Summer Fishing at Lake of the Ozarks

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As the dog days of summer heat up so does the fishing at Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks. Follow these great summer fishing tips from BassingBob.com to catch that lunker catfish or trophy large mouth bass.

Largemouth bass caught at Lake of the Ozarks in June.June

The month of June on the Lake of the Ozarks is one of the best times of the year to catch large numbers of big bass. Since these fish have recently finished their annual spawning ritual, they are left beat up, skinny, and HUNGRY.  So at this time, the big fish leave their spawning pockets in search of food.  Therefore, in order to locate these big fish you must first locate the food.

Throughout June the main source of forage for these fish is going to be shad. As water temps reach the lower seventies, the shad will begin to spawn and you can find them shallow on points, docks, and sea walls close to deep water. The shad prefer to spawn in lowlight conditions, so it is important to take advantage of the morning bite and follow the shade.  If you find an area like this, the giant bass will not be far. Throw your favorite topwater lure at targets in these areas and HOLD ON because these big girls are super aggressive.

As the sun gets high in the sky you can find bass relating to shad deep on points. At this time of year it is important to use your electronics to locate schools of bait and even schools of bass. Whenever current is being pulled from Bagnell Dam you can actually find schools of big bass chasing these shad. These fish can be caught on heavy jigs, worms, and crank baits. An awesome demonstration of how to catch these deep post spawn schoolers is the Summertime Patterns DVD featuring deep-water guru Roger Fitzpatrick. You can find this DVD along with much more information on how to catch June bass on BassingBob.com.

Summer fishing at Lake of the Ozarks.July

As water temps begin to reach the mid to upper 80’s in early July, big fish start to slow down from their post spawn feeding pattern and become less aggressive. While catching numbers of bass seems to be a little more difficult than in June, the big fish bite still remains strong.  It is important to take into account the time of day when searching for the big ones. With the water being so hot, feeding activity will peak after dark so the night fishing really heats up right now. Night fishing is also a great way to avoid the boat traffic that really starts to pick up in July here on the Lake of the Ozarks. With surface water temps averaging in the mid to upper 80s most of the big fish will be found in deep water close to the thermocline where the water is cooler. Big fish have been caught as deep as 30ft this time of year, but a good range to target would be from 12-20ft. When fishing deep this month it is critical to find heavy wood cover, since that is what the bass will be relating to. Through out the years, man-made brush piles have been placed all over the lake and you can find them by searching with your graph or feeling for them with heavy baits. You can also find a map of marked brush piles set out by the Missouri Department of Conservation on BassingBob.com.  You can fish these brush pile fish using a variety of techniques, but the most popular way to catch them is to Texas-rig a large plastic worm or creature bait. When the water temp is high this month the fish’s metabolism slows way down, so they are more apt to eat larger baits. For an in depth explanation and fishing report for July, make sure to check out BassingBob.com.   

When it comes to catfish, Lake of the Ozarks is one of the best fisheries in the country. Here you can find blue, channel, and flathead species of catfish. While there is a large population of all three, the most popular and best eating is the blue cat.

There are a variety of methods you can use to catch these catfish in the summertime.  Jack Uxa, experienced guide and BassingBob.com expert advisor utilizes a trolling technique to target big blues. Other techniques used for catching catfish during the summertime include trotlines, jugging, and a conventional slip sinker rig. You can target certain species with certain baits. The flat heads seem to prefer a live and active bait like a crawfish or a sunfish hooked through the back, where as the blue cats like dead or cut bait. You can use a ton of different baits to go after channels with the most popular being dough or stink bait. This year BassingBob.com has a new Crappie+ section where you can find more tips, videos, and information on how to catch giant Lake of the Ozarks catfish.

Monster catfish caught during the summer at Lake of the Ozarks. August

BASS - As we move into August we are faced with the “dog days” of summer. A common misconception is that during this time the fishing gets super tough. With heavy boat traffic and hot temperatures, fishing conditions may sometimes seem less than ideal. However, if you plan your trip out with these in mind, you can avoid both and catch a ton of big fish. During this month you can begin to catch fish in many different ways. The deep worm and night bite is still really good, but you can also catch fish out of the same brush piles during the day with a jig or a deep diving crankbait.  A lot of what the fish are doing this month is dependent on the weather conditions. Towards the end of the month, as cooler fall weather approaches many of the bigger fish start to transition from summer haunts into their fall pattern.  The best time to check this bite out is whenever we get a few days with mild summer temperatures. During this period the shallow dock bite can be a great way to catch fish. This is also a great way to get away from the summer boat traffic on the main channel. The best docks to key on for this technique are in the back ends of larger creeks that have gizzard shad present. Another great pattern to catch large numbers of bass is to look for big docks that stick out furthest into deep water, and throw fluke style baits at the corners of them. You can find a daily fishing report and in depth videos and articles of how to find and catch big bass this month on BassingBob.com.

When it comes to catfish, Lake of the Ozarks is one of the best fisheries in the country. Here you can find blue, channel, and flathead species of catfish. While there is a large population of all three, the most popular and best eating is the blue cat. There are a variety of methods you can use to catch these catfish in the summertime.  Jack Uxa, experienced guide and BassingBob.com expert advisor utilizes a trolling technique to target big blues. Other techniques used for catching catfish during the summertime include trotlines, jugging, and a conventional slip sinker rig. You can target certain species with certain baits. The flat heads seem to prefer a live and active bait like a crawfish or a sunfish hooked through the back, where as the blue cats like dead or cut bait. You can use a ton of different baits to go after channels with the most popular being dough or stink bait. This year BassingBob.com has a new Crappie+ section where you can find more tips, videos, and information on how to catch giant Lake of the Ozarks catfish.

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