent news stories about trout stocking of community ponds and asked why the AGFC does not stock walleye in community ponds. The reader suggested this would provide a better chance to fish for walleye near his home in southeast Arkansas. We thought this question might interest several readers and sought an answer. Ben Batten, assistant chief of the AGFC Fisheries Division, explained: “The reason that we don’t grow more ‘catchable’ or adult walleye is that it is extremely difficult and costly to do so. Just like anything else, young walleye grow at various rates, and as soon as they are a few inches in length, you already have some larger fish and some smaller. As soon as the larger fish are able, they begin to prey on the smaller fish. They would need to be kept at an extremely low density and fed large amounts of minnows (expensive) to keep them from eating one another. The number of walleye that we can produce in a given pond space is then just a small fraction of what we can produce when growing other species.” Batten also said that the reason for few opportunities for walleye fishing in southeast Arkansas is because “there are just purely not many lakes and streams that are suitable habitat for them.” He added, “There are sauger (a walleye cousin) in the Arkansas River, and likely there are some walleye in the Mississippi, but at a really low density that would make them difficult to catch. They prefer cooler water, and hence are more found in the larger reservoirs of Arkansas, and the more northern streams.”

Bull Shoals Lake Fishing Report – November 30, 2016

Bull Shoals Lake Fishing Report – November 30, 2016

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 652.09 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659.00 msl).

(updated 11-30-2016) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said the lake is about 20 feet lower than last year at this time. Quite a few things are going on. A major cold front came through. Two weeks ago it was in the 80s, looks like they’ll be in the 60s for the next week or so, he said. Lows are getting down in the 30s.

Fishing has been pretty good. With the temperature change, the baitfish (shad) are still in the back and in secondary points going in there. A couple of things are still working. Still a topwater bite early. Throwing a Sammie for the topwater, they’ll just randomly find them throughout the day. A squarebill is hitting in these huge balls of shad. You know you’re in the right place when the whole graph lights up white, or you’ll throw your bait in there and they’ll just scoot out on the water. The Wiggle Worm bite is starting to pick up. Wiggle Worm or Rock Crawler working parallel to the bank. If you’ve got bluebird skies, you can always catch fish on a jig. The spoon bite is starting to get going here, it seems to be working off the secondary points, going into the creek channels, getting in that 30-35 feet of water. Using shad-style spoons and just jigging with the spoon. Watch your graph. Also using a shad-style drop-shot bait with an 18-inch leader. That seems to be doing a little bit better than the worm. They seem to be keyed in on the shad pretty good. In back the fish seem to be sitting more on the bluffier style banks; that’s where he’s been having most of the luck there, with the jig on those kind of banks. Also in the back areas you can pick up some quality fish on the wake-style baits or the bigger gizzard-style shad baits. Look for the wake caused by the baitfish and that’s what you’re trying to imitate back there.

It’s crystal clear out here, the visibility is as clear as he’s seen it in a while. Up the lake some in the creeks there is some color in the water. Try getting into that dirtier water, and wind will also help. It’s getting cold, wear a lot of layers.

Bull Shoals Lake Fishing Report – November 16, 2016

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 651.71 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659.00 msl).

(updated 11-16-2016) Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock reported weather in the 70s, been hot for this time of year. The temperature is beginning to come down, it’s been mid 60s in the morning. Back in the creeks, they cool off at night. Water is coming down and they pretty much have got the lake to themselves. Couple of different patterns are working. Early in morning a bit of a topwater bite is working, on points with wind, the gravel points with deep water nearby. Throw a Sammie or a Zara Spook. That bite will go on and off throughout the day, if you’re at the right place it will go on all day pushing the baitfish up. They are using the channels to go back to the creeks following the baitfish. Pay attention to your graph, pay attention to the birds. They’ve got a lot of seagulls and loons on the lake now. They’re not going to get too far away from the baitfish. If you start graphing fish if you come along the channel swing going back into the creeks, you can pick up a few spooning or dropshottng. That bite is anywhere from 20-45 feet.

Lot of Kentuckies, some largemouth mixed in, some smallmouth. They’re all in there feeding on those baits. The big fish bite has been on the jig. A perch-colored jig, jewel jig, Green Pumpkin, orange, those are primarily what’s been working. For a trailer, use a Aoom trailer or Camper Crawl. If the conditions are right and you get in the back of the creeks, you have to have a couple of things — baitfish and a little bit of dirty water helps. Very back In the flats, the baits are going to change up a little bit. Wouldn’t even pick up a spinner up until you see the water’s dirty. The War Eagle Sexy Mouth is working well. In the back there too, a squarebill’s working. This is shallow, 6 inches of water to 5 feet, anything in that range is what you’re looking for. They are either right up there in the backs or right out or it. As you’re moving out, the first channel swing or first steep back, they’re going to be stacked up there if they’re not on the flat. If they aren’t there, keep moving. If conditions are right, the Rock Crawler is starting to come into play. Keep it parallel along the shoreline. You want to have a little bit of wind and keep the boat in 8-10 feet of water and make that long parallel cast down the shoreline. If it gets a little tough out there, go back to the ol’ Shaky Head. If you’re into clear water, get a watermelon red Zoom Trick Worm. In dirty water go with a Green Pumpkin. You’ll pick up a lot of fish throwing the Shaky Head right now. With the water temperature cooling down, those fish are starting to move back up and fishing is good. You just gotta keep going. Still catching a few on the Whopper Plopper, that’s kind of been sporadic, but that’s another big fish bait. If you get back in there you’ll see those big gizzard shads swimming in there. Just get back there and cover ground, and that can pay off with a big fish.