UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Erie

Top Five Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks Day 2

Top Five Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks Day 2
Cory Steckler

Fall hit Lake of the Ozarks in earnest today, and while some stumbled at the onslaught, others adjusted. In all, the pros that made the cut to fish the final day of the Costa FLW Series presented by Evinrude represent some of the best talent the Ozarks have to offer and are stacked as tight as can be. Brian Maloney may be in the lead now, but the top three pros are only separated by 6 ounces, and with the lake fishing as well as it has, tomorrow is anyone’s game.

Maloney’s leading pattern

Complete results

 

Cory Steckler

2. Cory Steckler – Rocky Mount, Mo. – 38-3 (10)

Breaking out from the pack with 21-14 on day one, Cory Steckler put 16-5 in the boat on day two and dropped just ounces off the lead into second place.

“That was kind of the goal today, but it was tougher,” says Steckler of his limit. “I lost two, I lost a big one early and then one more.”

For Steckler, the recipe so far has been to run docks down the lake from takeoff.

“It’s gonna be sunny tomorrow, so I think that will help,” says Steckler. “I had two Kentucky’s (spotted bass) late, and that sun came out and I culled three or four times. So I hope the sun helps me.”

Fishing all around docks, Steckler’s primary baits have been a worm tossed around the fronts and a jig thrown around the backs.

“With the worm, I’m looking for suspended fish that haven’t moved up yet,” says Steckler. “When I get in shallow, I want something that looks more like a crawfish or a bluegill.”

Steckler’s day one pattern

 

Dion Hibdon

3. Dion Hibdon – Sunrise Beach, Mo. – 38-0 (10)

Dion Hibdon, of the legendary Hibdon clan, brought 18-4 to the scale on day two for a total of 38 pounds even and has been perhaps the steadiest pro thus far.

“It was one of those deals today where it was a little bit harder,” says Hibdon. “I pulled into the area I fished yesterday and caught a 5-pounder as soon as I got there. So I realized there were a few fish left. Then I thought that if I just fished every square inch of it I’d be done with it, I wouldn’t ever have to come back again. As soon as I caught my fourth one at about 9:30 it stopped. I looked down at my clock and I had four fish and it was 11 o’clock.”

After a quick move, Hibdon says he filled his limit and was back and rolling.

“I stayed too long in that one area,” says Hibdon. “I’m tickled to death with what I got, but I should have left sooner.”

Hibdon maintains that close to 16-pounds per day will be enough to win, but so far he and a few others are well ahead of that pace.

Fishing almost entirely docks, Hibdon says he’s caught about 90 percent of his fish on a jig, though he did lose one big one today on a Heddon Zara Spook.

“I enjoy what I’m fishing,” says Hibdon. “I never know from one to the next whether I’ll catch them deep or shallow or at the front of the dock or the back of the dock.”

With tons of docks in the lake and a load of knowledge, Hibdon ought to be in good shape for the final day.

 

Mark Tucker

4. Mark Tucker – Kirkwood, Mo. – 34-9 (10)

A Costa FLW Series Central Division top 10 would feel downright odd without Mark Tucker, so it’s no surprise to see the man who calls Lake of the Ozarks home in contention heading for the final day. With a total of 34-9, Tucker is less than 4 pounds off the lead.

“I ran into a place this morning and caught one immediately fairly deep, and then another one fairly deep and then another one shallow, a good one,” says Tucker. “Once I saw where that fish was set up that’s what I did the rest of the day.”

Bringing 19-12 in would seem to be a great day, but Tucker says he left some on the table.

“I should have had a phenomenal bag. I lost a 7-pounder and broke a 5-pounder off. It’s kind of aggravating to have those bites on a day like today when you can really make some ground up. But, It’s just the situation. You get some of them and some of them you don’t.”

Fishing shallow, up under and around the cables and walkways of the innumerable docks on Lake of the Ozarks, Tucker says his tackle and preparation are to blame for the losses.

“Hopefully I can get some jig heads tied up and get the right stuff. I ran out of stuff yesterday and I was trying to substitute and I just kept flexing the hook on the jig. That kills you. The fish are pretty mean right now, and you get one that’s big and it will work you over.

“It’s a shame they weren’t out in open water. Every fish is up behind those cables and it’s a split second decision and timing to make sure you get the hook in them and get it over the cables without breaking off.”

Tucker says that the fish have been changing almost daily over the last few weeks. If anyone is capable of adjusting on the fly if need be, it’d be Mark Tucker.

 

Derek Jenkel

5. Duke Jenkel – Pinckneyville, Ill. – 34-2 (10)

Sacking up 19-14 on day two, Duke Jenkel roared up the leaderboard to make the cut with a total of 34-2. Though he’s fished Lake of the Ozarks before, and is a veteran of the sport, Jenkel is one of only three pros from outside of Missouri to make the cut.

“I flipped docks all day, and it was just one subtle little bait change,” Jenkel. “It’s not a top secret area, but I was going behind guys and catching fish. I went into one spot behind a guy and caught three, and then came in right behind another guy and caught two.

“I really believe it was a subtle bait change that made a difference. I came up into The Glaze at the end of the day and pulled up onto some docks and culled out with a 3-pounder down here, and it was all on that bait. The bait I caught them on yesterday wasn’t working at all, but with this one it was pretty automatic.”

Though he says he has some other water in mind to go fish, Jenkel’s primary area has been getting pounded by him and a few other competitors.

“My suspicion is that it’s getting lots tougher,” says Jenkel.  “I carried 16 pounds out of there just on a bait change today, but it wasn’t near as aggressive as it was yesterday.”

 

Tournament details

Format: All boaters and co-anglers will compete for two days. The top 10 boaters and co-anglers based on cumulative weight after two days of competition will advance to the third and final round, with the winner determined by the heaviest cumulative three-day weight.

Takeoff Time: 7:00 a.m. CT

Takeoff Location: Public Beach #2, 711 Public Beach Road, Osage Beach, Mo. 65065

Weigh-In Time: 3:00 p.m. CT days one and two, 4:00 p.m. CT on day three

Weigh-In Location: Public Beach #2 on days one and two, day three at Walmart, 4252 Highway 54, Osage Beach, Mo. 65065

Complete details

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

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