Predicting the bass fishing each year at Lake of the Ozarks is similar to listening to a broken record.
Listening to a broken record can be annoying, but the annual predictions for Lake of the Ozarks bass fishing are pleasing to the ears of visiting anglers.
“The bass population on this lake is very high,” said Ed Franko of Big Ed’s Guide Service. “We have a tremendous amount of fish up to 15 inches and we do have a good population over (15 inches). I think nothing but positive things here on this lake. “
Tournament weights were consistently high throughout the year. “It takes 20 pounds to ever do any good on this lake,” Franko said. “Very seldom do you see a five-fish limit less than 20 pounds down to about 16 pounds that wins. So you are looking at a 2 1/2- to 3-pound average just to get you a check and a lot of times that won’t even get you a look.”
The Gravois arm and the northern banks of the dam area produce best for Franko and his clients in the early spring. Franko finds prespawn bass along secondary points and gravel banks near the main channel and tempts the fish with shad-pattern or chartreuse-and-white suspending stickbaits, Carolina-rigged green pumpkin Zoom Brush Hogs and red crankbaits.
The Lake of the Ozarks guide notices bass usually start spawning around mid-April on his home waters. He finds nesting bass along pea gravel banks where he skips finesse worms on wacky rigs behind the docks.
Franko’s clients caught some of their biggest fish during the post-spawn in June when bass move out to the main lake points. ““That’s where you can sock them,” Franko said. “That is when a big deep diving crankbait (Strike King 10XD) comes into play. We caught several over 5 pounds then but we didn’t have any over 6 pounds.
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.
For copies of John Neporadny’s THE Lake of the Ozarks Fishing Guide call 573/365-4296 or visit www.jnoutdoors.com.