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Spring conditions with a twist

Don Schnable
May 11, 2013
Bull Shoals - Freshwater Fishing Report

Subject: SCHNABLE...Mid-Lake Conditions & fishing

May 8th - Thursday - 2013

Hello. What a complete difference in things from 2012. Last year was the year of extremely warm temperatures early in March and through out the Spring. The water temperatures last were were way way ahead of the normal. Fishing was different then normal. This year? Its the exact opposite. We have been having cold front after cold front since February. This has been the coldest spring overall that I can ever remember in the 40 years I have been here. The water temperature is still hovering in the high 50's to low 60's in most places. There is plenty of fish being caught. Mostly bass, white bass, and crappie. The walleye are the only species that has been disappointing so far. There still hasn't been that crazy walleye bite that we usually get in the spring. We had snow in Arkansas last week in the northwest corner. That is the first time snow has been recorded in May. The constant cold fronts have been yo-yoing the fish into the bank, then out, then back, then out. We are finally seeing largemouth bass on the beds around the docks here at the cove. The bluegill are in the banks one day and then gone the next. We are suppose to be getting some warm rain this week so that should hopefully put things back on track.

The water is extremely clear around the lake. The lake is 8 feet high right now. That has put some brush in the lake on the edges. The water temperatures are in high 50's to lower 60's around the lake.

The fishing is still great for most species. The patterns below are still working. Top water should be starting soon. Until next time.


Spring patterns working now.

- Carolina rigging a lizard in 5 to 15 feet of water. With the water being clear the natural colors should work better.

- The hula grub, gitzit, tube jig, salt craw, all types of plastic baits can catch fish. These can be worked in 5 to 20 feet of water depending on where the fish are that day.

- Crawfish colored crankbaits are catching fish on windy banks. Cloudy days also seem to help the shallow patterns

- Spinner baits on cloudy windy banks. Mostly natural colors in clear water and bright colors in dingy water

- Stick baits such as the rebel, rogue, x-rap, are starting to catch some fish. I dot think we are going to have a shad kill this year so this pattern might not be as effective as normal.

- the old jig-n-frog combinations seem to be catching bass in 5 to 25 feet of water. The trailer can be a variety of things such as any type of plastics.

- live minnows on a simple split shot rig in 5 to 20 feet of water.

- slow retrieve of any type of artificial minnow bait.

Winter patterns still working

- Alabama rigs- this bait works well in cold water rigged with some type of plastic minnow pattern bait.

- White Twin spins on the bluffs - this also simulates and dying shad and may not be as effective as colder years.

- Swimming a black jig-n-eel. I am not sure why this works or what it simulates but the old timers use to throw this a lot back in the day in the winter.

- Spooning in 10 to 50 feet of water under the shad balls. This works better on a bright sunny no wind day.


- casting anything that looks like a shad or minnow. Working it 5 to 30 feet deep back in the creeks. Very slow retrieval. Spoons, jigs, road runners, shad raps, white plastic baits, ect.

- jigging a spoon will also catch white bass in 20 to 30 foot deep water.

Walleye -

- Stick baits such as the X-rap, rogue, rebel in shallow water at night or close to dark. Minnows colors seem to be the best.

Crappie -

- Small minnows around brush piles

- small 1/16 ,1/32, 1/64 oz jigs around the brush piles.

Target Species:


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Contact Info:

Spring Creek Ent.
Hc 1 Box 1265
Isabella, MO 65676
Phone: 417-273-4859
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