The thermometer read 22 degrees when I left the house at 6 a.m. The weather report the night before predicted 41 degrees.
Regardless, I headed toward Lake of the Ozarks to spend the day with bass and crappie fishing guide Jack Uxa. We planned to put together a video about cold weather bass fishing techniques.
“The wind is out of the east,” Jack pointed out right off the bat.
“Wind out of the east, fish bite the least,” I chimed in.
“I don’t put much stock in that old saying,” Jack rebutted. “Winds are supposed to reach 40 mph, too. It may get a little rough out there, but Lake of the Ozarks has a million coves. We will find some out of the wind.”
Uxa has been guiding on Lake of the Ozarks for a couple of decades and he knows its waters like the back of his hand, another old saying. I had fished with him a couple of times previously. His performances proved impressive.
Despite the fact that I believed in the out of the east wind theory, I had confidence that Jack would find fish before the day ended.
Jack has earned a good reputation as a guide, spending about 290 days a year on the water.
“Geez,” I gouged. “You should know a bit about the lake, having spent that much time out here.”
“I feel I know the lake very well,” Jack rebounded. “But, there is always more to learn. Every day is a new beginning. Conditions can change quickly. When conditions change, the fishing patterns change, too.”
A pro staffer for Bass Pro Shops, Jack launched his Nitro boat at a well-hidden boat ramp. It was armed with all the latest devices, which, according to him, gave him an edge for locating fish for his customers and in turn gave them ample opportunities to catch fish.
Uxa began searching familiar spots for largemouth bass. Within minutes he swung a chunky 13-incher into the boat.
“The jerkbait bite has been pretty good recently,” he said.
I immediately asked what bait he was throwing.