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Pepe

Boat type recommendation

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I am relocating from the western end of Table Rock to near Oakland Marina / Point 9 and interested in making the adjustments to fish this lake.  Hoping to catch Bass, Walleye, BlueGill or ?  I welcome your suggestions regarding best boat type for this lake. 

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You shouldn’t have any trouble. Excellent part of the lake. 

Man.....I’m a BassCat guy. I’d say Pantera 2 or Cougar, but that’s just me. Lots of boats will work. 

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Some hard core walleye trolling guys would maybe disagree, but for Bull Shoals, I'd say a glass bass boat in the 19-20' range is ideal for 85 percent of the fishing you will do on Bull Shoals.

I'm a Champion guy, but really most any of the boats being made are pretty good, it's just a matter of picking the right compromises between rough water ride and fishing features that suit you.

Bull is usually pretty tame, due to less boat traffic, but the open stretches around Oakland can get pretty brutal with a big wind out of the north/northwest, which is why I recommend 19' of boat or more. I have been in some pretty insane waves around the saddle, and I was very happy to be in a 20' Champion. I'd also recommend a dependable motor with good gas mileage, as sometimes you can run a lot of miles chasing a pattern on Bull, and gas options are a lot farther apart than most lakes, especially out of season, and if you break down, you will be mostly on your own. Cell coverage and water LE/first responders are basically non-existent. 

I don't yet have one, but I am seriously lusting over the new trolling motors with spot lock, as my old pinpoint troller was awesome back in the early 2000s, and Bull seems just taylor made for that feature set.

imho, you can forget about power poles or talons on Bull, unless you just want to spend a couple grand on holding your boat while you park your truck. Even in the spawn, you won't be fishing shallow enough for all but the longest poles to reach. 

 

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Thank you, gentlemen.

When I was on the lake, this past Thursday thru Sunday I saw very few fishing boats on the lake, but noticed that of the fishing boats observed in dock stalls about 75% were deep V multi-specie/walleye boats.  I may get to a point in my life where I enjoy trolling, but I’m not there yet.  

I do have a MK trolling motor with spot lock and it is awesome.  Depending on wind direction I have fished from the back deck to really work a high confidence spot with accuracy.  I never fish tournaments and value the experience of relative solitude on the water. That is no longer available on Table Rock most of the year - the primary reason I am selling my place there.

Is this a lake that requires excellent electronics to find the fish?  Mine are older and may need replacement if so.   I have never been tempted by power poles.  They suck for the person fishing the back deck. 

i intend to utilize guides, in different seasons, to at least learn the fishing basics of this beautiful lake.  

I deeply appreciated your help.  I know the Bull has a reputation for being a difficult bass fishery, so I will need to learn all I can. 

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Bull might be tough when the water temp is < 40 degrees and during the summer, but March thru June is great and mid October thru mid Jan is pretty darn good too.

Hiring a guide in the different seasons is a Great idea 

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Coming from Table Rock, the biggest thing you will have to get used to on Bull Shoals is the grin on your face because you can fish anywhere you want without fishing behind another boat. 

Seriously, there is less standing timber on the bluffs, but that's it. The lakes fish very similar, and adapting patterns and techniques from one to the other won't be hard. 

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Thank you, gentlemen.  I appreciate you taking the time to help.  I would welcome recommend guide(s), places to stay for short visits and a place to store my boat while I look around for a place to buy.  

I drive from St. Louis and the time is the same as to the place I am selling in Shell Knob. I’m hoping to find a place to buy with a budget of $125k.  I’m a retired contractor and don’t mind, in fact usually prefer a fixer-upper.  I’m really looking forward to making this move. 

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Just now, Pepe said:

Thank you, gentlemen.  I appreciate you taking the time to help.  I would welcome recommend guide(s), places to stay for short visits and a place to store my boat while I look around for a place to buy.  

I drive from St. Louis and the time is the same as to the place I am selling in Shell Knob. I’m hoping to find a place to buy with a budget of $125k.  I’m a retired contractor and don’t mind, in fact usually prefer a fixer-upper.  I’m really looking forward to making this move. 

When you get all settled in and ready to fish contact me on here and I can give you some tips and tricks.  I moved to Bull back in 2000 and have been fishing  there since I was a toddler. 

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I'm near Oakland. I am in the opposite corner in that I prefer the deep V since we do a lot of trolling.
The open floor plan helps rig rods and 3 of us can watch 3-5 lines in the water.
Mine is 17 1/2ft so we can also easily fish 3 casting to shore.

I'm used to fishing open water in Wisconsin and Michigan where 2 footers can be daily with wind.
My Deep V is no problem,  i'll also utilize a drift sock to stabilize in big waves.
Pretty much only lightening will keep me off the water.

In rough water you learn fast how to fish and drive safely.
I love Bull since even a bad weather day is still not bad.

Bull is deep, Yep skip the powerpole, they get in the way of trolling rods and netting fish.

Test drive and fish from a few if you can.
Ask a buddy to let you drive and work the front of the boat, glass or deep V.
See if you like the cockpit or open floor plan.
Think about how you'll fish the boat.

The boat can get you to the spot...
But Its the fisherman that puts the fish in the box.

Unless there are tournaments, the area from pts 8-9-10-11 up to Pontiac can be a ghost town.
Which leaves square miles for us to fish without someone 50yds on out tail.

We'll fish all summer, water is probably 82-84 surface now, but with gear you'll catch fish at that 25 depth.
That's why trolling (aside from jigging) is a great technique.

 

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