Fishing on Table Rock Lake

From novice to expert anglers, Table Rock Lake is a fisherman's dream come true and a great fishing experience. This lake is nationally recognized as a top bass fishing lake. The action in this lake is fast and furious with the large numbers of Kentucky spotted bass, largemouth and smallmouth bass, and white bass. Early spring and late fall are the best times to catch what is known as a lunker bass. Crappie of about 15 inches can also be caught during these seasons.

During the summer months, catfish of all sizes scour the bottom of the lake looking for food, your will also find at this time that large bluegill, bass and crappie are in abundance. A real thrill for anglers of any skill level.

SEASONAL PATTERNS OF FISH IN TABLE ROCK LAKE

LARGEMOUTH BASS: The Largemouth is an excellent sporting fish, and fish in excess of 5 pounds are abundant. You will find them widely distributed around and throughout the lake.

  • Spring: Largemouths are spring spawners and shoreline dwellers. With these guys you have to pick what you want. If you want size, the best time to fish is in March. If you want large catches, the best time is in April and May.

  • Summer: The fish tend to go deeper looking for cooler water and can be found congregating around submerged logs about 30 feet deep during the day. Some will move closer to the shore as night falls to around the 10 - 20 foot mark, still sticking to the cool waters.

  • Fall: As the water temperature cools down the fish move into the shallows. September and October are the best times for night fishing. You will find that November is the best time to go day fishing.

  • Winter: The action is excellent during mild winters since the fish locate themselves along the treelines and coves of the main lake.

SMALLMOUTH BASS: You will find these fish located at the lower lake and upper reaches of the main tributaries. This breed is also considered the best battler once hooked.

  • Spring: Smallmouths are spring spawners and shoreline dwellers. With these guys you have to pick what you want. If you want size, the best time to fish is in March. If you want large catches, the best time is in April and May.

  • Summer: The fish tend to go deeper looking for cooler water and can be found congregating around submerged logs about 30 feet deep during the day. Some will move closer to the shore as night falls to around the 10 - 20 foot mark, still sticking to the cool waters.

  • Fall: As the water temperature cool down the fish move into the shallows. You will find that a lot of them tend to stay in the deep waters though. September and October are the best times for night fishing. You will find that November is the best time to go day fishing.

  • Winter: The action is excellent during mild winters as the fish locate themselves among the rocks and coves more so than the treelines of the main lake.

KENTUCKY (SPOTTED) BASS: Are to be found abundantly along the entire lake and main tributaries. They are schooling fish during summer and fall and are also considered real fighters once hooked.

  • Spring: Kentucky bass are spring spawners and shoreline dwellers. The best time to fish is in March if you're looking for size. If you want large catches, the best time is in April and May.

  • Summer: The fish locate themselves on main lake points in large schools in about 20 - 30 feet of water. The action is usually very consistent during this season.

  • Fall: As the water temperature cools down the fish move into the shallows. You will find that a lot of them tend to stay in the deep waters. September and October are the best times for night fishing. You will find that November is the best time to go day fishing. This season will yield a high catch rate.

  • Winter: Most will remain in 30 feet of water near bluffs and other main lake points, while others will chase shade covering the surface of the water.

WHITE BASS: Tremendous schools of white bass make annual runs to the upper reaches of main tributaries each spring.

  • Spring: Schooling spring spawners run back into major creeks and rivers after their spawning run. You will be able to tell that the fish are present by how many boats you see gathered over one spot!

  • Summer: To find them during the summer months, just look for large schools on the surface of the water chasing minnows and shade.

  • Fall: There is still some surface activity during early fall but they tend to frequent deep flats during late fall. Though they are still in large schools, they may be difficult to locate at times.

  • Winter: You will find some of the fish are located in deep main lake points during early and mid-winter. If the weather is mild during late winter they will move to the mud flats.

ROCK BASS (GOGGLE EYE): The Schooling fish are usually located in coves and creeks and are very good to eat.

  • Spring: They are late spring spawners, and you will find schooling fish ripe for the taking in May on the shallow structure of the main lake and the mouths of coves. They are also live creek dwellers.

  • Summer: The fish move to deeper waters of the main lake and mouths of coves, about 20 - 30 feet deep. They also have a preference for holes in the creeks.

  • Fall: You will find schooling fish ripe for the taking on the shallow structure of the main lake and the mouths of coves. They are also live creek dwellers.

  • Winter: They are dormant during the winter months.

CATFISH (CHANNEL & FLATHEAD): What can I say, everyone loves catfish and these guys are no exception. Your best bet when chasing these table delicacies is to look in coves, creeks and main lake pockets. They are also basically a nocturnal fish, so don't forget to bring light, nobody likes wet feet at night.

  • Spring: As these fish are slow starters and spawn in late spring, the fish don't really start to move until April, and that's if they have a mild winter.

  • Summer: Now is about the time when your trotline fishing catch will increase. You will also get some pretty exciting rod and reel fishing at night on the main lake and flats. Timber coves are another good spot to check out.

  • Fall: Still OK fishing, but their feeding activity tends to drop off with change in water temperature. As it gets a little cold for them they start getting ready for winter.

  • Winter: They are dormant during the winter months.

BLUEGILL: Located all over the lake with a partiality to boat docks, this fish is not hard to find. A great piece of fish for the family dinner, big slabs over 3/4 pounds are not an uncommon occurrence.

  • Spring: Becoming sluggish in the late winter months, these fish are also late starters, spawning in late spring. They like to congregate in timber and brush in April & May.

  • Summer: A few of the fish continue to spawn into June and you will find that the fish are present near almost every tree and dock. The larger ones are in deeper water.

  • Fall: You will find lots of big fish on top of submerged timber, about 20 - 40 feet down.

  • Winter: In early and mid-winter you will find some fish are located on deep main lake points. In late winter they move to mud flats if the winter is mild.

CRAPPIE (BLACK & WHITE): Due to the 10-inch minimum limit, the average crappie is fairly large. It can also be credited to the lake's immense forage base. These fish also make an excellent meal.

  • Spring: Spawning early in Spring, you will find April and March the best fishing months. Great spots to check out are wooded coves and main lake pockets that have a nice brush cover.

  • Summer: For best results in summer you will want to fish under lights at night as the fish go deeper and scatter during the summer months to escape the heat.

  • Fall: During fall the best way to find these guys is to look for drop-offs with timber in coves and upper tributaries.

  • Winter: You will get fantastic action during winter if you get several days of mild temperatures. Check out wooded areas of the upper tributaries for great spots to pass the time.