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

Eyes on the Weather at Lake of the Ozarks

Eyes on the Weather at Lake of the Ozarks
David Taylor, Jeremy Davis

Wrapping up the Costa FLW Series Central Division with an early fall stop at Lake of the Ozarks has become a tradition over the last few years. This year, the final stop of the season is presented by Evinrude and takes place Oct. 10-12, which should be good timing for a number of patterns to play.

Complete details

 

Jeremy Lawyer

Ozark overview

Though “Ozark” is right in the name, Lake of the Ozarks doesn’t really fish exactly like the famous lakes on the White River. The water is hardly dirty, but it doesn’t have that same clear blue quality that Beaver Lake and Bull Shoals boast. Also, largemouths are almost the exclusive target of tournament anglers at Lake of the Ozarks. The lake is also heavily developed – more like Grand Lake than some of the other Ozark lakes where bluffs and gravel banks are the predominant shoreline features.

As such, the patterns in play are generally less finesse-oriented and at least somewhat unique to Lake of the Ozarks. In years past in the fall, fishing topwaters, skipping docks, and fishing offshore brush and rock have all played.

Marcus Sykora, who lives near the lake and has seven T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) wins there, believes that the usual suspects all have a chance.

“It’s your standard players,” says Sykora. “Basically, there are three different kinds of fish that will be caught: fish in less than 4 feet, 8 to 12 feet and then 15 to 30 feet. That’s what’s nice about this lake. Everybody can spread out and do their own thing, and there’s bait in all those places.

“I think you’ve got skipping docks, brush and deep rock,” outlines Sykora. “I think all three of those things could be a player in some way, shape or form during the event. I haven’t really messed around with topwater too much, and I haven’t heard anything yet, but with that front coming through and that cloud cover someone could take off throwing topwater and commit to it and catch a big stringer.”

 

A weather eye

Sykora hinted at it, but one major factor in the upcoming event could be the weather. Practice should be fairly nice, but distinctly fall-like, with lows in the 40s and 50s and daytime highs reaching into the 70s. The tournament itself could present a real mix of conditions. A front is projected to roll into the area Friday, which could really roil things up. Thursday’s high is supposed to be nearly 80, and the Saturday high is just 58 degrees.

“I think practice is going to get overturned by that big giant cold front coming through,” says Sykora. “I really don’t know what that’s going to do to them. Hopefully it will make them bite a little better.

“I think the conditions will help a couple guys that maybe don’t figure it out in practice,” he adds. “You can run a lot of patterns on this lake, which is really good, but with those conditions I just see some big fish starting to bite on Thursday and Friday with low light and big wind. I think the big-fish opportunity will be better than normal.”

 

Marcus Sykora

Weight predictions

FLW Tour pro Casey Scanlon, who guides on Lake of the Ozarks, figures that 50 to 53 pounds will get the job done. He says the fishing in general has been fantastic this year, and that trend ought to continue.

Though last year’s winning total was just 46 pounds, Sykora agrees that the weights should be better this year.

“I think the day-one leader will for sure be over 20 pounds, but I think to get in the top 10 it will take 27 or 28 pounds,” says Sykora. “I think 51 pounds or so will win. With the weather coming in I don’t know. If it was stable it would take a little more, but the weather changing is going to switch a lot of things up.”

 

Jake Morris

The AOY race

With the final event of the Central Division season looming, Jake Morris has a solid edge in the hunt for the division’s Strike King Angler of the Year title. After winning the first event on Kentucky Lake, Morris followed up with a seventh-place showing at Table Rock. No matter if Morris closes or not, the McKee, Ky., angler is for sure one of the favorites in the upcoming Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland. 

Behind Morris, Steve Floyd is nine points in the rearview, with FLW Tour rookie Dakota Ebare just 13 points back and Jimmy Washam 16 points off the lead. Scanlon, Sykora and Shawn Kowal are the closest locals in the points race and are worth throwing an eye on, but with the points breakdown of the top 10 it seems likely that someone in the top four will take home the title.

 

AOY top 10

1. Jake Morris – McKee, Ky. – 494 points

2. Steve Floyd – Leesburg, Ohio – 485

3. Dakota Ebare – Denham Springs, La. – 481

4. Jimmy Washam – Covington, Tenn. – 478

5. Greg Mansfield – Louisburg, Kan. – 459

6. Michael Wooley – Booneville, Miss. – 456

7. Casey Scanlon – Lake Ozark, Mo. – 451

8. Marcus Sykora – Osage Beach, Mo. – 449

9. Shawn Kowal – Linn Creek, Mo. – 448

10. Josh McDermont – Fishers, Ind. – 443

 

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 division determined by the heaviest cumulative three-day weight.

Takeoff Time: 7 a.m. CT

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

Weigh-In Time: 3 p.m. CT

Weigh-In Location: Public Beach #2

Complete details

Tags: jody-white  pre-tournament  2019-10-10-lake-of-the-ozarks 

Top 10 Baits from Lake Martin

Top 10 Baits from Lake Martin

Bites were easy to come by at Lake Martin. It was getting the quality bites that separated the field. READ MORE »

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Martin

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Martin

The Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit's third stop goes down this week at Lake Martin in Alexander City, Ala. Here's how you can watch the action live. 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 Patterns and Baits from Okeechobee

Top Patterns and Baits from Okeechobee

Though the total weights didn’t live up to some expectations, the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Okeechobee was still a lot of fun. The weather was great, there were plenty of fish caught the first two days, and there was a truly dramatic race for the win on the final day. READ MORE »

Niles Goes Back-To-Back

Niles Goes Back-To-Back

Hailing from Ocean Springs, Miss., Andy Niles has now won on Okeechobee two years in a row. In 2019, he picked up the win in the Southeastern Division event on Okeechobee, and this year he got the win in the second Toyota Series Southern Division event of the year. Weighing a total of 44 pounds, 7 ounces, Niles takes home a new Phoenix bass boat for his efforts. Friday was Niles’ son Cooper’s 8th birthday, and though he’s probably not going to get the boat for a present, he’ll at least get a very happy dad. 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 »

Lake Havasu Midday Update – Day 3

Lake Havasu Midday Update – Day 3

It was another slow morning on Lake Havasu at the Toyota Series Western Division opener. Though, that was to be expected. Most of the top 10 pros have had their best luck in the middle of the day and early afternoon. Mornings have been tough. 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 »

Okeechobee Midday Update – Day 2

Okeechobee Midday Update – Day 2

The weather is still splendid, but day two of the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Okeechobee has been tougher than day one. While keepers were pretty easy to come by early yesterday, that hasn’t quite been the case today. Still, the weather is good and there’s plenty of time left for the lake to turn on. READ MORE »

Honnerlaw in Front at Big O

Honnerlaw in Front at Big O

Day one of the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Okeechobee was great from a fish-catching standpoint, but somewhat lacking from a big fish perspective. In the lead, Bryan Honnerlaw of Moore Haven, Fla., put 19 pounds, 14 ounces on the scale. Behind him, three other pros also managed 19 pounds or better, and there is an absolute stack of anglers in the mid-teen range. READ MORE »

Okeechobee Midday Update – Day 1

Okeechobee Midday Update – Day 1

Day one of the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Okeechobee has been a beauty so far. Takeoff went off without a hitch in the morning, and there’s basically been just a light breeze and sunny skies all day. Though it hasn’t been oppressively hot, it has been quite warm, and after setting down on their first spot, many anglers probably never put their hoodies back on. READ MORE »

Game Day on Okeechobee

Game Day on Okeechobee

The second stop of the Toyota Series Southern Division is hitting Lake Okeechobee later in the year than usual for FLW. Typically, big, multi-day FLW events on the Big O go down in January and February, but this one runs March 12-14 and should offer a different look at the familiar and ever-changing body of water. READ MORE »

ETBU Gets School of the Year Rings

ETBU Gets School of the Year Rings

Tallying up 1,752 points for the season, ETBU beat out Tarleton State-Stephenville by 16 points to earn the Southern Conference School of the Year title. READ MORE »

An Okeechobee Slugfest Could Happen

An Okeechobee Slugfest Could Happen

Pre-tournament optimism can be hard to find, but this year, if the weather holds, the fishing might be really good for the Toyota Series Southern Division event on Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »

College Open Prize Pool Bigger than Ever

College Open Prize Pool Bigger than Ever

The annual Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Open returns to Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley in mid-March for the sixth consecutive season. This time around, however, the stakes are even higher, as teams compete for a brand-new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat, 20 spots in the 2021 National Championship and 20 spots in the all-new Major League Fishing College Faceoff presented by Wiley X in Raleigh, N.C., later this spring. READ MORE »

Volunteer Division Starts on Douglas

Volunteer Division Starts on Douglas

The kickoff event of the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Volunteer Division takes place on Douglas Lake on March 7. One of the most scenic lakes in the country, Douglas promises some good prespawn fishing. READ MORE »

AOY Update: Harris Chain 

AOY Update: Harris Chain 

Through two events, the leader of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Angler of the Year race isn’t unexpected, but the standings behind Ron Nelson are in absolute turmoil. With Lake Martin and Cherokee Lake on tap, things could begin to clarify a bit as spotted bass, smallmouths and lakes that actually have rock become factors. So, while we’re about to run through the top contenders, it’s highly likely that the next few events really reshape the standings.  READ MORE »

Red-Hot Spawn Bite Expected at Havasu

Red-Hot Spawn Bite Expected at Havasu

Spawning bass and spring break will be the story lines at the Toyota Series Western Division opener at Lake Havasu in mid-March. Well, OK … the spawning bass will certainly be the main focus of the anglers. But dealing with traffic from pleasure boaters will definitely contribute to the pros’ decision-making, particularly on the weekend.  READ MORE »

Prespawn Showdown Coming to Ross Barnett

Prespawn Showdown Coming to Ross Barnett

The Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine kicks off its 2020 Mississippi Division schedule at Ross Barnett Reservoir on March 7. Ross Barnett is an annual early season stop for FLW and the first crack at gaining essential points in the race to qualify for this fall’s Regional. This time around, anglers might have to navigate tricky conditions due to a wet and rainy winter. READ MORE »