The Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri is a body of water that I've never fished before. I was anxious to see what the fishing was like on a lake that I've heard so much about.
Lake of the Ozarks is a fantastic bass fishery. The lake is home to stripers, walleyes, muskie, catfish and more but the bass fishing is the leader of them all.
Lake of the Ozarks is over 90 miles long and has a surface area of about 55,000 acres. The lake literally serpentines through the hills and woods which sparked the idea of its nickname, “The Magic Dragon”.
The crappie fishing was slow because they were in the transition of going from their spring to summer patterns. So on each outing largemouth bass were in our sights.
Ben London of Get the Net guide service introduced me to the lakes fantastic bass fishing. We were in the boat for only about five minutes when after a few casts, London caught a largemouth bass that was probably close to six pounds. The bruiser fell for his big skirted jig with a craw trailer that was dragged across the bottom off a point in 20 feet of water.
It wasn’t much later when I got my first Ozark largemouth. It was just shy of 4 pounds. This was going to be a good trip.
London and I fished for only a few hours but all in all we caught between 10 and a dozen bass. Not a one was less than 3 pounds.
There was no guide for me that afternoon. This was when I got to fish with Jim Divincen, Executive Vice President of the Tri-County Lodging Association at Lake of the Ozarks. We were the guests of his good friend Marcus Sykora.
Sykora has a few big tournaments under his belt and is known as one of the lake’s best anglers.
The afternoon trip started with a boat ride from where I was staying, the Tan-Tar-A Resort to the Glaize Arm. We tool the 8 or 9 mile trip so we could fish some clearer water.
Dozens upon dozens of boat docks were noticed along the banks. I could only imagine that the lake gets a lot of fishing pressure.
“Don, Lake of the Ozarks has about 50,000 boat docks. Weekends can be busy but there’s plenty of no wake areas that make it easy for the fishermen.” Divincen told me.
“Boating is the main activity on the lake but with fishing tournaments every week, and sometimes two or more at a time, there are quite a few fishermen who enjoy this lake.”
Think about it. This is a lake that’s over 90 miles long with the Niangua, Glaize, and the Gravois Arms. The chances of having someone fishing your spot can be pretty slim. And with so much water, it’s no doubt that the bass can grow to be very large here.
“Every spring we get double digit bass.” Sykora said.
We did well that afternoon and into the early evening. We all caught some very respectable fish. Sykora mentioned that if we were fishing a tournament, our five fish limit would have been tough to beat. And we had plenty more beyond that.
The Lake of the Ozarks gets a little quiet between Thanksgiving and around the Christmas holidays, but the Lake of the Ozarks area boasts very good turkey and deer hunting. The area has literally thousands of acres of public land near by.
On my second day of fishing I joined Jack Uxa of Jack’s Guide Service. It was another great morning on the water. Big fish came to the boat all morning long. Uxa and I managed to get limits of big largemouth bass.
This was a short trip for me and that won't happen again. If anyone asks if I’ll go back, my answer would be simple. I’d go back in a heartbeat.
For information on lodging, dining, tourism activities or getting in touch with guides for fishing, visit the Tri-County Lodging Association website at www.FunLake.com or the Lake Area Chamber of Commerce’s site at www.LakeAreaChamber.com. These two sources can make your vacation to Lake of the Ozarks a most enjoyable one.