Posted by Phil Lilley on October 7th, 2011
Table Rock Lake was named from the large, table-like rocks along its shores. Limestone bluffs tower high over the rivers that flow into this beautiful lake in Southwest Missouri. The main tributary is the White River, but other rivers such as the James, Kings and Long have their own distinct characteristics, but most still have these bluffs along their banks.
Because of the rocky bottom of the lake and its tributaries, Table Rock’s water stays very clear. That can be unnerving to some anglers who are not used to fishing in such transparent water. Lighter line and other techniques are needed to fool the lake’s wily bass and other sport fish.
The “Rock” is well known for its smallmouth, as well as spotted and largemouth. It is an annual stop for the top professional bass circuits including the FLW Outdoors and the Bassmasters. Actually, you can find a bass tournament on Table Rock about every weekend of the year, if you look.
The lake is also home to other fish more suitable for table fare such as white bass, walleye, crappie, goggleye and blue gill. Spoonbill make their run up the Kings and James rivers each spring where men in boats wait with big treble hooks. And those who like to set limb lines and trot lines for catfish will enjoy the river and creek arms of Table Rock where channel and flathead cats roam.
Table Rock is a “Corps lake,” meaning its shores are owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers up to a certain elevation or “take” line. The dam was constructed in the late 1950′s and the lake was filled in 1958. The deepest part of the lake is more than 200 feet deep, but most of the fishing is done on points, in coves and on flats in less than 50 feet of water.
State Record Fish on Table Rock Lake:
Hybrid Black Bass – Five pounds, 10 ounces, caught March 17, 2004, by Mark Fann of Nixa, MO.
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Correction on naming of TRL. It is Baird mountain ( not sure on spelling ) that gave it the name. By the dam and state park marina it was used to make the dam via concrete and the rip/rap..it is now a flat " table of rock" Gavin Seeley - grandson of electrical contractor who helped build the dam. Family part time / second home owners on Indian point since 1958 x 3 of us