Spring is here! It’s time to get ready for smallmouth fishing on Table Rock Lake. It’s one of my favorite times of year for fishing! The first day of spring occurred this week and we are starting to see much warmer days.
As of today, March 22, the water temperature on Table Rock Lake is still in the upper 40’s with surface temperatures in some areas in the low 50’s. Water temperature will rise quickly with the warmer days ahead.
In a few short weeks the smallmouth will be moving into shallower water in preparation of their spawning activities. Then we will find ourselves enjoying some of the best fishing of the year. There is nothing like the thrill of setting the hook and seeing a fish come out of the water, run around your boat and often times underneath it before finally being lifted from the water! Releasing the fish will help ensure continued good sport fishing on the lake.
All of this takes place with the right surface temperature and the moon phases affecting the behavior of the fish. Use swimbaits to catch the smallmouth in the pre-spawn mode. Once they move up on their spawning beds, use Ned baits. When the fish tire of seeing a Ned bait, a drop shot dragged along a gravel flat can produce great results as well. There are some great drop shot baits available from Bruiser Baits (Bruiser Baits.com). They are available in colors that the fish here on Table Rock just can’t resist.
Once the spawn has passed, it is important to keep an eye out for fish feeding on shad in the middle of the bays. The post-spawn period is a great time to throw a topwater bait, a surge bait or a Rapala shallow diving bait. Keep in mind that this can take place at the same time that other fish are spawning.
There will be surges of other fish moving to their beds with the spring New Moon and Full Moon periods. Also watch for shad spawning around docks as this results in both Largemouth and Spotted bass showing up.
Anytime you can get on the water is good but for me this is as good as it gets! Hopefully, you can make it to Table Rock Lake this spring and experience it.