Articles by John Neporadny Jr. - April
Lake of the Ozarks Bass Behind Docks
By John Neporadny Jr.
Bass can be about anywhere around a Lake of the
Ozarks dock in most situations, except when fishing pressure drives them to
hard-to-reach places. A bass' favorite hideout is usually behind the steel
cables of the boathouses. During their formative years of fishing Lake of the
Ozarks' countless docks, Missouri anglers Chad Brauer and Dion Hibdon discovered
how bass flock to this security zone while the majority of anglers shy away from
these line-busting obstacle courses.
"Bass get behind those docks and it
automatically eliminates a percentage of the fishermen from even coming by the
fish," says Brauer. "They won't put any effort in to get behind the
docks and the cables because they think they are going to get hung up or if they
get a fish back there they can't get it out anyway."
Both pros have perfected tactics for pulling
bass out of these high-risk areas. Brauer favors pitching a 3/8-ounce jig and
plastic trailer, tube bait or a spinnerbait on 20- to 25-pound test line behind
he cables. Hibdon's most effective cable presentations are pitching and skipping
small jigs or tube baits with either heavy or light line depending on the water
Some docks have cables set high enough to pitch
under, which lessens the dangers of losing a fish. "The better you are at
skipping, the better off you are going to be in that situation because you will
have an advantage over other guys who can't skip a bait under a cable 4 inches
above the water and get that lure back where they need it," Brauer advises.
When they have to present their lures over the
cables, both pros take precautions to prevent a hooked bass from sawing their
lines on the steel. "If you have heavy enough line you can get the fish
over the cable on the hookset," Brauer suggests. "Once you get their
head up don't let them go back under the water because your best shot of getting
it out is on the initial pull. Once it gets back under the water the fish has a
lot better chance of wedging or wrapping itself on the cables and getting
Planning ahead works best for Hibdon when
throwing 8- to 10-pound test line behind the cables. "You have to think you
are going to get bit and have your game plan mapped out before you set the
hook," he warns. "A lot of the time I won't set the hook too hard on a
fish , I'll just pull on him and try not to get it too excited until I get close
enough to where I can control the fish over the cable."
Frequent line checks are required when
presenting lures near cables. "Even if you just lift up a bait against a
cable you have a little bit of wear and tear on it," warns Brauer "As
soon as I find a ding mark I usually retie because you need all the line you can
get when you get a fish on back there. "
Hibdon is especially vigilant when using light
line. "If you are skipping and you whack the cable real hard you need to
check your line because it doesn't take much to turn 8- and 10-pound line into
6- and 4-pound line."
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 www.funlake.com.
Copies of John Neporadny's book,
"THE Lake of the Ozarks Fishing Guide" are available by calling
573/365-4296 or visiting the web site www.jnoutdoors.com.