Bass

Table Rock Lake offers prime fishing opportunities for pros and amateurs alike.

Table Rock Lake hauled in a pair of lofty accolades earlier this week.

Bassmaster Magazine has once again named Table Rock Lake as one of the best bass fisheries in the nation, with the Monday release of the publication’s highly coveted 100 Best Bass Lakes rankings.

The 45,000-acre lake captured the No. 10 spot in the Central Division, and the No. 40 position in the nation, thanks to its excellent and sustained fishing for largemouth, spotted and smallmouth bass.

“It’s really an honor to be named to this prestigious list,” Sheila Thomas, president/CEO of the Table Rock Lake Chamber of Commerce, said in a news release.

“We consistently rank among the nation’s best fishing and family friendly lakes in various listings. Table Rock is also one of the most scenic lakes in the country.”

The Bassmaster Magazine rankings highlight the top 10 fisheries in the nation, regardless of location. Lakes are then ranked within one of four regions (Northeastern, Southeastern, Central and Western).

The Central Division is arguably the top region in the nation, with two of the nation’s top five lakes – Sam Rayburn in Texas is No. 2 overall, with Lake Fork in Texas sitting at No. 5.

Table Rock Lake hosts many regional and national bass fishing events each year, and the lake continues to produce high quantities and quality of fish. With its clean, clear water, the lake also is a popular vacation destination for recreational anglers.

The Bass Pro Tour on the Major League Fishing circuit made back-to-back stops on Table Rock Lake this season, with Stage 6 from May 17-22, then after flooding forced the tour to move from Grand Lake in Oklahoma, it returned for Stage 7 from May 31-June 5.

Pro fishing legend Kevin VanDam is a Michigan native who has fished more tournaments on Table Rock than any other body of water during his pro career. 

He has a longstanding endorsement deal with Bass Pro Shops, and talked following the Stage 7 tournament about how much he loves coming to the area and going out on Table Rock Lake.

“This lake is so good,” he said. “Just look at the number of fish that we caught in both events – just record-breaking events, both of them, for us.

“That’s a testament to it, and every single day, I’ve caught all three species, and yesterday I caught four – I caught a mean mouth, a largemouth, a smallmouth and a spotted bass. There’s quite a few in this lake, but to catch all four in the same day … it’s a great fishery.”

Andy Montgomery is a South Carolina native who collected $42,000 for a runner-up finish in Stage 6. That event brought with it a big array of conditions, with cool, calm waters giving way to windy weather and choppy water during the final round.

He enjoyed the challenge the lake brought with it.

“It was great,” Montgomery said. “Table Rock is an incredible place, there are so many fish in it, just trying to keep pace with Table Rock Lake was nerve-wracking.

“But for somebody to come here and fish just for fun, this is just incredible.”

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