Articles by John Neporadny Jr. - November
On highly populated Lake of the Ozarks you will
see a lot of manmade forms that are ideal hangouts for bass.
Concrete in various forms, such as bridge
pilings, pier walkway supports, boat ramps and seawalls, can be found throughout
the Lake of the Ozarks. Besides serving its main purpose for humans, concrete
also provides a great feeding place and cover for bass, especially in the fall
when bass are chasing baitfish. “I think a lot of people ignore (concrete) and
don’t realize its potential,” says Bassmaster Elite Series pro Denny Brauer.
The former Bassmaster Classic champion knows
concrete cover has great potential on the Lake of the Ozarks with its countless
seawalls, boat ramps and dock walkway supports. Brauer notes concrete cover can
be a productive big fish pattern in the fall, but anglers can also catch plenty
of numbers of bass as well if they scale down to a shaky head tactic. “It can
also be a great way to catch a bunch of quality spotted bass,” he says. “They
really like to relate to this pattern.”
Bass relate to concrete since it is an
irregular feature in the water and its algae buildup attracts baitfish. “When
you have water up against a seawall it offers shade and a break,” says Brauer.
“It is also something different. Bass are creatures that relate to change
whether it is pea gravel to a chunk rock bank or rock to something smooth like a
boat ramp. Something irregular like that might be all it takes to stop a fish
and hold it there.”
If a seawall sits in deep enough water, Brauer
will position his boat parallel to the cover so he can keep his lure close to
the wall throughout his retrieve “A lot of times you can’t do that so you
have to 45-degree angle it,” he says. “There is noting wrong with that, you
just have to go a little slower. “
While working along a seawall, Brauer looks for
something different such as an abutment that might hold more fish. “It might
be where you are catching fish on the seawall with a spinnerbait or buzz bait
but when you get to a key little feature on it you might want to pick up your
flipping stick and pitch your jig at that feature,” he advises.
Old busted-up seawalls attract more bass than
smooth new walls. “Anything that has age on it is always better because it has
a better buildup of algae that draws more bait in and it also offers more
irregularities,” says Brauer.
Bass use boat ramps primarily as feeding areas
in the fall. “You are liable to catch fish anywhere on a boat ramp but it
seems they like to relate to the edge of the ramp, and the more popular ramps
usually have a blowout at the end of them,” says Brauer. “I think those
blowout holes are part of the reason the fish relate to them. A lot of people
don’t bother to fish those holes because they just don’t fish the ramps out
Brauer favors a buzz bait or spinnerbait (1/4-
or 3/8-ounce in a sexy shad hue) and a Strike King Series 4S crankbait for
running at various speeds along sea walls. “The clearer the water the faster
and the dirtier the water the slower,” says Brauer. He begins with this axiom
but experiments with retrieve speeds until he figures out which triggers the
When he keys on boat ramps, Brauer opts for a
1/2-ounce Strike King Premier Pro-Model Jig with either a Strike King Rage Chunk
or Strike King Denny Brauer Chunk trailer. He prefers the lively tail action of
the Rage Chunk in the early fall when the water is still warm, but he switches
to the more subtle action of the Denny Brauer Chunk when the water temperature
drops into the low 60s.
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.