UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Potomac River

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Go Time at Lake of the Ozarks

Go Time at Lake of the Ozarks

Day one of the Costa FLW Series presented by Evinrude on Lake of the Ozarks dawned cool and misty, but not cold and foggy as many anticipated. Taking off on time, 155 pros and co-anglers look to have a beautiful day ahead of them for the start of the final event in the Central Division.

 

About the fishery

Created in 1931 with the damming of the Osage River, Lake of the Ozarks is huge.  Running more than 90 miles long with over 1000 miles of shoreline, it offers everything an angler could want outside of grass. About 100 feet deep at the deepest, Lake of the Ozarks is a fairly steep lake, with hundreds of creeks and pockets off the main lake to choose from, with the vast majority being upward of 20 feet deep in the middle. Located in the northern part of the Ozark region, Lake of the Ozarks isn’t exactly similar to lakes like Beaver and Table Rock on the White River. It’s more developed and the water color is more brown and not quite the bright, clear blue that the lower reaches of Beaver and Table Rock are. The primary forage in the lake is shad (threadfin and gizzard), but there are plenty of crawfish as well as a few bluegill in the mix. Docks are the defining feature of the lake, but there is plenty of brush available offshore, along with rock and all the usual non-grass options up shallow.

 

Current conditions

Up until Wednesday, anglers have labored under unseasonably warm conditions, but a cool front rolled in for the final day of practice and it’s in the 50s to start things off. Unfortunately, the colder weather might be a little late to truly ignite a fall bite.

“I think it’s closer to late summer than any sort of fall pattern,” says Marcus Sykora, who has six T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) wins under his belt on Lake of the Ozarks. “It reminds me of the end of August or early September. But the thing about this place is it can change overnight. And it’s so full of fish that guys that want to catch them shallow will catch them shallow and guys that want to catch them deep will catch them deep.”

Brian Maloney is a Lake of the Ozarks local and finished sixth in last year’s FLW Series showdown here (held October 6-8) after leading the second day. Like Sykora, he thinks the fish are even closer to summer patterns than they were last fall.

“Right now we’re warmer than we normally are this time of year, so they’re still transitioning back to the flats,” says Maloney. “The shad have made their move, and the bass are right behind them. If this cold front had come in last week and we could have gotten two or three days of cold it’d be lights-out.”

Though the water temperature has fallen a bit with the cooler weather, and should continue to drop for at least day one of the tournament, it’s still in the 70s. Because of the cool front, we might see a dramatic shift from practice, but it isn’t probable.

 

Tactics in play

There’s likely to be a pretty good variety working this week. Because the bass haven’t totally committed to the fall, there will almost certainly be some caught deeper off brush and drops with jigs and worms. Those same baits will work shallower and around docks, but some topwaters and shaky heads might get in the mix shallow as well. Finally, it wouldn’t be a shocker to see someone make hay with a squarebill crankbait or a spinnerbait in the right situation, particularly shallow around the plentiful shad.

 

Critical factors

  • Being consistent – Maloney expects the winner to catch them steady, and says that backing up a 20-pound day will be a huge challenge with how variable the lake is right now. You might make the cut with one great day, but one heroic day is unlikely to carry anyone to the win.
  • Making adjustments – Due to pressure from last week’s Big Bass Bash, the fish are a little smarter than usual at the moment, so small adjustments might be key. More wholesale pattern changes could play a role as well if the prevailing cool front shakes things up more than expected.

 

Dock talk

Anglers seem to agree that it’ll take between 50 and about 53 pounds to win, but it seems like the event won’t necessarily be a catch-fest.

“I know this lake is slap full of fish, but it’s not been great for me,” says Brandon Hunter, who is currently 16th in the points and looking to secure his spot in the Costa FLW Series Championship on Kentucky Lake. “Every time I catch one it’s fat and healthy, but I’m not catching a lot. I was hoping it was going to be closer to fall, and there would be that good topwater bite going. But I’m going to go running and gunning and try and get a few and get back to Kentucky.”

Leading the points and also looking toward Kentucky Lake is Cole Floyd.

“Bites have been far and few between. I did so many different things trying to figure out different patterns and nothing ever clicked. I’d catch one fish on a place and then fish 20 places like it and then never get a bite. I’ve caught some big ones, but I don’t know.”

“There are a lot of different ways to catch them right now, but the question is if guys can catch them the next day,” says Maloney. “I don’t think the consistency is here right now. Everything is moving every day. I’m curious to see what happens, I think I’m dialed in pretty good, but you never know.”

 

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 in each category 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.

Weigh-In Time: Days 1 and 2 at 3 p.m. CT; Day 3 at 4 p.m. CT

Weigh-In Location: Days 1 and 2 at Public Beach #2; Day 3 at Walmart 4252, Highway 54, Osage Beach, Mo.

Complete details 

Tags: jody-white  morning-story  2017-10-12-lake-of-the-ozarks 

Big Bags Coming on Rainy Clear Lake

Big Bags Coming on Rainy Clear Lake

One of the gems of California bass fishing might have its luster muted by the week’s weather, but Clear Lake will likely still provide plenty of opportunity for anglers competing in this week’s Costa FLW Series Western Division event, which is presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina.  READ MORE »

South Laurel Wins KHSAA Championship on Kentucky

South Laurel Wins KHSAA Championship on Kentucky

The South Laurel High School team of Shawn Coots and Trent Keltner weighed 19 pounds, 9 ounces on day one and 13-4 on day two for a 32-13 total and the win in the 2019 Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) State Bass Fishing Championship on Kentucky Lake. READ MORE »

Cup Bubble Boys Before Champlain

Cup Bubble Boys Before Champlain

With just one event left in the FLW Tour season, time is almost out to qualify for the FLW Cup, which will be held August 9-11 on Lake Hamilton. The last event at Lake Chickamauga produced plenty of shakeup in the races for Angler of the Year and Polaris FLW Tour Rookie of the Year, and it also set everyone up for the final push to the Cup. READ MORE »

Everything on the Table at Table Rock

Everything on the Table at Table Rock

Stop No. 2 of the Costa FLW Series Central Division, which is presented by Power-Pole and hosted by Explore Branson, is primed to be an all-out show. It seems like the lake’s entire population of bass is rushing to the bank to spawn, with all three species willing to eat a vast array of offerings. The only question: Will Mother Nature play nice? READ MORE »

ROY Update: Lake Chickamauga

ROY Update: Lake Chickamauga

We didn’t bother with an update on the Polaris FLW Tour Rookie of the Year race after the fifth stop of the FLW Tour season at Cherokee Lake. At that point, Miles Burghoff had the overall lead in the AOY standings and a 108-point lead for ROY. It looked like it was locked up. READ MORE »

AOY Update: Lake Chickamauga

AOY Update: Lake Chickamauga

There’s usually some drama at the end of the FLW Tour Angler of the Year race, but often the leading pro has managed to accumulate a pretty good cushion by the final event. This year the cushion is virtually nonexistent. After they booked a win and a fifth-place finish at Lake Chickamauga, respectively, John Cox leads David Dudley by just one point heading into the finale on Lake Champlain. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Chickamauga

Top 10 Baits from Lake Chickamauga

Most people probably don’t equate Lake Chickamauga to spinning rods and finesse techniques, but both were prevalent during the FLW Tour event presented by Evinrude on Chick. Plenty of pros threw swimbaits, jigs and crankbaits, but the common thread among most of the top 10 is the use of a stick bait (usually wacky- or Texas-rigged) to target bedding or postspawn fish still hanging in the shallows.  READ MORE »

Going Shallow with Lawyer

Going Shallow with Lawyer

Heading into the sixth stop of the year on Chickamauga, which is presented by Evinrude, Lawyer says he’s looking to go easy and make sure he’s on the road to Hot Springs this August for his third shot at a Cup title. With that in mind, I was happy to hop aboard and see the shallow side of Chickamauga. READ MORE »

Get to Know Lake Chickamauga

Get to Know Lake Chickamauga

The 2019 FLW Tour event at Lake Chickamauga, which is presented by Evinrude, is hitting the lake before the primary offshore migration has occurred, which means that some ledge fishing will take place, but a whole mess of other patterns should play as well. Here’s a look at where the anglers will be competing this week. READ MORE »

Tougher but Still Santee Cooper

Tougher but Still Santee Cooper

The Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division finale began this morning at Santee Cooper, where even though fishing has been tough, everyone expects to see mega-bags brought to weigh-in. The bass are nearly done spawning, but a strong shad spawn in the mornings offers real potential. READ MORE »

Review: iRod Genesis II Legit’s Finesse Swimmer

Review: iRod Genesis II Legit’s Finesse Swimmer

Built to FLW Tour pro Aaron Britt’s specifications, the iRod Genesis II Legit’s Finesse Swimmer rod is a mid-priced spinning rod that’s specifically designed for tossing small swimbaits on light heads. READ MORE »

AOY Update: Cherokee Lake

AOY Update: Cherokee Lake

This year’s FLW Tour Angler of the Year race is hurtling toward one of the most dramatic finishes ever. After finishing 46th at Cherokee Lake, rookie pro Miles “Sonar” Burghoff took advantage of a stumble by Terry Bolton to move into the top spot in the standings. If Burghoff can hold on through the final two events, he’ll be the first rookie since Shinichi Fukae in 2004 to win the AOY award. READ MORE »

Get to Know Cherokee Lake

Get to Know Cherokee Lake

The fifth stop of the FLW Tour is presented by Lowrance and sure to be fun if you like east Tennessee, smallmouths and good fishing (who doesn’t?). Cherokee Lake plays host and promises to both challenge and delight anglers. READ MORE »

Beavers Breaks Down Cherokee

Beavers Breaks Down Cherokee

Beavers started the year off about as badly as he could, finishing 121st at Rayburn, but he’s been on a tear ever since, finishing 54th at Toho before banking back-to-back top 10s at Seminole and Grand. READ MORE »

Scouting Cherokee with LeBrun

Scouting Cherokee with LeBrun

Now in the second half of the Tour season, LeBrun is up against another new lake, and sort of a new species. He says he’s never seen a smallmouth on a bed in his life, and has spent just two days on Cherokee in pre-practice. READ MORE »

2019 Cherokee Lake Preview

2019 Cherokee Lake Preview

Nestled in the hills of east Tennessee, Cherokee Lake is a TVA impoundment on the Holston River, and it sits roughly between Norris Lake (to the northwest) and Douglas Lake (to the southeast). READ MORE »

Everything’s in Play on Kentucky Lake

Everything’s in Play on Kentucky Lake

A squad of 147 boaters and their co-anglers partners enjoyed a pleasant spring morning in western Kentucky for the start of the Costa FLW Series Central Division tournament presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Grand Lake

Top 10 Baits from Grand Lake

If you’re going to fish Grand Lake this time of year, you’d better be good with a spinnerbait. The FLW Tour event at Grand Lake last week sure showcased that. READ MORE »

Get to Know Grand Lake

Get to Know Grand Lake

The fourth stop of the 2019 FLW Tour is presented by Mercury at Grand Lake. Though the Tour last hit the big Oklahoma lake in 2013, Grand sees plenty of tournament action, especially in the spring, and it never fails to deliver drama. READ MORE »

Poking Around Grand with Cortiana

Poking Around Grand with Cortiana

Since starting to fish Costa FLW Series events in 2016, Kyle Cortiana has banked over $100,000 with FLW and finished in the top 10 of the Southwestern Division three times. On the FLW Tour, he’s been a bit less successful, with no top 10s and no FLW Cup qualifications … yet. This year, he’s sitting 35th in the points, with a good chance to go to the Cup, and the FLW Tour presented by Mercury on Grand Lake finally gives him a shot at a Tour event with home field advantage. READ MORE »