I met Mason Gierke from Limestone, IL at Mikes house in Wilmington at 5:30 am Thurs and we began our drive to Lake of the Ozarks for a few days of Bass and Crappie fishing. We took a detour to Warsaw Mo where Mason had to trade in his boat for a brand new one. He got a brand new Triton Bass boat. From there we headed for the lake.
As we were heading to the dealership, and as we headed away from it, I got to see quite a bit of Truman Lake. It’s muddy water with a lot of standing dead tree. Looks like real good fishing. We also crossed the Osage river a couple times at the West end of the state. We also crossed a creek on the way which was where I saw the only Bald Eagle of the trip. It was sitting in a branch over the creek.
We got to the lake and had a quick dinner then headed out for some fishing. We got a few but it was slow going. The water was still in the low to mid 50s and 5 feet lower than normal. It was also a lot clearer than last year. It was also 95 degrees and windy when we got there.
The fish did not want the same stuff we got them on last year. Mike got a couple on plastics, but we discovered as we were Crappie fishing that the bass wanted the road runners we were throwing for the Crappie. Ok, problem solved, now we’re catching bass. But I had to keep slinging those DTs every now and then, and every now and then I’d get a nice fish, but not at last year’s pace.
Me with a Largemouth Bass
After it got dark, the Crappie were cleaned and we all congregated in Mikes condo for more snacks before bedtime.
By 6:00am Friday morning we were back on the water. We all fished until 10:00 am when we headed in and Mason made breakfast. Same old story as far as fishing goes. Got some here. Got some there. The wind and heat made fishing in the afternoon tough so we went out for a short time then headed in for an early dinner. Chef Mike and Chef Mason cooked up some good stuff. Brisket, Gumbo, Jambalaya, etc…
At the end of the evening, all the legal crappies we had got cleaned and put in the freezer. We’d eat some more, talk, then pass out.
Saturday morning was a repeat of the previous. Mason and I fished together while Mike, Barney, and Terry fished out of Mikes Ranger. They seemed to catch more crappie than we did, but Mason caught the biggest one in an unlikely spot. He decided he wanted to go to the opposite side of the complex and fish those docks. We moved along each one and pitched the road runners into the slips and got a few. Mason cast to the corner of the furthest dock out on the point which was over 50 feet of water and hooked into a goliath crappie. We thought he had a big bass. He threw over open water and got the thing which surprised us because there’s nothing out there for it to relate to. He out crappie fished me all three days, but I got at least one really big crappie Friday night on a DT, but I left the cameras in my other bag.
After dinner Saturday, we headed out again and started at the front of our cove while the other guys headed to the back of our cove and worked towards us. We didn’t get more than a couple “too small to keep” crappie so we went our separate ways. Mason made the right choice as far as picking a new spot to fish because there was only one other boat in there. The wind had chased most of the fishermen off the water so we had the place to ourselves. We caught some nice fish and after we passed the last point we would have fished before we crossed paths with the other boat, I picked up the DT6 and slung it across the point. I cranked the handle a few times and the lure just stopped. I popped the rod a few times thinking I was snagged and then the line took off sideways away from the point. I pulled back told Mason I had a big fish on. I thought it was a big Drum. After I got a glimpse of it I told Mason it was a huge bass and to get the net. By the time I got the fish to the boat, he was ready and scooped it up on the first try. We thought it might have been a spot because of the brownish coloring and if so, it would have beaten the MO state record by a pound or more, but it was definitely an old Largemouth Bass. So a year to the day after catching my personal best Largemouth, I got my second best. 8 lbs! That was the highlight of the trip for me. We all met back at the boat slip and headed up to enjoy the rest of the evening from the patio.
The best fish of the trip
A Pileated Woodpecker
There was plenty of Wildlife to photograph around the State Park. We saw Pileated Woodpeckers, Hawks, Osprey, Turkey Vultures, Deer, and we heard wild Turkeys every morning making noise in the woods on the other side of the cove. Squirrels were running around the shoreline almost everywhere we went and we saw a few pretty big snakes.