Bull Shoals Lake
Bull Shoals Lake
Information: (417) 256-7161
Bull shoals is no longer stocking striped bass
The upper end of Bull Shoals is popular among anglers, particularly in the spring, when walleye move upstream into the Forsyth area to spawn. Farther downlake, walleye spawn on rocky main lake points or up some of the major creek arms.
You can catch walleye throughout the day, but anglers have the most success in early spring when fishing at night. After the spawn, you can catch walleye anywhere in the lake by trolling crankbaits and nightcrawlers along flats, dropoffs and rocky points.
Walleye reproduce naturally in Bull Shoals, but the ConservationDepartment augments their numbers by stocking. Growth rates for walleye are excellent in Bull Shoals, which in 1988 surrendered the Missouri state record walleye of 21 pounds, 1 ounce.
White bass, meanwhile, can provide fabulous fishing action for the whole family. Large schools of these lineside brawlers move into the Beaver Creek, Forsyth and Theodosia areas in March and April, at which time you can catch them almost as fast as you can cast. After the spawn, white bass move back out to main lake areas to feed on small gizzard and threadfin shad. To catch them, try small jig/grub combinations, inline spinners and live minnows.
In 1980, Bull Shoals produced a 5-pound, 5-ounce white bass to claim the state record for that species.
Among black bass anglers, Bull Shoals is truly world class. Largemouth and spotted bass are common throughout, but smallmouth bass are most abundant in the main lake, from the areas of Shoal Creek and Pontiac down to the dam.
The best daytime bass fishing occurs in fall, winter and spring. Nighttime patterns work best in summer. Bull Shoals owns Missouri's largemouth bass record. The fish weighed 13 pounds, 14 ounces and was caught in 1961.