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. - December 2010

Lake of the Ozarks Mid-section Offers Diverse Bass Patterns

By John Neporadny Jr.

Anglers have a chance to fish plenty of clear or off-colored water and shallow- or deep-water structure in the middle section of the Osage arm of the Lake of the Ozarks throughout the year.

The lower section around Tan-Tar-A and the confluence of the Niangua arm and Linn Creek features fairly clear water most of the year and has plenty of bluffs and other steep banks that are ideal for deep-water patterns. However the section above the Hurricane Deck Bridge usually contains more stained to murky water and has more gradually sloping banks on both the main lake and in the various creeks that are ideal for catching fish shallow throughout most of the year.

Four-time BASS Federation Divisional qualifier Brian Maloney stays close to the Tan-Tar-A area during the winter to fish the clearer and deeper water. He looks for big chunk rock and black slab rocks on the main lake or goes halfway back in the coves and targets secondary points. “On that end there are deeper v-shaped coves and once the lake drops into its winter pool in mid-January to mid-February, the fish are sucked out of the coves and stack up on those types of rocks,” he advises.

One of his favorite winter lures is a small (3/16 or 1/ 4 ounce) brown or dark green jig that he mixes with a brown or green plastic tube or craw trailer. He works the lure with 10- to 12-pound fluorocarbon line.

Suspending stick baits is his other choice for wintertime bass in this area. The Osage Beach, MO, angler prefers a green-and-white or purple-and-chartreuse model for cloudy days but opts for shad patterns (blue-and-chrome or black-and-chrome) or the clown color for sunny skies.

“If there is some ripple on the water with the wind blowing into a secondary point I will fish the jerkbait from the bank out to 20 feet deep,” says Maloney. “The fish seem to suspend in the 5- to 10-foot range. If I’m looking on my graph and don’t’ see any suspended fish then I go to the jig and drag it out to 20 feet.” He retrieves the jerkbait on 8-pound line with a series of jerks and pauses, sometimes letting it sit for as long as 30 seconds.

In early or mid-March, bass move into the prespawn stage when the water temperature climbs to around 45 degrees. Then Maloney concentrates on the flatter banks in the bigger creeks and hollows above the Hurricane Deck Bridge where he throws a medium-diving crawfish-color crankbait on 8- or 10-pound line. He moves halfway back in the coves and runs his crankbait 3 to 12 feet deep in areas where the 45-degree chunk rock banks change to pea gravel.

Some sight fishing can be done in the cleaner water around Tan-Tar-A during the spawn. Whether he’s fishing the clear or dirty water, Maloney looks for concrete pillars of dock walkways and sea wall abutments where bass usually build nests. The fish will spawn as shallow as 2 feet in the dirty water and as deep as 6 feet in the clear water.

Maloney relies on the small jig and tube trailer or a bright-colored Chompers Twin Tail grub with a 1/ 4-ounce standup jighead to catch fish on the nest. “Sight fishing makes it easy,” says Maloney. “Just cast beyond the fish’s nose and you will find somewhere in that bed where the fish will spin around and nose down on your bait.” He makes multiple pitches on 12-pound fluorocarbon line behind the docks to coax spawning fish into biting.

His favorite docks during the spawn are usually located in a small nook about halfway to three-quarters back in a cove. The spawn in this area usually begins when the water temperature climbs above 65 degrees and runs from mid-May to June.

Bass start leaving the nest in late May or early June. Maloney coaxes these sluggish postspawn fish into hitting a Carolina-rigged 6-inch plastic lizard. His rig consists of a main line of 17-pound test, a 1/ 2- or 3/ 4-ounce egg-shaped sinker, swivel, bead and 18-inch to 2-foot leader of 10- to 12-pound line and a 1/0- or 2/0 worm hook. He favors lizards in green pumpkin or dark melon that he dips the tail with chartreuse or purple dye. If AmerenUE is running water, Maloney slowly drags his rig across main or round secondary points about 20 to 25 feet deep. He keeps the lure moving along on the bottom until it hits any piece of cover and then he lets it sit for a couple of second before resuming his retrieve.

Topwater lures are also effective during the post-spawn. Maloney likes to work Zara Spooks (green-and-clear or chartreuse-and-clear) parallel to the bank along a point or any depth change near the spawning areas. On cloudy or windy days, he also catches some post-spawn bass on black ½-ounce buzz baits.

In the early summer, Maloney catches bass on Carolina-rigged lizards along the channel ledges or on deep-diving crankbaits (blue-and-chartreuse or shad-pattern hues) that he cranks into brush piles 12 feet or deeper.

Night fishing turns on as the summer gets hotter, so Maloney relies on a 10-inch Berkley Power Worm (June bug, black-and-blue or red shad) that he Texas-rigs with a ¼- to 1/ 2-ounce bullet sinker. He works the worm through brush piles 15 to 30 feet deep on main and secondary points or main lake cuts with 45-degree banks.

During the heat of summer, Maloney can also catch bass from isolated docks in the back of coves above the Hurricane Deck Bridge. He flips his 10-inch plastic worms on 17-pound line to shady areas of the shallow docks.

Fall is “fun fishing time” for Maloney. He looks for shad activity in the flats of the coves and flips his small jig to shallow docks and brush piles. When bass start suspending on the corners of the docks in about mid-September, Maloney works Zara Spooks, buzz baits and crankbaits along the sides of the boat houses. He also likes to swim a white 1/ 4-ounce jig and white plastic tube, craw or grub down the sides of the docks to catch fish suspended under the dock foam. Old docks in the backs of coves are best for the swimming jig tactic. As the water gets colder in autumn, Maloney keeps moving down lake. He fishes above Hurricane Deck Bridge until the first part of October and then tries his fall patterns in the Tan-Tar-A area until about early December.

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. 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.