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Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks Day 1
Dennis Berhorst

While Cory Steckler crossed the 20-pound mark to take the lead on day one of the Costa FLW Series event presented by Evinrude on Lake of the Ozarks, he’s far from the only pro seeing success. On day one, 65 of the 126 pros brought in a limit, and more than 1,244 pounds of bass crossed the stage on the pro side. Tightly packed behind Steckler is a veritable who’s who of Ozark anglers, and it looks like everyone is still in it.

Steckler’s leading pattern

Complete results

 

Dion Hibdon

2. Dion Hibdon – Sunrise Beach, Mo. – 19-12 (5)

If it can be done in bass fishing, a member of the legendary Hibdon clan has likely done it. On day one, Dion Hibdon sacked up just shy of 20 pounds and holds the runner-up spot on his home lake.

“I actually started where I hadn’t fished in probably 20 years,” says Hibdon. “I went up into the Glaze here, and I caught a 5-pounder as soon as I went up in there, so that puts the day off to a good start.

“What I do is always better when it’s sunshiny. Today I got lucky and stopped on a couple of the right docks and caught a few when it was really cloudy, and that’s always a bonus to catch some when it is really dark.”

Hibdon is a master of the dock bite on Lake of the Ozarks, and he’s got knowledge of maybe every dock in the lake. Running lots of docks, Hibdon says he knows when to expect a bite and can be very efficient with his time on the water.

“They were loose today until the afternoon,” he says. “When the sun popped out it got right. If we get sunshine the next few days I should be able to make it rough on ’em.”

Hibdon is always dangerous on Lake of the Ozarks, but a gift 5-pounder to start the tournament off probably makes him all the more so.

 

Kyle White

3. Kyle White – Windsor, Mo. – 18-0 (5)

After three years on the Walmart FLW Tour, Kyle White has stepped back into regional competition this year. On day one at Lake of the Ozarks, he brought an even 18 pounds to the scale for third place.

“I caught most of them on a jig, and I caught one on a topwater,” says White. “I ran about 20 minutes up the lake, and I just fished main-lake docks all day.”

White says he tallied about 8 keepers on the day, and lost a 4-pounder and a 6-pounder late in the day as well.

“I left ’em biting,” says White. “Hopefully this weather doesn’t change what’s going on there.”

The weather White referenced has the potential to be a major factor. On Friday, the highs are forecast to drop into the 60s, which will be one of the most significant cold fronts to hit the lake this fall.

 

Brian Maloney

4. Brian Maloney – Osage Beach, Mo. – 17-15 (5)

Former BFL All-American champion Brian Maloney brought 17-15 to the scale on day one and is in the hunt for his first FLW win outside of BFL competition.

Even though the day’s fishing produced relatively big weights across the board, Maloney says the lake still isn’t fishing quite right. For him, the indicator is the fact that it’s downright hard to catch a keeper spotted bass off a random dock. When Lake of the Ozarks is really going, those fish are a dime a dozen.

“Don’t be fooled; it’s tough out there. These guys are grinding,” says Maloney, who reports only catching eight keepers on the day.

As for how he’s catching his big fish, Maloney is going shallow and fishing up the lake from takeoff.

“For the shallow fish that I’ve got going, I want bluebird,” says Maloney. “I want as bluebird as I can get, so I’m kinda scared about tomorrow. But it worked out today, and I had my fish all by about 11:00, so I’m all right with what I’m doing."

Notably, Maloney plans to significantly switch up his area on day two.

“I’ve got a pattern that has worked in previous falls for me, and I believe in it,” he says. “No matter how tough it gets, I’ve got confidence in it because of the caliber of fish. I’m going to burn up some new water tomorrow, so if I do make it to the weekend I’ve got fish.

“This game is all about decisions, so we’ll see if it works out.”

 

Evan Barnes

5. Evan Barnes – Hot Springs, Ark. – 17-3 (5)

The only non-local in the top five, Evan Barnes weighed 17-3 to get things started off on day one.

“I started off the morning throwing topwater, but I didn’t do any good on that,” says Barnes. “When the rain started to come through I started flipping a stretch of docks, and I caught my big one doing that. Then I fished docks the rest of the day.”

Barnes says he caught about 10 keepers on the day, and the vast majority came on a 3/8-ounce JIG-SOOIE finesse jig with a NetBait Paca Craw trailer.

“It’s mostly a numbers deal,” says Barnes. “I try to hit as many [docks] as I can. I’m getting plenty of bites, but I don’t know if I’ll keep getting big bites. I think I can catch another 13 pounds and squeak into the cut though.”

Tags: lake-of-the-ozarks  fall    jody-white  headline-story  2016-10-06-lake-of-the-ozarks 

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