Kids of all ages descend excitedly upon Jumpin Joeys seven Australia-themed bounce houses, flooding every inch of the 8,000-sqaure-foot indoor space with a symphony of giggles and delighted squeals. Intent on helping kids let loose while maintaining high standards of safety and cleanliness, Jumpin Joeys crew of Safe Inflatable Operators Training Organization (SIOTO)?certified lifeguards keep their eagle eyes and whistles trained upon playing youngsters at all times. A toddler unit affords tykes aged 2 and under a controlled place to play, and the inflatable pirate ship grants big kids a chance to hone their swashbucking skills, as long as neither of their hands are hooks. The onsite arcade, replete with shuffleboard and air hockey, bustles with cheering game winners, and the concession stand sates post-play appetites.
The moss-colored fishing pond at Mountain Springs Trout Park is always rippling. Sometimes, the minor currents that wrinkle its surface come from the underwater movements of shimmering fins. Other times, they're from the line of a child excited to have felt a fish's pull. An armory of fishing poles, lines, hooks, nets, and bait saves visitors the trouble of buying their own gear or climbing the mountains that worms live on top of. Nearby, the staff cleans and fillet the fish, scraping away their rose and emerald scales and packing the fish on ice to be fried, baked, or broiled at a later date.
A largely digital publication, The Bowfisher magazine champions piscine bow-hunting with recommendations on nationwide chartering businesses and guided ventures in the Ozarks. The editor-in-chief also charters his own local trips, immortalizing each adventure with complimentary digital-photo packages and toasts over a basket of quick snacks and beverages. As bow-fishers engage in a thrilling test of skill, they also take aim at invasive species such spotted gar, buffalo fish, and swamp things. Archers across the country can keep abreast of the sport's latest happenings in The Bowfisher's six digital issues a year, and peruse the online store for polarized glasses and promotional wear.
The waterways between northern Arkansas and southwest Missouri are swirling with life and activity. Trout rush through clear rivers, midges dance on the surface, and fishermen Jeremy Hunt scans the water as he teaches his guests how to reel in trophy fish. Jeremy and his team of guides have spent more than 12 years fishing in the Ozarks and feel at home on the river system. They provide knowledge of the water with experienced anglers and beginners alike. During lessons, the staff at Flys and Guides places an emphasis on the art of casting and practice catch-and-release techniques to keep the fish population steady and popularity ratings high among the underwater community. Mr. Hunt and his guests cast lines day and night, and they fish year round provided the temperature doesn't grow too cold.
With its secluded and scenic location between sloping pasture and bluffs on the shores of Lake Taneycomo, Lilleys' Landing Resort & Marina provides a restful respite and a place to connect with the wilderness just outside of Branson's city center. In addition to offering extensive trout fishing, accessories, and licenses, a team of USGC-licensed captains lead guided spincast and fly-fishing trips with all the necessary gear included. During after-hours, clusters of rustic cabins equipped with free wireless internet welcome overnight guests. Many of these overlook the lake, where a rental fleet of 20-foot Shawnee White River jons with electric Yamaha engines enable visitors to explore the tree-lined shore and traverse the open waters.
As a fishing guide, Dave has been trawling the waters of the Tri-Lakes area for more than two decades. He takes eager anglers out to his favorite fishing spots, where each participant has the chance to haul trout and bass aboard the trusty vessel. A US Coast Guard–approved outfitter, his business furnishes clients with all the gear they'll need for full- and half-day trips, leaving them to procure only a license and trout stamp for themselves.