Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks has been a popular year-round fishing destination for decades, with Big Bass being the most popular target species. When viewed on a map, the Ozarks do not appear as a large circular lake. Instead, the serpentine waters are long and tortuous with outstretched arms, peaks, cliffs, and depressions. The lake spans 54,000 acres with 1,150 miles of shoreline and extends 92 miles from end to end. This offers incredible fishing opportunities and plenty of room to spread out. Check out these fishing tips in the Lake of the Ozarks for seasonal bass fishing.
- Before you go on the water, purchase a Missouri fishing license at any of the lake marinas or fishing shops.
- Use our interactive map to find marinas, ramps, restaurants, and Lake Ozark fishing guides available on the lake.
- In March, catch the bass during spawning along the lower and middle sections of the lake. Throw bait or crank bait along the black rocks or steep banks and use a slow twitch call.
- In April, the basses aim in shallower waters when they start feeding to refuel the spawn
- The peak of the bass spawn occurs around May. Fish in the shallow beds where you will encounter aggressive fish guarding their nests.
- Catch the post-spawn bass in June with a topwater plug. Alternate with dip plugs and jigs along the currently swept points. The bass is hungry and aggressive after spawning.
- During the summer you can fish deep piles of brushes in the central water column.
- Use hanging jerkbaits, jigs, and an Alabama rig in the winter. If the water temperature is low, slow down the retrieval with longer pauses between twitches.
- Fish early in the morning at daybreak when the best bite is known.
- Fish the docks that provide structure and habitat for the bass.
- Speak to the local bait and fishing shop for tips on fishing in the Lake of the Ozarks, what bites, and what baits are best to use.
- Hire a Lake of the Ozarks fishing guide for expert knowledge and tips on big bass fishing.
For more tips on fishing in the Lake of the Ozarks, see our Guide to Fishing in Missouri. The lake can be quite crowded in summer. So if you are looking for less competition with pleasure boating, consider booking an autumn or winter excursion. Have fun fishing!