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. - May 2016

Lake of the Ozarks Topwater Largemouths

By John Neporadny Jr.

Plop, plop, plop. Ka-Woosh.

Any Lake of the Ozarks angler who has experienced the thrill of topwater action knows these sounds of a plug popping across the surface followed by the attack of a largemouth bass.

All other tactics for catching bass pales in comparison to the excitement of a largemouth busting the surface to engulf a topwater bait. Lake of the Ozarks bass can be coaxed into attacking topwater lures from late spring to late fall but late April through May is the prime time for surface action. During this time bass will be feeding heavily before going on the nest, guarding a nest or guarding fry which makes them vulnerable to any lure buzzing, popping or walking above them.

During the summer, you have to throw surface lures early and late in the day to trigger strikes, but I have experienced good topwater action all day long—even on sunny afternoons—during May. Water clarity often dictates which topwater lure works best. Buzz baits generally produce best in murky water while a variety of surface plugs catch bass in stained to clear water.

Largemouth on my home lake usually start busting surface lures in late April when the fish are on the beds, and the topwater action heats up in May during the postspawn. My favorite topwater for Lake of the Ozarks is the Heddon Zara Spook in either baby bass or flitter shad (known locally as the Christmas tree color). The Spook is so effective because it can be worked at various speeds, but I have found the best presentation is a steady walk-the-dog retrieve. On many occasions I have seen fish follow the lure and I have drawn more strikes by speeding up my retrieve rather than stopping the lure.

I prefer fishing the clear-water section of the lake from the Gravois arm to the dam area where I key on the protected gravel pockets during early May. Male bass will either be on nests behind dock cables or along sea walls from 3 to 6 feet deep, but the hefty females will usually be suspended along the sides of the docks. You can catch plenty of 2-pounders working the Spook along the sea walls and open banks, but you need to walk the plug along the back or the shady side of a dock to catch 4- to 5-pounders.

This is the only time of the year when I prefer fishing topwaters on sunny afternoons. The sunshine warms the water to activate bass and baitfish and the bright conditions position the bigger fish in the shady areas under the dock, which makes them susceptible to the Spook sashaying in front of them.

From the middle to the end of May bass have moved out to either secondary or main lake points. The fish will still hit a Spook, but these open areas tend to have more wind so a Rebel Pop-R usually works better. On the windiest days, I switch to a Gilmore Jumper, a large double-blade prop bait that produces a lot of splash when jerked hard.

For information on lodging and other facilities at the Lake of the Ozarks or to receive a free 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.

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.