November Hot Spot for Lake of the Ozarks Bass
By John Neporadny Jr.

Lake of the Ozarks bass in November are on the move from the shallow foraging areas to their deep wintertime haunts.  During their migration bass seek out some fast food spots where they can chow down on baitfish. 

These fast food spots are usually some type of cover found throughout the lake.  Bass use the cover as rest stops and ambush points to nab a quick meal before heading out to their winter homes. Savvy bass anglers at the lake look for these hotspots to pinpoint migrating bass during late fall/early winter. 

Rocks are one of the best hotspots for finding bass in November at the Lake of the Ozarks. 

Baitfish and bass are both attracted to the warmth of the rocks that absorb and retain the sun’s heat even on cold November days. 

Former Bass Fishing League (BFL) All American champion Marcus Sykora looks for wind-blown rocky banks in November because he knows bass will be feeding heavily on baitfish there.  “I actually like to fish hard transitions where the bank goes from big rock to little rocks or some sort of continuous blend of some ledge rock, gravel and some good size rock in it,” he said. 

Waking a 1/2-ounce spinnerbait with tandem willowleaf blades is Sykora’s most productive tactic for catching bass on the rocks.  “Waking a spinnerbait mimics a lot of the things bass are feeding on in the rocks and it causes not only a hunger strike but also a reaction strike,” Sykora said.  “I also like to (wake spinnerbaits) a lot because it is a great way to cover water.”  

The tournament competitor positions his boat over 12 to 20 feet of water and points the boat’s nose at a 30- to 45-degree angle to the bank.  By presenting his lure at that angle, Sykora can keep the spinnerbait in the strike zone longer.   He retrieves the spinnerbait fast enough so its blades bulge the water but don’t break the surface. 

Sykora suggests always paying attention to where the sun rises and sun sets when fishing the lake in November. 

Even though the water is cooling down and the sun is providing warmth throughout the day, bass on the shady banks bite better than fish on the sunny shores.   “Sometimes on those bright bluebird sky days it is really tough to catch bass,” Sykora said.  “So that eastern bank in the morning is going to get a little more shade there throughout the day than on that western bank.  So a lot of times in the morning I will run those east/southeast banks because they have shade.” 

On sunny afternoons, Sykora switches to the west/southwest banks because those banks have more shade then. 

For information on lodging and other facilities at the Lake of the Ozarks or to receive a free vacation guide, call the Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitors Bureau at 1-800-FUN-LAKE or visit the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitors Bureau web site at

Copies of John Neporadny's book, "THE Lake of the Ozarks Fishing Guide" are available by calling 573/365-4296 or visiting the web site


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