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

Table Rock is a hard place

Table Rock is a hard place
Boats line up for the day-two takeoff as Table Rock Lake promises another round of challenging conditions.

KIMBERLING CITY, Mo. - On day one of its EverStart Series Central Division tournament, Table Rock Lake delivered a beautiful day for fishing. Unfortunately, seasonal discord impeded this stellar lake's tour de force potential and the performance didn't match the stage.

With autumn's official arrival late last month, Table Rock bass are trying to engage their usual fall patterns. The trigger here is cooling water, but with daytime highs still hitting the low 80's, the transition has been slow. The lines are blurry and a whole lot of bass are just scattered right now. The hunt has been challenging, to yesterday saw a handful of anglers figuring out strategies that produced competitive day-one bags, while others dialed in game plans that they hope will produce in the second round.

Topping the pro field, Robbie Dodson of Harrison, Ark. rounded up an even 15 pounds and leads the pack by a margin of 1-14. Dodson caught his fish on a Lucky Strike Series 3 squarebill and a 1/2-ounce Lucky Strike spinnerbait. For him, success was simply a numbers game. Dodson said he hit about 100 spots with no rhyme or reason as to which ones produced better. Today, he'll stick with the run-and-gun approach unless and until something specific crystallizes.Pro leader Matt Jones will try to secure a limit by fishing a Wigglewort and a shaky head shallow before going deep for big fish.

Second-place pro Matt Jones hopes to replicate what worked for him yesterday and hopefully bolster his 13-2 with an even bigger bag today. Jones' plan involves starting shallow and fishing a Storm Wigglewort and a shaky head. With five in the boat, he'll move to deeper water in 15-30 feet and fish a 7/8-ounce War Eagle spoon with a stinger harness, or a 6-inch spoon for probing the bottom end of that range.

"The fish are harder to get to bite (in deeper water), so I like to get a limit before I go there, but they're better quality fish," Jones said. "I felt like I didn't work them over too hard yesterday. I left where I was catching them about 10 o'clock because I was hoping to catch some today."

In fourth place, Tom Murphy also plans on catching fish with spoons, but he'll also work a spinnerbait and shaky head into his day. Once he secures a limit of keepers, he'll focus on pulling better quality fish off boat docks with spoons.

Starting the day in fourth place, Tom Murphy will fish a shaky head around brush piles before moving to docks where he"I have a couple of brush piles that I saved for today in case the wind picked up," Murphy said. "I'm going to try that first thing and then I'm going to go back to the dock pattern and I'm going to go spooning. I'm hoping I can get 10-11 pounds out of the brush then go to the docks and get up to about 12-14 pounds."

Starting day two in 18th place with 6-4, Arkansas pro Travis Fox knows he has a lot of ground to make up, but he has a plan. He'll stick with a 7/16-ounce brown/purple PJ's jig and target spotted bass. Today will see at least as much wind, if not more, than yesterday, but Fox has already factored this into the equation.

"I'm pitching that jig into those cedar trees and to catch those big spotted bass and every now and then, I'll catch a really big largemouth," Fox said. "Trying to wrestle them out of there is whole (different) ball game. For every two bites you get, you have to count on only one of them coming to the boat. But that's part of it - you have to fish tight to that cover.

"The bites are really subtle. You have to watch your line and (yesterday's) wind really hurt. Today's going to be little tougher but I have some spots where I found some fish back in coves and it's not going to be so windy. I'll concentrate on that and try and use it to my advantage."A selection of reaction baits including spinnerbaits, topwaters and spoons will give anglers plenty of diversity for finding the finicky Table Rock bass.

Logistics
Anglers will take off from the Port of Kimberling Marina located at 72 Marina Way in Kimberling City, Mo., at 7 a.m. each morning. Friday's weigh-ins will also be held at the marina beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday's final weigh-in will be held at Walmart located at 18401 State Highway 13 in Branson West, starting 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 a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard if Ranger Cup guidelines are met. Co-anglers will cast for a top award consisting of a Ranger 177TR with 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury 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 Strike King 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 American flag fluttered steadily in a morning breeze that will lkely strengthen as the day continues.The EverStart Series tournament on Table Rock Lake is being hosted by the Table Rock Lake Area Chamber of Commerce.

Friday's conditions:

Sunrise: 7:12 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 58 degrees
Expected high temperature: 81 degrees
Wind: SSE 10-20 mph
Humidity: 30 percent
Day's outlook: Mostly sunny

Tags: david-a-brown  morning-story  2011-10-06-table-rock-lake 

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