Main Species Present: Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Spotted Bass, Channel Catfish, Blue Catfish, Walleye, Rainbow Trout, White Bass, Crappie, Bluegill, Carp
Missouri’s Table Rock Lake is certainly famous. The lake plays host to everything from important Bassmaster Tournaments to Cable Television Shows. There is a reason for this. It is one of the best bass fishing lakes in the United States. The lake holds almost equal numbers of largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass. During the summertime, look for large mouth in five to ten feet of water, and smallmouth and spotted bass in ten to thirty feet of water. The lake’s water is gin clear; it is common to be able to see the bottom in fifteen feet of water. This necessitates two things. The first is light line. Eight pound line is the norm, and you shouldn’t use anything a whole lot larger than ten pound test mono filament. The second thing this clear water means is that you must approach the bass as stealthily as possible. This means not waving your rod unnecessarily, not banging your tackle box on the boat, and not motoring too close to the structure you are planning to cast to. Soft plastics such as tube baits and Carolina Rigged soft plastics are the most popular way to fish the lake. Casting crankbaits and spinnerbaits is also a popular way to fish.
There are other species in the lake besides black bass that are worth casting a line to. Walleye are stocked heavily in the lake, and can be taken by trolling crankbaits, as well as casting jigs and live bait such as minnows or nightcrawlers. Walleye tend to hold in fifteen to twenty-five feet of water in the summer. Night time fishing is best during the warm months. Another popular species in the lake is White Bass. The best time to fish for these feisty fish is in the spring when they make their annual spawning runs. During the rest of the year, they can be caught in water that is approximately twenty feet deep. Catfish are also abundant everywhere in the lake. Channel Catfish are most common, but large blue catfish can also be caught. Rainbow trout can be found in deep water in the upper lake in the White River Arm and Roaring River arms. Trolling is the best method for trout fishing in Table Rock Lake, but there aren’t enough to make fishing for them truly worthwhile. If you want to catch trout, it’s best to take the time to drive to either the White River or Roaring River themselves.
The clear waters of Table Rock Lake hold some of the best fishing to be had in the Midwest. Whether you like smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, walleye, or catfish, this is a great lake for you.