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Lake of the Ozarks’ Bass Pro Tactics by John Neporadny Jr.
Category : BASS FISHING ARTICLES
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.
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
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
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.