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. - April 2008

White Bass Runs Are Springtime Barrel of Fun

by John Neporadny Jr.

About the closest you can come to catching fish in a barrel occurs when Lake of the Ozarks white bass make their spawning runs up the creeks and rivers in the spring.

White bass, a member of the sea-bass family, are close relatives of the striped bass. Most of the time, these silver-sided bass prefer deep, still water over sand and gravel bottoms, but when they make their spawning run, they seek out shallow, flowing water. Large schools of white bass concentrate near the mouths of tributary streams during their upstream spawning runs. Greg Stoner, Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) fisheries management biologist, likens white bass to salmon in that both fish migrate up rivers to spawn on clean swept gravel bars rather than build nests. Whites prefer to spawn on the gravel bars where their deposited eggs stick to the rocks. The current keeps the eggs clean and well oxygenated, which causes them to hatch within two days.

The spawning run is mainly influenced by the increasing length of daylight during the spring, says Mike Colvin, a MDC fisheries research biologist who has studied white bass runs on the Niangua and Pomme de Terre rivers since 1991. Other lesser influences affecting the spawning run include water temperature and flow.

White bass usually make their spawning runs at Lake of the Ozarks in early to mid-April through the first to second week of May, according to Greg Stoner, MDC fisheries management biologist and an avid fisherman. The best run occurs on the Big Niangua arm and some limited reproduction takes place on the Little Niangua River and Grand Glaize and Gravois creeks.

The lake level determines where white bass spawn every year. "They tend to go to the first or second riffle above the lake boundary," Stoner says. "If the lake's down real low at that time of the year, they won't go up the river as far as they do when the lake is at normal pool or above."

Stoner's lure selection for spawning whites includes Gay Blades, Roostertails and 2-inch Rapala Floaters. Cut shad also works well. "One thing about the Niangua , the hybrids will also move up in there during the spawning period so you might lose some lures with lighter tackle," Stoner says. To prevent hybrids from running off with this lures, Stoner uses 8- to 10-pound test.

I have also caught spawning white bass in the Lake of the Ozarks creeks throughout the years. My favorite technique combines a 4 1/2-inch Rapala Floater with a 1/16-ounce white or bright pink doll fly. The jig is tied on an 18-inch leader line of 4-pound test and the leader is attached to the back hook of the Rapala. I cast this combination upstream on a gravel bar and let it drift down into the hole below the riffles. As the lure drifts down, I jerk the rod hard to make the Rapala flash and attract the white bass' attention. Most of the time, the whites hit the jig trailer, although I have caught some bigger fish that smashed the Rapala on the surface.

When the white bass make their spawning run at Lake of the Ozarks this spring, you can catch them in a hurry if you find them bunched up in the tributaries. It's the next best thing to fishing in a barrel. 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.