Once the boat is in the water, Scott uses the trolling motor to propel us down the shoreline. We go but a few feet and the first bass hits Scott’s lure.  The fish is just under the legal minimum but he gives a battle.  There appears to be two year classes in this lake as all the fish we catch are either just under or just over the minimum.  But we are practicing catch and release so it does not matter.

“In summer you can catch fish on a variety of lures,” says Scott Pauley of the Missouri Division of Tourism. An avid tournament bass angler, Scott explains that you just need to work the lures you have confidence in using under the existing conditions.

Scott explained a storm in the area has muddied up many of the lakes but this particular one appears to be relatively clean. The water is high, flooding much of the shoreline vegetation which might attract fish to it.

As part of his job, Scott prowls the many lakes, rivers and ponds that are open to the public. Recently he demonstrated his prowess by catching over 30 largemouth bass in this small lake in central Missouri. There are hundreds of such lakes across the state.

As water temperatures rise, fish move farther out onto points. The shad forage fish move to the main lake and the bass follow.  Anglers must concentrate on the points if they are to find fish.

In creeks and rivers anglers find fish all year. Some flooding in the spring months raises water levels.  In the summer, water levels drop creating current patterns.  Visualize places where you know current develops.  Look for funnels.  This can be places like a bridge crossing a lake.  A funnel is any place where the water creates a narrowed path.

Another good location to find fish is a long point. They hold on the downstream side of the point.  Fish position themselves facing into the current, waiting for food to sweep to them.  Throw upstream and fish the lure back with the current.

The only real way to find out what fish are doing in summer is to get out there and figure it out. This is especially true of ponds.  Experience and time on the water are the real keys to successful summer fishing.

This lake we are fishing is one of three on a small piece of property owned by the University of Missouri for agricultural experiments. The lakes are small impoundments which provide a water supply for various farming operations.  The one we chose is 15-acres. The University owns the land but the Department of Conservation manages the fishery.

To locate one of these public locations this summer just go to the Missouri Department of Conservation website Once there click on Fishing.  Then click Places to Fish.  From there you scroll down to MDC Resources.  Then click on Missouri Conservation Areas Atlas.  You can then look up a particular lake by name, county or region.  Or you can just give a county or region and get all the lakes in them.  You can also view the area from here via Google Earth.



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