Bull Shoals Lake Fishing Report – October 19, 2016

Bull Shoals Lake Fishing Report – October 19, 2016

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 654.87 feet msl (normal conservation pool – 659.00 msl).
K Dock Marina reported the lake has been dropping fast the past few weeks at about 1.5 to 2 inches per day. That will make the bite slower. Water temperature has finally started to drop. That should trigger the fish to move up shallower and start feeding before winter. Table Rock Lake is 6.5 feet below normal, which means very minimal water is coming into Bull Shoals. Fishing is always better when we have a flow of water coming over Power Site Dam. All species are slow right now. Water temperature has ranged 70-74 degrees. Water level is 656.3 feet msl and falling (normal for October is 659 feet msl). Water is stained.

Black bass are good to fair on topwater baits early morning on the points. Buzzbaits, Spooks and Whopper Ploppers are working well. Heavy jigs, tube baits and Hard Heads with Green Pumpkin plastics are working near the banks on the steep chunk rock bluffs.

Also seeing bass being caught on squarebill and medium crankbaits off the bluffs. Spinnerbaits are working when we have windy conditions. (Caught some big smallmouth one afternoon on a ¾-ounce peanut butter and jelly jig about a mile from the dock!).

Crappie have been fair to good on live minnows. This should get much better with the water temps dropping as more trees and brush piles appear in shallower water in the coves. Have seen good-sized crappie the past few weeks, but no big limits yet. The front that moved through should bring on some good crappie fishing.

Walleye has been fair to slow. Spoons are working in the 20-30 feet range with some short walleye starting to hit crankbaits deep. Bottom bouncing nightcrawlers in the deep cuts on the flats have also worked. This too will get better with the weather change and cooler water temps. Anglers have been spoiled with too many blue bird days. Walleye like to feed in the overcast, cooler conditions.

Catfish are good on live bluegill. They’ve seen some really good flathead on trotlines. Let’s hope the gar go deep soon!

White bass have been fair to good. Seen several whites being caught by anglers while trolling. With the water level dropping, watch for the whites chasing shad on the flats between K Dock and Beaver Creek. Keep at Rat-L Trap handly. Remember that K Dock has minnows and nightcrawlers for sale through December.
Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock reported water temperatures were about 71 degrees last Saturday and fish are moving. Had some crazy days recently, some cold rain come through, a couple of fronts as well. The thermocline dropped a little bit and the fish are starting to move back some into the creeks. Don’t think the majority of them are back in there, but you can catch them early in the morning. There’s a good topwater bite going throwing a Sammy, a Zara Spook or a Rebel Pop-R. You’ll see ‘em. You might not want to chase ‘em down, but if you get in the vicinity and get it in there, it’s over like that. Drop-shot bite is going. Some of those fish we’re targeting in 26-28 feet of water. We think the thermocline’s dropping a little bit, we’re seeing shad balls in 30-40 feet of water. Really pay attention to your graph. It’s a tough time of the year; you have to put the trolling motor down and keep fishing. If you’ve got wind, you can pick up a spinnerbait, they’re bringing in fish. Still catching fish on jigs, isolated cover is really where you want to focus. Back into those creeks, if you run around a dock or a channel swing, you want to fish it. Throw a squarebill. A Whopper Plopper is working in the backwater; that’s going to get you your bigger fish. Starting to get a few on the wake-style or the bigger swimbaits in the backwater. Also, with the water coming down, whatever bushes or laydowns are left, those will hold some fish. So if you come across some cover, make sure you’re flipping in every bit that’s there and keep moving. It’s that time of the year, and everything’s changing. The crankbait bite is starting to go but it’s not quite there yet. Picking up a few on Wiggle Wart, the temperature went back up to 80 and was going to be in the 80s the next couple of days, so you have to fish the conditions. If it’s laying flat, pick up some spinnerbaits, a Shaky Head, a drop-shot, whatever to get a bite.


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