The Lake of the Ozarks is a reservoir created by impounding the Osage River. There is 54,000 surface acres and 1,150 miles of shoreline. The Lake of the Ozarks has more shoreline than the state of California. The lake also has a serpentine shaped that has been nick-named “The Magic Dragon”.
Lake Of The Ozarks Facts
The maximum length of the lake is 93 miles and has a max depth of 130 feet. You have plenty of prime fishing spots for crappie.
Lake of the Ozarks is the second oldest lake in Missouri and the crappie fishing is outstanding. Sometimes it can be difficult to find a fishing spot because you can fish year round.
When and Where To Fish Crappie Lake Of The Ozarks
When you decide to head to the Lake of the Ozarks to fish for crappie, spring is best due to spawning. The best places to fish are the coves or off of the docks.
Or, you can opt to search for the brush piles to try and snag the crappie in their hide-away.
If this is your first time crappie fishing the Lake of the Ozarks then you should consider enlisting the help of a fishing guide. Fishing guides can make your trip pleasant and productive.
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They will take you out to the best areas for catching crappie. Fishing guides offer 1/2 day trips or full day trips and they will teach you everything you need to know in order to go home with a bucket full of tasty crappie. The fishing guides are willing to take out the whole family on a day trip and they are also happy to take out just a few serious anglers who want to catch as many crappie as they possibly can.
What To Bring Crappie Fishing
We are going to give you a few suggestions on what to bring with you when you choose to fish on the Lake of the Ozarks. For the best crappie experience, you need to have small flathead minnows, and 1/32 ounce jig.
As the water begins to warm up, top water lures will give you some great results. For cooler water, jig n frog lures and crank-bait work the best. The middle to the end of April is when the dog wood trees begin to bloom and when the crappie spawn.
As for your rod; make sure you have a rod that can hold the weight of the bigger crappie, but it also has to provide the sensitivity for you to feel the bite.
Catching crappie will take some time and practice because they have such a soft bite. So sometimes you may not even know that you have a fish on the line.
How To Fish For Crappie on Lake of the Ozarks
Trolling for crappie in the Lake of the Ozarks is very popular. Make sure you check all rules and regulations to ensure you stay within the guidelines. If you want to just sit back and relax while you fish, you could try drifting.
If you are an old fashion method type of person, still-fishing and cast fishing work just as well as trolling and drifting.
From March through May you can consistently catch crappie if you follow them through their spawning cycle. There are 2 cycles to the spawning of crappie. Pre-spawn happens when the surface temperature reaches 50-52 degrees.
At this point crappie will move to depths of 8-10 feet. Depending on how fast the water temperature warms up, will determine how long the crappie stay. Usually pre-spawn will last until the temperature of the water is at 62 degrees.
One fishing guide says the first 2 weeks of May is prime crappie fishing time on the Ozarks.
Ideal spawning spots in the Ozarks is the cover near pea gravel banks. Crappie will follow the tributary stream or creek channels in search of brush piles.
Finding a good fishing spot for crappie is more of a personal preference. One angler states that it is key to be close to the spawning bank. Other anglers may say that docks, or piers are better.
Best Time To Catch Crappie
The best time of day during pre-spawn to snag a crappie is from 3 in the afternoon until dark. The penetration of light in the water will dictate the best time to fish. When the light penetrations starts to diminish, the crappie will come to shallower water.
As long as the sun is high and bright, the crappie are going to stay in deeper water to keep away from the brightness.
During full spawn, the clarity of the water will give you an idea of how deep the crappie will build their nests. The clearer the water, the deeper they will spawn. Crappies will seek out some type of shallow gravel bank, with a deep water structure close by.
If spawning happens in shallows, the crappie will hang around whatever cover they can find. On sunny days, especially between the hours of 11a and 2p, you want to try to avoid fishing for crappie. On cloudy days you can fish for crappie all day long on the Lake of the Ozarks.
Spawning will normally end when the water temperature peaks at 72 degrees. The latest that some of the fishing guides, on the Lake of the Ozarks, has caught crappie during spawning season was the beginning of the third week of May.
So remember, if you want to have an excellent chance at an abundance of crappie, go during the pre-spawn and full spawning season.
Before you take your trip to Lake of the Ozarks be sure that you purchase your Missouri fishing license and have a copy of the crappie daily limit and other regulations.
Remember to also consider a fishing guide, if this is your first time going crappie fishing on the Ozarks.
You will have the best crappie fishing experience and you are sure to go home with your limit on that particular day as they are very knowledgeable about the area and about the habits of the crappie.
They can take you to the best spots in minutes, giving you a ton more time to fish than if you were trying to find hot spots on your own. Enjoy your trip to the Lake of the Ozarks and happy fishing!
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