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Robert Riley

Table Rock A-Rigs

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Hey guys, I'm fishing down at Table Rock this April. I'm going to have an A-rig as one of my options, but I have no experience with it. Fill me in!

1) Any specific rigs (brand) to stay away from?

2) In MO, I believe you can only have 3 hooks. So just buy some spinnerbait blades instead? And silver I assume?

3) Does the kind of softbait matter that much? And you use jig heads right?

 

I wanna buy one soon and just try it out before, obviously.  

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I have  a place on Table Rock so I'll give it a go or at least share what I've learned.. First 1 rig wont be enough they hang up pretty easily with 3 open hooks. I use the 5 wire style mostly , the flash mobs or the ones with the spinnerbait blades on the arms are fine but not nessesary.  I use 1/4 oz ball heads on all the arms and cut the hooks off the 2 teasers .  I've had trouble with the hitchhikers spinning the teasers.

 Table Rock tackle makes a nice rig for a reasonable price.  I use swimbaits on all the arms, usually Keitech 3.8 s on the outsides and the 4.8 on the long arm. Swimmin fluke jr's and the LPO'S with the grub tail are good also

  Depending on the weather April may be on the back side of the A-rig bite . Last year we had fish up and on beds , I'd be ready with the redfin, wiggle wart , and shakey head...

  what part of the lake are you fishing ?

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Fish a 5 wire rig and 2 dummy heads....take some with blades and some without. Kietechs are great baits, but you need to go out and fish this rig to have faith in it and find what works for you.  Also use some Lunker City swimming grubsters and Big Bites 3" shad bodied baits along with the Kietechs.  All rigs with the lighter wire that give good action will break, so bring spare rigs, only rig I haven't broke which consistantly catches fish for me is the Yellow Hammer Spinnerbait rig. 

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what part of the lake are you fishing ?

Not sure yet to be honest. 

 

How many should I bring then? I was gonna take 2-3, but if they get hung up a lot. i guess I might need more. 

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All you need is a good lure retriever. I have only lost one Rig in strong current on the Tennessee River,

never on a lake.

 

 

 

 

:santa-107:

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You'll lose a few,I'd start with 2 anyway, that's why I like a hook I can straighten. If it gets stuck get past it with the trolling motor and pull it the opposite direction.

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The A rig would not even be in my top choices for April fishing at Table Rock.  Spinnerbaits, crankbaits, jigs, worms, even top water would be used before A rigs.

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The A rig would not even be in my top choices for April fishing at Table Rock.  Spinnerbaits, crankbaits, jigs, worms, even top water would be used before A rigs.

Why is that? Is it because you don't like throwing it or because you just think those other lures could catch fish better?

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The A rig would not even be in my top choices for April fishing at Table Rock.  Spinnerbaits, crankbaits, jigs, worms, even top water would be used before A rigs.

Same here. Shaky Head and Jigs are top of my list in April

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If you fish the Arkansas portion of T-rock on Long Creek (although small it would be good that time of year), you can use the A rigs with five hooks. I'd start at the points entering creeks from the main lake and work my way back with the A rig until I found some good spawning areas. When you find a good spawning area, fish the buck brush around it thoroughly. You wouldn't think there would be as many fish up in the buck brush lining the bank, but that's where you're probably going to get most of your bites.  Bed fishing will be hard because they can spawn really deep on Table Rock, but you can find some that are visible.  Wiggle Warts, jerkbaits, shakeyheads, spinnerbaits, and jigs are all you need. I'd stick to the Warts, jerks, and spinnerbaits if the water isn't crystal clear where you're fishing or any time the wind is blowing no matter how clear the water is.  I'd throw shakeyheads and jigs (especially finesse jigs) if you find slick, clear water. 

 

Go to Walmart when you're down there and buy one of their topo maps of the area you're fishing.  Their should be two different maps, one of the east side and one of the west.  Those maps will help a lot during spring because they show what kind of bottom you're fishing.  Wherever you see bank transitions from rock to clay or especially gravel on that map near a spawning area, make a mental note.  These are perfect staging areas for prespawn fish. 

 

I always make a plan with the map before I go out on either Bull Shoals or Table Rock. They're both big lakes where you will do better running around a lot with a mapped out plan unless you have some good electronics and find a really good spot with a lot of fish. This also helps so you don't get lost  :lol: .  Everywhere looks the same on those lakes.  

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Go check out Shane's baits there pretty cool and you can replace the broken arms

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Go pick you up some 60-80 lb Sunline FX2 braid, learn to tie a double uni knot, and get some extra hooks for when you bend them getting the A-Rig unhung. 

I've pulled down good size tree limbs when I've gotten a frog hung up.  I have never broken been able to break off with 80 lb and, to my recollection, never with 60 either.  

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Go pick you up some 60-80 lb Sunline FX2 braid, learn to tie a double uni knot, and get some extra hooks for when you bend them getting the A-Rig unhung. 

I've pulled down good size tree limbs when I've gotten a frog hung up.  I have never broken been able to break off with 80 lb and, to my recollection, never with 60 either.  

I'm actually using my muskie rod which has 80lb Suffix Performance Braid. So that should be no prob!

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I'm actually using my muskie rod which has 80lb Suffix Performance Braid. So that should be no prob!

I can't vouch for anything but FX2 and Seaguar Smackdown. Never tried Suffix. I started out with fireline then spiderwire and didn't like them much. Fell in love with FX2 and have recently been using Smackown since it's an eight strand round braid.  Will never go back to the flat stuff. 

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I don't think the A rig would even been on my radar by April at Table Rock. I've thrown them a good bit in April down there and had very limited success. Much better (and easier to fish) options on the Rock in April IMO. Plus they've been seeing them all winter long at that point so they're pretty wary of them to boot. 

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I don't think the A rig would even been on my radar by April at Table Rock. I've thrown them a good bit in April down there and had very limited success. Much better (and easier to fish) options on the Rock in April IMO. Plus they've been seeing them all winter long at that point so they're pretty wary of them to boot. 

You bring up a good point. I dont want to go here, but I will, so let's not let this get out of hand. If I throw an A-rig, I'm bound to get a limit, and then I'll be able to effectively start culling or change my game and go trophy hunting. 

 

Also, is there anything that will dictate what plastics I should put on? First thing I picture is MoneyMinnows ($6 for 5) But I can get Havoc Beat Shads for ($2 for 8). Much better deal, obviously. 

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You bring up a good point. I dont want to go here, but I will, so let's not let this get out of hand. If I throw an A-rig, I'm bound to get a limit, and then I'll be able to effectively start culling or change my game and go trophy hunting. 

 

Also, is there anything that will dictate what plastics I should put on? First thing I picture is MoneyMinnows ($6 for 5) But I can get Havoc Beat Shads for ($2 for 8). Much better deal, obviously. 

The only reason a lot of people are saying they wouldn't throw the A-rig around April is because it's generally a winter and summer thing around here to target suspended fish.  At least that's what I've gotten out of it.  I really don't throw the A-Rig too much. You can still catch fish on the A-Rig in April, but I personally would just throw it in staging areas for some prespawn fish (if there is still some in prespawn).  I'd defintiely pick up a wiggle wart or two in a crawdad pattern and some jewel eakins finesse jigs with a twin tail trailer though, but both those swimbaits are good.  The yum money minnow skips wonderfully with a 3/16 oz weight.  

 

I wouldn't go to Table Rock thinking I was gonna catch a trophy.  I'd expect a good 14-16 lb best 5 with maybe a good one thrown in. Lots of 2-3 lb fish and there are definitely some big ones too, but I'd just go there expecting to catch a lot of fish.  

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I wouldn't go to Table Rock thinking I was gonna catch a trophy.  I'd expect a good 14-16 lb best 5 with maybe a good one thrown in. Lots of 2-3 lb fish and there are definitely some big ones too, but I'd just go there expecting to catch a lot of fish.  

 

When I said trophy hunting, I just meant switch my tactics to find bigger fish, since I'd already have a full bag. 

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When I said trophy hunting, I just meant switch my tactics to find bigger fish, since I'd already have a full bag. 

Oh okay. Gotcha.  

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I wouldn't assume you'll catch 5 keepers a day on table rock no matter what you throw..It can be very difficult.

I'd recommend you hire a guide for a half day or so, you'll learn more in a few hours than months on your own.

If you decide to go that route pm me and I'll get you some names.

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I wouldn't assume you'll catch 5 keepers a day on table rock no matter what you throw..It can be very difficult.

I'd recommend you hire a guide for a half day or so, you'll learn more in a few hours than months on your own.

If you decide to go that route pm me and I'll get you some names.

This is a good idea.  If you don't wanna fork out the cash for a guide and don't have good electronics on your boat, I'd definitely pick up a topo map like I mentioned earlier.  Table Rock is a beast of a lake with lots of deep water. Everything looks good, and it can be pretty tough.  I used to ride in other people's boats cove hoppin on Table Rock and Bull Shoals, and, yes, sometimes you'll do okay, but once I got my own boat and learned to read a topo, I really started to learn more about fishing those kinds of lakes and my results were much better as well.  Get a topo map and learn to read one.

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I wouldn't assume you'll catch 5 keepers a day on table rock no matter what you throw..It can be very difficult.

In April?  That is the one time of the year I would almost guarantee five keepers on the Rock.  

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