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Tips on what fish you’ll catch and where to find ’em

Views: 6     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2019-09-04      Origin: Site

Tips on what fish you’ll catch and where to find ’em

 Story by Brian Wright • Illustrations by Jon Artigas

Fishing is the lure that attracts many visitors to Table Rock Lake. These fishing, pole-wielding visitors include recreational and competitive anglers alike. Table Rock Lake’s mild winters mean it never freezes, allowing for fishing for all skill levels throughout the year. With such a wide variety of fish species in the lake, you’ll need all the time you can get.

Before you cast a line into the water, check out the tips below on how and where to catch Table Rock Lake’s famous fish. All species listed below may be taken year-round, with the exception being paddlefish (or spoonbill, as they are often called).

Largemouth, Smallmouth & Spotted Bass

By far the most popular gamefish on Table Rock Lake, anglers come from around the country and beyond to chase these fish referred to as black bass. Table Rock Lake is listed annually by national sources as one of the “Top 100 Bass Lakes” in the United States.

Where to find ’em:

Black bass are found throughout the lake. Largemouth are often located in the back ends of creeks and coves, while smallmouth and spotted bass prefer the deeper water along the many channels within Table Rock Lake.

When to catch ’em:

Bass spawn in April and May, which is when you’ll find even the largest bass in shallow water. Be stealthy—the water is clear and bass spook easily—and you’ll have an opportunity to catch a trophy bass. In the fall, bass follow their food source, minnows and crawdads, to the back of coves in shallow water to gorge before winter. During the summer and winter months, bass often school in deeper water where they can be harder to catch, so focus on spring and fall. Remember, black bass must be at least 15 inches long if you plan to keep them.


Also known as spoonbill because of the shape of the snout, this species has a short season and yields the biggest fish in the lake. The Missouri Department of Conservation certified the state record snagged at Table Rock Lake as weighing in at a whopping 140 pounds, 9 ounces. The daily limit is two paddlefish. The  legal body length for paddlefish at Table Rock Lake and its tributaries is 34 inches, measured from the eye to the fork of the tail. 

Where to find ’em:

The James River arm of the lake is the primary area within Table Rock Lake for paddlefish, specifically from the Highway 76 bridge at Cape Fair and up river toward Galena.

When to catch ’em:

Paddlefish season runs from March 15 through April 30. Don’t forget to bring a big net!


We offer an extensive range of fishing tackle. Include fishing rods, fishing reels, fishing lure, fishing lines, fishing hooks, fishing swivels and fishing plastic boxes etc.



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