Spring Fishing at Lake of the Ozarks

Fishing Home Page | Fishing Guides | Fishing Tips

Snagging spoonbill in March at Lake of the Ozarks March through May the temperatures are starting to warm up, the days are getting longer, the trees are starting to bud, and the fish are getting active. Spring is a great time of year to fish at Lake of the Ozarks. Check out these tips on catching large mouth bass, crappie and snagging a monster spoonbill.


March

The month of March at Lake of the Ozarks is often one of wide variation in temperature and weather conditions. Anglers are just as likely to find themselves waiting impatiently for the ice to thaw as they are to be applying sunscreen on a warm spring day. The capricious nature of the month that straddles winter and spring makes for exciting fishing. Because of the rising daily temperatures and increased hours of sunlight this month, water temperatures begin to rise, starting the month generally in the mid to upper 30s and ending the month in the upper 40s and low 50s.

Fishing for bass this month is dominated by the term “Pre-Spawn”. At the beginning of March you may find bass in their winter haunts, but as the month progresses, big fish will start feeding and moving towards their spawning areas. At the beginning of this month jerk baits and Alabama Rigs will be the most productive lures to catch big fish. As the water temperature begins to rise, the fish will start looking for crawfish imitators such as a finesse jig or a Wiggle Wart. Paying attention to the changing conditions is vital to a successful day of fishing during this month as there are many different ways to catch big fish. For daily expert reports on what the bass are biting this month check out BasingBob.com.

March also marks the beginning of spoonbill season. Each year thousands of anglers flock to the Lake of the Ozarks for a shot at hooking into a pre-historic giant! These fish can grow to weigh well over 130lbs and are plankton feeders, so they do not chase after traditional lures. Because you cannot catch them with traditional methods, anglers will target these big fish with heavy snagging equipment. During this month the spoonbill will begin to group up in deep holes in the upper river portions of the Lake of the Ozarks and the Osage River. This is a unique angling experience as this is one of few places in the world where you can find paddle fish (spoonbill). Check out the Crappie+ portion of bassingbob.com to find how-to articles and tips for how to snag into one of these giants.

April

Spring crappie fishing at Lake of the Ozarks.Each year in April the Lake of the Ozarks’ shoreline springs to life, giving anglers an especially great view of the blooming redbuds, dogwoods and wildflowers that dot the landscape. The warming temperatures and increasing hours of daylight tempt fishermen to get back in their boats for another great season of fishing. Anglers look forward to April because the warmer days and water temperatures start to make all of the fish more active. However the two most popular species for this month are bass and crappie.

This is one of the most popular months for bass fishing because the rising temperatures push all of the fish out of the deeper water into shallow spawning areas. During the beginning of this month the fish will still be in a pre-spawn feeding mode, these fish are best caught with spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and Carolina Rigs. As the water temps climb into spawning temperatures you will find that you can catch bass on just about any lure that you own. The best bait to throw at this time is the one that you have most confidence in. However, if you begin to struggle with your confidence bait, make sure to check out bassingbob.com for expert advice, videos, and daily fishing reports.

The Bass are not the only fish that bite this time of the year. April also marks the beginning of the crappie spawn. If you time this bite right, you can have one of the most incredible days of fishing for these tasty critters. Just like the bass, all of the crappie will migrate to the shallows for their annual spawning ritual. To find these fish, look for protected areas on the bank such as a shallow walkway, behind a dock, or a shallow brush pile. You may target these critters with a variety of jigs and minnows. You definitely don’t want to miss out on this bite, so check out the Crappie+ reports on BassingBob.com to find out when the time is right!

May

May fishing at Lake of the OzarksThe Lake of the Ozarks really comes alive in May. Everywhere you look, you’ll see signs that things are shaping up for another summer of fun in the sun. Anglers take to the water to enjoy the excitement of fishing during the spawn. Vacation home owners come down to air out their houses and start up their boats in anticipation of time spent with family and friends. This is truly a great time to get out on the water.

At the beginning of this month you will find bass in the peak of the spawn in shallow bedding locations. This is great time to catch numbers of fish as there are a ton of aggressive male bass guarding their nests. You can target these fish with a variety of lures in shallow pea gravel spawning pockets. As the month progresses the fish will finish spawning and will begin to transition to there post spawn-feeding phase. At this time, bass have been using all of their energy to spawn and protect their nest, but will now focus their efforts onto feeding heavily. This is one of the best bites of the year because the bas are super aggressive and will viciously attack a variety of lures. A great way to target these bass is with a top-water lure like a Zara Spook. You want to work the spook back to the boat with a walking action(walk the dog). This walking action mimics the action of a wounded shad on the surface and is irresistible to any aggressive bass in the area that are looking for an easy meal.

The beginning of May is also a great time to catch a big mess of crappie! During this month most of the crappie will be found in the shallows for their annual spawning ritual. To find these fish, look for protected areas on the bank such as a shallow walkway, behind a dock, or a shallow brush pile. You may target these critters with a variety of jigs and minnows. If you would like to learn more about catching both crappie and bass on Lake of the Ozarks during the month of May, check out bassingbob.com.  

Return to Lake of the Ozarks Fishing Tips