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Wooley struggles but keeps Lake of the Ozarks lead

Wooley struggles but keeps Lake of the Ozarks lead
Pro leader Michael Wooley had a slow day, but still put together enough weight to stay on top.

OSAGE BEACH, Mo. - Some things changed, some remained the same, and some got much bigger at the Stren Central Division tournament on Lake of the Ozarks.

The change came courtesy of Mother Nature, as winds picked up while light and scattered clouds doddled across skies that had remained crisp and clear for the event's first two days. Clouds filtered the otherwise intense sunlight and that seemed to slow the prevalent dock pattern, which depends on bright sunlight driving fish to the shade.

True to fall form, the bite picked up in the afternoon and those with later flights generally brought in the better weights.

On the plus side, increased wind probably negated any cloud issues by blowing baitfish into more Carrying the National Guard leader bag, Michael Wooley approaches the weigh-in line.predictable positions. Shad schools are abundant and anglers reported good results from fishing windward shorelines and the upwind side of docks.

Michael Wooley of Collierville, Tenn. extended his pro lead to three days. His total sits at 42 pounds, 5 ounces, but that's just 9-11 better than he had after day two. Falling victim to the tournament recon machine, Wooley struggled most of the day and ended up bagging his weight during a one hour period.

"It was extremely tough today," Wooley said. "I didn't have a limit until 1:30. I got on a flurry between 1 and 2 o'clock and caught nine keepers. That was pretty much it for me today."

Wooley said that too much company forced him to abandon his scouted waters. "Today I fished further away because it seemed like half the (field) showed up where I had been fishing. I finally got out of there around 12:30 and went somewhere else. That's how I caught them - by fishing new water."

Endicott stays at second

Sticking to his game plan of flipping jigs around docks kept Wes Endicott in second place.Wes Endicott of Joplin, Mo. also had his slowest day so far with an 11-pound, 7-ounce limit bringing his second place total to 41-2. He targeted docks and fished the same jig he's thrown since day one, but it took more than half of his day to get the engine running.

"I didn't get my first fish until (approximately) 12 o'clock - I never got a bite," Endicott said. "But then I pulled up on one little stretch of bank, caught four; went to the other side and caught another one. That gave me my five, so I made a long run, pulled up on a dock and caught a good one. I culled up and that gave me my 11 pounds."



Hibdon improves to third

Dion Hibdon of Stover, Mo. continued his upward climb by catching a 13-pound, 8-ounce limit that gaveThird place pro Dion Hibdon gets some help from his 3-year-old nephew Sebastian Flores. him an even 40 pounds and moved him into third. Focusing on boat docks, he has discovered a very specific detail that has proven infallible. No explanation just yet, but Hibdon is 100-percent convinced.

"Every big fish that I've had bite me for the last three days has been in the exact same position," he said. "It's just knowing how to read those docks."

Zack Bull slipped one spot to fourth with 39-13.Hibdon said tragedy stymied a potential leading weight when a fish of 4-plus pounds came unbuttoned at close range. "The fish bit coming at the boat and instead of taking my time and reeling up the slack, I jerked too soon and just didn't get a good hook in her. She came up and threw (the jig) right at the boat. You always hope you fish flawlessly, but I just didn't."

Zack Bull of Lakeland, Tenn. placed fourth with 39-13 and Guido Hibdon of Sunrise Beach, Mo. took fifth with 37-15.


Best of the rest

Rounding out the top-10 pro leaders at the FLW Stren Series Lake of the Ozarks event:It was first cast magic for pro Jason Christie who started his day by catching this 5-pound, 1-ounce largemouth that took Big Bass honors.

6th: Eddy May of Valley Center, Ks., 37-9
7th: Jerry Weisinger of Wyandotte, Ok., 37-1
8th: Travis Fox of Springdale, Ark., 36-8
9th: Jeremy T. Lawler of Sarcoxie, Mo., 36-4
10th: Mark Goines of Shady Point, Ok., 35-14

Jason Christie of Park Hill, Ok. missed the top-10 cut by 8 ounces with 35-6, but his consolation prize was the day's Big Bass award for his 5-pound, 1-ounce largemouth. Christie caught the fish on his first cast of the day with a Texas rigged Big Show paddle worm.

Co-angler division all but locked up by Reiter

Piling on more weight, co-angler leader Leo Reiter extended his margin to 15 pounds.Leo Reiter of Goshen, Ind. continued his assault on the co-angler division by adding another 10 pounds, 8 ounce to a total now standing at 40-13. With an incredible 15-pound lead, Reiter said he feels as good as possible heading into the final round.

"I feel relaxed - there's no pressure," he said. "But I'm not taking any chances. I'm just going to fish as hard as I can,"

Reiter said his day took a surprising course. While most experienced their better action late in the day, his was just the opposite. "It was a little tougher today. I didn't get many bites in the afternoon - they allCo-angler Klause Kuester tied with Eugene Robinett for the Big Bass award. came in the morning."

Jigs and docks have been Reiter's formula for success, but he's very specific about his presentation. "I'm casting as far under the dock as I can reach."

Second place went to Phil Shafer of Lake Ozark, Mo. who totaled 25 pounds, 13 ounces. Tony Young of Depauw, Ark. placed third with 21-9, while Bradley Rice of Pine Bluff, Ark. took fourth with 18-11. Robert Prebeck of Norwood, Mo. was fifth with 18-4.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top-10 co-angler leaders at the FLW Stren Series Lake of the Ozarks event:

6th: Max Wilson of Everton, Mo., 16-6
7th: Darrell Durham of Saint Peters, Mo., 15-8
8th: Juan Steenkamp from the Republic of South Africa, 15-0
9th: Andre Pretorius of the Republic of South Africa, 14-9
10th: Charles McConnell of Jefferson City, Mo., 14-9

Big Bass on the co-angler side was a tie between Eugene Robinett and Klaus Kuester. Both caught 5-pound, 2-ounce fish.

The final day of Stren Series action on Lake of the Ozarks continues at Saturday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 7:00 a.m. (CT) at Grand Glaize Recreation Area - Public Beach No. 2 located at 711 Public Beach Road in Osage Beach.

Tags: david-a-brown  headline-story  2008-10-08-lake-of-the-ozarks 

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