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

Top 10 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks

Top 10 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks

Changing daily conditions made for tough adjustments in the final Costa FLW Series Central Division tournament of the year on Lake of the Ozarks. That’s probably why the final day of the tournament, which was presented by Evinrude, featured a who’s who of Ozark hammers.

Summerlike weather during practice gave way to fall by the start of the event, and adapting daily was key for most to survive. With water temperatures still in the mid- to upper 70s at the start of the event, those who found fish still in summer patterns were able to make haste the first two days, but saw their patterns fizzle by Saturday.

Meanwhile, Jeremy Lawyer ran new water each day, checking the developing topwater bite while flipping sections of docks that got in his way. He was able to climb the leaderboard each day to grab the win.

Below is a look at how the rest of the top 10 pros put the pieces together on a pressured Lake of the Ozarks.

Lawyer’s winning pattern

Top 10 baits gallery

Complete results

 

2. Paquette goes back-to-back

Starting the Central Division season in the Ozarks left a bit of a sour taste in Garrett Paquette’s mouth with an 83rd-place finish at Table Rock. Moving on to Kentucky/Barkley lakes, the Canton, Mich., pro took home second to get back on track. This week, he followed up with his second consecutive runner-up finish to cap off his best season yet.

It’s no secret docks are the deal on Lake of the Ozarks, and that program carried Paquette all week. From deep to shallow, Paquette ran plenty of docks while dialing in where the fish set up each day.

“I had one or two areas I found in practice that I knew I could get bites in, so I pretty much committed to hunkering down in them,” says Paquette. “The key for me wasn’t to pattern the lake like a lot of the locals do. I was better off sticking to my two- to three-mile stretch of the lake I knew had fish and trying to catch all the bass from it.”

On day one, Paquette caught most of his fish shallow on docks. However, cloud cover on days two and three repositioned the fish to the outsides of the docks in 8 to 12 feet. He used his electronics to locate brush alongside the docks and dial in on high-percentage areas in order to attack each dock more efficiently.

Paquette needed one rod to do work, and that was rigged with a Texas rig with a 1/4-ounce weight and a Zoom Magnum Trick Worm. He threw it on 17-pound-test fluorocarbon, noting that the line was heavy enough to not break off on the dock, yet thin enough to maybe get him a few more bites than if he threw 20-pound test.

“It’s funny because jigs usually get the bigger bites all across the country, and I gave both the jig and worm equal time in practice,” explains Paquette. “I got bites on both, but my better quality came on the worm, so I stuck with that.”

 

3. Berhorst stays offshore for third

Dennis Berhorst of Holts Summit, Mo., has made a killing on Lake of the Ozarks over his years there, and this week he added more hardware to his mantle.

Having a pulse on the lake year-round led him to stick to the offshore bite since a lot of fish were still in their summer patterns.

“Most of the fish I caught were offshore in 20 to 25 feet of water,” says Berhorst. “The key for me was rock. I fished little rock piles and concentrated on probably a dozen certain ones.”

On day one the fish just didn’t bite, and he came in with 12 pounds, 1 ounce. The clouds and rain on day two had them chomping, and he sacked up 18-10 to jump into the top 10. On Saturday, he spent most of the morning sidelined with trolling motor issues and didn’t get out until mid-morning, missing the prime bite window. Fortunately for him, the bite was tough for his competitors, and Berhorst’s 12-10 limit was enough to move him up to third.

“The morning bite was better for me all week,” he adds. “I probably fished a little too fast on the final day just trying to make up for lost time.”

On the rocks, Berhorst used a 3/4-ounce Strike King jig matched with a NetBait Paca Chunk Sr., or a Texas-rigged Chompers Boss Hawg rigged on a 5/0 Strike King Hack Attack Heavy Cover Flipping Hook. Both were matched to a 7-foot, 4-inch St. Croix Legend Xtreme rod with 20-pound-test Gamma Edge fluorocarbon.

 

4. King locks up AOY

Legendary pro Stacey King of Reeds Spring, Mo., has accomplished a lot throughout his time in professional fishing, and this week he notched another first in his career – winning the Strike King Angler of the Year title in the Costa FLW Series Central Division.

King, at age 69, put up two fourth-place finishes – at Table Rock and Lake of the Ozarks – and a 10th at Lake Barkley in June. That puts his average finish at sixth.

At Lake of the Ozarks, he focused on points and docks from the Glaize Arm to the mouth of the Osage River.

Simplicity was the name of the game, with the majority of his fish – including the monster 23-2 bag on day two – coming from an Evergreen Shower Blows topwater fished around banks with large rocks. He also tossed a Zoom Trick Worm in brush piles.

 

5. Brown plops for fifth

While Austin Brown isn’t a local from Lake of the Ozarks, previous experience on the pond helped him bank a top 10. The Benton, Ky., pro went all-in on the topwater bite, and it paid off big time on day two when he caught 20-8. However, on the first and final days he didn’t catch a limit.

“I fished a lot of docks in practice, but I didn’t really do much good on them,” Brown says. “I knew from past experience on Lake of the Ozarks from this time of year that when you get a cool front coming in and the water cools off that I could catch them on a topwater.

“I didn’t know how many fish I could catch, but I knew if I got bit on the topwater it’d be a good one. With it being the last tournament of the year I wasn’t really worried about points. I just thought that’d be my best chance at winning.”

Brown pretty much kept a River2Sea Whopper Plopper 130 in his hands all week. He threw it on a Dobyns Champion 684C rod with 65-pound-test Sunline braided line and covered as much ground as he could.

“I never really left the main lake,” adds Brown. “I was fishing bluff banks where they transitioned to slate rock. I’d probably hit 40 points throughout the day and make 10 to 15 casts at each spot before moving to the next.

“I’ve seen in the past where there are small feeding windows that happen. So, you may fish a bunch of places and not get bit, and then all of a sudden catch six or seven fish on the next six or seven stops. That’s why you just need to cover water.”

On the final day, boat traffic and fishing pressure from the previous weeks took their toll and forced Brown to pick up a shaky head and move to shallow pea gravel banks. He threw a 1/8-ounce Slongs Fishing Lures head with an Attack Pak Fishing finesse worm to scrounge up four keepers.

 

6. Vance’s “magic spot” carries him to sixth

Jason Vance of Battle Ground, Ind., made his first career top 10 with FLW thanks to a trio of baits and one magic spot.

“I look at Google Earth before practice and pick out areas I think will be good,” says Vance. “My magic spot was actually something I marked ahead of time and checked the first day of practice. Every day of practice I’d keep checking it, and there were always fish there, so I thought it’d be a good place to start each day of the tournament.”

Only three pros managed to catch a limit each day, and Vance was one of them thanks to the magic spot on the main lake that was essentially a ledge with about 8 feet of water on top, falling to 25 feet. The big factors were the presence of current on it and a heavy concentration of shad.

“It was just a good spot for fish in transition [from summer to fall patterns],” he adds. “There weren’t always big fish there, but it was someplace I knew I could get bites.”

He fished the spot with a 1/2- or 3/4-ounce Tight Line jig (Guntersville special color) or a Zoom Ol’ Monster worm on a Texas rig. From there, he ran docks with the same baits.

When the sun got up or it got later in the day he turned his attention to creeks with flats in the back and moving water to throw a homemade buzzbait rigged with a 4.8 Keitech Swing Impact FAT in sexy shad. He also mixed in a Strike King spinnerbait rigged with a 4.8 Keitech in electric shad.

“I need to thank Bob Rohrman Toyota and Lew’s, because without them I wouldn’t be able to be out here doing this,” Vance adds.

 

7. Payne probes brush for seventh

Arnold Payne Jr. of Kokomo, Ind., fished as a co-angler in the Central Division for 11 years, but this season his brother convinced him to move to the front. Though he owns some top 10s as a co-angler on Lake of the Ozarks, this was his first as a pro.

While Payne now calls Indiana home, he actually used to live in Missouri, and Lake of the Ozarks was his home lake. Because of that, he already knew a lot of the water he wanted to fish from Grand Glaize to the dam.

“I tried to fish about 25 brush piles each day in 12 to 18 feet of water,” Payne says. “I have a bunch of brush piles marked from years ago. I’m comfortable fishing offshore, so I figured if there were fish out deep, I’d catch them. If they moved like they did on the final day, then I’d struggle.”

A 1-ounce homemade jig and a Texas-rigged Berkley PowerBait 10-inch Power Worm were the recipe for success in the brush. On the final day, he only managed one bite out deep, so he picked up a River2Sea Whopper Plopper 110 and covered water to pluck a few more keepers.

 

8. Watson flips a jig for eighth

James Watson of Lampe, Mo., may be known for his ability to catch bass on a Whopper Plopper, but he credits this top 10 solely to a Jewel Special Ops Tactical Flip’N HD jig with a Luck-E-Strike Drop Dead Craw trailer.

The decision to flip didn’t come without a little initial disappointment. Watson had a limited practice period. That, combined with a bit of stubbornness, had the pro committed to throwing the Whopper Plopper on day one. But after nearly six hours without any action, he finally ran to a pocket he had history in and started to pitch the jig around docks.

“I have a buddy that caught fish pretty good in a cove years ago about this time,” Watson says. “Since I only got about five hours of practice, and my first six hours of the tournament weren’t going good, I figured I’d run to it and give it a shot. Man, were they biting when I pulled in there.

“The docks that were about 6 feet deep on the shallow end and 22 feet on the deep side seemed to be the best.”

Watson pretty much made his living there on day two after making two laps through the cove. On the final day, he started there and it was a bust, so he scrambled to scrape together four keepers.

“I don’t think that cove ran out of fish; I think the bite just got terrible on the last day,” Watson adds.

He pitched the jig on a 7-foot, 6-inch, heavy-action Cashion Elite Flipping Rod with a 7.5:1 Bass Pro Shops Pro Qualifier 2 reel spooled with 20-pound-test fluorocarbon.

 

9. Kowal started deep, ended shallow for ninth

Making yet another top 10 on Lake of the Ozarks was Shawn Kowal of Linn Creek, Mo. Like a few of the other locals, he knew a lot of fish were still out deep, and targeting them was his initial game plan.

“I was fishing deep out in 30 feet,” says Kowal. “I got spooked on day two when all those big bags were coming in on a topwater, and I thought that’s what I needed to do on the final day.

“I just lost too many fish on the final day on the Plopper. Anytime you fish a topwater you’re going to lose some, and it hurt.”

Over the first two days, Kowal used a 5/8-ounce Crock-O-Gator shaky head with a Zoom Magnum Trick Worm. On Saturday, he picked up a River2Sea Whopper Plopper 110 and covered ground.

 

10. Ryan falls to 10th

Local David Ryan of Levasy, Mo., leaned heavily on the Osage River to produce the bulk of his weight – including the 19-1 bag he caught on day one. He committed to it on the final day, but after running up there with nothing to show for it, he pulled the plug and snatched one keeper before heading to weigh-in.

A variety of baits played for Ryan up the river. He’s been making his own balsa crankbaits since 2005, and he put one to good use this week by throwing his custom #3 Black Market Balsa crankbait (wicked puff color). He also utilized a white Z-Man ChatterBait with a Yamamoto Zako. When he flipped, he used a Chompers Boss Hawg in green pumpkin candy.

Tags: kyle-wood  headline-story  2018-10-11-lake-of-the-ozarks 

Abram’s Dream Comes True

Abram’s Dream Comes True

All week on Lake Martin for the third stop of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit the weights have been close, so it was only fitting that the final weigh-in followed suit. READ MORE »

Lake Martin Day 4 Coverage

Lake Martin Day 4 Coverage

Complete coverage of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit's third stop at Lake Martin in Alexander, Ala. READ MORE »

Abram One Day Away

Abram One Day Away

Day three of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event on Lake Martin was a bit tougher for the 30 pros on the water, and while quality has been tough to come by all week, that was especially the case today READ MORE »

Lake Martin Day 3 Coverage

Lake Martin Day 3 Coverage

Complete coverage of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit's third stop at Lake Martin in Alexander, Ala. READ MORE »

Abram Out Front on Martin

Abram Out Front on Martin

Same story, different day on Lake Martin for the third stop of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit. When it comes to catching fish, Martin is on fire at the moment. However, just like on day one, big bites are tough to come by on the Alabama fishery. READ MORE »

Lake Martin Day 2 Coverage

Lake Martin Day 2 Coverage

Complete coverage of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit's third stop at Lake Martin in Alexander, Ala. READ MORE »

Adams Leads at Martin

Adams Leads at Martin

Catching fish wasn’t going to be the issue for the third stop of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event on Lake Martin and after day one that certainly was the case. With the entire field catching a limit, the weights are stacked with a little over 4 pounds separating 100th and 10th. Finding a Lake Martin kicker was Barron Adams, who sacked 17 pounds, 2 ounces to take the lead – thanks in large part to his 8-13 Berkley Big Bass. Just 15 ounces back is Derrick Snavely and the weights tighten up a lot from there. READ MORE »

Lake Martin Day 1 Coverage

Lake Martin Day 1 Coverage

Complete coverage of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit's third stop at Lake Martin kicks off a day early from Alexander, Ala. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Martin

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Martin

FLW media staff provide unofficial weight estimates for the third stop of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Lake Martin. READ MORE »

FLW Shifts Start Date at Lake Martin

FLW Shifts Start Date at Lake Martin

FLW announced today that this week’s Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event at Lake Martin, originally scheduled to start Thursday, has been shifted and will now begin competition Wednesday. Hosted by the Alexander City Chamber, the tournament will remain a four-day event and will now run through Saturday. This decision is based on a desire to allow pros, who began practicing for the tournament March 15, to safely complete the event and return home as quickly as possible amid evolving COVID-19 guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control. READ MORE »

Practice Report: Lake Martin

Practice Report: Lake Martin

March in Alabama can be boom or bust in terms of weather, but luckily this week’s forecast calls for mostly gorgeous springtime weather for the third stop of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Lake Martin. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits and Patterns from Havasu

Top 10 Baits and Patterns from Havasu

Results from the Toyota Series Western Division event at Lake Havasu probably didn’t surprise any Western anglers who are familiar with the fishery. For folks in other parts of the country that might only have followed FLW’s early February events on the Colorado River reservoir, the tournament results might have opened some eyes to just how good the fishing can be on Havasu. Particularly on day one, the lake delivered, kicking out 12 limits of more than 20 pounds, including Tai Au’s limit of 26 pounds, 1 ounce. The success on day one resulted from a perfect storm of conditions for catching spawning bass on beds.  READ MORE »

Dice Gets it Done on Smith Mountain

Dice Gets it Done on Smith Mountain

Jack Dice of Lynchburg, Virginia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 22 pounds even to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Smith Mountain Lake in Huddleston, Virginia. For his victory, Dice earned a total of $5,246. READ MORE »

Steckler Claims Ozark Title

Steckler Claims Ozark Title

Cory Steckler of Rocky Mount, Missouri, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 18 pounds, 7 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake of the Ozarks in Osage Beach, Missouri. For his victory, Steckler earned a total of $13,457, including the lucrative $7,000 FLW PHOENIX Bonus contingency award. The victory was the second win of Steckler’s FLW career. READ MORE »

Helton Wins on Dale Hollow

Helton Wins on Dale Hollow

Brett Graham of Cold Spring, Kentucky, brought a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 18 pounds, 11 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Mountain division opener at Dale Hollow Reservoir in Byrdstown, Tennessee. For his victory, Graham earned a total of $6,000. READ MORE »

Au Finishes Strong at Lake Havasu

Au Finishes Strong at Lake Havasu

Tai Au of Glendale, Ariz., weighed in a five-bass limit worth 16 pounds, 15 ounces today to finish off a wire-to-wire win at the Toyota Series Western Division season opener on Lake Havasu. Au’s three-day total was 61-3.  READ MORE »

Medlock Brings it Home on Big O

Medlock Brings it Home on Big O

Weighing the biggest limit of the final day worth 19 pounds, 4 ounces, Brandon Medlock locked up his third Toyota Series title in the Southern Division event on Lake Okeechobee. With 54-4 overall, Medlock won comfortably and was essentially the only pro to put together two very good days of fishing, with a 13-9 catch on day one as his worst day. READ MORE »

Okeechobee Midday Update – Day 3

Okeechobee Midday Update – Day 3

The final day of the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Okeechobee is proving to be just as tense as expected. With the entire top 10 less than 4 pounds apart, anything can happen, and it’s entirely possible that someone in ninth or 10th catches a big bag to come from behind. READ MORE »

Au Stays Ahead on Tougher Day Two

Au Stays Ahead on Tougher Day Two

Tournament leader Tai Au managed to stay in first place by recognizing key environmental factors and knowing when to change up his baits. Yesterday, four of the five bass that Au weighed in were bass he caught sight-fishing. Today, he didn’t look at any of the bass he brought to the scale. Au still managed to weigh in 18 pounds, 3 ounces, taking his two-day total to 44-4. He’s searching for his first FLW victory this week.  READ MORE »

Medlock Ahead on Okeechobee

Medlock Ahead on Okeechobee

Despite nice weather this week, which has been a rarity for FLW tournaments in Florida this year, the fishing on Okeechobee just hasn’t been what the lake is capable of producing. Still, Okeechobee hammer Brandon Medlock rallied on day two dropping 21 pounds, 7 ounces on the scale to take the lead in the Toyota Series Southern Division event on the Big O with 35 pounds even. READ MORE »