Branson is known as the tri-lakes area because of its beautiful, clear water and abundance of fish. Each of the three lakes in the White River system has unique characteristics, including Table Rock Lake, Lake Taneycomo, and Bull Shoals Lake.
Table Rock Lake, which extends from Arkansas through Missouri, is a famous lake for boaters, skiers, swimmers, and anglers. In addition to having an abundance of pleasure boats, great swimming, and even a showboat, Table Rock is the closest warm Lake to Branson. On this 79-mile-long Lake, there are 745 miles of shoreline and multiple inlets. Table Rock Lake is Branson’s biggest Lake. The four types of bass are largemouth, smallmouth, spotted, and white. There is also a healthy population of other fish in Table Rock Lake, including paddlefish, channel catfish, flathead catfish, bluegill, black crappie, white crappie, and walleye.
A Fish and Wildlife angler question: Is a Missouri or Arkansas license needed to fish Table Rock Lake? If you want to fish in that part of the Lake, you need a permit. You’ll need a Missouri fishing license since most of the Lake is in Missouri if you plan to stay in this section of the Lake. If you wish to fish in Arkansas, we recommend obtaining a Missouri fishing permit with a “White River Border Permit.” By doing so, you won’t get caught.
When casting your line here, you should also be aware of “limiting out.” You can only take home a certain number of fish, which must all measure a certain length. Except for paddlefish, which you can only hook from March 15 to April 30, these regulations apply all year.
Table Rock has been a favorite tournament lake for decades and is great for recreational fishing. You will find many unique lakefront resorts and stunning natural beauty in the Ozarks.
For tournament information, click here.
Lake Taneycomo flows through the heart of Branson, the most diverse fishing lake in the United States, boasting excellent rainbow and brown trout fishing and bass, crappie, and bluegill fishing. However, it’s most famous for its trout fishing.
Taneycomo’s water is narrow, flowing, and resembles a river due to its deep base in Table Rock Lake. Since the water comes from Table Rock Lake, it is frigid. The Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery was built to help populate the Lake with brown and rainbow trout because the cold water was ideal for trout.
Lake Taneycomo was formed in 1913 after the Powersite Dam was completed in Hollister and the Fall Creek area and is accessible from historic downtown Branson, the Branson Landing, and from multiple communities east, including Rockaway Beach, Forsyth, and Powersite. While it is now a lake, Taneycomo retains the appearance of a river despite being a section of the White River. In 1958, the Table Rock Dam at Taneycomo’s headwaters changed the Lake’s nature. Taneycomo’s water is now drawn from Table Rock Lake, making it a cold water lake.
Lake Taneycomo provides excellent fishing opportunities for rainbow and German brown trout. Anglers from all over the world visit Branson, Missouri, to fish for these fish. This Lake is truly an unparalleled trout fishing experience.
Missouri residents 16 to 64 years of age and non-residents 16 and older who wish to fish on Lake Taneycomo must purchase a Missouri fishing permit. The Trout Stamp is required if you want to catch trout.
Take in the beauty of Lake Taneycomo from the water! There are multiple options for Lilly’s landing pontoon rentals, including live wells, swivel fishing seats, benches, and a buggy top. Their pontoon rental boats are equipped with 70HP and 90HP Yamaha motors – providing plenty of power to navigate Lake Taneycomo regardless of the current. They are great for groups and rigged for fishing or cruising.
Bull Shoals Lake’s crystal clear waters have lured Branson visitors to boat, fish, swim, and camp for decades. The fishing at Bull Shoals Lake is among the best and most varied globally. You’ll never get bored at Bull Shoals with all the lake adventures it has to offer!
Many fish species are found in this Branson area lake, including largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie, walleye, and spotted bass. Lake Forsyth is very popular for fishing, and there is easy access to the Lake right in Forsyth. People often fish for bass and trout at Bull Shoals and the Lake Taneycomo area above Powersite Dam.
Fishing is excellent year-round, the Lake rarely freezes, and there is no closed season. It is renowned for its White Bass and Walleye fishing in the springtime at the upper part of the Lake. Although the best period for largemouth bass fishing is in the spring and fall, there is excellent fishing for largemouth and spotted bass throughout the year. The angler is willing to adjust their tactics to suit the changing conditions. The Lake is rapidly known for its excellent nighttime Striper fishing, with Striper fishing very popular and highly efficient.
Hundreds of miles of the shoreline of Bull Shoals Lake fall within the jurisdiction of two different states, Arkansas and Missouri. You must follow the boating and fishing regulations of your state. You should know which state you are in and be licensed and in compliance with its fishing and boating laws.
Below are links to sources that provide up-to-date information on the current fishing conditions, applicable regulations, and other information necessary to plan an enjoyable fishing trip at Bull Shoals Lake.
Sources of Fishing Services and Information on Bull Shoals Lake:
Resident Engineer, Bull Shoals Lake: (501) 425-2700
Fishing tournaments and events occur on all three Branson lakes throughout the year, which are great reasons to plan your Branson fishing trip around them. There are amazing lakes in many countries, but Branson’s three exceptional lakes will delight even the most discerning fan of fishing!
In Branson, many fishing guides specialize in the great fishing found here. You can never go wrong with help from someone with local knowledge and experience on the water. A few of our favorite fishing guides:
Bass, trout, and bow fishing are famous in Branson. Branson is the perfect spot for your next fishing adventure with three pristine lakes and world-class fishing guides.
Fishing Lake Taneycomo has the unique advantage of running right past downtown Branson and its biggest shopping attraction, Branson Landing. Fishermen can be fishing for trout, pull their boats up to Main Street Marina, and eat lunch or get a takeout meal at The Paddlewheel right on the lakefront.
The daily limit is four species combined. You must stop fishing after catching four trout.
Crappie: 30 with no more than 15 fish over nine inches.
You must label all additional poles with your full name, address, or Conservation Number if you use more than three poles (or two poles on the Mississippi River)
Largemouth, Smallmouth, and Spotted Bass are the dominant species in Table Rock Lake, along with White crappies, Bluegill, and Long Ear sunfish. As the water warms and rises in the spring, the fish in Table Rock Lake become more active, searching for spawning grounds in shallow areas.
Just a single call will give you free, personal service from a local Branson expert who will maximize discounts as well as arrange a worry-free vacation.
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