UPCOMING EVENT: TACKLE WAREHOUSE PRO CIRCUIT - 2020 - Harris Chain of Lakes

Cup Top 10: Ebare Fished the Tailrace

Cup Top 10: Ebare Fished the Tailrace
Dakota Ebare

Most of the time, fishing Southern impoundments in August is all about slowly dragging worms through brush piles.

That’s what Dakota Ebare planned to do at the FLW Cup on Lake Hamilton. How he wound up catching enough fish to finish in third place felt more like Southern stream fishing. Ebare spent three days fishing the tailrace below Blakely Mountain Dam where the cold, clear waters drained through from the bottom of Lake Ouachita.

This area is unique within the confines of Lake Hamilton. The water temperature can fluctuate drastically based on the flow, but was regularly in the low 60s. There’s thick grass growing in the channel, with rows of laydowns along some stretches of bank. There are also docks. More importantly, the area beams life – bream, shad, suckers, bass.

Ebare sort of stumbled into it.

Dakota Ebare

“I had done a lot of graphing on the lake and had found a ton of brush piles, and that was my game plan,” Ebare recalls. “Well, I wanted to go check the current situation up there on the river to see if it was still flowing. I got up there [the first morning of practice], and there was still a lot of current. I started throwing a buzzbait around. Immediately, the first little laydown I brought that buzzbait by I had one about 3 1/2 eat it. I kept on going down the bank and had a couple more blowups. I started seeing fish once the sun got up and the fog burned off. Man, there was just fish everywhere. And it was really untouched at that point. They were active, they were biting, and there was 3- and 4-pounders – a lot of them.”

After that Ebare spent about six hours fishing brush down the lake without a bite. The next morning, it was more of the same. That’s when he decided to scrap the brush and focus on the river.

The challenge was getting the fish to bite. Ebare says the best time to get bit was when the sun was high and the current was flowing. It usually kicked on around 9:30 a.m.

On day one, Ebare was all around quality fish. They’d swipe at or nose his bait, but he struggled at times to get them to commit and brought in only 9 pounds, 8 ounces. On the second day, he finally figured out that if he threw his weightless watermelon magic Zoom Salty Super Fluke on 8-pound-test line instead of 12-pound test he’d have better luck getting bites. That day, Ebare weighed in 14-15.

“That made all the difference in the world because of the clear water and pressure on the fish. I think that lighter line gave my bait a little more action as well,” Ebare says. “The lighter line definitely made a big difference for me.”

Dakota Ebare

About 70 percent of Ebare’s weigh fish came on the Fluke. He did catch some on a buzzbait the first day. On the final day, once the sun got high, he caught some by skipping docks and any shady cover with a weightless Zoom Trick Worm. When the current was slack, Ebare poked around in a nearby creek and actually caught some fish there, too.

But mostly, he stuck with the Fluke on the main drag. While Ebare was able to spot and cast to some fish in the clear water and get them interested, he had a much easier time casting to current breaks and staying out of sight of the fish. Laydowns, dock pilings, depressions and inside grass lines all harbored keepers.

He even found a couple pairs of bedding bass that were seemingly all out of sorts due to the cold water. While it was cool to see, those random fish didn’t wind up being part of his pattern.

“Both of those pairs had a 4- to 5-pound female,” Ebare adds.

What eventually did in Ebare was his inability to get the big fish he knew were there to eat. On the final day, he weighed in only four bass for 7-11.

“I knew the fish I needed to catch to win the event were there. I just didn’t capitalize on it,” he says.


Thrift's winning pattern 

Walters' second-place pattern 

Lawyer's fourth-place pattern 

Martin's fifth-place pattern 

Felix's sixth-place pattern 

Webster's seventh-place pattern 

Salzman's eighth-place pattern 

Douglas's ninth-place pattern 

Osborne's tenth-place pattern 

Complete results

Tags: curtis-niedermier  post-tournament  2019-08-09-flw-cup-lake-hamilton 

Perfect Practice Conditions at Harris

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Top 10 Patterns from the St. Johns

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Sharp Blasts 40 Pounds to Win on Rayburn

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Top 10 Baits from the St. Johns

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The St. Johns River was in a bit of a funk for the Toyota Series Southern Division opener. Instead of a full-on spawning slugfest, a couple cold fronts and quickly changing wind and water conditions kept fish moving in and out. The anglers chasing them had to stay on their toes. Plenty of pros did find quality fish, though, and they did so with a lot of familiar baits when it comes to late-winter fishing in Florida. Right now, it’s all about the black and blue plastics on the St. Johns. READ MORE »

Timing Right for Giant Weights at Chickamauga

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Top 10 Patterns from Toledo Bend

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Top 10 Baits from Toledo Bend

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Big Bags Expected at Bama Division Kickoff on Lake Martin

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Wooten Wins Marshal Contest on Rayburn

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Warm, Wet Winter Setting up Big Weights at Murray

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The Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine kicks off its 2020 South Carolina Division schedule at the Jewel of South Carolina, Lake Murray, which is the former host site for multiple FLW Cup events. Murray is full of big bass and can churn out weights in the upper 20s if conditions line up right. Thus far in 2020, warm, wet conditions have been great for bass fishing. Though patterns might vary slightly from a “normal” winter, competitors can expect to have a good time fishing shallow with power-fishing baits.  READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Sam Rayburn

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Even when the bite is tough, Sam Rayburn is a power-fishing lake through and through. Sure, a spinning rod showed up here and there throughout the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit opener, but it was Carolina rigs, lipless crankbaits and vibrating jigs that dominated in the hands of the top 10 pros. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Sam Rayburn

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Sam Rayburn is one of the best bass fishing lakes in the country, but it sure didn’t show its full potential during the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit season opener. Cold fronts, high winds, fluctuating water temps and transitioning fish had the fishing jumbled. The patterns the top 10 pros employed throughout the week followed suit. READ MORE »

Daniel Fennel to Direct Pro Circuit

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Big Prespawn Potential at Toledo Bend

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Florida Spawn: Key on Bottom Hardness

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Gator Division Kicking off at St. Johns River

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From start to finish, the last decade was a wild ride for fishing. The top stories are amazingly diverse, with huge business changes, some incredible tournament feats, and entirely new techniques and lures taking center stage. READ MORE »

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From start to finish, the last decade was a wild ride for fishing. The top stories are amazingly diverse, with huge business changes, some incredible tournament feats, and entirely new techniques and lures taking center stage. READ MORE »

Be Aggressive to Catch Big Spots Now

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Why You Should Crank Current Breaks Now

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