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THE Lake of the Ozarks Fishing GuideExpert Articles by John Neporadny Jr. - September 2010

Lake of the Ozarks Glaize arm loaded with whites and cats

By John Neporadny Jr.

The Grand Glaize arm of the Lake of the Ozarks is well-renowned for its bass fishing, but this section of the lake also provides good action for white bass and catfish throughout the year.

The 16-mile stretch of the Grand Glaize arm runs from its confluence with the Osage arm to the swinging bridges area where the Glaize narrows down to a stream. The stream section is a prime spot for the white bass run in the spring. The arm contains several large branches and hollows throughout its length. Ideal structure for white bass and catfish on this arm includes creek channel drops and bends, bluffs, humps, long gradual gravel points and gravel flats.

Here’s how a local expert catches these two popular species throughout the year on the Grand Glaize arm.

White bass

Camdenton, Mo., angler Robert Hunter looks forward to October when he can catch plenty of white bass on the Glaize arm. When the water temperature reaches in the 60- to 65-degree range, Hunter looks for wind-blown rocky banks where he catches whites on a 1/8-ounce purple-and-white crappie jig that he casts on 6-pound test line to the shallows. “As soon as the jig hits the water I start reeling,” says Hunter, who catches most of his fish in the 3- to 6-foot range.

Another prime time for Hunter to catch whites on the Glaize is at night during the summer. He selects a Lit’l Fishie with a 1/8-ounce jighead that he casts to flat gravel banks close to the main river channel. The ideal spots for whites at night are banks that slope off to 7 to 12 feet deep about 25 feet away from the shore.

“Most of the time at night the whites are only in 2 to 3 feet of water but every once in a while I have to let the jig sink to 8 to 12 feet,” Hunter recommends. He also likes to run a fire tiger Rapala Shad Rap crankbait along the same banks to catch nocturnal white bass.

In early to mid-April, Hunter has caught spawning white bass that make the run up to the stream section of the Glaize around the swinging bridges area. Retrieving a crappie jig or Lit'l Fishie through the riffles is Hunter’s most productive tactic for taking spawning whites in the stream.

Catfish

Drift fishing the coves at depths of 17 to 25 feet has produced plenty of channel catfish for Hunter throughout the years. He rigs a slip sinker on 10-pound line and crimps a split shot on the line to keep his sinker away from the hook. The veteran angler then attaches shad to a number 6 straight-shank hook.

Starting in the back of a cove, Hunter drifts or pushes his boat along with the trolling motor and heads toward the main channel. “It doesn’t seem to matter what cove you are in,” he says. “Some days one cove will produce and another day another cove will produce.”

Hunter’s drift techniques usually produce channel cats in the 3- to 5-pound range. He notes the technique will work well throughout the summer but June and July are his favorite months for drifting. “It seems like we get our better fish from mid-June to the middle of July,” he discloses.

From mid-summer to fall, Hunter also runs trotlines for big flathead and blue catfish. He set his lines along bluffs with rock shelves and holes in the ledges. “I always like to run my lines almost parallel with the bank out to 15 to 20 feet deep,” he says.

His favorite bait for trotlines is 4-inch bullheads that he seines from a pond. But he suggests anglers can also catch plenty of catfish on trotlines with live perch and goldfish.

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.

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