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THE Lake of the Ozarks Fishing GuideExpert Articles by John Neporadny Jr. - August 2013

Lake of the Ozarks for Family Fishing Vacation

By John Neporadny Jr.

Lake of the Ozarks is an excellent fishing spot that offers other recreational opportunities such as swimming, hiking, water skiing, sightseeing and camping that the whole family can enjoy.

My home lake is also one of the top family fishing vacation spots in the state, but to get in on the best bass fishing you have to be an early riser or a night owl. Recreational boating is the most popular sport on the lake during a summer day, so all the boat traffic makes it difficult to fish during the mid-day hours.

Savvy bass anglers usually wait for the sun to set before trying for bass. A Texas-rigged 10-inch Berkley Power Worm in black/blue or blue fleck hues is one of the most effective lures to throw for bass hanging out in brush piles 15 to 25 feet deep.

During the summer months, catfish and sunfish keep anglers busy baiting their hooks. “You can catch a ton of channel and blue catfish,” says James Bryant of Bryant’s Osage Outdoors in Laurie. The bait-and-tackle shop owner suggests families can have plenty of fun fishing for catfish and panfish (crappie, bluegill and green sunfish) off of docks and seawalls.

“We sell more panfish equipment here than anything else in the store,” says Bryant. “Pan fishing is the staple of the Lake of the Ozarks. That is what the lake is all about. You don’t have to have an expensive boat; you can enjoy fishing the Lake of the Ozarks from a lawn chair.”

Customers at the various resorts on the lake enjoy catching crappie, bass, bluegill and catfish from docks that the resort owners enhance by sinking brush piles in multiple locations. “We have a fishing dock and it produces crappie almost year round,” says Michael Spriggs, owner of Point Randall Resort.

Tight lining for catfish off the resort docks offers families a great chance for a bragging-size catch. “We have a picture on our wall of a kid who caught a 17-pound blue cat right off of our fishing dock,” Spriggs says.

Popular attractions at Lake of the Ozarks include Big Surf amusement park, Miner Mike’s Indoor Family Fun Center, HaHa Tonka State Park, Lake of the Ozarks State Park, Bridal Cave, the Bagnell Dam Strip and the Osage Beach Premium Outlets mall.

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.

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