Bull Shoals Lake Fishing Report – April 19, 2017

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 656.19 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659.00 msl).
(updated 4-19-2017) K Dock Marina reported the water has cleared up a lot in the past week. Lake level remains steady at about 3.5 feet below normal pool of 659.00 feet. Surface temperature has finally gone above the 60-degree mark, resulting in some great fishing. Temperature has ranged 62-65 degrees. Clarity is clear. Black bass are good on a variety of small to medium plastics in the backs of coves. Also good on Wiggle Warts and Rock Crawlers on points and into coves. Spinnerbaits are working well on breezy days. Crappie are good on live minnows in the coves around bush piles. Swimming minnows also working good. Chartreuse seems to be the color right now. Crappie should be right on the shoreline in a week or two. Walleye are fair on small to medium crankbaits. Should be in the 10-15 feet depths soon with the water temperature rising. Also fair on silver or white spoons. White bass are fair up the lake from K Dock around the Beaver Creek arm.
(updated 4-19-2017) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said water temps are about 60s depending on location. They’ve had some cool nights last week and a little bit of rain, though not quite enough to get us up to into the bushes like anglers wanted, but enough to give a little color to the backs of creeks. If it stays stable, anglers will start seeing some of the large females start moving up on the beds. They’ll be cycling through over the next couple of weeks. With the clear water, fishing is a little tougher but you can see a lot the beds and a lot of guys are catching fish off the beds. Lots of Kentucky bass, smallmouths and largemouths males are still up. Del says that what he likes to key into is some of the dirty water. If you go up the lake in the major creek arms, anywhere some of that muddy water is moving in, it seems to be a lot easier to sneak up on them. Over the next couple of weeks, you should be able to follow the spawn back into the lake. Anglers are not quite locked on, but there were some fish caught in the very backs of the dirtier creek arms. If you’re fishing the clear water, obviously it’s going to be a lot more challenging, it takes a little more finesse. What will work will is a Ned rig or shaky head, natural colors, green pumpkin, watermelon, watermelon red. Or use a jig, as the jig seems to be getting some of the bigger fish. They’re not necessarily all the way in the very backs. If you’re going into a spawning pocket, the last bit of deep water, a bluff, a point before they go up and spawn is where they’re hanging. Del says he’s not fishing real deep, just in 15-20 feet of water. Check the shore, hit the shore; the gravel pockets are where some fish are going to spawn. Look at all those areas on your maps. You’re going to catch a lot of fish there. Enjoy it while it last. They’re not going to stay shallow all year. This is a great time to get into the shallow bite. If you find dirty water, still use the Shaky Head, and under bluebird skies pick up the finesse stuff. Use a drop-shot in the beds. Carolina rigs will work. In the really dirty water, some anglers are still throwing swimbaits, and some guys are using a bigger swim bait targeting large females and catching them. A squarebill is working in the skinny water. A War Eagle spinnerbait in dirty skinner water. Try to match the conditions of the water. Also a Sexy Mouse in natural color with a little chartreuse to get their attention. It’s a fun time to be fishing. Early in the morning or late in the evening people are still catching some walleye with jerkbaits, swimbaits, lots of ways.