Winter Fishing Tips


As the year comes to an end and the last two months of fall come and go, anglers will see big changes in the water temperatures and weather conditions at Lake of the Ozarks. At the beginning of December you can still catch shallow fish in their late fall pattern. A few popular baits for this late fall bite are a spinnerbait and a finesse jig. Around the middle of December, you’ll start to see fish move out to their winter habitat. At this time many anglers will start to slow down their presentations. While you can still find fish shallow, many of them will begin to relate to points and channel banks with deep-water access close by. As water temperatures drop into the mid to low 40s the suspending jerkbait bite starts to fire up. When fishing a suspending jerkbait it is vital to pay attention to how fast you are working the bait. A general rule of thumb is the colder the water the longer you need to pause between jerks. Often times the difference between getting no bites and catching a limit is the difference of letting the bait set for 20 seconds between jerks. If you let the cold temperature keep you off of the water in December, then you may be missing out on some of the best wintertime bass fishing in the country. So make sure to bundle up, grab the thermos, and go to to find out how to have one of the best days of fishing you have had all year on the Lake of the Ozarks!


January & February

If you let the cold temperatures keep you away from the Lake of the Ozarks this winter, then you may be missing out on some of the best winter fishing in the country. While most people think that water temperatures in January and February are too frigid to catch fish, it is actually one of the best times of the year to catch numbers of fish, as well as the biggest fish in the lake. During these months you can find water temperatures averaging between the mid- to upper 30s and the low to mid-40s.

In the winter, most bass anglers will opt to fish the lower end of the lake where the water is clearer and generally warmer than the other regions. Bass fishing on Lake of the Ozarks in January and February is less complex than in other months because it really comes down to three baits: jerkbaits, jigs, and the Alabama rig. The trick to successful bass fishing at this time of the year is figuring out where the fish are and slowing things down. With the water levels drawn down to winter pool, the main areas to target during these winter months are 45 degree channel banks, secondary points, bluff ends, and transition banks.

The months of January and February are also unique in that you can catch crappie on the same baits that are used to catch bass. The most popular lure to catch crappie at this time is a suspending jerkbait. Big crappie will be schooled up during these winter months, so it is not uncommon to catch a limit of giant crappie on consecutive casts to a single spot. For articles, daily fishing reports, videos, and expert information on how to catch bass and crappie on the Lake of the Ozarks, make sure to check out


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