Fishing Report – April 17, 2014
Bull Shoals Lake Fishing Report
As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 659.88 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 654 msl).
Ken Minsky of Ken Minksy’s Loch Leven Guide Service said Bull Shoals is still in a state of flux with the yo-yo weather patterns this spring. The main lake temperature near Point 24, is 54 degrees, which is very cold for this time of year (We should be in the low 60s by now.). There are some nice catches of white bass in some of the larger creek arms. I still have not witnessed any epic runs and there may not be with these cold weather patterns. The walleyes appear to have completed their spawning activities and should be ready to put on the feedbag. Some nice ones are being caught in smaller creek arms, and some steady action should be in store. Smallmouth and spotted bass continue to provide action in the creek arms as they wait for the water to warm a few more degrees. They are starting to move into shallower water and most takes are coming from the 10- to 18-foot range.
Mike Worley’s Guide Service said surface water temperatures are in the 40s. Walleye are starting to move to the rocky main lake points and a few are being caught on suspending stickbaits, Alabama rigs and jigs. A warm rain should get the bite going after the cold winter we have had.
White River Fishing Report (Bull Shoals Tailwater)
Newland’s Resort below Bull Shoals said water conditions are trending toward the higher side, with 3 to 4 generators running all day, including weekends. Popular baits have been sculpins, pink artificial worms and Rapalas. Several nice browns were caught last week in the 18-22 inch range, including a 7.5-pound brown. Be sure to visit the Projected Water flow page and live web cam at Newland’s web site.
(Updated 4-16-2014) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) said the water has been running high lately. During high water, Rattling Rogues and Rapala minnnow-style crankbaits were working well. On lower flows, shrimp and Power Bait have been working well.
Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said the hot spot last week was Rim Shoals. The hot flies were olive woolly buggers, Y2Ks, prince nymphs, zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead), pheasant tails, ruby midges, pink and cerise San Juan worms, and sowbugs. Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective (try a cerise or pink San Juan worm with a ruby midge pattern suspended below it). The Corps of Engineers has been running much more water and that has been an advantage to streamer fishermen. Bang the bank and strip the fly back to the boat. This is heavy work and requires advanced casting skills. Some effective patterns are sex dungeons and circus peanuts. We have had numerous reports of caddis hatches. Though sparse, the trout did not key in on them mostly due to the high volume of water. It is a harbinger of spring and a promise of what is to come. Before the hatch, fish green caddis pupa (size 14). You will often get more strikes at the end of the drift as the fly rises. When the move to the surface and begin keying in on emergers switch over to a green butt soft hackle (size 15). When they start taking adult insects off the water’s surface, you should switch to a green elk hair caddis pattern (size 14).