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Winter Bass Fishing at Lake of the Ozarks

The Lake of the Ozarks (LOZ) is an impressive body of water that stretches 93 miles end to end. Its 55,000 acres of water wash up on 1,150 miles of shoreline. Approximately 25,000 docks jut out into the water and vary widely in size from one-slip docks associated with single-family dwellings to the multiple-slip docks that serve the residents and guests of over 250 condo complexes around the lake. In the summertime, the lake is packed with tourists and recreational boaters, but during the winter the lake becomes a much more peaceful setting that is very attractive to anglers. Talk to any bass fisherman who fishes Lake of the Ozarks year round and you’ll often hear them say that their favorite months on the lake are January and February.

We interviewed Bassing Bob Expert Jack Uxa, owner of Jack’s Guide Service and Head Guide for Tan-Tar-A Resort, to capture and share the knowledge he’s gained from many years fishing the winter months at LOZ.

“I really look forward to good traditional wintertime fishing,” says Uxa, who spends about 300 days a year on the lake. “I’ll get my jerkbaits ready, my finesse jigs tied up and then wait for the cold weather to move in. Things are going to get pretty simple as far as lure selection goes in January and February; you’re going to be using a jerkbait, an Alabama rig or a jig.” In January, the dam operators will begin to draw down the lake and that will put the bass in more predictable locations. “Channel swings, points and steep banks are the typical wintertime bass hangouts,” says Uxa. “The fish don’t roam around as much when the lake is lower. If you get lucky, at this time of year you can haul in the biggest sack of bass you’ll ever catch!” Even in January, there are usually several days that are very pleasant on the water, particularly in the afternoon. “This lake doesn’t cool down or freeze like smaller bodies of water do,” Uxa explains. “It’s one of the most northern bodies of water that doesn’t freeze on a regular basis.”

January and February Weather

January

Air temperatures in January average a fairly constant high of 42°F over the course of the month, exceeding 59°F or dropping below 25°F only one day in ten. Daily low temperatures average around 24°F, falling below 8°F or exceeding 39°F only one day in ten. The median cloud cover is 60% (partly cloudy), with little variation as the month wears on. The wind is most often out of the south (21% of the time) and west (11% of the time). Typical wind speeds vary from 0 mph to 12 mph, rarely exceeding 18 mph. The average probability that some form of 1 precipitation will be observed on any given day is 2%. Average rainfall is 1.82 inches and average snowfall is 5.1 inches.

February

The month of February is characterized by rapidly rising daily high temperatures ranging from 43°F to 52°F over the course of the month, exceeding 67°F or dropping below 27°F only one day in ten. The median cloud cover ranges from 54% to 60% (partly cloudy). Typical February wind speeds vary from 0 mph to 13 mph, rarely exceeding 19 mph. The average probability that some form of precipitation will be observed on any given day is 4%. 3 Average rainfall is 1.79 inches and average snowfall is 5.6 inches.

Weather Data from:

https://weatherspark.com/m/10946/1/Average-Weather-in-January-in-Osage-Beach-Missouri-United-States

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