Sunday, March 16, 2014

March: Bull Shoals Lake after dark

Lake level 657.1 ft 
March 7, 2014 (Friday): Rod Pennington and I drove late afternoon to fish the Pot Hole. The lake level was 657.1 feet and no current from the powerhouse. There was a mild breeze but not enough to provide cover for the fish. There were a few shad breaking the surface and at dusk trout (probable) taking items of the surface at mid-lake. Rod took off going down the lake and I walked the roadbed to fish the points. Needless to say we did not hook up and we fished to 7:30 PM. There was a chill in the air and on our drive home had some rain droplets on the windshield.
Power Site dam at sunset
March 9, 2014 (Sunday): First day of day light savings time. The lake level is 657.1 feet with no generation through the powerhouse. The lake is flat with a very light wind. I decided to explore more water and took the kayak. I parked on the east side and paddled to the west shore to find the shade from the hill and the setting sun. There were a few shad hitting the surface. I started with a white 1/80th oz. jig trying to pick up any small fish and did hook and land a seven-inch shiner. I floated the water on the west side to silver creek and drifted back to the pothole.  I finished the night in the pothole with no hook ups; fishing without a current is difficult.
Rising moon a few days from being a full Moon
March 13, 2014 (Thursday): I checked Table Rock Dam and Bull Shoals dam with water moving at Taneycomo with the lake level reaching 709 feet, probably operating four generators. I was anticipating a good night of fishing. I checked the water levels before leaving Springfield and found the water flow had ceased with Taneycomo going back to 701 feet. When I pulled up to the Pot Hole, I found some flow through the powerhouse, so I drove to the west side and unloaded the kayak since the water level was probably at 657.7 feet (up six inches since my last trip). As soon as I had the kayak in the water with waders on, the water through the powerhouse stopped with the water flows changed in the lake. I considered packing up and fishing Beaver Creek but decided to tough it out. I fished the first point without a hookup. I took to the kayak and fished the west side wading out into the lake and working a bunny strip without a take. The shadows began to cover the west side and fished the same area with purple buck-tail streamer, again no takes. I saw baitfish on the surface and heard a few large fish splash without actually seeing them. The moon rose over the east before sunset and the night had plenty of light with moon shadows.
Power Site Dam at 10 PM
This is my third trip to the pothole without a walleye, the remarks from Paul Henry would be if no moving water, move on to fish another spot. It has proven to be true.

I had a long weekend off from work and took time to fish the Pot Hole below power site dam on Bull Shoals Lake. The water has been flowing for a week with the lake level steady at 659 feet. There was water running over the dam all three days with some water passing through the powerhouse. The water’s edge is ten feet past the large sycamore tree at the end of River Run lane. You can wade the roadbed but you will not travel far before it gets too deep.

March 21, 2014: Friday evening, Rod and I took a seventeen-foot aluminum canoe to fish the deeper water. We waded and fished the west side with one 15-inch rainbow trout taken before the walleye hole. Two bait fishermen fishing the walleye hole took several 3 lbs. trout. Later that evening, we loaded the canoe and took three walleye after sunset; the largest was 22 inches. We stayed until 8:30 PM before returning to Springfield.
March 22, 2014: Saturday evening, I drove down alone. I loaded the kayak and fished the east side. There was plenty of water coming over the dam with a lake level at 659 feet. The wind was out of the north with the weatherman forecasting some frozen precipitation Sunday morning with a low forecasted to be 24 degrees. I stayed until 9:30 PM, with one short walleye returned.
March 23, 2014: Sunday evening, again I took the kayak. The water conditions were similar to the past two days; lake level 659 feet water clear. The wind was out of the east with a light chop on the water. There were a number of fishermen lined up on the dam wall on the west side. I did see moving fish and took a sixteen-inch white bass at sunset.

first white bass of the year

With warmer water, it is my opinion the fishing in the deeper water will bring fish, unfortunately a boat, canoe, kayak or belly boat will be helpful to get to the fish. There will be very limited wading this year at the Pot Hole.