Articles by John Neporadny Jr. - September 2012
Choosing Lures For Lake of the Ozarks' Fall
by John Neporadny Jr.
Selecting lures can be tough sometimes, but the
decision becomes easier in the fall at Lake of the Ozarks if you pay attention
to a bass' autumn diet.
Since shad become a favorite meal for bass
then, any lure that imitates this baitfish will produce for you. Crankbaits,
spinnerbaits and jigs are three of the top fall lure choices for catching bass
from this reservoir.
If the wind is blowing, burn a spinnerbait
along bluff ledges and main lake points. The size of spinnerbait depends on the
type of cover you target. If you're concentrating on shallow cover, try a
1/4-ounce spinnerbait with a single number 5 or 6 chrome Colorado blade. When
keying on main lake structure in windy conditions, switch to a 3/4- to 1-ounce
spinnerbait with tandem willowleaf blades (numbers 5 and 7). Combine chrome and
gold blades for clear water-cloudy day conditions, and select a copper-and-gold
blade combination for dirty water situations. Favorite spinnerbait skirt colors
of the local anglers are white and white-and-chartreuse. The single spin works
best when burning the lure up to the cover then stopping it. Use a fast, steady
retrieve on the larger model and you can also catch fish early on calm mornings
by waking the blade bait across the surface.
When the fishing gets tough and bass hold tight
to cover, try the crankbait around any wood or brush piles you can find in the
backs of shallow pockets or along shallow flats. Although the lure works best in
wind, a crankbait also produces when the lake has a slick surface.
A shad-pattern, shallow-running, Mann's 1-Minus
or a Bagley's B-I in shad colors are good lures for the fall at Lake of the
Ozarks. If the water is off-colored, switch to a black-and-chartreuse crankbait.
Vary the speed of your crankbait retrieve, but
always makes sure to bang the lure into cover. If the fish are really holding
tight to the cover, burn the lure and bang it right into the cover Sometimes you
might have to run the lure three or four times alongside a log to trigger a
When bass suspend under docks at the Lake of
the Ozarks, swim a jig along the foam. This technique produces because you can
drop the lure to spots in a dock well that are unreachable with other baits.
While a jig is often used for sluggish bass in cold-front situations, the lure
in this situation is used for active bass hiding in the shady areas of the
docks. To detect the subtle strikes that usually occur when swimming a jig, use
a heavier lure (1/2 to 3/4 ounces). A white jig with a white Gene Larew Salt
Craw or a black-and-chartreuse model with a plastic chunk in the same colors
work well for this tactic.
Throughout the fall, a variety of lures will
catch bass, but you can simplify your lure choices at the Lake of the Ozarks by
trying a spinnerbait, crankbait or jig as a shad imitator.
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 www.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.