We were fortunate to have the FLW Outdoors Stren Series here on Bull Shoals Lake this last week and the anglers had to fight some extreme weather conditions. The tournament started on Wednesday with temperatures in the 50's and winds gusting to 30 mph. Each day got colder and the winds kept blowing in the 20 to 25 mph range through Saturday when it decided to snow in the morning and wind chills dropped the temperatures into the low 20's. Lake temperature dropped a few degrees and is now back at 43 degrees main lake, 44 degrees upper lake and 45 degrees in the back of northern creeks and pockets. Lake level is back down to 653.97, 1/2 foot below normal pool. Hopefully we will have some spring rains to raise the pool into the grass and buck brush.

Tim Fleetwood from Forsyth, MO won the Stren Series tournament with a four day total of 52.12 pounds, a steady five bas limit each day. Other notables were Mark Rose of Marion, AR, Jerry Weisinger of Wyandotte, OK, Larry Nixon from Bee Branch, AR and Robbie Dodson of Harrison, AR. Also congratulations to local Pro's Earl Garrison IV who finished 13th overall and Jimmy Nolan who finished 12th. The co-angler side of the Stren Series was won by Steve McFarland of Mountain Home, AR.

Most of the pros keyed on the upper part of the lake working the front of the creeks and pockets with Suspending Rogues in the morning, Wiggle Warts through the day and Spider Jigs or football jigs when they could get out of the wind. It seemed that with the weather pattern the bass were holding close to the main lake, moving up onto the banks throughout the day. Most of the fish that were weighed in were largemouth bass and spotted (Kentucky) bass. The smallies were not very active and they stayed in deep water, which was almost impossible to fish with the 20 to 30 mph winds.

The best baits and colors were Smithwick Suspending Rogues in the Limited Edition Tennessee Shad and Sour Grape, V37, V38 and V86 Wiggle Warts and Missouri Craw, Peanut Butter and Jelly, and Brown/Purple/flash Spider Jigs and football jigs. Other baits that caught fish were Spinnerbaits (3/4 oz.) slow rolled, tubes and Lucky Craft Staysees.

Walleye are still roaming and the bass anglers caught quite a few of them working banks with jerk baits and crankbaits. Here again, the main lake points and secondary points is where they found them. Walleye anglers should spend some time casting Shad Raps, Suspending Rogues or Lucky Crafts around the points until the lake temperature starts to climb and the walleye start to stage up for their spawn.

Fishing the White River has been good on Berkley Power Eggs in yellow and white along with Power Wigglers in chartreuse or white. With generation the Buoyant Spoons, Colorado spoons and Little Cleo's are the baits of choice. The fly fishermen have done well with little generation on Olive Woolly Buggers, San Juan worms in bright colors, white doll flys (jigs) and "unreal" eggs in peach or white The Brown are being caught on Countdowns, Rogues 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.

Click Here For Past Fishing Reports by Captain Rick Culver