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Although his time is limited on his home waters, Dion Hibdon
can still best the local anglers in tournaments on
Following in his father Guido’s footsteps, Dion Hibdon
competed in his first bass tournament at the age of 12. The next
year he kept up a Hibdon family tradition when he started guiding on
When he’s home from the tournament trail, Hibdon likes to
catch bass on suspending jerk baits during the winter. “I do it
with a lot smaller baits than a lot of the other guys do,” admits
Hibdon. He opts for the Luckycraft Bevy Shad or the 3 1/8-inch
Rapala Husky Jerk, which he tosses on 8-pound test line. His
favorite lure colors include blue-and-pearl on sunny days or chrome
hues for cloudy weather.
Bluff ends and channel swings that run tight to the bank are
Hibdon’s favorite spots for cold-water bass. “In the wintertime
you don’t have to relate to the points as much,” he suggests.
Hibdon prefers fishing for wintertime bass in the big creeks
around the dam area where the fish will be suspended 10 to 15 feet
deep over depths of 30 feet.
When the water temperature rises into the high 40s and low
50s, Hibdon catches prespawn bass on a jig or a Storm Lures Wiggle
Wart crankbait. He
favors a green crawfish Wiggle Wart that he runs about 7 to 8 feet
deep on 8- to 10-pound line.
Hibdon selects a 1/8- or 1/ 4-ounce jig and a Guido’s Baby
Original plastic craw to work along transition banks where the
shoreline changes from a bluff to chunk rock. He usually chooses a
jig-and-craw in natural colors such as amber green flake or melon
pepper during this time and works the lure on 8- to 10-pound test.
As the water temperature climbs into the mid 50s, Hibdon
targets secondary points where he still catches some fish on a jerk
bait or a Wiggle Wart. However, one of his favorite tactics for
working the secondary points is to drag a Carolina-rigged soft
plastic (plastic lizard, French Fry or Fluke in green pumpkin or
watermelon). His rig consists of a main line of 17- to 20-pound
test, a 1-ounce weight, and a 2- to 3-foot leader of 17- to 20-pound
test. He drags his rig
along the bottom of the gravel point at depths of 7 to 10 feet and
fishes anywhere from the dam to the Grand Glaize arm.
Hibdon notices bass normally spawn at
Most of the time the Stover, Mo., angler skips a Texas-rigged
4-inch Hibdon Tube with a 1/8- to 1/16-ounce Eagle Claw HP QuikClip
weight and 2/0 Eagle Claw HP Hook) on 10-pound test line. He keys on
flat banks in the creeks or flat pockets protected from the wind.
“If you see a lot of smaller fish in the shallows a lot of times a
bigger fish will be out in front of them in deeper water,” hints
Hibdon. “A lot of the
big ones will be out 5 to 6 feet deep.”
Post-spawn patterns usually work for Hibdon from early to mid
May when he favors throwing a topwater popper. Hibdon uses a variety
of small Japanese poppers that he twitches on 17- to 20-pound line
in the depth range of 4 feet or less along secondary and main lake
points. His favorite area for postspawn action runs from the mouths
of the Niangua and Linn Creek to the Hurricane Deck Bridge.
If he spots any shad activity in the mornings, Hibdon also
like to run a lavender shad Worden’s Timber Tiger square–billed
crankbait along secondary points. If the fish start schooling up
along the points, Hibdon works a Poe's 300 Series crankbait (in shad
patterns) on 12- to 14-pound line.
Bass start suspending on main lake points by the end of May
and into June. “Throughout the month of June, if you fish points
with a big worm and a crankbait you’ll be around the fish,” says
Hibdon. He usually catches bass during this time from Proctor Creek
down to the Gravois arm.
The pro angler fishes for suspended bass with a Texas-rigged
10-inch plastic worm (electric blue, black grape or black) attached
to 17-pound line along with a 3/16-ounce bullet weight and 4/0 hook.
Hibdon cranks a Poe’s 300 Series crankbait in shad-patterns
with 8- to 10-pound line and then switches to a Poe’s 400 Series
crankbait when the fish move deeper in late June.
In July the fish start relating to wood more, so Hibdon keys
on brush piles 12- to 14-feet deep close to points.
He uses the same size plastic worm but relies on a 5/16-ounce
weight so he can work the lure along the bottom better.
Fall patterns begin for Hibdon in mid to late September when
he catches bass around docks close to points. He favors throwing the
lavender shad Timber Tiger 4- to 5-feet deep along any wind-blown
points with docks. In
October, bass suspend under the dock foam where Hibdon catches fish
either by swimming a jig or cranking a spinnerbait or shallow-diving
His favorite lures for this pattern include a 1/4- or
3/8-ounce black jig with a shad gray or white twin-tail trailer (the
bottom half of a Dion’s Classic), a 1/4- or 3/8-ounce Ninja Spin
(white skirt with silver blades) and a lavender shad Timber Tiger
DC-5 crankbait. He ties the jig or spinnerbait on 17- to 20-pound
test and runs his crankbait on 14-pound line.
If the fall weather has been mild, Hibdon prefers fishing the
upper end from
“It’s a very fickle pattern because some years they do it
and some years they don’t,” warns Hibdon.
“If it doesn’t get cold enough early enough, sometimes
that big gizzard shad pattern doesn’t happen.”
Hibdon then resorts to a 3/8-ounce jig tipped with a
Guido’s Original plastic craw that he flips to wind-blown rocky
banks until the jerk bait pattern begins in early to mid-December.
For information on lodging and other
facilities at the
Copies of John Neporadny's book,
"THE Lake of the Ozarks Fishing Guide" are