With the abundance of fish in the three pristine lakes in Branson, you will know the reason why the lakes are known as the best spots for trouts and bass fishing in the Midwest. The tri-lakes area that covers Lake Taneycomo, Table Rock Lake and Bull Shoals Lake are loaded with a variety of fish species such as trout, largemouth bass, spotted bass, black and white crappie, blue catfish, channel catfish, walleye, bluegill, and much more. Many of the state parks along the lakes also attract anglers year-round.
Lake Taneycomo is the smallest among the three lakes, but it’s one of the best trout-fishing lakes in the country because the lake is stocked with three-quarters of a million rainbow and brown trout each year. And its cold water makes it ideal for trout fishing at any time of year. Many fishing enthusiasts know lake Taneycomo as a great fishing destination for beginners and professional anglers because it offers something unique for everyone. Whether you are a neophyte angler or an experienced angler, this is the place to test your fishing skills against some of the largest trout in the country.
Lake Taneycomo is considered angler’s paradise because of its abundance of trout. The cold waters of Lake Taneycomo produce more trout than any other lakes. The lake can provide 750,000 trouts each year. Trout fishing on Lake Taneycomo depends on the water flow. Down the lake, the deep water runs slower which allows trout to grow to enormous sizes. Many fishing aficionados believe that it will be in Lake Taneycomo that the next world-record brown trout will be angled out.
Although Lake Taneycomo and Table Rock Lake often share the limelight, Bull Shoals Lake is also considered as the best lake spot for anglers and folks who want to enjoy not just fishing but also a variety of lake activities. Bull Shoals Lake is also known as an ideal spot for bass fishing, as there were already many Missouri record catches come from the side of this lake.
Table Rock Lake is also widely known as one of the best lake spots for bass fishing in the Midwest – thanks to its 43,000 acres of water and thousand miles of beautiful, tree-lined shores. Southern Living ranked Table Rock Lake as one of the South's most magnificent lakes, and it is renowned as among anglers for its bass fishing. Table Rock Lake made national news in 2015 when a fisherman snagged a 140-pound paddlefish from its waters.
Over the years, Table Rock Lake has received national recognition as one of the top fishing lakes for bass in the US. Through stable conservation and fisheries management practices, Table Rock has become a perennial favorite vacation destination of both recreational and fishing activity. It’s also on the short list of lakes that boast largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass, each over five pounds. So how do you look for the best lake spots for bass in Branson? You can start with these four keys to unlocking bass fishing success at Table Rock Lake
1. Finesse for a successful angling
The clear water at Table Rock Lake from November through April offers visibility at 10 feet—often even up to 20 feet—from the Kimberling City Bridge down the lake to the Highway 86 Bridge at Ridgedale. This can be challenging for anglers of any level who are not used to such clear depths. The key is to downsize your rod, your line, and your bait. Don’t worry—many a lunker bass will inhale a small bait.
A typical setup during the high-visibility season would be a good spinning rod with some backbone and a fast tip, eight-pound fluorocarbon line, and a one-eighth ounce shaky head/hook rigged with a five-inch finesse worm. A bait with a little purple in it will entice bites.
2. Go with the flow
Current plays a significant factor in angling success on any of the three lakes. Remember, you’re fishing in a river with flowing water. Water current is sort of like carry out or home delivery for fish. Baitfish such as shad—a major diet for lake bass—often follow the current. The moving water will also stir things up and out of hiding along the shoreline, such as crawfish, that emerge as forage for bass.
Anglers looking for current should check the water generation coming from Table Rock Dam. When the turbines are producing electricity, the dam releases water, creating a flow for several miles upstream that in turn fires up the fish.
3. The sweet spot
Bass are regularly caught in Table Rock Lake at depths from two feet to well below 35 feet. Table Rock Lake has a total area of 45,000 surface acres and has areas that are more than 150 feet deep. This, coupled with clear visibility, can be intimidating. Anglers who want to catch quality fish consistently should cast a line at eight to 15 deep of water
Bass is never far from their food source, and it helps determine the sweet spots. Much of Table Rock Lake is structured like a series of rock shelves, as the name implies. No matter what the water level, you will notice a distinctive ledge every six to 10 feet of lake depth. When you see bigger boulders strewn along the ledges at the bottom of eight to 15 feet, you will find bass.
4. Made in the shade
Look for some shades if you’re fishing for bass at Table Rock Lake during summer. Large boulders, docks, brush piles and standing timber all provide some respite from the bright sun. Likewise, the bass seeks out cooler spots by lurking in the shadows. Deep brush piles are a favorite hide-out for bass during summer; if you can find one near a shady bank, you can bet there’s bass lurking around it.
As one of the most popular water activity on the water, fishing can be more fun and exciting if you fish at some of the best lake spots for trouts and bass in Branson where you can get more bites.