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

Consistency Puts Watson Out Front

Consistency Puts Watson Out Front
James Watson

James Watson has been in this position twice before. He’s just hoping for a different final day this third time.

The Lampe, Mo., pro sat in third going into the final day of the previous two Costa FLW Series Central Division events on Lake of the Ozarks. Then everything went wrong both times, as he failed to catch a limit on either final day in 2017 or 2018, falling to 10th and seventh, respectively.

Complete results

Top five patterns from day one

Now, this time, he’s leading the event, which is presented by Evinrude, by 2 ounces with 33 pounds, 1 ounce total and he’s just praying for a different outcome.

“The last two years I stubbed my toe on the final day,” says Watson, who weighed in 16-4 today to pair with his 16-13 yesterday. “And I don’t want to do that this time.”

Circumstances presented every opportunity for him to stub his toe today, actually. His boat broke down upon reaching his second spot of the morning, and he had to call a friend to help him out.

“If it wasn’t for Randy Terrell, I would’ve lost three hours of fishing today,” says Watson. “He’s a buddy of mine, and he’s a terrible fisherman, but he lent me his boat. So I can’t thank him enough.”

Because he had to wait around for the on-site repair team to fix his boat, Watson was forced to hunker down close to takeoff and beat up on some areas with a new Tackle HD buzzbait he’s designing with them. Just so happens, while doing so he was able to catch his biggest fish that went over 5 pounds.

Finally, around 1 p.m., Watson was back in his own boat with two fish in his livewell – the kicker and a squeaker that “wasn’t worth weighing in” – and that’s when his day turned around quick.

“I picked up my buzzbait and I went to town on them,” says Watson. “It was all about timing. My best bite has been happening in the afternoon. So I got to my area around 2 p.m. and it was slow, but at 2:30 p.m. it was game on.”

Now, this big question is will the afternoon, or any bite, turn on tomorrow if the weather forecast holds, as Mother Nature has played a significant factor throughout the tournament. Tomorrow brings the tail-end of a cold front, with the forecast calling for freezing takeoff temperatures, bluebird skies and high pressure. In other words, pretty tough conditions.

Fortunately, Watson has plenty of experience fishing those conditions in the Ozarks, and he’s certainly hoping to lean on his experience.

“[My experience] will help big time,” says Watson about facing tomorrow’s conditions. “It’s going to be tough. I’ll have to slow down even more, but the fact I have the history here gives me a lot of confidence that when I’m throwing my bait, I’m throwing it in the right places.”

 

Top 10 pros

1. James Watson – Lampe, Mo. – 33-1 (10)

2. Dale Andrews – Jay, Okla. – 32-15 (9)

3. Casey Scanlon – Lake Ozark, Mo. – 31-4 (10)

4. Dylan Hays – El Dorado, Ark. – 29-8 (10)

5. Lance Williams – Billings, Mo. – 29-0 (10)

6. Cory Steckler – Rocky Mount, Mo. – 28-9 (10)

7. James Dill – Sunrise Beach, Mo. – 28-5 (10)

8. Ladd Shannon – Atkins, Ark. – 28-4 (8)

9. Brian Maloney – Osage Beach, Mo. – 28-3 (10)

10. Ben Verhoef – Osage Beach, Mo. – 27-15 (8)

 

Roger Olson Jr

Olson takes command on the co-angler side

Roger Olson Jr. is a long way from Eagle River, Wis., but he’s certainly feeling right at home with how he’s been fishing this week.

Olson brought in the biggest co-angler limit of the tournament – 15-2 – on day two to help build on the 9-2 he weighed yesterday (which was only for two bass). The result was a jump into the lead by almost 3 pounds with 24-8 total.

“Today was just a really good day,” says Olson. “Yesterday I had two good bites and missed one, but today I had five good bites and caught them all.”

After fishing out deeper with pro Dustin Evans on Thursday, Olson drew Kent Priel today, who was fishing up against the bank. Yet, despite the location change, his tactics did not.

“I’ve caught all my fish on a shaky head both days,” he says. “I’ve switched around from a Zoom Magnum Trick Worm to a Yamamoto Kut Tail Worm; the standard fair out here. Everything the locals catch them on is what I’ve caught them on.”

One thing Olson says that really helped him was how accommodating Priel was after the pro weighed in only two fish yesterday.

“He knew he wasn’t in it,” adds Olson. “So he gave me a lot of water to fish. I couldn’t have asked for a better draw.”

 

Top 10 co-anglers

1. Roger Olson Jr. – Eagle River, Wis. – 24-8 (7)

2. Jamie Eynard – Jefferson City, Mo. – 21-11 (10)

3. Erick Fernengel – Lake Waukomis, Mo. – 20-11 (8)

4. Justin Hake – Conway, Ark. – 18-3 (6)

5. Rob Crane – Fairview Heights, Ill. – 17-12 (8)

6. Ryan Jobe – De Soto, Kan. – 17-10 (8)

7. Joe Tucker – Osceola, Mo. – 17-8 (7)

8. Andrew Hegerty – Colgate, Wis. – 17-6 (8)

9. Joe Lee – Midlothian, Texas – 16-3 (7)

10. Justin Layton – Forsyth, Mo. – 15-11 (7)

Tags: sean-ostruszka  headline-story  2019-10-10-lake-of-the-ozarks 

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