The lake level was 655.6 as of January 24, with minimum generation scheduled in the foreseeable future, the lake should hold at that level. Surface temperature at the dam is 42 degrees. With night temperatures below freezing, anglers should be alert for slippery ramps and shoreline ice. AMEREN is contradicting rumors of a severe lake drawdown, saying none is planned. The following report applies ONLY to warmer days during next week.
BLACK BASS – The jerkbait bite is on, plus multi-jig rigs are also producing fish. Lower Osage: Very good, try jerkbaits, football jigs tipped with Berkley’s Chigger Craw or Yum’s F2 Craw Papi. Also, try MoRigs or jerkbaits parallel to the shoreline. Glaize Arm: Good, try Crock-O-Gator jigs or MoRigs fished deep, also try square-billed crankbaits on dock corners for keeper-sized fish. Mid-Lake: Good, try jerkbaits and multi-jig rigs along channel swings. Niangua Arm: Fair to good, try jerkbaits and spinnerbaits on secondary points. Little Niangua River: No reported fish. Gravois Arm: Fair to good, try jigs tipped with soft plastic critters, also try multi-jig rigs. Upper Osage: Fair to good, try shaky head jigs and Square A’s or Crankin’ Raps around dock corners. Osage 60 MM: Fair to good, try jerkbaits along rocky shorelines.
CATFISH: Blues should be hitting cut bait in deep water. Lower Osage: Poor to fair on rod and reel baited with cut bait. Glaize Arm: Poor to fair, try in the coves with nightcrawlers or chicken livers. Mid-Lake: Good behind the Tan Tar A island on cut bait, try drifting with a rod and reel. Niangua Arm: Poor to fair in coves with nightcrawlers, cut bait, and chicken livers. Little Niangua River: No reported fish. Gravois Arm: Fair on rod and reel baited with dead minnows or cut shad. Upper Osage: Poor, try traditional catfish baits. Osage 60 MM: Fair to good, try shrimp or liver fished in front of docks.
CRAPPIE – Lower Osage: Fair to good, try jigs or medium minnows fished 12 to 14 feet deep around big boat docks. Glaize Arm: Fair to good, try jigs fished around major boat docks. Mid-Lake: Fair to good, try minnows for suspended fish 18 feet deep over brush. Niangua Arm: Fair to good, try minnows around dock brush. Little Niangua River: No reported fish. Gravois Arm: Fair to good, try blue-and-white jigs around docks. Upper Osage: Fair to good, try jigs tipped with plastic and Berkley Crappie Nibbles 12 to 14-feet deep. Osage 60 MM: Good, try blue-and-white jigs tipped with Crappie Nibbles around docks 12 to 14-feet deep.
Page 2 of 2 - WHITE AND HYBRID BASS – Lower Osage: No reported fish. Glaize Arm: Poor, try white jigs in coves and on points with Dixie Jet Spoons. Mid-Lake: Poor to fair on spoons in open water. Niangua Arm: Try sqaurebill crankbaits and spoons like the Dixie Jet or Bass Pro Shops XPS Tungsten Jigging Spoon on points. Little Niangua River: No reported fish. Gravois Arm: Fair, try open water with vertically jigged spoons. Osage 60 MM: Crappie anglers are catching a few fish.
BLUEGILL – Poor, try worm pieces or Berkley Berkley’s Gulp Crickets, or Nightcrawler pieces.
NOTE: The Lower Osage is from the dam to the 22-mile mark; Mid-Lake is between the 22 and 38-mile marks; the Upper Osage is between the 38 and 55-mile marks; the Osage 60 MM is between the 55-mile mark and the 89-mile mark; and the 89 MM is between the 89 MM and the Rt. 65 Bridge.
UPDATES – Bagnell Dam – Dam Bait Shop (573-216-2084), closed until March 1, 2013; Lower Osage and Glaize Arm – Guide Skip Surbaugh (573-365-0006); Midlake and Gravois – Mike Foree @ Osage Beach Bait & Tackle (573-348-9333); Niangua Arm – Darrell Taylor; Upper Osage – Guide John Blankenbeker (573-280-1455); Little Niangua River – Greenmill Campground, (573-363-5577); Osage 60 MM – Bryants Osage Outdoors, www.osagetackle.com (573-374-2278); coming soon, Truman Dam Tailwater – The Osage Mini Mart, Warsaw (660-438-9575); Tourney Results – www724outdoors.com; Lake Level (573-365-9205). Compiled by Darrell Taylor.