Here are just a few area lake fishing reports as of May 1, 2009
Fishing has been great, considering our wet weather, and several fronts moving through the Missouri lake regions!
Lake Of The Ozarks
Water Level: 658.83 with light generation. Lake level should be around 659 over the weekend. Rain fall over an inch should raise that some. Truman lake 713.5 and rising fast.
Water temps: 60-67 degrees
Dam area: This part of the lake is clearing up fast now that they stopped generating heavy. Fish are spawning in the pockets. The bigger fish are holding on the little pea gravel secondary points leading into those pockets. They can be caught on carolina rigged and texas rigged plastics. Any of your favorite plastic baits will do. Bass are not that picky. The trick is getting it right in front of their nose. The smaller males are shallower and the bigger females are in the 6'-8' range.
Glaize. Clear to Stained. The fish are relating to pea gravel points leading into pockets is these area also. These areas are the favorite carolina rigging places. Other good spots are pea gravel flats that have scattered brush on them. Fish are 3'-8' deep on these secondary points and flats. On the steeper banks pre spawn fish can be caught on spinnerbaits and crankbaits such as the wiggle wart. Channel bank swings have been good places to use those lures.
Nianguas: Clear to Stained and in some spots very muddy. The Niangua’s have been warm for a while. And the fish have been spawning here for a while also. Carolina rigged and texas rigged plastics have been best. Fish them down to the 6'-8' range on the pea gravel at the ends of channel banks and mouths of small pockets. In cloudy or rainy conditions mix a spinnerbait in with that and you may draw some bigger strikes.
Osage River. Stained to Muddy. They slowed the flow of water in the Osage and this should settle that main river down and the water will clear a little. The fish have been spawning for some time in the Osage. They have moved to pea gravel banks and are doing their thing. Carolina rigged plastic baits on the sloping points and pea gravel flats. Texas rigged plastics are best around docks and steeper banks. Now not all fish spawn at the same time. There are too many fish for that. The go in shifts. And the shifts start on the new moon cycles. There are still plenty of pre spawn females that can be taken on spinnerbaits, jigs and crankbaits still. Look for them on the deeper banks.
Norfork Lake, Arkansas
The lake level is 554.2 which is a little over two foot above nromal pool of 552. The water temperature is in the upper 50's to the mid 60's.
The main lake is clear and back in the creeks the water has some color to it. The stripers are still hitting swimbaits,soft jerkbaits and stickbaits. Throw a stickbait after it gets dark.
The bass have been hitting jigs,crankbaits and spinnerbaits if there is some wind. A few walleye have been hitting stickbaits at night.
Bull Shoals Lake
As of Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 656.56 feet MSL.
Water temperatures in the 60- to 65-degree range in the backs of creeks and 58 to 60 degrees on the main lake. Walleye are being caught in the evenings and early mornings on stick baits fished around main-lake points and pockets.
During the day, try live bait a little deeper around productive points and pockets. Largemouth bass have moved to spawning areas.
When it’s windy, try stick baits, crankbaits and spinnerbaits. If it’s calm, a Carolina-rigged or mojo-rigged 6-inch lizard or 8-inch finesse worm will work well.
Smallmouth and Kentucky bass are spawning. Try jigs, tubes and Carolina rigs around slightly deeper gravel areas for these fish. Crappie are slow.
Table Rock Lake
Kimberling City Area: The spawn is in full swing in the mid-lake area, several fish are locked on to beds and be caught with typical sight fishing methods; white tubes, lizards and craws will draw strikes from fish guarding nests. For those not wishing to sight fish look for post spawn fish to be holding on secondary points near spawning pockets from 3’ – 20’ deep. Split shot rigged lizards and fish doctors, Jewel spider jigs and shaky head worms are all effective in these areas. While it hasn't taken off yet, the famed post spawn topwater bite will kicking in soon; spooks, sammys and red fins will all be effective during low light hours.
James River: The spawn is further along in the James River; several fish can still be found on beds but post spawn conditions have started to take over from the mid river up to Cape Fair. A variety of patterns have been effective with the water being a little high and stained; there are several fish holding in the newly flooded bushes flipping Eakins jig and craw combos in to the bushes, casting weightless Chompers salty sinkers and flukes around the bushes and casting Chompers McCutchen spinnerbaits around shallow bushes on windy banks have all been productive. Early and late spooks, sammys and red fins have been producing schooling fish on secondary points.
White River: Fish are in all stages of the spawn through out the White River. In the Kings the spawn is the farthest along with several fish guarding fry in coves around standing timber and laydowns, others are still on the nests guarding eggs and still more have moved out onto points and are suspending recovering from the spawn. The fish on points can be targeted with spooks, sammys and red fins early and late and Jewel spider or football jigs as the sun comes up. Don’t ignore the cover in the water, several good fish have come off of laydowns and flooded bushes in the shallows of the Kings this past week. From Baxter to Campbell point more fish are locked on the beds and can be taken with traditional sight fishing techniques. Shaky heads and split shot rigs are producing on points near spawning coves from 5’ – 20’ deep, target any cover that is on these points. Fish can be caught in the flooded bushes as well, Eakins jigs and Ultra tubes have been working well in these areas.
Dam Area: The dam area has been the toughest end of the lake over the past week; water temperatures have been slow to rise and while there are fish on beds they have been harder to catch than in the upper portions of the lake. Split shot rigs and shaky heads have been producing around spawning areas from 3’ – 12’ deep, look for small “bumps” or pockets in spawning areas to hold more fish than other areas, also any wood or rock cover within a spawning cove deserves attention. As the water warms the fish will spawn and sight fishing will become a more predictable pattern.