Lake of the Ozarks
After we left Truman (I’m going back), we headed to Lake of the Ozarks to fish with a buddy (pro staffer) that loves to shoot docks on LOZ.
Luckily for him, he is on the right lake. I doubt he will get bored anytime soon. I believe they have some 25,000 docks to choose from.
That would cause major anxiety for me because I would go nuts trying to figure out where to fish everyday. Anyway, we got there and it was a cold, windy day and we were excited to hit the water. We hop in with Darin and pull up to first set of docks and I am so turned around by now I wouldn’t have been able to find my way back — especially after just returning from Truman. Talk about a couple of long, winding lakes that will do their best to make you lose your bearings.
So we started shooting docks (I don’t have this chance often) and I love to use the 5’6″ ACC dock shooter ‘cause it is a rifle — no wimpy rods allowed in Darin’s boat.
It takes a few shots when you are not an avid shooter and your hands are frozen solid from the wind and humidity (yes humidity is a big deal in the winter). After Pat and I stop embarrassing ourselves we make a couple of good shots which result in decent fish. It seems that the few times I have been dock shooting I have learned that when you make a good shot and don’t get bit you don’t hang around long. This is not a technique for the anglers that like to sit on one spot all day. Move, move, move and them move some more. I know of some shooters that will shoot once under a dock and move on. They are either ready to eat or they are not. Probably say the same for other techniques as well. That’s another story entirely.
The scenery of LOZ is entirely different from Truman due to the fact that you can build on LOZ. And build they do. They have many, many nice homes and condos on every point and in every pocket. The entire shoreline is almost lined with docks. It is interesting and really neat to check out the houses as you fish. The docks are amazing as well, most of them cost much more than my house. I’m a tight a$$ though.
The gear we used was very simple and Darin carries a very simple tackle bag with two trays in it. He prefers a pink 1/16th ounce head with a straight tail or paddle tail jig. Color varies slightly but as you may have guessed with the clearer water chart, blues and natural Shad colors do the majority of the work.
And as always we were using the ACC Crappie Stix crappie fishing rods, in this case the dock shooter (sold out till Spring). As we fished Darin clued us in on some pointers, the first one being that you need to countdown your bait. These fish aren’t holding in the top of the water column. I think we did a count of about 10 then started to slowly wind them back. You must watch your line at all times and we were using Hi-Vis yellow of course. Clear water, yellow line and they didn’t mind one bit. He actually was using an underspin reel as opposed to spinning reels. I definitely understand why now. The underspin reel makes the operation a one handed deal. This is great especially when your hands are cold. No need to grab the bail and flip while trying to hold the jig. I was pleasantly surprised at how much more efficient this was. I would say it could allow another 50 shots per day in time savings.
I am very thankful to have met the friends I have along the way. Facebook and fishing go together pretty good. I have made lots of friends thru my love of fishing over the years and hope to continue to do so. We had a ton of fun and most importantly met some new people in our adventures. I am constantly amazed at the amount of good people out there if you know where to look. Looking in the direction of fisherman is a great place to start. Thanks for reading and remember to take those crazy kids fishing. Andy Lehman.