What better way to experience and appreciate two of the most popular activities at Central Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks than visiting during the National Fishing and Boating Week, now through June 11?
FISHING AT THE LAKE
With the reputation for being one of the best fisheries in America, thousands of anglers return to the Lake of the Ozarks year after year to head out on the water in search of their next big catch.
National Fishing and Boating Week coincides with Missouri Department of Conservation’s Free Fishing Days, June 10 and 11. During Missouri’s free fishing days, any person may fish state waters without a Department of Conservation fishing permit, trout permit or other daily required tags. The Missouri Department of Conservation’s Camdenton Conservation Office, 783 Thunder Mountain Road, also offers free fishing tackle that can be checked out similar to a book from a library to help those that may not have the requisite equipment to enjoy this favorite pastime.
The most prevalent species at the Lake include largemouth and spotted bass; white bass; black and white crappie; hybrid white bass/stripers; bluegill; walleye; and channel, flathead and blue catfish; as well as paddlefish. But, the most sought after are crappie and bass. The Lake hosts over 500 professional and amateur fishing tournaments each year, the most popular being the semi-annual spring and fall Big Bass Bash tournaments, with each tournament typically paying out a whopping $100,000 cash prize to the amateur that reels in the biggest bass.
For those looking to learn the ropes or to glean more tips from seasoned anglers, the local professional fishing guides know the waters better than almost anyone and make for a relaxing and effortless fishing experience. Once a visitor books a fishing trip with the guide of their choice, they can count on their guide providing the boat and the equipment needed to hit the Lake’s fishing “hot spots.” All you will have to do is show up and your guide will take care of the rest. For a list of local guides, click the “Fishing” link found under the “Things to Do” tab at
www.FunLake.com or call 1-800-FUN-LAKE (386-5253).
BOATING AT THE LAKE
Since it’s impoundment in 1931, the Lake of the Ozarks has always been a boater’s paradise. As such, the “Best Recreational Lake in the Nation” was recently named one of the top lakes in the country for boaters by BoatUS magazine. The magazine listed the eight most compelling fresh water lakes in America and featured the Lake of the Ozarks as a fantastic playground for all kinds of boaters.
If visitors would like to spend their time exploring this fresh water “playground,” there are more than 50 marinas dotting the 1,150 miles of shoreline where adults can rent a boat by the hour, day or the week. The Lake of the Ozarks’ marinas, as well as many of the resorts and campgrounds, rent a variety of boats, including pontoons, speedboats, bass boats, personal watercraft, paddle boats, canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards.
For visitors with their own boats, public launching sites are available in the Lake area’s two state parks – Ha Ha Tonka State Park and Lake of the Ozarks State Park – as well as at the full-service marinas and resorts around the Lake.
Vacationers that would prefer to leave the cruising to the captain can experience an easy and enjoyable boat ride on a leisurely Lake cruise.
Celebration Cruises, based near the Bagnell Dam in Lake Ozark, offers two 80-foot luxury yachts that cruise every day, with the exception of Mondays. Celebration offers 90-minute narrated noon tours with an optional lunch and 90-minute sunset cruises with dinner optional. Elsewhere, Celebration’s 75-foot Tropic Island luxury yacht, which moors at Margaritaville Lake Resort in Osage Beach, offers 90-minute narrated daily scenic cruises for the public during the summer months.
In addition, chartering a boat from one of the numerous charter services for a stress-free hour or day can be an ideal way to get out on the water and cruise around the Lake of the Ozarks. For a list of Lake-area charters, visit www.FunLake.com.
To learn more about boating safety at the Lake to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable time on the water, please visit the Lake of the Ozarks Council for Water Safety’s website at LOZWaterSafetyCouncil.com.
To find out more about fishing and/or boating at the Lake of the Ozarks, or to learn about all the different events and attractions, visit the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitor Bureau’s (CVB) website at www.FunLake.com. Additional information on great places to go for dining or places to stay also can be found at the CVB’s website or by calling 800-FUN-LAKE (386-5253).