Data Overload: Bull Shoals


At one time, it was THE destination. Now, Bull Shoals has become the third wheel of the Ozarks, forgotten as anglers head to Beaver Lake or Table Rock Lake.

A strong showing from the Elite Series field this weekend will change a lot of that.

That’s one prediction. To get some more, let’s start crunching the data.

Since there hasn’t been a Major (or many Minor events) at Bull Shoals since the turn of the century, we took a look at it’s more popular sister lakes to find some patterns.

Immediately, a pro who sticks out is Keith Combs. In two events at Beaver he’s boasting a 949.325 average. He has also has a paltry 325.537 at Table Rock, but the “Rock” events were in early spring, while the Beaver events were in May.  Last I checked, it’s much closer to May than February, and Combs has proven to be an excellent flipper and bed fisherman, which will both come into play this week.

On the flip side, Tommy Biffle has a 906.009 at Table Rock and a 577.576 at Beaver. But again, he’s obviously one of the top flippers on tour and a relative local, so watch him.

Want some guys who have been good on both lakes? That would be Kevin VanDam (shocker, huh?) and Aaron Martens. VanDam boasts an 859.013 at Beaver and an 852.320 at Table Rock. Meanwhile, Martens has an 850.196 at Beaver and 888.314 at Table Rock. Shallow power fishing will be in play this week, which means so will KVD and Martens.

Don’t count out Mark Davis, either. He hasn’t been fishing well of late, but he’s a local who has an 884.354 at Table Rock and 827.035 at Beaver. Those are the type of numbers that can help a guy find his mojo again.

Some others to watch on Bull Shoals are Brent Chapman (785.602 Beaver,  765.816 Table Rock),  Takahiro Omori (738.402 Beaver,  716.086 Table Rock) and Greg Hackney (763.869 Beaver,  863.772 Table Rock), not to mention other accomplished sight fishermen and shallow-water savants.


About Author

Sean cut his teeth in the journalist world as an award-winning sports reporter, editor and freelancer for various Chicagoland newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times and Daily Herald, eventually crossing over into editing and freelance writing in the Outdoor industry. In addition to his position as Editor for, he is also a freelance outdoor writer and lure designer. He resides in the Chicago suburb of Lockport. An avid Bass and Muskie fisherman, his fishing influence began on ponds and lakes in northeast Illinois and has since expanded to a multitude of species across North and Central America. His passion for the sport is rivaled only by his love for building fishing lures, with a number of his designs being used by top professional anglers and produced by various lure companies today. Google+

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