Bass Fishing, Crappie Fishing, Lake of the Ozarks
Photo Gallery
E-mail us your photos and we will post the best of the best
Expert Articles By John Neporadny Jr.
Monthly articles with detailed fishing tips and information.
Missouri Dept. of Conservation Reports
Click to jump to statewide fishing reports.
Lake Sun Reader
Online Outdoors Report with Detailed Fishing Info
State-Wide Fishing Tournaments
Listed as Regattas - But Pick Your Lake and Find All Scheduled Tournaments

THE Lake of the Ozarks Fishing GuideExpert Articles by John Neporadny Jr. - November 2007

Lake of the Ozarks Docks are Bass Magnets in the Fall

by John Neporadny Jr.

As massive schools of shad surround them, black bass build up an insatiable appetite in the fall at the Lake of the Ozarks.

During October and November, bass gorge on these baitfish even

after they've filled their bellies. While some smaller bass feed by chasing and busting through the schools of shad, a bigger bass tends to lurk under the cover of boat docks and pounces on any baitfish that enters its ambush zone. When weather conditions are ideal, you can catch plenty of bass on a variety of lures as they chase schools of baitfish, but the most consistent way to catch bass in the fall is to target boat docks. A local expert who targets docks for consistent fall bass action is Chad Brauer, Osage Beach, Mo., a touring pro angler, former guide on the Lake of the Ozarks and son of famed professional angler Denny Brauer. Since the lake contains a multitude of boat houses, Chad Brauer keys on certain types of docks that hold bass better in the fall.

"I like a dock with white Styrofoam underneath because of all the types of foam, it seems to draw the best algae, which attracts invertebrates and those invertebrates bring in the baitfish," says Brauer. He looks for older docks that have several posts or piers under the walkway and possibly some brush sunk underneath the floating structure. Location also plays a key role in selecting which docks to try in the fall. Brauer opts for main-lake piers, which he believes many anglers overlook as they head for the coves in the fall. He tries main-lake docks on the flats where the front ends of the floating cover sit over depths of 10 feet or less.

Weather and water temperature determines where fish will be positioned on a dock during autumn. Lake of the Ozarks bass remain in the brush under the docks during the summer. As the water cools in the fall, bass start suspending under the dock's foam. "Rather than moving up towards the bank, they just more right up underneath the docks," Brauer says. The foam becomes perfect cover for bass as they wait for schools of shad to swim by the docks. Later in the fall, bass move into the shallows behind the docks where Brauer catches them around the walkway posts.

The dropping water temperature eventually triggers the lake turnover, which can make fishing tough around any type of cover. "I think the fish tend to scatter more and that makes them harder to catch," says Brauer. "The fish will still be around the docks, but something happens to them and makes them goofy." He believes shallow docks produce best during this phenomenon since they have less of a depth range for bass to scatter than docks in deeper water.

Weather fronts also cause the bass to relocate on a dock throughout the fall. Brauer notices bass move to deeper parts of the dock when a cold front passes through. If the weather turns warm again, the fish migrate back to the shallow end. "You have to experiment every time you go out because sometimes inexplicably they move to the other end of the dock and sometimes they are scattered out all over," he says. Bass also tend to position differently on windy or calm days When the wind blows, Brauer targets the side where waves crash into the docks and push baitfish toward the foam.

Since bass frequently change hiding spots almost daily, Brauer covers all the sections of the floating cover until he discovers which sections are holding fish that day. "I have a lot of success right on the very end and right in the very back (the corners) of the docks," he says. When bass suspend under the foam Brauer selects lures that stay in the fish's strike zone longer. His favorite fall dock techniques include running a spinnerbait just below the surface or swimming a slow-falling jig and pork chunk next to the foam.

The swimming jig technique requires matching a jig with a pork chunk or plastic trailer buoyant enough to slow the lure's descent. Brauer usually starts with a 3/8-ounce jig and later switches to a 1/2-ounce model if he wants a lure with a larger profile. To give the jigs more buoyancy, Brauer attaches either a pork chunk or a plastic crawfish. Black and blue are his favorite fall colors for the jig-and-craw combination, while an all-white selection works best for his jig and pork. He retrieves both combinations with 20-pound test line, which is heavy enough to give the lures increased buoyancy and abrasion-resistant for fishing over dock cables or underneath walkways.

Swimming the jig requires a faster-than-normal retrieve. "The bigger pork or the bigger plastic craw gives the lure a little more buoyancy and helps it swim right below that foam a little better," Brauer says. "I use a pumping motion just to cover a little more depth range. Once you narrow down as to how deep the fish are then you don't have to pump the lure as much." A slow-rolling pump of the jig also gives the lure more action as it swims along the foam. Brauer also runs a spinnerbait about 1 to 2 feet below the surface to coax bass out from under the docks. If you can't find bass chasing shad on the surface this fall at the Lake of the Ozarks, throw to the docks to save your day on the water.

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.

April 2007 Article      May 2007 Article   June 2007 Article   July 2007 Article   August 2007 Article   September 2007 Article   October 2007 Article   November 2007 Article   December 2007 Article   November 2013   March 2014   April 2014   May 2014   June 2014   July 2014   August 2014   September 2014   October 2014   November 2014   December 2014   January 2015   February 2015   March 2015   April 2015   May 2015   June 2015   July 2015   August 2015   September 2015   October 2015   November 2015   December 2015   January 2016   February 2016   March 2016   April 2016   May 2016   June 2016   July 2016   August 2016   October 2016   November 2016   February 2017   March 2017   April 2017   May 2017   June 2017   July 2017   August 2017   September 2017   October 2017   November 2017   December 2017   January 2018   February 2018   March 2018   April 2018   May 2018   January 2008   February 2008   March 2008   April 2008   May 2008   June 2008   July 2008   August 2008   September 2008   October 2008   November 2008   December 2008   January 2009   February 2009   March 2009   April 2009   May 2009   June 2009   July 2009   August 2009   September 2009   October 2009   November 2009   December 2009   January 2010   February 2010   March 2010   April 2010   May 2010   September 2010   October 2010   November 2010   December 2010   January 2011   February 2011   March 2011   April 2011   May 2011   June 2011   July 2011   August 2011   September 2011   October 2011   November 2011   December 2011   January 2012   February 2012   March 2012   April 2012   May 2012   June 2012   July 2012   August 2012   September 2012   October 2012   November 2012   December 2012   January 2013   February 2013   March 2013   April 2013   May 2013   June 2013   July 2013   August 2013   September 2013   October 2013   December 2013   January 2014   February 2014  

Looking for Great Gear, Bait, and Advice?
We suggest a visit to our friends at....

image linking to 100 Top Bass Fishing Sites
Copyright (c) 2000-2008
All rights reserved.