Bull Shoals Lake Fishing Report – August 10, 2016

Bull Shoals Lake Fishing Report – August 10, 2016

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 660.77 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659.00 msl).

(updated 7-27-2016) Bull Shoals Boat Dock reportedthe summer fishing patterns are here. The surface temperature is in the mid-80s and up. The thermocline is around the 25-28 foot level. The lake is at the 660 feet level and dropping slowly. Visibility is great according to the divers and is around 20-30 feet in most places. Bass are being caught on a variety of baits and in a variety of places. The largemouth are mostly shallow in the weeds, brush and shallow ledges. The smallmouth are a little deeper on the gravel and the spots are on brush, timber and rock piles around the thermocline. The walleye have moved deep and are in the 25-35 feet range. Catfish are shallow at night up in the weeds and brush around the bank. The limb liners and trotlines are doing well. The bow fishermen are seeing them a lot at night. Daytime they are deeper in the brush and timber patches out of the sun. Here are some patterns to try: For largemouth bass, use topwater baits early and late, plastic worms in the brush, jigs in the brush and use spinnerbaits after dark; for smallmouths, jigs and plastics in 10-2 feet of water outside the brush line, split shot a nightcrawler the same depth, parallel a crankbait outside brush line early and late. For spotted bass, drop shot a plastic worm, jigging spoon, live nightcrawler, live crawfish in 25-35 feet of water off of step drop-offs and points; for walleye, troll deep diving crankbaits in 15-20 feet of water, bottom bounce with nightcrawlers in 15-30 feet of water, lead core trolling in 25-35 feet of water with longer stick baits, and try a jigging spoon in 25-35 feet of water. For catfish, limb line around the bank in the brush and use trotlines in the coves. We haven’t seen many white bass but we’d think under lights at night would work. As for crappie, haven’t seen many but also think that night under lights would work.

White River (Bull Shoals Tailwater)

(updated 8-10-2016) Sportsman’s White River Resort (870-453-2424) reported that over last weekend, the fishing was not bad at all. No water was run at the dam and that, combined with it raining, made for good trout fishing. Everybody fishing for rainbow got their share, but other anglers also caught a bunch of browns. Rainbows are biting PowerBait, Power Worms or combination of the two. Browns are being caught three ways. Some anglers are using jigs but some are going to sculpins and crawdad tails. The water is running on a 12-hour cycle, shutting off during the evening and then being turned on again at about 10-11 a.m., meaning the resort sees low water in the morning, filling up to 15 feet in the afternoon with 7 units running at Bull Shoals.

(updated 8-10-2016) Ron Gamble at Cotter Trout Dock said they were challenged with some extremely dingy, dark water for a couple of days this week after a downpour Sunday and a little more rain on Monday. So they turned to worms and the reliable silver and silver/blue spoons. Bright baits worked also, as well as, surprisingly, shrimp. Tuesday this week was a fantastic day. Fresh water flowing from the dam brought relief from the still draining streams, and the trout rewarded the anglers. Traditional bait (PowerBait in yellow, lemon lime and pink, with a touch of shrimp), spoons and peach-colored egg patterns got hit after hit. They see the river continuing to clear and expect the trout will return to afternoon feeding habits as SWP relies on afternoon releases. Cotter is the spot to catch beautiful browns with sculpins or crawdads.

(updated 8-10-2016) John Berry at Berry Brothers Guide Service (870-453-2424) said that during the past week, they have had a rain event (a half inch in Cotter), brutally hot temperatures (to include heat advisories) and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell 1.2 feet to rest at a foot below seasonal power pool of 661 feet. This is 35 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock fell 0.7 to rest at 2 feet below seasonal power pool and 16 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake rose 0.7 feet to rest at 2.4 feet below seasonal power pool and 12 feet below the top of flood pool. On the White, we had heavy generation in the afternoon last week with wade-able water in the morning. On the White, the bite has been excellent. The hot spot has been Rim Shoals. We have had more wade-able water. The hot flies were olive Woolly Buggers (sizes 8, 10), Y2Ks (sizes 14, 12), prince nymphs (size 14), zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead (sizes 16, 18), pheasant tails (size 14), ruby midges (size 18), root beer midges (size 18), pink and cerise San Juan worms (size 10), and sowbugs (size 16). Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective (my current favorite is a red San Juan worm with a size 18 ruby midge suspended below it).


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