What is the best method of catching crappie in Lake of the Ozarks?

What is the best method of catching crappie in Lake of the Ozarks?

There is a maximum length limit of nine inches for crappie, but 40% plus of the fish sampled in the Lake of the Ozarks beat this limit.  If you expend your effort at or near points, in brushpiles, using jigs from a thirty-second to an eighth of an oz., using minnows, you are practically guaranteed to catch your limit. 

One up and coming technique for crappie fishing the Lake of the Ozarks, is called crack fishing.  Any space between wooden deck flooring, spaces between docks and walks, literally wherever there is a space couple of inches wide, near dock floats are crack fishing targets. 

In the fall, the temperatures start to get cooler, and crappie migrate to the shallows.  This is the best time for crack fishing occurs in the Fall.  Good target areas during this time are coves, mainlake flats, points, and creeks.  Any docks in these areas are good choices.  Whenever the temperature drops below 70, crack fishing gets really good.

Crappie spawn can usually be signaled by the blooming of the dogwoods around the Lake of the Ozarks, but April is normally the best spawn time.  Whenever fish are not at their most active, minnows or artificial bait works best, and in dark water, try to use white or chartreuse bait.  In water that has more clarity, try bait of darker hue. 

If you know of a pea gravel bank located in a cove, particularly during spawn, you can find an abundance of crappie in the Lake of the Ozarks.  Bluff walls and rock ledges are also good choices during this time. 

By fishing the different arms of the lake throughout April you can continue to catch spawning crappie for more than a month. Most crappie on this lake begin spawning when the water temperature climbs into the 60-degree range, but you can also catch lots of fish in the pre-spawn stage. During this time, the water temperature is in the 50-degree range and the crappie are staging in brush piles at depths of 8 to 10 feet.


Dan Eggertsen is a fellow crappie fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on crappie fishing since 2004.

One Response to “What is the best method of catching crappie in Lake of the Ozarks?”

  1. Don says:

    WRONG!!!! Minimum length limit of 9″!!!

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