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Fishing Reports

Fishing Report For September 2013

Sunday, September 1, 2013

September bass fishing report and recommendations. This report is from the Bassing Bob monthly meeting with Bassing Bob’s experts. Marcus Sykora, a very special guest who is a successful tournament angler at Lake of the Ozarks as well as at other lakes and rivers. Along with the experts, Marcus shared his experience and knowledge of what to expect bass fishing in the month of September.

The experts that also contributed are James Dill of Crock-O-Gator Bait Company, Wayne Fitzpatrick of Fitz Fishing Tackle & Supplies, and Jack Uxa of Jack’s Guide Service. We were also joined by Denise Dill, Bassing Bob’s professional women’s advisor.


This report is from the Bassing Bob monthly meeting with Bassing Bob’s experts.  Marcus Sykora, a very special guest who is a successful tournament angler at Lake of the Ozarks as well as at other lakes and rivers. Along with the experts, Marcus shared his experience and knowledge of what to expect bass fishing in the month of September.

The experts that also contributed are James Dill of Crock-O-Gator Bait Company, Wayne Fitzpatrick of Fitz Fishing Tackle & Supplies, and Jack Uxa of Jack’s Guide Service. We were also joined by Denise Dill, Bassing Bob’s professional women’s advisor.

This report can be viewed as an audio report on the Bassing Bob video page.  There are 3 videos for this report.  Look for September Expert Bass Fishing Recommendations at Lake of the Ozarks Part 1 of 3, 2 of 3 and 3 of 3.       

The input and advice offered by these experts is based on many years of bass fishing experience at Lake of the Ozarks.  In this report, they share their thoughts on what fishing has been like in the month of August, and what to expect in the month of September.

The experts agree that August was a little strange. It cooled down, rained a lot, and heated back up, but the big factor in fishing was the current. Usually in August, not much current is generated but this year was different. The conditions have produced a lot of fun bass fishing by swimming a jig, or throwing a buzzbait or Chug Bug on the big docks. Most catches have been smaller fish, but they’ve been catching a lot of them. The Shawnee area was good for Kentucky bass.

The shad are small for this time of year, and experts say they are plentiful. Uxa said he just started seeing bigger shad in the last 6 days or so. The bigger bass are definitely following the bigger shad, and they seem to be in the backs of coves now.

Pay attention to how the shad are clustered. Are they in balls or strung out? If they’re nervous, they ball up. If you flip something into the ball, they scatter quickly.  You can fish right into the balls of the fish, right underneath, or into whatever cover is around it.  When fishing into clusters of shad, the experts suggest going fast at first, trigger the bite, and then kill it. Make it erratic by changing the action or speed.  Some suggestions for what to throw are buzzbaits, topwaters, jerkbaits, worms, flukes, traps, and shallow-running crankbaits.

Sykora advises to take advantage of the bream bite on shallow docks by locating their perfectly round little beds/pockets. Often 30-40 of them will be in one little pocket. If you fish the dock closest to that pocket, there may be a nice big bass. Sykora finds the bass more likely to be nearby than right up on those pockets. Bream can actually start the creek bite prior to the actual shad migration. Bass will follow the bream into the coves/shallows during the last bream spawn, and then when the shad migrate, the bass will already be there. Look for the bream in clear water.

In September, you’ll usually have clear water from Hurricane Deck Bridge on down; up above that, the water gets more stained.  Fitzpatrick says he hasn’t seen a bit of difference in the bite even though it’s been cooler.

Uxa says activity level of bass is high.   The heavier than usual current, the small shad and the lake level being up have all been contributing to the bass being more active.

Sykora thinks much of the thermocline is gone because of the heavy current generation. Usually when there is significant turnover, you have to fish as shallow as you can. However, without a thermocline, you won’t have a layer of water with low oxygen levels, and so it may not make as much difference in the fishing this year.

In September, both shade and wind matter a lot. Experts suggest following the wind and fishing the docks.

The current is continuing to play a huge part. Experts say they are not catching anything on the down current side.  The bigger bass seem to like to get their nose in on the current. Present the bait into the current at a right angle, fishing across it instead of casting parallel to it.

Experts all agree that at this lake, the bass are more aggressive in the way they situate themselves with respect to the current, and not as likely to sit in the slack water as bass in other lakes. Because of this, anglers will want to fish wherever the current is hitting a dock, point, or brace, and where the current is the heaviest.

Another strong bit of advice is to make sure you don’t pitch to their tail. When you do that, the bass will spin around and look at it, but this presentation just seems to make them mad.  Make sure you pitch in front of the bass. Denise Dill likes to throw past them to get into the rhythm and to get her lure working like she wants it to before it gets to her target. The experts agreed this was a good technique.

There isn’t much of a deep water bite in September. Fish in the 10-15’ range, not much deeper than that. Anglers should work to find the little “magic zone” in the coves, which is not all the way out front, but not all the way back either. Try fishing coves halfway to ¾ of the way back. This zone is good all the way through to October.

Sykora likes to fish the brushpiles this time of year. He likes to find the brushpiles on the flats, and then go fish shallow docks.  Try a deep crankbait or a jig.  Shoot to the bank and fish the last 2 or 3 docks in the coves. Catch one deep, catch one shallow, then do it again.

Use your electronics to look for flats. Then, if you can figure out if a flat has some kind of ditch that runs out of the flats into the coves, follow that.  Look for some kind of irregularity.

Water temperature doesn’t seem to make that much difference in September. Experts suggest not paying much attention to the water temperature because it may limit your imagination and thought processes about where to fish.

September is one of the experts’ favorite time of year to fish. They were in unanimous agreement that if they were to suggest one week of the year to take time to come and fish at LOZ, they would suggest September. The generally stable, comfortable weather conditions, decreased boat traffic, fairly low tournament pressure and great fishing all add together to make this one of their favorite months to get out and fish.

Sykora says he thinks the reason it’s so easy to catch fish in September is because they’re fresh, just getting to the docks and coves. Dill says he always tells people to try to be the first one on a pattern for the same reason.

Uxa says this time of year is the time to look for docks and to find the shade. It’s important not to spook the bass. Try to keep from banging your lures on the docks. Be precise and practice so you can fish quietly. Things like dropping pliers or a water bottle, or even moving around too much on your boat can spook the fish so they won’t bite.

Boat control is really critical when fishing shallow. Use a slow, steady speed, and don’t gun your motor. Just coast back into the shallows. Sometimes just a little irregularity in the bank, a little depression, will hold a big bass, but you have to get there quietly.

In shallow water, colors Fitzpatrick likes to use are green pumpkin, watermelon, watermelon red, and brown. Sykora prefers to throw black or blue for the smaller baits, but for bigger baits like a Brush Hog, he will go a little more natural color. Both like throwing the Okeechobee Craw. Sykora says he thinks action is more important than color, and that he would be happy to have just three colors to fish with for the rest of his life: green pumpkin, black/blue, and some sort of green-based color with flake in it.

Around bream, the experts suggest using more orange, rootbeer green, and chartreuse to simulate the flashes of color the bream get on their fins.

Crankbaits come back this time of year. Use crankbaits to fish random docks inside coves, finding people’s brushpiles along docks. Try a shallow-running crankbait or squarebill on flats near isolated cover, or maybe a little bit deeper alongside docks getting wind, 2-3’ down.  Try crankbaits in shad patterns or colors that imitate bream, like fire tiger. Mix it up a little.

Fitzpatrick says on windy days, by noon the water in the backs of the coves will be churned up, stained, dirty, and full of oxygen. The shad get blown in there, and the bass will leave the docks for that churned up water to get to the shad. This is a good time to catch bass on squarebills, burn one through the dirty water.

After Labor Day weekend, Ameren Missouri starts drawing water down.  When the lake levels drop, shad will center up in the coves and in little ditches. Look for the docks that stick out further than the others. The topwater bite will kick in. Try fishing with a Spook on the last point before you get to the back of the cove. Bass will often stage on the 4-5 docks around those points.

Drawdown can throw you off a bit because it will change patterns that have been working for you. On those days, try to use the winds to make up for the changes.

Here are the August go-to baits recommended by each expert for Lake of the Ozarks bass fishing, as well as what to leave at home.

Denise Dill – Take a Spook, leave the heavy jigs at home.

Marcus Sykora – Take a Brush Hog which is good for both shallow and deep fishing, leave the Alabama rig at home.

Wayne – Fitzpatrick – Take a Brush Hog, leave the spinnerbaits at home.

Jack Uxa – Take a Texas-rigged or Senko-style plastic 10-inch worm, leave the Carolina rig at home.

James Dill – Take a ¾ oz. Buzzbait, leave dropshot at home.

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