Bull Shoals Lake Fishing Report Guide

Bull Shoals Lake Fishing Report Guide

Hey there, fishing friends! Welcome to your ultimate fishing guide for Bull Shoals Lake, nestled in the stunning Ozark Mountains of northern Arkansas and southern Missouri. This guide is designed to give you all the information you need for an incredible fishing trip. We’ll cover everything from lake details and types of fish to the best baits, lures, fishing spots, and even nearby RV parks. Let’s jump right in and get you ready for a fantastic fishing adventure at Bull Shoals Lake!

About Bull Shoals Lake Fishing

Bull Shoals Lake is a beautiful and expansive reservoir located in the Ozark Mountains. This lake is known for its clear, deep waters and is a prime destination for fishing enthusiasts. Created by the Bull Shoals Dam on the White River, it spans across northern Arkansas and southern Missouri. The lake’s serene environment, combined with abundant fish species and excellent recreational facilities, makes it a perfect spot for both seasoned anglers and beginners alike.

Bull Shoals Lake Fishing Details

Here are some key details about Bull Shoals Lake to help you plan your fishing trip:

  • Water Surface: 45,440 acres
  • Shoreline: 1,050 miles
  • Average Depth: 75 feet
  • Max Depth: 210 feet
  • Surface Elevation: 654 feet
  • Location: Ozark Mountains, Northern Arkansas, Southern Missouri
  • Coordinates: 36.3697° N, 92.5894° W
  • Accessibility: Easily accessible via major highways and local roads
  • Type of Lake: Reservoir
  • Lake Amenities:
    • Boat ramps
    • Fishing docks
    • Picnic areas
    • Hiking trails
    • Camping facilities
    • Marinas
    • Swimming areas

Types of Fish in Bull Shoals Lake

Bull Shoals Lake is home to a wide variety of fish species, making it a popular destination for anglers. Here’s a detailed look at the types of fish you can catch and where to find them:

  • Largemouth Bass: Found near submerged structures like fallen trees, docks, and vegetation. Best caught in early morning and late evening.
  • Smallmouth Bass: Typically found in rocky areas and along steep drop-offs. They are active throughout the day but are easier to catch during dawn and dusk.
  • White Bass: These fish often travel in schools and can be found near the surface in open water. Spring and early summer are the best times to catch them.
  • Crappie: Often found near brush piles, submerged trees, and docks. Spring and fall are the prime seasons for crappie fishing.
  • Walleye: Found in deeper waters, especially near rocky structures. Early morning and late evening are the best times to fish for walleye.
  • Catfish: Commonly found in deeper waters and near the lake’s inflow and outflow points. They are more active during the night.
  • Bluegill: These fish are usually found near the shoreline and around submerged vegetation. They are active throughout the day, making them a great catch for kids and beginners.

Best Fishing Baits, Lures, and Tackle Recommendations

To help you get the most out of your fishing trip at Bull Shoals Lake, here are some recommended baits, lures, and tackle for each type of fish:

  • Largemouth Bass:
    • Baits: Live shiners, nightcrawlers
    • Lures: Spinnerbaits, crankbaits, plastic worms
    • Tackle: Medium to heavy spinning or baitcasting rod with 10-20 lb test line
  • Smallmouth Bass:
    • Baits: Live minnows, crayfish
    • Lures: Jigs, tube baits, crankbaits
    • Tackle: Medium spinning rod with 8-12 lb test line
  • White Bass:
    • Baits: Live shad, minnows
    • Lures: Jigs, spoons, small crankbaits
    • Tackle: Light to medium spinning rod with 6-12 lb test line
  • Crappie:
    • Baits: Minnows, small shiners
    • Lures: Crappie jigs, small tube baits
    • Tackle: Light to medium spinning rod with 4-8 lb test line
  • Walleye:
    • Baits: Nightcrawlers, leeches, minnows
    • Lures: Jigs, crankbaits, bottom bouncers
    • Tackle: Medium spinning or baitcasting rod with 8-12 lb test line
  • Catfish:
    • Baits: Chicken liver, cut bait, stink baits
    • Lures: None (catfish prefer natural baits)
    • Tackle: Heavy-duty spinning or baitcasting rod with 20-30 lb test line
  • Bluegill:
    • Baits: Worms, crickets, small minnows
    • Lures: Small jigs, spinners
    • Tackle: Light spinning rod with 4-6 lb test line
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  • ✅ Purpose and Size: These grubs for fishing attract a wide variety of fish including trout, crappie, panfish, bluegill, bream, roach, carp and more. Using grub fishing lures that imitate worms offers many advantages over live worms or minnows. These crappie lures are equipped with an optimal size hook and a rubber grub. The hook dimensions are 10 mm wide and 25 mm long, and the length of the larva itself is 22 mm.

Best Fishing Spot Locations at Bull Shoals Lake Fishing

Bull Shoals Lake is vast, with numerous prime fishing spots. Here are some of the best locations:

  • Bull Shoals Dam Area: This area is excellent for catching bass, walleye, and white bass. The deep waters near the dam provide an ideal habitat for these species.
  • James A. Gaston Visitor Center: Known for its scenic views and great fishing spots, this area is particularly good for smallmouth bass and crappie.
  • Peel Ferry Area: A popular spot for catfish and bluegill. The inflow and outflow points here attract a variety of fish.
  • Oakland Marina: This spot is great for largemouth bass and crappie. The submerged structures and docks provide excellent cover for these fish.
  • Buck Creek: This area is known for its abundance of white bass and walleye. The rocky structures and deeper waters make it a prime fishing location.

Fishing Tips and Recommendations for Bull Shoals Lake Fishing

To ensure a successful fishing trip to Bull Shoals Lake, here are some helpful tips and recommendations:

  • Early Morning and Late Evening: These are the best times to fish, as fish are more active during these periods.
  • Weather Watch: Fish tend to be more active before a weather change, especially before a storm. Overcast days can also be good for fishing.
  • Stay Quiet: Fish are sensitive to noise and vibrations. Try to be as quiet as possible to avoid scaring them away.
  • Use Appropriate Gear: Make sure your gear matches the type of fish you’re targeting. Using the right rod, reel, and line can make a big difference.
  • Explore Different Spots: Don’t stay in one spot for too long if you’re not having any luck. Move around and try different locations.
  • Observe the Water: Look for signs of fish activity like jumping fish, ripples, or birds diving into the water. These can be indicators of fish presence.
  • Practice Catch and Release: If you’re not planning to keep the fish, handle them gently and release them back into the water quickly to ensure their survival.

Bull Shoals Lake Fishing Reviews

Here are five positive fishing reviews from anglers who have enjoyed their time at Bull Shoals Lake:

  1. Tom W.
    • “Bull Shoals Lake is a paradise for anglers! I had an amazing time fishing for largemouth bass near the dam. The water is so clear, and the scenery is breathtaking. Can’t wait to come back!”
  2. Lisa M.
    • “My family and I spent a weekend at Bull Shoals Lake, and it was fantastic. The kids caught their first bluegills, and we had a great time exploring the lake. The facilities are top-notch, and the staff at the marina were very helpful.”
  3. Jake S.
    • “I’ve been fishing at Bull Shoals Lake for years, and it never disappoints. The crappie fishing is especially good in the spring. I love the peaceful atmosphere and the abundance of wildlife.”
  4. Nancy H.
    • “This lake is perfect for night fishing. I’ve had great luck with catfish near the Peel Ferry area. The camping facilities are excellent, making it easy to spend a whole weekend fishing and relaxing.”
  5. Dave R.
    • “If you’re looking for a great fishing experience, Bull Shoals Lake is the place to be. The walleye fishing is excellent, and the lake is well-maintained. I’ve always had a positive experience here.”

Nearby RV Parks and Campgrounds for Bull Shoals Lake Fishing

Here are five top-rated RV parks and campgrounds near Bull Shoals Lake, complete with features, amenities, hookups, and distance to the lake:

  1. Bull Shoals-White River State Park
    • Features: Shaded sites, picnic tables, fire rings
    • Amenities: Restrooms, showers, playground, boat rentals
    • Hookups: Water and electric hookups
    • Distance to Lake: Adjacent to Bull Shoals Lake (walking distance)
  2. Lakeview Park
    • Features: Scenic sites, picnic areas, hiking trails
    • Amenities: Restrooms, showers, laundry facilities, boat ramp
    • Hookups: Full hookups (water, electric, sewer)
    • Distance to Lake: On the shores of Bull Shoals Lake (0.5 miles)
  3. Cotter Trout Dock
    • Features: Pull-through sites, pet area, fishing dock
    • Amenities: Restrooms, showers, laundry facilities, guided fishing trips
    • Hookups: Water and electric hookups
    • Distance to Lake: 10 miles
  4. Blue Heron Campground
    • Features: Spacious sites, picnic tables, fire pits
    • Amenities: Restrooms, showers, playground, boat ramp
    • Hookups: Full hookups (water, electric, sewer)
    • Distance to Lake: 2 miles
  5. Gaston’s White River Resort
    • Features: Riverside sites, private docks, fishing guides
    • Amenities: Restaurant, pool, tennis courts, boat rentals
    • Hookups: Full hookups (water, electric, sewer)
    • Distance to Lake: 5 miles

Bull Shoals Lake Fishing Summary

Bull Shoals Lake is a fantastic destination for any fishing enthusiast. With its clear waters, diverse fish species, and beautiful surroundings, it offers an unforgettable fishing experience. Whether you’re targeting bass, catfish, crappie, or walleye, you’re sure to have a great time. Don’t forget to explore the nearby RV parks and campgrounds to make your trip even more enjoyable. Pack your fishing gear, head to Bull Shoals Lake, and get ready for a wonderful fishing adventure!

Frequently Asked Questions for Bull Shoals Lake Fishing

  1. What is the best time to fish at Bull Shoals Lake?
    • Early morning and late evening are the best times to fish, as fish are more active during these periods.
  2. Do I need a fishing license to fish at Bull Shoals Lake?
    • Yes, a valid Arkansas or Missouri fishing license is required for all anglers aged 16 and older, depending on which part of the lake you are fishing.
  3. Are there any fishing regulations at Bull Shoals Lake?
    • Yes, there are specific regulations regarding fish size and catch limits. It’s important to check the current Arkansas and Missouri fishing regulations before heading out.
  4. Can I rent a boat at Bull Shoals Lake?
    • Yes, there are several marinas around the lake where you can rent boats, including fishing boats, pontoons, and kayaks.
  5. Are there any fishing tournaments held at Bull Shoals Lake?
    • Yes, Bull Shoals Lake hosts several fishing tournaments throughout the year. Check with local fishing clubs or the lake’s management for upcoming events.

We hope this guide helps you have an amazing fishing trip at Bull Shoals Lake. Tight lines and happy fishing!

Bull Shoals Lake Fishing Guide - Missouri

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Best Fishing Bait, Lures & Tackle

Here’s some of the best fishing bait, fishing lures and fishing tackle Bull Shoals Lake Fishing Report Guide: