Well I think it’s safe to say that spring is taking it’s sweet time in getting here. I have yet to see a single Redbud bloom let alone any Dogwoods, both are the real indicators that spring is upon us. Comparing past years fishing logs, I would say we are at least three weeks behind normal for water temperatures and fish movements.
The main lake is still in the mid forties at mid lake (point 24) however; going way up large creek arms the temperatures will rise to fifty to fifty-four depending on the sunlight and wind on that particular day.
White Bass are starting to get in the mood to run but it is still halfhearted with a few in the creeks late afternoon and then gone tomorrow. It will take some good warm weather for several days to get ‘em going.
I’ve talked with several bass fisherman throwing baits on primary and secondary points with most saying it’s real hit and miss right now. Getting a few one day, and then nothing for a couple days.
I have been having increasing success with smallmouths, Kentucky’s, largemouth and spotted bass working the usual bread and butter places. Namely, the sides of secondary points that are not too far back from the main lake or large creek arms. Smaller size 6 Pink and white clousers are doing well, as are smaller weighted crawfish patterns. The trick is keeping the bait in the strike zone. With the boat over 35 feet of water and casting towards shore and a very slow retrieve. Most takes are coming when the bait is nearly under the boat while making three or four short strips and then letting the line slip out again. Fishing this way, it may take three or four minutes to retrieve a cast. Keeping the boat moving extremely slow for a near vertical presentation is the trick!
The beauty of fishing this way is you never know what else you’ll get. Crappie and carp are also taking the same presentation providing loads of fun on medium weight tackle!!!
The White River, as usual, is producing nice rainbows and medium size browns on just about anything you want to throw at them.
Green, brown, and black buggers are doing well and it looks like the caddis hatch is not too far off. Make sure to bring some soft hackles with a little green in them and let ‘em swing, expecting hits on the end of the swing when the bait rises toward the surface! Bring some small dries with you too, if your eyes are good enough to see those little suckers. I’ll have to wait ‘till hopper season!
This time of year, you can depend on the power generation schedule to be less than dependable. The lakes are all just about right at pool. Make sure to watch not just Bull Shoals, but Table Rock and Beaver on a daily basis to try to get a handle on what they are doing to help you make a better prediction. Keeping an eye on the four-day forecast and the real time generation and comparing them with the schedule, may give you a better insight to what is really going on.