The Branson area has the unique feature of being home to three lakes, Bull Shoals Lake, Table Rock Lake, and Lake Taneycomo. Whether you are looking for boating, fishing, swimming, or just relaxing on the beach, Branson has all of these and much more right here. Don’t forget the sunscreen because if you like water then you won’t be disappointed.
Bull Shoals Lake, which begins at the tip of Lake Taneycomo and extends into Arkansas is great for those who want to get away from it all. It is a popular spot for both scuba diving and swimming, and there are a number of public access locations along its shoreline where you can access the water. The crystal clear water is perfect for scuba divers and anglers. There are a number of fishing lodges around the lake, and the Bull Shoals Dam is the fifth largest concrete dam in the U.S. This lake is popular for bass, catfish and crappie fishing and several tournaments are held here.
Lake Taneycomo is a coldwater lake but you think you are on a river. The water flows from the bottom of Table Rock Lake, and the temperature stays at a nearly consistent 58 degrees year round, making swimming about the only thing that is not enjoyable to do here. Lake Taneycomo is accessible from the Branson Landing, where a boardwalk with several restaurants and Bass Pro Shop sit along its shoreline. The lake is a world-class trout fishing destination, and is stocked annually with over 3/4 of a million fish from the nearby Shepherd Of The Hills Fish Hatchery at the base of the Table Rock Dam. Free tours of the fish hatchery are available year round, and a new visitor’s center on the other side of the dam opens in 2012. Ride The Ducks offers tours of Lake Taneycomo starting from Branson Landing and limited reservations for one of a kind behind the scenes and inside the dam tours are also available.
Table Rock Lake features the most commercial development of the 3 lakes, but it still maintains its natural beauty, and has many secluded and peaceful locations to enjoy the its waters. Wildlife is often seen along the heavily forested shorelines. Bass, Bluegill, and crappie are the predominant species found throughout the waters of Table Rock Lake, but some catfish can also be found. Public swimming at Moonshine Beach, operated by the U.S. Corps Of Engineers is available throughout the summer months. Be sure to bring a good pair of pool shoes to wear into the water because the large beach leads into a rock bottom swimming area of crystal clear water. Hundreds of people can be found enjoying the water there every day. Refreshments, picnic areas and restroom facilities are available, along with life jacket and inflatable raft purchase and rentals.
Table Rock Lake has many marinas that offer boat rental and fishing guides, Ride The Ducks offers a splash down tour of the water, and the Showboat Branson Belle entertains tens of thousands of visitors each year on its waters.