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the main lake rocked and rolled with pleasure boat and personal
watercraft traffic, I retreated to the calm waters of a
a plastic worm into the shady areas of boat dock wells, I managed to
catch a 4-pound bass, lose a 3-pounder and land some smaller bass
before I had to leave for work.
The still waters of this creek allowed me to thoroughly work
the docks and present my
lure slowly without having to constantly run my trolling motor
pleasure boat operators prefer the wide-open areas of a main lake
and steer clear of these
narrow, shallow riverine sections. Stained water and plenty of
cover, such as lay-downs, stumps, weeds and rocks, in these upper
lake regions keep bass shallow and
make them easier to catch during the summer.
The best headwater areas have
cooler water and current flowing in from tributaries or Truman Dam
that activate bass, even during the hottest summer days.
busiest lake in the state still provides good refuges for anglers in
the summertime. I have caught plenty of bass and some fish in the 3-
to 4-pound range in the backs of Gravois, Indian and the Grand
Glaize creeks in July and August when the mid-day boat traffic made
the main lake look like a wave pool at a
good areas to avoid the summer boating crowds include the back
end of Lick Creek and the upper section of the Niangua and
Little Niangua rivers, but the most consistent summertime fishing is
in the lake’s headwaters below Truman Dam.
"Any of the river arms work just fine.
In the summertime, you just can't fish the main lake during
the day on the weekends," says Roger Fitzpatrick, a tournament
angler from Eldon. He concentrates on the Osage arm of the lake from
Big Buffalo Creek up to the Truman Dam spillway from July through
October when he wants to get away from boaters.
at the mouths of coves and even on the main channel of the upper
Osage makes hazardous navigating for most recreational boaters.
The lack of boat traffic allows Fitzpatrick to concentrate on
the flats and boat docks on the main lake. "If the water is
high and running out of Truman Dam, then I'll concentrate on main
lake stuff such as flat points where the water is breaking around
it,"says Fitzpatrick. "If
it's at normal pool I mainly concentrate on
docks either on the main lake or back in coves."
upper Osage also contains stained water, which helps bass stay
shallower in the summertime. "Usually
in July it's still a summer pattern and the fish are a little
deeper. You can catch them during the day but you have to key a
little more on brush piles and the docks 8 to 10 feet deep,
unless the water
is high. In that case, the fish will get up shallower and you can
flip the willow bushes. It seems to flood up the river a lot and get
into those (shoreline) bushes easier than
it does on the lower lake."
plays a role in positioning bass along the cover in this area.
Depending on the current's velocity, bass will hang on the
outside of a dock or suspend under it. The fish will also hold on
the shallower or deeper ends of lay-downs depending on the amount of
sunny days, Fitzpatrick pitches a 10-inch Berkley Power Worm along
the docks. "Some of
the docks have brush and some don't,"says Fitzpatrick.
Bass usually hold along the sides of the docks whether or not
the floating structure has brush underneath it. Fitzpatrick switches
to a white jig or spinnerbait for cloudy or rainy days on the upper
information on lodging and other facilities at the
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.