UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Potomac River

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Hot choice for cold water

Hot choice for cold water
Cloudy, cold conditions greeted anglers for day one of the EverStart event on Lake of the Ozarks.

OSAGE BEACH, Mo. - It's day one of the EverStart Series Central Division tournament, and Lake of the Ozarks will see a lot of jerks; actually, jerkbaits - the perennial preference for early-spring bass.

Supremely suited for imitating the dying shad common to the season, jerkbaits can yield a variety of fall rates and actions depending on size and model - and how anglers tune their baits. Local pro Mike "Cowboy" Foree tunes his Megabass jerkbaits for a slow, tail-first sink by adding lead strips and upsizing the rear hooks.

With a cold spell moving across the region, day one began with chilly, cloudy conditions. WaterTom Murphy will put his faith in Megabass jerkbaits. He temperature is around 41-42 degrees, but many anglers reported catching good fish in practice. Sunshine is expected to make an afternoon appearance and bright skies with high pressure are forecast for day two. That means tough fishing tomorrow, so anglers realize the importance of a strong start.

Today's cloudy conditions will find many of the fish in shallow ranges. Water clarity will also factor here. Tuesday saw heavy rains drenching the area, so runoff has muddied some of the top areas. As Missouri pro Tom Murphy noted, the deeper water muddies first, so the shallows remain clear longer.

"I've been breaking a lot of my jerkbaits because I'm finding these fish right on the bank so I'm throwing right on the rocks, making one quick little jerk and letting it sit there," Murphy said. "I'm finding these fish in about a foot of water and they'll hit the bait in about three to five feet."

Although he expects to throw mostly a jerkbait, Earl Garrison will keep a 5/16-ounce jig handy in case he needs to finish out a limit.Earl Garrison, of Bull Shoals, Ark. will have five rods on his deck, four with Megabass Vision 110 jerkbaits and one with a 5/16-ounce jig. Garrison expects to catch most, if not all of his fish on jerkbaits, but he'll throw the jig if he needs a couple of late day fish to round out a limit.

Garrison will look for clear water in the lake's lower end, near the Bagnel Dam. "The fish have more time to see the bait (in clear water) and they can come from a greater distance to get it. Last year (at this event) the water was so dirty you had to get the bait right on top of them to get one to bite."

Foree said he's looking forward to the brighter conditions, as the sunshine will move the fish out of the more easily accessible shallows and onto deeper brush. In these deeper spots, local knowledge plays a key role in finding the more productive brush. Foree's color choices are white, Table Rock Shad and Wagasaki.

"Sunlight will benefit me because of my deeper fish and hopefully I can work them up and get a fewOne of the lake more bites than I can in these clouds," Foree said. "I've been catching them in the sunlight and without the sunlight, so hopefully that will work. When I'm in shallow water, I work the bait a little faster and as I get closer to the boat, I slow it down and let it sink."

Murphy said it's important to vary the jerkbait retrieve until you identify a cadence the fish like. Sometimes, it's a long drag with a couple of quick twitches, then a pause; other times, Murphy makes a series of three short jerks. In any case, he said, giving the fish time to commit is essential.

"On this lake, I've found that the longer you can let the bait sit there, the fish will come up right behind it," Murphy said. "They don't necessarily take it unless they're really active, but they'll sit there and watch it until you make your next jerk and as that line's sliding forward, they'll load up on the bait."

While many of his fellow competitors throw jerkbaits, Utah Pro Roy Hawk will rely on crankbaits.Bucking the jerkbait trend, Utah pro Roy Hawk will spend most of his time cranking in a small creek where he enjoyed the benefits of solitude during practice. Hawk will keep a selection of cranks handy, but his go-to deal is the Spro Little John MD. A customized chartreuse pattern has been most productive.

"I just have more confidence with a crankbait because the fish are shallow and I have better access to them," he said. "Also, the places I'm fishing aren't that crowded. I try to stay away from (other boats) so I have more room. I'm mainly a reaction bait guy and I like to cover a lot of water and in a big group of people, I just can't do that."

Logistics

Anglers will take off from the Grand Glaize Recreation Area - P.B. #2, located at 711 Public Beach Road in Osage Beach, Mo. at 7:00 each morning. On Thursday and Friday, weigh-ins will be held at the Grand Glaize Recreation Area - P.B. #2 beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday's final weigh-in will be held at theKeeping a promise made to his grandson, Noah, Mark Schutz wore a Walt Disney World souvenir for the day one takeoff. Walmart, located at 4252 Highway 54 in Osage Beach, Mo. Saturday's weigh-in begins at 4 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

Pros will fish for a top award of $35,000 plus a 198VX Ranger boat with 200-horsepower outboard if Ranger Cup guidelines are met. Co-anglers will cast for a top award consisting of a Ranger 177TR with 90-horsepower outboard and $5,000 if Ranger Cup guidelines are met.

The EverStart Series consists of five divisions - Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of four tournaments and competitors will be vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the Angler of the Year title along with $5,000 for the pro and $2,000 for the co-angler. The top 40 pros and co-anglers from each respective division will qualify for the EverStart Series Championship that will be held on Kentucky Lake in Buchanan, Tenn., Oct. 27-30.

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

Anglers like Jay Lamb donned the protective headgear before facing the chilly ride across Lake of the Ozarks.Thursday's conditions:

Sunrise: 6:30 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 34 degrees
Expected high temperature: 48 degrees
Wind: NW at 10-15 mph
Humidity: 80 percent
Day's outlook: partly cloudy and windy

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

Top 10 Baits from Clear Lake

Top 10 Baits from Clear Lake

Even though cold, windy and rainy conditions challenged the field throughout the event, Clear Lake still showed the caliber of fish that swim in it during the second stop of the Costa FLW Series Western Division season, which was presented by Ranger Boats.   READ MORE »

Huntze Closes Door for Co-angler W

Huntze Closes Door for Co-angler W

Logan Huntze, the youngest competitor in the co-angler field, showed that age is just a number, as the 19-year-old earned a convincing Clear Lake victory at the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats by amassing a three-day total of 57 pounds, 15 ounces. READ MORE »

Grover Grabs Clear Lake Title

Grover Grabs Clear Lake Title

Clear Lake is always a fun place to fish, but wind, rain and cooler temperatures made things tough for the second stop of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats, and the famed fishery wasn't as kind as it can be with many pros struggling as the week went on. Kyle Grover, on the other hand, only got better as the tournament progressed. READ MORE »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 3

After taking a brutal pounding from the strong winds of day two, the top-10 pros and co-anglers in the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats are taking advantage of Clear Lake’s calmer final round conditions. A steady light rain began around 10 a.m., but without yesterday’s white caps, the lake’s allowing easy runs to wherever anglers want to fish. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 2

Drop-shotting tules was the main pattern for Uribe and knowing how to reach the fish made all the difference. Adjusting to the conditions was definitely key on day two, and no doubt the rest of the top pros had to go with the flow to stay in sight of the title. READ MORE »

Uribe in Charge on Clear Lake

Uribe in Charge on Clear Lake

When weather woes nixed Joe Uribe Jr.’s initial objective, the resilient angler from Surprise, Ariz., refocused his effort and sacked up a limit of 19 pounds, 5 ounces to take over the lead on day two of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina with a total weight of 41-13. READ MORE »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 2

Clear Lake was in a foul, foul mood this morning for the second day’s launch of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event, which is presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. Absent was the drizzly rain of yesterday, but the tradeoff was a 15- to 20-mph northwest wind that turned the lake into a washing machine. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 1

Lane Olson of Forest Grove, Ore., benefitted from a double dose of Clear Lake kickers when he found the right set of docks in a major spawning bay. Finesse baits did the trick up shallow for the day one leader at the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats. Other slow presentations served his brief offshore work. Handling the day’s weather challenges was a big part of Olson’s success.  Here are the details of the rest of the top five. READ MORE »

Big Bags Coming on Rainy Clear Lake

Big Bags Coming on Rainy Clear Lake

One of the gems of California bass fishing might have its luster muted by the week’s weather, but Clear Lake will likely still provide plenty of opportunity for anglers competing in this week’s Costa FLW Series Western Division event, which is presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina.  READ MORE »

Olson Out in Front at Clear Lake

Olson Out in Front at Clear Lake

Lane Olson of Forest Grove, Ore., was able to separate himself from the pack on day one of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event presented by Ranger Boats with a five-bass limit weighing 25 pounds. One of four anglers to crack 20 pounds, Olson leads second-place pro Joe Uribe Jr. by 2 1/2 pounds. The rest of the top 20 are packed together with just a few pounds separating them.  READ MORE »

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 1

Clear Lake Midday Update – Day 1

The weather system pushing through northern California brought dreary, drizzly conditions interspersed with occasional steady spells of light rain for day one of the Costa FLW Series Western Division event, which is presented by ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. The sun made only a few peeking appearances, but there were several bright spots in the morning’s activity. READ MORE »

Everything on the Table at Table Rock

Everything on the Table at Table Rock

Stop No. 2 of the Costa FLW Series Central Division, which is presented by Power-Pole and hosted by Explore Branson, is primed to be an all-out show. It seems like the lake’s entire population of bass is rushing to the bank to spawn, with all three species willing to eat a vast array of offerings. The only question: Will Mother Nature play nice? READ MORE »

Tougher but Still Santee Cooper

Tougher but Still Santee Cooper

The Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division finale began this morning at Santee Cooper, where even though fishing has been tough, everyone expects to see mega-bags brought to weigh-in. The bass are nearly done spawning, but a strong shad spawn in the mornings offers real potential. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Kentucky Lake

Top 10 Patterns from Kentucky Lake

Power-fishing tactics with spinnerbaits, jigs, Texas rigs and ChatterBaits on prespawn cover and structure dominated the top 10 at Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley in April. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Kentucky Lake

Top 10 Baits from Kentucky Lake

April is transition time in the Tennessee Valley, when bass make their push from prespawn staging areas toward spawning grounds. They set up on rocky banks, shallow points and any kind of wood cover near shore in areas adjacent to spawning pockets. As we saw at the Costa FLW Series Central Division opener presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley, some of the best baits for catching bass this time of year are old-school springtime classics: spinnerbaits, jigs, shallow-running crankbaits and Texas rigs. Add in vibrating jigs and wobble-head jigs, and you have about all you need. READ MORE »

Co-angler Bickers Wins by Ounces

Co-angler Bickers Wins by Ounces

One fish is unlikely to win a three-day tournament, but the right one can help an angler dig out of a hole. Just ask co-angler Troy Bickers, who rebounded from the dreaded day-one goose egg to go worst-to-first in the Costa FLW Series Central Division opener presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake with a winning weight of 20 pounds, 14 ounces. READ MORE »

Morris Closes it Out on Barkley

Morris Closes it Out on Barkley

With just two fish in the bag, Jake Morris was noticeably nervous at the final weigh-in of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake. Fortunately for him, he didn’t need either one of them, as Morris caught enough the first two days to top the next closest finisher. Catching 5-12 today punctuated the wire-to-wire victory for Morris, who brought in 44-2 in three days. He caught almost every fish on a spinnerbait from one key stretch on Lake Barkley. READ MORE »

Kentucky Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Kentucky Lake Midday Update – Day 3

Question marks are about the only certainty for day three of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake, as the top 10 pros scattered and left us lean on details on a day where changing weather could see changing fortunes. After two dreary days of cloudy, dim conditions, the final round brought lots of the bright, sunny stuff that pushes fish tighter to cover and makes them easier to target. Also, considerably more warmth may very well put the giddy-up on seasonal progression. No one’s getting too crazy with visions of heavy bed-fishing, but accelerated prespawn movement is certainly possible. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Kentucky Lake – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Kentucky Lake – Day 2

Spinnerbaits, crankbaits and vibrating jigs fished on rocky staging areas has been the primary pattern for catching big prespawn largemouth bass on Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley at the Costa FLW Series Central Division event presented by Lawrence. READ MORE »

Morris Still the Man on Top

Morris Still the Man on Top

Jake Morris of McKee, Ky., didn’t have the outing he wanted today. The tournament leader at the Costa FLW Series Central Division event presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake weighed in just three fish for 13 pounds, 12 ounces. Thankfully, his impressive 24-plus-pound day-one performance helped him hold off local ace Cole Floyd, who moved up a few spots to second. Morris leads Floyd by 7-6 going into the final round.  READ MORE »