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First full season on Bull Shoals.


Alex Ball

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Wow, it's been 2 months at least since I last posted. Finally found what I wanted in my setups. I'm definitely more of a spinning guy. Just feels right. 

    Took a while, but I no longer feel lost on the water. I can now say I expect to catch at least one fish everytime I go out. Cranks, jigs and free rigs have done well by me. Really like the free rigs. Easier than a drop shot. 

    Thanks to everyone for being so patient with me. Fishing has been a godsend. 

   Here's one of the better catches.

IMG_20220912_124158.jpg

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32 minutes ago, scaleface said:

Ive been there twice . Tubes were working good both times .

Ya. Forgot to mention tubes. I never fish without em. Very effective here. Any size, pretty much any color will catch something. 

   I love it here. It's a real mystery box. I catch carp, then a bass, then a TON of bluegill, and sometimes even a catfish. It's nuts. You never know what you'll end up catching.

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  • Global Moderator

Hire Tim "Hotdawg" Curtis for a day.  I have been fishing with him for 25 years.

He is a great guy and you will learn a lot. 

 

https://www.hotdawgguideservice.com/

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  • 3 weeks later...
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Keitech swimbaits always seem to be working for me at Bull. It's a very underappreciated lake with Table Rock being right next to it. 

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On 10/12/2022 at 1:30 AM, Bluebasser86 said:

Keitech swimbaits always seem to be working for me at Bull. It's a very underappreciated lake with Table Rock being right next to it. 

Yessir. The Keitech, Rage Swimmer, and the Damiki all produce here. Ranger Jockey and you both got me into em. A staple bait here. 

    I'm glad we get overlooked. Norfork is literally next door, and so is T Rock. Everyone goes to those 2 or right to the river. As a result, we have a tournament grade lake that doesn't get absolutely hammered. It's nice.

    I was also told it's one of the most difficult lakes in America. I've CA'd with a couple "foreigners" as we call em. HS and college kids. They despise it here. A 10lb bag gets you paid here. 

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I think Bull Shoals will stay as it is for quite awhile. It doesn't have the amenities around it like Table Rock for family vacations ect. Heck, it's a half hour drive to a grocery store. 

 Great job Alex.

 

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4 hours ago, rangerjockey said:

I think Bull Shoals will stay as it is for quite awhile. It doesn't have the amenities around it like Table Rock for family vacations ect. Heck, it's a half hour drive to a grocery store. 

 Great job Alex.

 

A buddy of mine calls it the "Ghost Lake" a ghost town except it's an entire lake. It's kinda unreal. As far as I know, Bull Shoals, Arkansas is the biggest town on the lake. That's unbelievable. No Walmart for 30 minutes in any direction. No tackle shop for 45. Red's in Lakeview is going to reopen. We needed that bad. 

      Got to go to Hamilton this year for the big tournament. Was there catering for the events. On BSL, 4 boats in one area is heavy pressure. On Hamilton that same scenario is considered a quiet spot. 

    We're so spoiled here. It's a real chore to catch bass here. If you're cool with just pred angling, regardless of species, this might be the best kept secret in America. It's maybe the easiest place I've ever fished for panfish. Most interesting too. 

3 hours ago, roadwarrior said:

Harps is in "downtown" Bull Shoals.

939 Central Blvd, Bull Shoals, AR 72619

    At this point, Lakeview has a brighter future. We just got a DG 6 months ago. We're getting our tackle shop back. It'll be the only real one on the lake. 

    LoL on the "Downtown". Harp's is it. There's a fantastic little fly shop and a DG there in Bull Shoals. 178 club will keep the town going, but only if the Marina stays solvent. 

    In Lakeview, we just got the 2 businesses I mentioned plus a resale shop. I do the lawn jobs there sometimes. We have Gaston's. That's huge for us. We have another restaurant too. 1 hotel. 

     LoL, the enthralling economics of a ghost town. When I moved here, we had a gas station. That's it. Gaston's too but is a ways away. Things are looking up in Lakeview. I worry about Bull Shoals.

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    The posts about how remote we are on BSL got me thinking about something: There are two major misconceptions about this lake. 

   1. The White River is our rival.

     Most of the real towns are on the White. From Jordan to Flippin, with Mountain Home in between, the WRA towns get the spotlight. 

    Good, let em. I'm not "from here". An outsider if there ever was one. I was welcomed with open arms on one condition, keep it a secret. 

    The basic ideal here is that we have everything we need, why ask for more? We're almost a foreign country in our own state. I have friends who live 20 miles away that don't know where my town is. We're extremely insulated as a community. 

2. It's hard to catch bass here. 

    True and false. In a tournament setting, true but not for reasons you'd think. Just for leisure, it's completely exaggerated how difficult it is here.

    If you're in a derby, unless you have intimate knowledge of the lake in at least one area, you're toast. I can be 30 yards away from you, blowing up the spot while you are zero bagging. 

    That's not luck. I'm blowing it up because I know that spot has a small cave you can't see unless you are here when we revert to Wisconsin level winters. That slot is where every bass in that spot is. Unless you actually do the work when it's miserable here, you're praying for 5 that measure. 

    Finally, if you're just banking or pleasure fishing, its a bass bonanza if you're a local. We know where the tanks are. We don't share that info with even our friends. I got me a nice little cove end. Too shallow for boats. I'm the only person I've seen there in a year.  

      I love it here. Heaven on earth

IMG_20220912_124209.jpg

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We were down near Pontiac some years ago and the lake was something like 20' high.  The place we were staying had to cut a new road down to their boat dock.  The resort owner told us that Bull Shoals was a flood control lake.  When Beaver, Taneycomo, and Table Rock got too full, the excess water got dumped into Bull Shoals. 

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Bull Shoals has been 30 ft high for quite a while. I believe it's about at pool right now and Table Rock is 7 ft low. We need some rain and one of the gates at TR dam was stuck open which didn't help. 

 If I had to pick the toughest lake to fish in the White River chain, I personally would say Beaver.

 You can have 20ft of visibility on it and without some clouds or wind break out the spinnin' rods and shaky head.

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17 hours ago, rangerjockey said:

Bull Shoals has been 30 ft high for quite a while. I believe it's about at pool right now and Table Rock is 7 ft low. We need some rain and one of the gates at TR dam was stuck open which didn't help. 

 If I had to pick the toughest lake to fish in the White River chain, I personally would say Beaver.

 You can have 20ft of visibility on it and without some clouds or wind break out the spinnin' rods and shaky head.

 I haven't fished beaver yet. 

    We're finally at pool. The bridge closed 4 times this year. We were extremely high. Any more and housing gets affected. 

    I think we're the only lake on the chain not really designed to fish. It was quite literally built to be a flood reservoir. 

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On 10/22/2022 at 9:57 PM, Alex Ball said:

 I haven't fished beaver yet. 

    We're finally at pool. The bridge closed 4 times this year. We were extremely high. Any more and housing gets affected. 

    I think we're the only lake on the chain not really designed to fish. It was quite literally built to be a flood reservoir. 

100%. The Corp. has to protect Branson and the folks downstream on Taney. 

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On 10/21/2022 at 5:40 PM, Bankbeater said:

We were down near Pontiac some years ago and the lake was something like 20' high.  The place we were staying had to cut a new road down to their boat dock.  The resort owner told us that Bull Shoals was a flood control lake.  When Beaver, Taneycomo, and Table Rock got too full, the excess water got dumped into Bull Shoals. 

Both times I visited it was high . The first time we launched on the road leading to the ramp and fished picnic tables .

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On 10/24/2022 at 6:42 AM, scaleface said:

Both times I visited it was high . The first time we launched on the road leading to the ramp and fished picnic tables .

That's my favorite spot in Oakland. The park when it's flooded. Those tables are bass magnets. Flip or skip, you're gonna get hit.

On 10/24/2022 at 4:23 AM, rangerjockey said:

100%. The Corp. has to protect Branson and the folks downstream on Taney. 

Works for me. I get an entire cove all to myself. I know it upside down and backwards now. It's really nice to have such a low pressure lake to really learn on.

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