Prespawn areas key at the Rock

With Elite Series anglers at the A.R.E. Truck Caps Bassmaster Elite at Table Rock Lake, Missouri, this week, let's take a quick look at what shows about how this lake should be fishing.

Note that for this BassGold Pattern Report, we used data from both March and April for two reasons: The tournament is right at the beginning April, and the country's weather is a bit behind.

Where are the fish?

BassGold shows you what definitely has worked to catch fish over time on a particular water body or water type, but you always have to bear in mind current conditions. In this case, it's early April – typically not yet the spawn on the Rock, which is an upland (rocky, deep, clear) reservoir.

So while BassGold shows a decent shoreline bite for March/April, that's probably more late April. On the other hand, since upland reservoir banks are steep, staging fish can be pretty near the shore and still be in deeper water.

The bottom line is BassGold shows the best bets are prespawn areas – like main lake pockets and coves, main lake points, and creeks and secondary points – and the shoreline.

While rock is the dominant structure on upland reservoirs, key in prespawn situations is other structure – like wood/brush, rock transitions (e.g., gravel to chunk rock) and ditches.

What will catch 'em?

Typically, this time of year a variety of baits will catch bass but what BassGold shows is which baits have worked best – read: which have won the most tournaments – over the years.

Take a look at the Baits graph for this Pattern Report:

Remember that's for March and April. This tournament should fish more like March, so the way I'd look at this info (you might see it differently) is I'd throw out or at least devalue the Tube/Grub/Craw/Beaver category figuring that was for spawners – unless maybe some fish were already under docks, which does happen on upland reservoirs.

To check that assumption, I generated a March-only BassGold Pattern Report. It shows that bait category is way less dominant, but it's still there.

As you can see, jerkbaits, crankbaits and jigs are the best baits for wins (gold color bars) and second-fifth finishes (orange bars).

Given all of that information, I know what I'd be doing on Table Rock this week – and just as importantly, what I'd NOT be doing. Do you?

Check out, a B.A.S.S. partner. Like your depthfinder, the more time you spend with it, the more you'll get out of it. Now get FREE pattern recommendations at – and if you subscribe, save 15 percent on the one-year price by using code bass14 (case sensitive) when you sign up.

Also By This Author