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EBrown

Advice on Lake of the Ozarks trip

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EBrown

Hi Bu Crew our family is planning a trip to lake of the Ozarks this summer (mid August) and we will be bringing the boat.  I've never been on this lake before and would be very grateful on any insights you may be willing to share.  If there are any forums for lake of the Ozarks I'd love to learn about those as well!

 

Many thanks in advance for anything you may be able to share


Eddie  

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saxton15

So...from a friends experience who went to the Shoot Out last year, and has gone on vacation during non shoot out times, the water is rough!  That said, LOTO itself is incredible for going area to area for dinner, drinks and so on.  

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hethj7

Lots of big boats on LOTO, so it does get rough.    I don't frequent the busy part of the lake much, but there are tones of on-water amenities.    My general perception is from mile marker 1 to 36 is the main part of the lake.  Past that, it mellows out and you can find good water most of the time.   My buddy has place at the 84 mile marker and we can pretty much always find great water, even on weekends.  Of course, up there, it is much more river like than lake-like.  

 

midwestboatparty.com likely has threads on LOTO.  

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Fman

That place looks amazing definitely on my bucket list.  Hope to visit someday....

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oldjeep

We went there several years ago. The arm we were on was good for skiing. Heading out to the big water was dicey in the middle of the day, but first thing in morning we were able to run from the dam up to tanterra for breakfast on nice calm water. Stuff comes up on you fast and wakes come from all directions. If you stay far enough up stream it is a lot calmer. One day we drove to some sort of military rec center (brother in law was still army at that point) and rented a couple pontoons and it was calm enough to use them in that part of the lake.

 

should mention that this was when we still had the bayliner 195, which handled rough water a lot better than the vtx. My inlaws would have to follow inside my wake with their lxi to get anywhere in the typical chop.

Edited by oldjeep

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mrnate450r

If you like the party atmosphere, go. If not, my suggestion is Table Rock Lake. I thought the LOTO water stunk, and wasn't all that clear. Plenty of bars and restaurants on the water. Go fast boats everywhere! TRL is crystal clear, and always able to find some glass. Plus, Branson is close to take a land day if you chose to. 

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wedge88

LOTO is 2.5 hours from our house and we go once a year in early May for an adult weekend getaway and that's it.  Love the atmosphere of the lake but unless you have a 30'+ boat you will be limited to smaller arms of the lake as you won't get above 15mph in the main channel June-Sept.  I wish it weren't so busy as we could easily make that drive every weekend but we choose to make the 4+ hour drive to Bull Shoals or Norfork lake.  Way less busy.

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mswsetter00

I grew up not too far from Lake of the Ozarks learned to water ski on that lake. I could care less to go back to it. I haven't been on Table Rock Lake in a long time. I and my family go to Bull Shoals lake just south of Branson on MO, AR border. The water is clear, deep and no traffic, ever. You can ski down main channel if it's not windy in the middle of Saturday afternoon. There are big bluffs that block the wind so never have to drive far to find glass water. The down side to Bull Shoals: Long drive, and YOU are the night life. You have to drive a good distance to get anything. We stay at Wagon Wheel and there is 125 Marina right there and camping, its AR side. There is Buck Creak Marina and resort camp ground on MO side. You can stay in town of Bull shoals there is a marina there and camping, small town not much to do but the lake.

Lake Ozark is a party lake for people with money and is full of drunken D-Bags with huge boats that don't watch where they are going, IMHO. If you don't believe me just drive across the Grand Glaze Bridge on a Saturday afternoon, I'll bet you can count over 100 boats. 

There are many other things to do, like bars, restaurants, boat dealers, shops, golf courses, mini-golf, go-karts. The water might be good through the week Monday-Thursday but by Friday afternoon until Sunday evening the lake is crazy. I have heard if you go into the State Park area you can find smooth water. When we would go we would put in at Purvis Beach, it's close to Lauri MO. 

I personally would skip Lake Ozark and go to Table Rock or Bull Shoals. Just depends on what you like to do, plenty of night life in Branson if you need a break from the water.

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mswsetter00

You could also go to Truman Lake if you don't want to go down to Table Rock. There are resorts in Warsaw MO and other places, again small towns. I haven't been in a few years but the lake is large enough you can ski back into the coves and not worry about the trees unlike Mark Twain Lake.  It is a Core of Engineers lake so no houses right on the water, the bad is the Core will raise and lower the water at will to prevent flooding down stream, Lake Ozark and Osage River. Bull Shoals is a Core lake as well, I have been on it when 40ft above flood stage, no bluffs. You just have to watch lake levels. 
 

Hope that was helpful, Happy Boating. 

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MUM3
On 2/21/2017 at 8:33 AM, mswsetter00 said:

I grew up not too far from Lake of the Ozarks learned to water ski on that lake. I could care less to go back to it. I haven't been on Table Rock Lake in a long time. I and my family go to Bull Shoals lake just south of Branson on MO, AR border. The water is clear, deep and no traffic, ever. You can ski down main channel if it's not windy in the middle of Saturday afternoon. There are big bluffs that block the wind so never have to drive far to find glass water. The down side to Bull Shoals: Long drive, and YOU are the night life. You have to drive a good distance to get anything. We stay at Wagon Wheel and there is 125 Marina right there and camping, its AR side. There is Buck Creak Marina and resort camp ground on MO side. You can stay in town of Bull shoals there is a marina there and camping, small town not much to do but the lake.

Lake Ozark is a party lake for people with money and is full of drunken D-Bags with huge boats that don't watch where they are going, IMHO. If you don't believe me just drive across the Grand Glaze Bridge on a Saturday afternoon, I'll bet you can count over 100 boats. 

There are many other things to do, like bars, restaurants, boat dealers, shops, golf courses, mini-golf, go-karts. The water might be good through the week Monday-Thursday but by Friday afternoon until Sunday evening the lake is crazy. I have heard if you go into the State Park area you can find smooth water. When we would go we would put in at Purvis Beach, it's close to Lauri MO. 

I personally would skip Lake Ozark and go to Table Rock or Bull Shoals. Just depends on what you like to do, plenty of night life in Branson if you need a break from the water.

I second the Bull Shoals comments.  I grew up going to Norfork and Bull Shoals.  We now have a place on the Theodosia arm of Bull.  Water is easy to find if its not windy, and there is almost no traffic when compared to LOTO, and even TRL.  The downside is the lack of amenities.  Good luck!!!!

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BlindSquirrel

yep, I too do not really care for Lake of the Ozarks. Huge boats, huge waves, dirty water, and pretty crowded. +2 on Table Rock or Bull Shoals. On the positive side at LOTO you are pretty much guaranteed to see a few pair of boobies....:surprised:

Edited by BlindSquirrel

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potterm
On 2/21/2017 at 8:27 AM, wedge88 said:

LOTO is 2.5 hours from our house and we go once a year in early May for an adult weekend getaway and that's it.  Love the atmosphere of the lake but unless you have a 30'+ boat you will be limited to smaller arms of the lake as you won't get above 15mph in the main channel June-Sept.  I wish it weren't so busy as we could easily make that drive every weekend but we choose to make the 4+ hour drive to Bull Shoals or Norfork lake.  Way less busy.

We do similar.  Stay away from LOTO (1 hours drive) and head to norfork. 2.5 hours

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carguy79ta

Am going to LOTO in June for 4 days to pickup new boat.  we will be near port 20.  not too bad in the coves. that is wherpe we test rode.  haven't been at LOTO in 30 years.  More boat dealers than you can imagine.

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TC_2006_VLX

I did my bachelor party there with the hopes of getting in some wakeboard sets too. I would say that the if you want to get good water you need to be up REAL early. That lake never really calms down Thurs-Sunday. The fact that there are rock cliffs all over the place and MASSIVE boats doesnt help. Especially watch out for the drunkies in their go fast boats. That said we had a BLAST and i wouldnt have changed a thing!

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hethj7
On 2/22/2017 at 3:21 PM, carguy79ta said:

Am going to LOTO in June for 4 days to pickup new boat.  we will be near port 20.  not too bad in the coves. that is wherpe we test rode.  haven't been at LOTO in 30 years.  More boat dealers than you can imagine.

What dealer?

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