Do you want to catch fish on Table Rock Lake? Right now, the lake is currently up at full pool and there is a lot of cover that grew this spring which now has water surrounding it. The bass have been pushing bait into these areas and feeding heavily on shad and minnows.
There has not been much current because there has only been one generator running recently at the dam. Fortunately, light winds early in the morning are breaking up the surface reflection.
For the last few weeks, the fish have been hitting topwater baits in the morning hours prior to the sun shining strong on the water. Cloudy days seem to keep them feeding on top for a longer period of time. When they are “up” like this, topwater baits such as Whopper Ploppers, Zara Spooks and Gunfish have produced the best results. The baits do best when you get them close to the cover and keep them moving all the way back to the boat. Keep this in mind to catch fish on Table Rock Lake right now.
On a recent guide trip, I took a customer out brought some Whopper Ploppers from the bait shop where he works. Throwing them first thing in the morning did not result in him catching fish – they would not take the bait. The fish would swipe at the bait but would not take it under. I started with a Carolina Rig and managed to catch three fish before he decided he would like to try one. Once he did we caught over thirty bass with the Carolina Rigs with approximately a third of them being over 15 inches. There were two fish caught that were in the 3 to 4-pound range. Once the sun came overhead we moved to another area and, at my customer’s request, I tied a drop shot rig and showed him how to use it. Within minutes, we were back to catching fish. However, the fish caught on the drop shot rig ran smaller than what we had caught on the Carolina Rig. Finally, we went along bluffs that had fallen timber on them a started pitching jigs. Again, this produced fish almost immediately. We were using 5/16 oz jigs that I make in green and PBJ color patterns. The fish did not seem to have a preference on that day and went after both colors.
The water in the James River arm of the lake near Cape Fair is green in color and there is some debris working its way down the river. As this debris collects in pockets and against current brush piles, fishing with jigs should get even better.
If you are planning a trip and will be in the James, be on the lookout for this as there are some small sticks above the surface that are only the “tip of the iceberg” of what is below. Be careful!
Just like you, I am always wanting to catch fish on Table Rock and am glad to share my experience with you!