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View Full Version : Anyone have any advise about a possible purchase of property on Bull Shoals Lake.



Slab
01-15-2005, 01:59 PM
I asked in another post, and Duane said it was his favorite lake, but I was wondering if anyone else had any experience on Bull Shoals Lake. I've never been on it myself. I've fished Table Rock, but not Bull Shoals. I'm wondering if the water is crystal clear like I saw on Table Rock. And if there's anything else to concern myself with on Bull Shoals (polution, drastic water level changes....). Actually it would concern my brother, as he's the one looking at a nice peice of property on Bull Shoals. It's in the MO side. Thanks.

jcass
01-16-2005, 11:18 AM
Ed:
I have fished this lake twice. Once in early April and later in Mid June.
Early April had very clear water and low water levels. Maybe about 15/20 feet below full stage. The June waters were a little murky and about up to full stage.
I saw few, if any homes that looked like they actually owned water frontage but I wasn't on large parts of the lake. Ocassionally you would see floating docks at the end of dirt roads. You MUST have a floating dock due to large diferentials in water levels.
It is a flood control lake and the Corps is in charge and will raise or lower the level when THEY see fit.
I was at a presentation by a DNR guy who said they are doing what they can to make this a premier walleye fishery and pretty much forgetting about the bass. Hundreds if not thousands of huge brush piles (easily found) provide good crappie habitat.
It is a fantastic fishery and offers a very wide range of structure and species. Also known as a great scuba lake due to great clarity.
THe only problem I have heard from a few people who retired in the area was there just wasn't much to do other than lake activities.
Good luck.

duane
01-16-2005, 04:14 PM
I asked in another post, and Duane said it was his favorite lake, but I was wondering if anyone else had any experience on Bull Shoals Lake. I've never been on it myself. I've fished Table Rock, but not Bull Shoals. I'm wondering if the water is crystal clear like I saw on Table Rock. And if there's anything else to concern myself with on Bull Shoals (polution, drastic water level changes....). Actually it would concern my brother, as he's the one looking at a nice peice of property on Bull Shoals. It's in the MO side. Thanks.


Ed the main lake is mostly clear all the time. At the dam and at pool stage it is 200' deep. Now some of the arms may get murky with heavy rains. The corp owns all land to set elevation. You have no lake front home only lake view. Not a lot of privite docks, must have corp primit for any dock. Must be so many miles from a public dock to have a privite dock and the own must raise and lower with lake levels making the weekends unable to have them and I think it is a good thing.

This lake is not real popular with the boat set. Does not have your big hotels or condo's and the TIMESHARING like Table Rock. It is more of a fishing person lake. You can play in the water all day in the middle of the lake and never have other boats come near you.

This is becoming a very good crappie lake. Both states are adding brush piles and with the 10"/15 limit the crappie have gotten bigger and alot more of them.

What town is near where your brother is looking at?

Slab
01-17-2005, 04:57 PM
Theodosia, MO is the closest city. So it's north and in MO.

Wow, clear enough for Scuba. I've got a PADI license and can make use of that.

Sounds nice as a great fishing lake with few boaters.

jcass
01-17-2005, 06:45 PM
Ed:
I was told by some guys 'in-the-know' that while diving, if you bang rocks together, the walleye will come to you. I am pretty sure it is legal to spear them if you want.

Sam W.
01-17-2005, 09:47 PM
Ed - Bull Shoals is where I do most of my fishing, about 100 trips per year. I'm usually in the upper 8 or 9 miles of the lake that extend into Missouri - not the Theodosia arm which is further east.

I like Bull Shoals because it is a fisherman's lake. There aren't too many water skiers or jet-skis, and there isn't any development right on the lake. It's a Corps of Engineers lake, and the set-back line (no private property) extends a long way from the water.

Bull Shoals is the most downstream of the White River lakes, so it is used for flood control. Water level fluctuates a lot - early last summer it was 22 feet above power pool, and a couple of years ago it was 33 1/2 feet above pool. We've had heavy rains recently, and Bull Shoals has gone up about 10 feet in the last two weeks. When it gets very high or very low, which is often, fishing is tough. It's hard to find crappie when they're out in the woods!

Bass fishing has dropped off badly in the past 5 years, and the white bass population crashed 2 years ago. I think it's a cycle with the white bass - but crappie fishing has improved a lot in the past two years. The lake is being managed as a trophy walleye resource, with the minimum length on walleye 18" and the daily limit 4. That DOESN'T mean you can catch a walleye very easily, though.

I don't think Bull Shoals water is especially clear. There isn't any algae or any weeds on the bottom, but I think Tablerock is a lot clearer. But that's a good thing - crystal clear water makes the fishing tougher. Pollution? Yeah, MDC won't talk about it, but it's obvious we have some. Fishing has dropped off a lot in the last 10 or 12 years, and the water sometimes makes soapsuds when waves hit the bank. It would be surprising if there wasn't some pollution with Springfield and a bunch of other cities' sewage plants directly upstream.

But, yeah - I've looked, off and on, for property near the lake also. Our arm of the lake is too close to Branson, so land is expensive. It should be cheaper near Theodosia. Bottom line, I've got my choice of 5 or 6 lakes to fish here, and I usually go to Bull Shoals. It's a good place.

duane
01-18-2005, 01:21 AM
Ed:
I was told by some guys 'in-the-know' that while diving, if you bang rocks together, the walleye will come to you. I am pretty sure it is legal to spear them if you want.


Walleye is a game fish in Missouri and you can not spear game fish

Slab
01-18-2005, 01:34 AM
Great datail and info. Thanks alot. I spoke with him during the day today and read the posts to him. He ended up buying it. So, this Spring, fishing party on Bull Shoals for sure. I'll invite you all when it's planned! Thanks again, again you guys come through in the clutch!

jcass
01-18-2005, 07:43 AM
Walleye is a game fish in Missouri and you can not spear game fish
Duane:
Unless I am reading this wrong, according to AR DNR 2004 guide (pg 21) Game fish spearing is allowed on certain lakes and certain species. I don't know about the MO side of the lake, but I thought MO and AR had the same laws for the entire lake.
See below: (From DNR Web Site)

Spearfishing season for game fish is open from June 15 until March 15, sunrise to sunset, in lakes Beaver, Blue Mountain, Bull Shoals, Catherine, Conway, DeGray, Erling, Greers Ferry, Greeson, Hamilton, Harris Brake, Millwood, Nimrod, Norfork, Ouachita, Table Rock and impoundments created by the locks and dams on the Arkansas River. Spearfishing for smallmouth bass is not permitted on Lake Ouachita. Spearfishing for largemouth, spotted or smallmouth bass is not allowed in Lakes Beaver, Bull Shoals, Millwood, Norfork and Table Rock.
Spearfishing season for flathead catfish is open from July 15 until March 15.
Rough fish may be taken by spearfishing all year on the waters mentioned
above.
Only catfish, gar, bowfin, common carp, Asian carp, (grass carp, bighead carp and silver carp), sucker (including buffalo) and drum may be taken from June 15 until March 15, sunrise to sunset, on Gillham, Dierks and DeQueen lakes. On these lakes, flathead catfish may be taken from July 15 until March 15.
When spearfishing, half the game fish daily limit (or the lesser number nearest
half when the limit is an odd number) may be taken. Spearfishers must abide by length and slot limits and may not have a spear gun in public waters other than those specified above.

duane
01-18-2005, 11:38 AM
Great datail and info. Thanks alot. I spoke with him during the day today and read the posts to him. He ended up buying it. So, this Spring, fishing party on Bull Shoals for sure. I'll invite you all when it's planned! Thanks again, again you guys come through in the clutch!


Tell your brother welcome to Missouri. Looking forward to meeting you on what I think is the prettyest Lake around. We fish and camp out of Pontiac, MO just down the lake from Theodosia. Theodosia is better for crappie fishing great spring crappie fishing, US Hwy 160 crosses the lake there.