The Lake of the Ozarks is a 54,000 acre reservoir in central Missouri with approximately 1,150 miles of shoreline. With its unique shape, the lake has earned the nickname 'The Magic Dragon' and has become a popular tourist spot over the years. With beautiful scenery and various parks dotted all along the shorelines of the lake, there’s a lot to do and it’s not uncommon to see countless visitors flocking to the park at all times of the year.


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The Lake of the Ozarks is also one of North America's most popular fishing spots, fully stocked with largemouth bass, catfish, crappie, stripers, and many other highly prized species of fish. Anglers can be spotted all around the lake from January through to December, and there are several fishing guides and boat rentals available around the lake to make your fishing experience even easier. Many marinas and boat shops can be found around the shorelines too, with the Lake of the Ozarks being recognized as one of Missouri’s top fishing locations.

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2.Lake of the Ozarks Fishing in Spring and Summer

Lake of the Ozarks Fishing in Spring and Summer
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As previously mentioned, Lake of the Ozarks is popular with anglers all-year round. Other lakes and reservoirs tend to be more productive at certain times of the year, but Lake of the Ozarks just keeps on giving. Depending on which time of the year you happen to visit, you’ll find a different selection of fish at different spots on the lake.


Spring is one of the best times to fish at Lake of the Ozarks. The American paddlefish season starts off at this time of year and the lake is filled with them. As the temperatures start to heat up through March and April, bass and crappie start to show up with incredible regularity, and the fishing only gets better in May as bass are right at the peak of their spawning season and will be found in shallow, rocky, near-shore areas. Crappie can also be found among the shallows at this time of year for their spawning rituals. The best spots to look for fish at this time of year are around docks and banks.


Not only is summer a great time for fishing at the Lake of the Ozarks, it's also a great time to be at the lake in general. The bass are particularly hungry and eager to bite anything they see at this time of year. With rising temperatures, the bigger fish tend to head out to deeper waters and will actually be more active after dark, so night fishing isn't a bad idea at this time of year. Summer is one of the best times of year to look for catfish, with blue, flathead, and channel catfish all being caught often at the lake. If you're looking for catfish, sticking to the docks and finding a good big creek can be a smart move.

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3.Lake of the Ozarks Fishing in Fall and Winter

Lake of the Ozarks Fishing in Fall and Winter
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The Lake of the Ozarks is particularly beautiful in fall as the leaves begin to change color and it's a great place to spend a day fishing. The waters begin to cool down as September rolls around and the best fishing can be found in the rivers, creeks, and dock areas. Bass can be regularly caught at this time of year, with November being one of the most productive months of the year at the lake. Black, white, and hybrid bass can be found in shallow areas with astonishing frequency.


When the coldest weather of the year arrives, it can be tempting for most people to stay cozy indoors, but any experienced angler knows that winter is also one of the best times of the year to head out and do some fishing. Not only are there fewer boats and anglers out there, meaning less competition, but you can also land some of the biggest catches of the year in December and January. Bass and crappie can be found in big quantities near channel banks, points, and various shallow areas.

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4.Fishing Guides at Lake of the Ozarks

Fishing Guides at Lake of the Ozarks
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This is a vast lake with an almost limitless array of different fishing locations to choose from, so hiring a guide isn’t a bad idea, especially if you’re new to the area. Here are the contact details of some of the lake’s best fishing guides:

Big Ed's Fishing Guide Service - 1117 Dogwood Rd. Lake Ozark MO 65049 (573-692-6710)

Lake Ozark Fishing Guide Service - Osage River Below Bagnell Dam Lake Ozark MO 65049 (573-465-3810)

Barber Fishing Guide Service - 29491 Brookridge Road Rocky Mount MO 65072 (314-583-8174)

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Lake of the Ozarks Fishing