Beaver Lake & Clear Water Fishing Bait Choices

Viewer Comment:  Spending one week at Beaver Lake. Any advice?  I live in North Texas and not used to fishing clear water.

One of the most rewarding parts of being a tournament angler is having the opportunity to travel the country and fish in so many different types of fisheries.  

Throughout my travels there are certain lakes, or systems of lakes, that you grow an affinity for, and for me, one of my favorite river systems has become the White River chain of lakes, including Bull Shoals, Table Rock and Beaver Lake.  

The lakes along the White River system are some of the best bass fishing destinations in the country.  One of the highlights of these lakes is their unique ability to offer anglers the opportunity to enjoy catching Largemouth, Smallmouth and Spotted Bass all at the same location.  You can see this "trifecta" action on our very first episode of Sweetwater that we filmed on Table Rock Lake called Trifecta On The Rock.  

Another thing that White River lakes are known for is their clear, pristine, waters, which can pose a challenge for those who are not used to fishing in such clear water. 

Beaver Lake is one of the more challenging lakes on the White River, and the clear water has much to do with this.

Beaver Lake Five

After visiting Beaver Lake, and the other White River lakes, I have come to designate five lures/techniques as my go-to choices- Crankbait, Jerkbait, Dropshot, Umbrella Rig, Shakey Head.

Crankbait- One thing that you learn very quickly when you start fishing White River lakes is that a crankbait can be one of the most effective lures.   Particlularly in the spring and the fall, I like to focus on chunk rock banks leading into the backs of creeks.  My favorite crankbait for the White River is by far a Wiggle Wart in phantom green craw.  This crankbait will only dive to around 8-feet, and is supposed to mimic the ever-so-prevalent crayfish in the lake.  I generally will use 12-pound Vicious Pro Elite Fluorocarbon.  

Jerkbait-  During the spring, when the water is hovering around 55-degrees or less, I like to throw a suspending jerk bait.  There are many different jerk baits on the market, but the most popular on Beaver Lake are the Megabass Vision 110 in Pro-Blue, or similar colors.  I like to use either 10 or 12-pound Vicious Pro Elite Fluorocarbon line on baitcasting equipment.  I like to fish a jerkbait around the prevalent flooded timber, as well as the rocky points throughout the lake.

Beaver Lake has a lot of standing timber, which is a great place to try to fish some of my top-5, including the Jerkbait, Dropshot, and Umbrella Rig.  

Beaver Lake has a lot of standing timber, which is a great place to try to fish some of my top-5, including the Jerkbait, Dropshot, and Umbrella Rig.  

Dropshot-  When it comes to tough conditions, and ultra-clear water, there are few techniques that offer the effectiveness of a dropshot.  Though other techniques I list here might be season-specific, the dropshot is special in that it is effective year-round.  For my dropshot setup I like to start with 6-pound Vicious Pro Elite Fluorocarbon, on medium action spinning gear, a Lazer Trokar TK-150 dropshot hook, a 3/16oz dropshot weight, and finally a Zman Finesse ShadZ in either a green pumpkin, or shad color.

Umbrella Rig-  Out of my top-5, the Umbrella Rig can be the most exciting and effective technique, but the thing about an Umbrella Rig is that when it is working it is unstoppable, but when it isn't working it really isn't working.  The coldest months of the year are the time when you want to throw the Umbrella Rig.  If the water is below spawning temps, you will have an Umbrella Rig bite on the White River lakes.  Whatever Umbrella Rig you choose, I like to pair it with unweighted 1/8oz ShroomZ JigheadZ and Zman MinnowZ in Smokey Shad.  Though many like to use braided line with Umbrella Rigs, I really prefer to throw them on either Mono, or Fluoro.  I really like to have stretch with this technique, and my preference is Vicious XACT co-polymer line in 20-pound test.  

Shakey Head-  When the fish are relating to bottom structure and the water is clear, it's hard to beat a good ole' shaky head slowly worked on the bottom.   I like to focus on points with chunk rock on them, especially if they are at the mouths of major creeks.  I fish my shaky heads on a 7' Medium-action spinning rod with a spinning reel spooled with 15-pound Vicious Braid mainline and a 7' 10-pound Vicious Pro Elite Fluorocarbon leader.  For the shaky head itself I prefer a green pumpkin 7" Zman Finesse WormZ paired with their 3/16oz Shaky HeadZ jig head.  

Hopefully these five techniques will give you a starting point on how to tackle the often challenging, yet rewarding, Beaver Lake fishing!