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Beaver Lake Fishing Report

April 23 2024

Water level is 1,119 ft (one ft below pool). Water temp is 63 mid-lake.
What a strange and crappy start to spring striper fishing! From lower than normal water level, to no rain then too much, combined with constant cold fronts, these striper just don’t know what to do!

It’s amazing what you learn at the fillet table. First off, every single belly has been empty for the past week of fishing. This tells me that we’ve been very lucky catching. They just aren’t feeding. In fact, I haven’t even seen the black digestive sludge in their bellies. The inside is as white as the outside. I’m an idiot, so don’t take this scientifically, but I blame this on the eclipse. I’m a big believer in the solunar forecast. I’ve never seen a spring with such difficult fishing. It’s been a grind just to find them. When we do, they just don’t want to bite. Check out my past reports for what to do!

I’ve been seeing the tell-tale signs of the spawn (see pic). Now our striper can’t reproduce, so it’s not key information. However, we do know that they think they can spawn and will swim N when it’s time. Knowing this info, we should see a lot more fish mid-lake to the dam by now. The truth is, we just aren’t. I have friends still catching good numbers up the river arms. Historically if this is true, it’s just the small dinks still unsure where they’re supposed to go. However, this year still has larger fish in the rivers.

For now, South of Rocky Branch is where to fish. For best results, I’d either launch Horseshoe and work North or Rocky Branch and work South. I’m still catching most my fish in 30’ or less of water. Water temp is 63 so topwater should be any day if we get it at all this spring. Lighten your weights. I’ve been seeing the best fish at the top of the water column.
As always, share your striper pics in the comments, and please add on your tips!
Just Keep Casting!
Patrick

October 10, 2023

Thank you all that participated in the lake cleanup last weekend!

The lake level is at 1115 ft and in full turnover. Lake turnover is when the top water column rapidly cools. This causes the water to sink to the lower water column, ultimately pushing the bottom water up & stirring everything up in the process. Luckily, we got a cold front right as it started, so it should be done in 5-7 days. Does this affect the fishing? Definitely. The fish’s visibility decreases, as well as their oxygen levels. When they are working for oxygen, it feels to the fish like it’s full. However, they still have to eat to live! Live bait is king during a turnover since there are far less reaction bites during a turnover.

Striper:
They are still biting, but we are seeing less fish per trip. Brooders are hard to come by right now, but I’ve been getting reports of guys catching them only on bream. They are hitting shad hard if you can get it. With the water condition, you don’t have to run as long leaders or as strong. You can get away with 25lb flouro right now. Troll a little slower since the striper will be more lackadaisical this week. Big bait is not a necessity either. Fish are moving from Starkey area to RockyBranch. I’ve had zero reports of striper at Prairie Creek yet.

Crappie:
Crappie are moving into the brush piles, but I’m still getting reports of good catches trolling picos or flikr shad. Look in 10 fow at brush piles. Again with the turnover, a jig with a live minnow is your best bet right now. I’ve been getting the best reports in the Hickory Creek area.

Bass:
Bass are active and near the banks. I had reports of decent topwater activity before the turn. Captain Jon Conklin reported lots of smaller schools in the point 12 area. This can change quick with the turnover.

Catfish:
Catfish are still biting during the turn. I have not received any further reports.

*As always, please add on in the comments!

Just Keep Casting!

October 3, 2023

As the lake continues to cool down, the turnover is has now started. We are seeing debris in the water as well as signs of turnover. I would hope we’re about halfway done, as Captain Jon Conklin reported hints of thermocline.

Striper is still consistent. The bite has been great averaging 5 or 6 good striper per trip. They are moving South but have stalled a bit. Some large schools have been reported North of Ventris, but the main schools are currently working their way through Rocky Branch.

Crappie are moving toward the brush piles and out of the open water. Jon Conklin suggests looking at 10-20 feet currently. Jigs and minnows have been affective.

Bass – Fish the banks and focus on 12’ and under. I’m getting reports that crank baits are doing great, and topwater is noticeably good.

September 21, 2023 Fishing Report

The lake is cooling down fast, moving the mercury from low 90’s to low 70’s. We are starting to see signs of lake turnover (where the water on the top quickly cools and sinks with the cool water on the bottom, turning over the water). Once the turnover is in full swing, fishing will be difficult. The good news is that it typically only lasts 1-3 weeks.

Striper are spread out, and have began moving South again. We’ve been finding them between Lost Bridge South and Rocky Branch. Our guides have been catching really good numbers lately. Live shad has really been the key lately. Brooder minnows are hard to get right now, so a lot of guys are using bluegill. This decreases the pressure if you can get live shad. The striper have been in deeper water but near the surface. You may need to start reducing your weights. Good luck, and “just keep casting!”

May 28, 2023 Fishing Report

Lake is at 1,125 feet msl (5 ft above normal pool). Water temp is already in the 70’s and climbing. Water is very clear but that will change with all the forecasted rain this week. Rain looks like the word of the week. We have at least a 40% chance of rain every day for the next week. Fingers crossed we get half of that!

Striper: Striper bite has been up and down. It’s been a crazy year! The fish have moved from the Pt 12 area to the Rocky Branch area as they make their way to the Dam for the hot summer months. We’ve been catching equally on shad, brooders and swim baits on top-water. Speaking of topwater, this has been the best spring I’ve seen for topwater in years! The 2 and 3 yr old striper population is strong, and I believe that they are really sparking the competitive drive in the larger striper. Use plugs, whopper ploppers, pencil baits, or our favorite; paddle tail swim-baits quickly across the surface. The fish we’ve been catching lately have been on the top of the water column in depth ranging from 30-90ft.

Crappie: Crappie are spread all across the lake. Troll crank baits over/around brush piles and structure in 30’ of water or less. You can get all gps points for brush piles placed by the AGFC here: https://www.agfc.com/en/fishing/where-fish/fish-attractors/. Keep in mind that they are not concentrated in the brush piles for the most part right now. You will find success by finding them in open water. I’ve been getting reports that it’s not great right now, but we should see it improve as the lake warms up a bit.

Walleye: walleye have moved back up into the main lake, and we’ve been catching them from the N end to the S end. Fish gravel points and 20’ Rocky flats. Trolling crank baits or crawler harnesses will be affective. Flickr shad have been doing great lately.

Bass: I don’t know anything about ditch-pickles.

April 17, 2023

Lake level is at 1,129 Ft msl, which is 9’ above normal pool so it hasn’t changed since our last report.

Weather Conditions: Ugh!! Monday/Tuesday would be beautiful however, wind gusts will reach 30 MPH! 💨🌬️ We will likely see thunderstorms Wednesday & Thursday with a dramatic cold front Friday/Saturday, with a the low hitting 32 degrees. We know that these cold fronts can really hurt the fishing on Beaver Lake. This is especially true with our finicky Striped Bass! At my company Ozark Fishing Guides, we contacted our Sat/Sun trips and asked if they’d like to reschedule (or the option of refund) if from out of town because we know that the bite is significantly reduced in these conditions.

Crappie: The crappie have moved up in the water column a bit as the water warms. Ozark Fishing Guides lead crappie guide Jon Conklin reported that they have been suspended in 10-15 Ft water in 20-30 ft of depth. Fishermen have been reporting good numbers on the far south end of the lake, and up the two river arms. I had success trolling jigs with Bobby Garland plastics.

Striper: Man it’s firing up! Guide Johnny Phanphengdee was the first to report exciting topwater blowups in the evenings before sundown between Prairie Creek and Hickory Creek. The striper surprised us and moved south a bit since the last report. Johnny caught a 30+ pound striper with a homemade plastic on a jig head. Johnny reported that they moved into the fish busting the surface and threw threw their lures over the fish with a fast retrieve to keep it on the top of the water column. This is also affective because the worked up striper can’t resist the stand-alone bait that is trying to get away. Lighten your leader weights for live bait trolling in the early morning and evening.

Walleye: The walleye run is creeping to a crawl as they have finished spawn and are heading back to the main lake from the South river arm. Soon, we will be hitting points and flat gravel spots on Beaver. The same is for below the Beaver Dam on the White River. In addition, the generators are back on, and dramatically affected the walleye bite.

April 7, 2023

Captain Johnny’s 28 Pounder – March 31, 2023

Beaver Lake level is at 1,129 which is almost 6’ above normal pool. Top flood level is 1,130 if that puts it in perspective. Our partner guide, Jon Conklin describes this as both good and bad. It’s good because it’s offering more and new structure. For those of us that fish the lakes. We know what this now flooded land looks like. It’s bad because it makes a giant lake even bigger. There’s more room for fish to spread out and hide.

Striper: We’re getting so close to prime time! We’re always waiting on the lake temp to hit 60 degrees. We have been hovering in the mid-50’s. The bite has been solid and consistent but as usual for this time of year, we are not seeing big numbers of fish. We’ve been averaging 2-4 quality striper per trip, ranging from 14 pounds to 29 pounds. The striper have been biting at all depths between 5 to 30 foot down. The key right now is to pull live bait above the schools of baitfish and striper. As fishermen, we always want to run our bait right through the middle of the action. The issue with this is that your bait gets lost in the bait-ball. We also know that striper attack from below their prey, so you’re eliminating 50% or more of potential catches. Shad isn’t king right now. They’ve been affective, but brooders have been performing equally as well.

Walleye: The walleye are still thick below the Beaver Dam in the tailwaters (White River). The top method right now is a simple jig and minnow. I recommend this as well because it encourages a grab bag of species. The white bass are eating hard and a blast to catch! I’ve been getting reports that jerk baits are performing great. I personally use Brouwer Baits by Rick Brouwer. They can be purchased at Hook Line & Sinker above the bait tanks.

Crappie: Crappie are still scattered primarily on the South end of the lake. Fishing has been good for slabs up the river arms past point 12. Our guides have reported them suspended from shallow to 15’ in 20 to 40’ depth.

Bass: Fish the banks. It’s that time of year to find them near the shore. The lake is at its highest level, so this is providing all kinds of new structure and coverage.

Trout: Bite has been a bit slower but consistent. The go-to is a Carolina style rig, with a small hook (I use an 8 or 10). I’ve had the best luck recently with small chunks of live worm paired with a power egg. The brown bite has been good. Find current breaks with a little coverage and cast a quality jerk bait into the break. Retrieve slowly and set that hook!

Fishing Report by: Patrick Forseth – Owner, Ozark Fishing Guides