With upper 80's during the day and low 60's at night, how can anyone complain about the weather. We even had some rain over the weekend, between 1 to 2 inches. Lake level this week is at 648.81, 5 1/2 feet below normal pool. Hopefully with the weekend rain we will recover some of the water that has been generated out. Lake temperature has been holding fairly steady around 76.5 degrees throughout the week, another 5 to 6 degrees and we should be into the fall bite. The thermocline slipped down a foot to 36 feet and still bottoms out at 45 feet. The algae growth in the thermocline has slowed down. Crappie were spotty this week but when you could find them, they were biting. Again, crappie minnows are the best live bait according to the guides at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock. The best artificial baits have been crappie tubes, Bobby Garland Swimming Minnow in Blue Thunder and white or pearl grubs. Fish deep brush in 25 to 30 feet of water, the crappie were suspended over the top of the brush.

Largemouth bass only want to cooperate in the mornings and top water in the way to trigger them. Buzzbaits, Spit'N Image, Sammy's and Spook Jrs are all working well. Cover a lot of water from dawn until the sun is shining on the water and you should have some fun. The Smallmouth bass bite continues to pick up on tubes and Spider jigs but most of the fish are under 15 inches. Pea rock banks and small chunk rock banks are where most of the feeding smallies seem to be. The best bite is in the afternoon in 26 to 35 feet of water. Kentucky bass were hard to find this week and as yet I don't have a handle on what they are doing or where they have gone. You can catch one here or there on a spoon or a drop shot rig but the schools are gone. The lake is in transition and so are the game fish, so we will see if we can pinpoint them this week.

Walleye moved last week onto deep flats and there are numbers that are on the flats this week. They are in a zone of 33 to 35 feet, both on the bottom and suspended outside of the flats. Best technique continues to be lead core line trolling smaller baits such as Hot'N Tots, Ripshads, Wally Divers and jointed Shad Raps, although the word is that Reef Runners and Deep Tail Dancers are starting to work as well. Vertical fishing is also triggering some nice walleye using spoons and jigs tipped with Munchie grubs. Try either of these techniques on light wind days.

Fishing for trout on the White River has been good. With light generation Berkley Power Eggs in yellow, orange and pink have worked well. With generation the Buoyant Spoons, Blue Fox, Mepps or Little Cleos. are the baits of choice. The fly fishermen have done well with little generation on Olive Woolly Buggers, Zebra midges and scuds or sow bugs The Brown trout are being caught on Count Downs, jointed Rapalas and nightcrawlers.

Remember to keep only what you can eat and release the rest for another day. Rick Culver of Wilderness Trail does the research for this report and the writing of this report. For more information call Rick or Sue Culver at Wilderness Trail at 870-445-2703, e-mail us at wtrail@bullshoals.net or check out our web site at www.wildernesstrail.com

Fish Species: Bass
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About The Author: Captain Rick Culver

Company: Wilderness Trail Tackle Store

Area Reporting: Bull Shoals

Bio: Take a guide trip on Bull Shoals. Learn the patterns and techniques of clear water fishing while in a fully rigged bass boat with a professional guide. We will be fishing for bass, but may hook a crappie, walleye, white bass or hybrid. All guide trips are organized through Bull Shoals Lake Boat Docks. If scheduled through Wilderness Trail, Rick Culver will be your licensed professional guide. Our service provides the boat (Ranger 520) motor (Mercury OptiMax 225) and guide for the following.

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