Tag Archive for Fall Bass Fishing

Fall Out For Lake of the Ozarks Bass Fishing

By John Neporadny Jr


Catch Fall Bass on Lake of the Ozarks

While the fall weather turns Missouri’s trees into a sea of red, gold and orange,  the cooler temperatures also energize bass.

After spending the hot summer slumbering in deep-water haunts, Lake of the Ozarks bass follow baitfish to the shallows during autumn where the cooler water triggers a feeding frenzy. The recurring fall scenes of bass busting through schools of shad makes this season one of the most exciting and frustrating times to pursue bass. The thrill of watching these fish churn the surface climaxes when your topwater lure disappears in a frothy explosion. However that excitement can quickly turn into frustration when you make countless casts to these marauders and the fish continue to ignore your offerings.

The vast waters of my home lake offer anglers a wide variety of areas and patterns to try throughout autumn. After the Labor Day holiday, boat traffic decreases and the bass fishing turns on in the backs of major feeder creeks and the upper ends of the main tributaries. The best areas to try in early fall include the upper sections of the Osage and Niangua Rivers and the backs of feeder creeks, such as the Gravois, Little Gravois, Grand Glaize, Linn, Indian and Soap.

Lay-downs and wood stick-ups are key targets for bass in the shallows of the creek.  When largemouth bass are chasing shad in these areas a variety of lures will catch fish, including topwater chuggers such as Rebel Pop-Rs, buzz baits and spinnerbaits.  One of my favorite techniques for these active bass is to bump a shallow-running crankbait into the wood cover.

If the weather turns sunny, I key on shallow boat docks where the bass suspend under the floating piers to ambush shad. Running a spinnerbait or twitching a soft jerkbait close to the sides of the dock usually coaxes a bass out of its hiding place. However the best way to trigger dock bass into biting is swimming a jig and plastic or pork trailer along the dock’s foam. I prefer using a 1/4-ounce light-colored jig with a white pork chunk or blue plastic crawfish that I quickly retrieve in a hopping fashion within about 1 to 2 feet of the surface.

The main lake also produces plenty of action for spotted bass in the early fall. Marauding gangs of spotted bass can be seen slashing through schools of baitfish along main lake points and islands. The bets lures for catching these fish include topwater chuggers, 1/4-ounce Rat-L-Traps and 1/4-ounce spinnerbaits. My guide trip clients usually caught plenty of spotted bass when they worked small topwater chuggers next to main-lake boat docks.

Some quality largemouth can be caught in the mornings on chrome-and-black Storm Lures Wiggle Wart crankbaits along main lake points. Later in the day, the bigger fish move into brush piles 10 to 20 feet deep where you can catch them on Texas-rigged 10-inch plastic worms or jigs and pork chunks.

From mid-October through November, the lake level usually starts dropping and bass concentrate on the chunk-rock primary and secondary points. Some of the most productive techniques for catching late fall bass on the points include waking a 1/2- to 3/4-ounce spinnerbait, slowly cranking a buzz bait or working a Heddon Zara Spook with a walk-the-dog retrieve. Swimming a jig along the main lake docks also takes both keeper-size largemouth and spotted bass. If the lake level remains high, then flipping a 3/8-ounce jig and pork chunk along seawalls on secondary points also produces keeper bass.

For information on lodging and other facilities at the Lake of the Ozarks or to receive a free 152-page vacation guide, call the Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitors Bureau at 1-800-FUN-LAKE or visit the Lake of the Ozarks Conventionand 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.

Catching Fall Bass at Lake of the Ozarks

By John Neporadny Jr


Lake of the Ozarks Fall Bass Fishing

Fishing for bass in the fall can be a most rewarding experience for an angler’s body and soul. The cooler temperatures provide a relief from the scorching heat that you had to endure during the summer and the leaves changing colors creates an eye-pleasing scene that lulls you into a state of tranquility.

The fishing this time of year can be just as enjoyable, since the cooling water temperature triggers bass into gorging themselves on shad in preparation for winter. The action can get fast and furious on a variety of shad-imitating lures when you find bass feeding on baitfish.

Turbid water and an abundance of flats in the upper ends of Lake of the Ozarks’ tributaries makes these areas ideal for bass in September. Some consistent fall patterns can be found on the Lake of the Ozarks in the upper reaches of the Osage, Grand Glaize, Gravois and Niangua arms.

Favorite targets of local anglers are shallow docks along flats. The shad forage is tremendous both on the main lake and in coves during this time. Although patterns tend to be inconsistent in the fall due to the shad scattering throughout the lake, one type of cover always holds fish. Boat docks along flats are the best bets for good fall action, especially on the mid to upper Osage arm, which has plenty of these bass havens.

A favorite fall pattern is flipping a ½-ounce black-and-blue jig and plastic crawfish on 20-pound test line behind docks or in the brush alongside docks 5 to 7 feet deep. Docks along the flats seem to produce better than the floating structures on the channel banks. The fish typically hold tight to cover so flip or pitch around the docks and let the jig fall into the cover. Allow the lure sit in the cover for a couple of seconds and shake your rod to make the jig rattle. If this fails to induce a strike, move on to the next target.

A secondary pattern also works on docks or along flat points. Tie on a 3/8-ounce white or chartreuse spinnerbait with a silver single number 4 willowleaf blade and wind it in with a slow, steady retrieve along the sides of docks.

The jig pattern usually begins in late summer and lasts through October. The spinnerbait pattern works best in September and October. Since sunshine draws bass tighter to cover, the flipping technique produces better in sunny weather. The spinnerbait pattern calls for windy weather.

The turnover completely shuts down fishing in the upper ends for a few days. You can usually avoid this situation by heading down lake to the clearer water areas by the dam, which usually turns over last.

For information on lodging and other facilities at the Lake of the Ozarks or to receive a free 152-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.