Bull Shoals Lake
Bull Shoals Lake is a water sports paradise. Almost 1,000 miles of pristine shoreline is open to visitors from all over the nation who come to fish, scuba dive, houseboat, water ski, wake board, camp, and relax. Bull Shoals Lake water is very clean and clear. Swimming is enjoyable from mid May until late September. Fishing on Bull Shoals Lake is excellent all year with peak action in March, April, and May.
Marinas on Bull Shoals Lake have boats and motors for rent, supplies for sale, and guides for hire. The Corps of Engineers provides launching areas and ramps for those who bring their own boats. Water sports such as swimming and skiing are popular on Bull Shoals Lake, as is cruising the hundreds of miles of lake arms and coves by motorboat or sailboat.Scuba divers come to Bull Shoals from many states to enjoy their sport in the clear, blue water. Spearfishing is enjoyed year-round.
Water quality is good with underwater visibility of 10 feet or clearer being normal.
Bull Shoals Lake is dendritic. Its long, narrow shoreline is a maze of many creek arms, bays, and branches. Viewed from the air it looks like a long Chinese dragon. It is easy to get lost if you dont pay attention to the point markers erected by the Corps of Engineers! The point markers are large black and white signs with large numbers painted on them. By keeping in reasonable distance of these signs it is easy to navigate without getting lost. Be sure to pick up a lake map from the State Park, Corps office, tackle shops, or your lodging facility before venturing out on the lake. The maps are free and are printed by the Corps.
The shoreline of Bull Shoals Lake is typically limestone shelfrock, rubble, ledges, gravel points, clay banks, and silty areas at the upper ends of the creek arms. There is very little sandy shoreline, and elevation varies from bluff to gentle slope.
Major sportfish in Bull Shoals Lake are largemouth, spotted, and smallmouth bass, walleye, blue, channel, and flathead catfish, rainbow trout, and white bass. Striped and hybrid striped bass and brown trout are occasionally caught. Major panfish species are black and white crappie and bluegill. Major rough fish are longnose gar, freshwater drum, redhorse suckers (4 species), carpsuckers, hogsuckers, and common garp. Major forage fish species are threadfin shad, longear sunfish, bluntnose minnow, and brook silversides.
natural and man-made. Natural cover structure is deep water, rock formations, points, creek channel breaks and swings, submerged islands, occasional old timber, shoreline vegetation often flooded in the spring (greenbriar, button bush, deciduous holly, persimmon, water willow, smartweed). There is no aquatic vegetation.
: When fishing these Arkansas Ozarks clear water fisheries, you will need to use a line that is a light green in color and no larger than 6 to 8 pound test! The clear waters require the use of the right line color and size to avoid spooking the fish.Some fishing regulations are different in Missouri and Arkansas portions of Bull Shoals Lake. If you are fishing near the Arkansas/Missouri border, make sure you have a fishing license from both states, and that you are aware of each states regulations. The best lures for crappie are tube jigs, Roadrunners and Chromedomes. Live minnows are also good.The best lures for bass are jig and frog (weedless), Texas-rigged plastic worms, and spinner baits. Sluggos work good fished across the tops.
Walleye are strongly associated with the fish attractors and usually patrol the spaces between the bundles or on the edges of the attractors.
Catfish,bluegills and redear sunfish also use the brushpiles and can be caught near the bottom with worms and crickets.Fly fishing is gaining popularity among Arkansas trout anglers, particularly on the White, North Fork and Little Red. Some favorite wet patterns include red squirrel tail nymphs, sowbugs, Woolly Buggers, sculpins and softshell crayfish. Effective natural baits include night crawlers, crawfish, sculpins and waxworms. Many anglers tip a marabou jig with a waxworm for an effective combination. Other popular baits are Velveeta cheese, marshmallows, canned corn, salmon eggs and commercial baits such as Power Bait.