One productive fishing location will be wherever a steep chunk rock bank transitions into a flatter gravel bottom near a spawning pocket or flat, Snowden claims. The nearer the bass are to spawning, the closer they will be to the gravel.
Productive lures should include spinnerbaits, jigs and medium running crankbaits like the Wiggle Wart, Rapala DT10 and Strike King Series 5, Snowden opines.
“A jerkbait may still come into play,” Snowden says. “If we get a slick, sunny day, swimming a grub on a jig head will catch them.”
The caveat is the water level. If it is up in the bushes, Tommy Biffle and other Elite pros that dote on the long rod will score big. The most productive flippin’ bite will be up the James, Kings or White river arms where stained water favors the close-quarter presentation.
Table Rock grows big smallmouth and spotted bass, but the winner of the Elite tournament will bring mainly largemouth bass to the scales. The largemouth are heavier on average.
“The pros are going to catch loads of bass,” Snowden predicts. “I think it will take 18 pound a day to win it.”
The National Fish Habitat Initiative (NFHI) deserves some of the credit for Table Rock’s excellent bass fishing. Major supporters of NFHI include the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Bass Pro Shops, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Missouri Department of Conservation, Arkansas Game and Fish and the Corps of Engineers.
The NFHI has planted brush and other cover in Table Rock Lake, improved the water quality in the watersheds, conducted fish surveys and radio tracked tagged bass.
You can get GPS coordinates for the cover planted by the NFHI at Table Rock here: http://newmdcgis.mdc.mo.gov/tablerock/.
A link in the upper right corner of the GPS page takes you to an online survey that asks for angler opinions regarding fish habitat.