Falling For Lake of the Ozarks Bass

By John Neporadny Jr.

The autumn  spectacle of leaves turning the landscape into a blend of gold, red and orange hues attracts droves of sightseers to the Ozark hills. This colorful display also signals a prime time for bass fishing on Lake of the Ozarks.

The shorter days and cooler nights of fall cuts down on the food-making process for trees which causes the leaves to turn colors.  A different reaction occurs in the Lake of the Ozarks waters though as fall’s cooler weather triggers bass into feeding heavily in preparation for winter.

Fall is one of my favorite fishing seasons since the cooler temperatures provide a relief from the scorching heat of summer and the leaves changing colors adds an extra touch of scenic beauty to the lake. Fishing pressure also diminishes in the fall as some anglers turn their attention to hunting.

The action can get fast and furious when you find bass feeding in the fall. In September, bass continue to hold in the man-made brush piles along the main lake structure of this massive central Missouri reservoir If the water temperature is still hot, then  stay with a big (10-inch) plastic worm. The fish usually hold in the brush piles from 8 to 20 feet deep.  Work the worm as slow as possible through the cover for the best results.

As the water continues to cool, bass start migrating into the shallows of coves. Search for fish in shallow wood cover or along docks with sunken brush piles.

Bass usually suspend over the brush during October, so try a square-bill crankbait that produces a wide wobble and dives down to only 6 feet. Retrieve the lure at a slow pace and try to bump it into the wood. Other lures that produce when bass are feeding in the coves include topwater lures and spinnerbaits.

In the late fall, bass move back to the main lake  chunk-rock points where they stage before moving to their deep-water winter haunts. A good  lure in November is a deep-diving crankbait retrieved at a medium speed  which allows it to run at depths of 12 to 14 feet.

The lower end of the lake offers the most consistent fishing in the fall. The upper Osage produces some good action during autumn as well.  If Truman Dam is dumping water the Osage  river arm is good but if there is no flow  the upper end becomes dead water. and it’s hard to catch any fish. You might go up there and catch one or two big fish but at the same time a guy fishing down lake will catch a limit.

For information on lodging and other facilities at the Lake of the Ozarks or to receive a free 162-page  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.

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