Hibdon hammers ‘em

Chevy pro Dion Hibdon credited his father Guido for turning him on to the productive dock pattern that led to his victory.

OSAGE BEACH, Mo. - You know that deal about the early bird? Well, he would have done pretty well in the final round of Stren Series Central Division action on Lake of the Ozarks. Unlike the first three days of competition in which the afternoon bite excelled, day four saw the better stuff coming early. In truth, the morning bite wasn't all that great either - except for tournament winner Dion Hibdon's 15-pound, 3-ounce stringer. (More on that in a moment.) The real problem was that weekend boat traffic pretty much killed the afternoon action, and most competitors were giving thanks for whatever they scratched out before noonish. In fairness, local club tournaments and pleasure cruisers - even those in the big go-fast-for-no-apparent-reason boats - have equal rights to the waterways. Nevertheless, there's no escaping the impact on Stren anglers. The biggest impact was the dock fishing scene - the week's dominant pattern, which had been getting Swimming a jig next to docks on main lake point with current proved productive for top pro Dion Hibdon.better as the day's heat grew. As Stover, Mo., pro explained, "When you're fishing for (bass) suspended under those boat docks, and those boat docks start bobbing up and down in the waves, that screws them up real quick." A family trip to Spain prior to the tournament kept Hibdon from practicing, but his father, Guido (fourth place), shared some key information about how bass were relating to the docks. At the morning launch, Dion said he and his father had decided who would fish where to avoid fishing behind one another. "If it wasn't for Dad, I wouldn't have known what to do this week," Dion said. "Ninety percent of this is because of him." The key to the whole deal, Dion explained, was knowing precisely which spots held the bigger fish. It's not just docks, it's particular docks - moreover, it's particular sections of particular docks. "It had to be a dock that was real close to a point, and if it was a point that had current flowing around it, that was even better," Dion said. "The fish got off the secondary (structure) early in the week, and they started relating to that current-oriented stuff real quick. So I started keying on main lake docks. "(The dams) stopped pulling current a few days ago, but I think the fish still related to current-oriented docks. There was virtually no current (today), but the fish were still out there for the same reason." It's all about knowing where to look and hunting them down." Getting those early bites, Dion said, proved unquestionably essential to his victory: "I hadn't caught a fish before about 10 o'clock any day of this tournament, and yesterday Dad caught two big ones right off the get-go. That clued me in to what kind of dock I needed to fish early this morning. "I caught what I weighed in by about 9:30 this morning and the afternoon deal (failed) today, so I'm glad he clued me in yesterday on how to catch them in the morning. If I had weighed in what I caught after 10 o'clock today, I would have had maybe 8 or 9 pounds today." Dion Hibdon, who tallied a total of 55 pounds, 3 ounces, won by a margin of 6 pounds, 6 ounces. Fishing as far as 50 miles upriver, he caught all his fish this week on a 7/16-ounce blue-black Lucky Strike jig with a blue tinsel skirt and a Guido Bug trailer. Using a short, limber rod named the "Hibdon Hammer," Dion skipped jigs under docks. Spooling up with Berkley's 100% Fluorocarbon line gave him the confidence to reach far into the structures without worrying about breaking off any fish. Dion Hibdon won $25,000 plus a Ranger boat and trailer package for his victory. Endicott ends with second Although he surely would have preferred first, Wes Endicott was the event's most consistent competitor. On day one, the Joplin, Mo., pro grabbed the second-place spot and held that position through the final weigh-in. Endicott found his limit on day four and added 7 pounds, 11 ounces to his effort and ended with 48 pounds, 13 ounces. He caught his fish by swimming a 1/2-ounce black-blue jig with a Zoom Speed Craw in black sapphire or sapphire blue. "I was fishing it fast, but keeping it about 6 or 8 inches below the surface, and these fish were just hammering it. Like Dion said earlier, it's about identifying the right kind of boat docks. Current was definitely a factor, and shade. If you could find a dock where the shade was on the current side, you could almost guarantee (a bite)." Endicott earned $7,462 for his finish. Bull improves to third Zack Bull of Lakeland, Tenn., also stuck with the jig-and-dock scenario. He had been throwing a black jig earlier in the event, but a white model produced better in the final round. Bull caught a limit weighing 8 pounds, 15 ounces for a third-place total of 48-12 worth $6,716 plus a $5,000 Ranger boat bonus. "I was just covering a lot of water," Bull said. "I lost my trolling motor batteries today at 1:30 because I was running it all day." Location was also a key factor for Bull, who said, "It seemed that three-quarters of the way back into the creeks was best, so that's what I concentrated on. I didn't fish in the back - I'd go back there and check it, but I wouldn't fish there." The smaller creeks, not the major arms, are where Bull found his better action. Shad schools were plentiful in these spots, so he stuck to where the food source was thick. Elder Hibdon finishes fourth Considering the credit given by his son, it's no surprise to hear that Guido Hibdon of Sunrise Beach, Mo., also fished black-and-blue jig around docks with current. He and Dion tied the jigs they used the night before the final round. Guido started his climb in 34th place on day one, but he improved to 16th on day two. He reached the top 10 with a fifth-place finish on day three. His 10 pounds and 10 ounces on day four gave him a 48-9 total worth $5,970. Fox spins into fifth Travis Fox of Springdale, Ark., caught a limit weighing 10 pounds, 6 ounces and finished fifth with 46-14 worth $5,224. He fished a 1/4-ounce War Eagle spinnerbait with a white skirt. A weighted shaft enabled him to cast farther and with more accuracy. Fox said he fished aggressively and risked losing lures to reach into the sweet spots. "I threw at anything I could - whether there was a pontoon boat, a cable - there's about 11 of these in the lake right now," Fox said. "My whole thing was getting the bait where other people couldn't reach. "With a heavy weight on a compact spinnerbait, you can really flip it up under those docks and get it where you need to get it." Best of the rest Rounding out the top 10 pro leaders at the Stren Series event at Lake of the Ozarks: 6th: Jeremy T. Lawler of Sarcoxie, Mo., 46-11 7th: Mark Goines of Shady Point, Okla., 45-5 8th: Jerry Weisinger of Wyandotte, Okla., 43-10 9th: Michael Wooley of Collierville, Tenn., 43-4 10th: Eddy May of Valley Center, Kan., 42-4

Tags: headline-story  david-a-brown 

/news/2015-03-27-lewis-smith-lake-day-2-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 2 Coverage

Day 2 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-26-benton-blasts-20-12-on-lewis-smith

Benton Blasts 20-12 on Lewis Smith

Panama City, Fla., pro Drew Benton jumped into the early lead at the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lewis Smith Lake presented by Evinrude with a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 12 ounces. Benton caught a mix of largemouths and spotted bass, and revealed that both black bass species are spawning. He leads a tight top 20 that includes 18 pros that caught more than 15 pounds each. The first day was an absolute fish-fest. Of the 154 pros fishing this tournament, 138 weighed limits. Brad Roberts of Faubush, Ky., has a 2-ounce lead in the co-angler division with a 13-pound, 4-ounce limit. Tomorrow he’ll try to defend his lead on the final day of co-angler competition. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-26-top-5-patterns-from-lewis-smith-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Lewis Smith Day 1

While Drew Benton was busy bugging bedding fish for his day-one tournament lead, several others behind him were scoring big with other fishing options on Lewis Smith Lake. Sight-fishing also played a role in the top limits produce by Tracy Adams, Scott Martin and Ish Monroe, but Clayton Batts and Zack Birge both brought in big bags with other patterns. Click here to read about Benton’s day-one performance at the second Walmart FLW Tour event of 2015, which is presented by Evinrude. Here’s how the rest of the top five got it done. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-26-lewis-smith-lake-day-1-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 1 Coverage

Day 1 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-22-arkansas-anglers-win-college-open

Arkansas Anglers Win College Open

Consistency was the key for the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville here in the FLW College Fishing Kentucky Lake Open as Zachary Pickle and Drew Porto won the event with a two-day total of 43 pounds, 12 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-kendrick-king-on-guntersville

Kendrick King On Guntersville

Kendrick, who is fishing the Rayovac FLW Series in hopes of qualifying for the FLW Tour, caught more than 25 pounds each day of the event and finihsid in fine fasion when it counted. Kendick was catching nearly all of his bass around big schools of bait with a Houdini pearl-colored Scottsboro Tackle swimbait from 15- to 25-feet of water. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-epting-s-30-pounds-tops-on-santee-cooper

Epting's 30 Pounds Tops on Santee Cooper

SUMMERTON, S.C. – Chris Epting of Chapin, South Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 30 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League South Carolina Division tournament of 2015 on Santee Cooper. For his victory, Epting earned $3,679. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-wood-rock-key-for-middleton-s-victory

Wood, Rock Key for Middleton's Victory

HUDDLESTON, Va. – Dennis Middleton of Madison Heights, Virginia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 19 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Shenandoah Division tournament of 2015 on Smith Mountain Lake. For his victory, Middleton earned $7,199. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-johnson-wins-on-dale-hollow

Johnson Wins on Dale Hollow

BYRDSTOWN, Tenn. – Robby Johnson of Byrdstown, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Mountain Division tournament of 2015 on Dale Hollow Lake. For his victory, Johnson earned $5,689. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-griffin-gets-win-on-ross-barnett

Griffin Gets Win on Ross Barnett

BRANDON, Miss. – Jason Griffin of Benton, Mississippi, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 23 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Mississippi Division tournament of 2015 on Ross Barnett Reservoir. For his victory, Griffin earned $5,349. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-20-top-5-patterns-from-guntersville-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Guntersville Day 2

The second day of the Rayovac FLW Series Southeast Division tournament on Lake Guntersville proved as remarkable as the first – or perhaps better, considering today’s parade of big fish included a 12-pound, 10-ounce behemoth caught by fourth-place pro Trevor Fitzgerald for the day’s Big Bass prize. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-20-hall-holds-steady-for-lead

Hall Holds Steady For Lead

Joe Hall of Lake City, Minn. wasn’t confident about his chances going onto the second day of competition of the Rayovac FLW Series Southeast Division event on Lake Guntersville. Nonetheless, he held steady with a 27-pound, 5-ounce catch that only barely fell short of the 28-1 he weighed on the first day. With a two-day total of 55 pounds, 6 ounces, Hall holds a 1-pound, 12-ounce lead over Cameron Gautney going into the final day of the Mercury presented tournament. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-20-missouri-anglers-lead-college-open

Missouri Anglers Lead College Open

Andrew Nordbye and Adam Almohtadi of Northwest Missouri State University of Maryville, Mo., took the lead in the opening round of the FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky Lake with 25 pounds, 2 ounces. Heading into Saturday’s second and final round, the University of Kentucky’s Ryan Collins and Hunter Fulcher sit in second place with 22-14, while Ethan Flack and Konnor Kennedy of the University of Alabama are currently third with 22-9. Details to follow. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-20-day-1-patterns-from-the-college-open

Day 1 Patterns from the College Open

The Northwest Missouri State University team of Andrew Nordbye and Adam Almontadi took the day-one lead in the FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky Lake. While their pattern seems to be effectively refined – they were using only one lure and had no others out on the deck – Nordbye and Almontadi don’t have this one sewed up yet. The rest of the top five is just a few pounds behind the leaders. Here’s how they made it into contention going into the final day. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-20-gautney-under-pressure

Gautney Under Pressure

Day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Southeast Division event on Guntersville is just as misty and nasty as the first. Lucky for us, the first day of the Mercury-presented event featured huge catches throughout the field. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-20-college-open-day-1-midday-update

College Open Day 1 Midday Update

“You should have been here yesterday” might have been the motto for the first day of fishing in the FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky Lake. Though many of the 194 teams entered in the two-day event out of Moor’s Resort & Marina reported good to excellent practices, many of the same anglers were complaining about a lack of fish on opening morning of the competition. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-19-gautney-cranks-up-the-lead

Gautney Cranks Up The Lead

Gautney says he keyed on staging fish in several very specific locations and one specific depth. He and co-angler Antoni Bicy caught 59 pounds, 8 ounces off of his spots, and he seems confident about his ability to keep catching them the rest of the event. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-19-top-5-patterns-from-guntersville-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Guntersville Day 1

The first day of the Rayovac FLW Series event on Lake Guntersville was a welcome departure from the grumblings of practice. Though fans weren’t treated to multiple 30-pound limits on the pro side, like at the Walmart Bass Fishing League event at Guntersville a couple of weekends ago, it still took more than 25 pounds to get into the top five on day one of this Mercury-presented tournament. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-14-morrison-wins-on-dale-hollow

Morrison Wins on Dale Hollow

BYRDSTOWN, Tenn. – Charles Morrison of Georgetown, Kentucky, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 20 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Music City Division tournament of 2015 on Dale Hollow Lake. For his victory, Morrison earned $3,926. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-14-hughan-claims-arkie-division-title-on-greers-ferry

Hughan Claims Arkie Division Title on Greers Ferry

GREERS FERRY, Ark. – William Hughan of Little Rock, Arkansas, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 14 pounds, 4 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Arkie Division tournament of 2015 on Greers Ferry Lake. For his victory, Hughan earned $4,350. READ MORE »