How Is the Fishing at Bull Shoals Lake?

Bull Shoals Lake is an incredible fishing spot located in the Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri. The lake has a surface area of over 45,000 acres and is home to more than 50 species of fish.

Bull Shoals Lake is an ideal fishing destination for anglers looking to catch large and smallmouth bass, crappie, walleye, catfish, and even trout.

The lake has a maximum depth of 95 feet and is fed by two rivers – the White River and the North Fork River. The lake also boasts a variety of cover for anglers to explore from submerged logs and rocks to deep drop-offs and shallow flats. In addition to the abundance of fish species, Bull Shoals Lake also offers plenty of boat launches, marinas, campgrounds, picnic areas, hiking trails, and other amenities.

Anglers can expect to find largemouth bass lurking around stumps and logs in the coves during late spring when water temperatures are between 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Smallmouth bass prefer deeper waters ranging from 10-20 feet deep where they can be found near rocky ledges or points. Crappie are often found near submerged brush piles around structures such as docks or piers during summer months when water temperatures are between 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Walleye can be caught from late winter through early spring when they migrate upriver from their deep-water winter haunts. Catfish can be caught year round with live bait or cut bait fished on the bottom or near structures in depths ranging from 5-20 feet deep. Trout can be found in the cooler waters at depths between 20-40 feet.


Bull Shoals Lake offers some of the best fishing opportunities around for anglers of all skill levels. With its abundance of cover for fish to hide in and wide variety of species available there’s sure to be something biting no matter what time of year you visit this incredible lake.

Photo of author

Emma Gibson