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Old 04-17-10, 01:05 PM   #1
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Default Table Rock 4/13 - 4/16

Just returned from my semi annual trip to the Rock. This was the first time I'd fished mid April, the other trips have been early March and/or late August. I had been hearing rumors that the fish were moving up before we arrived, and that proved to be the case. In EVERY cove or pocket, beds were established. As a matter of fact, I don't think I've ever seen a lake with that many beds. There was a bed every 5-15 feet, from 4' of water all the way out to 20'. We found a pair of largemouths in 9' of water on Wednesday that would have been a 13+ sack by themselves. We did not end up with either of them as the wind picked up shortly after we spotted them and left the bed invisible. We also found a pair of smallies in about 20' that would have pushed 9 lbs.

We started every morning trying to find a top water bite that just did not materialize. A few shorts on a Splash It was all that happened. For the first time ever in the Spring, I did not catch a single fish on a Crankbait or a Jig. The slimy moss that covered the bottom just would not let either rig work. The moss was absolutely everywhere. We fished from the dam, all the way to the Kimberling bridge and we never ran out of moss.

Mornings were wind on a super clear lake is a tough bite for me. Tried everything. I even resorted to a drop shot rig...I was almost relieved it didn't work.

In the late morning to early afternoon when a little chop would start, it was like a switch turned on. We had found a little pattern on the first day that seemed to work quite well on the prespawn fish but, IMO 90% of the fish were in a spawn pattern.

We located a TON of beds where both males and females were in the process of breeding. We did not touch those fish until Thursday when the males were up by themselves guarding. We came at them with a small bluegill swimbait that they were eating up pretty good. We put them in the well and waiting about 5 minutes until the female would show up, catch her and put them both back. I don't mind bed fishing, but it's not my favorite thing in the world either. We left that pattern to try to catch some bigger prespawn females.

On Thursday at about 2 pm, the wind finally came in and gave us our best day. We found some secondary points, and bluff walls that were getting the wind and had some cedars on them. We did quite well, but I lost a largemouth that was 7+ in the top of a cedar. She took me in, and wrapped herself twice around leaving me pretty well out to dry. She was just out of reach of the dip net and all I could do was admire her from above. She finally shook the tube, and returned to the base of a cedar. She will be the one that I remember most unfortunately.

All in all, the trip was a good one. We each caught 25+ fish each outing, and after weeding through the shorts, would have each had a decent 11-13 lb. sack of 5 everyday.

The pattern that flat out worked for us was a Watermelon Zoom Big Tube, with a tube jig head. We tried smaller tubes, and they worked but we could not keep the super short smallies away long enough for anything else to grab hold.

Here are a couple pics from day one...the camera had a little accident and wasn't able to be used for the remainder of the trip. I realized that I didn't get any pics of the smallies on day one, so the last day I had a pic snapped with my camera phone with this decent smallie.



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Old 04-18-10, 12:32 AM   #2
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Man I am glad you had a good trip! 13lbs for someone who isn't on that lake very much is very respectable, it's a tough lake and there have been several days I would have sold my sole for 13lbs. When the fish are on the beds at Table Rock there is nothing like it. You can learn so much by watching them do their thing and there are few lakes clear enough to see it like you can on the Rock. You are also right about the amount of beds on that lake. I haven't been to Table Rock yet this year but I have fished the spawn there quite a bit in the past and it is like going down the isle at a grocery store, you can go down a strech of a bank and literally shop for the fish that you want to catch. I was on Grand and still waiting for my boat to be fixed or I would have ran down there and met up with you, oh well maybe next time.
You only live once. But if you do it right, once is enough.
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Old 04-18-10, 09:23 AM   #3
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I appreciate it Cory!

This was by far the best trip I've had at the Rock, and had a blast. I still have the strong urge to return next week, but it just isn't in the cards this time. I learned quite a bit about the spawners on this trip, and still can't get over the huge pair of largemouths that we saw on the bed...and the one that got away will keep me fired up until I can return next April.
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Old 04-26-10, 11:16 PM   #4
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Sounds like you had a good trip....That spotted bass in that last pic sure is a beauty. Sorry ya lost the big'n but thats what makes those good campfire
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