For decades, Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks has been a popular year-round fishing destination with big bass being the most popular target species. When viewed on a map, the Ozarks don’t appear as a large circular-shaped lake; instead, it’s snake-like water bodies are long and winding with extending arms, points, bluffs, and hollows. The lake covers 54,000 acres with 1,150 miles of shoreline, stretching 92 miles from end to end. This offers incredible fishing opportunities and plenty of space to spread out. Check out these Lake of the Ozarks fishing tips on seasonal bass fishing.
- Before hitting the water, get a Missouri fishing license at one of the lakeside marinas or tackle shops.
- Check out our interactive map to find marinas, ramps, dining, and Lake of the Ozarks fishing guides available on the lake.
- In March, catch bass during pre-spawn along the lower and middle sections of the lake. Cast lures or crankbaits along the black rocks or steep banks and use a slow twitch retrieve.
- In April, target bass in shallower waters as they begin feeding to fuel up for the spawn
- The peak of the bass spawn takes place around May. Fish the shallow beds where you’ll encounter aggressive fish guarding their nests.
- Catch post-spawn bass in June using a topwater plug. Alternate with diving plugs and jigs along current-swept points. Bass are hungry and aggressive after the spawn.
- During the summer, fish deep brushpiles in the mid-water column.
- In the winter, use suspending jerkbaits, jigs, and an Alabama rig. With low water temperatures, slow down your retrieve with longer pauses in between twitches.
- Fish early in the morning at first daylight when the best bite is known to happen.
- Fish the docks which provide structure and habitat for bass.
- Talk with the local bait and tackle shop to get Lake of the Ozarks fishing tips, find out what’s biting and best baits to use.
- Hire a Lake of the Ozarks fishing guide for expert knowledge and big bass fishing tips.
For more Lake of the Ozarks fishing tips, check out our guide to fishing in Missouri. The lake can get pretty crowded during the summertime so if you’re looking for less competition with pleasure boaters, consider booking a fall or winter trip. Happy fishing!