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John Neporadny Jr.

Lake of the Ozarks’ great bass fishing

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While other Missouri lakes have up and down years of bass fishing, Lake of the Ozarks experiences good bass fishing every year.  

Stable water conditions and good shad production create good bass fishing year after year at this Central Missouri Lake. “There is really not a lot of variation from year to year so our (bass) spawning is pretty consistent,” says MDC Fisheries Biologist Greg Stoner.      “It looks like we have a slug of fish that is coming on just below the length limit in that 12- to 14-inch range and I expect fishing to be better.”

There is an abundance of keeper size (15 inches or longer) bass in Lake of the Ozarks now.  Some guides believe The lake is probably as full of bass as they have ever seen it. They say 2-pound bass are thick in the lake now.  Their clients have caught quality fish including a 10-pounder and some 8-pounders in recent years.

The best patterns for catching prespawn Lake of the Ozarks bass are throwing Wiggle Wart crankbaits, suspending stickbaits and 1/8 or 5/16-ounce jigs with plastic chunks or craws to transition banks of chunk rocks and gravel.  Most of the time a big fish comes from a transition bank. The prespawn stage varies from one end of the lake to the other and might last for two months.

During the spawn, local experts target the backs of boat docks in protected areas where they cast a shad color tube bait or a jig-and-worm combo.

Lake of the Ozarks is so good during the spawn because there are so many docks that fish can get anywhere and spawn. Spawning usually occurs during a couple of full moons during the spring months. 

For information on lodging and other facilities at the Lake of the Ozarks or to receive a free vacation guide, call the Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitors Bureau at 1-800-FUN-LAKE or visit the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitors Bureau web site at funlake.com.  

For copies of John Neporadny’s THE Lake of the Ozarks Fishing Guide call 573/365-4296 or visit www.jnoutdoors.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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