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Andrew Hubbard

Ozark or Table Rock?

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I am in need of some help.  So I have fished for crappie my whole life and just started recently (last year) getting into bass fishing.  I have fished Lake of the Ozarks growing up with my dad but again for crappie.  In about 2 weeks I am wanting to take a small trip to either Lake of the Ozarks or Table Rock to do some bass fishing with 2 of my sons.  I have never been to Table Rock and haven't been to Lake of the Ozarks in probably 5 years so I was wondering which would be better to make the trip to?  I still fish been going to Canada mostly the past few summers can't now because of work and I do fish smaller rivers around where I live this is what got me into bass fishing with my father in law so not like its my first time or anything fishing.  Was hoping to get some advice on which lake someone else in my position would pick and possibly any tips or certain lures you would use?  I do have a boat that I will be bringing and using have been looking at both lakes to find places to put in and everything but thought maybe I could get some advice from anyone that fishes those two lakes.  Thanks for any help or advice I appreciate it. 

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Well, I have a place on Table Rock so it's my favorite. With that said ,  I think LOZ is a little easier to fish, but personally if I never fished it again I'd be ok with that.

 Table Rock is more fickle and This time of year will have a lot of boat traffic but not as bad as LOZ.

If you stay around Kimberling city or the Dam area the traffic will be worse. But it's still a beautiful place and the bite has been really good this spring.

Depending on your budget I would consider hiring a guide, Table Rock can change so quickly that you may spend more time looking than catching for sure..

I know some guys if your interested but I would be calling them soon as we are in the vacation season.

What part of the lake are you looking at ?

 

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Might depend on what kind of boat you have and how big old your two sons are? 

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There is a lot of high water at LOZ. Table Rock is only 2 feet high.  I just got home from Table Rock an hour ago.  We caught over 40 bass in about 5 hours.  Most were on plastic worms in 2 to 8 feet of water.

 

Fish are being caught on jigs and swim baits as well.

 

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1 hour ago, EmersonFish said:

Might depend on what kind of boat you have and how big old your two sons are? 

 

1 is 8 years old and 1 is 7 years old.  Both have fished a little with me on ponds and on little rivers.  Boat is an 18 foot bass tracker.  

6 hours ago, rangerjockey said:

Well, I have a place on Table Rock so it's my favorite. With that said ,  I think LOZ is a little easier to fish, but personally if I never fished it again I'd be ok with that.

 Table Rock is more fickle and This time of year will have a lot of boat traffic but not as bad as LOZ.

If you stay around Kimberling city or the Dam area the traffic will be worse. But it's still a beautiful place and the bite has been really good this spring.

Depending on your budget I would consider hiring a guide, Table Rock can change so quickly that you may spend more time looking than catching for sure..

I know some guys if your interested but I would be calling them soon as we are in the vacation season.

What part of the lake are you looking at ?

 

For table rock it would be anywhere that I can get in and get to good fishing I would be coming from south of St. Louis.  LOZ I have always fished around Osage beach my grandparents use to have a house right on the lake there and so I spent a lot of time there but just thinking of trying something different but still hoping to catch fish.  

1 hour ago, Jig Man said:

There is a lot of high water at LOZ. Table Rock is only 2 feet high.  I just got home from Table Rock an hour ago.  We caught over 40 bass in about 5 hours.  Most were on plastic worms in 2 to 8 feet of water.

 

Fish are being caught on jigs and swim baits as well.

 

I won’t ask where you are catching them at table rock but I really appreciate the report and what you were catching them on!  

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Table Rock can be difficult, but IMO, the techniques that work best are easier to use than what works well on LOZ. I just was at Table Rock a little over  week ago and my 5 year old caught several fish on a 3" salt and pepper grub on a jig head just casting it out and reeling it in slowly. A Ned rig also works great and is very easy to fish, as well as a dropshot with a small worm or night crawlers. 

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I have an 18' Tracker as well. A lot of what is working well right now at LOZ is main lake/off-shore, and with the boat traffic, I can see how it can be a little unnerving with little guys on the boat. Obviously boat traffic is an issue at TRL as well, but I would think that there are more opportunities up in the river arms to catch numbers of fish using techniques that are more younger kid-friendly, like a grub, tube, Ned, shallow-crank early and late in day, or something like that. LOZ right now is lot of long casts with football jigs, C-Rigs, etc...; or fishing around docks off of main lake points, which isn't really kid friendly either. 

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My recommendation is to stay away from the lower lake.  That is where the most big boats are.  Campbell Point, Big M, Eagle Rock, and Cape Fair are up river locations which you might want to consider

 

Your kids will probably be excited to catch about anything so some worms or night crawlers may come in handy.

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I would agree with being up the rivers. my place is up the James river in Cape Fair and normally during tourist season the lake is calm until 11am or so.

The down side is there's not much choice in places to stay except Shadrack Resort . Nice place and once owned by Gene Larew.  Unless you want to camp at the state park.

 Cape Fair marina is a great place and has a nice restaurant and store as well as a tackle shop.

If you go up the White river Campbell point or Baxter would be 2 areas to look at.

 

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Thank you all for the recommendations and everything I truly appreciate it!  I am definitely bringing some night crawlers with me for my sons and will give the grubs and ned rig setup a try for them too.  

On 6/19/2019 at 1:05 PM, EmersonFish said:

I have an 18' Tracker as well. A lot of what is working well right now at LOZ is main lake/off-shore, and with the boat traffic, I can see how it can be a little unnerving with little guys on the boat. Obviously boat traffic is an issue at TRL as well, but I would think that there are more opportunities up in the river arms to catch numbers of fish using techniques that are more younger kid-friendly, like a grub, tube, Ned, shallow-crank early and late in day, or something like that. LOZ right now is lot of long casts with football jigs, C-Rigs, etc...; or fishing around docks off of main lake points, which isn't really kid friendly either. 

Thank you very much.  If it was just myself I have no problem going to main lake or anywhere with big boats have done it many times with my dad but my 2 haven't been on boats a ton so that is my big worry.   That is how I grew up fishing around docks for crappie but when I was younger and my grandparents owned a house down there we knew many of the dock owners we fished and they didn't mind me making a mistake and I fished around my grandparents dock where we had many cedars too.  But I didn't want to try dock fishing and having my kids hitting docks or worse down there.  I may just try going down to TRL and going into the river arms.  

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Same question different time of year .  Late Sept early Oct .

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