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Expert Articles by John Neporadny Jr. - June 2018

Lake of Ozarks Dam Area Attracts White Bass

By John Neporadny Jr.

The deep, clear, wide-open waters of the dam area at the Lake of the Ozarks are ideal for roaming schools of white bass throughout the year.

The North Shore and Horseshoe Bend sides have a variety of structures white bass crave, including gradual sloping points, bluff walls, islands and off-shore humps. These spots are especially productive in the summer and fall.

Trolling a double rig (medium- or deep-diving crankbait with a white jig tied on a 2-foot trailer line) along the main channel produces some white bass and an occasional hybrid striper during the winter on the North Shore.  Fishing for white bass in the spring is also spotty, but some fish can be taken on spinners such as Roostertails and Roadrunners when the whites chase shad in the coves.

White bass action picks up in the summer when schools of the marauding fish bust shad fry on the surface. The best action usually occurs on the main lake at daylight in the middle of June and July. “It looks like 10,000 washing machines going all the way across the main lake,” describes Bruce Gier, a veteran angler from Eldon, Mo. He suggests several lures will work when the fish are busting shad, but he usually opts for twitching a Zara Spook Puppy or running a Rat-L-Trap (in any size or color) at a high rate of speed through the surface activity.

Whites are also taken at night during the summer along wind-blown main lake points. Try casting black or blue Lit'l Fishie Shad on 1/8-ounce jigheads along the rocky banks about 3 to 10 feet deep.

October and November are Gier’s favorite months for pursuing white bass on the North Shore and the lower end of the Gravois arm.   When the water temperature settles in the 50- to 65-degree range, Gier searches for whites along chunk rock banks. His favorite technique involves using a shad-colored Rebel Pop-R with a white 1/16-ounce feather jig  as a trailer.

Gier casts his rig with a bait-cast rod and reel filled with 8- or 10-pound test line. He ties an 18-inch leader of 10-pound test on the back hook of the chugger and removes the front hook of the lure to keep the leader line from tangling up in the hooks.

Casting as close to the bank as possible, Gier retrieves the chugger-and-jig combination in a popping manner. The speed of the retrieve may vary, but the chugger must make a deliberate pop. “The chugger’s got to throw water out front,” recommends Gier. “It’s got to look like an explosion.”

Sometimes Gier catches  doubles on his rig. When he hooks a fish on the chugger, Gier lets the fish swim around until another white hits the jig.

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.

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