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Bull Shoals Half of my Trade a Trip 5/8 5/9 5/10

I reached out on the Bass Cat Owners Forum looking for someone to trade a trip on Bull Shoals for a trip down to Venice, La. I was lucky enough to find someone willing to take a chance on me. I don’t post nearly as much over there as I do on Ozark Anglers. 

My new friend Jim Cazes is another LSU alum. Retired after 40 years in sales. Has a Bass Cat Puma which he was able to leave at home for this trip. He hadn’t caught many smallmouth bass and wanted to visit Bull Shoals and the BassCat factory.

5/8 We launched out of Lead Hill. We ran down lake a ways and found some bushes in 5-9 foot of water with some wind on them and quickly caught a few bass. We relocated to a finger off a creek and caught more bass in bushes on blades. I found a flatter bank and introduced him to Ned rigs . He picked it up pretty quickly, but we were catching LMB and Spots. I had to move us to a smaller Hollow off the main lake to put him on some smallies. Honestly, I think he enjoyed the Mega Bluegill he caught as much as the smallies, but he hadn’t caught a decent smallie yet. 

5/9 We launched into Jimmy Creek. Rainy and windy. We caught fish, but the quality smallies continued to evade us. It bluebirded off on us and we Made a run to the Oakland area. Got a bass in bushes and the a few more on the Ned. I lost a BIG smallie on the Ned. We took a break for lunch and a factory tour.

After lunch and the factory tour, we headed back to Leadhill. More clouds had moved in and it turned out to be a Good move. We caught some quality fish on points in a secondary cove on Ned rigs. I think he was really surprised how hard a 3 lb smallie could pull. He set and reset his PB smallie several times. We finished up the day by both catching a nice smallie on a main lake point late in the day. 

5/10 We were on the way to the lake when he got a phone call about complications from home and he decided to cut for home. I went fishing anyway. More spinnerbait fish. More Sluggo fish. More Ned rig fish. More swim bait fish. I quit early. I was a little tired.

water is 69 to 74 degrees. Water color varies from area to area, but it pretty good. Lake level is still slowly going up. I think we were over 671 today. I’m really hoping for it to creast REALLY soon. CLOUDS AND WIND ARE YOUR FRIENDS.

Looking forward to my trip to Venice.


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12 hours ago, mixermarkb said:

Nice job Ham!

I hope to drag the wife down Sunday afternoon to fish Monday. Sounds like things are good and getting better. Anything on top?


Flukes. I hung a fish on a full sized Spook, but it pulled off. I had a bite on a WP 110, but no hook ups. 

Still waiting on it. 

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Great trip Ham.

You are gonna love the Venice redfish trip. Be sure to take an 8 wt fly rod along. Nothing better than a 10 lb red on the fly. 

Also might want to check out an offshore trip for some tunas, snappers or a ling or two.

That area is the best saltwater fishing this side of the world.


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