Bass Fishing – The mild temperatures make Table Rock Lake a great fishing hole during all the seasons. In fact some of the largest bass have been known to have been caught in the winter months. Table Rock is one of the most well-known bass fishing lakes in the country — being the home for numerous large-mouth, small-mouth, Kentucky spotted bass, white bass and hosts several large tournaments each year.
Table Rock is known for producing large stringers of each with lunker size bass caught each year. They currently have a length and creel limits which helps maintain the fish population. Be sure and check the local signs for the latest. Currently there is a min. 15 length limit and a six fish creel limit.
Anglers should focus on a variety of water depths and types to find bass. Except for the spring spawning period and in the fall, bass are often found in deeper, offshore water. Extended main lake points, humps, and bluffs are productive areas. Jigs, spoons, and drop-shot rigs are effective during summer months; however, be on the lookout for surface activity.
Crappie Fishing – Table Rock Lake produces nice stringers of crappie. Crappie must be 10 inches to keep.
Small plastic jigs and minnows are very effective for catching crappie around woody structure and the numerous brush piles throughout the lake. The best areas of the lake to catch crappie will be in the James and Kings River arms where crappie are more abundant.
White Bass Fishing – According to Mo Dept of Conservation, there was a large hatch of white bass in 2008 which should provide nice 16-18 inch fish in 2014 and beyond. Like any lake, the best times to catch whites are in the spring when they head up the rivers to spawn. Trolling or jigging spoons is a great way to catch white bass during the summer months. Gravel flats 25 to 40 feet deep are the best areas to troll or spoon for white bass on Table Rock, but be on the lookout for shad busting in the early morning and evenings and you will surely find a stringer of white bass just waiting to jump on your hook.
Wallye Fishing – Walleye have gotten increasingly better on Table Rock over the years. Great places to try are around the dam, Kings River Arm and the James River Arm in the spring. You can also find them trolling deep points throughout the year.
Other Fishing – Goggle-eye, channel catfish, and flathead catfish have great populations in Table Rock Lake, but don’t received must pressure from fishermen. Bluegill have a large population and average from 7-9 inches. Live crickets or worms and light tackle make these fish fun to catch – and great eating too.
Paddlefish can be caught between March 15 and April 30. They concentrate in the upper Jame River Arm above Cape Fair. Spoonbill or paddlefish must be 34 inches from the eye to the fork of the tail to be kept.
History of Table Rock Lake
Table Rock Lake got it’s name from a rock formation which today is the scenic overlook on Highway 165.
That large flat rock was to be the original dam site. After drilling and obtaining core samples, and finding that the ground was too unstable the dam site was moved a mile and a half upstream to where it stands today.
Approved by Congress in 1941, ground was broke on Oct 10, 1952. Completed in 1959, Table Rock Lake Dam rises 252 feet above the stream bed and required 1.2 million cubic yards of concrete to build.
The lake filled in 1961 almost a year sooner than predicted.