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 2010

Crappie Time at Lake of the Ozarks

By John Neporadny Jr.

When the dogwoods bloom, the crappie are biting.

There’s a lot of truth to that saying here at Lake of the Ozarks since dogwood blossoming time usually coincides with the crappie spawn in the spring.

While crappie reside in most bodies of water throughout the state, Lake of the Ozarks contains a thriving population of these tasty panfish. This central Missouri impoundment lacks natural cover, but has plenty of man-made fish attractors and ideal spawning areas that produce the most consistent springtime crappie fishing in the state each year. “We have a lot of pea gravel banks close to channels as compared to other lakes in the state,” says Guy Winters, a crappie seminar lecturer from Camdenton. “That’s why crappie do so well here.”

Sunken man-made brush piles and boat docks replace the deficiency of natural habitat at Lake of the Ozarks. “It’s important to have a good locator on your boat where you can find some brush in the depth of water you want to concentrate on,” suggests Winters.

When the water temperature climbs above 60 degrees, Winters claims male crappie start sweeping nests and then the first wave of females arrive to lay eggs at about 62 degrees. This spawning process continues with males guarding the nests as the water temperature climbs to 70 degrees. The crappie expert notes the spawning activity usually ends by 72 degrees.

Lake of the Ozarks crappie seek nesting sites along pea gravel banks protected from wind and waves. “They look for backs of pockets and coves,” advises Winters. “I’ve noticed over the years if you find a pea gravel bank with lots of docks on it, the docks toward the back of that cove hold more fish than the ones closer to the mouth of the cove even though they don’t have a variance in depth. Those docks tend to break up the waves better.”

Crappie spawn at various depths depending on the arm of the lake. During a wet spring, Winters notes some water turns muddy enough “to track a coon across the lake” and the fish build nests as shallow as 6 inches. The Gravois arm and the dam area offer the clearest water where crappie spawn deeper. Winters claims he has caught spawning crappie as deep as 20 feet from the clear water.

The shallowness of the Niangua arm causes the water to warm quicker and trigger the crappie action sooner. “The fish go to the bank and start spawning there as much as a week earlier than they will on the Osage or the (Grand) Glaize,” predicts Winters. The last spawning crappie can be found each spring in the dam area.

Artificial lures work best for Winters during the spawn. He favors plastic tube jigs and Laker Curlybugs attached to 1/16-ounce jigheads for fish in deeper water or 1/32-ounce models for shallow spawners. The local expert opts for dark-color jigs (chartreuse glitter, smoke glitter/pearl tail or black) in dirty water and lighter hues (pink/pearl, blue/pearl or solid pearl) for clear water.

When the dogwoods bloom, head for Lake of the Ozarks to experience some of the best crappie action of the year.

For information on lodging and other facilities at the Lake of the Ozarks or to receive a free 162-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. Although best known as a summer vacation hot spot, the Lake of the Ozarks has quietly become a choice Midwest location for bass anglers to visit during any season.

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.