UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Thawing out

Thawing out
Anglers like Missouri pro Mike Foree launched with frosty decks and windshields .

OSAGE BEACH, Mo. - Footprints on frosty boat decks were as clear as the tracks on the chartplotters that anglers will undoubtedly reference during day two of the EverStart Series Central Division tournament on Lake of the Ozarks.

A stark contrast to the cloudy, shivery conditions of the opening round, day two dawned with the full force of an unobstructed sunrise. The glistening rays were still too low to melt away the morning frost coating boats and turning the marina docks into momentary ice skating rinks for unsuspecting FLW photographers. Nevertheless, the day's forecast of pure sunshine and a midday temperature of about 65 degrees should flip the switch.

Yesterday's clouds vacated the sky around noontime, but air temperatures maxed out around 45A bright, sunny morning greeted anglers at boat check. degrees. Many anglers described a tough afternoon, as the sun just came too late to have much positive effect on the fish. In some cases, anglers found their bites waning in the afternoon, as the sudden and significant change in light penetration rattled the fish and sent them into relocation mode.

Today will likely see the fish in a more stable mood and the warming water should make them more eager to chase moving baits. Brighter conditions should also position fish tighter to docks and other cover, so a hot flipping bite may emerge.

Utah pro Roy Hawk leads the field with 22 pounds, 6 ounces. His day one strategy involved tucking into a secluded little cove and working reaction baits from the bank out to 10 feet. Although he's confident with a particular reaction bait, he said he'll remain flexible to make sure he capitalizes on any opportunities the day presents.

"Hopefully, I can keep running the same type of program I've been running - it's been working really well," Hawk said. "I always try to keep an open mind and let things come to me naturally and if I need to change, I need to change.

Utah pro Roy Hawk leads the field with 22 pounds, 6 ounces."Even though I'm on something really solid, I'm still picking up other baits and testing them; thinking about a little deeper, a little shallower, a color change, heavier cover or shade. All of these different variables are constantly coming up and I'm constantly testing those throughout the day. Whether it's 10-15 cast, I'm just sampling and that's really huge, because things can switch. You keep sampling like that and you get a little taste and then you switch over to (that pattern) and you get right in the flow."

Hawk said a late-day flurry of activity on day one gave him cause for day two optimism. "After surviving yesterday afternoon, that was a big deal. The fact that I caught a few bigger fish in the later afternoon showed me that they're going to keep biting."

Day one yielded a respectable number of fish, including several quality bass up to the 6-13 that earned Matt Jones the Snickers Big Bass award. National Guard pro Mark Rose caught one that went about 6 1/2 pounds on a Strike King Redeye Shad. He'll keep that bait handy today, but it's more of a situation-specific lure.

"I have one little pocket that has some warmer water in it and that's where I throw that Redeye Shad," Rose said. "Most of the time, I'm throwing the Strike King KVD HC Crankbait 1.5in crawfish color and aThe combination of jerkbait, crankbait and jig will equip anglers for the day spinnerbait. I might end up catching them flipping. I'm just fishing the conditions."

Kellogg's Pop Tarts pro Greg Bohannan starts the day in 22nd place with 14-12 and hopes to improve his position with a combination of jerkbaits, crankbaits and a jig. Bohannan will fish points and bluffs between the Grand Glaize Arm and the Bagnel Dam. The jerkbait, he said, will be his first choice - same as most of his competitors.

"When you're at Lake of the Ozarks this time of the year, it's always jerkbaits," he said. "Jerkbaits will probably be the most productive today. I think the jerkbaits will be good in the morning and when the wind picks up, that's when I'll switch to the crankbait. The jig will be a backup. I have some transitional banks that once I work them with a jerkbait, I'll go back over them with a jig."

Logistics

Anglers will take off from the Grand Glaize Recreation Area - P.B. #2, located at 711 Public Beach National Guard pro Mark Rose will spend much of his time throwing a Strike King KVD HC Crankbait 1.5.Road in Osage Beach, Mo. at 7:00 each morning. On 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 the 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.Evinrude pro Ramie Colson sharpens hooks the hooks on his crankbait.

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

Friday's conditions:

Sunrise: 6:31 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 40 degrees
Expected high temperature: 65 degrees
Wind: SSW 10-15 mph
Humidity: 40 percent
Day's outlook: Sunny

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

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