Articles by John Neporadny Jr. -
Brush up for Lake of the Ozarks bass
By John Neporadny Jr.
The rigors of spawning are over and now it’s time
for Lake of the Ozarks bass to find a good place to recuperate.
Manmade brush piles are the place for Lake of the Ozarks
bass to rest before migrating to deep water. A brush pile provides cover and
shade and draws baitfish that feed on its algae-covered limbs—all the essentials
postspawn bass require for their recovery process. “When the fish get done
spawning they hole up in those brush piles from 6 to 10 feet deep and
recuperate before they move back out on the ledges,” says Mark Tucker,
winner of the 2013 Everstart Lake of the Ozarks tournamen
The Missouri pro targets points adjacent to spawning
flats for pinpointing Lake of the Ozarks postspawn bass. Time of day
dictates which lure Tucker selects for probing the brush pile. “The biggest
thing is how to figure out how the fish are positioned in the brush pile,” says
Tucker. “A lot of times early in the morning the fish will get up on top of it
and hit the lure on the initial fall. Very seldom will you have to work it
through the brush. When the sun gets up you will have to sink it a little more
and work a jig up and down to get the bite.”
A green pumpkin or watermelon candy Zoom Trick Worm
attached to a 1/8-ounce jighead is Tucker’s choice for Lake of the Ozarks
postspawn bass suspended above the brush. “Eighty percent of the time the
fish hit it on the initial fall,” he says. If the fish fail to nab it on the
descent, Tucker lets the worm fall to the bottom and shakes it three times
before reeling it in for another cast. He tosses his Trick Worm into the
brush with a 6 1/2-foot medium action E21 Carrot Stix rod and Abu Garcia Revo
Premier PRM30 spinning reel spooled with 6-pound Berkley Trilene 100 %
For bass holding tight to the cover Tucker opts for a
1/4-or 5/16-ounce Jernigan Jig and Zoom Junior Chunk or Critter Craw in a color
mixture of brown, purple and chartreuse. He hops the jig through the brush on
10- or 12-pound Trilene 100 % Fluorocarbon with a 7-foot medium-heavy Carrot
Stix rod and Abu Garcia Revo baitcast reel.
Another brush pile option for Tucker is a green pumpkin
or watermelon Texas-rigged Zoom Brush Hog with a 4/0 Gamakatsu Sproat Hook and
5/16-ounce sinker. “If the bass fry have hatched, hop that Brush Hog along so it
will look like a bluegill trying to eat those fry,” says Tucker. He snaps
the lure hard with an 8-foot Carrot Gold Carrot Stix rod and Abu Garcia Revo
reel filled with 17-pound Trilene 100 % Fluorocarbon.
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.