UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Lake Lanier

Dodson gets it done

Dodson gets it done
After leading since day one, Arkansas pro Robbie Dodson sealed the deal with an EverStart Central win on Table Rock Lake.

KIMBERLING CITY, Mo. - It wasn't fancy, but it was efficient - a pure example of substance over style and function over form. That's a fair summation of Robbie Dodson's win at the EverStart Series Central Division tournament on Table Rock Lake.

Don't worry, we're not selling the Harrison, Ark., pro short. He was quick to admit that this White River impoundment had him scratching his head for three days.

"I've fished Table Rock probably 30-something years, and I have never seen it like it is right now," Dodson said. "You cannot go back to a place and in any way pattern a fish."

Much of the confusion and frustration that Dodson and his fellow competitors experienced can beOn day three, Robbie Dodson used a combination of lures that included a spinnerbait, shallow diving crankbait, a spoon and a jig. traced back to the simple fact that Table Rock was in a profound and prolonged state of transition. The calendar said the first day of fall occurred in late September, but unseasonably warm weather has been impeding the traditional changes that the fish want to undertake. The general result was a lake full of scattered fish.

Now, normally, it's tough to define a victory by one statistic. However, in a tournament that saw anglers struggling to find some form of consistency, Dodson's winning performance came down to this stat - he was the only angler to bag five-bass limits all three days. In the first round, he sacked up 15 pounds and took the early lead. He added 12-2 a day later and maintained his lead. Today, his five fish weighed 10-4 and pushed his winning total to 37-6, good enough for first place and $24,133 plus a Ranger boat, motor and trailer.

On day one, Dodson ran up one of the Lake's creek arms and caught fish on a Luck "E" Strike spinnerbait and a Luck "E" Strike square-bill crankbait. Lacking any solid patterns, he ended up working through about 100 spots to find his keepers.

Robbie Dodson was the only top-10 angler to catch a limit all three days.The next day, Dodson decided to lay off the creek fish and stay closer to the takeoff site. Again, anything close to a discernible pattern eluded him, and it took some 150 spots to produce a limit.

"I fished back down in the lake, and I couldn't catch (a bass)," Dodson said. "Finally, I caught one fish pretty shallow on a boat dock, and I ended up catching six keepers that day on a 5/16-ounce jig with a Baby Guido Bug on the back. I just fished really hard and got those six keepers."

Day three found Dodson returning to the creek habitat, where he caught a keeper early on a spinnerbait. He'd go without a bite until about 10 a.m., at which time he pushed farther into the creek and found three local boats sitting on the site of his day-one fish.

"I started in behind them and fished, fished, fished and finally caught one keeper on the square-bill crankbait," Dodson said. "I said, `This isn't going to work,' so I came back down and started flipping a spoon and a jig on boat docks and got a limit."

Murphy remains at second

Tom Murphy of Richland, Mo., made a strong run at the top spot, but ended up in second place withFocusing on docks, Tom Murphy held on to finish in second place. 34-2 and a check for $8,274. Despite coming up short, he said that a high finish was particularly special in this venue.

"This lake is really near and dear to my heart," he said. "I won my first bass boat here in 1993, and right after that I was put on the Ranger pro staff. I'm very fond of this lake. It fished tough, but I still love it."

Murphy said he targeted fish in deep water - up to 60 feet - and caught his fish on shaky heads with Zoom forktail worms, a War Eagle spoon and a Dixie Jet spoon.

"White was my primary spoon color, but when the fish were schooling and they'd come to the surface, I could throw the silver one out there and just let it free-fall down through the fish and catch them every time," Murphy said.

Several areas of boat docks were off limits, per U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regulations, but Murphy was discerning with those that were open for fishing. On each slip he fished, he found a patient and thorough approach most rewarding.

"I had to find the deeper slips on the shaded side," he said. "I'd let this spoon go all the way down to 45, 55 and 65 feet. If they wouldn't hit it on the way down, as soon as it hit the bottom and I popped it up, they'd nail it."

Bohannan blasts into third

Nabbing the biggest sack of day three, Pop-Tarts pro Greg Bohannan jumped from ninth place to third. Greg Bohannan of Roger, Ark., was Captain Comeback at Table Rock. On day one, he found only two keepers for 5 pounds, 10 ounces and landed in 26th place. A day later, the Kellogg's Pop-Tarts pro came charging back with 11-13 and earned a final-round berth in ninth place. On day three, Bohannan put the exclamation point on his statement by sacking up 13-9 - the day's heaviest catch - and jumping up to third place with a total of 31 pounds worth $6,895.

"I really shot myself in the foot the first day," he said. "But after having trouble the first day, I decided I'm going to fish my strength, so I put a crankbait in my hand. I love throwing a hand-painted Fall Creek Wiggle Wart."

A motor problem handicapped Bohannan today, but he made the most of what he could do and obviously fared well.

"I had a spark plug go bad in my engine, and I couldn't run very fast, so I just chased the wind today. Wherever the wind was, that's where I fished. It didn't matter if it was a bluff or a flat point; I just burned up the trolling motor today. I had that Minn Kota on 70 to 80 percent all day and just covered a lot of water."

Bohannan fished his crankbait on a 7-foot medium-action rod with a 6.3:1 Abu-Garcia reel carrying 10-pound 100-percent Berkley fluorocarbon.A strong day-three performance moved Lance Williams up from 10th place to fifth on day three.

Williams winds up in fourth

Lance Williams of Billings, Mo., took fifth place on day one with 11-2, slipped to 10th on day two with a weight of 6-5 and today bounced back with the day's second biggest sack - a limit that weighed 12-10 - and finished fourth with 30-1. He earned $6,206.

Williams caught his day-one fish on a Strike King 5XD in main-lake pockets with gravel and chunk rock. Day two saw that deal dry up for him, and he found only three keepers.

"Today, I went back to main-lake (spots) and caught one on a spinnerbait early," Williams said. "I knew if I had any chance today, I needed to catch one big fish, so I went up to one of my summer spots and caught my biggest fish on a Jewel football jig."

Despite a late start, Matt Jones still improved to fifth place on day three.Williams then switched to a Strike King 6XD and bagged three more keepers to finish out his limit.

Jones finishes fifth

Fate dealt a potentially devastating blow to Matthew Jones of Spokane, Mo., on his way to the final day's takeoff. A routine traffic stop turned into a paperwork nightmare that ended up robbing him of nearly three hours on the water. The mental and emotional toll was unavoidable, but Jones kept his cool, went to work and salvaged the day with a respectable showing of three fish for 6-2 and a fifth-place total of 24-8 worth $5,516.

"I was a little depressed, but I made one cast with a Luck `E' Strike BDS3 crankbait (Tennessee-shad color) and caught two keepers - one on the front hook and one on the back hook," he said. "So that got me going, and I finally caught one more keeper on a spinnerbait."

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top 10 pro leaders at the EverStart Series Table Rock Lake event:

6th: Earl K. Garrison IV of Bull Shoals, Ark., 24-1
7th: Scott Nelson of Lake Ozark, Mo., 23-12
8th: Zach King of Clarksville, Ark., 22-7
9th: Chris Hughes of Springfield, Mo., 22-7
10th: Randall Hutson of Washburn, Mo., 21-3

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

Johnson Wins on Sam Rayburn

Johnson Wins on Sam Rayburn

Going into the final day, Blake Schroeder was just 3 ounces ahead of Aaron Johnson in the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn. Tight to the end, both anglers brought more than 18 pounds to the scale, but Johnson’s 18-14 bag boosted his total to 54-14 and earned him the win. For the victory, Johnson takes home $31,751 and the second FLW win of his career. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Through two days of competition, it’s looking like the shallow grass bite is the deal in the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn. Leading the way, Blake Schroeder had tallied a pair of 18-pound bags from shallow grass, and the pros behind him aren’t slacking on the grass game either. Heading into the final day, it’s going to be a true shootout for the win, with a Texas-sized kicker a bite away for everyone in the field. READ MORE »

Schroeder Slides Ahead on Rayburn

Schroeder Slides Ahead on Rayburn

Climbing from fourth to first, Blake Schroeder took over the lead in the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn with his second-consecutive 18-pound bag. Weighing 18-3 on day one, the Texas pro put an even 18 pounds on the scale on day two for a 36-3 total. Behind him, the weights are stacked, and five other pros are within 5 pounds going into the final day on the big Texas lake. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Day one of the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn offered pretty good fishing and a lot of options. Anglers in the top 10 fished deep, shallow and in between to catch their fish, and no one pattern dominated the leaderboard. READ MORE »

Moore Sacks 21 on Rayburn

Moore Sacks 21 on Rayburn

Taking the lead on day one of the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn, Cole Moore weighed an even 21 pounds to kick things off. Though the fishing was not really up to the massive heights it can reach on Rayburn, it was far from bad, and plenty of pros put together limits in the teens both shallow and deep. READ MORE »

Morrow Keeps Rolling

Morrow Keeps Rolling

Boater Troy Morrow of Eastanollee, Georgia, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 32 pounds even, to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Savannah River Division Super-Tournament at Lake Hartwell presented by Fish-Intel. For his victory, Morrow earned $6,415. READ MORE »

Boggs Takes Regional on Chickamauga

Boggs Takes Regional on Chickamauga

Boater Drew Boggs of Lebanon, Tennessee, brought a three-day total of 15 bass to the scale weighing 40 pounds, 11 ounces to win the no-entry fee Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Regional Championship at Lake Chickamauga. For his victory, Boggs earned $61,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and automatic entry into the 2021 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American Championship, June 3-5, at Douglas Lake in Dandridge, Tennessee. READ MORE »

Daves Wins James River Regional

Daves Wins James River Regional

Pro Chris Daves of Spring Grove, Virginia, brought a three-day total of 15 bass to the scale weighing 50 pounds, 1 ounces to win the no-entry fee Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Regional Championship on the James River. For his victory, Daves earned $60,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and automatic entry into the 2021 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American Championship, June 3-5, at Douglas Lake in Dandridge, Tennessee. READ MORE »

Cook Goes Wire-To-Wire

Cook Goes Wire-To-Wire

He put his name on the map as one to watch on day one. Today, Corey Cook put his name on the hardware as one of the best on Lake of the Ozarks right now. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 3

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 3

Lady Luck shines on us all sometimes, but sometimes she doesn’t. For this morning, at least, she sure wasn’t shining on Corey Cook READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 2

Scrapping plans and making long runs can be a scary deal, but the risk can be worth the reward. READ MORE »

Cook Still Leads on Lake of the Ozarks

Cook Still Leads on Lake of the Ozarks

Corey Cook stumbled a bit on day two of the Toyota Series Plains Division event on Lake of the Ozarks. Bringing in 15 pounds, 4 ounces, Cook weighed an average bag and boosted his total of 38-13, which is still more than 4 pounds ahead of second place. Behind Cook, Andy Newcomb is in second with 34-6, and Shane Long is in third with 31-9. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 2

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 2

Day two of the Toyota Series Plains Division on Lake of the Ozarks has started out pretty much like yesterday – pretty weather but pretty short on fish. READ MORE »

Cook Blasts 23-9 on Lake of the Ozarks

Cook Blasts 23-9 on Lake of the Ozarks

Day one of the Toyota Series Plains Division event on Lake of the Ozarks was pretty tough by the standards of the fishery, with just one angler cracking the 20-pound barrier. Blowing the doors off the competition, at least on day one, Corey Cook hammered out 23 pounds, 9 ounces to take more than a 6-pound lead over second place. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 1

When the fish are on the move, it can make life miserable for anglers. Day one of the Toyota Series Plains Division event on Lake of the Ozarks showcased that pretty well. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 1

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 1

The Toyota Series visited Lake of the Ozarks this exact same week in 2019, and it launched under torrential rains, gusting winds and a strobe light's worth of lightning that delayed the takeoff until 8:15 a.m. A year later, the weather couldn’t be more beautiful for the second stop of the Plains Division. READ MORE »

Wes Monroe Wins on the Ouachita River

Wes Monroe Wins on the Ouachita River

Louisiana’s West Monroe High School duo of Jay Cash and Jackson Lemoine caught four fish Saturday weighing 9 pounds, 11 ounces to win the FLW High School Fishing presented by Favorite Fishing Ouachita River Open event in Monroe, Louisiana. READ MORE »

ETBU Wins on the Ouachita River

ETBU Wins on the Ouachita River

The East Texas Baptist University team of Grant Hendrix of Livingston, Texas, and Josh Manuel of Burleson, Texas, won the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI at the Ouachita River event Friday with a five-bass limit weighing 15 pounds, 4 ounces. READ MORE »

Powell Goes Shallow on Eufaula

Powell Goes Shallow on Eufaula

Boater Shane Powell of Dothan, Alabama brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 38 pounds, 15 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Bulldog Division Super-Tournament at Lake Eufaula. READ MORE »

Pilcher Stays Deep on Grand

Pilcher Stays Deep on Grand

Boater John Pilcher of Kansas, Oklahoma, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 32 pounds, 1 ounce to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Okie Division Super-Tournament at Grand Lake. READ MORE »