Concrete Cover for Lake of the Ozarks Bass

By John Neporadny Jr.

A man-made object protruding from the water ruins the aesthetic value of a shoreline but to Lake of the Ozarks bass it’s a thing of beauty.

Lake of the Ozarks has some form of a concrete slab sitting in its waters and throughout the year these man-made structures provide excellent habitat for fish. While this type of cover is sparse on some waterways, concrete structures on Lake of the Ozarks are abundant enough for anglers to incorporate into their patterns.

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During his formative years of guiding and competing in tournaments at the Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri pro Chad Brauer, learned how to catch bass from a myriad of concrete cover. Since it’s one of the most developed reservoirs in the country, Lake of the Ozarks contains plenty of man-made structures to harbor bass. “Typically concrete seems to have a good bit of algae growing on it which attracts the whole food chain–plankton, baitfish and then bass,” Brauer advised.

The following is a look at three types of concrete cover Brauer keys on for Lake of the Ozarks bass.

Sea Walls

“A sea wall provides a unique access to real shallow water yet it’s a vertical drop where bass have some vertical structure to get up against,” Brauer said of a bass’ attraction to this concrete cover.

Constructed along the banks to control erosion, these concrete walls attract bass mainly in the spring and fall when the fish migrate to the shallows. In the fall, bass use these concrete walls to trap baitfish while in the spring the fish spawn up against the solid structure.

Key holding areas for bass along sea walls include any corners, juts, ends and wash-outs. “A lot of times you can tell where a washout will be because you can see a pipe or drain coming down from a home,” suggested Brauer. “All that rain water coming down through that pipe is going to wash the gravel out of that area.” The holes are prime spots for locating bedding bass in the spring.

Dock Pilings

“Dock pilings rule,” said Brauer of these concrete walkway supports. “For some reason, they seem to be magnets for spawning fish and also seem to hold fish in the fall again. It’s another good vertical structure that has shallow water around it.” Dock pilings in deeper water also hold bass in the summer and winter.

Located behind docks, concrete walkway pillars become a challenge to fish because of all the obstacles surrounding them. “You have to be pretty much geared up like you would for heavy cover because you’re around dock cables, pieces of metal and a lot brush people put in next to those concrete pillars,” said Brauer.

Boat Ramps

“A lot of people just pass by boat ramps and won’t fish them,” said Brauer. “There are some places where you can almost pull up to boat ramps and run as a pattern if you can find enough of them. It’s something to try in an area that’s getting a lot of fishing pressure because a lot of people will ignore those kind of subtle pieces of cover.”

His home lake contains numerous personal boat ramps, which become ideal spawning sites in the spring. Bass usually nest at the end of the ramps, which extend into depths of 5 to 6 feet.

Wash-out areas created by current draw bass on some ramps. Brauer usually fishes the whole ramp, but he spends most of his time targeting the ends and sides, which attract more bass. “Once you fish several boat ramps you’ll figure out where bass are positioned on that type of structure and you can make it an efficient pattern,” said Brauer.

Concrete structures look unnatural, but this type of bass cover proves that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

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 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.

Reprinted with permission from BASS Times.

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