UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

Ryan reaches the top

Missouri pro David Ryan weighed the heaviest bag of the final round.

OSAGE BEACH, Mo. - Going into the final round of EverStart Central Division action on Lake of the Ozarks, David Ryan knew his chances of victory were pretty steep. Starting the day nearly four pounds off the lead, the Missouri pro took that theme to heart and pulled out the win in dramatic fashion.

The Levasy, Mo. pro took eighth place on day one with 17 pounds, 14 ounces and rose to third on day two with 16-15. On day three, with some of the lake's top sticks poised for final round heroics, Ryan filled the weigh-in tank with the largest bag of day three - a 17-pound, 10-ounce effort that yielded a total of 52-7.

Ryan said that intensifying his practice effort paid off in a big way, as he identified steep banks in creeks as the scenario that produced the quality fish he needed. His ability to pinpoint the right patternDavid Ryan fished custom painted jerkbaits from his Dave actually came from a recent competition in which he was not satisfied with the caliber of fish he was catching.

"I've been on the water for a while now," Ryan said. "I fished a local tournament last weekend and didn't do as well as I would have wanted. Right after I weighed in on Sunday, I went to another boat ramp and fished until dark because I knew I was not catching the right fish in order to be able to compete in this event.

Ryan caught his fish on a Black Market 110 jerkbait from his Dave's Custom Baits selection. Missouri Shad was his most productive color. Fortunately, he equipped himself with a backup, as he inadvertently damaged his main lure.

"It's a good thing I had another of the baits I was using, because I broke the other one," Ryan said. "The fish were very shallow. I felt a little tick and I thought it was a fish, but it was a rock. When I went to (set the hook), it broke the bill right off the bait. That happens in the cold water - they get brittle."

Pro winner David Ryan gets a congratulatory hug from Roy Hawk who led on days one and two.Ryan used 10-pound Berkley 100 percent Trilene fluorocarbon, which helped sink the bait and keep it down for a slow, subtle presentation.

"That was the key - you couldn't be very aggressive with your twitches; you had to let it sit," he said. "I went through a lot of fish. I probably had 12-15 keepers the first day. I absolutely blew their doors off yesterday. I had over 20 keepers. Today, I leaned on them pretty good and I had at least 15 keepers."

Ryan said that, despite the week's fluctuating weather - cold and cloudy on day one, sunny and clear for day two and returning clouds on day three - Lake of the Ozarks showed its merit.

"This is an exceptional fishery," Ryan said. "If a person was going to make a top-10 list of fisheriesAlthough he likes jerkbaits, second place pro Dan Brueggeman caught his fish on jigs. across the nation, this place is in it. Thank God I'm here."

Brueggemann sticks with jigs

Illinois pro Dan Brueggeman is an admitted jerkbait fan. However, when his favored Lake of the Ozarks bait wasn't doing the trick, he switched to a jig and kept himself near the top of the field the entire event. His 19-pound, 3-ounce limit on day one put him in third place and 16-15 on day two moved him up to second. He finished in the second place position after a limit of 14-9 on day three gave him a total weight of 51-8.

Brueggemann targeted transitional banks with chunk rock and pea gravel in the Lake's Osage Arm. He had been catching his fish on a 3/8-ounce Chompers Standup jig with a scented, brown trailer made by Hold On Hand Poured Plastics, but he ran out of those baits on day two. He substituted a Chompers hula grub on day three.

Brueggemann used a medium-heavy rod with 15-pound Vicious fluorocarbon and slowly dragged his jig across the bottom. The bites, he said were very light, as the fish just sucked up the bait as it imitated a crawfish. Brueggemann said he noticed that many of the fish he caught in practice were feeding on crawfish, as evidenced by their rosy grins.

"It's unbelievable how red the top lips get on these bass when they're feeding on crawfish (and bumping rocks)," he said. The redder the better.

After leading for two days, Roy Hawk dropped two spots to third."A jerkbait pattern won this tournament, but I gave him a run with the crawdad pattern. That's how Lake of the Ozarks pans out. There are two patterns that you can get on."

Slow bite drops Hawk to third

Shallow water specialist Roy Hawk led the pro field on days one and two. He set the early mark with a limit catch of 22-6 - the event's heaviest sack. He followed up with 16-4 and concluded day three with 10-13 and a final weight of 49-7.

Hawk spent the entire tournament fishing a Spro Little John MD in a secluded creek that afforded plenty of room to fish his way.

"I just got in there really tight, in stained water and just cranked and cranked and cranked," Hawk said. "I made really accurate casts, right along the bank and covered tons and tons of water.

"Thank goodness the creek I was in wasn't crowded and I was able to spread out and fish thatMatthew Jones improved four spots to fourth on day three. crankbait. If I had been in one of (the lake's) other creeks that was more crowded, there would be no way."

Jones jumps up to fourth

Matthew Jones, of Spokane, Mo. earned a final round berth with his eighth place performance on day two. He made a big move on day three, gaining four spots to finish fourth with 48-7.

Jones fished a Megabass jerkbait in the Ito Natural color over a mile-long stretch of bank in the lake's Gravois Arm. Stained water was essential to the spot's productivity.

"Normally, I would catch them in the brush piles, but the fish were really shallow," Jones said. "I caught eight or nine keepers the first day and 10 or 12 the second day. I only got six bites today but they were Jigging in heavy cover delivered a fifth place finish for Peter Wenners.quality."

Wenners hits docks for fifth

Peter Wenners, of Galena, Mo. held the fourth place spot for two days before dropping to fifth in the final round with 45-13. Throwing a 3/8-ounce jig with a Zoom Critter Craw trailer around heavy cover near shallow docks in the backs of creeks was the productive pattern for Wenners.

"I came into this tournament intending to catch them on a jerkbait but during the last day of practice I started getting into some jig fish," Wenners said. "Everybody was throwing jerkbaits, but I got on this little deal with the jig. The docks had to have no more than five or six feet in front of them and I was catching the fish in the backs - in two to four feet."

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top-10 pro leaders at the EverStart Series Lake of the Ozarks event:

6th: Dennis Berhorst, of Holts Summit, Mo., 44-1
7th: James Stamper, of Montreal, Mo., 41-15
8th: Greg Bohannan, of Rogers, Ark., 36-13
9th: Randall Hutson, of Washburn, Mo., 36-10
10th: Earl K. Garrison, IV, of Bull Shoals, Ark., 36-4

Tags: david-a-brown  headline-story  2011-03-10-lake-of-the-ozarks 

/news/2016-02-06-top-5-patterns-from-lake-okeechobee-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Okeechobee Day 3

Across the board, weights fell off on day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Roland and Mary Ann Martin's Marina and Resort and the Hendry County Tourism and Development Council. No one in the top 20 crossed the 20-pound mark. Cloud cover, which prevented the water temperature from rising much above 65 degrees, and low water clarity might both have slowed the replenishment of bass moving into spawn. Tournament leader Bradley Hallman experienced a bit of a stall in the action as well, bringing just four fish to the scales, but he still managed to increase his lead to 13 pounds, 9 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-06-hallman-extends-lead-on-day-three-at-walmart-flw-tour-on-lake-okeechobee-presented-by-ranger-boats

Hallman Extends Lead On Day Three At Walmart FLW Tour On Lake Okeechobee Presented By Ranger Boats

Anchored by an 8-pound, 10-ounce kicker, pro Bradley Hallman of Norman, Oklahoma, brought four bass to the scale Saturday totaling 14 pounds, 3 ounces to extend his lead to more than 13½ pounds heading in to the final day of competition at the Walmart FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. Hallman’s... READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-06-can-anyone-catch-hallman-

Can Anyone Catch Hallman?

Despite catching only four keepers on day three, Norman, Okla., pro Bradley Hallman extended his lead at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Okeechobee. With a day-three weight of 14 pounds, 3 ounces and a tournament total of 64-10, his margin over second-place angler Alex Davis is now 13 pounds, 9 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-06-okeechobee-day-3-coverage

Okeechobee Day 3 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-05-top-5-patterns-from-lake-okeechobee-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Okeechobee Day 2

Fueled by 25 mph north winds, the Lake Okeechobee washing machine cleansed some livewells today, keeping them free of the 20-pound limits that are so common here when the weather is sunny, 75 and calm. However, a few 20-plus-pound limits still snuck through the rinse cycle to grace the scales. The biggest limit once again belonged to Bradley Hallman of Norman, Okla. He added 25 pounds, 7 ounces to the 25 he caught on day one. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-05-oklahoma-s-hallman-extends-lead-at-walmart-flw-tour-on-lake-okeechobee-presented-by-ranger-boats

Oklahoma’s Hallman Extends Lead at Walmart FLW Tour on Lake Okeechobee Presented by Ranger Boats

CLEWISTON, Fla. – Pro angler Bradley Hallman of Norman, Oklahoma, brought a five-bass limit weighing 25 pounds, 7 ounces to the scale Friday to extend his lead on day two of the Walmart FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. Hallman will bring an 8-pound, 8-ounce advantage into day three of the four-day competition that features 169 of the top bass-fishing anglers in the world competing for a top cash award of up to $125,000. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-05-cales-earns-co-angler-win

Cales Earns Co-angler Win

Co-angler Tim Cales of Sandstone, W.Va., earned his second win with FLW after sacking up 30 pounds, 11 ounces over two days in the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-05-hallman-way-in-front

Hallman Way in Front

Bradley Hallman is doing his best to make the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats a one-man show. But Alabama pro Alex Davis hopes to spoil Hallman’s hopes of a wire-to-wire victory. Today, Hallman weighed in 25 pounds, 7 ounces to raise his two-day total to 50-07. He’s led the tournament each day thus far. Davis weighed in 20-15 to move from third to second but is still 8 1/2 pounds behind the leader. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-05-okeechobee-day-2-coverage

Okeechobee Day 2 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-04-top-5-patterns-from-the-okeechobee-tour-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from the Okeechobee Tour Day 1

The Walmart FLW Tour has been coming to Lake Okeechobee for the better part of 20 years. And for a vast majority of those years, the north end of the lake has been the business end – where the business of fish catching is done. Today, that tradition was derailed in the first round of the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Hendry County Tourism Development Council. Though some boats did sample the Harney Pond area up north, many of the normal fish-producing haunts such as the Monkey Box, Dyess Ditch and Fisheating Bay were complete ghost towns. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-04-hallman-leads-day-one-of-walmart-flw-tour-on-lake-okeechobee-presented-by-ranger-boats

Hallman Leads Day One Of Walmart FLW Tour On Lake Okeechobee Presented By Ranger Boats

Oklahoma pro Bradley Hallman, brought a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 25 pounds even Thursday to grab the early lead after day one of the Walmart FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. Right behind him in second place is renowned Okeechobee angler Brandon McMillan of Clewiston, who weighed in five bass totaling 22-8. Hallman now brings a 2½-pound lead into day two of the four-day READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-04-hallman-takes-the-lead-with-25

Hallman Takes the Lead with 25

The old saying is that the third time is the charm, but for Bradley Hallman of Norman, Okla., it’s more like the first time is the charm. Hallman is fishing his first Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee. It’s the first day of the first Tour event of 2016, and Hallman sits in first place with 25 pounds even. Norman, Okla., pro Bradley Hallman sacked up an impressive 25-pound limit of bass to take the lead on day one of the Walmart FLW Tour opener on Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-04-okeechobee-day-1-coverage

Okeechobee Day 1 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-03-5-key-areas-on-okeechobee

5 Key Areas on Okeechobee

There are many well-known areas on Lake Okeechobee that are commonly talked about around the docks before and after each event, but five key spots in particular will certainly play a role in this week’s Walmart FLW Tour opener. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-03-5-to-watch-on-okeechobee

5 to Watch on Okeechobee

This year, the Big O is giving the 169-boat field a different look than they’ve seen in past years in the form of high, dirty water. The odds could favor the locals more than in years past, though the caliber of skill among the entire field is over the top. Really, it could be anyone’s tournament. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-02-scouting-the-big-o-with-wesley-strader

Scouting the Big O with Wesley Strader

Wesley Strader is known and admired for his unique wit and constant cheer, but his consistency is what has been the true hallmark of his successful fishing career. Last week, that consistency paid off with the first big win he’s had since 2002 at the B.A.S.S. Open on the Kissimmee Chain in central Florida. Now he’s got his eye on starting the Walmart FLW Tour season on the right foot a few hours south at Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-01-okeechobee-practice-with-scott-martin

Okeechobee Practice with Scott Martin

Scott Martin is heading into the first Walmart FLW Tour event of the season with a full head of steam. After earning what might be the first of many Angler of the Year titles in 2015, he gets to kick off the year sleeping in his own bed and fishing Lake Okeechobee, the place where he grew up and where he has caught more than 50 bass weighing more than 10 pounds. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-01-childers-targeted-rocks-for-victory

Childers Targeted Rocks for Victory

Randy Childers of Anderson, South Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 14 pounds, 7 ounces, Saturday to win the first FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Savannah River Division tournament of 2016 on Lake Keowee presented by Power-Pole. For his victory, Childers earned $4,271. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-01-childers-wins-flw-bass-fishing-league-savannah-river-division-opener-on-lake-keowee-presented-by-power-pole

Childers Wins FLW Bass Fishing League Savannah River Division Opener on Lake Keowee Presented by Power-Pole

SENECA, S.C. – Randy Childers of Anderson, South Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 14 pounds, 7 ounces, Saturday to win the first FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Savannah River Division tournament of 2016 on Lake Keowee presented by Power-Pole. For his victory, Childers earned $4,271. READ MORE »

/news/2016-02-01-bfl-angler-poche-stabbed-to-death

BFL Angler Poche Stabbed to Death

Louisiana angler Dylan Poche, who was just beginning his career as a professional bass fisherman, was stabbed to death late Saturday night after participating in an FLW Bass Fishing League Cowboy Division tournament. Police say they have a suspect in custody. READ MORE »