Bass Fishing in Missouri – Best Places, Baits, and Gear

A fun and entertaining way to spend your free time in Missouri is by going bass fishing. This sport is enjoyed men, women and children of all ages and skill levels. It’s a great way to spend your free time outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine and it’s a lot of fun for the whole family. Many anglers seek out the bass because of their aggressive nature that makes fishing exciting. You can expect a fight when you hook one of these fish. In fact, they can put up such a fight that they’ll often work themselves loose and swim away.

When it comes to gear, the main thing that you’ll need is a good quality rod and reel set along with some basic tackle. It doesn’t have to be expensive gear but it does need to be strong enough to handle this species. When choosing your gear, pick something that is suited for the type of bass you’re seeking out. This will make your fishing trips more productive because you’re buying gear designed to match the specific type of fish you want to catch.

Other things to consider when choosing your gear includes where you plan to go fishing. For example, will your main fishing adventures be done in lakes, rivers or ponds? It can make a difference and so can the techniques that you plan to use. Therefore, it’s important to buy gear designed for the type of fishing you plan to do and this will enhance your fishing trips.

Best Places to Bass Fish in Missouri

You can find a great place to fish for bass in Missouri no matter where you live. However, if you’re new to the state, it can help to know where a few of the best places are located to help you get started. Below is a list of some of the most well-known lakes in Missouri:
* Bull Shoals Lake
* Lake of The Ozarks
* Smithville Reservoir
* Mark Twain Lake
* Pomme de Terre Lake
* Thomas Hill Reservoir
* Stockton Lake
* Table Rock Lake
* Harry S. Truman Reservoir
* Wappapello Lake

Along with these lakes you’ll find many rivers, streams and ponds where you can find bass. Sometimes fishing in smaller areas can be just as productive as or more so than some of the larger lakes and reservoir so try different locations until you find the perfect fishing spot in your area. Using fishing reports can also help you discover where some of the best bass fishing spots are in the area where you’re located.

Best Baits to Use When Bass Fishing in Missouri

When it comes to bass fishing baits you have a large variety of items to choose from. The problem is that with so many different lures available it can be hard to decide which ones to use first. The best way to choose is by narrowing down your search. Start by determining which type of bass you want to catch. This will make more of a difference with the bait you use than it does with the gear you choose because you can’t catch a largemouth bass with the same bait you’ll use for smallmouth bass.

Some of the best artificial lures to use when Missouri bass fishing include topwater lures, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, spoons, jigs and soft plastics. These can be used for most any type of bass as long as you adjust the size to match the type of the bass you’re trying to catch. It’s recommended that you carry a variety of different sizes, color and styles with you each time you go fishing. This way, you can switch around and try different lures if one thing is not getting the results you’re after.

Of course, you always have the option of using live bait anytime you bass fish. Live bait consists of minnows, worms, frogs, crayfish and other small fish. Using live bait will normally be productive any time but sometimes it’s not possible or practical to use. For this reason, every angler needs a good selection of bass lures on hand.

One good piece of advice passed down from a few experienced anglers is to use a variety of retrieval speeds when fishing for bass. Sometimes, they’ll respond better to slow speeds and other times they’ll chase after a fast moving lure. Since this species can be so unpredictable, experimenting can often help you turn a good fishing trip into a great one.

When fishing for bass in Missouri or anywhere else for that matter, you must have patience. You never know if the bass will be active or barely biting until you get to the water. Sometimes, they may surprise you by being active when you least expect it. Still, there will be times when they won’t bite at all so you have to be prepared for this as well. Good luck bass fishing in Missouri!


Dan Eggertsen is a fellow bass fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on bass fishing since 2004.

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