Articles by John Neporadny Jr. -
Fall Turns on Lake of the Ozarks Bass
By John Neporadny Jr.
Getting a different perspective on how to fish
your home waters can keep you from becoming stuck in a rut.
I have a bad habit of fishing the same old way
and the same old spots on my home waters of Lake of the Ozarks, so when the
Missouri Outdoor Communicators (MOC) met at the lake in early September and had
a guide trip set up for MOC members I jumped at the opportunity. Even though I
have fished the lake for more than 30 years I know I can always learn something
from another local expert, especially one who gets to spend more time on the
water than I do.
During the pre-conference fishing trip I was
paired up with fellow MOC member Emory Styron and Coast Guard-licensed guide
Scott Melton for a morning of bass fishing. I had been catching a few 3- and
4-pound bass the last week of August flipping a finesse jig tipped with a
flashy, flappy trailer (June bug Berkley Havoc Pit Boss and Havoc Devil Spear)
to shallow docks in the back of creeks, but I could only catch one keeper per
creek. I was hoping Melton could show me how to catch a limit of fish without
having to run for miles from creek to creek.
September is usually one of the toughest months
to catch bass on the Lake of the Ozarks since the fish tend to move out of the
brush and start to scatter and suspend with the balls of shad. A storm producing
lightning and hail struck the night before and the morning of our trip featured
calm weather and bluebird skiesóthe perfect recipe for a tough day of fishing.
Melton took us on a milk run of some of his
best sunken brush piles and showed me a jig tactic that produced hefty bass for
him throughout the summer along rocky banks. Melton used a heavy swivel-style
jighead and a Larew Biffle Bug that he constantly reeled like a crankbait along
bottom. I had fished this technique before with some limited success, but I plan
on trying it more often next summer after finding out about Meltonís catches
on the rig.
Despite the tough conditions, I still managed
to catch a 3 1/2-pound largemouth and a smaller bass on a jig flipped to the
shady area of a dock. Emory had some bites on a shaky head with a Senko-style
worm but kept missing on the hookset.
Once October arrives at Lake of the Ozarks,
bass fishing turns on and continues to get better all the way to Thanksgiving.
Bass follow the shad into the creeks and coves throughout this 98-mile lake and
can be caught on a variety of lures in the shallows. Throwing a buzz bait along
slab rock banks is my favorite tactic for catching Lake of the Ozarks bass in
late October and all of November. That is one rut I donít mind getting stuck
in on my home waters. A swim bait ran along the same banks also produces if the
fish ignore or short-strike the buzz bait.
If you enjoy watching bass smash a buzz bait,
try fishing Lake of the Ozarks this fall.
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.