Segar Says Table Rock is Better Than Ever
Published on 04-02-2022
By Pete Robbins
Table Rock Lake guide Doc Segar has fished the jewel of the Ozarks for 60 years and he said that the lake has never been more productive, both for numbers and big fish. As the Big Bass Tour anglers descend upon it next weekend, things are primed for a slugfest.
“We have more 3- to 6-pond fish than we’ve ever had because of the past few spawns,” he said. “In a recent 170 boat tournament, there were five 20-pound bags, and they were mixed – not just largemouths but 4-pound Kentuckies and 4-pound smallmouths, too. The top four big bass were all over 6 pounds. For the BBT, to win the overall top prize, it’ll for sure take a high 6, but it could easily take a 7-pounder to win.”
That’s consistent with past April BBT events on Table Rock. It’s always a matter of ounces with 5- and 6-pounders choking the top of the leaderboard. Every other year, it seems, there are multiple bass weighed in that push the scales past 7 pound. In 2019, the three anglers who brought in 7-pounders were greatly disappointed to find out that another competitor had landed a massive 9.02 largemouth. They’re out there, in greater numbers than many expect.
The fish moved up shallow with the last full moon and Segar said “they’re not moving back,” even though there’s been plenty of rain and some snow in the recent weather report. “The best thing that could happen would be to have that snow. The fish out in 30 to 40 feet of water won’t win it.”
Of course, the rain impacts the fishery in other ways, particularly in terms of water clarities. Segar would head to the back third of major creeks and “go around and look for stain,” throwing a Berkley Frittside anywhere he found it. That same bait, just in different colors, is also a clear water go-to. “The best fish are all less than 10 feet deep.”
He’d look for brush piles in less than 10 feet of water, both those placed by the state and those added by local anglers. Then he’d drop Berkley’s new ½ ounce flipping jig in them. In the early morning he’d use PBJ and later in the day Green Pumpkin, both with a Green Pumpkin MaxScent Chigger Craw.
While the Berkley Stunna jerkbait bite that had been incredibly strong is fading out, there still remains a good swimbait bite with the Power Swimmer, either alone on an underspin or on an umbrella rig. Looking for that bigger bite, would use the 3.8” size across the board. On the A-Rig, he’d use four of the silver/blue ones around the edges because “they just love it.” IN the middle he’d place one pearl swimmer, with the tail dipped chartreuse. “That’s the deal.”
The great thing about this event at this time is that “the whole lake is exploding right now,” he added. That means that anglers will be able to spread out. He’d try to stay within 25 minutes of the scales to maximize fishing time. Even anglers without extensive history on Table Rock should have a fighting chance of earning hourly checks, if not the overall big bass prize.
“Just look for the gravel where they’re going to spawn, where it meets with baseball-sized to boulder-sized rocks,” he explained. “Those fish are staging. You can even just put the boat in 25 feet of water, throw that Power Swimmer as far as you can, and slow roll it back. You’ll catch a lot of good fish that way.
He said that smallmouths and spots will also play a roll, and they’re plentiful, but largemouths should ultimately rule the day.
“The top 10 could easily all be 6-pounders.”
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