|Sunrise on Table Rock Lake|
And Table Rock Lake was named in the top 10 Family Friendly Places to boat and fish in the USA. I thought this might be a good time to ask White River Lodge co-innkeeper and full time fishing guide, Bill Babler of White River Outfitters, his Frequently Asked Questions. Bill’s been a fishing guide/captain now for almost 25 years, long before we had the lodge. While most of our couples are here on a getaway to enjoy Table Rock Lake and the Branson area, we also have guests that are interested in a guided fishing trip. We offer guests of the lodge $25 off a guided fishing trip with Bill. Some are first timers to fishing and others have enjoyed the sport for some time. Bill even makes breakfast when the fishing requires an early departure time. While WRL caters mostly to adults, we do have The Pond Suite that will comfortably sleep four and is a good fit for families or friends traveling together. Sometimes we have family or friend groups that book all the rooms and use Bill’s guide service for those interested in fishing. He can even get some of the other fishing guides when the group fishing exceeds three. We also have parking room for guests that bring their own boat. There’s a Corp. of Engineers park (Old 86) to launch at about 1.5 miles from the lodge. For those that like to rent a boat to enjoy other water sports, there are several marinas to choose from with the closest being Bass Pro’s Long Creek Marina on Table Rock Lake. You do not have to be staying at White River Lodge to hire Bill for a fishing trip.
Here’s some of his FAQ:
Q. I want to go fishing, but have not fished in years, will I still catch fish and have a good time?
That eliminates a lot of bad habits you might have acquired if you fished more frequently. We are most happy to take folks of any level of fishing experience. Exception being fly fisherman. We saw the movie, A River Runs Through It and would like to do that. We as guides can put you on fish, but you must have a rudimentary knowledge of fly casting and presentations to be successful. Fly fishing lessons are very reasonable and they allow you to be prepared to catch them when your with the fly fishing guide.
Q. Where do we go fishing?
That depends on what you want to catch. We have a world class trout fishery here, Lake Taneycomo, below Table Rock lake dam, in which you may catch and if you wish, keep your limit of stocked rainbow trout–the guide will clean and package them. For Bass fishing, it’s magnificent Table Rock Lake which is 110 miles long–we fish the area that gives the best chance of success for your trip. We are completely catch and release on Largemouth, Smallmouth, and Kentucky Bass. We will make arrangements with you on where to meet or pick you up for your fishing trip.
Q. What are we to bring on the fishing trip?
Generally as little as possible. Whatever you wish to eat or drink on the tour and clothes appropriate for that day fishing. Most always a light rain or wind breaker outfit. Sunscreen and sun glasses are also a good idea. I always carry bottled water and extra rain gear on the boat for the number of clients on board. All your bait and equipment is furnished and tailored to the type of fishing you’ll be doing that day.
Q. Do we need to have a fishing license and do you have life jackets?
Yes, you will be required to have a fishing license unless you are over the age of 65 and a Missouri resident. If trout fishing however you will be required to have a trout stamp regardless of your age. Children under the age of 15 will only be required to have a youth trout stamp if they are trout fishing. Daily fishing licenses are available for out of state folks for $7 per day and a trout stamp is also required for trout fishing. You may purchase them in the area or online. We have a Federal Captain’s license, insurance, and all the appropriate safety equipment on our boat. Your safety is our number one concern.
Q. How many people can we take on the fishing tour?
I like to keep my groups small, no larger than 3 fisherman. The boat will usually catch a certain number of fish whether we have 3 clients in it or a dozen. (Kind of like 6 persons eating out of the same dinner plate, somebody is not going to get as many bites.:) We do have enough professional area guides to accommodate a group of any size, so instead of crowding a boat, it is better to fish 2 clients per boat for greatest success.
Q. What’s the cost of a guided fishing trip? Are children the same price as adults, and are non-fishermen that just want to ride considered as clients?
Pricing is based on one-two people and a third person is extra. Currently we do not charge more for children that we do for adults, but the thought has entered our mind. We love to see the kids, but they are by far the most time consuming and hardest clients for your guide. We also stress that when a child is done fishing, it is pretty much time to go to a different activity. We like to keep all our younger clients on the water no longer than 4 hours. For children under 10 it has been our experience that after they catch several fish they tend to seek other entertainment. It is always good to bring another toy or sitting activity for them. The non-fishing clients are also part of the charter.
Q. What will we do with our fish?
We hope you return them to the water, but if you chose to keep your catch (within state law) we will clean and bag the fish for your consumption. We will clean the following fish: non-trophy rainbow trout less than 18″, crappie, white bass, walleye, catfish and bluegill. All German Brown Trout and Bass regardless of size will be immediately after a picture taking session be returned to the water for future generations to have the joy of catching.