The lake level was 654.3; owing to some release from Truman Lake, the level should rise slightly to 654.7 by the weekend. Surface temperature at Bagnell Dam was 44 degrees; tributary temperatures were 41 to 45 degrees.
Anglers should use extreme caution to prevent accidental immersion and possible hypothermia.
BLACK BASS – One tournament reported taking 22.41 pounds to win. Lower Osage: Good, try jerkbaits around rocky points and channel swings, also try Bullseye jigs tipped with green pumpkin colored Berkley’s Havoc Craw Fatty. Glaize Arm: Good, try shaky head jigs tipped with soft plastics around dock brush on points. Gravois Arm: Good, try jigs tipped with Berkley’s 4-inch Chigger Craw. Mid-Lake: Good, try brown Crock-O-Gator jigs on points around dock brush. Niangua Arm: Good, try Smithwick Rogues around rocky points. Upper Osage: Good, try jerkbaits toward the front of coves. Osage 60 MM: Good, try jerkbaits or small jigs dressed with watermelon colored plastics.
CATFISH – Bagnell Dam Tailwater: Very good on dead shad. Lower Osage: Fair to good on rod and reel baited with cut bait. Glaize Arm: Good, try deep coves with nightcrawlers or chicken livers. Gravois Arm: Fair to good on rod and reel baited with dead minnows or cut shad. Mid-Lake: Very good on dead shad fished on the bottom with a rod and reel. Niangua Arm: Fair to good on cut shad, try drifting deep coves. Upper Osage: Good, try shad sides or ‘perch’. Osage 60 MM: Good, fish are in 15 to 20 feet of water, try nightcrawlers, or cut bait. Truman Tailwater: Fair to good on cut bait.
CRAPPIE – Bagnell Dam Tailwater: Very good for size and quantity. Try shiners or chartreuse/black jigs. Lower Osage: Excellent, try red-and-chartreuse jigs 20 to 25-feet deep under condo docks. Glaize Arm: Very good, try minnows fished around boat docks. Gravois Arm: Fair to good, try minnows or blue-and-white jigs around docks. Mid-Lake: Very good under condominium docks, try minnows 8 to 12 feet deep. Niangua Arm: Excellent, try jigs with Road Runner heads with blue-and-chartreuse Kalin’s curly tail grubs in front of submerged brush. Upper Osage: Very good, try small jerkbaits on pebble banks. Osage 60 MM: Fair to good, try red-and-chartreuse jigs 20 to 25-feet deep under condo boat docks.
PADDLEFISH (SPOONBILL) – The legal length limit in the lake and tributaries is 34 inches, measured from the eye to the fork in the tail. The minimum length limit is 24 inches in the Osage River below Bagnell Dam. Bagnell Dam Tailwater: Excellent with many 45 to 60 pound fish caught, plus one exceeding 100 pounds. Upper Osage: Very good to excellent. Many fish in the 50 mm area, some are small but the chance of a 50 pound plus fish is very good.
WHITE AND HYBRID BASS – Try jerkbaits before dawn in spring-fed areas; after that try chicken liver or cut shad fished on the bottom or in the tailwaters of both dams.
BLUEGILL – Fair to good around docks or submerged brush, try mealworms or Berkley Gulp worm 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 Tailwater – Dam Bait Shop (573-216-2084); 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.