Breeden Says Table Rock Having a Banner Year

Published on 03-27-2024

When the Big Bass Tour heads to Table Rock Lake in the spring, fifth place is usually somewhere between 6 and 7 pounds. The question is always how much more than that it’ll take to win the grand prize. Some years, a sub-7 will take home all the marbles, and other years it takes something bigger. In 2019, it took a 9.02 to be top dog, and three more fish over 7 pounds were brought to the scales. A 6.22 , normally in the top five, barely squeaked into the top 10. 
And local hammer Cole Breeden thinks that we could see a repeat of that in 2024. The fishing has been exceptional lately, especially for big fish, and conditions are prime for them to be caught a number of ways. 
“It’s been fishing phenomenally,” he said. “The weights have been incredible. Two weekend's ago, it took 25 and 30 on back to back days. There have been two over 9 pounds that I know of and more sevens and eights than I can ever remember.” 
It appears that the largemouth population, which in some years has played second fiddle to spots and smallmouths, is fully back. 
“Guys are figuring out how to weed through the little ones,” he explained. “There are so many fish to throw to that it’s easy to skip past some of the bigger ones.” 
While the major spawn should commence in the next few weeks, right now Breeden said there are a lot of shad on the main lake, so he’d focus on shallow brush and timber in staging areas where he’d seen bait present. He’d expect much of that cover to be in the 15 to 25 foot range. He said that a single swimbait is often the best choice. 
“A lot of really big fish here are caught on small baits,” he said. “I’d also have a Berkley Stunna on the deck. And for places where it’s hard to get a lure to them in the timber, I like a Berkley Finesse Jig with the Champ Craw on the back because it’s very realistic.” 
While dedicated glide baiters could glue that rod in their hand and attempt to get a single outsized bite, Breeden’s backup would be docks. 
“They’re always a staple for me,” he explained. “There are certain ones that the fish never leave, especially big fish. They hold big ones all year long and they hold heat.” 
One advantage of this single fish event is that the entire lake is in play. While Breeden believes that average size is better from the dam to Baxter, there are lone wolf giants as far as the upper reaches of the James, the White and Long Creek. 
“The average size may be smaller up there, but there’s also less pressure,” he said.
Remember, fives and sixes get paid all day long at Table Rock, and a wisely place four-pounder can be gold in certain hours. Pay attention to the live leaderboard and maximize your payouts