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Bill Babler
Bill Babler

Table Rock Lake Current Fishing Report 9-4-18

Surface temps the last few days has been hanging in the 76 to 79 range depending on area of the lake.  This morning at Shell Knob it was 77 and pretty much stayed there.  I'm going to go ahead and do the K-Knob first.  Lets just say Shell Knob  to Big M and Shell Knob to Baxter as it is all pretty much the same deal right now, with one note worthy exception that I will tell your about in a minute.

Lots and lots of drop shot fish in the 26 to 40g foot range not so much really congregated but several on a lot of locations, mostly gravel.  There are also fish chasing all day long, some in the middle and some just about everywhere.  I can't catch them worth a hoot on top water, but they will eat a under spin with a 2.8 inch Keitech decent.  What they will eat the best is a 1/2 oz. Little George in Silver or Chrome.  I started at the end of last week with 5 most of them probably 20 yrs. old and I now have none.  They took them from me.

Today especially, as I saw something I have not seen for 25 plus years on the Rock.  Today I witnessed at massive school of LM chasing shad.  The last time was up the Kings River near Blue Hole today it was at the mouth of the Kings.  I was fishing the point going into Mill Creek at Twin Rivers and saw them bust right in the middle of the White River Channel.  Its 98 feet deep right there.  I really did not pay a total load of attention as I thought they were Whites and would be up and down.  Deal was they stayed and stayed up.  Finely after about 5 minutes I just had to go check it out as they just kept surfacing in about a 40 acre patch.  I pulled out there and tossed the Little George.  and it was a total slam and while I was reeling in the fish I saw that they were LM. busting all around the boat.  Got the fish to the boat and it was a solid 4 pounder.  When to reach over for him and he dived and snapped off the George.  I had another one rigged so I calmly did the same frigging thing and lost another Little George.  These were on 6lb that I had been catching K's on with out a problem.  These LM were not that by a long shot and they were moving and slashing at top speed.  Picked up another rod with a yellow magic and they were still busting all around me.  Some of these feeds were as big as a bushel basket.  Tossed out the YM on 8 pound Maxi and as soon as it hit the water if was gone, I mean it was like you threw in a 500 lb. boulder.  It was there one minute and I had a slack line the next.

I had 2 remaining rods with baits, both were under spins on 8 pound line.  I boated 6 LM on them all about 3 pounders before the Keitechs were torn off.  I also caught 1 more on a drop shot and one on a swim jig.  All cookie cutter 3 pounders.  These fish were on the surface at least 20 minutes and then they were gone.  Wish I would have had a camera guy but the futility and craziness would have really embarrassed me.

Reason for all the lite tackle was I was to have had some extremely mature fishermen today and that was what they were comfortable with.   Due to the rain at Shell Knob they did not get out, so I was on my own after the drive over.  I has also been catching some up there swimming a jig thru deep trees, and that has been a hoot.

Now for the rest of the lake.  The deep Football jig bite has really tapered off, and the drop shot bite is back on again from Kimberling City to the dam.  Guides are telling me a half day trip they are using 6 dozen crawlers and fish are both suspended and on the bottom in the 26 to 35 ft. range.

James River is still fishing well on the Football Jig at that same 30' depth range with some really solid K's and LM along with the big boys.

Hope I don't have to wait another 25 years to see LM surface on the rock in a massive school like this.  I don't believe there was any other bass in that 40 acre school but LM and as I have said, for the Rock in Post LM kill that is just something few people have ever gotten to see.

Good Luck

 




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I've got to taylor my trips so my clients with not as much fishing experience as most us have, can be put in the best position for success.  Most of the time fishing either two or three clients going down a bank with a crank bait or a spinnerbug is not going to be to their advantage, even if that bite is good at the time.  To many people fishing and not enough fish.

Jig bite really slowed last week during that extreme high pressure.  Its not back yet outside of swimming either a bladed jig or swim jig thru the deep trees.

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Bill I know you must always Taylor trips to get the most fish for your clients but what if a guy say, me would call you and say hey I would like to learn a new tactic... is that something you offer as an a a guide or would you rather have inexperienced Fisherman's and just put them on fish. we have a summertime home on Table Rock and I would like to learn to fish it year round I have just started as you have seen figuring out the drop shot bite I would like to learn the best tactics for winter and spawn time of year. Is that something you do or would you rather just take someone fishing?

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Bgc.   Bill will match his fishing day to the experience level of his clients.   He or any of the other guides in the area can teach you the seasonal patterns and spots on the lake.  I recommend going out with a couple different ones.   They all have a little different take on the fishing.   I am in the same process as you trying to learn the lake and the patterns.   Table Rock is such a large body of water it’s hard to find the 20% of productive water.    It takes years of time on the water to master it.   And those pros still get stumped sometimes.  Good luck mastering Table Rock. 

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2 hours ago, IL Fisherman said:

Bgc.   Bill will match his fishing day to the experience level of his clients.   He or any of the other guides in the area can teach you the seasonal patterns and spots on the lake.  I recommend going out with a couple different ones.   They all have a little different take on the fishing.   I am in the same process as you trying to learn the lake and the patterns.   Table Rock is such a large body of water it’s hard to find the 20% of productive water.    It takes years of time on the water to master it.   And those pros still get stumped sometimes.  Good luck mastering Table Rock. 

Something I've done on my  Navionics map is highlighted the 25-30 foot zone and try to find fish around that depth. Seems to work the biggest part of the year.

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Thanks for the report and fun read.

Curious of folk's thoughts for the coming weeks.  According to accuweather, at least, fall weather sure looks to be on the way -- 85H/70L today becomes 65H/40L by the 15th.  Will that deep jig bite come back into play for a while as things cool off and the days keep getting shorter... or is it better odds that they could start transitioning shallower or towards the backs of creeks and pockets?  Or maybe it's a few weeks where they just scatter to wherever the shad happen to be on a given day?  We've only gotten down there a few times in Oct/Sept, but it's usually been warmer weather and that spoon/dropshot/jig bite.  Bringing the family down on the 19th and will have a week to try to figure something out.

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21 hours ago, Bgctrading said:

Bill I know you must always Taylor trips to get the most fish for your clients but what if a guy say, me would call you and say hey I would like to learn a new tactic... is that something you offer as an a a guide or would you rather have inexperienced Fisherman's and just put them on fish. we have a summertime home on Table Rock and I would like to learn to fish it year round I have just started as you have seen figuring out the drop shot bite I would like to learn the best tactics for winter and spawn time of year. Is that something you do or would you rather just take someone fishing?r

It really doesn't matter what your experience level is to any of the guides, all our trips are taylored to that level.  They are  also set up on seasonal patterns which rule Table  Rock.  You need to book trips at the time of the year that you want to try certain tactics and develop new skills.  As IL Fish pointed out we all have somewhat different ways to fish every seasonal pattern.  Most of us however are in communication with each other throughout the day, especially if we think we are working harder than we need to find fish.

Table Rock guides have one of the best networks in the country and are always ready to share it with each other during the fishing day.  The biggest problem  locals have is they go out with us and learn something new.  We catch fish and then when we see them again they tell us we caught them good with you and then on our own we couldn't get bit.   Locals have caught fish here and it is almost impossible to change what they do.  Yes they will think the guide trip is better than sliced bread but as soon as they are back on their own they are back doing what they did prior to the trip.

If you want to go down a bank and throw a Rock Crawler or a Blade 12 months a year or you want to drag a Ned around, that's what you do and no amount of guide trips will change that.  Most of the guides are never fishing for fish, we are fishing for bites.  The more bites the more fish.  Power fishing for the most part means less bites.  They may at times be way better bites, but not lots of bites and I want lots of bites and will use the seasonal pattern and the clients ability to generate the most bites possible.

Not including the Ned on the power fishing, but the Ned is so popular and it does generate bites at certain times.  I like to fish for concentrations of fish if possible and July thru the end of the year I am most often looking for that.

Long winded version.  If you have something you want to learn or try, give any of us a call and we will do our best to tell you when to go with us to your best advantage.

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Bill, have you ever considered writing a book? 

I mean, I realize that's kind of like asking to buy a sports teams playbook... but on the other hand... it would sell. 

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