Missouri has some of the most interesting bass fishing in the United States. While Missouri's waters don't grow the 15 pound largemouth that can be found in Florida or California or the five pound smallmouth that can be caught in the Great Lakes Region, our state does have an incredible variety of bass fishing. Nearly every lake, stream, and pond in our state with decent water quality has some kind of a bass population. And the variety is truly amazing-you can catch bass in our state's clear, spring-fed Smallmouth streams, or from the muddy waters of Mark Twain or Truman Lake.

There are hundreds of quality bass waters in our state. A few however, stand out from the rest. First and foremost is Table Rock Lake. This lake is known by proffesional bass fisherman as one of the best waters in the country. It consistently produces large numbers of largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass in the 3 to 5 pound range. This clear mountain reservoir is difficult to fish, but the results are among the best in the country. But much easier fishing can be had in our state. The Meramec River, for example, is a nice smallmouth bass stream with obvious holding water, and any fisherman with a worm, a small hook, and a sinker can find success. Other great bass waters in Missouri include the Current River, Niangua River, Jacks Fork River, Gasconade River, Bull Shoals Lake, Lake of the Ozarks, and Truman Lake.


Methods for bass fishing in Missouri are as varied as our different waters. In large lakes, it makes since to cover a lot of water. Fast running spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and buzzbaits work very well. In smaller bodies of water where finding fish isn't such a monumental task, anglers should try slower offerings, including plastic worms, topwaters, inline spinners, and jigs. The time of year also effects the fishing. In late spring, summer, and early fall, bass are generally aggressive and will chase a fast moving lure. From late fall to early spring, however, bass are sluggish in the cold water and slower moving lures and live bait will work best. one thing to remember is that bass will usually be near the bottom or near the surface-it is relatively rare for them to suspended randomly, although this can occur in some larger lakes. So it's best to fish near the bottom or near the surface, depending on where you suspect the fish are holding at a particular time.

Missouri bass also like to hold in specific areas. The areas where a point of land juts out into a lake can often be a hotspot, because there is a quick transition between deep and shallow water. Bass like that, because they prefer to be able to access different depths of water, depending on their food source. Other areas that can produce well are brush piles, weedbeds, and rocky banks. Another thing to keep in mind is that bass usually hold deep when the water is cold, and shallower when it is warm. So during the wintertime, look for bass to be near the bottom in deeper water, and look for bass near the banks during warm months. That varies depending on the body of water, but it's a good general rule.

It's worth noting that fishing techniques will be quite different on Missouri's streams and rivers than it is in lakes. It's generally best to let you're bait float downstream with the current when river fishing, because that is what natural bait does. It pays to fish where there is less current as well, because bass are not fond of rapid water. Live bait is generally more effective on streams as well-crayfish, worms, and minnows work well.

Those are just some general facts about Missouri bass fishing. Of course, there is no substitute for experience, but these basic principles will help get you started. Good luck on the water!

Missouri Top 5 Bass Lakes