Expert Articles by John
Neporadny Jr. - October 2007
Fall Tricks for Taking
Lake of the Ozarks White Bass
by John Neporadny Jr.
When chilling northern winds signal the arrival
of fall, white bass invade the shallows in search-and-feed missions on shad at
Lake of the Ozarks. Anglers who store their rods and reels to concentrate on
hunting at this time miss out on some of the year's hottest fishing action.
Veteran Lake of the Ozarks anglers have experienced this fall phenomenon
numerous times and have developed effective methods for taking the marauding
Try these tips for catching white bass the next
time you visit the lake in autumn.
Roostertails, Jigs and Chuggers
From the middle of September to early November,
look for spots where the wind is blowing in on rocky points. Three lures catch
plenty of whites in the fall. Use Roostertails or marabou crappie jigs in sunny
weather or a topwater chugger on overcast days. The spinner on a Roostertail
makes it an easy lure to use for whites. Just cast the lure close the bank and
crank it out. If the white bass are around, the spinner will draw a strike.
Throw a one-sixth ounce white Roostertail in clear water and switch to yellow
for dingy water. Use an ultralight spinning rod and reel filled with 6-pound
Since whites cruise around in shallow, rocky
areas, you should retrieve the Roostertail rapidly to prevent hanging up in the
rocks. Anglers who have trouble retrieving fast can switch to a one-eighth ounce
Roostertail which falls slower.
Plenty of white bass can also be caught on
one-eighth ounce marabou crappie jigs. Employ the same fast, steady retrieve as
the Roostertail when swimming the lure through the shallows. But when the lure
reaches deeper water, let it drop and bounce the jig along the bottom.
Topwater chuggers are another favorite bait for
catching fall white bass. Chuggers 2 1/2 inches long in shad colors, such as
black and silver or clear with black back, work best. Switch to 8-pound test
when throwing the chugger. Retrieving the topwater lure in a steady, straight
manner entices the whites. Keep chugging the lure all the way to the boat even
if a fish rolls at it and misses. The fish will usually hit it before it reaches
the boat. If you stop the lure, the white bass usually turns away from it.
On overcast fall days, look for whites on the
windy sides of points. When you find a promising spot, toss a floating Rapala
into the shallows. A variety of minnow-type baits will catch whites, especially
a 2 1/2-inch blue-and-white or black-and-silver belly Rapala. Use a light- to
medium-action rod and spinning reel filled with 4-pound test line. Experiment
with retrieves, varying from a slow, twitching motion to a stop-and-go or a
steady cranking of two to three turns on the reel and then stop and let the
Rapala float back to the surface. Just vary the speed until you find a retrieve
that really turns the fish on.
When the wind makes casting the lightweight
lure difficult, attach a small split shot to the line about 2 feet above the
lure. The extra weight makes casting easier, but has little effect on the lure's
action if retrieved in the steady, twitching motion.
To double your fun, add a trailer jig to the
Rapala. Tie on a 1/32-ounce white, chartreuse or yellow crappie jig on a 6-pound
test leader line. The leader should be about 30 inches long. If you use a
shorter leader, the tailer lure will get tangled up with the Rapala. With the
extra lure, you can frequently catch two white bass at the same time.
For information on lodging and other facilities
at the Lake of the Ozarks or to receive a free 152-page 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.
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.