Reel Dill: Fishing tips as the spawn approaches

LAKE OF THE OZARKS, Mo. — Fishing can change week-by-week at the Lake of the Ozarks, and local fishing pro Jim Dill says this week’s fishing is much improved.

“Both bass and crappie are really feeding and biting well,” Dill notes. He points to recent guided trips in which he and other anglers pulled crappie out of the water ranging from 11–13 inches in length.

The place to fish is the clear water around the Bagnell Dam and the Gravois area, Dill says. Bass and crappie are biting suspended jerk baits, around secondary points with pea gravel chunk rock mix.

Toward the back of creeks, where the water is more stained, fish can be caught on wiggle warts, swamp bugs, and jigs, Dill says.

He also advises anglers to look for any transition in rock size—an area where rocks noticeably change from large to small in size—because fish hang out in those areas to stage and feed for spawning.

A fourth tip: the Lake level is down by around six feet, so Dill suggests looking for brush to fish around, which might be invisible as the water level rises throughout the spring.

Recommended Lures: Top left: swamp bug Top right: jig Bottom left: wiggle wart Bottom right: jerk bait

Recommended Lures:
Top left: swamp bug
Top right: jig
Bottom left: wiggle wart
Bottom right: jerk bait

Reel Dill: Thank Ameren for good fishing

Crock O Gator Bait Company Reaction Jig Fish

Having bass fishing success on the Lake lately? Thank Ameren, Jim Dill says.

Dill, a local fishing guide, explains that the high volume of water currently moving through Bagnell Dam has created a good current in the Lake, and has made the fishing superb.

But, as always, some places are better than others, and Dill has a few particular spots on his radar.

“The bass really stack up, off of main lake points that drop off into the main channel,” he begins. Those fish are catchable by dragging a 3/4-oz or 1-oz Crock-o-Gator football jig along points and ledges, in 18–25 feet of water. A deep-diving crank bait will also work well in those areas.

Other fish are hanging around 20-foot-deep brush piles, and can be caught on a 10-inch power worm.

And for the extremely dedicated or insomniac anglers, the fishing is good at night around shallower brush piles, between 8–12 feet deep.

Water color is stained or dirty from the 30MM out, moving away from the dam, but closer to the dam it gets a bit clearer.

The water temperature is hovering around 78 degrees.

© 2013 lakeexpo.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Reel Dill: Warming up to crappie season

Jim and Terry Crappie FishingPosted: Friday, March 29, 2013 12:10 am | Updated: 12:12 am, Fri Mar 29, 2013.

By Nathan Bechtold

Spring is the time for good crappie fishing on the Lake of the Ozarks, and fishing pro Jim Dill says that time is drawing near.

The season will peak in mid-April, but Dill says he is already scheduling guided crappie fishing trips on the Lake. With a few more warm days and above-freezing nights, Dill says the fishing will dramatically improve. But even now, at the beginning of the season, crappie can be caught.

Currently, crappie are biting at bluff walls or in the back of creeks, Dill says. They seem to prefer Gene Larew crappie jigs, in the “blue ice” color. For particularly stained water, Dill says the chartreuse and black jig works better, as it is more visible to the fish.

Bass, on the other hand, have been elusive for the past couple of weeks, and Dill blames a variety of factors. He says the amount of water being let out of Bagnell Dam has caused Lake levels to drop, stirring up algae and creating generally unstable water. The frequent cold nights have kept the water temperature down, adding to the instability.

The water temperature is currently between 44 – 46 degrees. Coloration is stained or dirty.

Fish like stability, Dill notes, and bass in particular want to move to the banks, backs of creeks, and pockets to feed, but until the water temperature approaches 50 degrees, they’ll stay out in deeper water.

That said, bass too can be caught even now. For lure choice, Dill recommends swamp bugs, jigs, Alabama rigs, and suspended jerk baits.

By next weekend, he says, fishing will likely be fantastic at the Lake.

(LakeExpo.com interviews professional bass angler Jim Dill to publish the “Reel Dill.” Jim is fishing guide at Lake of the Ozarks, Mo.  He has fished the Lake for 20 years and is sponsored by Sportworld Boat Center, Ranger Boats, Evinrude, Falcon Rods and Crock-O-Gator Bait Company)

Reel Dill: Bass moving, sticking to deep brush near points

J.B. Simpson/LakeExpo.com

LAKE OF THE OZARK, Mo. – Did bass fishing slow down for you over the last week? It’s time to go deeper, according to local pro and fishing guide Jim Dill.

The water has warmed beyond to 74F-78F and the Dam is running at minimum generation. As a result, bass are spreading out and going to brush near deep water in close proximity to points. Key on the old Osage River channel where it swings into these areas.

Two weeks ago fish were hitting at eight feet on the first shelf along cliff lines near points. Now, they are sticking closer to brush on the second shelf at 15-20 feet. Keep working near points, where shad are still active.

Large plastics are working, but it is advantageous to throw bigger jigs with large trailers, like the Crock-O-Gator ¾ Ounce Reaction Jig rigged with a Ring Craw or Tube. Switch it up between big worms, like the Gene Larew Salt Flicker, and jigs to find the right mix.

Crankbaits will still illicit some exciting strikes off of points early in the morning and near sunset, when bass are feeding heavily on shad.

Lake water is slightly stained from the 1-50MM (visibility maybe two feet) and it is stained beyond the 50MM. So, keep your jigs and trailers dark in color.

(Jim Dill is professional bass fisherman, firefighter, and fishing guide at Lake of the Ozarks, Mo. Dill has fished the Lake for 20 years and is sponsored by Sportworld Boat Center, Ranger Boats, Evinrude, Falcon Rods and Crock-O-Gator Bait Company)

CRAPPIE REPORT

Ed Bryant at Bryant’s Osage Outdoors says nobody is bragging right now. The dam is not pulling water, the water temperature is rising, and crappie are hanging deep, close to brush, hiding from the sun.

The fishing is spotty jigging vertical 15 feet deep over dock brush. Minnows are doing OK and nibbles are a must on jigs.

Bryant says customers are buying, “Chartreuse, chartreuse and chartreuse.” Slab Buster jigs have been flying out the door.

ELKS KIDS FISHING DERBY

Don’t miss the fun on Saturday, June 9, at the Gravois Mills Access. The Elks’ Kids Fishing Derby registration begins at 8 a.m. Registration and entry will be accepted 8 a.m.-9 a.m. the day of the tournament. Fishing begins at 9 a.m. and the tourney will run through 1 p.m. All boys and girls ages 6 to 16 may enter (must be accompanied by an adult). Fish presented at the weigh-in station must be caught by a registered boy or girl, at or adjacent to the Gravois Mills Public Access or from a boat provided by the Elks. Fishing from other boats is not allowed. Trophies and prizes will be awarded at the conclusion of the derby. The Kids Fishing Derby is made possible by Elks Lodge #2705 in Laurie and the Missouri Department of Conservation.

TOURNEY RESULTS

Plumbers Pipefitters Local 562

32 Annual Fish ‘N’ Fitters Bass Tournament (May 19, 2012)

1st Place: Pat Sturma and Greg Risinger – 29.05 lbs.

2nd Place: Joe and Dan Tucker 23.92 lbs.

3rd Place: Kevin and Greg Berhorst 23.02 lbs.

Big Bass: Dan Tucker – 6.50 lbs.

ON THE WEB

Crock-O-Gator Bait Company

http://www.crockogatorbaitcompany.com

James Dill Guide Service

http://www.jamesdillguideservice.com/

Bryant’s Osage Outdoors

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bryants-Osage-Outdoors/146508558715003

Slab Buster Crappie Jigs

http://slabbuster.com/

© 2012 lakeexpo.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

LakeExpo.com

LAKE OF THE OZARK, Mo. – Bass are chomping plastic worms along cliff shelves and points close to deep water, according to local pro bass fisherman Jim Dill.

“Throw a Crock-O-Gator Shaker Head rigged with a Gene Larew Salt Flicker. Throw it against the cliff; the fish are hitting it at about eight feet. When it settles on the shelf give it a jerk and let it drop down to 20 feet, then reel it back up,” Dill said.

Bagnell Dam operators are pulling water at medium to heavy generation this weekend keeping the shad moving in the current and bass bunched up, easily found on fish finders. When the dam stops pulling water and the water temperature warms, the bass will spread out and head for brush.

The surface temperature is currently between 71-76F and the water is stained. Typically, darker-colored baits are the most effective in stained water and lighter colors in clear conditions.

The Lake Level measured at the dam is 659.5, only six inches away from full pool.

(Jim Dill is professional bass fisherman, firefighter, and fishing guide at Lake of the Ozarks, Mo. Dill has fished Lake of the Ozarks for 20 years. He is sponsored by Sportworld Boat Center, Ranger Boats, Evinrude, Falcon Rods and Crock-O-Gator Bait Company)

CRAPPIE

James Bryant at Bryant’s Osage Outdoors recommends vertical jigging minnows 15-18 feet straight down over brush. “We’ve also been selling a lot of blue and chartreuse and purple and chartreuse,” he said. The rough water from boat traffic this weekend will likely make crappie stick closer to cover under docks.

The early morning hours are always peak feeding times.

“Normally, when the dam pulls water like it is now and water is not too rough, crappie will move out to banks and secondary points, so you’ll have some luck trolling bluff ends transitioning to shallow points,” Bryant said.  He recommends the Bandit 1100 or Bass Pro XPS Nitro crankbaits in natural shad color.

ON THE WEB

Crock-O-Gator Bait Company

http://www.crockogatorbaitcompany.com

James Dill Guide Service

http://www.jamesdillguideservice.com/

Bryant’s Osage Outdoors

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bryants-Osage-Outdoors/146508558715003

Reel Dill: Bass out deep feeding on shad

LakeExpo.com

LAKE OF THE OZARK, Mo. – There’s $10,000 on the line and the bass are in deep water. The spawn has ended. As Jim Dill prepared for this weekend’s Anglers In Action Shootout, he said, “The Lake current is making a big difference right now. When the dam pulls water the fish are positioning for the current to bring them food.”

Dill is keying on bass feeding on shad on main-lake and secondary points. He suggests throwing a 5/16 ounce Crock-O-Gator Reaction Jig or Football Jig with big power baits, like a Zoom Finesse Worm, Gene Larew Salt Flicker, Netbait Paca Craw, Berkley Chigger Craw, or Strike King Rage Tail.

Bagnell Dam operators are currently pulling water at heavy generation.

“The key is knowing where they are headed and getting there first,” Dill said. In his experience, the dominant fish tend to lead all trends, so predicting the pattern and being the first lure there pays off.

When the current slows to still water bass will spread out, still hunting shad.

In a couple weeks, Dill says the big fish will move to deep brush.

The water temperature is between 70-75F and the water is stained, especially past the 38MM, where algae appear prolific.

CRAPPIE

The crappie fishermen are grumpy and complaining. Hit docks with blue and silver jigs 6-8 feet deep in clear water, 1/16-ounce jig head (1/8 if it’s windy). Jig off of docks and into spawning banks. Key on dock braces, cables and around beds.

(Jim Dill is professional bass fisherman, firefighter, and fishing guide at Lake of the Ozarks, Mo. Dill has fished Lake of the Ozarks for 20 years. He is sponsored by Sportworld Boat Center, Ranger Boats, Evinrude, Falcon Rods and Crock-O-Gator Bait Company)

ON THE WEB

Crock-O-Gator Bait Company

http://www.crockogatorbaitcompany.com

Anglers in Action

http://anglersinaction.com/

Slab Buster Crappie Jigs

http://www.slabbuster.com

Reel Dill: Bass spawn in final wave, shad schooling

LAKE OF THE OZARKS, Mo. – The full moon is on the way Saturday to pull in the final wave of the bass and crappie spawn. It’s been a strange spring filled with warm days and erratic Lake levels.

As fishermen eyed the banks waiting for spawn, much of the bass population laid eggs in main-lake pockets and shelf rock. Bagnell Dam operators pulled the Lake back twice this spring and were forced by hard rains to run water through the Dam at full generation for the last week to continue next week.

“Fish just do not commit to going back in coves during heavy generation,” local pro fishermen Jim Dill said.

Dill is catching fish with bloody tails and clearly past the spawn stage.

“With the full moon coming, there will be a final wave that might move back in coves, but right now I’m catching fish toward mid-lake points, along channel swings, and some on secondary points,” Dill said.

The shad spawn is in full swing and schools are tight mid-cove and moving towards main lake.

“The fishing is about to really turn on. Bass will start schooling tight following groups of shad,” Dill said. “Throw a ¾ ounce Crock-O-Gator Reaction Jig or Football Jig with a big trailer, like a Netbait Baby Paca Craw. Pick up the speed of the retrieve, pop it off the bottom three feet deep and imitate shad action.”

Topwater lures are still effective in the early morning on bluff ends and commercial docks. “Once the sun comes up, hit the shadow of the dock with your topwater. They’ll be caught like that for a while,” Dill said. Throw a Spook or Crock-O-Gator Headknocker. “On sunny days pitch white or chrome. When it’s overcast use black,” Dill said.

The next cycle, as summer approaches, will send bass to bluff ends and isolated brush piles, off points. So, as the water warms and boating traffic picks up, grab a Sinko Bait and a Shaker Pro Head.

After the catch, pull the hook out quickly and get the fish back in the water as soon as possible. “Try to lip ‘em and keep your hands off them,” Dill said. The females are weak from the spawn and are feeding heavily. As the water warms, it is crucial bass do not spend too much time out of the water.

CRAPPIE

Crappie fishing is getting better, according to Ed Bryant of Bryant’s Osage Outdoors. He suggests hitting docks with blue and silver jigs 6-8 feet deep in clear water. “The fish are in the same spot, but they’re a couple feet deeper because the Lake level is up two feet,” Bryant said. He suggests a 1/16-ounce jig head — 1/8 if it’s windy. Jig off of docks and into spawning banks. Byant predicts the full moon Saturday will bring the crappie to life.

MID-COUNTY FIRE CRAPPIE TOURNAMENT

The Mid-County Firefighters Association will sponsor a crappie tournament on Saturday, May 5 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Larry R. Gale Access off Hwy. AA in Roach, Mo.  Cost to enter the tournament is $50 per 2-man team.  Sign-in begins at 6 a.m. There will be a 50 percent payback, with one place paid for every 10 boats entered.  There will be several other prizes awarded, too.  Teams will weigh a combined 15 best fish.  For complete rules or to register, contact Chairman Jake Dill at (573) 427-9873 or Tisha Holden at (573) 216-8527.

(Jim Dill is professional bass fisherman, firefighter, and fishing guide at Lake of the Ozarks, Mo. He is sponsored by Sportworld Boat Center, Ranger Boats, Evinrude, Falcon Rods and Crock-O-Gator Bait Company)

Lake of The Ozarks January 6th 2012 Fishing Report

LAKE OF THE OZARKS, Mo. – If you are fishing for bass this weekend at Lake of the Ozarks — since Saturday promises partly cloudy skies and a high of 53F – local pro Jim Dill recommends hitting bluff ends and channel banks.

Use jigs and stick baits suspended 6 to 8 feet off steep bluffs in 20 feet of water. Hits are coming a couple cranks off the banks. Jim is dead-sticking more Lucky Craft 78s in aurora and black and using Croc-O-Gator Zapper Jigs in the Ozark Craw color trailed by a Ring Craw in green pumpkin.

The water temperature is between 42-47F. Two weeks ago, the lake surged three feet in one week and has
been near full pool of 660 since. Bass typically spread out when water rises quickly. Bagnell Dam operators have announced their intention to begin the winter draw down in January. As the Lake draws back, the bass will begin schooling closer off steep drops and channel banks.

The next major cyclical shift will be coming in several weeks as the water temperature drops into the high 30s and low 40s. Check back with the Reel Dill to find out what to do then.

Crappie are suspended approximately 15 feet deep in 25 feet of water on bluff pockets. In coves, find brush in 20 foot of water and crappie should be suspending above it, 16-18 feet deep.