UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Wolf River Chain of Lakes

Howard shakes it up

Howard shakes it up
Co-angler winner Mark Howard only caught three fish on the third day, but their weight was enough to keep him in the top spot.

OSAGE BEACH, Mo. - During practice, Mark Howard, of Mesquite, Texas figured out a way to consistently catch good fish off the back of the boat. Fortunately, he was able to employ this technique during the EverStart Central Division on Lake of the Ozarks and it carried him all the way to the winning total of 31 pounds, 8 ounces.

"A buddy of mine took a week off to do a little fishing with me and we established a pattern that put every one of my fish in the bag," he said. "If my pros got me around that kind of water, it worked everyCo-angler winner Mark Howard loads one of his winning fish on day three. time."

Chunk rock in 14 to 20 feet was the key habitat for Howard and a 3/16- or ¼-ouce Spot Remover shaky head with a green pumpkin trick worm was his singular bait. Speed played a key role in his most effective presentation.

"It seemed like the faster I drug it, the better the bite," he said. "When the wind picked up and the pro Co-angler winner  Mark Howard caught all of his fish on shaky heads.would move a little faster, my odds increased every time. You can't simulate that movement with a reel handle. But when you're dragging it and it ticked those rocks, I think they'd hear it coming and when it showed up, they'd hammer it."

On day one, the bait caught 9-8 and put Howard in fourth place. Day two brought a limit weighing 14-0, which pushed him up to first. On day three, he only caught three keepers, but the 8-pound bag was enough to give him the win by a margin of 1-7.

"I want to thank my pros for giving me the opportunities," Howard said. "When things weren't working they went and did what I needed them to do. My pro today (Dennis Berhorst) had other docks he could have been flipping, but I asked him if we could go to this one spot and he said 'Yeah, we'll go wrap it up there.' I caught three 4-pounders there yesterday and we went there and I caught my biggest fish there."

Risbeck rides comeback wave to second

Day one brought a bad news-good news scenario for Jeff Risbeck. Bad news - the Norwalk, Iowa co-After blanking on day one, Jeff Risbeck staged the eventangler blanked in the opening round. Good news - there was only one direction he could go after that start. Well, Risbeck took that proposition to heart, as he stormed back on day two with the heaviest sack of the tournament - a limit that weighed 20-3 and pushed him all the way up to fourth place. (That huge day-two sack included a 4-14 that won the daily Big Bass award.)

On day three, Risbeck continued his path of improvement, as he sacked up a limit of 9-14 and rose two more spots to finish second with 30-1. His bait of choice was a black buzzbait to which he made certain performance modifications.

"I got the big goose egg on day one so yesterday, I swung for the fence," Risbeck said. "Today, I got them on a jig, a buzzbait and a spinnerbait."

Seifert settles at third

Jake Seifert of Jefferson City, Mo., improved to third place on day three.Jake Seifert, of Jefferson City, Mo. kept himself in the top-5 throughout the event and ended up taking third place with 25-11. He placed second on day one with 12-15 - his biggest sack of the tournament - and slipped to fifth on day two before regaining some ground on the final day.

Seifert caught his fish on a black and blue jig. He saw a diversity of habitat throughout the tournament and found the bites hard to come by.

"It's tough right now - really tough," he said. "I caught them from shallow to deeper. The first day and today, it was flipping shallow boat docks. The second day, we were fishing brush piles in 12-20 feet."

Roger Olson Jr., of Eagle River, Wisc. caught just one fish on day three, but it was a nice one. His 4-Fourth-place co-angler Roger Olson Jr won the Big Bass award on day one.pounder boosted his tournament total to 25-8 and Olson took fourth place.

In fifth place, Arnold Payne Jr. also caught a lone day-three bass and his went 4-13. The day-one leader ended in fifth place with 25-3.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top-10 co-angler leaders at the EverStart Series Lake of the Ozarks event:

6th: Rick Krassinger, of House Springs, Mo., 20-11
7th: Jeff Johnson, of Ash Flat, Ark., 19-15
8th: Bill Brinkley Jr., of Barnhart, Mo., 17-12
9th: Mike Clark, of Ames, Iowa, 17-8
10th: Garry Kincaid, of Martinsville, Ind., 14-3

Tags: david-a-brown  co-angler-headline  2012-09-13-lake-of-the-ozarks 

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