Everybody wants to know how the fishing is on this high water. Well, according to Jason Long, it is just fine! Many others that have been out recently would also agree. There is just no reason not to come right now. Shad, worms, PJ’s Marabou jigs, Rapalas, pink Gulp worms, white plastic grubs, PowerBaits, and egg patterns are resulting in a good number of high quality Rainbow and Brown trout.
Using a guide is highly recommended as the guide will put you on the fish as well as maintain control of the boat at all times. Those fishing the bank have done fine; however, drift fishing is preferable. We are renting boats, but only to those that have good experience with operating a boat.
Here is a brief update on the condition of Bull Shoals Lake and the White River:
Back on January 16th, Bull Shoals Lake was holding 26 feet of flood water above the normal pool level when the Corps of Engineers opened the flood gates to begin releasing enough of a flow out of the lake to exceed what was coming into the lake. As of February 6th, 21 days later, the lake level has dropped 10.7 feet, leaving 15.3 feet of water still to drain out. Of the 2 reservoirs above Bull Shoals Lake, Table Rock Lake has now released all the flood water it was holding, while Beaver Lake still holds 75% of its flood water capacity, though it is dropping.
On the river below Bull Shoals Dam, the flow has certainly been higher than usual. During the first week of having the spillway gates open in February, the maximum flow of the river was about 30,800 cubic feet per second (cfs). Since then the flow has deceased somewhat to 28,265 cfs. On Monday, February 8th, the Corps is planning to increase the flow back up to about 30,000 cfs. If all goes according to plan, the Corps of Engineers expects to have all the flood water released from Bull Shoals Lake by March 6th. This is of course dependent on rain fall between now and then.
Looking a little farther into the season, this high water is bringing a lot of nutrients including shad into the river. I expect we will find many very healthy fish in the river throughout this year. Don’t forget, the best time to come fishing on the White River is whenever you can come. Make your plans, then give us a call. We would be glad to have you.