The lake level at Bull Shoals is holding fairly steady at 654ft, with a main lake temperature of 75 to 80. Water releases from Table Rock are helping to keep some water moving through the lake, and the ACOE is doing a small bit of generating during the evening hours to help keep the White River, and the trout, a bit cooler. A thermocline is forming at the usual 25 foot depth, and the fish are relating just above it.
Most of the bass (largemouth, smallmouth and Kentucky) are done spawning, and can be found in the main lake from 18 to 25 feet down during the day, and shallower during the evening hours when they come in to feed. The Kentucky bass are really coming alive in the evening, and I’m getting some very nice 16 to 18 inch fish on smaller, yellow and black dumbbell headed flies on full sinking lines.
I hear some reports of walleyes being caught at Tucker Hollow but, they remain very spotty at best this spring. Crappies and white bass remain scattered, but I am getting some nice “eaters” on the bluffs.
Very nice 9 and 10 inch bluegills are still the name of the game, I’m getting them most every evening on the main lake. You can find them in cuts on the north bluff’s in 8 to 20 feet of water. In fact, that is where I’m having the most success with other fish as well. I’m catching nice Kentucky bass and smallmouth’s on the same small dumbbell flies the bluegills are hitting on, with black, and black and yellow being the best colors. Don’t be surprised to find yourself hooked up with a decent channel cat, as they are hanging in the same north bluff cuts. This time or year you can expect just about anything and everything to be cruising the lake bluffs, so it’s always exciting to see the first “color” of every fish you hook!
The White River, as always, is producing nice catches of trout on basic midge and sow bug patterns. I spent the day Thursday floating and wet wading below Shipps Ferry and had very good luck on buggers, with a splash of pink, pink rooster tails were also producing extremely well for my buddy using light spinning gear. With the lake being low and generation slow, there are plenty of opportunities for wading and wet wading on the White and Norfork rivers.