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What 5 setups for Table Rock in late April 2024

fishing user avatarbonsaibp reply : 

I'm going to be on Table Rock at the end of April and fishing out of a friends boat so I want to limit myself to only 5 setups

as far as rod/reel/bait any suggestions. Thanks in advance

fishing user avatarJig Man reply : 

I'd want something for:


zara spooks



trigged plastics

fishing user avatarbonsaibp reply : 

Really spooks that early, cool, Thanks.

fishing user avatarJig Man reply : 

Lots of times the early spawning females move out to trees off spawning banks.  I've caught some beauties on spooks around cedar tops in 40-50 fow where they suspend and lol away the day.

Now if our current weather holds on much longer the spook might not be an option this spring, but I'd still have to try one myself.  That would be like fishing in March without a jerk bait.

fishing user avatartkite16 reply : 

Dark brown Tube jig

PBJ football jig

Crawfish Wigglewart

Small spinnerbait

RC 1.5

fishing user avatarfvbaron reply : 

Zara Spooks Jrs are a plus for early and late i n the days, try anything in the 15-20 ft deep, cranks, swim baits and worms...  always try poiints early and late during this time..  I would agree on tubes, brwn, rootbr, watermelon...    I'll be there in May (9 )..  Where are staying.. any good resorts or fishing spots would be appreciated..  We fish between Aunts creek and Piney creek last year.. Good Luck!!

fishing user avatarcart7t reply : 

The way this winters going you may want to pack an ice auger and some mealy worms. 

fishing user avatarbonsaibp reply : 

Yeah. I heard it was snowing today.

fishing user avatarFishes in trees reply : 

5 rods - Table Rock - late April.  What part of the lake?  If I was going to run way up the White or James river, I'd take different stuff than if I was going to stay in the Kimberling City -Indian Point - Dam area.

Late April, spawn could be on or spawn could be over, varies from year to year.  I've heard about the post spawn spook bite, but I've never been able to make it work.  That 's no reason not to try it.

For sure, I'd bring a shakey head rod.  For sure, I'd bring a drop shot rod.  For sure, I'd bring a rod to throw Eakins jigs

With the other two, there are lots of options.  Really, you could be planning too far ahead.  A lot of weather will happen between now and then.  It would probably be best to bring a whole bunch of options and not make any decisions until the night before you go.

fishing user avatarbonsaibp reply : 

Unfortunately I'm flying in so my choices have to be somewhat limited. I know its early but it'll be here soon.

We'll be fishing out of Kimberling City. Is there a swimbait bite? I love throwing 4-6" Black Dog Shellcrackers the big girls around here can't stand seeing any kind of bluegill around the beds and really nail it.

You guys are great this is the kind of info I'm looking for.


fishing user avatarJig Man reply : 

Is your friend a local so he will have current info?

How big is his boat?

fishing user avatarbonsaibp reply : 

Actually he's not, he's driving in from Georgia. He has a Triton TR186.

fishing user avatarJig Man reply : 

A friend of mine owns a tackle shop and guides.  It is in the Kimberling City shopping center.  Buy some baits and pick his brain.  Jerry is a good guy and may tell you some stuff.

fishing user avatarbonsaibp reply : 

Thanks. I'll find his shop and tell him you sent me.

fishing user avatarsrv1990 reply : 

Hey bonsaibp,

I take a trip to The Rock with several buddies each year, although we go around the 2nd week of May, usually the week after Mother's Day. We stay near Indian Point and fish from there down past the dam and into Long Creek. Sometimes venture the other way toward Kimberling City, but rarely ever past KC.

The most success I have in May is with c-rigged or split shot fish doctors, centipedes, french fries or Senkos. Also have great luck with finesse worms on a shakey head. I tend to stick with dark greens and browns.

Another good option is a grub, 4" single tail on a 1/4 to 3/8 oz jig head. Colors I typically use are salt & pepper, watermelon seed or green pumpkin. I fish them slow to medium speed, but usually the key is to "scrub" the bottom on the retrieve.

Have also had some success with spooks, crank baits and flukes, although not nearly as much as the others listed above.

BTW, will send you a PM with one other piece of information.


fishing user avatarRandySBreth reply : 

Limiting yourself to five isn't as bad as it sounds, really. The main thing is take rigs that are versatile, because late April can go one of several ways. If it's a rainy spring, you can get into cranking the off color water up the main creek arms, or even spinnerbaiting the newly flooded brush. One spring several years ago I was catching Bass on spinnerbaits on a unique pattern: Park picnic tables!

If the water stays pretty clear you can almost always get a few fish with the shaky head stuff. To target big Smallmouths a spinning rod that'll throw small swimbaits or grubs a long ways is good.

Someone mentioned topwaters (Spooks). They can work, but most savvy Table Rock guys use wakebaits in early spring and do better than the topwater guys. What's a "wakebait"? There are several out there, but for the most part we've used modified Red Fins. You can google that.

I'd bring at least two good spinning rods, a crankbait/jerkbait rod, a spinnerbait rod, and a dedicated jig rod. There's your five.

Check your P.M.s'

fishing user avatarsrv1990 reply : 

Hey RSB,

I was there that spring when the water was so high, we were practically fishing in people's back yards! Well, almost... ;-)

I've got several red fins, just curious which size and colors you prefer to modify/use? Also, I usually go the 2nd week of May, would you suggest the modified red fin over the spook then as well?



fishing user avatarbonsaibp reply : 

Redfins, hmm never used one of those. I love waking a black dog shellcracker, wonder if they'd go for that. In the CA delta they kill that bait especially around spawn time. I'll have to look into the refins. What type of mods are you talking about?

fishing user avatarRandySBreth reply : 

The modified jointed Red Fin is an Ozarks "secret" bait, kind of like the old days where guys made their own suspending jerkbaits out of floating Rapalas. I may be tarred and feathered for even mentioning it here...

What you do is take a jointed Red Fin and heat up the bill with a heat gun, then when it's nice and pliable you bend it down, making it more of a "wiggler" than a diver. Sometimes a little lead wire is wrapped on the rear treble to give it a more "nose up" attitude. You don't jerk, twitch, or do other things like that to work it, you just retrieve it slowly and steadily, letting it wiggle and wake right on the surface.

These are a pain in the ... to make - loss rate is like 50% or more. There are other good wake baits out there now. I better be careful driving later, a guide driving down the road will probably try to run me down for even mentioning what the "Wiggle-Diggle" (modified Red Fin) is... 

fishing user avatarbonsaibp reply : 

Thanks man ......your secert is safe with me. I actually found 5-6 Red Fins out in the garage yesterday, i'm gonna try in out today.

fishing user avatarsrv1990 reply : 

Thanks RSB... I got a hit on Google yesterday searching for "modified red fin", which basically described it just as you did.

Ditto, mum's the word... they'll have to beat the information out of me

fishing user avatarfvbaron reply : 

Anyone try 1/4oz Road Runners... Good bait off the cliffs to 12-15 ft..  Charteuse and Blue Body are a plus... good luck

fishing user avatarRandySBreth reply : 

Wow, I came home yesterday and the In-Fisherman Bass Guide was waiting in the 'ol mailbox. Inside is an article about wakebaits. Pretty cool. Pick it up if you see it. ;D

fishing user avatarJason Penn reply : 

i've never been on table rock but being limited to 5 rods is not necessarily a bad thing.  i've only got a 14' aluminum boat so i'm pretty much always limited to what i can carry,6 is max for me.

i would suggest

1. spinnerbait

2. shallow-med crank, traps, topwater

3. deep crank (gets used very little in the mudholes i fish)

4. mh for trigs, finesse jigs

5. h for bigger jigs, crigs, heavy trigs

6. spinning for jigworms, dropshot, road runners

fishing user avatarGatorSlaunch reply : 

x2 on the 1/4 oz jig head with a 4" grub

fishing user avatarKC Bass Fanatic reply : 

I've got quite a bit of experience fishing the James Arm that time of year so I'll offer this: It's all going to depend on what stage of the spawn the fish are in.  Late April on TR could be pre-spawn, spawn, or post-spawn.  As with any other lake the fish don't all spawn at the same time so late April you should be able to get on fish.  Just to be clear, I'm talking mainly large mouths here.  That being said my experience has shown that you will need:

Wiggle Warts in craw colors

Spinnerbaits (if the wind is up)

Jigs, jigs, jigs

fishing user avatarbonsaibp reply : 

You guys rock. Thanks. I know this info is going to help make my trip.

fishing user avatarrubba bubba reply : 

What colors are preferred for the wiggle-diggle?

fishing user avatarKC Bass Fanatic reply : 
What colors are preferred for the wiggle-diggle?

I like ghost craw in brown and green for table rock

fishing user avatarKC Hooligan reply : 

I agree with most these posts; finesse tackle (bubble gum pink 4" centipedes, smoke 4" twin tail grubs, watermelon, red chili pepper, black, pumpkin seed, or red shad 5-7" worms), or small spinner baits (1/4 oz head size in chartreuse or white)


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