Thursday, June 19, 2014

Patriots All Motorcycle Rally at Lake of the Ozarks

Bikers will rally for a cause June 27-28 at Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks.  The Patriots All Motorcycle Rally features entertainment and activities for bikers who want to support wounded warriors and their families.  Headlining the entertainment for the event is heavy-metal band Molly Hatchet.  Proceeds from the event are donated to Peterson Outdoor Ministries, a Joplin-based organization that provides recreational activities, counseling and support for veterans and their families. 

This is the second year for the rally, which is moving from Sedalia to the Lake of the Ozarks.  "Sedalia was a great venue for us," rally organizer Angie Thessen said.  "But the Lake can offer more fun things to do for attendees in conjunction with the rally.  People are just drawn to the Lake."
Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitor Bureau Executive Director Tim Jacobsen is delighted to have the rally come to the area.  "We love having events for bikers at the Lake," he said.  "We are able to offer a variety of scenic rides, as well as other activities and amenities for bikers.  We support the Patriots All Motorcycle Rally as a way to give back to those who have bravely served our country."

Approximately 1,200 bikers attended last year's event.  Thessen hopes more will come to the Lake and stresses that all activities are open to the public, whether they are bikers or not.  Activities will be held at the Camden on the Lake Resort and Lake of the Ozarks Harley Davidson.

The fun begins with a reception at Camden on the Lake on June 27 for veteran rider groups like American Legion Riders and Patriot Guard Riders, allowing them to meet one another and honoring their service.  Patriot Guard Riders are volunteers who serve as an honor guard at funerals for members of the military, police and firefighters.  They also greet troops who are returning home from overseas and volunteer for veterans' organizations like veterans homes. 

"These volunteers often see one another only at somber occasions," Thessen said. "This event gives them the opportunity to participate in some fun activities and gives us a chance to thank them for what they do."

Friday evening's entertainment on the main stage at H. Toad's Bar and Grill at Camden on the Lake Resort will feature "Deff Lepardz," a "Def Leppard" tribute band opening for "The American Hitmen Band."  The American Hitmen Band, which is composed of Marines, formed during Operation Phantom Fury in 2004 when brothers Dan and Tim Cord played for their fellow soldiers in Fallujah, Iraq.  When they returned to Camp Pendleton, Cal., they added fellow Marines to the mix and began playing regularly in Southern California.  After being honorably discharged in 2007, they relocated to Utah and have been performing regularly, including an appearance in Season 8 of "America's Got Talent."

Rally activities continue on Saturday with a bike rodeo, National Guard tank rides and a poker run, as well as scenic rides.  The Patriots All poker run, a new event for this year's motorcycle rally, begins with registration and breakfast at Lake of the Ozarks Harley Davidson, located in Osage Beach.  Stops include Bridal Cave, Dog Days Saloon, Bootlegger's Sports Bar and Grill and ends at Toad Cove at Camden on the Lake.

Also on Saturday, a bike show will be held at Lake of the Ozarks Harley Davidson, with attendees voting for their favorite bikes by making donations for the event.  Information about these activities, including maps for scenic motorcycle rides around the Lake area, is available with registration for the rally.
On Saturday evening "Molly Hatchet" will perform on the main stage at H. Toad's Bar and Grill.  "Molly Hatchet" burst into the Southern rock music scene in 1978 and later took on a more heavy metal sound.  In the three decades that have followed, the band has continued touring and recording and has returned to its Southern rock roots.  "The American Hitmen Band" will open for "Molly Hatchet" at the Saturday night show.  There is a $10 cover charge for this event only and VIP tables also are available. Tickets can be purchased at All other activities for the weekend are free, although donations will be accepted throughout the weekend for Peterson Outdoor Ministries.

Peterson Outdoor Ministries is a faith-based organization that offers outdoor recreational opportunities to wounded warriors, as well as people with disabilities or terminal illnesses.  While activities like Wounded Warrior Wildlife Hunts are a primary focus for the ministry, they also offer counseling and support to wounded combat veterans and their families.  One of their goals is to help wounded warriors transition from their lives in the armed forces to their new civilian lives, reducing the suicide rate among these veterans.
Thessen, who works as a legislative assistant in the Missouri House of Representatives, and her co-organizer, Maj. Chris Ash from the Missouri National Guard, have seen the need for supports like those offered by Peterson Outdoor Ministries.  In her work with the House of Representatives, Thessen has become involved in veterans' activities.  She met Maj. Ash through these activities and, together, they set out to organize the Patriots All Motorcycle Rally.

"In its first year, the Patriots All Motorcycle Rally not only met, but in many ways exceeded, our goals of thanking our veterans and raising funds to help Peterson Outdoor Ministries," Maj. Ash said.  "With all the bikers, bike lovers, veterans, service members, sponsors, vendors and entertainers, it made sense for us to move to a destination like the Lake of the Ozarks for the second year.  We expect an even better turnout this year, especially since our rally coincides with the 7th Annual Support Our Troops Poker Run."

The Support Our Troops Poker Run, while not a part of the Patriots All rally, supports H.E.R.O.E.S Care, another charitable organization that offers services to military personnel and their families.  The Support Our Troops Poker Run will be held on Friday, June 27, prior to the Patriots All rally and is also headquartered at Camden on the Lake Resort.  More information about this poker run, sponsored by Midwest Boat Party, is available at

For more information, pre-registration or sponsorship opportunities for the Patriots All Motorcycle Rally, contact Angie Thessen or Maj. Chris Ash at

Learn more about all of the attractions and activities, as well as lodging and dining options, at the Lake of the Ozarks, by calling the Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitor Bureau at 1-800-FUN-LAKE (386-5253), or visiting

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Guest Blog: Bassing Bob on Fishing in March at Lake of the Ozarks

Fishing at Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri during March can be one of the most productive times to enjoy and catch fish. During March the days are getting longer, the water temperatures will be warming up and the fish will be starting to move from their winter time holding areas and their metabolism will start get faster, therefore they will be on the hunt for food.

This winter however, has been one of the coldest in many years, the lake has been frozen for most of February and early March water temperatures are in the mid to upper 30’s, therefore the fishing in early March has been quite difficult to get the bass and crappie to bite. For the most part the bass are mostly on the bottom from 20’-30’ of water, holding inside of deep brush piles or suspended over very deep water, without much indication that they want to eat or move to chase a meal. The  crappie have also been more lethargic than usual for this time of the year, however they seem to be more catchable than the bass in deep brush piles and around dock brush piles.

In fact, many of the bass being caught are being caught on crappie jigs by fisherman fishing for crappie in brush piles. This is certainly an indication that brush piles are holding bass and the bass want their meal to be small and brought to them worked very slowly.

Bass tournaments the early part of March have seen weights being way down.   While it is not unusual to see 5 fish limit weights from 18-22 pounds this time of the year, winning weights have been in the 10-12 pound range, with many tournament anglers being shut out from catching a single fish, including me.

The cold water temperature bite that has been successful has been slow rolling a multi rig bait (ala the Alabama Rig), a rig that has multiple swim baits (3-5 baits) that imitate a small school of shad or bait fish. The successful fisherman have been working this style of rig slowly along the bottom in 15 to 30 feet of water or over the top of brush piles. It should be noted that the State of Missouri regulation for multi-rig baits is a total of 3 hooks, therefore for rigs that have capacity for more than three swim baits, you will need to either attach a spinner to the other wires of the rig or use what is referred to as dummy baits, swim baits with no hooks. These can be attached to the rig with a hitch hiker, a hitch hiker is a small screw like wire that the bait without a hook can be added to the rig.

As the water begins to warm, which it will in March, the bass fishing should really turn on.   As the water temperature starts to reach into the low, to mid and high 40’s which is likely through March, the fish will start to move and want to feed. They will start to feel that spring fever,  just as we do.  However, they also are going to start feeling the urge to spawn and/or get into the spawning areas to pre-stage for the spawn. While the spawn on Lake of the Ozarks does not really start to happen until about mid-late April and into May, the end of March as the water temperatures rise, the fish will start to migrate into the areas in preparation for the spawn.

Lake of the Ozarks Bass Fishing pro’s and experts recently met with BassingBob to discuss March bass fishing on the Lake of the Ozarks, this monthly meeting of experts is video taped each month and can be watched in it’s entirety on A monthly publication for March can also be found on the same web site.

In summary of the experts meeting, there is a lot of similarity amongst the experts regarding what baits to fish, locations and structure. The experts agree that during March the fish will begin to become more active as the water warms into the 40’s. They suggest fishing in and around secondary points that lead to spawning areas. As the fish are still a bit lethargic, it is key to fish slowly. Brush piles and docks around these areas will also hold catchable fish.   The experts pretty much agree on three primary baits to catch bass, a jerkbait, an Alabama Rig and a bottom bait, like a jig or creature bait. As the water begins to warm, fish should become catchable at the more common strike zone depths of 8’ – 15’ of water.  

The bass will also be found close to bait fish and they will likely be close to deep water but up on the flats and secondary points to feed.   It is often overlook at Lake of the Ozarks, that many fish also spawn on bluff ledges. These are often some of your biggest fish. These are often referred to as river fish, as these fish live full time along the river channels of Lake of the Ozarks. These fish will also start to feed and move more as the water temperatures warm. They will come up along the ledges of bluffs and on main lake points to feed. The baits to catch these fish are the same, a suspending jerk bait, Alabama Rig and bottom bait like a jig or creature bait. The jig/creature baits are very successful on bluff ledges by pulling the bait from ledge to ledge, often the fish will be relating to a drop off of a ledge and the bait will be eaten either as it is falling in front of them or being dragged in the bottom of a ledge. The very best jig and/or creature bait on Lake of the Ozarks is made my Crock-o-Gator Bait Company.

I would also encourage fisherman coming to the lake in March, whether you are an occasional angler or tournament angler, to hire a guide for a half a day or full day. March is a very tricky time of year, especially this year as we have had such severe cold water temperatures. My suggestion is to contact Jack Uxa of Jack’s Guide Service. Jack is a full time guide on the lake, he is the only multi species guide (crappie, bass, catfish, etc.). The Lake of the Ozarks bait and tackle stores are also another great place to find out what the fish are biting on, where to fish for the active fish, ect. My suggestions for bait stores on Lake of the Ozarks are Fitz Fishing, Tackle and Supplies, and Osage Bait and Tackle. Wayne, the owner of Fitz Fishing, is a veteran active tournament fisherman on Lake of the Ozarks and Bill at Osage Bait and Tackle has a great selection of fishing goods and always has an entourage of fishing guides and expert fisherman working at his store.

Finally, for videos, pictures, daily, weekly and monthly fishing reports, check out

Good fishing everyone.  Please feel free to contact me with questions or send me pics with your fishing report to

Monday, January 27, 2014

Liverpool Legends Make Their 6th Annual Stop at The Lake

Once again in 2014, the Grammy Nominated and award-winning Beatles tribute band, Liverpool Legends, will come to the stage at Main Street Music Hall in Osage Beach for two performances, on Friday and Saturday, March 7 & 8, at 8 pm. Branson's Liverpool Legends tribute show, created by Louise Harrison, sister of the late George Harrison, gives audiences the full Beatles experience.

Louise Harrison has been a part of what she describes as "The Global Family of Beatle People," since her youngest brother came to America with the "Fab Four" in the 1960s. She hand-picked the performers for the Liverpool Legends show both for their striking physical resemblance to the original Beatles and also for their musical expertise.  

These talented artists faithfully recreate performances throughout the Beatles' career, complete with wardrobe changes to represent the different eras of the band's history, and then continue on through the years of band members' solo performances. Vintage video footage of the Beatles serves as a backdrop for the performance and audience members are invited to relive the experience of a live concert by standing near the stage. The result is a widely acclaimed and crowd-pleasing tribute that engages audience members and takes them back in time to the years when the world was watching the Beatles.

Tickets are available from the Tri-County Lodging Association and The Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitor Bureau. Premium seats are $30 for adults and children; regular reserved seating is $25 for adults and $20 for children. The venue will sell out quickly, so it's recommended that tickets be purchased early. For more information, call 800-FUN-LAKE (386-5253) or visit the Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitor Bureau's special event website, For information on Lake Area lodging, dining, attractions and more, visit

Polar Plunge at the Lake Set for Feb. 22, 2014

Only brave souls with warm hearts would be inclined to take a dip in Lake of the Ozarks in February. On February 22, costumed participants will "take the plunge" into the frigid waters of the Lake as part of their commitment to Special Olympics Missouri's year-round program of sports training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. 

Festivities at the event include a costume parade before the 2:30 pm plunge, when participants walk, run or crawl into the cold winter waters of the Lake from Public Beach #2 in Lake of the Ozarks State Park. All participants fundraise for the Special Olympics prior to the plunge and prizes are awarded for top fundraisers. These donations help the participating individuals and teams show their pride and dedication to the cause and give them, as one team puts it, "a reason for freezin'." Spectators crowd the shoreline at the event, cheering on their favorite participants and showing their support for the cause. The Polar Plunge is a project of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Missouri and is proudly hosted by the Osage Beach Police Department. To register yourself or a team to take the plunge, or to donate to your favorite participant, visit the Special Olympics of Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks Polar Plunge page at

To view a complete series of photos from the 2013 Polar Plunge, check our our Flickr photo set at

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Lake of the Ozarks Mardi Gras Pub Crawl 2014

Missourians know they don't have to go to Louisiana to celebrate Mardi Gras. Lake of the Ozarks' 13th annual Mardi Gras Pub Crawl will offer great food and live entertainment on Feb. 15, beginning at 4 pm. For just $10, participants get a wristband granting them admission to more than 20 pub crawl restaurants and night spots, all of which feature live entertainment by bands and DJs. The $10 participation fee also includes shuttle transportation. A total of 32 buses will take participants from venue to venue, as well as picking up and dropping off at participating area hotels and motels. Pub crawl organizer Jeff Carroll says it is the Lake's biggest winter event, with more than 6,800 people participating in 2013. See over 60 photos from the 2013 event on our Flickr Page hereFor more information on this year's Pub Crawl, visit

Friday, December 20, 2013

Eagle Days 2014

Dates for the 2014 Lake of the Ozarks Eagle Days event are set for January 4th and 5th. Bundle up in coats, hats and gloves and bring binoculars and cameras for this popular winter event, which features majestic wild eagles.  These awesome creatures nest in the bluffs around the Lake of the Ozarks and Eagle Days provides a great opportunity to see and appreciate their beauty. 

The event includes hourly programs at Osage National Golf Resort, featuring naturalists with eagles from the World Bird Sanctuary in St. Louis. Wild eagle viewing through telescopes provided by the Lake Area Astronomy Club will be at Willmore Lodge each day. Eagle viewing, nest building, rope making and free hot chocolate will be available at the Bagnell Dam River Access.  New for 2014, the Country Club Hotel will host two programs given by Dickerson Park Zoo, featuring owls, hawks and vultures along with interactive exhibits and crafts. The shows will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday and 10:30 a.m. on Sunday rotating every hour.  Eagle Days activities are free, but donations are gladly accepted. To view the entire schedule of Eagle Days activities, visit

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Holiday Lights at Lake of the Ozarks

Lake of the Ozarks shows off its natural beauty for photographers all year, but when it gets dressed up for the holidays, it offers glitz and sparkle that demand a close-up from visiting camera bugs.  Thousands of lights reflect the joy of the season off the Lake's quiet waters, adding an aquatic theme to the holidays.

Twinkling lights are the stars of the show at drive-through holiday light parks around the Lake area. 
In Laurie, the 20th Annual Enchanted Village of Lights turns the 27-acre Laurie Fairgrounds into a winter wonderland from November 16th to January 1st.  Some of the displays are massive - up to 30 feet tall and 30 feet wide - while others come to life through animation.  Many are being equipped with LED lights to shine brightly throughout the park.  None of them, however, shine as brightly as the eyes of the children who visit, according to Susann Huff, Laurie's events and parks coordinator.  "I just love to see the kids' eyes when they arrive," she said.  "They can't believe it. It's hard to take it all in." 
Work has already begun on preparing the spectacle for visitors, expected to top 16,000 people again this year. The Enchanted Village of Lights opens each day at 5 pm, staying open later on the weekends. There is no charge to drive through the village, but any donations will be put to use in refurbishing and preserving the displays for the future. More information about the event can be found at
Also, just a mile down the road in Laurie is the Lake area's most enduring drive-through Christmas lights event - Saint Patrick's Festival of Lights, celebrating 30 years when the lights go on this Thanksgiving evening. The Shrine of St. Patrick on Hwy. 5 on the north side of Laurie also is the site of the National Shrine of Mary, Mother of the Church, so this festival of lights focuses on Jesus and his mother, Mary. The drive-through festival will be open daily from 6 pm to 9 pm on weekdays and 6 pm to 10 pm on weekends until January 1st. New for this year, the gift shop will be open during festival hours and volunteers will be serving hot chocolate and apple cider. The Festival of Lights is a free event, though donations are accepted.
Versailles joins the lighting celebration from November 26th through January 1st with its own Unity Circle of Lights, featuring 40 lighted holiday exhibits in the Versailles City Park, at the junction of Highways 5 and 52 in Morgan County. The Unity Circle of Lights, too, is offered free of charge to visitors.

Last but not least, Deck the Docks is back for 2013 to light up the Lake of the Ozarks waterfront. Climb aboard the Celebration Cruise Boat for a view of beautiful lakefront homes and docks decorated for the season. This is truly a memorable holiday experience that you can only find at Lake of the Ozarks. Cruises run every Friday and Saturday evening between November 29th through December 28th. Tickets must be purchased in advance for this one-of-a-kind attraction. As an added holiday bonus, a part of the proceeds go to support the Dogwood Animal Shelter. Visit for more information or call (573) 480-3212 to reserve your tickets.
Learn more about all of these drive-through lights parks at: Additional holiday event information can be found on the Lake's most complete event calendar at

If you plan to visit the Lake for an extended shopping trip or if you want a beautiful location to host your family's holiday gathering, has a complete list of Lake homes and condos to bring everyone together under one roof. Make this year's holiday season one to remember.