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Guide to Fishing at Lake of the Ozarks

Fishing at the Lake of the Ozarks is one of the main reasons we see visitors come here to Point Randall Resort. Lake of the Ozarks bass fishing in particular has gained national attention as many bass fishing tournaments are held here.

If you are interested in fishing but don't know where to start, don't fret. We've put together this short Lake of the Ozarks fishing guide to help you get started.

Note that most of the shoreline at the lake is privately owned. While fishers are legally allowed to operate in all parts of the lake, remember to be courteous so everyone can have a good time.

Hiring a Guide

If you are new to fishing and/or new to the area, we highly recommend hiring a local guide for your first time. There are plenty of reputable guides around the lake that intimately know both the best times and locations for the types of fish you are looking for. They can also help supply you with the necessary equipment you'll need.

While not strictly necessary, we think you'll find that the enhanced experience will be money well spent.

Types of Fish at Lake of the Ozarks

Lake of the Ozarks has a host of thriving gamefish species living in its waters. The lake is particularly renowned for its fishing opportunities for:
  • Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Crappie
  • Catfish

Listed below is information on how to catch some of these more popular types of gamefish.

Bass Fishing

Anglers engaged in Lake of the Ozarks bass fishing will find the lake teeming with both white and black bass. Bass traditionally tends to be decent-sized, thanks to the Missouri Department of Conservation's minimum length regulation of 12 to 15 inches, depending on the type of bass.

While you'll find luck throughout most of the year when bass fishing at Lake of the Ozarks, March through May is the spawning season for bass. Lunkers are most likely to be caught during this time, and they tend to be found in the shallower sections.

June tends to be an excellent time as well, as the bass here are aggressive after their spawn. If you are looking for white bass, you can try casting a hook up the Niangua, Little Niangua, Gravois and Grand Glaize tributaries.

During the winter, you may want to go to the lower end of the lake, as the water is typically warmer and clearer in the colder months.

Crappie Fishing

If you are looking for panfish, you'll find that crappie tend to be in the same areas around the same time as bass. They share the spawning season with bass and also tend to make their nests in the same area: pea-gravel pockets of coves that are sheltered from both wind and waves.

Using a small jig or minnow with a bobber set to no more than two feet below the surface, you'll find that catching spawning crappie will be a cinch.

During the autumn months, crappie, like bass, tend to spread throughout the lake, so you won't be limited to the shallows.

Catfish Fishing

Catfish tend to be underfished here at the lake, meaning that you can count on some great summertime action. You may want to consider deep fishing if you are trying to catch one of the species of catfish, as most of the big fish at the lake will tend to swim lower during the summer as the temperature is cooler.

There are couple notable areas where catfish tend to gather:
  • Riprap around bridges crossing the main channel
  • Major channels feeding into the main river
  • Cove mouths
  • Channel side of bluffs

Book at Point Randall Resort

Point Randall Resort is the best place to stay if you're wanting to go fishing at Lake of the Ozarks. We provide quality lodging and have over 1,000 feet of shoreline, complete with 4 boat docks, numerous boat slips, a gas dock, and more!

Browse our listing today and get the right lodging for you on your vacation.