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Lefebre lights up Ozarks

Lefebre lights up Ozarks
Dave Lefebre of Union City, Pa., leads the Wal-Mart FLW Series event on Lake of the Ozarks with 22 pounds, 2 ounces.

OSAGE BEACH, Mo. - Going into the Lake of the Ozarks event, several Wal-Mart FLW Series pros predicted two things: One, nasty weather would stoke up the bass bite, and two, anglers would have to adapt quickly to rapidly changing conditions.

Dave Lefebre of Union City, Pa., experienced both predictions today as he sacked 22 pounds, 2 ounces to take the day-one lead.

Central Missouri's warm, stable conditions gave way to cold, windy conditions as the harshest cold front of the year past through the Ozark Mountains. Many anglers were forced to completely abandon their practice patterns and find something new - including Lefebre.

"I had a big fat zero at 11 o' clock this morning," Lefebre said. "Everything I had developed in practice fizzled. So I just started trying off-the-wall stuff - basically practicing again - and I got a bite that clued me in; 20 minutes later I had a nice limit."

In all, Lefebre caught 12 keepers, but what really excited him was the number of other big fish that followed his bait during the day.

"I had another 20-pound bag chase my lure out," he said. "I didn't set the hook on two 4-pounders that ate the bait."

Lefebre said he is using the exact same technique at two different depths and was able to run the pattern over a broad portion of the lake.

"Half of the big ones I caught were suspended," he added. "The fish were actually very shallow, but some were over 10 to 15 feet deep. I think this pattern is still evolving, and I'm trying to stay with it as it develops."

Hometown Hibdon second

Sitting just 8 ounces behind Lefebre is local favorite Dion Hibdon of Dion Hibdon of Stover, Mo., is in second place with 21-9.Stover, Mo.

The well-known Chevy pro was candid about his pattern.

"I am catching them deep on a heavy jig," he said. "Make that real deep on a heavy jig."

Hibdon noted that he and his father, Guido, actually got on the deep pattern before the official FLW Series off-limits period.

"We had several 20-pound-plus days before cutoff," he said. "But when the official practice period rolled around, that bite cooled off quite a bit and we got nervous. Yesterday, the bite seemed to come back around."

Hibdon is fishing deep places that he normally fishes in the fall, even as late as December.

"This is something these fish do when the water is more like 45 degrees," he said. "We were real surprised to find them out there this early."

Hibdon also revealed that bank slope has a lot to do with his pattern.

"With the water down a few feet, it helps me read the bank," he added. "This deal has everything to do with the lay and contour of the bank."

Morgan back to old ways

Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tenn., is in third place with 21-2.Also cracking the 20-pound mark today was Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tenn., with 21 pounds, 2 ounces for third.

Over the last year, Morgan has spent a lot more time using a spinning rod to survive calm, clear, pressured conditions, but today he reverted back to his old power-fishing ways.

"The weather finally got right for the way I like to fish," Morgan said. "For the first time in a very long time, I got to pummel them the way I like to, and honestly, it felt good. I put that spinning rod down, pulled out the big sticks and caught them on big topwaters, big jigs and spinnerbaits."

Morgan revealed that his fish are more "area-oriented" than "pattern-oriented."

"It's definitely the area," he said. "There is a bunch of shad in there, and the area is just turned on. I caught one on a channel swing bank, a couple off docks and a couple in the very backs of pockets. It's not so much a pattern as this area being on right now."

Long ride pays for Tak

Takahiro Omori of Emory, Texas, holds down the fourth-place position with 17Takahiro Omori of Emory, Texas is in fourth place with 17-3. pounds, 3 ounces.

Omori gambled on a 70-plus mile run upriver this morning, going so far that he had to stop for gas on the way back.

"It was a long way, but I caught my five fish quick and came back down about 12:30," he said.

Omori targeted shallow lay-downs, docks and the backs of pockets for his catch.

"My problem is it's a very small area, and I don't know how long it will hold up," he said. "With such a long run, I don't have much time to expand if my area is no good tomorrow."

Eakins fifth

In the fifth position is well-known local pro Jim Eakins of Nixa, Mo., who sacked 17 pounds, 1 ounce for fifth.

Eakins, who helped design the Eakins Jig, used his namesake jig for his catch today.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 11 pros in the FLW Series event on Lake of the Ozarks:

6th: Matt Herren of Trussville, Ala., five bass, 16-11
7th: Anthony Gagliardi of Prosperity, S.C., five bass, 16-9
8th: Mike Cox of Huntsville, Ala., five bass, 16-1
8th: Tom O'Bryant of Cedar Grove, Tenn., five bass, 16-1
10th: John Devere of Berea, Ky., five bass, 15-15
10th: Brad Wall of Clarksville, Ohio, five bass, 15-15

Big bass

Art Ferguson of St. Clair Shores, Mich., leads for big fish with a 7-pound largemouth he landed today. The big bass bolstered his 13-pound, 11-ounce catch, which put him in 30th place overall.

Julian claims top co-angler spot

Gayle Julian, the proprietor of Jewel Jigs, a renowned lure in the Ozarks, Gayle Julian of Bakersfield, Mo., leads the Co-angler Division of FLW Series on Lake of the Ozarks with 19 pounds.dominated the Co-angler Division today with a whopping 19-pound catch, nearly 4 pounds over second place.

Julian of Bakersfield, Mo., fishes Lake of the Ozarks frequently.

"I had a pretty good idea of what to do and where to throw based on my experience here," he said. "We mostly fished docks today, which is pretty common on this lake, and most of my fish came out of the 6- to 12-foot range."

Julian used his own 7/16-ounce Pro Spider Jig instead of the usual Eakins Jig.

"The Spider Jig is a little heavier and has a little different fall," he added.

Herald second

Gilbert Herald sits in second place on the co-angler side with five bass weighing 15 pounds, 2 ounces.Gilbert Herald of Pittsburg, Texas, is in second place with 15 pounds, 2 ounces.

Herald fished with Bobby Lane of Florida and was complimentary toward his pro.

"Bobby is an excellent partner, and he took great care of me today," Herald said. "I caught six keepers with him, and he encouraged me all day."

Herald reported catching his fish shallow on a 1/2-ounce Santone Jig teamed with a Net Bait Paca chunk.

Friloux third

Brad Friloux of Luling, La., is in third place in the Co-angler Division with four Third place co-angler Brad Friloux of Luling, La., holds up a 5-7 lunker.bass weighing 13 pounds, 12 ounces thanks in large part to a 5-7 largemouth that anchored his string.

"I saw six or seven ducks swimming alongside a dock, pitched in right behind them, and that big fish ate my lure as soon as it hit the water," Friloux explained. "It was almost as if the bass had been following those ducks, waiting for them to spook up baitfish."

Lawson, Lain finish out top five

David Lawson of Richmond, Ky., co-anlger winner of the last FLW Series on Cumberland Lake in Kentucky, in is fourth with five bass for 12 pounds, 3 ounces.

Tony Lain of Greentop, Mo., grabbed the fifth position with five bass for 11 pounds even.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers in the FLW Series event on Lake of the Ozarks:

6th: Stetson Blaylock of Benton, Ark., five bass, 10-1
7th: Billy Yelverton of Baton Rouge, La., three bass, 9-8
8th: Patrick Churchman of Lake of the Ozarks, Mo., three bass, 9-2
9th: Scott Campbell of Springfield, Mo., four bass, 8-15
10th: Matt Arey of Shelby, N.C., four bass, 8-9

Co-angler big bass

Leading for big bass in the Co-angler Division is David Hudson of Jasper, Ala., with a 5-pound, 9-ounce largemouth.

Day-two competition begins at 7 a.m. Central at Lake of the Ozarks' PB-II.

Tags: rob-newell  headline-story  2006-10-11-lake-of-the-ozarks 

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