Bull Shoals Lake, Missouri
December 9, 2002
When you have a week full of snow, ice and temperatures in the lower 20ís, fishing pretty well comes to a halt. Some folks tried to go out but the ramps and roadways to the marinas were iced over and they couldnít get to their boats. The lake level dropped a little this week as generation picked up with the cold weather. We are now at 651.48, 5 ½ feet below normal pool. The big change this week, other than the ice and snow, was the drop in lake temperature. The lake cooled down 4 degrees to 50 to 51 degrees mid lake and 48 to 50 degrees in the upper lake areas. Crappie normally wonít move off the brush piles until the water temperature reaches the mid 40ís, so go back to the brush the crappie were holding on before the deep freeze set in. If they are not in the brush, they moved a little deeper just off the brush.
Largemouth bass seem to still be shallow. I have seen them roaming the banks around the Bull Shoals Marina. Try suspending rogues, crankbaits or spinnerbaits on breezy days and tube baits or jigs on high pressure calm days. Smallmouth bass love cool water and probably have not moved off the chunk rock points, watersheds, brush piles or cliff walls where crawdads and shad are present. Spider Jigs, tube baits and grubs are the best baits to trigger the feeding smallies. Stay in 28 to 38 feet of water for the nicer smallies. Kentucky bass were starting to school before the winter storm hit. Look on the cliff wall points, secondary creek arm points or in the middle of the deeper cuts for schooled Kentuckys. Jigging spoons will be your number one bait except for those days where the bright sun will warm up the lake. Then switch to grubs, Spider Jigs and tube baits around chunk rock points and steep banks and fish on the bottom in 30 to 45 feet of water.
Walleye werenít out of the creeks last week but Iíll bet they are now with the cool down. Check the creek entrances around the deep points and over any standing trees you can graph. Drop ball jigs with shiners or spoons, white and silver down to the walleye that are on the bottom in 45 to 55 feet of water. Down rigging will also produce a few of the moving walleye during their transition towards their winter homes. Flutter spoons, Rapalas and small crank baits are your best choice to troll with.
We will be able to get back on the lake this week and see what changes have taken place.
Trout fishing on the White River has been good with Berkley Power Eggs in fluorescent yellow and Belgian Red Worms. The Buoyant Spoon, Little Cleos and Rooster Tails are working well when there is generation. The fly fishermen have been doing well on olive Woolly Buggers, egg patterns and gray scuds and sow bugs. Browns but are being caught on Brown Trout Rogues, jointed Rapalas, and nightcrawlers. REMEMBER Ė we are in our Seasonal Catch and Release time and the regular catch and release area is closed.
Remember to keep only what you can eat and release the rest for another day. Rick Culver of Wilderness Trail does the research for this report and the writing of this report. For more information call Rick or Sue Culver at Wilderness Trail at 870-445-2703, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our web site at www.wildernesstrail.com
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