Live now : PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE 2020 High Rock

More of the same

More of the same
American Fishing Series anglers launch into conditions much clearer than the foggy start to Day One.

OSAGE BEACH, Mo. - After losing more than two hours of fishing time on day one due to a fog delay, anglers in the American Fishing Series Central Division tournament on Lake of the Ozarks launched on time Friday morning. This will likely bear a significant impact on the day-two weigh-in.

Naturally, the longer your time on the water, the greater your chances of catching fish. But past the simple equation, this tournament field is particularly pleased about getting the early shot at fish whose aggression waned considerably as day one progressed.

Most anglers attributed this to the sunny conditions that arrived on day one. Cloudy skies hung over the lake during practice, so anglers found most of their patterns dependent on low light. As Illinois pro Duke Jenkel noted: "We hadn't seen the sun for a week."

As the tournament opened yesterday, everyone knew that the first few hours of fishing time would be mostDay One leader Roger Fitzpatrick will fish slowly with a stickbait and a light jig. productive. Once tournament officials released the first flight at 9:15 a.m., all were champing at the bit in anticipation of squeezing as much out of their remaining time as possible. Quality fish were no rarity, but the lost hours hurt overall productivity.

The field brought in just 10 limits - split nine and one for pros and co-anglers, respectively. However, the numbers tell the tale of a lake that's nearly ready to break wide open. Just look at the per-fish averages for some who missed their limits: 10th-place pro Lloyd Pickett Jr. had three fish that went 11-2. In 18th place, John Holmes caught a pair for 8-10. Bill Milton (27th) had one fish that weighed 7-6.

On the co-angler side, Marty Bohlke Jr. leads his division with a 23-pound, 3-ounce limit. In second, Mark Martin missed his limit but had a strong average with three fish that went 11-13. Kat Arnold sits in 15th place with one fish that weighed 5-6.

Leading the co-angler division by a huge margin, Marty Bohlke Jr. wonToday, anglers will need plenty of sunscreen, and those polarized sunglasses will get a good workout. Yesterday saw light breezes, but today will bring moderate winds by midday. A little ripple on the surface will help the jerkbait bite - the main pattern for most on day one.

Leading the pro field is Roger Fitzpatrick of Eldon, Mo. His limit catch of 16-3 edged Shawn Kowall (15-12) by 7 ounces. Earl K. Garrison sits just an ounce behind Kowall with 15-11. Fitzpatrick will stick with the same stickbait he used on day one and follow up when needed with a 3/8-ounce Omega Baby J jig that he helped design. Fitzpatrick meticulously trims the jig's skirt and uses a small trailer for slender profile that seems to be working best.

"I'm targeting brush and busted rock - places I've fished in the past," he said. "The spots are very specific. You can be off 3 feet and not catch these fish. I might fish 25 spots and not get a bite, but then hit one spot and whack `em. I caught three in three casts yesterday, and they were in a spot the size of the hood of a truck. Hopefully, I can hit one of those again today."

Another pro with a good day-one average is Tammy Richardson of Amity, Ark., who placed 46th with oneTammy Richardson hopes to find another big spot like the 4-11 she caught on Day One. fish - a 4-pound, 11-ounce spotted bass. She found that fish rather incidentally, but hopes to round up more today.

"That was absolutely a lucky catch," Richardson noted. "I got pulled over because of the fog, so I found a bluff wall, threw a jerkbait and, within about 20 minutes, I caught that 4-11 and lost another really nice one. I'm going to start at the same spot today, and if it goes well, I'll look for other places like that. If it doesn't, I'll go back to what I was doing in practice - throwing the jerkbait and flipping shallow."

Bohlke will throw the same jerkbait with which he did his day-one damage. With a lead of nearly 11 1/2 pounds, Bohlke is aware of his strong position. Nevertheless, he's not taking the day off. "I'm just hoping to catch a few more fish and make it to (Saturday's final round)."

Logistics

Anglers in later flights idle their way to the checkout point.Anglers will take off from Grand Glaize Recreation Area PB No. 2 boat launch located at 711 Public Beach Road in Osage Beach, Mo., at 7 each morning. Weigh-ins will be held at Grand Glaize Recreation Area beginning at 3 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

The Lake of the Ozarks Stren Series tournament is being hosted by the Tri-County Lodging Association.

Pros will fish for a top award of $25,000 plus a 198VX Ranger powered by an Evinrude or Yamaha outboard if Ranger Cup guidelines are met. Co-anglers will cast for a top award of $10,000. If the co-angler meets the Ranger Cup guidelines, they will earn an additional $5,000.

Friday's conditions

Sunrise: 6:36 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 40 degrees
Expected high temperature: 65 degrees
Water temperature: 39-42 degrees
Wind: W at 5-10 mph
Humidity: 58 percent
Day's outlook: sunny

Tags: david-a-brown  morning-story  2010-03-18-lake-of-the-ozarks 

Eufaula Slugfest Kicks Off

Eufaula Slugfest Kicks Off

For the second week in a row, FLW’s Toyota Series is visiting one of Alabama’s premier bass fisheries at the perfect time of year for pros to hammer on big bags of postspawn largemouths. READ MORE »

Let the Ledge-fest Begin

Let the Ledge-fest Begin

With the start of the Toyota Series Central Division event on Pickwick Lake this morning, today marks the first day back to competition in the world of professional bass fishing. READ MORE »

Two Species Spawning at Havasu 

Two Species Spawning at Havasu 

The weatherman did it again. About two weeks prior to today’s kickoff for the Toyota Series Western Division season at Lake Havasu, the forecast called for highs in the mid-80s and sunshine for three straight days during the tournament. Instead, practice was rainy, and the current forecast calls for precipitation for at least the first two days and highs that likely won’t top 70 degrees.  READ MORE »

Game Day on Okeechobee

Game Day on Okeechobee

The second stop of the Toyota Series Southern Division is hitting Lake Okeechobee later in the year than usual for FLW. Typically, big, multi-day FLW events on the Big O go down in January and February, but this one runs March 12-14 and should offer a different look at the familiar and ever-changing body of water. READ MORE »

It’s Anyone’s Game on Overfull Hartwell

It’s Anyone’s Game on Overfull Hartwell

South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell kicks off the 2020 Toyota Series Eastern Division season this week with a three-day, mid-week showdown of the area’s best bass anglers, hosted by Visit Oconee South Carolina. Hartwell definitely has the potential to produce 20-plus-pound bags, but Mother Nature has decided to create some havoc with lake levels this winter, and it’s anyone’s guess as to how well the fishery shows out. READ MORE »

Despite Cold, Expect Mega-Bags at Chick

Despite Cold, Expect Mega-Bags at Chick

Freezing temperatures greeted anglers for the 2020 Toyota Series Central Division tournament on Lake Chickamauga this morning. As usual on Lake Chickamauga this time of year, every angler is hoping for a 30-pound-plus bag of bass during the Feb. 27-29 tournament. READ MORE »

College Championship Kicks Off on Harris

College Championship Kicks Off on Harris

Championship week for any sport is as exciting as it gets and it’s no different for the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance this week on the Harris Chain. Competing for a $30,000 prize package, including a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower outboard, 162 college bass fishing clubs will have free range of the chain to vie for the title. READ MORE »

Warmer Weather Good Sign at St. Johns

Warmer Weather Good Sign at St. Johns

The cold front that moved through northeast Florida last week shut down the fishing on the St. Johns River in a big way, just as bass were starting to move up to the banks to begin spawning. With the weather that came through, many of those fish pulled back off the bank to wait for more stable conditions. Fortunately, stability arrived this week in the form of warmer weather, but it remains to be seen if those three or four days of warm, stable conditions are going to be enough to get fish back up on beds. For now, it’s safe to assume anglers are going to have to be adaptable over the next few days in the Toyota Series Southern Division opener. READ MORE »

Feast or Famine at Toledo Bend

Feast or Famine at Toledo Bend

It’s been nearly six years since the Toyota Series has been to Toledo Bend, but this week the Sabine River impoundment takes center stage to kick off the Southwestern Division season. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 1

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 1

All the talk leading up the final leg of the Costa FLW Series Central Division presented by Evinrude on Lake of the Ozarks was about the weather. And Mother Nature did not disappoint. READ MORE »

Stormy Start at Lake of the Ozarks

Stormy Start at Lake of the Ozarks

The final leg of the Costa FLW Series Central Division presented by Evinrude on Lake of the Ozarks will launch right as a massive cold front arrives. How massive? The forecast has been calling for heavy rain and a high of 74 today, and so far hasn’t been wrong. A major thunderstorm greeted anglers this morning and delayed takeoff by an hour and fifteen minutes thanks to abundant lightning. Tomorrow? A high in the mid 40s. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Grand Lake

Top 10 Patterns from Grand Lake

Curt Warren knew what he wanted to do, and it had nothing to do with weeding through a bunch of small fish up shallow. Rather, he focused his attention on deeper Grand Lake spots with chunk rock and brush and amassed a three-day total of 46 pounds, 7 ounces to win the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine. Here’s how the rest of the top 10 caught their fish and earned their checks on Grand. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Grand Lake

Top 10 Baits from Grand Lake

A cold front moving in at the start of Grand Lake’s fall transition put a damper on seeing a bunch of big weights during the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, which was presented by T-H Marine, but plenty of pros managed to find the right fish to make things exciting on the final day. READ MORE »

Meador Repeats Co-Angler Win on Grand

Meador Repeats Co-Angler Win on Grand

Defending his title as co-angler winner in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, which was presented by T-H Marine, was impressive enough, but the way Steven Meador did it was truly remarkable. After earning the 2018 win on Grand by 3 pounds, 6 ounces, the Bentonville, Ark., co-angler repeated the victory with a three-day total of 27-15 for a much slimmer winning margin this time around – just 10 ounces. READ MORE »

Warren Mounts Furious Comeback on Grand

Warren Mounts Furious Comeback on Grand

Curt Warren was a paragon of consistency over three days at Grand Lake, and the result was a victory in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine. Warren turned in limits of 14-5 on day one and 16-9 on day two, but it was his day-three limit of 15-9 that was the most impressive – no other pro even cracked the 13-pound mark battling the tough post-frontal conditions Grand had to offer on day three. READ MORE »

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Typically, the first day or two following a cold front put bass in a bad mood, and today, Grand Lake’s fish are following the script. This has created a challenging scenario for the top-10 finalists in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 2

When conditions changed, Cody Bird of Granbury, Texas completely scrapped his day-one pattern, caught a limit that weighed 13-11 and took over the lead of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event, presented by T-H Marine, with a two-day total of 32-14. Here’s what the rest of the top five was up to on day two. READ MORE »

Bird Moves Ahead on Grand

Bird Moves Ahead on Grand

After his sizzling day-one pattern fizzled, Cody Bird adjusted his focus to a completely different scenario and sacked up a limit of 13-11 on day two to take over the lead in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine, with a two day total of 32-14. Going into Saturday’s final round, Bird holds a 7-ounce lead over day-one leader and Grand Lake stick Jason Christie. READ MORE »

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Grand Lake Midday Update – Day 2

You know fishing’s tough when the most common greeting we receive is the goose egg hand signal. No question, day two of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine, had a lot of anglers scratching for bites and scratching their heads. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 1

Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., leveraged his intimate understanding of Grand Lake’s tendencies to catch a five-bass limit that weighed 22 pounds, 10 ounces to take the lead on day one of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event Presented by T-H Marine. Here are the details of the rest of the top five. READ MORE »