UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Grand Lake

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

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 

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