Wednesday, April 9, 2014

April: White Bass, walleye in Bull Shoals Lake

April 4, 2014 (Friday): I finally had an opportunity to return to the water to fish. A storm past through the night before with lightning, hail and wind; the wind did blow over a few trees that went across the dirt road at the end of River run near the pot hole. I had to back the truck out after making the discovery and took the kayak to the other side of the Pot Hole to launch it from the west side. 

A limit of white bass caught out of the Pot Hole

The day was clear and cool; the water was coming through the power house with the lake level at 659 feet. I took to the water and worked the west side and picked up one 14 inch white bass before drifting across to the other side and fishing late afternoon near the road bed. With the shadows coming across the lake, the white bass started to eat my fly and within an hour had a limit of white bass with seven of the fish in the 16-17 inch range. The male white bass were 14-16 inches. It was a nice cooler of white bass with the average size 15.7 inches for the limit. I set up at sun set to take a walleye and hooked an hour after sun set. I taped it at 24 inches. I left the water at 9 PM, since I was scheduled to work at 6 AM. Hope to be back soon.
I did see a satellite pass over and researched it at home; it happened to be the International Space station (ISS). It was brighter that the planets flying over at 8:30 PM.
April 6, 2014 (Saturday): Rod and I returned to the Pot Hole. I carried a chain saw to remove a tree; someone beat me to it with an axe, I did some trimming on the down tree to allow for better access. We place the canoe in the water and checked several spots before getting eight white bass. We did see and talk with Ty Ingram. He found a 22-inch walleye and pulled a few white bass out below us. We quit at 8 PM and returned to Springfield.

A tree fell across River Run road; it has be cleared and the Pot Hole is accessible again.
The last two trips, 23 white bass were caught with the largest 17 inches with the average size 15.3 inches with a total length of 352 inches. 
With some rain this weekend, it will get better for the streams.

April 9, 2014 (Wednesday): Rod and I returned to Bull Shoals. No significant rain fall has fallen. The lake level was at 659 feet with water flowing over the dam. We tried fishing from a canoe near Swan creek but found the current and prevailing wind blowing us down the lake too fast to get a fly down. We packed the canoe and went up to the dam. We found Keith and Myrna Coffey at the Pot Hole, Keith said they fished Beaver creek earlier with a few white bass caught. Ty Ingram was leaving the water and reported another walleye for the skillet. Rod and I placed the 17-foot canoe into the water and fished near the three trees. The whites must have moved out or we did not have the correct fly. We fished until 8 PM without a bite.
Keith and Mryna Coffey
April 17, 2014 (Thursday): Charlie Erickson and I drove to Morrisville and parked at Taylor Bridge to fish the Little Sac River. The water level (2.55 feet) was high enough to go up stream. There was a very low flow (70 cfs) with a few spots with moving water.  Stockton lake level was 868 feet, which is three feet lower than last year. A forecast of rain did not happen but left the skies overcast in the afternoon. There were a few other people fishing the area but we found a spot below the power lines. We managed to get 22 white bass for the club fish fry, a drum and a few line bass. The white bass were 13.5 inches to sixteen with one female and the rest males; these are three-year old white bass.

Little Sac River near the power lines
April 18, 2014 (Friday): Charlie was not able to return, so Rod and I made it back to the Little Sac River. We arrived near 4:30 PM and saw several kayaks leaving the Taylor Bridge area. Several of the fishermen said it was tough finding fish with last weekend witnessing a stream full of spawning white bass. We had the water below the power lines to ourselves; a few fishermen passing through in kayaks and a pair of wandering fishermen. As the day passed to evening, we had an osprey fly over with a pair of bald eagles an hour later. We manage to get a few white bass to bite with the fishing better after dark. We caught a sucker, several small-mouth bass, few small line bass and 21 white bass. We stayed until 8:30 and witnessed two or three Great horn owls stage a vocal contest with their silhouettes seen on the opposite bank. If there is enough rain to increase the water flow I would expect the white bass to hand on until Mother’s day. 

Jenn, Fred and I starting our fishing trip by paddling upstream
April 23, 2014 (Wednesday): Jenn, my daughter wanted a White Bass outing. I took her and Fred Fregin to Taylor Bridge on the Little Sac River and paddled upstream to a location with moving water. We talked with Terry Tanner as we passed him going up stream. He had a good day of catching and was fishing his way back to his vehicle. We found our spot and had a short visit with John Smallwood below the power lines. 

The day was sunny with seventy degree temperature. The water level was low with the gage reading 2.5 feet. We did manage to find a few White Bass with Fred hooking and releasing a light weight carp. 

Fred with the catch of the day
There was a time restriction and we had to be back in Springfield before 5 PM. We left the water with seventeen white bass in the cooler. There is rain in the forecast, hope there is enough the flush this small stream and bring in fresh fish.

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