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Lake of the Ozarks’ Bass Pro Tactics by John Neporadny Jr.


Lake of the Ozarks’  Bass Pro  Tactics

by John Neporadny Jr.



Since Lake of the Ozarks has some of the best bass fishing in the

country, it’s only natural that the lake  has spawned two of the

top  professional anglers in the tournament ranks.

Among the most consistent anglers in competitive fishing throughout the years  are Guido Hibdon and Dion Hibdon.

Before turning pro, these two local anglers either guided or fished competitively in smaller tournaments on Lake of the Ozarks. His  busy schedule keeps Dion Hibdon from fishing his home reservoir much any more, but he does get to sneak in an occasional trip during the summer. Guido Hibdon has taken a break from the tournament trail and is now guiding full time on his home lake. When they fish at the Lake of the Ozarks, they rely on the same trusty summertime patterns that produced bass for them before they became full-time pros.

Let’s find out how these two  pros catch largemouth bass from their home waters during the summertime.


Guido Hibdon


Growing up and guiding on the Lake of the Ozarks qualifies this former

BASS Masters Classic champ   as the ultimate

authority on his home waters. The Sunrise Beach, Mo.,  angler favors

a pattern targeting  virtually untapped fish  during the summer on

Lake of the Ozarks.  Hibdon concentrates on bass suspending 12 to

18 feet deep over depths of 35 to 40 feet along main-lake points near

channel swings. “A lot of times the fish will suspend over the  channel

swings,” Hibdon says.  “They are not real easy bass to catch, but

if you stay after them and figure out exactly what cast it takes to

catch them, then they become very simple fish to catch because no

one else is fishing for them.”  The veteran angler says this pattern

works anywhere he can see at least 2 feet down  in the water.


A plastic worm and a deep-diving crankbait are Hibdon’s top choices

for catching these suspended bass. He uses a Texas-rigged, 10- to

12-inch plastic worm with a 1/8-ounce sinker and 14-pound test line.

His favorite worm hues are black grape and electric blue.   A simple

retrieve works best. “Just throw it out there and let it fall through

the school,”  Hibdon advises.


Hibdon steadily retrieves  the crankbait  on 10-pound test line with

a low-speed reel.  The light line and low-gear ratio of the reel allows

his lure to dive down to the 12- to 15-foot range. The most productive

color combination for his crankbait is a black back and chartreuse


Dion Hibdon


The son of Guido Hibdon started guiding on the Lake of the Ozarks

before he could even legally drive a car. This BASS Masters

Classic champion  also targets main lake points in the early summer

on his home lake.  But when the dog days arrive, he switches to fishing

brush piles at night.


His early summer pattern produces best during the week when water

is being pulled through Bagnell Dam.  During this time, current sweeps

across the main lake points and bass hug the bottom of this structure

at depths of 10 to 12 feet.  The pattern produces bass in any section

of the lake that has  clear to stained water.


Hibdon’s nighttime pattern works best in the clear-water areas, usually

the lower end of the lake.  His favorite nighttime haunts are brush

piles 15 feet deep along steep banks near a  main lake point.  The

fish usually stay  6 to 10 feet deep in the cover.


The Stover, Mo., angler  chooses an 8- to 10-inch  plastic worm rigged

Texas-style with a 1/8-ounce sinker when fishing the points in early

summer.  He  works the worm on 12- to 14- pound test with bait-casting

gear and favors dark-colored worms for stained water and transparent

shades for clear conditions.  His retrieve is similar to the Carolina-rig

method of banging the lure into the rocks while dragging it along

the bottom.


When fishing brush piles at night, Hibdon resorts to a heavier worm

weight (5/16 or 3/8 ounce) and heavier line (17-pound test). “I like

for my worm to be in good contact with the brush and work it in and

out of the limbs,” Hibdon says of his choice for using a heavier weight.

He slowly retrieves the worm in a yo-yo motion  as he drags the lure

and lets it fall through the limbs.


For information on lodging and other facilities at the Lake of the Ozarks

or to receive a free vacation guide, call the Lake of the Ozarks Convention

& Visitors Bureau at 1-800-FUN-LAKE or visit the Lake of the Ozarks Convention

and Visitors Bureau web site at funlake.com.

Copies of John Neporadny’s book, “THE Lake of the Ozarks Fishing Guide” are

available by calling 573/365-4296 or visiting the web site www.jnoutdoors.com.

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