The lake level was 657.9; with moderate generation scheduled, the lake should drop to 657.7 by the weekend. Surface temperature at Bagnell Dam was 47 degrees; tributary temperatures were 38 to 42 degrees with some coves having more than one inch of surface ice.
Ameren has begun the annual drawdown, with plans to reach 654.0 by early spring.
Anglers should use extreme caution now, launch ramps and boat docks can be very slippery now. Take precautions to prevent accidental immersion and possible hypothermia.
BLACK BASS – Lower Osage: Fair, try jerkbaits around docks and rocky points. Also, try Bullseye jigs tipped with Berkley’s Havoc Craw Fatty on points. Glaize Arm: Fair, try shaky head jigs tipped with soft plastics around dock brush. Mid-Lake: Fair, try brown Crock-O-Gator jigs on points and around dock brush. Niangua Arm: Fair, try Smithwick Rogues around docks and rocky points. Gravois Arm: Fair, try jigs tipped with Berkley’s 4-inch Chigger Craw. Upper Osage: Fair, try jerkbaits toward the front of coves. Osage 60 MM: Fair, try jerkbaits or small jigs dressed with watermelon colored plastics.
CATFISH – Lower Osage: Poor to fair on rod and reel baited with cut bait. Glaize Arm: Poor to fair, try coves with nightcrawlers or chicken livers. Mid-Lake: Poor to fair, try cut bait or beef hearts on the bottom with a rod and reel. Niangua Arm: Poor to fair on cut shad, try drifting coves. Gravois Arm: Poor to fair on rod and reel baited with dead minnows or cut shad. Upper Osage: Poor to fair, try shad sides or ‘perch’. Osage 60 MM: Poor to fair, fish are in 15 to 20 feet of water, try nightcrawlers or cut bait. Truman Tailwater: Poor to fair on cut bait.
CRAPPIE – Lower Osage: Fair to good, try minnows or jigs around big boat docks. Glaize Arm: Very good, try minnows fished around boat docks. Mid-Lake: Fair to good under condominium docks, try minnows 8 to 12 feet deep. Niangua Arm: Fair to good, try jigs around big boat docks. Gravois Arm: Fair to good, try minnows or blue-and-white jigs around docks. Upper Osage: Fair to good around big boat docks. Osage 60 MM: Good around boat docks with jigs tipped with Berkley Crappie Nibbles.
WHITE AND HYBRID BASS – No reported fish.
BLUEGILL – Poor to fair around docks or submerged brush, try mealworms 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 – 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); Tourney Results – www724outdoors.com; Lake Level (573-365-9205). Compiled by Darrell Taylor.