Winter fishing Bull Shoals Lake in the Ozarks means the Walleyes are biting!
With sharp razor teeth, the Walleye is one of the fiercest predators in Bull Shoals Lake. Their primary food source is Shad (a common bait fish). Walleye search out schools of Shad and so should the fishermen. Start at the mouth of an inlet and work your way toward the back shoreline. Shad often will be where the creeks are flowing and the Walleye know this fact. If the dams are not generating and the water flow is minimal, fishermen need to stick in the main lake and fish the points. Walleye will often suspend 10-20 foot off the points waiting for unsuspecting bait fish to come around the corner. They prefer a point with a steep drop off.
Best Lures for Walleye on Bull Shoals Lake
The best lures for catching Walleye are small silver spoons. A slow retrieve cast is best with little splash. You’d want to create a ‘dying Shad’ look for a easy snack. Also a good food source for Walleye are night crawlers. For this technique, rig your crawler to cover exposed hook but leaving a longer tail. Use a drop and retrieve method or bottom bouncing works good. Trolling with a down rigger setup works well on a windy day when the bait fish are being pushed – keep the wind at your back and go with the flow.
Fishing for Walleye from Sister Creek’s Dock
Lightly cast at the end of our dock and allow bait/lure to slowly drop. Very slowly bring your bait/lure back. The end of our dock is generally 50+ foot deep with a sharp drop off (where Walleye have been know to hang out). We suspend and drop fish cover under our dock to create havens for bait fish.
Walleyes shy away from sunlight. Fishermen need to remember on a calm, sunny day the Walleyes will be deep. They are closer to the surface on cloudy, rainy days and always bite best at dusk or overnight. Many overnight fishermen use a flood light to spot Walleyes as their eyes are highly reflective.
• Bull Shoals Lake gets cold but never freezes
• Walleyes get very active when the water temperature drops below 60 degrees
• Spawn occurs in early spring when the water temp rises above 50 degrees
• Bring your winter gear and hand warmers
• Keeper: 18” long
• Daily Limit: 4
• Winter Water temp average: 40-50 degrees
• Winter Ozarks Weather average: 46.6 degrees day time temp
• Winter Bull Shoals Lake conditions: Clear, normal to low pool level, no debris
For more information visit Arkansas Game & Fish at www.agfc.com
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