Bass are Biting at Lake of the Ozarks

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Scott Pauley

Scott Pauley holds a nice largemouth bass caught at Lake of the Ozarks.


Trying to understand directions on Lake of the Ozarks is like cracking some sort of secret code. There’s always a mile marker and the name of an arm involved with each description, but rarely do I understand either. All I can honestly tell you is that right now, in the back of some coves in a long arm of the lake at one of the many mile markers, largemouth bass are on their beds and biting good.

Thankfully, Scott Pauley does know his way around the lake and he also knows where to fish. Pauley may have the best job in Missouri. He is contracted by the Missouri Department of Tourism as an ambassador for our state’s incredible outdoors. He travels around Missouri, as well as to other states, educating outdoor enthusiasts about all we have to offer here in the Show-Me State. He helps drive tourism dollars, but more importantly, he exposes the masses to our magnificent Missouri.

Pauley is also a professional bass angler, so when it comes to fishing, he can more than back up his claims of excellent angling opportunities on Lake of the Ozarks and other Missouri waters. I was fortunate this past week to fish Lake of the Ozarks with Pauley, and he showed me exactly how good the bass fishing is this time of the year.

Most of my formative bass fishing experience relates to weeds and timber. Fishing large rocky reservoirs, like Lake of the Ozarks, is something I personally struggle with. Everything looks the same to me. Pauley know exactly how to break it down to manageable sections.

“There are 40,000 docks on Lake of the Ozarks. Figuring out which ones to fish and which ones to skip is the key to success here. Where ever you see a chunk rock bank meeting a pea gravel bank, that’s a place you want to explore,” he said. “Also, bass like to make beds next to concrete pylons holding up walkways.”

Pauley fishes aggressively. He runs an all decked out Bass Cat boat and moves around at a lightning pace. He‘ll throw a few times into a likely looking spot, and if he doesn’t pull out a bass, he’s moving on. Once he does hook a fish, he methodically notes where that fish was at and how it bit. Then he replicates the scenario again and again.

“When bass are bedded or guarding their nest, I fish a lot of Jewel jigs. You want to pitch them past the bed, and then work them into the sweet spot,” he said.

A good pair of polarized sunglasses is really important when fishing for bass in shallow water. It’s really exciting to be able to locate a big bass on a bed, and then sight fish to it. Polarized glasses make it easier to see fish in the water.

I can’t tell you exactly where to fish on Lake of the Ozarks, and I can’t tell you exactly how to catch bass down there consistently. What I can tell you is that the bass are there and right now they are biting good in shallow water, but you’re on your own to find them.

On this trip to the Lake of the Ozarks, Pauley and I stayed at Alhonna Resort, which is located right on the water in the city of Lake Ozark. Alhonna had all the amenities one could ask for in a fishing resort and more. The rooms are real nice with lake view decks. Bobber’s Restaurant and Lounge is on property and serves great food. There is a boat launch onsite, nice slips to keep your boat in and docks to fish from. To learn more, visit

See you down the trail…

Brandon Butler


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