Vacation Fishing Tips
Vacation Fishing Tips
For over 80 years, Lake of the Ozarks has been home to some of the best fishing in the country. This impressive impoundment of the Osage River was created by the construction of Bagnell Dam, which began on August 6, 1929. The Lake boasts 55,000 acres of water washing up on 1,150 miles of shoreline, and actually has more shoreline than the state of California! It winds through 93 miles of Ozark hills marked with bluffs, points, boat docks, and creeks. The Lake is home to a number of different fish species including: black and white crappie, bluegill, spoonbill, gizzard shad, channel catfish, flathead catfish, blue catfish, white bass, walleye, gar, hybrid striper, largemouth and spotted bass. As you can see, the aquatic diversity and sheer size of the lake makes fishing opportunities endless.
Fishing from a Boat
I suggest you spend some time on the lake with a guide if at all possible. A guide will be able to give you a basic orientation of the lake and help you figure out what the fish are doing at the time you’re there so you can maximize your fishing experience. You can find a list of recommended guides on bassingbob.com.
If you do plan on taking out your boat the most important thing I can stress is safety. A lot of people have heard daunting stories about going out on the lake in the summer with a fishing boat when the big boat traffic creates big waves, and it can be a nerve-wracking experience if you’re caught unprepared. However, knowing just a few things about Lake of the Ozarks and the patterns of boat traffic can help you avoid the busy times and waterways. Here are some tips that will help you have a fun, safe, and successful fishing trip even during the busiest Lake of the Ozarks summers!
If you don’t want to worry about where you are on the lake and what time you’re out, plan your fishing trips during the week. It is surprisingly calm on weekdays compared to the weekends.
If you choose to go out on the lake during the summer weekends or holidays, one option is to hit the lake between dawn and 10am, or in the evenings after 5 PM or so. The good news is that this is the best time to catch bass anyway, especially during the summer.
You can stay in your cove to fish, provided you have boat access from the place you are staying. While coves still get some waves, the waves won’t be as big as they would be on the main channel. If the cove is big enough, it will have enough docks, shoreline, and cover to make for a good fishing experience.
Fishing from the Dock
Lake of the Ozarks is unlike most other reservoirs around the country in that the vast majority of the
shoreline is privately owned and developed. Because of this, you will find over 25,000 boat docks
Fishing from the shore
Though most of the lakeshore is privately owned, you can still find plenty of opportunities to fish from the bank. A great place to fish from the shore is the tail waters below Bagnell Dam. The turbines from the Dam add oxygen to the water creating ideal conditions for aquatic life. This stretch of river is one of the best fishing holes in the state, and is best known for harboring giant catfish. It is not uncommon to see 60-80lb cats caught there in the summertime.
If fishing on the actual lake is more of what you had in mind, the Lake of the Ozarks is home to the largest state park in Missouri. Here you can find 85 miles of undeveloped shoreline that leaves you plenty of room to fish from the bank, as well as enjoy other outdoor activities. Public Beach #2 would be a good place to start since it has plenty of trails and picnic areas leading to the lake.
I would again like to stress that going out with a guide is the best way to maximize your fishing experience. However, if you find yourself with questions and do not think a guide is the right route for you, make sure to check out bassingbob.com. On this website you will find all the information you need to have a fun and memorable time out fishing on the Lake of the Ozarks.
March through May the temps are starting to warm up, the days are getting longer, and the fish are getting active.
As the dog days of summer heat up so does the fishing at Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks.
With the temps getting cooler & the trees changing colors, fishing at Lake of the Ozarks peaks.
Don't let old man winter keep you from some great winter fishing at Lake of the Ozarks.
A crankbait is one of the most effective tools for locating and catching active fish, especially here in the Ozarks.